year: 1980
cast: Kris Kristofferson
director: Michael Cimino
rating: *

What makes Michael Cimino's infamous "Heaven's Gate" the biggest bomb in history? What makes "Heaven's Gate" one of the worst epic films ever made? Was it the four hour running time? Was it the fact that each scene went on way too long? Was it the rollerskating scene where a guy plays a fiddle for five minutes skating around the rink (a roller rink in a Western just doesn't mesh)? Was it the love story between a dull, overly-idealist town Marhsall and a plain looking prostitute and their superlong rides in a stagecoach? Was it the prologue involving graduates of Harvard giving speeches while we get numerous cuts to beautiful women who have nothing to do with the scene other than forcing us to realize that they find Kris Kristofferson sexy? Was it the dancing scenes in the same prologue that showed people spinning around endlessly without showing where the music was coming from? Was it the dialog; most of which was almost impossible to understand? Sure, these things didn't help. But what I hated most about this film is the characters: they're either really bad or really good. The bad ones, especially Sam Waterson... are so overly bad they should be wearing thin mustaches and, upon seeing them on screen, there should be an audince booing and hissing in the background. And the good guys... well, let's just say they're the polar opposite of the villains... Too good, too perfect. The polar opposite of this muddled disaster.

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