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 Post subject: Lady In The Water
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:39 pm 
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Badly conceived bedtime-story rubbish, or fascinatingly weird contemporary fairytale?

I thought The Village was pretty bad (even as SFnal mystery), but Shyamalan's so-called vanity movie LITW is just too silly for words.

Did anyone really like this, except for its appeal as a filmmaker's career-suicide curiosity?

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Last edited by Tony on Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:03 pm 
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Nope, I thought it was diabolically bad and to make things worse when I saw it the picture was 'squashed' down with boom mikes etc hovering at the top and side of the screen. I kept waiting for some Sixth Sense style perceptual twist to make sense of this, but actually it was more mundane. Somebody told me the projectionist had the wrong lens on the camera. Obviously he couldn't be bothered to pay attention.

In Hollywood's Golden Raspberries it was only outshone by Basic Instinct 2 :P


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:10 am 
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Well, I liked it quite a lot! I wouldn't call it a major piece by any standards, but as a piece of mythopoieia it worked pretty fine for me ... and it was certainly a long way ahead of some other recent stuff by Shyamalan. The Village was just about tolerable, with some good acting; but Signs had me beating my head against the wall.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:43 am 
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RealThog wrote:
Signs had me beating my head against the wall.


Hmm, that was last one of Shy's films I actually liked, despite all its faults.
Quality of his work's gone downhill fast since then.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:49 pm 
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Haven't seen this one yet. I quite liked The Village. I thought it suitably creepy although once you guess what's going on of course it all becomes just a little silly! Didn't mind Signs either. His movies usually seem well shot, well constructed, but ultimately empty of interpretation because of the *reveal* at the end. I'll rent this one when it becomes available.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:21 pm 
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The new one is on my personal blacklist (a list that includes exactly one film for now - this one - plus any future M Night production). His first two movies I thought were well done, but Signs disappointed me greatly. "Signs" as in "all the plot-indicators cleverly concealed by I, the great writer-director, that you the foolish public completely missed, you simpletons. Here, I'll recap just to show you how stupid you really are..." And after watching The Village I left the cinema in a state of great irateness. I know it's over the top, and I know it's probably irrational, but that's the reaction these manipulative, patronising films invoke in me. So, for the good of my health, I'm giving him a miss from now on.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:11 pm 
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There's no depth. That's the problem I think. I like 'puzzle' movies but the really good ones - such as Memento - will bear up to repeated viewings. M. Night is a bit of a one-trick pony.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:33 pm 
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NeilW wrote:
..after watching The Village I left the cinema in a state of great irateness... I know it's probably irrational


Shy's recent plots are largely irrational (and not in a very clever way, either, just irksome), so that's probably the only sensible reaction.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:36 pm 
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Aye, I agree with both of you. But, Tony, I'm not an easily angered person - its the degree of the irateness which is irrational, but I can't help it.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:10 pm 
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As Andrew points out, it's the lack of depth, especially in Shy's Village and LITW, that's most disappointing. I think these films are a bit like short stories padded out to novel length. The pace is slow and tends to get even slower, while genre fans' thoughts are racing ahead of the plot (a simple bedtime story rather than a fairy tale?) and 'trick' revelations.
Some measure (probably bitter) of disappointment is inevitable.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:43 pm 
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Funnily enough I was thinking the same thing - they're like short stories but padded - and the viewer can usually work out what's really happening without too much thought. The Village clicked for me about two thirds of the way in, and after that point it was just silly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:55 pm 
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"The Village clicked for me about two thirds of the way in"

Took you that long, did it, Andrew? I "spotted" the thing perhaps 20% in, but then spent the rest of the movie assuming the "solution" couldn't be that bloody obvious -- waiting for the double-twist, in other words. So I suppose I've got to grumpily concede the movie did surprise me with its ending ... that the ending was so effing flat and disappointing.

However, some of the acting and cinematography were great, so I was able to enjoy those aspects of it at least.

What I like about Lady in the Water is that there isn't a "reveal" at the end: the movie's just a piece of mythmaking, and it's left up to you to decide what to make of it.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:36 am 
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Anybody got little kids who've seen LITW?
Just curious what youngsters (intended audience?) thought of it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:21 pm 
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No-one's mentioned "Unbreakable", easily Shamalangadingdong's best film. It's a beautiful peice of work, and the central motif about a son seeing his father as superhuman resonated deeply with me.

And I liked "The Village". :shock: It's about mythmaking, storytelling, and some of the reasons why we tell stories to each other, and to ourselves.

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