edits:se7en

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Only in a world this shitty could you even try to say these were innocent people and keep a straight face. But that’s the point. We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home, and we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it’s common, it’s trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I’m setting the example. What I’ve done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed… forever.

In the climactic scene of Se7en, villain John Doe (Kevin Spacey) delivers a box to rookie detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) that contains the decapitated head of his wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) in order to bait Mills into killing him, thus completing his murderous, biblically themed performance piece.

When Pitt read the script, he fell in love with it, but he knew that the producers were going to have major reservations – specifically, with Paltrow’s brutal off-screen death, and Spacey’s villain “winning” in the end. As a condition of agreeing to do the movie, Pitt made the producers promise that the ending would be filmed as written, and that they wouldn’t cop out at the last minute by having Mills arrest Doe, or Paltrow pop out of a cake and yell “psych!” at the end.

But after the first press screenings, producers responded exactly the way that Pitt feared: They went into panic mode and tried to figure out how to reshoot the ending without the Paltrow jack-in-the-box. The alternative ending – the one they seriously almost went with – was that Doe decapitates Mills’ dog instead.

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The climactic throwdown goes like this: Bond sits at the poker table just as the dealer announces the big blind (mandatory bet) as $1 million. As the scene skips ahead, the four remaining players end up balls-deep in a $24 million pot with an ace of hearts and the four, six, and eight of spades on the table. Then the dealer puts down a final card … another ace!

This prompts everyone to go all-in, bringing the pot to the snowman-made-of-cocaine heights of $150 million. Guy #1 shows a king-high flush, but Guy #2 has pocket eights, giving him a full house of 8s and aces. Next comes our scar-faced villain, who harbors an ace and a six, giving him a much better full house.

Bond, being Bond, is last to show his hand against this seemingly unbeatable situation … revealing the five and seven of spades needed to give him a straight fucking flush for all the marbles. BOOM!

Here’s the thing: The reason Bond’s dramatic reveal is so, well, dramatic is that it’s completely unexpected that a pair of low cards would actually win the game. It’s statistically ludicrous that Bond won with what he had. And while it seems “smart” that he would surprise everyone like that, for anyone who knows how to play poker, the real reason it’s shocking is because no idiot would hold on to those cards in the first place.

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