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Side Effects

tn_sideeffectsSIDE EFFECTS is supposed to be Steven Soderbergh’s last theatrical release before handing in his camera and his DGA card, not counting BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, which went straight to cable in the U.S. I haven’t seen that one yet but thank Christ it came out already because I was real worried about him there, ’cause you know what tends to happen to guys right before retirement. Congratulations to him on making it out. I hope they gave him a gold watch.

This one has Soderbergh’s arthouse feel: simple music, often no music, natural sound, mumbled, unflowery dialogue, lots of smaller parts played by (I think) non-actors. It also could be seen as an issue movie, because it explores psychiatrists giving prescriptions for different anti-depressants, friends recommending them, companies promoting them, making you question how thoughtful and scientific they’re being about all this. And for a while it seems like a commentary on this type of thriller movie, with Jude Law crazily grasping for some plot twist that could explain what seems to be pretty straightforward. But ultimately it ends up being Soderbergh’s version of a thriller like FATAL ATTRACTION or BASIC INSTINCT or one of those. It even has Catherine Zeta Jones in it, continuing the family business.

mp_sideeffectsRooney Mara plays Em, a young office worker whose depression hits the rails shortly after her insider trader husband (“Charming” Channing Tatum) gets out of the joint. He seems more likable than somebody guilty of that crime would be expected to be, and they seem sweet together, but she’s kinda distant and then her psychological well-being metaphorically drives straight into a brick wall when she decides to literally drive straight into a brick wall.

Physically she’s okay. Airbags. But a psychiatrist (Law) knows she did it on purpose and only lets her leave on the condition that she’ll start coming to see him a couple times a week. They strike up a pretty good doctor-patient relationship, he gets her to try out a particular anti-depressant, and over time they explore different drugs when she’s not happy with the, you know, the thing in the title.

The doctor is an interestingly complex character. He seems pretty quick to prescribe drugs. He also participates in  a study for a specific pharmaceutical company, for the money, supporting the psychiatric-industrial-complex or whatever. He’s not always great with his wife (Vinessa Shaw) and there’s a possibility of a sleazy skeleton in the closet (though I think he was probly innocent). Despite all this he’s a sympathetic character and he switches to a protagonist role about halfway through. He seems genuine about trying to help his patients, and being honest with them about getting paid by that one company.

At times it seems like it’s gonna turn into an anti-psychiatric drug scare film. It’s a touchy issue. It seems like half the people I know are on anti-depressants. I wish they didn’t need chemistry to be happy, but if it works they should do it. There are horror stories. I’ve known people that seemed zombified on the wrong medication, or of course there’s the tragedy with Phil Hartman and his wife, it’s easy to worry about that type of stuff. Indeed there is some bad shit that happens in this movie, but as my buddy Matt Lynch pointed out to me it’s not just about pills, it’s a whole theme of people wanting a quick fix: I need money, so i’ll cheat the stock market. I want to kill myself, but I need to go back to work. The sex isn’t good, I need a different pill. I’m sleepwalking, so I need another one. My reputation is ruined, I gotta find some conspiracy that caused it. But nothing is gonna be that simple. There’s gonna be some side effects.

Soderbergh has some movies that I revisit over and over again – OUT OF SIGHT, THE LIMEY, OCEAN’S 11 and already HAYWIRE too. This is not in that category. I see this as a smaller, more intimate version of what he was doing with CONTAGION and even ERIN BROCKOVICH in a way, where he takes a pretty standard mode of studio entertainment but puts it through his filter so it comes out with a unique feel to it. It’s solid and a little better than you might expect and not much more than that, but that’s enough.

I read that Mara turned down ZERO DARK THIRTY for this. The other movie and role are way more memorable, so it kinda seems like a bad decision. On the other hand she got to work with Soderbergh, which has sure helped other actors elevate their game. Here she gives another complex performance with layers of smart, troubled, sympathetic, scary, scared. I bet we end up hearing more from Soderbergh eventually, but if not we’ll definitely be hearing more from Mara.


VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 1st, 2013 at 12:33 pm and is filed under Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

29 Responses to “Side Effects”

  1. Knox Harrington

    July 1st, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I really liked this, but then again I’m a complete Soderbergh nut. He’s like Woody Allen to me. Can’t get enough of his stuff.

    I thought this was much smarter than expected and enjoyed the sudden role reversals and shift in protagonist. And it’s all done so smooth and effortlessly.

    Kinda cool how Soderbergh didn’t make a big deal about his last film. He just finished it like any other film and that was that. Although, like Vern said, who’s to say he won’t be back. It’s interesting that Tarantino has taken a similar approach. He’s said numerous times that he won’t make movies into old age, because he doesn’t want to lose that “hard dick” that he puts into all his films. Instead he’s gonna take up writing about film theory. Can’t wait to read what a great mind like his has to offer. Kinda like listening to Soderbergh’s excellent commentaries.

  2. “You know what tends to happen to guys right before retirement.”

    I thought that was only if they were paired up with a mismatched wisecracking partner.

  3. Really terrific movie. But I wondered how some felt about the twist. It does seem like it’s about social issues, and it’s gonna be sympathetic to the girl, who needs her medication to be level-headed. But then it turns out she’s faking it all the time and abusing the system- doesn’t that seem a bit dismissive towards people who DO take medication and DO have problems? I know Soderbergh has no responsibility to deliver a film that delves into the struggles of the mentally-troubled or anything, but this picture really seems like it would make the under-informed look at drugs and medication in a different, more sinister light, no?

  4. Gabe – thanks for spoiling the movie dude. I don’t have to see this now! lol

    Did anybody actually see BEHIND THE CANDELABRA? That was surprisingly pretty good, honestly I wasn’t sure for years why Soderbergh really wanted to get his Liberace biopic produced but now I get it.

    I like to think Michael Douglas would’ve had a strong shot at winning his 2nd acting Oscar if somebody in Hollywood actually had the guts to produce that movie and release it into theaters instead of HBO swopping in to save the day. (Didn’t Spielberg recently say LINCOLN came pretty close to becoming a HBO production?)

  5. Apologies for spoilers. I was under the impression that most people who come in to read the review know Vern is going to spoil it a bit. I personally don’t believe in spoilers, but 1) I respect people who do when it comes to movies like this* and 2) Admittedly, this is a real hard movie to discuss without letting SOMETHING slip.

    And yeah, I am SUPER looking forward to a Vern review of Behind The Candelabra. That was a hypnotic, ethereal, incredibly strange movie.

    *I honestly believe you can’t spoil any modern blockbusters because it’s really the identical template for your superhero movies, Star Treks, and other assorted explosion-fests.

  6. @RRA – the circumstances behind the big twist are still pretty entertaining in a Joe Esterhas kind of way.

  7. Gabe T – You ever notice me and others abuse ***SPOILER!*** tags alot? Yeah we do that for a good reason.

    As for BTC, I don’t think it was a strange movie. I’m reminded of an old timey Hollywood morality play with the heroine warned about Hollywood and the Big City with the money and drugs, she ignores it and falls into that gilded cage trap as a mistress. Except of course the heroine is replaced with a gay man*, but the template remains. I guess its strange is how funny the movie genuinely is randomly at times. (Debbie Reynolds as Liberace’s mother was brilliant stunt casting.)

    My favorite scene was Damon whining about how he threw away his dreams of being a veterinarian to live with him and Douglas quiped: “You want to help animals? Pick up the dog shit.” What an awesomely bitchy thing to say.

    B – Now that’s tempting.

    *=In fact initially Matt Damon as old he is playing a 18 year old was a little much for me to swallow but I got over that quickly. I suppose its because of how old Michael Douglas is, who I believe is older than Liberace was at that story’s timeframe so that age difference problem cancels itself out.

  8. I really liked this movie. Soderburgh isn’t usually my favorite director. His naturalistic style, with the lighting, music and mumbly dialogue isn’t my favorite. I like a little more shine on my movies, a little more of a wall between me and the movie. While his style isn’t my favorite, I do enjoy many of his movies, particularly the ones Vern mentions. Upon thinking about this movie, though, I am really, really impressed with his mastery.

    His manipulation of tone and perspective are incredible. I don’t think the twist is really that big of a twist storywise. It’s all in the way the perspective changes. SPOILERS from here on out. It starts out as this drama with a couple trying to rebuild and reconnect after he gets out of prison. Suddenly the drama turns up with the addition of her mental illness and their attempt to treat it. Then it ups again with her killing her husband. Now the drama takes on the drug companies and the psychiatrist’s possible mishandling. Then it seems to turn from drama to thriller with the psychiatrist’s paranoia and conviction she was a cold blooded murderer. It’s not so much that there’s a turn in the story as it is a turn in the tone. It could’ve been played as a straight up thriller the entire time, but instead it builds up to it.

    I wonder if he did this in part because it deals with the topic of mental illness and psychiatric drugs. Maybe his intent was to make us doubt people and feel confused when the psychiatrist starts unraveling. Or I could be overthinking it. I just loved how this movie could’ve been several different movies, up until the end of course, all based on the perspective used in filming it. It could’ve been a drama about a couple rebuilding their lives only to have it fall apart to mental illness. It could’ve been a drama about the drug companies and a psychiatrist mishandling things due to his ambition or greed or ineptitude. It could’ve been a straight up thriller. It could’ve ended with the wife and her lesbian lover succeeding in killing the ex-con husband, tricking the psychiatrist with the possibly smarmy past and sailing off into the sunset together.

    The only thing I wish he would’ve handled a little differently was the relationship between Jude Law and his wife. I could understand why their marriage would have started crumbling, but I don’t like how it made the wife seem bitchy in leaving him, only to have them end up together at the end. All I needed was one little addition to the conversation they had when it started falling apart – her saying , “I’m trying to understand and support you here, but…”

  9. It was a pleasure to go into this movie without the slightest knowledge of its contents and watch it unfold. Sod’s a seasoned professional who makes movies for grownups.

    It gets kinda silly at the end; the huge turning point midway was quite a thrill.

    Gabe T. said:

    “I personally don’t believe in spoilers”

    I wonder what that means?

  10. Without spoiling THIS movie, I kind of believe you can’t spoil great movies. I mean, did any of us watch Planet of the Apes without knowing about the Statue of Liberty? Elements of The Godfather have been a part of pop culture for ages. I think “spoilers” reduce films to 80 minutes of set-up, and 20 minutes of payoff, as if it were a game or something. And that’s just not true – we should be free to pick what are the best and most interesting parts of each film on our own.

    Let’s say we hear of a movie from a great director with a great plot, and we think, “I want to see that just by reading the synopsis.” Then you hear Michael Shannon is playing the villain*. Now Shannon is a PHENOMENAL actor, and very unpredictable. But already, judging by what type of movie it is, you can suddenly see Shannon playing the villain in your head, the mannerisms, the physicality, possibly line delivery. That’s probably still going to be worth seeing, but the conflict is a LOT more vivid in your head than it was before you knew Shannon was the baddie. Does that ruin the movie? Is that a spoiler? Is it a spoiler when you see the movie and realize Shannon’s performance was the best thing about it?

    I just think “spoilers” are in the eye of the beholder (which is why I’m sympathetic to them as far as films of substance, like this one), and most people tend to consider them as “anything in the last act” and I think that’s a depressing distillation of the inevitability of a film’s superficial qualities. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Bla bla bla.

    Anyway, I’ll be more cognizant of spoilers for movies like this from now on, though I hope when people saw “how some people felt about the twist” in my post, they turned their head away.

    Staying on topic, did anyone catch that interesting moment when Law is trying to research the drug companies, and he starts talking about how there was a lot of stock movement in regards to airlines right before the disasters? I had to believe that was a talking point between Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Burns, particularly since they also collaborated on “Contagion.” Definitely interesting how they snuck that in, just floating it as an example of how major companies may have more fingers in the pie than we think.

    *Shannon is AWESOME, but kind of terrible in “Man of Steel,” no? Just bad casting. They could have gotten away with a Dave Bautista or someone in that role, there’s no moment where he gets to be nuanced or serious.

  11. By “the disasters” I meant to say 9/11. Sorry for the mixup.

  12. “His naturalistic style, with the lighting, music and mumbly dialogue isn’t my favorite. I like a little more shine on my movies, a little more of a wall between me and the movie.”

    Odd, I would have described Sod as an extremely polished, shiny, stylish director, with sleek characters delivering crisp, witty dialogue. The Ocean’s trilogy.

    Gabe T, I find it difficult to relate to your position for the following reasons:

    1) What if a movie WANTS to be a game, a whodunit, a wha’happund? Are we to completely rule out the process of discovery as a valid facet of great film? Did Shyamalan completely destroy the credibility of the Twist as a plot device?

    2) Let’s stipulate that truly great movies cannot be spoilt. Many of us adore cinema to the extent that simply “good” movies seems to be a gratifying use of our time. Surely THESE movies can suffer from having the contents of their sleeves revealed? Side Effects is a merely good, not great movie, and for me a large portion of its value came from watching the plot unfold spoiler-free.

    I had a point 3 about not forcing your beliefs on others, but you’ve already apologized and I don’t wish to gangfuck you.

  13. Well, I think we should be sensitive as to a movie’s content – I would not go out babbling the plot and twists of this film (and I apologize for doing so here, though I hope people knew where to stop reading). I’m just saying that IF it happens, it can’t take away from a film’s experience.

    Consider this: what we’re talking about is a hypothetical. We all RARELY go into a movie blind. Trailers, previews, things our friends said, reviews – we always know a good chunk about what we’re going into. But I can’t think of a single time when a spoiler ruined the experience of a good movie. I’ve been disappointed to know certain things about some movies in advance, but that’s usually because the movie doesn’t hold up, and/or its inherently disposable. Still, we should be sensitive about talking too much about these films too, though we should also find ways (spoiler tags, I guess) to discuss them because they WANT and NEED to be talked about (i.e. Side Effects).

    What I’m trying to say is that I think it should be clear when someone is entering an area of “spoiler” discussion – I tried not to begin my post with “IT WAS ALL A DREAM!” (fyi, I am not referencing Side Effects, it is not “just a dream”). But the conversation therein shouldn’t rob one of the desire to see a film, nor does it interfere with the viewing experience of said film. I went out and saw Side Effects a second time immediately afterward, and I had just as good a time spotting different things and watching the wheels turn.

    I do, however, think that spoilers are absolutely obsolete as far as big dumb blockbusters. Is Channing Tatum really gonna die at the end of Olympus Has Fallen? Does Zod lose at the end of Man of Steel? Is there going to be an Avengers 2? Etc.

    Anyway, Soderbergh! I dunno, RRA – I was really put off by stuff like the ongoing plastic surgery, particularly Thorson requesting his own chin cleft. Think about that – the surgery was so radical that he had to ask the doctor to INVENT a new part of his body so he could recognize himself! The movie treats this as just another day in the wacky life of Liberace, an approach I found both hypnotic and terrifying.

    Amusingly, just got back from a pre-4th BBQ with all these conservative homophobic blowhards talking about it. “Did you see that Liberace movie? Disgusting! That stuff is sick, man. I’m glad it didn’t go to theaters.” And then they proceeded to discuss every single plot point in spectacular detail, every character, every scene, everything. I think HBO is secretly making homophobes gay.

  14. Knox Harrington

    July 2nd, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Also, first impressions go a long way. There’s nothing like watching a movie for the first time and having your mind blown. The effect of that initial surprise still sticks around when you watch that movie for the tenth time, even though you know what’s coming.

    I’ll never understand why some people like to read a script before they’ve seen the movie. Remember how many people read the Django Unchained screenplay before the film was released? Mind-boggling. People have no patience anymore.

  15. renfield, I would say the Ocean’s trilogy would be the most “shiny” of his movies and ones I really like. I didn’t mean he wasn’t polished. I just mean that, in particular, how he lights things are more natural, so they don’t come off as color saturated and glossy. Again, except for the Ocean movies, especially 12 because it takes place in the neon of Las Vegas. And his dialogue is sharp and witty in what they’re saying, but it’s usually delivered in a low key manner. Vern conveyed what I meant very well:

    “This one has Soderbergh’s arthouse feel: simple music, often no music, natural sound, mumbled, unflowery dialogue, lots of smaller parts played by (I think) non-actors.”

  16. Agree wholeheartedly with you, ren. A good movie that was a great watch because I had no idea what was going to happen. But the last ten minutes or so… pretty freakin’ ridiculous.

  17. Gabe – I really disagree with a lot of what you said.

    “I can’t think of a single time when a spoiler ruined the experience of a good movie.” How are you defining ‘experience’? For me the definition would have to include something about being told the story the filmmaker intended, *in the way* they intended. And yeah, that gets 100% ruined if it’s spoilered — because there’s no way to have that experience, ever, afterwards. For instance, I imagine Fincher probably wanted people to be surprised by Fight Club, and Shyamalan wanted people to be surprised by the Sixth Sense, even if they wanted people to be able to enjoy said movies again the second time around. In fact, it seems pretty clear that the whole idea of being able to experience them a different way the second time around requires experiencing them the intended way first. Don’t you think? If you were talking to David Fincher and mentioned that you were gonna go see Fight Club for the first time, and you already knew the ending, but it wasn’t gonna ruin the experience for you, do you really think he would be like, “Yeah, man, it doesn’t matter at all”?

    “I think it should be clear when someone is entering an area of “spoiler” discussion…” And the reason why people do spoiler tags isn’t because spoilery discussions can’t be indicated other ways, but because they’re the *clearest* way. Not trying to be a dick, you already apologized; just observing that, you know, that’s why it’s considered a courtesy.

    “But the conversation therein shouldn’t rob one of the desire to see a film, nor does it interfere with the viewing experience of said film.” Okay, this is where we really part ways. Why SHOULDN’T it rob one of the desire to see a film? What if curiosity about the plot of a movie is critical to someone’s desire to see it? And as stated above, you and I are probably defining the ‘viewing experience’ very differently, because I think it would absolutely interfere with it.

  18. It’s interesting you mention “Fight Club” and “The Sixth Sense,” two movies that are fourteen years old. You don’t think there’s an entire generation of kids now who know those movies based on the twists? Do you think the movies are still considered classics (or maybe semi-classics) by that generation in spite of this? I’m genuinely asking, I don’t know. I saw those films upon first release, I don’t know how they play in 2013 to fresh eyes with their accompanying pop culture baggage.

    (I would argue Sixth Sense doesn’t hold up because I don’t think it’s a very good movie beyond that twist, fyi. But I might be in the minority).

    Also, in regards to conversation about a film, if said hypothetical film (maybe “Side Effects”) sparks debate about the plot mechanisms and themes brought up by the events from, say, the half-hour point on, wouldn’t that conversation prove intellectually stimulating to someone curious about the film? It should definitely be THEIR choice to “spoil”* themselves, but once they do, wouldn’t they want to be part of an active conversation? Wouldn’t they want to seek out the film and provide their own interpretation to what happens?

    *Basically, I think movies are more than just “reveals” and I even dislike the term “spoilers.” Movies are not milk; you can’t “spoil” them.

  19. “I think movies are more than just “reveals””

    This is my major point of divergence from Gabe’s perspective. Movies function in a myriad of ways. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to have “reveals” as the foundation, or crucial element, of your film, right? I mean whose to say that this isn’t a legitimate approach filmmaking?

    There must be a continuum of where movies lie on the “can they be spoilt” spectrum. I don’t think you could “spoil” TREE OF LIFE by describine any particular event that takes place in the film; the film works in terms of putting you awash in Malick’s poetry of image and sound. On the other hand, Hitchcock’s shenanigans in terms of barring people from late entry into PSYCHO upon the film’s theatrical release and general air of secrecy he cultivated surrounding the film should amply demonstrate that at least SOME respected filmmakers disagree with Gabe on a basic level.

    Would knowing the various twists in Psycho “ruin” the movie? I argue that it would. Obviously you can approach the film from a cold, detached, clinical perspective and remark upon Hitchcock’s effective techniques and certain tropes that were originated/perfected in the film, but how cynical must you be to deny that being taken for the ride, being shocked, having your expectations fucked with in the manner the film so clearly WANTS to fuck with them, is an incredible experience?

  20. Of course, NOBODY here (maybe one or two dudes) saw Psycho WITHOUT all the iconography and twists being ruined for them. Movie’s still great.

    The IDEAL film experience, where we know NOTHING about a movie going in, is great. It’s also something that pretty much never happens.

  21. So you’re saying it IS better to not know the plot, but that it’s just never going to happen? “Knowing the plot beforehand doesn’t make a difference,” and “Knowing the plot beforehand is ideal but impossible to achieve” are two different positions and I’m not sure which one you’re taking.

    By the way how many people knew about the Psycho spoilers before you saw them? My parents showed me Psycho when I was a child and they certainly didn’t tell me the twists beforehand. Not sure I agree that seeing movies in ignorance is this mythic event.

  22. I have to totally agree with Gabe here. This spoiler nonsense is overrated. If the end is the point then why watch Robocop thirty times? Why do people still go out to see Shakespear? Because it’s the journey that’s important not the destination. I also hate how spoiler conversation can be used to make a lesser film seem more important, we can talk about how Jaws ends but don’t you dare spoil Cabin in the Woods cause that’s a real masterpiece. Speaking of Cabin, imagine how boring Verns’ reviews would be if he didn’t spoil anything ever. I’m not encouraging rudeness, but if we are on a film site that talks about film, maybe everything should be considered fair game?

  23. Not to be dismissive, but this is a silly argument. Of course it is better to see a movie without knowing the surprises. Of course a movie can also still be good when you know the surprises. I still wish I coulda seen INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS without Harry tipping me off that they were gonna kill Hitler. We love movies and we want people to have optimal movie watching experiences. It’s the same as not talking or standing on top of your chair or twittering during a movie. Be nice and try not to spoil shit when possible.

    Okay – yes, to be dismissive.

  24. We’re talking about movies on the internet, of course it’s silly. But I knew about Star Wars before I saw it and I even watched it on a black and white tv for my first time and it still kicked my ass because it is an awesome movie. How can you know you would really enjoy Inglorious Basterds more knowing less about it? Maybe you would enjoy it more if it was better? I also don’t think talking during the movie is the same thing, that is just being rude.

    They did a study not long ago that found people enjoying movies more when spoiled. Maybe you pay more attention when you’re not trying to outsmart the movie so much? I don’t know but I’ve never had a bad experience from being spoiled, just from watching bad movies.

  25. grimgrinningchris

    July 3rd, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    If I’m ever in a situation where I’m being questioned by authorities and am told “We can talk about this here…or we can talk about it downtown.”; I’m going to opt for downtown. Not only does it sound more exciting, but hey…free ride downtown.

    As to this movie and spoilers, I’m actually watching it right now for the first time and must say that I would have been bummed if I’d read far enough into this review/thread to know that ***SPOILERS*** Tatum was going to get killed so early and unexpectedly.

    So far, I’m really enjoying this so I’m walking away from the sight til its done and I’ve collected my thoughts on the whole.

    And yeah, DEFINITELY downtown.

  26. idiot boy – in response to your comment on the MAN OF STEEL thread, that is obviously silly. You can first enjoy seeing a movie fresh and then you can enjoy seeing it with a viewing under your belt. You can always do the second one but can’t do the first one after someone has ruined it. My point before was that I loved INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, but envy everybody else who got to be in suspense as to “holy shit, is he really gonna go there?” and then be shocked that he had the balls to do it. Instead I knew it going in because of Harry’s supposedly non-spoiler “he ends WWII how it should’ve ended.”

    If one is a weirdo who prefers to not experience a story in the way it was designed to first be experienced that’s fine, but that person must understand that most of the world are not that way. Therefore etiquette requires that he or she exercise common courtesy and not shit all over everybody’s moviegoing experience just to support his show–offy debate stance.

  27. I don’t butt into other peoples conversations and spoil everything but what about people butting in to stop you from spoiling a movie. The internet does get too up in arms about spoilers as with Cabin in the Woods , like you mentioned in your review of it, you couldn’t say shit online about the movie without fans jumping on ya. Maybe it is ok if you have endless money to spend on movies to just go in blind, but I just can’t spend twenty bucks on a piece of shit so I use websites like yours to try and learn as much as I can to make a better decision. I’ve just never had your experience of thinking I would enjoy something more if I knew nothing before hand.
    All I’m saying is that people on movie websites or messageboards get a bit overzealous in enforcing no spoilers. I like spoiler reviews and spoiler podcasts because I find the conversation better. That is not the same as running down the street yelling shit at the top of your lungs.

  28. Knox Harrington

    July 4th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    No, I don’t think anyone’s going overboard in enforcing spoiler etiquette. It’s very simple, if you’re going to discuss a film in detail and reveal plot twists, you make sure you tell everyone who’s reading that that’s what you’re gonna do.

    By the way, I went into Inglourious Basterds fresh and when (Spoiler! Behind you!) the Hitler twist happened my mind was fucking blown. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was sitting there with a big grin on my face thinking “Tarantino, you brilliant son of a bitch, you rewrote history.” Now, every time I rewatch that film, I get that same stupid grin on my face when that moment happens. Residual glee from that first blissful viewing.

  29. grimgrinningchris

    July 5th, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I still haven’t seen INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. It’s been sitting on my shelf for over a year and I don’t know WHY I still haven’t watched it, but there ya go.

    And now you badterds have spoiled it for me. Thanks. Alot (TM).

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