QuoteReplyTopic: M. Night is Back...and BAD As Ever?!? Posted: May 28 2008 at 5:52am
THE LAST TIME M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN WROTE and DIRECTED SOMETHING, IT WAS NOMINATED for FOUR RAZZIES® (INCLUDING WORST PICTURE) and "WON" TWO of THEM (SHYAMALAN as BOTH WORST DIRECTOR and WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR).
SO, DID OL' M. LEARN HIS LESSON from the DEBACLE THAT WAS LADY IN THE WATER? THE ANSWER IS DECIDEDLY...
WHILE THE HAPPENING MERCIFULLY DOESN'T FEATURE THE DIRECTOR CASTING HIMSELF in a CHRIST-LIKE SUPPORTING ROLE, IT IS YET ANOTHER "UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENON" CONCEPT -- THIS ONE with a "SURPRISE CULPRIT" THAT, with THEATRES AUDIENCES ACROSS AMERICA, DREW GALES of DERISIVE LAUGHTER.
This one looks like a case of someone hiring an Emperor with No Clothes after everyone had alaready figured out the guy was "naked as a jaybird." Why anyone would risk a big budget on Shyamalan after the disaster of "Lady in the Water" is beyond me.
My guess is, if this one's as bad as it looks, he'll wind up directing Sci-Fi Channel direct-to-cable movies by 2010...
Well, if you want to know the mystery, which many people already knew way before anything was released from the film, here it is:
It's the plants. The plants are causing people to kill themselvs by releasing toxin.
ANYWAY, you can all say it sounds stupid but you didn't care how stupid a 2 feet tall doll serial killer, a girl coming out of a tv, a monster attacking NYC, etc. AND, there's no twist ending in this one, like Lady in the Water.
So yes, I'm a huge M. Night fan and he has yet to disappoint me. Lady in the Water is an underrated gem because people expected an action packed, effects filled, heavily budgeted fantasy film like Harry Potter but they instead got a family film (I still have no idea why this is PG-13). I'm so looking forward to this movie!!! M. Night is probably one of the few directors out there actually making up original movies.
The extended train sequence that I saw was as awkward and inept as anything he's ever done. I simply can not imagine any major studio giving him another chance if (when) this one tanks. Wait, I take that back. Major studios churn out loads of crap all the time. Oh well!
And you too. Really, you guys act if he's the worst director ever, which is completely false. Like I said, he's one of the few directors out there that are doing original movies. What, you would rather watch another remake, spoof, superhero movie, and sequel? You guys are sad.
And why would studios not want him? His films made tons and tons of money! That rarely happens! His movies have made over half a BILLION in the box office and Uwe Boll still continue making movies even though his movies make little to no money. In the Name of the King has a budget of $70 million! I'm sure M. Night will be miles from going away. You people need some sense in your brains.
Here is what I said in a post on IMDb:
People wanted horror elements and scary action in The Village but they got a romantic thriller instead. People wanted a CGI, action-packed violent fantasy in Lady in the Water but got a movie with little to no action that was great for the family. People wanted a heavily effects filled alien invasion movie in Signs but got no alien violence until the very end of the film. People didn't know about M. Night when he did Sixth Sense so that's why people liked that movie. Now people will want a lot of gruesome scenes and action violence in this film and I'm sure there will be plenty but please, people, don't get your hopes high.
RESPONSE from Head RAZZberry: Please explain to me how "he's a brilliant director" gibes with "don't get your hopes high"...
Okay moviewizguy, you seem to be off in your presumptions of why a lot of us are put off by Shyamalan's recent work. I can't speak for everybody else, but I'll give you my personal take.
I liked The Sixth Sense and despite its flaws, I also enjoyed Signs. I found the films to be atmospheric and effectively suspenseful. Even The Village managed to pull this off to an extent, but that film also is when I (and many others) began to grow weary of Shyamalan's film-making methods. The main issue for me is how the film is completely built around its twist denouement, which felt contrived and anticlimactic. I'd almost be willing to overlook it if the entire film wasn't contingent upon its ending, but it doesn't offer anything else. Every personality in the film is at best a stock character, and the story is structured to where the unknown factors to be revealed later on are the only thing that holds the audience's interest. As a result, there is no emotional payoff, no provocation of any kind, and nothing satisfactory. It comes off seeming artificially (mis)calculated and unnatural in the context of the events. Everything rests on the revelation of the unknown, and that discovery is not something that has any impact. Anything effectively scary about the film is completely undermined, as a result.
So the man had a misstep in his direction--it happens. I didn't really like Unbreakable, and Shyamalan came back and entertained me with Signs. Let's see what he has in store next.
Only things got exponentially worse with Lady in the Water. Shyamalan no longer was able to hide the fact that he wasn't writing stories with any kind of aim or purpose outside of misleading the audience only to bring up an arbitrarily unexpected plot point in what devolves into a futile effort to compel an audience. He wasn't building to something of any kind of substance or emotional evocation, and he still failed to draw characters with any dimension outside of what is needed to keep the story twisting. Only to further hamper the film, he delivered the story through large amounts of exposition and directly tells the audience how they should be feeling, instead letting his material do that work for him. He wasn't showing us something, he was telling it to us, which is purpose-defeating in a film. That's something that should be left to books-on-tape (a medium better suited for Lady in the Water), not a motion picture. He seemed to try to force the audience into buying into the film, when he should have let the story do that for him, but he couldn't go that route because he had no real story to tell. He instead opted for an aimless series of plot points that didn't culminate into anything other than a series of plot points. There was no emotional payoff, no deeper meaning, and no entertainment value. It was just jerking the audience around from one point to the next, loaded with contrivances and exposition along the way.
And I would contend that his movies aren't original. Maybe the main idea that they're built from is something new, but the way the films are executed (twist, twist, twist) is nothing worth writing home about. Contrivances have been in cinema for a long time.
Okay, M. Night needs to stop writing and direct ONLY. "Lady" was a bad script, but every actor tried his or her best with what they had to work with. And Uwe Boll was robbed of his Worst Director Razzie that year. Sure, "Lady" was dumb, but "Bloodrayne" was just plain unwatchable on ALL levels.
And what annoys me about this movie, the poster's taglines: "We SENSED it ... we saw the SIGNS ... now is the time for the Happening!" Yes, plugging the few good movies you had will make us want to go see a movie about ....
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