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#4572398 - 06/21/21 04:48 PM Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half  
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I know this is a somewhat overly-specific category but I think most of us here have seen at least one film where we felt the first half was vastly superior to the second half? I'll give the two examples which immediately came to my mind:

1. Lawrence of Arabia - I think pretty much all of the iconic scenes and lines of dialogue come from the first half which ends brilliantly with TE Lawrence basking in glory when he returns after his successful raid on Aqaba. The second half seemed to me to have run a bit out of steam and the Ottoman torture scene seemed to drag the movie down to a crawl.

2. Full Metal Jacket - I don't think anyone can deny that the first half on Parris Island is what has become iconic and etched in pop culture. The second half in Vietnam still has some very good scenes but it just doesn't carry the same emotional impact as the first half in my opinion.


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#4572403 - 06/21/21 05:20 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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I don't know that it's the last half, but the climactic part of Contact was anything but. A real let down after the great build-up earlier in the film.


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#4572404 - 06/21/21 05:21 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Full Metal Jacket comes to mind immediately for me.


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#4572408 - 06/21/21 06:12 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: Arthonon]  
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"Arrival". The trailers looked intriguing, it opened a little odd (IMO) but picked up steam. But about two thirds through it started fading and the "payoff" felt as forced as trying to put ten pounds of sh*t into a five-pound sack.


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#4572409 - 06/21/21 06:20 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Arrival was so bad. Contact is a much better movie, written by one of the true geniuses of the 20th century. I liked the ending of Contact, and thought it was very thoughtful, especially the scene on the beach. How else would a species that appeared to be "godlike" pull such an encounter off with us primitives from Earth?

I can't think of any movies offhand, but I will generalize and say that at least half of 80s/90s comedies fit your category, Panzer... heck, even ones from the last couple of decades.

It is relatively easy to write a good opening to a story, but much harder to hold things up in the middle and pull off a good ending. I say this because writing is pretty darned hard to begin with, and truth be told to someone unfamiliar with the craft, openings aren't so easy at all, but comparatively easier than the rest of a story.

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#4572412 - 06/21/21 06:33 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Originally Posted by Mr_Blastman


It is relatively easy to write a good opening to a story, but much harder to hold things up in the middle and pull off a good ending. I say this because writing is pretty darned hard to begin with, and truth be told to someone unfamiliar with the craft, openings aren't so easy at all, but comparatively easier than the rest of a story.



Apparently Netflix needs to hire better writers for their original movies because I've now seen several Netflix sci-fi movies that had an interesting premise and started off really interesting but then fell flat on their face with the third act. Actually, there even seems to be a new expression now called "Netflix ending" which implies a disappointing ending to a movie that started off so well.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4572419 - 06/21/21 07:56 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Not exactly half the movie, but LOTR: Return of the King. The ending dragged on and on and on, and wasn’t faithful to the book. Loved the movie up until Frodo woke up in Rivendell again, but from there on in it is a meh-fest.


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#4572420 - 06/21/21 08:16 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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The original "Stargate" movie with James Spader had me feeling this way somewhat.


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#4572421 - 06/21/21 08:45 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: semmern]  
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Originally Posted by semmern
Not exactly half the movie, but LOTR: Return of the King. The ending dragged on and on and on, and wasn’t faithful to the book. Loved the movie up until Frodo woke up in Rivendell again, but from there on in it is a meh-fest.

Didn't it just.....especially as I thought my bladder was bursting, sat at the opposite end to the gangway. "Surely it's ending now!"...Five minutes later....."Surely it's ending now!".......Five minutes later....."Surely it's ending now!"



#4572422 - 06/21/21 09:22 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: Force10]  
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Originally Posted by Force10
The original "Stargate" movie with James Spader had me feeling this way somewhat.


Sorry Panzer...just noticed the title of the thread says "Great" films...don't think Stargate qualifies...lol


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#4572441 - 06/22/21 07:43 AM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Sunshine. First half, great thoughtful sci-fi. Second half, Friday the 13th in space.


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#4572448 - 06/22/21 10:51 AM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: Force10]  
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Originally Posted by Force10


Sorry Panzer...just noticed the title of the thread says "Great" films...don't think Stargate qualifies...lol



"Stargate" is a very good science fiction film and I even have it on bluray but of course it's not in the "great" category like 2001 or Blade Runner.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4572510 - 06/23/21 12:07 AM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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#4572511 - 06/23/21 12:47 AM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: David Kennard]  
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Originally Posted by David Kennard
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+1 David. The basic training part was great. The part after that was forced.


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#4572513 - 06/23/21 01:43 AM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Full Metal Jacket.

But the second half was also good. It's a relative thing.

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#4572519 - 06/23/21 03:32 AM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Skyfall. After Bond and his boss flee to his old home, it was just generic.

#4572529 - 06/23/21 08:48 AM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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#4572535 - 06/23/21 10:32 AM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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LOL Welcome back NFB. I think....


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4572567 - 06/23/21 04:18 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: DM]  
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Originally Posted by DM
Sunshine. First half, great thoughtful sci-fi. Second half, Friday the 13th in space.


I liked "Sunshine" despite how laughable the premise was. This is a rarity for a film that isn't incepted as farce from the get go.

#4572568 - 06/23/21 04:25 PM Re: Great films where the first half is far superior to the second half [Re: vonBaur]  
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Originally Posted by vonBaur
Originally Posted by David Kennard
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+1 David. The basic training part was great. The part after that was forced.


As are the majority of comedies. Most start off to be funny and get laughs, but eventually the writers realize they are following a three act structure, so somehow they must shoehorn a third act in to wrap things up, whereby they duct tape plot mechanisms to the story. Exceptions to this rule are masterpieces such as 1984's "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day." Funny enough, both star Bill Murray. Perhaps because he is exceptional at comedy. Also, perhaps due to them both being written by Harold Ramis, and one of which contributed to by Dan Aykroyd.


Now I'm sad. Where has all the good comedy gone. frown

It's challenging to make a comedy have a cohesive beginning/middle/end, but can be done.



p.s. Yes I used "duct tape" as a verb.

Last edited by Mr_Blastman; 06/23/21 04:27 PM.
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