Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
There are all kinds of suspense thrillers, some with Lon Chaney and some with Jimmy Stewart and some with Vincent Price. But they all follow one rule that can't be broken: When the outcome arrives, It's got to be a surprise. It has to be perfectly logical in terms of the rest of the movie, but it also has to be totally unexpected.
It can also be nauseating ("Psycho" (1960)), terrifying ("Rear Window"), funny ("Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein"), socially significant ("Lord of the Flies") or a put-on ("The Raven"). But if you can guess what's going to happen, then the movie's a disappointment.
Some of the best thrillers let you think you've figured them out, and then glide right past the obvious solution with only a wink to let you know how wrong you were. I kept hoping that would be the case with "Games," but it wasn't. It turned out exactly the way I guessed it would. Nuts. Sure, there are two or three reversals along the way. People appear to be one thing, and turn out to be another thing, and then turn out to be the first thing after all. You expect that. But the basic gimmick (which I wouldn't dream of giving away) is a disappointment.
Other than that, "Games" Is a fairly good film. It tells the story of a very rich young couple (James Caan and Katharine Ross) who plays games. They have pinball machines In their dining room, a shooting gallery, slot machines, a lot of pop art and a magic show for friends. Anything to pass the time. One day a cosmetics saleswoman (Simone Signoret) comes to visit, becomes ill and is invited to stay for a few weeks. Then the games start getting deadly, or, as the ads always say, please don't reveal the shocking ending.
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