Rant of the Day: Spoilers

To the author who wrote the movie novelization I have been struggling to finish for a month: If there's a plot point in the movie that is a spoiler having to do with another character's non-human nature, it is not actually in fact subtle to have that character's POV keep musing on human nature and how humans react to things and aren't humans so very odd.

I mean, the movie had one spoiler. One! How hard is it to not spoil that one spoiler? This isn't foreshadowing, it's just being obtuse.


Ana Mardoll said...


chris the cynic said...

So opening the novel with:

I've never really understood human nature, I've tried ever since I got here and I have to say, humans are odd. Strange. Bizarre. Wholly unlike what I would expect. They're just so... human. Even in their inhuman moments they're always humaish, or humanoid, or human-like, or something similar. I don't get that. Why would anything be so fundamentally unlike a reasonable thinking feeling being?

My attempts at analysis have all led to the same result, which I can say with 99.9% confidence: humans are strange. It is deeply troubling how strange such mundane beings are able to be. You wouldn't think to look at them that they would be capable of such almost unimaginable peculiarities...

and so on, would not be a good idea if we don't want to give away that the narrator isn't human?

Ana Mardoll said...

Well, not if the book has the word "Aliens" in the title, is all I'm saying. :P

(Naq gur bgure gjb jbeqf ner "irefhf" naq "Pbjoblf".)

chris the cynic said...

I had not thought of that movie since it was brought up in a thread here. I have not read the book. I still maintain that fur yvirf at the end based on the fact that va gur cnfg fur jnf erfheerpgrq ol orvat frg ba sver and what happened at the end basically amounted to ure orvat frg ba sver.

I admit that the mechanics were slightly different, but the parallel is close enough that I can't help but see it as foreshadowing.

Ana Mardoll said...

I haven't decided if I liked the movie. I was hoping the book would give me more insight into my opinion. It has manged to make me like the movie better than I did before, but only by virtue of being aggressively mediocre. I'm about to throw it on the DNF pile.

chris the cynic said...

There didn't seem to be a lot to emotionally latch onto in that film. I think I liked the second in command bad guy who lost a tooth, but I think that was just because I felt sorry for him (see the encounter where he lost the tooth), he seemed loyal enough, and he came through in the end.

Other than that... I don't have much of anything.

Randomosity said...

Spoilers annoy me. I know people who insist on telling you everything there is to know. OK, thanks. Now I don't have to read the book/see the movie/attend the gaming session.

I really hate pretend spoilers. There was one in particular that they would jokingly repeat that was the actual ending of some movie I'd seen years ago. I tried to tell them it wasn't funny.

I discovered that a blank look and saying in a deadpan "I don't get it" is extremely effective if stopping a "joke" dead in its tracks.

Ana Mardoll said...

The funny thing is that I, on the other hand, am quite a Spoiler Hound, I will deliberately spoil things for myself. But... when the book... keeps leading up to this one thing... that is the only interesting thing in the book... and it's doing it BADLY... it just... my brain.

Brin Bellway said...

There didn't seem to be a lot to emotionally latch onto in that film.

I went in wanting to actually sit down and watch a movie all the way through for once.

A few minutes later:
Why am I watching something this dull when there are perfectly good blogs I could be reading?

(This was a DVD rental, so I was in my living room with my laptop right next to me. On the other hand, I watched Avatar under the same conditions and my attention span was...well, not quite the whole movie, but over two hours.)

Timothy (TRiG) said...

I am simply incapable of watching a film on my own. A documentary? Perhaps, if it's very interesting. A silly but very clever BBC panel show? Of course! But a film? No. I need someone with me. I don't know why. I don't talk during films. But having someone there stops me getting up and doing something else.


Asha said...

My beef with that particular movie was that I could predict the whole thing from the beginning. It didn't even manage cheesy awesome, which was what I was hoping for. I mean, you could tell from the first five minutes of a character being introduced if he or she would die. >_<

Patrick Knipe said...

This opening is a -great- idea if your character -is- human, though, especially in a supernatural or sci-fi novel.

Rikalous said...

Especially since the viewpoint character is likely to be spending a lot of time with the nonhuman critters, and that kind of attitude explains why.

Silver Adept said...

It's also not good characterization to make your main characters too stupid to notice such obvious hint-dropping - best to either be more subtle or to write a story where the non-humans don't have to hide. R. Daneel and R. Giskard proved they could carry an entire story by themselves, after all.

Anonymous said...

spoilers for Passion of the Christ:

Jesus dies at the end!

Beroli said...

That's the end? Really?

Haven't seen it, but I think the ending might have been different if the movie had run for three more days.

chris the cynic said...

In fact, I believe that there was a scene to that effect at the end.

Anonymous said...

i haven't seen it either. i was quoting a comic that i don't remember which comic it was but it always comes to mind when the topic of spoilers come up. Just checked wikipedia, and the very end is the three days later bit.

the comic went like this.

person a says something, inadvertently spoiling the ending of King Kong.
Person B: Dude! no spoilers!
person A: seriously? you haven't seen King Kong? And isn't there a statue of limitations on spoilers? It came out decades ago!
Person B: i haven't seen it yet! And now you've ruined it for me!
Person A: well, let me spoil Passion of the Christ too: Jesus dies!

Ana Mardoll said...

Heh. My favorite is a Friends episode where Rachel got Joey to read "Little Women" and then, in the middle of fight, yells at him: "Meg dies!"

He gasps and tears up. It's EPIC.

jill heather said...

When Baz Luhrman's Romeo & Juliet came out, I saw it in a theatre filled with a lot of younger teenagers. And just before the movie started I was talking about how the ending was so sad, or someone near me was, and you could just hear half the people near me turn and glare. But honestly! It's the sixth line of the prologue.

(I like some spoilers, not others, and have trouble balacing impatience and spoiler avoidance. But I work hard at not giving any, which has made getting people to watch Breaking Bad really hard.)

Maartje said...

When that Romeo and Juliet came out, our high school English teacher took the whole class to the cinema.

I mentioned the 'they both die' bit and my friend clocked me in the head for spoiling her. 2 seconds later, the news announcer started talking about the star-crossed lovers.

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