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 Post subject: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:57 pm
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Antoine Doinel wrote:
I'm going to step in here and defend Shyamalan a little. I think he is both an overrated and underrated filmmaker. He's overrated in that assessments that he is the next Hitchcock are Spielberg are off base simply because I don't feel Shyamalan's cinematic output have been resonant enough to warrant such a claim. Moreover, he is an extremely hit or miss filmmaker - his films either work or don't and when they don't it's a struggle to get through them.

He's underrated because despite whatever pop culture gags have resulted from the popularity of his films (which is hardly an assessment on their quality), when his films work they are startingly effective. I think Signs and The Sixth Sense showcase a filmmaker with tremendous narrative and visual acumen.

That said The Village and Lady In The Water showed Shyamalan was treading water at best. I do hope he finds a different narrative for The Happening, and that the film amounts to a lot more than the tagline.

Agreed, at least as far as Signs goes (haven't seen The Sixth Sense). That film is incredibly effective, both as a thriller and as a story about this family. It's a rich film, and doesn't get enough credit.

As for The Village, the twist was stupid, but I kind of liked it. The cinematography was beautiful, and the acting was good.

Lady in the Water, however, man, what an awful, awful movie. I really liked the very very ending (the abruptness of it mainly), but on a whole the fairy tale element was poorly realized, and the critic character was laughably obvious and over-the-top.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:29 pm 
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There goes that feeling again.

I found signs to be so laughable I literally feel like we must be talking about a different film. The idiotic Christian odor wafting thru the film, the hilarious baseball thing that is supposed to water up your eyes where the 'scary' rubber alien whammajamma is there in the house and Gibson movingly talks up his son on The Swing... it is one of the five worst movies I've seen in my whole life. Not to mention the dumbest, which is a separate thing. There can be good dumb movies.

6th Sense was a good horror film, no more no less. So what? What the fuck earned the guy all that now hugely-embarassing early praise? It's crap like that that causes Bush to look like a fucking hero to his peeps when he tears into the media as the most braindead cadre of obliviousness in the world.

I actually thought The Others (the thematic ripoff of the upside down ghost story w Kidman) was a better, far more haunting picture.

Aside from 6th, the guy is nothing. I'm no Speilberg fan, but the dude knows how to assemble film ingredients, at least at one time he did. This Night individual is a fucking student being allowed for some reason access to big important Hollywood levers and for reasons that elude me to this day.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:26 pm 
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Maybe I'm the only one but I love Shyamalan more and more with each movie he makes. Sure, they get less and less popular, it seems, but I guess I'm just in that minority. I love that the guy is willing to just take the weirdest shit in his head and turn it into movies - and effectively at that. I think you just have to suspend all disbelief and be willing to play by his (completely bonkers) rules, and you can have a damn good time watching these movies.

And I cannot believe that there are people who don't love Signs (or even just like it). Such a great, suspenseful, and even sometimes moving film. "Unforgettable" is a worn-out cliche by now, but for me it truly applies to Signs. There are whole scenes from that movie that I remember practically word for word.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:33 pm 
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Did no-one catch the ludicrous water plot-hole from signs? (i.e. there's water in the atmosphere that would have killed the aliens)
it would have been an effective film had the plot centered around something else.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:55 pm 
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I admit it; THE SIXTH SENSE had me fooled, and I appreciate the careful care that that resulted in my open mouthed appreciation upon first viewing.
However, this kind of "wait for the surprise" filmmaking has its limits and once those limits are reached; open mouthed appreciation turns to open mouthed expletives deleted. For example ...
(spoilers for THE VILLAGE) ... the big surprise was cool for only a moment until we got preposterous exposition, including the ability to coerce air traffic controllers to forbid aircraft from ever flying over the area - air traffic control has little to do with those civil aviation Cessnas, which can and do fly pretty much anywhere they want outside of large airports and cities.
And, the less said about LADY IN THE WATER, the better.
I do like Shyamalan's style, but he is still a young man and he should be consistently improving. He isn't.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:57 pm
miless wrote:
Did no-one catch the ludicrous water plot-hole from signs? (i.e. there's water in the atmosphere that would have killed the aliens) it would have been an effective film had the plot centered around something else.

Yeah it doesn't make sense, but the film is well-made enough that it doesn't bother me that much. It remains a diabolical thriller, and an affecting drama. The movie maybe could have done without the flashbacks to his wife dying; the thing that really resonated with me was the deep sense of innate emptiness in the Gibson character and his family life. Shyamalan usually isn't much for subtlety, but he managed to depict the deep chasm left by the death of a family member without having to remind us of it in every scene. There was something about the way Gibson interacted with his children and brother, something unspoken but still powerful. As for the thriller side of things, I could at least kind of understand why some people want to say Shyamalan is the next Hitchock. The tension is modulated beautifully.

Belmondo wrote:
(spoilers for THE VILLAGE) ... the big surprise was cool for only a moment until we got preposterous exposition, including the ability to coerce air traffic controllers to forbid aircraft from ever flying over the area - air traffic control has little to do with those civil aviation Cessnas, which can and do fly pretty much anywhere they want outside of large airports and cities.

I kind of like the twist in The Village in theory. The problem is that it's very hard to create a supernatural thriller and use an ending like that without alienating the audience. It was a valiant effort, but Shyamalan isn't versatile enough a filmmaker to make it a complete success. And, as you said, it strains credibility. Ironically, you could almost say that Lady in the Water strains credibility the least of his films, since it takes place almost exclusively in a fantasy reality that doesn't obey the rules of the real world.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:40 pm 
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Noir of the Night wrote:
Ironically, you could almost say that Lady in the Water strains credibility the least of his films, since it takes place almost exclusively in a fantasy reality that doesn't obey the rules of the real world.

I agree with this. I really actually like Lady In The Water because it's interesting, and has a terrific mood and feel to it. It's a sharp little movie, and I really like that. It's far more adventurous and original than much of what else comes out of Hollywood (worms in a can there, put away your jungle knives). It's like Altman's 3 Women (which is better, but that's not the point) in tht it carries not only a story but a mood that contributes significantly to the film.

The little twist in the middle of the movie was stupid, but I think my point stands. At least, I hope it does. It's a special little film, in any case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:01 am 
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Signs, like most of Shyamalan's work is pretty terrible so yes, I'd say that makes him the next Hitchcock...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:04 am 
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sidehacker wrote:
Signs, like most of Shyamalan's work is pretty terrible so yes, I'd say that makes him the next Hitchcock...

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:48 am 
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sidehacker wrote:
Signs, like most of Shyamalan's work is pretty terrible so yes, I'd say that makes him the next Hitchcock...

kapow! :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:58 am 
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He's either being sarcastic (which is what I think), or that's some of the most blatant trolling this place has ever seen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:04 am 
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sidehacker wrote:
Signs, like most of Shyamalan's work is pretty terrible so yes, I'd say that makes him the next Hitchcock...

My favorite kind of post on this forum -- the inflammatory, contrarian viewpoint with absolutely no rationale. I'd admire your superior taste if your posts didn't read like you'd stumbled over from The Onion A.V. Club readers' comments section.

EDIT: I hope Mr. Sausage is right. But judging by his comments in the Juno thread, in which he drops gems like this:
sidehacker wrote:
I'm not going to like this movie in the same way I don't like other bland, uninteresting mainstream films.

I'm not optimistic that he's really thought this one through.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:03 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:57 pm
Magic Hate Ball wrote:
Noir of the Night wrote:
Ironically, you could almost say that Lady in the Water strains credibility the least of his films, since it takes place almost exclusively in a fantasy reality that doesn't obey the rules of the real world.

I agree with this. I really actually like Lady In The Water because it's interesting, and has a terrific mood and feel to it. It's a sharp little movie, and I really like that. It's far more adventurous and original than much of what else comes out of Hollywood (worms in a can there, put away your jungle knives). It's like Altman's 3 Women (which is better, but that's not the point) in tht it carries not only a story but a mood that contributes significantly to the film.

The little twist in the middle of the movie was stupid, but I think my point stands. At least, I hope it does. It's a special little film, in any case.

Spoiler-ish:

It does have its moments, but there were a few things that I just couldn't get past, namely: the movie critic and his completely silly death scene, the world-changing author who just happens to be M. Night Shyamalan, and the part where the kid just looks at the cereal box and magically deciphers the secret code, or whatever it was (it's been awhile). That last one almost annoys me the most, since it would be pretty easy to find a less hackneyed way to do do the same basic idea.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:09 pm 
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I think the dude was totally being sarcastic. I really don't think there's a person around here (or anywhere) who thinks Hitch's work in sum total is "terrible". That would be like saying-- you're taste aside-- "Beethoven totally sucked, man."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:31 pm 
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I'll just say I got the response I was hoping for.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:35 pm 
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Controversy on the internet!


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:20 pm 
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I didn't know where else to put this, but I found this particular bit of IMDb news hilarious:

IMDb news wrote:
Baby-faced actor Haley Joel Osment is begging the bosses of movie website IMDb.com to update his profile picture - because it's nearly 15 years old.

The former child star is desperately trying to rebrand himself as a serious adult actor, now he's 20 - and the snap of him as a six year old doesn't help.

He complains, "I've been wanting to get my photo changed on IMDb for a long time. I'm about six in it."


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:33 pm 
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Time for Thespian Haley to PM sienel, I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:32 pm 
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I just watched 'special features' on The Happening... Shyamalan is a fucking PUSSY!! He went into this whole story about how the studio suggested making the movie a hard R instead of his usual pg-13, which he apparently took as a personal slight or challenge? So he shot some extra, violent scenes; one clear view of a kid getting shot in the head and another of a lion half eating someone. Basically, the violence was Bambi-ish compared to the last Saw or Hostel movie... truly. But there were behind the scene reels of him freaking out at how raw the scenes were. Then he called the studio
"There might be some trouble getting to the R-rating."
"You can't get it up to an R from PG-13?"
"No... I can't get it... DOWN FROM X!!"

hah... Moron... -_-


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:16 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
I didn't know where else to put this, but I found this particular bit of IMDb news hilarious

Well, he's not going to get very far with that creepy bloated mannequin face.


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:48 pm 
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You owe creepy bloated mannequin faces everywhere an apology.

Whenever you're ready.


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:08 am 
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I haven't returned to The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable in quite awhile, maybe I'll catch them on Blu-ray when I get through my looming unwatched stack, but I did recently watch Signs again and I have to echo some of the sentiment in this thread - very under-rated. I'm annoyed by the reactions some people have to films like this because they become biased against a director (or perhaps in this case an actor) and then pick out one flaw (like the admittedly weak poisonous water plot point) and claim that the whole movie falls apart because of it. I think the film does an admirable job of playing to both kinds of people, to paraphrase Gibson's character, those who see coincidences and those who see divine signs, and if you view the ending along those terms it works rather nicely. It's rare to see a mainstream movie handle a delicate topic like religion in a deft (if not particularly complex) way, much less one that also works as a pretty good thriller.

As far as his more recent films go, I thought the direction in The Village was good - I particularly remember the sequence with Bryce Howard in the woods with the creatures inter-cut with some very ominous and beautiful shots of swaying treetops. The film doesn't really work for me once you get to the twist though, one that I had actually guessed a third of the way in simply because I knew there had to be a twist. Lady In The Water, ick, I caught it on a long flight and could barely make it through. I haven't decided yet if The Happening should go into my glorious failures collection in the closet where I keep The Wicker Man remake, or if it's too bad to even stand watching again.


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:12 am 
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Keith Kawaii wrote:
"There might be some trouble getting to the R-rating."
"You can't get it up to an R from PG-13?"
"No... I can't get it... DOWN FROM X!!"

This is great. Shamalama is def one of the greatest douchebags of his generation. I think he could've been a fine director in some other era, had he been kept under a tight rein. The man certainly knows the technical side of how to shoot scenes, so I could easily imagine him doing a good job if he was given a good script and told that he had to stick to it (and not cast himself as a messiah in it or anything).

Also my memory keeps failing me (getting old, it would seem), what was that recent Shylama expose called? Anyone here read it?


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:55 am 
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"What The Fuck Were We Thinking?"

There was also another one called "Night After Night, Now Kidney Stones Look Like Heaven"


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 Post subject: Re: M. Night Shyamalan
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Shyamalan's latest casting call is pretty amazing:

We want you to dress in traditional cultural ethnic attire. If you’re Korean, wear a kimono. If you’re from Belgium, wear lederhosen.


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