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Old 04-12-2020, 02:19 AM   #1
Merrick
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Default Favorite third acts?

Curious what your favorite third acts in films are?

Seems to be an emphasis on everything descending to chaos. And these days, audiences eating up 40 minute unintelligible battle sequences.

When I think back on films, I tend to think of those with stronger first and second acts. Most third acts at best either safely land the film or at worst just abandon what was great about it.

How many films out there improve upon what's come before in their third act?
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Favorite third acts?

This is a good topic. I'll have to think about it more but off the top of my head I like the 3rd act of Unforgiven a lot. Ned's death triggers a relapse in William Munny's character (and sobriety) and we finally get to see the notorious outlaw's fury. The final shootout in the saloon with Little Bill was awesome and so was every single line of dialogue.
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Old 04-12-2020, 01:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Favorite third acts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrick View Post
How many films out there improve upon what's come before in their third act?
Most memorable films do this or they wouldn’t become memorable. Here are some:

The Man Who Would Be King (1975) — (a fine film, much longer in the making than you would believe) a great Act Three.

Amadeus (1984)

The Red Violin (1998)

Amélie (2001)
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Favorite third acts?

Just because i rewatched it the other night, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan is great (among many other reasons) because act III doesn't just end with the climactic victory by Kirk over Khan, as the Enterprise warps away from doom at the last second. It's then knowing and seeing the price that Kirk has to pay for cheating death one more time, and his reckoning with a life spent rigging the simulators to avoid a no-win situation. Only sucks that Paramount forced them to leave it open as to more sequels by showing us Spock's coffin on the Genesis planet. Meh.

Michael Arndt has a masterful breakdown on what elements make for an insanely great ending:

https://vimeo.com/238637906
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Favorite third acts?

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Originally Posted by Merrick View Post
Curious what your favorite third acts in films are? ... How many films out there improve upon what's come before in their third act?
Your questions could be asked the other way around: “Curious what are your least favorite third acts in films?” and “How many films do not improve upon what’s come before in their third act?”

Battlefield Earth (2000)? Half Baked (1998)? Hellboy (2019)? K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)? Gigli (2003)? The Astronaut’s Wife (1999)? Jupiter Ascending (2015)? Seventh Son (2014)?

Regardless of how they’re posed, there are too many answers to your questions.
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Old 04-14-2020, 08:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Favorite third acts?

Just curious - I tend to get wowed by great first and second acts, but there aren't many third acts that jump out in my mind as vast improvements, unless the rest of the movie is sloooow.

My impression of modern third acts are a Transformers battle sequence. And that comes into play with a lot of big-budget movieplex films these days.

I watched about half of that video JoeBanks linked. Interesting stuff. A little too detailed on the breakdown of Star Wars (so far). But there was useful information to consider.

I think even most of the films I truly admire, the third act just "safely lands" the film if you know what I mean. For instance, I love "The Big Short," but the ending was pretty much inevitable. Then there's stuff like "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" which just draws it out foreverrrr.

I was trying to think of efficient third acts that improve upon what's come before.

It's hard to write a clever ending that is also earned.
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Old 04-14-2020, 02:04 PM   #7
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Half Baked (1998)
Aw hell nah.
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Old 04-14-2020, 05:47 PM   #8
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Aw hell nah.
LoL! (inclusion based on Neal Brennan’s speech at Dave Chappelle’s “Mark Twain Prize for American Humor” award ceremony)
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Old 04-14-2020, 06:01 PM   #9
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I didn't catch that. I'll have to check it out.

"Killa, kill!"
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:04 AM   #10
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Curious what your favorite third acts in films are?
Here’s a good one for you, Merrick: The Crowd (1928) — Wikipedia link; the story behind the film is as good as or better than the film.

The Crowd (1928) — IMDb link
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