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[Movie Poopers]

   Nidhi Taparia Rathi


Remember the time when somebody scribbled on the classroom wall: 'Kajol is the killer in Gupt'. That ruined your date at the theatre. Didn't it?

Now it's the Net's turn to play spoilsport. There are billions of pages out there with every conceivable nut playing her prank.

I know of at least 10 sites devoted to spoiling movie ends for you. Some of these sites log enormous page views. It is a sure indication that the vicarious hobby of ruining movies for people is flourishing online.

Yet, there can be a virtue in these mischievous sites. What if you didn't get the end of The Sixth Sense or wished you hadn't wasted a penny on The Mexican?

A good bet is The Movie Spoiler. The site boasts of the year's best films, Oscar winners and… their endings right upfront! Besides, here you will find condensed plot with key scenes and pictures and trailers. All this, of course, goes into delivering what the site claims to do: 'The most fun you can have at the movies without being there.'

The Movie Spoiler goes on to recommend another great spoilsport on the Web: Movie Pooper for 'quickie' endings.

With over 569 films in the database with endings condensed to a line or a little more, the site states its motives right upfront: 'This site is intended as a resource to "poop" or spoil the endings to classic, near-classic, recent and new movies.'

And if you are wondering why? They have their reasons…
  • Because sometimes the surprise ending is the only reason you'd pay $8 to see what is otherwise a turkey of a film.
  • Because sometimes you vaguely remember an old movie that had some sort of plot twist at the end of it but can't remember what it was.
  • Because sometimes you're not interested in seeing that movie everyone's talking about but are dying to know what the hubbub is about anyway.
  • Because sometimes you fall asleep watching a mediocre rental and would rather return it on time than pay two more bucks just to see the end.
  • And, let's be frank, because sometimes that guy in marketing who's such a jerk to everyone needs to be put in his place... and how better than to ruin the ending of the movie he's been looking forward to seeing for the past three weeks?
Then there are others who need not have any reason at all to spoil your movie: Maya, an Israeli student, revels in her rebellious role of 'eliminating the fun and enjoyment people have when they go to the movies'. Beware of The Movie Spoiler Center that she runs.

But most are unlike Maya's site. They usually manage to do some mental gymnastics into making you believe they are actually rendering a service to the public! Movies for Busy People fancies itself as a summary service for those who want to be conversational about Hollywood's hottest new films but don't have the time to view them. Though, I must admit the site owners themselves look a bit busy: They have managed to ruin only six movies thus far.

Then there is Movie Spoilers. It's home page declares: 'This page is intended to save time for people who can't be bothered going to the movies... now you can act like you have seen the film…' All one has to do is take 'a swipe' at the empty space below the movie name to discover the ending of the film. Diane Patterson's The Spoiler Game goes one step ahead. It actually teaches you how to deliver movie spoilers to friends and enemies alike. However, her intentions are noble. She is teaching you the black art so that you can get even with movie poopers and beat them at their own game.

Moviepooper.com reveals that their surveys indicate current attractions are not as popular as old movies on their site. But movie spoilers of big films are tough to find, especially as release day dawns.

'Old Republic' on FBTB.net assures, "Stars Wars has spoilers, but does Harry Potter really have any? But IMHO there aren't any HP spoilers."

Tyson Li checks movie spoiler sites to read about movies he has seen but doesn't quite understand. "I saw Unbreakable and it didn't make any sense," says Li, a Bay Area financial planner. "I had to read about the ending to figure it out. I should've skipped the movie and read about it online; it would've saved me money and a lot of time. I really find these sites valuable."

Not everyone is as enthusiastic of spoiler sites. 'Flick Junkie' warns people on a discussion forum, "Beautiful Mind: Might have Spoilers, so just don't read it until you've seen the movie."

Closer home, Indiafm.com revealed the killer of the Sharukh Khan starrer One 2 Ka 4. Ever since, its preview and review sections condense the entire plot, discuss key scenes of the films with pictures and trailers.

Taran Adarsh from Indiafm says, "Bollywood films are so predictable that movie spoilers are not really needed and probably wouldn't work as well as they do abroad."

Indiafm.com General Manager Sameer Goswami explains, "Even revealing endings might not make such a huge difference to the loyal fan… A diehard Shahrukh fan will see the film even if the ending has been revealed or the reviewer has given it a single star…"

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