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Web page delights in ‘spoiling’ movie plots

Also, Sean Penn named best U.S. actor by Time

SHARE Web page delights in ‘spoiling’ movie plots

Would "The Sixth Sense" have been as fun if you knew the ending beforehand? How about "Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back" or "The Usual Suspects"?

It's that little (or sometimes big) twist at the end of movies that has either made or broken several of them, which is why movie distributors and studios specifically ask critics not to reveal them in their reviews.

But several Web sites are devoted to "spoiling" the plot twists and endings for films, including The Spoiler Game, created by screenwriter and movie fan Diane Patterson.

On the site www.spies.com/~diane/spoilers.html, Patterson has compiled a list of spoilers, which she describes as "a secret that completely changes your experience of watching a film," such as revealing the true nature of the Bruce Willis character in "The Sixth Sense" (while she might not have any compunctions about revealing the specifics of that particular tidbit, I do).

However, as Patterson noted, a spoiler is not simply the end of the movie, nor is it the plot of the movie.

To further explain the concept, here are examples from The Spoiler Game (I feel safe about including this bunch, because they're either not that surprising or have already been revealed to nearly everyone):

"She's a guy!" (From "The Crying Game.")

"Everyone dies except the Prof and Aki." ("Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.")

"True love means cutting your own hand off." ("Hannibal.")

"She's an ogre." ("Shrek.")

Be warned that if you visit the site, Patterson also spoils the endings for "The Others" and the recent "re-imagining" of "The Planet of the Apes" (though she doesn't try to explain what that film's ending means), among many others.

As she told the Toronto Star, "Most people think it's great. They think it's a pretty funny game and enjoy trying to come up with spoilers for the (Web) page."

AMERICA'S BEST . . . OR ITS BIGGEST CRANK?

Multitalented Sean Penn was recently named "America's Best Actor" by Time magazine. But he's also made a career out of biting the hand that feeds him.

Not only has he made enemies of former friends like Nicolas Cage (whom he accused of "selling out" to Hollywood), he's also made several wild claims and statements, such as his numerous vows to retire from show business.

Here are a few choice soundbites from Penn on a variety of subjects (compiled from various sources):

"In Hollywood . . . there's a sense that if you put three thoughts in a movie, then you've broken the law and nobody will come." (Talking about the reception his latest film, the dramatic thriller "The Pledge," received in its home country.)

"I wouldn't treat as insult or compliment anything that happens." (Referring to the possibility of winning an Academy Award.)

"The best moviemakers in the United States are now living in Disneyland." (Your guess is as good as mine.)

"You can read about cancer, or you can watch a Michael Bay picture. Those type of filmmakers should be sent running home screaming with rectal cancer . . . they don't care about the films they make, or about what is going on around them." (Expressing his contempt for the "Pearl Harbor" filmmaker.)

NON-SEAN PENN QUOTE OF THE WEEK:"I would love to have a bigger audience, but I would never do anything to make it happen . . . I would never make a film for the audience. That's why I make films. I make the ones I want to make." — Woody Allen, director and star of "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion," perhaps explaining why he has never had mass acceptance.


E-mail: jeff@desnews.com