‘Adjustment Bureau’ Contest Results!

The votes are in, the ballots have been counted, and two lucky Bonus View readers will be receiving free copies of ‘The Adjustment Bureau‘ on Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack. Want to know who won? Read on to find out!

In order to win the prize, contest entries had to answer the following question: What one element or aspect of an existing movie do you wish you could adjust? If you had the power to go back in time and alter the course of one movie, what would you fix?

When I came up with the topic, I had no idea how difficult it would be to judge. There are really no wrong answers to this question. We received a couple hundred terrific responses, and I had a very hard time picking favorites. Ultimately, I had to winnow the results down to the following:

Honorable Mentions

Shannon wrote:

Too obvious, but I’d replace Sofia Coppola in the Godfather Part III with…well, anyone!

Yes, it is very obvious. But it also needed saying, and Shannon was the first to do so.

Motorheadache wrote:

Also, that one horrible line from X-Men. You know what I’m talking about. Where Storm does something really cool, then ruins it by saying something EXTREMELY stupid. Why, oh why did they keep that line in the film? Every time I watch it now I have to cover my ears at that scene and pretend she’s just being a silent badass.

The line in question is: “Do you know what happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.” Ironically, this was one of only two lines of dialogue in the film written by Joss Whedon from a draft of the script otherwise discarded.

Taken on its own, the line is reasonably clever. Unfortunately, Halle Berry’s terrible delivery just kills it. (The line is at the very end of this clip.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91Dyav1qHt0

Allegedly, even director Bryan Singer has admitted that this part of the scene is embarrassing and should have been cut during editing.

Chaz wrote:

One movie I can think of off hand is The Matrix Reloaded, I would adjust that whole rave scene right out of the movie, while I understand what they were going for, it completely threw off the whole tone of the film, slow motion undulation coupled with drain plug sex = really weird.

Yup.

Eric wrote:

Cast a better actress like Charlize Theron as Emma Frost in X-men: First Class. Maybe even Tricia Helfer or Yvonne Strahovski.

Yvonne Strahovski as Emma Frost? I support this. I support this very much.

Nathan wrote:

if i could change one thing in a movie it would be to take the two-face story out of the dark knight (or save it until the very end allowing you to have him in the next movie). i think that this is a great movie and aaron eckhart was great as harvey dent. i would have liked to see what he could do if he was given more screentime as two-face.

Definitely agreed. There were too many villains in that movie. The Two-Face storyline should have been saved for the third movie.

Jeff wrote:

I’m sure I won’t be the only one to throw M. Night Shyamalan a bone here, but all be damned, Signs could have been a really good flick. The hype and suspense surrounding the movie was great, hell even Mel Gibson deserves a nod for his efforts. But making the aliens allergic to water? The very same substance the consumes the majority of our planet? I guess it makes sense that the aliens were targeting farm land, What if the sprinklers went on when they were making crop circles? I would imagine beaches would become a pretty popular place if “they” chose to attack again….

EPIC FAIL.

Epic fail indeed.

Mike wrote:

Donnie Brasco: I’d remix the sound when Michael Madsen slaps Bruno Kirby for making a wisecrack. There’s just something about the way it sounds that makes it seem cartoony and artificial, and it always takes me out of the movie for that brief moment.

Wanting to fix one sound effect? Now that’s the kind of nit-picking I love.

Domenick wrote:

I LOVE Minority Report. BUT I would make the adjust and have the movie end on a downer note and have it end when Tom Cruise’s character is put in “jail.” Or some SLIGHT differences to the end, but the current end is tied up into too nice of a bow through what seems like a bunch of dues ex machinas (don’t know if I pluralized that correctly)

Domenick must have read my review.

Nicholas wrote:

I would have to say the worst part of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was Kate Capshaw. That part needed to be less annoying to make the movie more watchable. If that part was cast to a more tolerable actress like Kathleen Turner or Kim Basinger at the time, Crystal Skull would stand alone as the worst of the bunch.

God, she’s horrible in that movie, isn’t she?

Joseph wrote:

In “2001: A Space Odyssey” I’d have HAL sing “I’m going to party like it’s 1999” instead of “Daisy”.

That sounds hilarious.

Rowrbazzle:

At the end of The Shawshank Redemption, I’d hold the shot of Red and Andy about to hug and actually show them hug in close-up. It’s always bugged me that right before they embrace the movie cuts to a (very) wide shot of them on the beach. At the end of a long movie it is a great moment seeing these two friends experience freedom together, but we only get to glimpse it from a great distance. Maybe Darabont wanted to emphasize the complete freedom they had by showing us the expanse of the ocean, but I wish he would’ve waited another second to do it. It’s my favorite movie, but the last shot still bugs me.

Another great nit-pick, and I don’t even like ‘The Shawshank Redemption’.

And that brings us to…

The Winners!

Unfortunately, we only have two copies of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ to give away. After much deliberation, I decided that these two were my favorites.

Jim wrote:

myself i have a huge qualm with back to the future part 2. great movie, and i love it but watching it the other day i caught myself screaming at the tv at a huge continuity error that completely contradicts the entire premise of the movies.

when old biff in the future steals the delorian to give the sports book to his teenage self how does he come back to the future he stole the delorian from and not the future in which he is rich?

doc and marty go back to 1985 and the world is different because of old biff, but in all practicality and the science of time travel if old biff went back in time and gave himself a tool to get rich and powerful when he returned the delorian back to the future why wasn’t it the altered future?

you see the conundrum? it ruins the whole story i know, but its just something to think of. doc brown was committed, biff was marty’s step father, so marty and doc never would have met, nullifying the first movie and ending the second and 3rd prematurely.

it would be a major overhaul in the rewriting to fix this issue, but it really could have added a lot more to the rich biff part of the movie.

Lack of capital letters and punctuation aside, what I like about Jim’s entry is that I never picked up on this plot hole myself, but he’s right that it does blatantly contradict the logic of the film series. What’s more, now that I hear this, I feel a desperate need to rewatch the whole ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy right away. I think that earns Jim a prize.

Keith wrote:

For the very last scene of MONSTERS, INC. instead of Sully entering Boo’s bedroom so soon after the events of the movie, have him find her door many years later when she’s a mommy herself (her room now her child’s room) and when he finally enters, she (as an adult) exclaims, “Sully?” That would have been more emotional.

I love ‘Monsters, Inc.’ and I think it’s perfect as is. I had never even considered touching the ending. But the way Keith describes this was like an epiphany to me. Yes, that really would have been an even better, more touching final scene. This is a terrific suggestion, and now that Keith says it, I really wish the movie could end that way.

So, congratulations to Jim and Keith for winning ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ on Blu-ray! And thank you to everyone who participated, even if I didn’t single you out here. We had a whole bunch more great entries that were just as worthy. Unfortunately, we only have two copies to give away, and it would be redundant of me to just re-quote everyone for Honorable Mentions.

If you didn’t win this one, don’t worry. We’ll have more contests coming up soon!

15 comments

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Done and done! It must have been changed after you saw it. Or you possibly saw an unfinished cut. 😉 It’s a brilliant film now!

      Your colleague and current HDD film reviewer wholeheartedly agrees!

      • Let’s be careful with the hyperbole. Brilliant? Really. Even movies I love I’m still careful to use the word brilliant to describe them.

        What’s brilliant about ‘The Adjustment Bureau’? The way it makes up new rules as it goes along so Matt Damon’s character has a chance? “Oh, and water affects our abilities. Why? Just because. We don’t know why.”

        “And don’t really worry about us, because even though we’ve been around for ages we still aren’t all that great at our jobs.”

        My favorite review of this movie was written by Walter Chaw over at Film Freak Central. Holy crap he nailed it perfectly.

        • vihdeeohfieuhl

          Why be careful with hyperbole? You use it all the time. Many of the HDD staff do as well. Mr. Hickman used the same word to describe this film. Brilliant. If you watched it, and failed to recognize the brilliance of a straight forward romance masquerading as an action film, don’t be a sourpuss and tell us to avoid doing something that you are quite fond of doing. There’s nothing wrong with a little hyperbole. We are all guilty of using it from time to time.

          No new rules are made up as the film goes along. The groundwork is slowly layed as we learn more about the central characters, and the adjustment team themselves. If you feel like meticulously laying a groundwork that establishes the rules means changing the rules, that is nobody’s fault but your own.

          Why do large bodies of water have an effect on their abilities? Well, I hate to beat a dead horse, but if you really missed it, and never understand how or why that is, this, in no way, means that quality of the film is lessened. It simply means you didn’t get it.

          To address your quote, I’ll simply say that this makes perfect sense in the context of that particular scene. I’m assuming that you understand exactly what they are. So, let me ask you a question, do you really think that if you were an angel — or whatever other term you want to use to describe them — that you would be any good at your job? Humans are flawed, corrupt, greedy, selfish, unpredictable, vengeful, narcissistic, egotistical, power hungry, and countless other adjectives that would make our species one hell of a responsibility in terms of what they were assigned to do with any given one of us.

  1. motorheadache

    In response to Jim’s post about Back to the Future Part II, this question was asked to the filmmakers in a “FAQ” extra that is on the DVD and Blu-Rays of the films.

    In a nutshell, they said that the future in fact did transform, and they specifically made sure that Marty and Doc had left the townhouse before old Biff comes back. Once he returned, if Marty and Doc had gone back into the house, they would find that the residents are completely different people.

    • I thought that when old Biff returned and he looks like he’s really sick and about to die, that was him ceasing to exist in that time period. Much like when Marty slowly started dissolving in the first movie.

      • i went back and watched it again after it was pointed out bob z talked about it in a deleted scene, my point about doc and marty never having met still holds ground.

        even with doc and marty leaving the townhouse before biff returned their future wasnt altered. they still existed in the same future with the same mindset.

        like i said biff set it up so marty was always abroad (and a delinquent always in trouble) and doc was committed to an asylum (more than likely lobotomized) in alternate 1985. so they never would have met, doc never got the chance to build the time machine, etc. it turns into a wormhole paradox like that of sliders.

        time travel is just a big messy contradiction, but i still love all 3 movies tremendously.

      • motorheadache

        Yeah, originally they had a scene where Biff disappears, but they cut it because it was confusing test-audiences or something.

        But that’s also where the rules of time-travel in the movie get a bit iffy. According to what happens to Marty in Part 1, if you change your own history, you still exist as you are with your same memories. Hence, everyone in Marty’s family is changed except for him, even though apparently his past is literally different from what he remembers (I know, it’s weird).

        So, actually, Biff shouldn’t have vanished by changing the past, unless he did something that resulted in his death or non-existence prior to his current age, so it’s good that they cut the disappearing bit out anyway. I always assumed originally he was having a heart attack of something.

        By the way, I just rewatched the movies last week, so all this stuff is fresh in my mind, plus I enjoy discussing time-travel concepts 🙂

  2. M. Enois Duarte

    Congrats! Keith and Jim. Those are excellent suggestions.

    ‘Monsters, Inc.’ would definitely make a stronger emotional impact with the adjusted ending. But now I have the whole time-traveling issue running through my head. Even if Doc and Marty leave the townhouse in time, the entire structure of the city should have changed. Or at least, they would have noticed billboards of rich Biff everywhere. Damn, that is a good one to think about.

  3. There’s a better plot problem in BTTF Part III:

    The Delorean gets a hole in it’s gas tank, and then they rip the fuel line out testing alternative means of fuel. But it’s never brought up that there’s another Delorean already buried in the mine with a undamaged fuel tank. They should have buried their damaged Delorean (knowing the Doc of the 1950’s could fix it) and unburied the undamaged Delorean!

    • motorheadache

      True, but they still wouldn’t have gasoline, so that would only get them so far.

      How about this though– you write yourself a letter, like Doc did, to bring a container of gas with you when you leave for 1885.

      Or you could do the Bill and Ted thing– Marty could say: “when I’m much older and gasoline is invented, I’ll use it on the time machine and go back and leave a can of gas right there! Look, there’s the can! Yay!”

  4. Keith

    Thanks for the congrats! I was wondering if my prize will take 6-8 weeks to arrive, since it hasn’t arrived yet as of August 1.