Sunday, February 12, 2017
POST-CREDIT SCENES NEED TO F***ING DIE!
Okay, that's it, we need to talk about this stupid trend!
I've had it. I'll give you my full on opinions on the "Ghostbusters" reboot later, but no, no, above anything that apparently made the internet blow up about the film, mostly for no reason, this is the one I'm focusing on, and it's not even about "Ghostbusters" post-credits ending itself, 'cause, actually, as a scene,... it's fine. But, it was the last straw, 'cause I'm just sick of Post-Credit scenes, in general, and to see another unnecessary scene plopped at the end of this piece of who-cares mediocrity, just-, for no other reason really, than fan service....- Yeah, I'm done officially done with this crap.
And I'm not saying that post-credits scenes are all bad, or anything, hell one of the first big major films ever, it's most famous scene is a post-credits scene. You've seen this before:
Yeah, the ending of "The Great Train Robbery" that was a post-credits scene, and it fucking blew people's minds back then! Some people thought the guy was actually gonna shoot them! There's plenty of others. I liked "Daredevil"'s post-credit scene, that was awesome. (And so was the movie, btw.) I liked "Deadpool"'s post-credit scene, which itself was a parody of probably the best post-credits scene of all-time, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Now, I can go on about, how those scenes, and the best post-credits scenes all further add to the movie in tone and give you that last final shot at the end, or how they're simply playing with the form of when and where a movie begins and ends, and how that's happened all throughout literature and how it's not really different than an afterword or an epilogue. But here's the thing, this is my favorite, post-credits scene of all-time.
That's the post-credits ending of Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation". Why is it there? I don't know. Does it have anything to do with the movie? No, not really. Does it add anything to the movie? No, it's just a happy Japanese girl and she's waving goodbye. The fact that it's there at all, is what I like about it, it's so arbitrary but fun and it's a nice little tag of an Easter egg, that's not something I should search for, or expect to see or find, but it's something that's fun and nice to catch if you know it's there. I get a chuckle out of it, mainly for the fact that it exists. Which I kinda think is actually what's interesting about post-credits scenes, not that they do anything, but the fact that they exist at all, There's no need or reason for that scene to be there; hell I bet a lot of "Lost in Translation" superfans might not even be aware that scene exists. It's just the filmmaker winking at us. "I like this shot, I couldn't find a use for it in the movie, it doesn't add or detract from anything, so here you go, I'll tag it in at the end for my own shits and giggles. Love, Sofia Coppola." That's all, it says.
There's plenty of good and fun post-credits scenes, but, sigh, when a movie, basically become obligated to put them in, especially when there's no need to ever have them..-. I mean, sure there's no reason, that shot in "Lost in Translation" has to be there at the end, but is there any reason why that scene at the end of "Ghostbusters" couldn't have been in the movie proper? (Forgetting the fact that it's a scene that's nothing but pure fan service and has absolutely no purpose for existing to begin with, of course) Hell, I can think of a few movies off the top of my head, that had that scene at the end of the movie-proper. Granted most of those scenes sucked too, I mean, has anybody ever gotten over the ending of "Super Mario Bros." yet? I don't think so. But, how about "Carrie", if that was made today, that might've been a post-credits ending, and it would've been awful. It's the scariest part of the movie for fuck's sake. I wouldn't want to accidentally leave the theater without having seen that! Probably the best one that's like the "Ghostbusters" post-credits scene however was "Batman Begins". Now, a lot of it, has to do with timing, as well as the movie's quality, that was a great movie, but "Batman Begins" was essentially an origin story film for Batman, which we really hadn't gotten on film before. I mean, I guess to some extent we had, but even at the beginning of the Tim Burton "Batman" movie, he's already Batman by the time we come in. So, with this movie, the last tag before the credits, where Lieutenant Gordon reveals to Batman that a new criminal mastermind, calling himself The Joker is around, it's not, say a blatant foreshadowing of a sequel to come, so much as it is, "Well, now we know the rest of the story" moment. He's now gonna continue to fight all the monsters that we know he'll fight. Now, it ended up with a sequel, but at the time, that wasn't a guarantee, and for that reason, the scene works. It's not pumping us up for obvious expectations of the future, it could be read like that, but if Nolan trilogy didn't continue and it just stayed there, it-, it would've still worked as a great ending. If it was a post-credits tag however, then it would've just been fan service sequel bait for a movie that, for all we would've known, could've possibly never gotten made.
That's the reason I reacted so negatively in response to the "Ghostbusters" post-credit scene, but I was kinda itching to tackle the subject anyway, because, and yes, once again, fans, are the problem. Big surprise from me, I think fans are the problem, uh, well, they pretty much are, cause if you give fans a Post-Credits scene to a movie, especially one they like, and they start coming up with theories. Or discussing, or they try to analyze, and frankly,- look, when you're just doing a post-credit scene for fan service, that's when I draw the line. Especially if it's entirely unnecessary and makes no sense.
So, I'm not gonna name names here, but I was chatting with somebody in a Facebook group recently, and she really wanted to discuss the post-credits scene to "Bug". Yeah, "Bug", you remember, the William Friedkin movie? Well, it was the first time in weeks, I saw anybody try to talk about anything different so, and it actually is an interesting movie to discuss, but I didn't recall about the post-credits scene. So, I looked it up, and came to the rather simple conclusion, that the scene didn't mean anything and probably shouldn't have been there. She kept going on about what it really means? What it really means? It meant that somebody in the studio required Friedkin to put a post-credits scene in the movie, that's what the damn scene means. And I'm not trying to be obnoxious about this, but "Bug", while it was promoted as a horror film in the vein of Friedkin's biggest and most-influential film, "The Exorcist", it was actually a pretty straightforward direct-to-screen adaptation of Tracy Letts's play. Letts, is a Tony-winning actor, probably most well-known to some as the Andrew Lockhart on "Homeland" for awhile, but he does that in his spare time. He's actually a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, most famously for "August: Osage County", and him and Friedkin also teamed up later to adapt his play, "Killer Joe"; he's a damn good writer.
So since I didn't really consider this as a Friedkin film, per se, as much as it was a Letts's play that was adapted to film, I looked the play up on Youtube, there's a few good taped performances of the thing, and yeah, it's basically what was filmed, only the house had four walls. and it's nowhere near as powerful as when it's performed live. And there's no post-credit scene in the play, (Not that I can think of too many plays that do have an ending, after the play is over, but still, it doesn't exist) but even if that was a possibility I called B.S. on it. The scene is just there in the movie, to make people think that maybe there was something more going on, than they thought their really was; it's not in the stage play and it would make no sense if it was, even if it was integrated into the main production. I mean, I looked up some theories and discussion points about it. Not too many people talked about this one, but there a few people who had their ideas, but, no I didn't buy into any of them. I know I have a deconstructionist perspective on film most of the time, but I can be pretty damn analytical if I think the movie deserves it, but honestly, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a post-credits scene is just a post-credits scene. She, for whatever reason, didn't come to the same conclusion and specifically said she wanted to talk to someone else who was willing to discuss more theoretical fan speculation.
That's how conspiracy theories begin by the way, they find gullible morons who try to read into things that aren't actually there.
I mean, I don't mind analyzing something to death, but it has to be something that's actually analyzable. This isn't new either, just throwing something at the end of a movie, even before Marvel ruined everything with their damn post-credits scenes, (We'll get to them..., maybe. Probably) after "Carrie" came out, horror movies basically and still to this day, went through a run where they basically had to end on some kind of scare, even when and most notably, it didn't have to. Or shouldn't have. Eh, you know that really weird ending to "A Nightmare on Elm Street", where, everything is dreamlike and even though, everything in the scene, indicates that everybody is awake and nobody's dreaming anything, that Freddy starts to attack anyway and the Ronee Blakely character gets grabbed and pulled through a door, in a clearly fake-effects scene. That was added afterwards, that was not an ending that was ever really apart of the story; that's partially why Wes Craven decided to make the scene look so artificial, especially with the angelic backlighting (I think it was backlighting. I really need to brush up on my cinematography terms); he's telling the audience, "I had to do this, just don't think too hard about it."
I can hear some defenses, "Well, it is Friedkin's film as a director, maybe he wanted to change the meaning, so he added the scene..."-, William Friedkin has been adapting plays to the screen since "The Boys in the Band" and "The Birthday Story", he's one of those directors who goes out of his way to make sure he's as faithful to the original material as possible most of the time. There's no indication in any of his films that he would suddenly thrust a post-credits ending like this on the world, to give his movie any extra twist. Maybe he did it just to fuck with us with "Bug" of all movies, but I seriously doubt it, c'mon! Remember that sudden twist at the end of "Cruisin'"? No? Me neither, 'cause there wasn't one, that's not something he does! There is literally no indication that the post-credits scene for "Bug" has any barring or meaning, or adds anything to the full movie. So, the only conclusion I can come up with as to why it's there is that, it was added, basically, just so people can, do what this person was doing, trying to piece it together into the rest of the film, as though it does have some meaning. If this was a mystery, it's essentially just a red herring.
Which isn't really that far off from the "Ghostbusters" or most of the other post-credit scenes I seem to see these days, they're just, fan service. It's just as shallow as adding a mystery, and it's still basically just a wink and a nod. Now, I don't have familiarity with Marvel, to understand almost any of their post-credits scene, nor do I really understand why their insistence or anybody else's insistence on them but, I guess you can say that they're there to help connect and reconnect their whole universe thing they're doing. I frankly don't care about that, but even if I don't get what the hell they're planning or talking about, at least I can understand their purpose. But God, does that mean that every movie now needs a post-credit scene? I don't think so, especially if it's done solely for the purposes of jacking off the fans. I mean, that's what this is, it's finding that little g-spot area that fans have, and just tickling and massaging it enough to turn on that excited button, and walking away, leaving you hanging for more, and now you're excited in a room full of people, hoping none of them realize that that #7 erogenous zone on your body, almost went off, while you fix your dress and try to go on as though nothing weird happened. Yeah, maybe you feel like you're being aroused, I feel like I'm being violated.
As if that's all they're there for, to promote and get you excited for another movie, that might never even get made, and might just suck entirely, and/or just to wink and nod at an already-inbred fan base that the movie has, then...- (Sigh), why the hell am I watching this? Or more than that, why the hell does everybody get so fucking giddy about these things?! I-, I can't really explain, just how I don't care about all this crap. It's-, ugh. These scenes need to die. They really do, for a while, for a long while. And look, I've complained about the Universe building crap that the comic book movies have been doing, and I talked about how this wasn't at all, new and had been done in television, forever. Well, the post-credit scene has also been done forever on television. Next week, on... so-and-so, and you know, nobody cares or wonders about it because it's about something that's coming up next week, not something that might never come up! I mean, for all-intensive purpose 99% of the time they've got next week's episode in the can.
And actually, I don't even think film even invented the other kind of post-credits scene! Okay, I guess "Airplane!" was the first movie, at least the first modern one I can think of that did that, did that, but...- Yeah, I can think of plenty of television shows over the years known for having something over the closing credits, or to the side of the closing credits, or over the credits, something that, sometimes has only a slightly loose connection to everything else going on, or might be something that was forgotten about during the rest of the episode, and is just a cute little light tag at the end. Basically every episode of "Frasier" was infamous for doing that. "Roseanne" had a bunch, "Seinfeld" had a bunch, "Mad About You" I think did a bunch, "Just Shoot Me",...- basically every TV sitcom from the nineties I can think of, and quite a few from before then. It was common. This is not original, this is not new, and it doesn't add anything to movies, that it didn't make more sense and was done 100x better, when it was done on television, 20+ years ago. That's the kind of crap that annoys me, when people try to tell me that this universe building over several films is original and possibly a game-changer in film, it's neither of those things, these are all just basically, renewed television tropes, boring and tired ones at that and suddenly losing all context by being brought to films. At least, with the television shows, I only had to just wait another week and I'll get a new episode, these are promoting future films, that who knows, they might not get made, and stand a decent shot at sucking if/when they do. Odds are, you watch a television show and it turns out to be a good episode, chances are the next episode you watch will also be a good episode, so it's more tolerated. With movies, there is absolutely no guarantee of that, and you have like three years of waiting and getting excited about it to find that out.
So yeah, this trend needs to fucking die. Like, yesterday. If you really want a tag at the end of something, find a way to do it in the body of the film, or make damn sure it's actually worth putting it at after the credits, and that there's no where else it could've been. I don't mind breaking the conventions but not when it's becoming a convention itself and the most cynical and fan-service contrivance of a convention at that. It's just copying, and without any of the understanding of why any of the ones that work, actually worked to begin with. And it's not even as innovative or interesting as people think they are, and even when they're trying to be artsy and mysterious and try to change or twist or add to the film that was there, it-, even that doesn't seem to work most of the time. It's arbitrary, if a scene like that, would've actually mattered to such a degree, it would've just been in the movie already. If you want it so much, put it on the deleted scenes in the DVD or something, don't give it to me as apart of the movie, even as a post-credits tag. Time to stop this stupid trend.
You see! You see how that would've sucked if it was after the credits! It doesn't even work as the tag at the end of this blogpost! Ugh!