Just got back from the three hour extravaganza. Hmmmmm.
Needed a bit more time in the editing department. I hate saying that, because Thelma Schoonmaker is amazingly talented, but this time she stumbled.
The final bit of the movie, literally the last minute, is a textbook example of when you should cut, but don’t…
Early in the movie, the hero is at a booth in a restaurant and says to his buddies, “Sell me this pen.” One of them takes him up on it, and does a great job of being a salesman.
CUT TO: a couple of hours later.
Very end of the movie…
Hero is talking to a room full of people.
Leans forward to a guy, smiles the smile we’ve come to know, and says, “Sell me this pen.” BANG. CUT TO BLACK. DIRECTED BY MARTIN SCORSESE.
That’s what they should have done, but didn’t.
He says, “Sell me this pen,” and the guy he’s talking to stumbles through a couple of dumb sentences about why the pen is great. And they do it two more times. “Sell me this pen.” Bland sales dialogue. “Sell me this pen.” Bland sales attempt. And then, finally, CUT TO BLACK. DIRECTED BY MARTIN SCORSESE.
The correct end point was the instant after he said “Sell me this pen.” the first time. The perfect place to end the scene. And many scenes in the movie just kept on… going… When you see the movie, see if you think I’m right.
When you read your rough draft, look to see if you’ve got places you can cut out of a scene… but keep… on… going… Just because you have momentum, doesn’t mean you should freewheel forward.
The guy sitting in front of me, when we all stood up, said, “Is it 2015?”
I really, really wanted to like the movie, because the trailer was fantastic, but it was a snooze fest. I’m so sad to say.
Do you agree?