Which ending is better?


I personally thought the way the movie ended was quite boring. It seemed like this movie was trying to copy 2001: A Space Odyssey (I'm not a fan of 2001) with the incredibly slow pacing. The way the book ended in the hospital was scarier and more exciting.

Another gripe I have about the movie is how long the surgery scene took. It only took a couple minutes to read the scene in the book, but it took about 15 minutes to watch it. Does the director really thing that we want to see them take that long to stick a needle in a guy's head?

Overall, this was a pretty good movie. I would have made it better by cutting the running time to 70 minutes and changing the ending to the way the book ended.

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Too bad nobody else is on the board.

But I agree that the book's ending was scarier and exciting.

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How does the book end...for that matter, how does the film end? Thanks.

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Yes, I also thought the book ending was better.

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I really wish I read the book instead, because while watching this film, it struck me that this would be very compelling reading but falls rather flat onscreen, especially the surgery scene. The whole preparation for the "payoff," which never really came in my opinion, was rather tedious.

Maybe I'll seek out the book because it seems like this is a very compelling story. It's just not told that well onscreen.

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I can only agree to that, the whole movie feels like a slow, ever so slow build up towards... nothingness. The whole thing, after more than a hour of hospital shenanigans, transforms itself into the hunt after a crazed serial killer. And by the way he already was a maniac before the operation, only now he's even more so, so I really fail to see the point of the film. It' not like somebody was controlling the hero's mind or anything. What in the world is the subject of this film then ?

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It really is disappointing, isn't it? I'm a big fan of obscure horror and sci-fi films, and I don't mind movies that are rather talky or meandering, but this just seemed pointless.

I wasn't really all that convinced that he was all that dangerous or in need of the operation to begin with, but I went along with it expecting something ... anything ... to happen eventually to jolt me into caring. It never happened.

How did you find this movie anyway? I found it on VHS at a video store that was clearing out its selection. The cover, with George Segal hooked up to electrodes, was certainly a grabber.

A lot of films I watch are unjustifiably obscure, but this one deserves its obscurity.

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The climax of the film is certainly disappointing, but I think that there are several moments scattered throughout that make it a worthwhile experience. For instance, the following scenes: Segal's emotions being artificially manipulated when he talking to the psychiatrist; the spectacular murder of his girlfriend; his mechanical movements as he attacks the robots at his workplace; the scene at the psychiatrist's house where he a) reveals that he checked out the addresses of everyone involved in the operation BEFORE he entered hospital, and b) the kettle whistling just prior to his seizure.
I think that some details of what exactly was happening to him during the seizures were unclear: eg, why did they rig his brain to give him jolts of pleasure during his attacks? Also underdeveloped/unclear was the idea that his brain started to LIKE the attacks, and was inducing more and more of them.

EDIT: I now like the climax of the film, with its sudden explosion of colour following the stark whites of the first three quarters of the film.

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Those are vivid examples of scenes that work, especially the whistling tea kettle. Unfortunately, I found this film a bit of a "connect the dots" experience, and I wound up with a rather jumbled picture. I love enigmatic, atmospheric films, but this one seemed a bit too much of an abstraction to really connect with me.

I wish I could say more, but it's now been a couple months since I've seen it, and already I've largely forgotten it. Maybe I've become the Terminal Man.

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The biggest problems for me were those I touched upon above, crucial details that seem to get skated over somewhat, and the fact that the careful design that dominates the first two thirds of the film seems to go awry in the climax.
Forgot to mention, though, the helicopter carrying the sniper that takes off at the beginning of the film and doesn't arrive until the end-allowing one to imagine that it has spent the entire movie travelling to kill Harry.

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Yes, I had forgotten about the helicopter.

Say, because you obviously know this film, what did you think of the Scientology ad that appears on the radio once Harry gets away? It's just very random but obviously intentional. There's a thread on this board complaining about it, but I'm just wondering if you have any idea or insight as to how that got inserted into this film? Scientology seemed to be linked with a lot of the consciousness-raising groups in the early and mid-'70s, and I don't think it was even seen as a "cult" then. There may have been some connection to this film, but I don't know.

Any thoughts?

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I hadn't noticed it, actually! I guess I pay attention to some things and not to others. That's the problem with seeing things on DVD. I will have to give it another look.

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It's very subtle, and actually, I had read about it on this board before I saw the film so I knew to listen for it. It appears maybe halfway through, when Harry leaves the institution and is in the woman's apartment, where she turns the radio on. I wish I could direct you to exactly where it occurs, but I watched it on VHS.

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I think it's a film that is more enjoyable afterwards, rather than when you're actually watching it. The mood is something that lingers after, it's the overlong sequences and some silliness (like Segal's wig) that make it falter.

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people are such sheep. you just like the book better because it's a book.

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I find comparisons between books and films inexplicable; films can never take the place of literature, although they can be adapted from it. Books as an art form are hardly the equal of, or equivalent to, a film. I appreciated the way visual symbol was used in the film ending, something that could not easily be achieved in the literary format. Quite frankly I felt Dr. Ross' survival in the novel was improbable at best. Michael Chrichton does this. A lot.

The wig is supposed to look ridiculous. Unfortunately, this is how we all feel about wigs, whether we admit it nor not. People are wheeled into hospitals every day, and wheeled back out desperately wishing they still had hair. Not all of them lose it to a razor, and some find out that it just doesn't grow back the way it was before.

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