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Neurotic_Mastermind

Rocket Science Reviews (SPOILER alert)

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Thumbs down. I agree with the review given by Roeper. The movie advances to nowhere. The ending doesn't feel like an ending. Debate plays a role in this movie but I have problems figuring out what the actual moral or point is. One of the worst endings to a movie I've seen in a while.

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I agree that the ending was somewhat ambiguous, but I give the movie a thumbs up overall. I'll post a more extensive review later on in this space, but for now, here's my short list of notes:

-The kid playing Hal did an excellent job, but the girl in the role of Ginny Ryerson gave a show-stealing performance. Perhaps it's only because I know debaters that fit her character, but I felt it was an A-plus effort for portraying a villain in such an obscure and idiosyncratic activity as ours.

 

-The script was well-done. It had a sharp wit that kept it alive in otherwise trite scenes.

 

-Its strength, and its most maddening quality, was the unpredictability of the plot. I'll concede I didn't see some of the more harrowing turns coming, but the ending was so strange it was disappointing.

 

-Kudos to the small parts (the philosophy geek, the Asian stepfather, the school counselor); it's the little guys that breathe life into movies like this.

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Thumbs up. I didn't think the ending was bad at all. In fact, it was a relief to see an ending so different from your typical one.

 

One thing that got a bit annoying though was the director's voice over.

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I don't know.

I really didn't like the ending. The best parts were the scenes with the philosophy kid from Superbad and when Hal gets drunk and throws the cello through Ginny's house.

 

And the whole

"I tried this one on my dog. It died two months later."

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Guest svfrey
I don't know.

I really didn't like the ending. The best parts were the scenes with the philosophy kid from Superbad and when Hal gets drunk and throws the cello through Ginny's house.

 

And the whole

"I tried this one on my dog. It died two months later."

QFA

"I'm gonna reach into your eye sockets and tear out your pancreas!"

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ehh, i don't think it's really that hard to figure out what the ending would've been anyways... plus, after he gets DQ-ed from the tourney, there's really no point to continuing.

 

soundtrack was awesome. go violent femmes!

 

both the main character and the girl did amazing acting jobs.. hal was awkward, ginny was a bitch.

 

although it wasn't exactly true to the nature of policy debate, i still think it was a much better effort than Debating Robert Lee or Listen to me.

 

overall, i'd have to say thumbs up. it's worth a watch.

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I spent the last 45 minutes of the movie thinking of some way Hal could win Ginny back.

 

At worst he should have hooked up with her again.

 

If anybody wants to hear my pathetic rant of a perfect disney ending for the movie, here goes:

 

Hal should have hit Ginny round one at states, and then gotten so angry at her for being a total bitch that he overcomes his stutter. He would have lost round one, but a low point win.

 

Then, Hal and Ben should have won the rest of their rounds and hit Ginny + that Indian kid in finals.

 

Ginny will be really distracted and constantly looking over at Hal during her 1ac (IDK if she was 1a, but whatev) and during cross-x, Hal will be really mean to her and totally destroy her case. Then, she will realize that he is a good debater and respect him more. The rest of the round will be really heated, but fairly even. Then, after the round, Hal goes over to shake Ginny's hand and she kisses him.

 

While they're making out, the judges announce a tie (I'm assuming that since many liberties have been taken with actual debate in the movie, why not allow an even person panel).

 

Then all of the funny characters like the philosophy kid, the Kama Sutra kid, and the Asian kid will start a slow clap from the audience.

 

Then Hal's brother will come in and steal the 1st place trophy.

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WTF!? The ending was the best part. It was an existentialist ending - there is no order in the random Other of love, but fuck it. Make your own truth. Your life is what you make it.

 

I was glad it didn't cop out with the cliche ending of ginny and hal hooking up. How corny and predictable would that be?

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@ connor:

 

That ending would have killed the Satrean message of the movie. The whole idea is that hal struggles to find some universal truth and order in his universe, but in the end he realizes that imposing order on his world is stupid. Thats why the ending is ultimately a "meh, fuck life"

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WTF!? The ending was the best part. It was an existentialist ending - there is no order in the random Other of love, but fuck it. Make your own truth. Your life is what you make it.

 

I was glad it didn't cop out with the cliche ending of ginny and hal hooking up. How corny and predictable would that be?

 

It would have totally been existentialist for Ginny to hook up with Hal.

Existentialism = hooking up. Obvi.

What more is there to say.

 

 

 

Besides it would have been a Lacanian ending.

Hooking up with Ginny = Hal's fantasy.

 

And ending with Hal hooking up with Ginny = transversing his fantasy.

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@ connor:

 

That ending would have killed the Satrean message of the movie. The whole idea is that hal struggles to find some universal truth and order in his universe, but in the end he realizes that imposing order on his world is stupid. Thats why the ending is ultimately a "meh, fuck life"

 

No.

How can you honestly root for the hero not to make out with the hot villain?

You have no soul.

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Guest svfrey
@ connor:

 

That ending would have killed the Satrean message of the movie. The whole idea is that hal struggles to find some universal truth and order in his universe, but in the end he realizes that imposing order on his world is stupid. Thats why the ending is ultimately a "meh, fuck life"

 

and exactly why ben wexelbaum was the best person in that movie....

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alt ending: Hal drops out of school, and the kid quits his job at the dry cleaners and they enroll as homescholed kids. They then are qualified to compete. They are the second to last team to break and hit Ginny in the final round. Hal gives a silent 1AC to show the pain that debate causes those that stutter.

 

Or worse one:

 

Hal and kid reach a miracle final. They lose but wait. According to the rulebook debaters can't transfer after school starts except for homeschooling. Meaning Ginny is disqualified and Hal wins on a forfeit.

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alt ending: Hal drops out of school, and the kid quits his job at the dry cleaners and they enroll as homescholed kids. They then are qualified to compete. They are the second to last team to break and hit Ginny in the final round. Hal gives a silent 1AC to show the pain that debate causes those that stutter.

 

Or worse one:

 

Hal and kid reach a miracle final. They lose but wait. According to the rulebook debaters can't transfer after school starts except for homeschooling. Meaning Ginny is disqualified and Hal wins on a forfeit.

 

ok. where in those endings do Ginny and Hal hook up?

 

because its not a legit ending unless they hook up.

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the PHS debate coach has ben and hal debate for her.

they break to finals and hit ginny/indian guy.

 

its a tough debate, but in the middle of his 1AR, hal cracks.

just like ben did one year previous.

 

as ginny goes up to accept her prize, she realizes it has been stolen.

knowing the culprit, she heads for the janitors closet.

 

there, a heated hookup ensues between hal and ginny.

 

and thus, the credits roll.

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the PHS debate coach has ben and hal debate for her.

they break to finals and hit ginny/indian guy.

 

its a tough debate, but in the middle of his 1AR, hal cracks.

just like ben did one year previous.

 

as ginny goes up to accept her prize, she realizes it has been stolen.

knowing the culprit, she heads for the janitors closet.

 

there, a heated hookup ensues between hal and ginny.

 

and thus, the credits roll.

 

I approve.

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And ending with Hal hooking up with Ginny = transversing his fantasy.

 

haha wow conor. wouldn't that be strengthening his fantasy?

 

if you guys are seriously so horny go watch porn. the ending in the movie was actually unique and not just another shitty Rocky ending.

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haha wow conor. wouldn't that be strengthening his fantasy?

 

if you guys are seriously so horny go watch porn. the ending in the movie was actually unique and not just another shitty Rocky ending.

 

Its not porn. Its rooting for the hero that symbolizes every debater at our school/the entire world.

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We should make a list of alternate endings for this movie and take a vote (amongst the half-dozen or so people that have seen it).

 

Alright.

 

Here's mine - Hal and Ben get to finals in state and win it, but are than disqualified. Same depressing ending scene at the pizza place plays - but with Hal singing his request for pizza.

 

Still existentialist, but more meaningful.

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