(Warning – Movie Spoilers Ahead: Braveheart, City of Angels, Taps, Mystery Alaska, & The Constant Gardner)

– The 10 Minute Movie –

I am a great fan of movies. When you grow up in the middle of nowhere, there is little else to do. From Hollywood blockbusters to campy B-movies, I can generally find some entertainment value. There is one grade of movie however that gives me great frustration and an overall sinking feeling. These are what I have come to dub 10 Minute Movies.

First let me start with an explanation of the ten minute movie. This is the phrase I use to describe movies that have a great cast, a mesmerizing story that pulls you in, then the last ten minutes destroys what had otherwise been a decent hour and a half. I’m not talking about movies like Braveheart in which the protagonist dies, but the movie ends on a victorious note, “they fought like warrior poets, they fought like Scotsmen and won their freedom.” I’m talking about movies like City of Angels, where the main character gives up immortality for the love of his life, only to have her hit by a log truck. Following is a brief list of movies I am talking about:

Taps (1981)

A group of young military cadets defend their academy against being shut down following an incident which results in a member of the local community being killed. Despite the fact that the cadets do nothing to instigate any of the events leading up to the siege. The movie ends with two of the main characters, portrayed by Timothy Hutton and Tom Cruise, killed and a young Sean Peen carrying the body (Hutton) to the front gate. There is no mention that their tragic struggle saves the academy, just the sour taste of the lesson that honor isn’t everything.

Mystery, Alaska (1999)

This movie, despite being slightly hokey presented an array of interesting characters. You begin to really care about the plight of the community and its residents through the struggles they have getting the NY Rangers to come play a game of pond hockey. Staying close the entire game only to loose with the last shot. Wow, they really proved themselves. Would we say the same thing had Russia beat the US at Lake Placid? We could call it the Miracle on Ice, Almost.

The Constant Gardner (2005)

Given the subject matter, big pharma vs. third world guinea pigs, I was a little reluctant to sit through this one, but once it got going, I was rooting for the underdog, Ralph Fiennes, a British official whose activist wife, Rachel Wiesz, is killed when exploring a plot to test pharmaceutical products on unsuspecting African citizens. Just as he gets to the bottom of his wife’s murder and who is responsible, what better way to get revenge than to throw away your weapon, sit back and let those responsible kill you. I thought if Conan had taught us anything it was “to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and to hear the lamentation of the women.”

These are only a few choices of which there are many. I realize that several of you will disagree with my selections, that you enjoyed these movies yet have others that you dislike. These are based largely upon my own opinion, so I invite you to share your own and why. Tomorrow I will explore the potential societal reflection and psychology behind these movies and why they make us feel the way they do.

Continued here:  10 Minute Movies Part 2