*warning: contains spoilers*


Note: Avoid this entry if you haven't seen or plan to see Citizen Kane, Dick Tracy, The Usual Suspects, Seven, The Sixth Sense, Presumed Innocent, or The Crying Game.

I don't go to very many movies. Many of my friends tend to go to the cinema with their significant others. I'm hyper-critical about filmed entertainments. Plus, I don't "date" much. I'm not in a "relationship." I spend most weekend evenings "crying into a pillow."

The other factor in my movie non-attendance is that I seem to attract spoilers like a souped-up Camaro at a white trash discount auto parts fair. I can clearly remember being ten years old and hearing my friend breathlessly describe the shocking Madonna-related plot twist in Dick Tracy. I learned that Rosebud was the name of Charles Foster Kane's sled before I even knew what Citizen Kane was. My parents took me and my sister to see The Crying Game about an hour after I found out that Jaye Davidson had been nominated for Best Supporting Actor in that same film.

I've also witnessed a lot of spoilers given to other people. Many years ago, my friend Adam gave away the ending of a movie to our friend Brad. Brad bided his time. Months later, we rented Seven. Brad and I had already seen it, but it was Adam's first time. After the scene where Brad Pitt shoves Kevin Spacey, disguised as a photographer, my friend Brad loudly exclaimed, "Boy, if someone did that to me, I'd kill his wife and his unborn child!" Adam laughed at first, and then went white as he realized the movie had been ruined for him.

A few weeks later, Brad was retelling the story to our friend Dan. He remarked on how perfect the revenge was, how helpless Adam had been. "It would have been like the credits for The Usual Suspects had said, 'Starring Kevin Spacey as Keyser Soze.'" Dan, who hadn't seen The Usual Suspects yet, silently wept.

As a result of this, I'm always on my guard when anyone is discussing movies. At the slightest mention of a suspense film, I'm ready to jam my fingers in my ears and yell, "I'm no-o-o-ot lis-ten-ing!" Still, sometimes, all preparations are for naught.

When The Sixth Sense came out, I heard right away that there was some secret to the film, a great surprise ending that left everyone who saw it shocked and amazed. Knowing that, I was on my guard. I couldn't see it on its opening weekend, but I was planning to see it the second week it was out. After class one afternoon, I boarded an AC Transit bus. The driver was trapped in a conversation with an eager graduate student, who mentioned in every other sentence that he was a linguist. I relaxed. The bus driver didn't really know what a linguist was, so the graduate student searched for an example.

"Have you seen the movie Stargate?" he asked.

The bus driver shook her head.

Disappointed, he continued on this new conversational tack. "OK. OK. Hey, have you seen The Sixth Sense? It's good."

Instantly, I froze. The bus driver answered quickly.

"Oh yeah. Wasn't it surprising how Bruce Willis turned out to be dead the whole time?"

I threw down my copy of the Berkeley Daily Planet in disgust. I left the bus, cursing under my breath, wishing there was a way I could go back in time and avoid the whole conversation, or, failing that, ring the "Stop Requested" bell loudly and angrily. But there isn't. Time travel would lead to many dangerous paradoxes, and the "Stop Requested" bell sounds wussy no matter how hard you pull the cord.

Presumed Innocent isn't really covered in this blog entry, but the ending is pretty unexpected, if you haven't read the book already like I had.


1. you should put adam's last name on this post so he can find it. he gets mad when you do that.
2. brad is a damn funny bastard.
3. i mean that in a good way.
4. i cried into my pillow last night while i spent the evening in by myself too. mostly it was due to the fact that i was coughing too hard to breathe though.
5. i don't know why i feel the need to put things in lists.
6. thank god i have a date to the movies tonight. even if it is just with nuala. and it's identity. i'll be sure to ruin whose identity it is for you as soon as i can.

Sean: oh man, it's so funny and yet so sad all at the same time. I remember when City of Angels came out, and it was immediately announced in front of me that she dies at the end. I guess I was a little mad, but it really just gave me an excuse to put off seeing a super-lame movie until it was on tv.

Michele: So really, it was more like you were *coughing* into your pillow last night. Well, maybe coughing and crying together if that's possible - I'm not one to judge. Most nights I'm doing the same ... well, crying. Or coughing. Usually it's just one or the other, though.

i'm shocked at myself. shocked. i'm not usually so slow to pick up the sordid euphemisms. sadly, i was not being subtle in my own comments, merely honest. although the idea of "coughing" is an interesting one...

oh, thanks a LOT, kati! she dies at the end?!?!

p.s. just kidding, of course. also, i must admit i still don't get the euphemism. what's wrong with me? i get euphemisms even when they're not there!

Awww man, I KNEW that was going to happen! =o)

Well Erica, if I did spoil the ending I contest that the movie was crap anyway. Really, I was being helpful.

i know a guy in the movie though! he's one of the guys at the computers in the SF library. and the director's wife is standing behind him being his angel.

that was a shit movie that i saw twice in order to catch his very small performance.

for those of you who went straight to the comments without reading the piece: sean throws his copy of the berkeley daily planet down in disgust at the end. hahahahahahahaha! sweet revenge. allen: 1, world: a lot more than 1.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on May 10, 2003 4:28 PM.

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