Movies that didn't know when to end
Modern filmmakers seem compelled to squeeze every single second out their latest epics, whether they have peaked or not. With Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' coming in for criticism for its refusal to wind down, we look at the films that refused to acknowledge that enough was enough.
[WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!]
The last schmaltz... 'A.I.' dragged on (Credit: Warner Bros.)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
How long is it? 146 minutes
Why the ending was too long: As we've already covered with 'Lincoln', Steven Spielberg loves to ladle on the schmaltz, even it means bolting a happy ending onto a movie that doesn't really deserve it. 'Minority Report' and 'War Of The Worlds' both have audience-pleasing final acts where more subdued endings would have worked better, but the worst offender is 'A.I. Artificial Intelligence', which continues for a full half-hour longer than you expect.
When it should have ended: With boybot David trapped at the bottom of the ocean, asking the 'Blue Fairy' if he can be a real boy over and over. Instead, we're treated to an epilogue featuring alien-like Mecha who can read minds, and an ending so sugary it's likely to turn you into a diabetic.
The NeverEnding Story... 'Return of the King' (Credit: New Line)
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
How long is it? 200 minutes (extended edition)
Why the ending was too long: Peter Jackson really has a problem putting down his toys. 'The Hobbit' and 'King Kong' are both epic bum-numbers, but to watch the extended editions of 'The Lord Of The Rings' trilogy you'd have to put aside over 11 hours. As fantastic as they are, you'd end up looking like Gollum if you managed to sit through them all in one session. 'Return Of The King' is the biggest culprit, however, with six – count 'em, six – endings, with every character getting their chance to say goodbye. To be fair, it's all by the book, and it'd have been even longer had Jackson included the 'Scouring of The Shire' portion of the book.
When it should have ended: Aragorn being crowned King seems like a nice place to leave things, but then we'd still be watching even if the last hour was Frodo alphabetising his record collection.