10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions

February 24, 2011 at 11:35 am

10 Flicks: Movies With Unanswered Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10

There are a ton of movies with giant plot holes that leave the audience frustrated with unanswered questions.  Who was that guy?  Why did they kill that person?  How could that possibly happen!?

This is NOT that list.

True unanswered questions are purposely built into movies that will keep people speculating forever.  Movie moments that cause endless debates among fans.

This top 10 list features some of the most talented filmmakers of all time with Quentin Tarantino, J.J Abrams and Christopher Nolan making appearances among others.

Are these the best unanswered movie mysteries of all time?

Weigh in by commenting below. (Note: Spoilers ahead.)

THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY
WHAT’S CLINT’S NAME?

10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10

Sergio Leone’s The Man with No Name Trilogy features a legendary character played by Clint Eastwood.  In each of the three films he goes by a different nick name but his true name is never revealed.

THEORIES

The nominees are:

1) Joe – A Fistful of Dollars
2) Manco – For a Few Dollars More
3) Blondie – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

CHILDREN OF MEN
WHAT CAUSED THE INFERTILITY?

10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10 | Children Of Men

Children of Men is based on the idea that humans have become infertile and can no longer reproduce.  The thought provoking film then takes you on an amazing journey of hope that we will find a way to avoid extinction… But what caused the infertility?

THEORIES

While the movie never gives any specific reason, one can turn to some of the common causes of infertility.  This article breaks down a few of them. This doesn’t answer the extremely grim future the film depicts but at least it reassures us we are no where close to that future.

INCEPTION
DOES THE TOP FALL?

10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10 | Inception

Does the top fall or not?  Everyone has a different opinion and that’s the beauty of Inception’s brilliant ending.  Is he still dreaming or does he finally reunite with his children?  When I saw this film in theaters the entire audience gasped when the credits rolled.  That’s an ending!

THEORIES

Here is a fantastic article from Screenrant that explains why it doesn’t matter if the top falls or not.  What matters is Cobb’s overall journey.  That article links to another story where Christopher Nolan himself confirms that theory on how Inception’s ending should be interpreted.

Personally, I think it hugely important that Cobb isn’t looking at the top but I also think it wobbles and will EVENTUALLY fall.  Where do you stand?

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
ALDO’S SCAR

10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10 | Inglourious Basterds

Lieutenant Aldo Raine’s scar hints at an extremely violent encounter from his past.  Who slit his throat and presumably left him for dead?  Is it a rope burn?  Did someone try to hang him?  Was he dragged behind a horse?  Did he survive a lynching?

THEORIES

Some articles have suggested he was punished for bootlegging.  Another report states that Tarantino suggested it was the KKK.  It has never been confirmed but all signs point to an encounter somewhere near his home in Southern United States.

FUN FACT: This isn’t the first time Tarantino has hinted at injuries in his movies.  What’s with the band aid on the back of Marcellus Wallace’s neck in Pulp Fiction?  More on that later…

THE ROAD
WHAT CAUSED THE END OF THE WORLD?

10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10

There are so many ‘end of the world’ scenarios that have been explored in movies.  Nuclear war, mother nature, meteors, disease, infertility and more…  So what caused the world to end in The Road?

THEORIES

You can pretty much pick any of the above but there have been more theories about what cataclysmic event obliterated our species.  Solar storms?  Earthquakes? Some people think the author of the novel Cormac McCarthy never intended to define the event even in his own mind.

CAST AWAY
THE PACKAGE

10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10 | Cast Away

I don’t think I would have waited as long as Chuck did to open those packages.  If I’m stranded on an island, I’m opening those things immediately to look for useful items.  Still, you have to admire him for leaving one unopened. It’s a package that he feels saved his life.  But…  What’s in there!?  Was it useful?  Could it have helped him?

THEORIES

If you hunt for an Easter egg on the DVD you will find out that the box contained a solar powered, water proof, satellite phone.  This is according to the director Robert Zemeckis.  I suppose it would have been useful…

Note: The audio clip is found in the Videos and Stills section (Disc 2) by pressing left on the Raft Escape.

CLOVERFIELD
WHERE DID THE MONSTER COME FROM?

10 Flicks: Movies With Unanswered Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10 | Cloverfield

For a long time leading up to Cloverfield’s theatrical release, fans were obsessed with discovering what the creature looked like.  Fake images and photoshopped monsters appeared everywhere online and speculation grew at a rapid pace.  By the time the film was released, people knew what ‘Cloverfield’ looked like but a much larger question loomed when the movie was over.  Where did it come from?

THEORIES

Fans of the film will no doubt point to the scene on Coney Island at the end of the film when a strange object is seen falling from space into the ocean.  This would suggest that the creature came from space.  Not so fast…  Master of Mystery and Cloverfield producer J.J Abrams described the monster as:

“A baby. He’s brand-new. He’s confused, disoriented and irritable. And he’s been down there in the water for thousands and thousands of years.”

If it’s been down there so long, then why did it take so long before it surfaced?  What about the strange falling object?  According to this site, it’s a satellite and that the recovery of the satellite awakens the monster.  The page also has a clip from the credits where a voice proclaims that the monster is still alive.  Sequel?  Please?

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3
THE RABBIT’S FOOT

10 Flicks: Movies With Unanswered Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10 | Mission Impossible 3

J.J Abrams is at it again in Mission Impossible 3.  Much of the film revolves around the retrieval of an object known only as The Rabbit’s Foot.  It’s basically a thermos with some fancy logos on it but what does it do?

THEORIES

Simon Pegg’s character in the film refers to The Rabbit’s Foot as ‘The Anti God’.  A technology capable of vast amounts of destruction.  Is it a disease or a computer virus?  Maybe a bomb?

Apparently J.J Abrams is good at creating mysterious… Things…

THE DARK KNIGHT
THE JOKER’S SCARS

10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10 | The Dark Knight

One of the most fascinating aspects of Christopher Nolan’s vision of The Joker is the origin of his scars.  No doubt the result of a violent act either committed by himself or inflicted by another.  Nothing is certain except it was an amazing performance and one of the coolest villains of all time.

THEORIES

The Joker himself offers 2 possibilities in the film.  Either he got the scars from his abusive father or he did it to himself for his former bride.  Check out both of his explanations here.  I looked around on some message boards and found a couple theories involving ziplines and a horrific accident involving beans and toast…  It’s anyone’s guess but the entire point to The Joker is to keep his past dark and mysterious.

How many different stories do you think he told people over the years?  He probably had a dozens of gruesome tales.

PULP FICTION
THE BRIEFCASE

10 Flicks: Movies With Unanswered Questions | Movie Blog | Top 10 | Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction is packed with so many cool moments that you almost forget the mysterious orange glow in Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase.  What is in the briefcase?

THEORIES

There are hundreds of theories out there.  Is it simply a light bulb? A few suggest the case contains connections to other Tarantino films like the diamonds from Reservoir Dogs.  Some believe it’s a nuclear bomb. (Which is ridiculous.)

One interesting thought is that Marcellus Wallace sold his soul and is trying to buy it back.  Hence the band aid on the back of his neck.  It’s the most imaginative theory I came across.  Apparently when the Devil takes your soul he takes it from the back of your neck.  There’s your fun fact of the day I suppose.

Write A Slasher Movie And Get It Made

February 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

Write A Slasher Movie And Get It Made! | Screenwriting Blog | Sparrow Screenwriter Matt Mosley

INTERVIEW
SCREENWRITER MATT MOSLEY

I’ve already previewed the upcoming indie horror film Sparrow on this site with an exclusive interview with actor Thomas James Longley.

Check out the interview here.

Now, I’ve got a special behind the scenes look at how the screenplay for Sparrow came together from co-writer Matt Mosley.

Writing a feature film is a difficult task to complete but getting it made can be even tougher.  The journey Sparrow took from idea to completed film was long but definitely unique and includes a number of interesting twists and turns.

Beyond that, what fascinated me most was Mosley’s passion for the slasher genre and that’s exactly where the story of Sparrow begins…

THE INSPIRATION

Many fans of horror films have a soft spot for the slasher genre.  It’s especially true if you are a horror screenwriter who loves the slasher genre.  You basically have limitless kills, scares and most importantly villains around to help inspire your own interpretation.

Freddy Krueger Horror Movies

I used to sneak down stairs at 3am as a kid to pop in A Nightmare On Elm Street, sounds creepy I know, part 3 still creeps me out and I just turned 27.

While his favorites include many of the usual suspects such as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Bloody Murder 1 and 2 and Shredder, his inspiration for Sparrow came from a slightly unlikely source.

CAMP BLOOD

You’ll laugh if you’ve seen it but yes, CAMP BLOOD. It’s just sooooo bad I can’t begin to explain it and it sold like crazy. It was done in this cheap 3D back in 1999 and the U.K release is completely washed out colour-wise so it’s just terrible, but good terrible. There are 3 of them now, oddly enough part 2 was commissioned directly after the producer David sterling watched the final cut of the first.

Write A Slasher Movie And Get It Made! | Screenwriting Blog | Sparrow Screenwriter Matt Mosley

Loving the genre so much, it was inevitable that he would attempt his own slasher movie and Sparrow was born.

After a failed attempt at a production in 2005 I decided I wanted to make something that I could do all by myself, like Robert Rodriquez with El Mariachi.  So I started a thread on CampKillersForum where I told everyone (there were only about 8 of us on there) to come up with a character and name them, we’d each do one and try and write a script together.

I started with the character SITCOM who was joined by 5 other characters and it was off and running. I came up with an opening scene and everyone else seemed either lose interest or had no ideas. I still wanted to go ahead with it so I took those characters and wrote a 2-page treatment for the basic story. It had to be basic to shoot on a low budget, I decided to write it around a location I had access to which was at the bottom of my street.

As the draft progressed, Matt invited fellow Slasher fan Justin DiFebo on board to help complete the screenplay.

We met on a message board for a straight-to-video (yes video) slasher movie called BLOODY MURDER back in 2002, a blatant Friday the 13th rip-off we both have a special love for, and after that terrible first movie (which I grew to love) I wrote my own summer-camp slasher script called CAMP KILL.

The pair went on to create various Bloody Murder fan fiction together.

write a slasher movie and get it made

It’s a perfect example of taking something you are passionate about and using that passion to create something new and unique.  Their mutual love of horror movies eventually led to their collaboration on Sparrow.  Matt, who lives in the U.K and Justin, who resides in the U.S started working back and forth sending each other pages through email.  Justin eventually completed the first draft and Sparrow’s journey into production officially began.

WRITE A MOVIE.  MAKE THE MOVIE

Originally, the duo intended to produce the film themselves.

I brought a camera and tried to find actors. I ended up one important actor short and so it all fell through.

It can be extremely difficult to get any movie made but they never gave up on their project.  Proof that if you are determined to accomplish something, anything can happen.

SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM TO THE RESCUE!

In 2007, I was almost an investor on a script called “E”.  It was a zombie thing that I loved when I read it.  To get the guy some attention I put it up on simplyscripts.com so he could get feedback.  The script ended up being spotted by a producer, purchased and produced, all because I put it there for him. So a year later when I heard this I thought “Great, I’ll put a couple of scripts up there myself, you never know and it can’t really hurt”. I uploaded the script and within a year I got an email from the producer saying he was a film student looking for a script to produce as an end of year project, could he use Sparrow?  We made the deal in November of 2009 and in March 2010 he said things were moving nicely.  They shot the film in June 2010.

You never know what will happen if you don’t put yourself out there.  Whether it’s reaching out to people who share your interests on message boards or using sites like Simplyscripts.com to advertise your work, it’s all about taking risks and going for it.

SPARROW doesn’t try to be funny like most other slashers.  It’s just an old school, back to basics slasher movie based in the woods with realistic characters who go camping in the wrong part of town…

WHAT’S NEXT?

Check out Sparrow’s Facebook Page for more on the film’s festival run!

As for Matt, he is still writing and plans to continue pursuing his filmmaking dreams! Special thanks to Mr. Mosley and the entire cast and crew of Sparrow.

REVIEW Real Screenwriting by Ron Suppa

February 21, 2011 at 10:50 am

Screenwriting Book Review | Real Screenwriting: Strategies and Stories from the trenches by Ron Suppa

STRATEGIES AND STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES

What I loved about Real Screenwriting is author Ron Suppa’s honesty and sincerity. Here is a screenwriting book that doesn’t hold your hand while you attempt to write the next massive Hollywood hit.  What it does is shed light on the lives of those who have.  It’s a candid behind the scenes look at the business of Hollywood and the screenwriter’s place in it.  It’s not merely about how to create something great but rather what it takes to make sure it doesn’t collect dust once your done.   What makes this book fascinating is how it still manages to incorporate all the tips, strategies and tricks that aspiring screenwriters soak up.

It’s a fantastic read.

Every aspiring screenwriter needs to have a passion strong enough to live the lonely writer’s life but also the determination to succeed.  Before your pen starts scribbling or your fingers start tapping there is always a moment filled with a both fear and excitement.

It’s gut check time. Do you have what it takes?

Screenwriting Book Review | Real Screenwriting: Strategies and Stories from the trenches by Ron Suppa

In Real Screenwriting, you are given a welcoming glimpse into the inner workings of the professional screenwriter. Suppa gives amazingly detailed insights into the writing process and what it takes to develop and finish your masterpiece.

Beyond the usual suspects like plot, character, format and more, he also gives you numerous tales from the trenches. Entertaining stories about life in the industry that offer further glimpses into the screenwriting world.  It’s a portrait of life as a screenwriter beyond the creativity needed to create something wonderful and unique.

This is a no holds barred look at writing screenplays that doesn’t spare anyone’s feelings and tells it like it is.  I was developing a new feature screenplay while I read this book for the third time and it took longer than ever because I was constantly stopping to write notes.  I love books that get me thinking about movies and writing.

It’s a perfect addition to anyone’s screenwriting library.

XTRA: How NOT To Write A Screenplay REVIEW

Movies That Scarred Me For Life: The Human Centipede

February 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Movies That Scarred Me For Life: The Human Centipede | Movie Blog

Movies that scarred me for life is all about the movies that keep you up at night.  The horrors you just can’t seem to get out of your head.  But beyond the monsters, ghosts, slashers and aliens, there are also the cringe worthy films you wish you never saw.  Movies that made you wish you had the lost two hours of your life back.  There are tons of ways a movie can scar you for life.  This series will look at 12 of my personal favorites.

The Human Centipede

AND…  I’VE NEVER SEEN IT!

I’ve always loved horror movies though I’m more a fan of thrillers than gore fests and torture porn.  That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy films like Saw every now and then but The Human Centipede takes gore to a whole new level…  I think.

XTRA: Top 10 Horror Movies With Great Stories

A coworker of mine, knowing my love of the horror genre, sent me a link to The Human Centipede’s trailer.  He asked me to take a guess at what the film was about.  97% of the population probably made the same guess that I did.  Giant bug?  I don’t mind creature features.  Maybe this would be a low budget horror film with a massive centipede that crashed through walls and ripped people in half.

I was way off…

It’s about a deranged doctor who surgically attaches 3 people face to butt to form a horrific PEOPLE… PEDE..

That was going to be my second guess!

When it comes to deranged people committing atrocities in movies, most of the scares are in the threat of violence.  A horrible fate awaits innocent people who must escape and we cheer them on while experiencing the thrills along the way.  Torture films these days throw out the threat and then follow through for an entirely different kind of scary.  It works for those who love gore filled movies and even I can admit to liking a select few torture films like Saw and Hostel.

This trailer kick started a conversation amongst my friends that lasted weeks.  How crazy could the movie possibly be when you see the 3 unfortunate souls walking around as one in the trailer!  How does the surgery take place?  What the hell was the director thinking!?

I was stunned when I saw the trailer thinking about all the little reasons why the movie would be 100% disturbing.  Eventually, I made my way over to The Human Centipede’s Wikipedia page to learn more about the story.

Movies That Scarred Me For Life: The Human Centipede

That’s when I decided I didn’t really need to see it.  If the trailer grosses me out for all the wrong reasons then why bother right?  Yet, I still have to give director Tom Six credit for creating a film so disturbing that the trailer freaked me out.

I don’t know if I’ll ever have a stomach strong enough to watch people poop in each others’ mouths while an insane doctor laughs.  I’m genuinely concerned for those poor people…  Especially since the actors involved didn’t necessarily know what they were signing up for. (According to wikipedia)

And just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any worse?  Word breaks that a sequel is in the works and rumor is the film centers around a TWELVE-ipede! A film Tom Six promises will be the sickest movie of all time.

Gross.  No thank you.


Kevin Smith & Independent Filmmaking

February 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Kevin Smith vs The Studios | Red State | Movie Blog

WILL KEVIN SMITH CHANGE INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING
FOREVER?

Kevin Smith is right.  He definitely generated a ton of hype for the world premiere of Red State at Sundance this year with basically no cost at all.  Movie sites, bloggers, fans and critics were all talking about his plan to auction off the distribution rights after the screening.

It was a ballsy move for sure.  What if the movie didn’t connect to the audience?  Would it blow up in his face?

Little did we know, selling the rights to distribute and market his film was never his intention at all.

Here is his speech after the screening:

His intention was to prove that you could make and distribute a film for far less than the studios spend on films these days.  So he bid $20 bucks on his own movie in a symbolic gesture to prove that times are changing in the independent film world.

THE LINK: Slashfilm

INDIE 2.0

His plan is simple.  Instead of selling a 4 million dollar film to a studio who would then spend 20 million to market the flick, he would distribute the film as part of a cross country tour leading to a theatrical release he would orchestrate himself.

“It’s too much ****ing horse **it, I just want to tell ****ing stories.”

So he will take his film on the road armed with 1.7 twitter followers, his ever expanding podcasting network and the word of mouth of his loyal fans.  There have even been protests both for and against the film and it’s religious themes. It’s all free publicity for Red State in the end.  Is he on to something?

This plan has been met with mixed results.

“Why would anyone outside of Hollywood be upset if he found a way to beat the studios at their own game? But the idea that what Smith is trying to do is somehow applicable to small, independent filmmakers is complete nonsense.” Screen Junkies

“Amidst your overlong monologue of self-gratification, you mentioned that instead of having the studios pay to release your film, you were going to have us, the audience, pay you out of our pockets to fund it. Then, in passing, you quickly alluded to a crucial financial figure; for this ‘privilege’ of seeing your flick, we’d each have to pay “six, seven, ten times the price of a normal movie ticket”. (Pre-sale pricing released today confirms ticketing starts at $68.25 for nosebleeds, up to $142.70) You then defended this by adding that you’d follow the screening with a Q&A. What fanboy should (or could) drop that kind of coin to see a film? And now the question that must be asked…would Dante or Randal be able to afford that?” Joblo

Personally, I think HE can pull it off but I’m not entirely sure how that will translate to filmmakers like me who don’t have 1.7 million followers to draw attention to our films.

In all honesty, I think it’s a great idea.  I think if it works it will open a lot of doors for him.  What he is doing is creating an alternative to the studio system.  Can you make a movie without spending ridiculous amounts of money on marketing?

I think it depends on who you ask.  Take Christopher Nolan’s Inception.  That movie received a ton of marketing cash in addition to the $160 million dollar production budget.  The film went on to make more than $800 million world wide. (Boxofficemojo)

Will he ever see those kinds of numbers with his new strategy?  Does it even matter?  Again, it depends on who you ask.  Honestly, I’m looking forward to seeing how well Red State does.  He is putting a lot on the line for his first Horror film.

If people do pay large amounts of money, is it because of the film or the Q&A that will follow? What if the film fails?  Will his tour have a positive or negative effect once the film reaches theaters?

On the other hand, what if the plan works and he opens a few doors by creating  a new distribution model.  He could position himself to help and inspire a lot of filmmakers out there.  Perhaps other people will follow his lead and start championing lower budget films as well.  Perhaps indie filmmakers will be more willing to release their own films as well.

A lot of people complain about the lack of originality in Hollywood these days.  Everything depends on the bottom line.  Kevin Smith’s new adventure could lead to more and more originality on the big screen thanks to the visions of countless indie filmmakers out there that don’t have access to the studio distribution system.  He’s potentially giving aspiring filmmakers another avenue to reach an audience.

I’m pretty pumped to see where this road leads.  I hope the tour stops in Toronto eventually because I would definitely pay to see Red State before it’s proposed theatrical run in the fall.

“True independence isn’t making a film and selling it to some jack ass.”

XTRA: Kevin Smith’s Red State Inspires Indie Filmmakers