Movie News

MORIARTY Has Seen SIGNS!! Spoiler Free and Spoiler Heavy Reviews Available!!

Published at: July 27, 2002, 5:21 a.m. CST by staff

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Let’s do this the short way first, so that you can move on if you don’t want any spoilers, which is actually what I would recommend until you’ve seen the film.

SIGNS is a very well-made thriller with something on its mind, another exemplary full-length TWILIGHT ZONE episode from a director who is rapidly becoming one of the most distinct mainstream stylists working. It’s worth seeing, and is sure to spur more conversation than any other film this summer, especially concerning the conclusion of the picture. Performances are outstanding all around, and the work of cinematographer Tak Fujimoto along with composer James Newton Howard is as good as it gets in major studio movies today. I have some problems with it, but none that would keep me from telling someone to see the movie. Some people will worship this film, others will dismiss it out of hand, but no matter where you stand on it, it will definitely cause you to react. The big joke is that no matter what, this review won't be positive enough to satisfy his fans, or negative enough to please his detractors.

Okay. So if you haven’t seen the film, or if you don’t want to know spoilers (since there’s no way to speak coherently about this film without dealing with all of it, the ending included), now is the time to click “BACK” and return to the front page.
























































Okay. I’m serious. I’m going to tell you what happens in the living room at the end of the movie. You really want to know that?















































































































SIGNS is not a genre film, per se. Yes, on the surface, you could describe it as INDEPENDENCE DAY with a brain. For those of you familiar with the proposed CLOSE ENCOUNTERS sequel that Steven Spielberg was set to produce (with John Sayles writing and Ron Cobb directing, I might add) called NIGHT SKIES, this film feels like a direct nod to that movie that might have been. It’s fitting, since there seem to be three directors that Shyamalan is emulating with his work in equal measure: Spielberg, Hitchcock, and Rod Serling.

One of the things that will make many people love SIGNS is the thing that frustrates me most about it. It wants to tell a serious story about faith, and how we can both lose it and find it under the strangest of circumstances. That’s a fine idea. The problem is that Shyamalan seems to veer from being a remarkably effective screenwriter in places to being a stultifyingly heavy-handed one in a matter of pages. Some of the “big points” in the film are underlined in red and circled twice, just so we don’t miss them. This is at its most painful in a nightmarishly poorly paced cutaway during the climax of the film. Shyamalan feels the need to take the audience by the hand and walk them back through the movie just so we don’t miss any of his remarkably clever clues. He’s so proud of himself that it’s off-putting. The last shot of the movie is a doozy, a quietly emotional kicker that would have been a shot to the gut for me if only Shyamalan had a little more faith in me as a viewer. So much of this film is so smart that when it crosses the line to become condescending, it’s jarring.

And don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot to like about this movie. It’s really well built for the most part. The beginning is almost immediately hypnotic, drawing you in with a series of terse, almost abstract sequences. Character and plot begin to suggest themselves. Shyamalan takes his time, allows this family to fill in the details slowly, in their own time.

Mel Gibson is at his very best here. Like Bruce Willis, he seems energized by the things Shyamalan has given him to do. He’s holding back so much pain and sorrow through much of this film that when it finally leaks, he can’t stop it, and his flood of anger and heartbreak is genuinely affecting. He keeps hurting those around him because he doesn’t know how to pick himself up after a crippling blow from fate. He didn’t just lose faith; he lost Faith. He’s a reverend who gave up his collar in the face of what he saw as unacceptable horror. His wife was killed in a way that proved to him that there was no God. We get hints of this over the course of the film, and the less explicit Shyamalan keeps things, the more effective they are. Gibson’s portrayal of Graham Hess is the very definition of what a movie star is supposed to do. He takes a character that is sketched simply and gives real life to it. His face is showing age clearly now, and Shyamalan is smart enough to get in close and show us every one of those lines. This is a guy who has been weathered by experience, and when he simply gives up and crumbles in the face of the unexplained, it’s shocking.

I would say that Joaquin Phoenix is equally well-used in the film. This is an actor who has always been interesting, all the way back to his role in PARENTHOOD, when he was still calling himself Leaf. But in the last few years, Joaquin has emerged as a strong, centered presence in film, someone who can be counted on as a supporting actor to do just exactly that: provide support. His work as Graham’s brother Merrill is wonderful, nuanced and solid work. They feel like they could genuinely be brothers. There’s a great sense of give and take between them. Graham may be gripped by a crisis of faith, but Merrill is a rock. He sums his personal philosophy up in several great scenes, but it’s one line of his that really stuck with me: “It just felt wrong not to swing.” In context, it’s almost a joke, but it’s also deeply revelatory. This is someone who simply has to try for the best in any moment, in any situation. It’s a fault. You can try too hard. But there’s no shame in trying, and at least Merrill has a philosophy, something he holds to, something he genuinely believes. In the end, I get the idea that it doesn’t matter to Shyamalan what you believe or what faith you prescribe to. What is important is simply that you believe something. Without faith as an anchor in this world, he seems to be saying, we are adrift.

The film plays out as a smarter, character driven variation on something like INDEPENDENCE DAY. Instead of watching The President and The Best Fighter Pilot Alive and The Genius Who Just Happens To Be Right At The Center Of Things and various other stereotypes all standing at ground zero of the invasion and Earth’s defense, we are watching the story of one family, on the fringe of things, and we see how it all unfolds from their point of view. As a result, we can lose ourselves in these characters and this story. It’s very contained and personal.

One of the things that gives the film such a strong pull is that Shyamalan doesn’t waste a single scene. Exposition isn’t just jammed down our throats. Instead, we’re in the story from that first moment, that first discovery. Things unfold for us in a very subtle, natural progression. News stories are glimpsed in the background at first, then gradually move into the foreground as the situation gets more dire. The television itself becomes a harbinger of dread, an intruder. One of my favorite moments in the movie involves Joaquin Phoenix watching a broadcast and seeing a particular image. His shocked reaction, and the reactions on the tape immediately flashed me back to the morning of September 11th, and hearing those same shocked exclamations, those sounds of disbelief and horror. It’s powerful because it feels absolutely right. This is no overblown end of the world scenario. It is chillingly precise, small-scale, and human. There’s a remarkable sense of menace that he manages to build as the film progresses, a tightening of the screws that becomes nearly unbearable. He’s canny about the use of humor to lighten the mood at just the right moments. SIGNS is surprisingly funny, especially considering how dour Shyamalan is capable of being when he wants to be.

As a director, he’s taken some major steps forward this time out. UNBREAKABLE’s great flaw is the use of the long uninterrupted takes for almost every scene in the film. Each one, individually, is well-staged, but that rhythm becomes positively funereal, and Shyamalan didn’t give himself any coverage, any options in cutting the film. Oddly, it’s UNBREAKABLE and not SIXTH SENSE that feels like a film about dead people thanks to its pace. This time out, Shyamalan is more limber, more willing to experiment with each scene, and the result is engrossing.

As good as Shyamalan is with actors, his specialty seems to be his work with children. Both Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin do convincing work here. Breslin is both unspeakably cute and deeply sad as Bo, a preturnaturally poised little girl who has many of the film’s best lines. Culkin’s anger is just as potent as Gibson’s, and he makes Graham’s son Morgan impossible to ignore. He’s young, but he’s not afraid to stand up to his father, especially when it comes to protecting his sister. Morgan wants to heal, but can’t as long as Graham is in pain, and it’s tearing the boy apart.

There’s really only two other performers of note in the whole film, since it’s such a contained experience. Cherry Jones is the town’s sheriff, and M. Night himself shows up in a key role. I thought he was very effective with the emotional material he gave himself to play, even if I thought his scene ladled the exposition on a little thick. Still, great punchline, and it leads into one of the creepiest moments in the film. Shyamalan deserves credit for being able to wring so much tension out of such a simple set-up. He also really plays with the audience in the basement a little later. I’ve heard a few people already cry BLAIR WITCH, but the sequence owes just as much to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and there’s no denying the simple truth that it works. This is one of those films that you should try and see with a big crowd, because they’re going to be half the fun as they react.

There are images in the film that work in an almost subliminal way, and a big part of that is due to the stunning work of Tak Fujimoto. What effects there are in the film are equally impressive, and it’s because of the restraint here. ILM deserves special kudos for proving that less can indeed be more. There’s an encounter in some corn stalks early on that puts you on edge, even if it does raise some questions about morning dew based on what we see regarding water later in the film. I like how all of the shots of alien craft are handled on the television, as news footage that is as disturbing as it is vague in some ways.

In a way, I wish that Shyamalan hadn’t written such a great ending for THE SIXTH SENSE. I remember reading that script (along with LABOR OF LOVE, a great unproduced work from earlier) at the urging of my friend Den, who always had great taste in scripts. He was a major fan of Shyamalan before I ever heard the name. He’s the one who gave me the lovely STUART LITTLE draft to read. He’s the one who told me the story of how LABOR OF LOVE almost got made, but how the development went sour and broke Shyamalan’s heart a bit. He wrote THE SIXTH SENSE in a fit of anger, determined to get a film made that would confirm his ability as a storyteller. So often, great art comes out of friction, and on the page, THE SIXTH SENSE was one of the best reads I’ve ever had. I reviewed it early in ’99, when it was still under everyone’s radar, and at that point, I was a strong advocate for this largely unknown writer/director.

I still am. If anything, UNBREAKABLE and SIGNS frustrate me to varying degrees because of how much is right about them. I think SIGNS is Shyamalan’s best film to date until the last ten minutes, where I think it’s clumsy about connecting the dots. Does that mean I dislike the film or that I dislike the filmmaker? Not at all. I plan to go to this film opening weekend with some friends just so I can see how the crowds react. I think this is going to make mad bank for Disney, and that it will further confirm Shyamalan’s place as their greatest live-action corporate asset. I hope, though, that he continues to grow as a filmmaker, and I pray that his producers challenge him. I’ve heard all sorts of stories about how hands-off he has become regarding his work, how he refuses to entertain any major notes. He’s spoken at length about how he has some magical secret to filmmaking that is known only to him and to Spielberg, the sort of comment that makes him easy to dislike. There is an arrogance that is inherent to the idea that any of us have stories to tell that are worth $50 million or $75 million or $150 million worth of a company’s money to make. Arrogance is required in order for any artist to do what they do. Unchecked, though, it can eventually weaken what it best about their work. Shyamalan could use some friction. LABOR OF LOVE may have been a terrible experience for him, but it led to THE SIXTH SENSE. I understand how easy it is to become a control freak in this business, especially if you've had commercial success. Still, he could use someone who pushed him to take his good ideas and polish them that last little bit.

And, hell, I understand. Endings are tough. Especially when you hit the grand slam home run of endings with your first big hit. There is a standoff at the end of this film, and the notion of the scene isn’t a bad one. It’s our only face to face encounter with the unknown in the film, and there’s something desperate and sad about the scenario the way it’s set up. But the mechanics of the plot that kick in during the scene and the housekeeping that Shyamalan has to do choke all the life out of the scene. It connects on a purely artificial level. I understand what the moment means, and what it is trying to do, but I don’t feel it. The seams show. For the first time, Shyamalan feels like he’s just plain trying too hard. The film is rich in subtext throughout, and he forces his hand, trying to dazzle, and somehow managing to dull the effect of the build-up instead. For the first time in his career, he feels like a comedian who is overexplaining a joke. Even worse, and ironically considering what he's trying to say, he feels like he's lost his faith in his audience. He sacrifices the reality of the moment so that he can wrap everything up. Why not simply trust that we would take the convergence of all of these particular details (a case of asthma, a strange habit involving half-drunk glasses of water, someone's former batting glory) as a sign in and of itself? Why add the labored level of having someone spell it out and add it up? Why not let Mel see the miracle on his own instead of being led to it and practically shoved into it face first? I'm sure that there will be people who leap to the ending's defense, furious at me despite the fact that I'm recommending the film. I'm sure they will have their rationale for why the ending is exactly right, every frame perfect and inviolable. And that's fine. I'm certainly not calling you stupid if you enjoy it. Like I said... the idea of it is just fine. I may have a problem with the execution, but not with the ambition.

I’ll give him this. At least he tries.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • July 27, 2002, 5:28 a.m. CST

    First

    by FrostyCDN

    I saw this movie last week and it is very good.

  • July 27, 2002, 5:30 a.m. CST

    No horrid images

    by Humanoid

    Btw, please remove that image of harry doing something that is quite disturbing!!!

  • July 27, 2002, 5:37 a.m. CST

    What the hell?

    by Humanoid

    Thanks for removing my post. Of course I was first! Anyway that movie isn't great. Plus crop circles are shown to be made by people messing with other peoples minds.

  • July 27, 2002, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Can't wait

    by 4496-2

    Looks like a winner, I'll be there next Saturday night.

  • July 27, 2002, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Loved It.

    by DonnaDarko

    I watched Signs a few days ago and had expected to see a typical sci-fi thriller, albeit, with Symalanan (sp?) directing, a good looking sci-fi thriller. What I got was a seriously SPOOKY film. The scenes involving (SPOILERS) the baby monitor and Merrill watching the "Breaking News" report had my knees under my chin. I'm a girl - I can do that. Joaquin is great in this film - when is someone going to hand this man a starring role with a great script? He's obviously capable and I'm tired of seeing vacant pretty boy actors become multi-millionaires by the time they hit 21.

  • July 27, 2002, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Whoops - Shyamalan. Me bad. N/T

    by DonnaDarko

  • July 27, 2002, 6:21 a.m. CST

    It was like 'THE BIRDS'...

    by KONG33

    In that it's either scary to you all the way, or never scary. How many references to urine at the beginning was there, 10? It was like Night of the Living Dead and E.T., it just didn't feel like it's own movie. What the hell was the ending about?? 'Swing Away'? Anyone could have thought of that, as though your mind would go that blank, the whole thing was ridiculous, not scary at all, definately not clever. It came off as though someone really has started buying into his own hype. This film will not last beyond this summer, I got the feeling it was written in 4 minutes while high. This film has no 'brain'. The characters are there just for the beginning, watch Gibson try to act emotional at his wife's crash site. Phoenix and Gibson do not come off as brothers, and Phoenix just plays a guy with an arm for baseball, feeling as though he's lost something or isn't someone he should be (pretty basic material), of course, this turns around in the end, any idiot could tell you that. He is a GREAT ACTOR, though. I think the 'statements on faith' are mostly thoughts of your own, Moriarty, not something the film gave you, Gibson does act subtly, believably disturbed, however without his faith. They go through s l o w, churning events, though it's not exciting, it feels ripped off. Night does waste scenes which vere off, like the girl confessing her 'funny' sins, or the sheriff detailing the old woman, the alien in the pantry, the tv isn't a harbringer (it should be, the script may have been better in your hands, but it's not in this movie). The kid's line 'did somebody save me...?' sounded so ridiculous. It's like a movie more subtle about aliens than Jaws was about sharks, but it's not particularly artful/exciting or character-based (maybe character based in a simple way). Also, about Jaws subtlety with sharks and excitement, it was great, it is great, but not every horror movie has to be handled this way (godzilla, id4, etc.etc.). It feels like there are missing scenes on the tv, like parts of the story are missing, not as though it was disturbing or vague but empty, a voice would be over every video, it felt fake. Culkin doesn't act as though he's being 'torn apart'. Even a 'strong advocate' of Night like yourself can agree he is being a little too obvious at times, sometimes it feels like a smart kid is writing these films. Did he really make a comment about having a secret to filmmaking that only him and Spielberg know? God, he really does believe the hype, look at me now, world, genius director: 'the next Spielberg'. Yes, I know, SIGNS is not about aliens, but about faith and God, I think that story does not work, he does try, but still, it's not original or entertaining enough to justify a film. I can see why you would like the film you're describing, but SIGNS was not the film you are describing. Remember, always konk the alien across the face. SWING AWAY, swing away. Mmm, y'see it's really a great metaphor, what does 'Swing Away' mean to you on the path of your life ? Just kidding about the metaphor shit.

  • July 27, 2002, 6:45 a.m. CST

    The Secret of Filmmaking

    by Lazarus Long

    So M. Night and Spielberg share a secret, huh? And talkbackers bitched at me for making fun of the "M. Night Shyamalan's Signs" crap? This guy is an arrogant fuck. Not only does he think his name is so important it belongs above the title with a fucking POSSESSIVE, but that he belongs to a club with Steven Spielberg. I'll tell you what the fucking secret is: guy with technical filmmaking skills takes great story and waters it down, compromising it for what he believes is an audience not intelligent enough to understand what's going on. Does that sound familiar to you? Moriarty wrote a huge rant after Fellowship of the Ring about how we shouldn't lower the bar and give filmmakers the benefit of the doubt, and how we have a right to expect the best because of how Peter Jackson surpassed all expectations. Well now he's turned into an apologist for not only M. Night Spielbergyan, but for Mike Myers as well (although he did have the courage to point out the ultimate failure of Minority Report). I saw Goldmember last night, and it was DESPERATE filmmaking. No one is holding a gun to M.M.'s head and forcing him to make another Austin Powers film. Yet Myers seems to be sleepwalking through the thing. Why have Austin and Dr. Evil's accents become watered-down? Has he forgotten how to do the voices? Maybe they're following the lead of the recycled jokes. I think Moriarty was on the right track 6 months ago with his rant, and now he's getting lazy again, as if the fight for excellence in entertainment isn't worth it any more. What was that about James Stewart, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and how "lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for"? Stop giving these fuckers a free pass just because they're better the ones directing Scooby Doo or The New Guy! They should be held MORE accountable because we know they're capable of more! Why is Sam Raimi a genius for turning his gifts into well-oiled corporate cock-sucking (the same thing we bash John Woo for)? Has anyone seen Spider-Man in the theatres more than twice? It's not a classic. M. Night is right on track to be the next Spielberg; a man who surrounds himself with talented actors and technicians, but uses his natural talents to peddle promising but pandering films to middle america. And when they do aim high, they chicken out when it counts. Try making films for the East and West Coast, boys. The rest of the country is smart enough to figure it out too.

  • July 27, 2002, 7:01 a.m. CST

    It's nothing more than a Touched by an Angel episode meets N

    by Cutter's Way

    Miracles are everywhere, if you just know how to see them! All you need is faith to defeat the interstellar creatures who cannot make heads or tails out of a locked closet door, yet can make giant spacecraft appear and disappear at will. M. Night's a one-trick pony falling back on lowest common denominator platitudes to get the audience back on his side. Of course, it'll work - like the biggest budget TBN evangelical film.

  • July 27, 2002, 8:51 a.m. CST

    *Spoilers in here, dont read please*

    by Miss Aura

    I thought that the film was wonderfull apart from the end. I agree that the scene when Phoenix is watching the newsfeed of the children seeing the Alien was outstanding. The cellar part was immaculate and made me WANT Shyamalan to get his hands on Dawn of the Dead, this guy is the one to remake such a classic work of cinema horror. The end though was too quick coming from the cellar part, Shyamalan could have scared the crap out of us for another half hour down there - but he chose not too. Still, a great piece of cinema and is way above Unbreakable and the Sixth Sense (Which how no one got the twist, I will never know.) Great director in my eyes and touched a nice little subject here. Nice Work.

  • July 27, 2002, 11:37 a.m. CST

    M Night..

    by NapoleonWilson

    Why dont people wake up and see what a platinum covered HACK director this guy is? I wont be wasting my hard-earned on this or any other bollocks this guy makes.

  • July 27, 2002, 11:59 a.m. CST

    I AM NOT READING ANYTHING MORIARTY PUTS UP

    by ArchDiver

    UNTIL HE GETS HIS FACE OUT OF HARRY'S ASS!!!! AD out

  • July 27, 2002, 12:11 p.m. CST

    A "full-length TWILIGHT ZONE episode"?

    by mascan

    Since when is that a POSITIVE reaction?

  • July 27, 2002, 12:34 p.m. CST

    I wish Moriarty would just stick to the review

    by Adus

    and not veer into a psycho-analysis of the filmmaker. It only serves to make him seem pompus and distracts from the review IMHO. As to the question of whether or not Shymalon has become arrogant due to the success of "The Sixth Sense" goes I have to ask does it really matter? I think the more important issue is whether or not the man can deliver the goods in terms of quality films and as far as I'm concerned he can.

  • July 27, 2002, 1:08 p.m. CST

    I hope to God no one ever calls me a corporate asset.

    by Batutta

    And I hope no one ever calls a movie I make "product".

  • July 27, 2002, 1:12 p.m. CST

    SPOILERS!?!?!?!?

    by metallica846

    There wasnt a single thing in that review tht spoiled anything for me. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT GONNA HAPPEN SO I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT!!

  • July 27, 2002, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen signs but...

    by MANTHING

    Haven't seen Signs yet but I'm pretty sure what to expect. The Sixth Sense was mediocre up until the ending. Unbreakable was probably the most absurd, self-indulgent piece of crap I've ever scene-why don't all directors turn their childhood hobbies into hyper-serious, gloomy, pretentious movies. One unexplained supernatural phenomenon that M Night hasn't pillaged yet is the super spooky and mysterious Monster Mash. Yes, those rumored parties attended by all the our favorite monsters like Wolf-Man, Dracula, Frankenstein and Creature from the Black Lagoon. KONG33 made a very fitting remark. "SOmetimes it feels like a smart kid is writing these movies."

  • July 27, 2002, 2:49 p.m. CST

    M. Night is EXTREMELY over-rated

    by Beefaroo

    Don't believe the hype. Plus there is too much Catholicism in his movies. BTW, who gives the fuck what the gas bag Moriarty and his nerdy, gay partner, Harry "Fat Ass" Knowles have to say? Their reviews are rambling and incoherent. They are full of themselves. You don't value their opinions, do you? And the esteemed Roger Ebert was picking at straws when he had Tubby Knowles on his show as a guest. Sheez.

  • July 27, 2002, 2:55 p.m. CST

    This

    by Novelty

    is a fantastic review, one of the better reviews I have read recently on this site or anywhere else. And I think Moriarty's take is more or less dead on, although I think the ending will have a lot more power in a full theater than it did the first time I saw the movie. Great job.

  • July 27, 2002, 3:59 p.m. CST

    seriously.

    by DavidAames

    I've come to this site time and again, only to read all of your posts ripping into Shyamalan's work. He's a "hack"? Are you kidding me? OK, so basically, this guy's a hack because he went to NYU-Tisch, wrote/directed a film which, as his first studio release, was nominated for Best Picture and is also the #1 grossing thriller of all time? Or is it just that you all would rather sit on your asses all day long and rip on him, than actually go out and try to accomplish half of what he's already done? Believe me, as young as he is, M. Night's forgotten more about films than you could begin to think you know. So go ahead, keep up your ranting and raving, calling him a hack, and un-talented. At the end of the day, he's still one of the most sought-after writer/directors, and you're still, well, spending your spare time ripping on him. Way to go.

  • July 27, 2002, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Lame, lame, lame

    by Billy Talent

    'Signs' is a completely pointless chore, dishwater dull. It's true that Shyamalan's kids don't act like other movie kids - they don't play, they don't smile, big brother doesn't tease little sister, the tykes are near comatose with depression. And while it's never implied that Gibson is a bad or negligent father, he sure doesn't seem to get any joy or comfort from his kids either. Restraint in performance is one thing, but Shyamalan's characters are a bunch of zombies. They're living through the most incredible event in history, and they can barely stay awake. And then the ending - oh what a terrible ending. I'd go on, but 'Signs' is a film best forgotten.

  • July 27, 2002, 4:11 p.m. CST

    NOT ENOUGH SPOILER WARNING!!!

    by Wee Willie

    Just kidding. Great review of a great summer movie.

  • July 27, 2002, 4:42 p.m. CST

    I'm surprised that someone here mentioned 'A Pure Formal

    by Psyclops

    That was a great movie! It was a murder mystery with Roman Polanski and Gerard Depardieu that was directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (who also directed Cinema Paradiso and Malena). Go check it out, it's worth the effort!

  • July 27, 2002, 5:06 p.m. CST

    i really don't get it?

    by chris323

    What's the hype about manoj's movies? He's an indian american for god sake. (indian as in india which is why the funny name)He was born in Pennsylvania among a family of doctors. He can never come to ranks of steven spielbergh and george lucas. I slept through 6th sense and unbreakable. His movies have no sense whatsoever. Minority Report and AOTC ARE WHAT REAL MOVIES SHOULD BE LIKE. Lord of the rings is a real movie. And what's all that talk about manoj's unique style and that only he can deliver the ultimate twist is nonsense. Signs is going to be his last movie I'll guarantee you that. I have nothing against people from india and the same about indian americans but lets leave the movie making to directors who know how to direct a movie. Now don't go telling me that stevn spielbegh was originally a jew. All i'm telling is that manoj's movies are boring.

  • July 27, 2002, 5:15 p.m. CST

    chris323

    by Billy Talent

    Go back to sleep.

  • July 27, 2002, 5:56 p.m. CST

    saw it and the ending

    by Chaka015

    is just fine. i loved the movie. his best so far easily. it's a very hard ending to pull off without taking a bit out of the rest of the movie, but i really think he did it. you guys will decide for yourself, but i thought it was fantastic.

  • July 27, 2002, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Bootleg has been on kazaa...

    by Kampbell-Kid

    Good picture quality and my dolby digital processor registered it in dolby surround. I agree about how twilight zone this film was. The acting was very odd and emotionless when it came to situations that a normal person would go apeshit over. No fancy camera shots like Unbreakable but it does keep you watching excitedly to the end to see how it all wraps up. Ending was brilliant as it was memorable and cryptic at the same time. It put your "faith" in a different perspective even if you don't have faith.

  • July 27, 2002, 7:34 p.m. CST

    As far as Spielberg goes....

    by cookiepuss

    SIGNS is more effective than AI, Minority Report and anything after the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan. And, the shot of the three characters wearing the foil hats made me laugh harder than anything else this year.

  • July 27, 2002, 8:23 p.m. CST

    On Faith

    by Larry of Arabia

    *SPOILERS* This movie is not about what people think it's about. It's about a man's journey from and back to faith. Aliens are the McGuffin. The signs in the title are the signs that God gives people every day and that Gibson's character has been avoiding, ignoring, or unwilling to see after the death of his wife. It's much the same topic he covered in his largly unseen (and rightly so) movie "Wide Awake," where a child demands a sign from God that He exists. It's also handled in much the same way - loss of faith due to dead loved one, questioning, and the signs are always there. This time out it's been given sci-fi trappings. Don't ignore the ailens, but understand that it's not about an alien invasion.

  • July 27, 2002, 8:32 p.m. CST

    P.S. to Kampbell-Kid

    by Larry of Arabia

    If you consider yourself a movie fan at all, you'll buy a ticket for the film you pirated and not share it in your files. The same goes for anyone else who considers themselves fans of the movies.

  • July 27, 2002, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Ashock, you're a name-calling DICK

    by cookiepuss

    I'm happy you're impressed by the brilliance of Ted Danson in SPR and the warmed-over overexplained endings of AI and MR. Just because I'm disappointed by Spielberg's recent movies, doesn't mean I'm an idiot - but you hanging out on AICN talkbacks and defending something just by namecalling makes you a complete dick. Maybe if Spielberg didn't believe his own publicity about his "greatness," he could make a complete movie as fantastic as the opening sequence in SPR - instead of a few incredible sequences spread over several movies.

  • July 28, 2002, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Ashock, you're a bore.

    by cookiepuss

    I won't waste any more time with you.

  • July 28, 2002, 3:03 a.m. CST

    What happens in LIVING ROOM!?!?

    by metallica846

    Im not gonna see Signs so what do I care!

  • July 28, 2002, 8:27 a.m. CST

    ITS ABOUT FAITH

    by Miss Aura

    Why so many people class the aliens to leave as a "twist" is beyond me. Why do all the movies this guy make have to have a twist? The Sixth Sense didnt have a twist unless you went to the bathroom during the scene in which Bruce Willis got shot. Listen to Larry of Arabia up there, the film hit its true subject matter with him. Who cares about the Aliens, you hardly see them anyway. Its about how we as people can throw our faith to one side because of incidents which have happened to us and how we find it in the most unlikely of places. The alien invasion is nice, but if you only go and see this film for that - DONT BOTHER.

  • July 28, 2002, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Signs filmed in my area!

    by DMBandude

    Back in October here in Bucks County we were all abuzz because Mel Gibson was filming his new movie "Signs" here and everyone wanted to see him. I never got to see the man himself but I did see some film crews setting up shots and such, it was really cool. I live in Fairless Hills which is about a 10 minute drive from Newtown where most of the film was shot. It's a nice small town with little shops an stuff so I could see why they picked it for the local. This Saturday The Newtown Theatre is having a black tie premiere for the movie and there is talk of Mel coming. This theatre is very small (only one screen) and no air conditioner! The tickets are $100.00 a piece and probably sell like hot cakes because this place has never had anything like this happen to them. Me and my friends are thinking about going, we probably won't buy a ticket but just to see the event would be cool. When you see the movie look for Mom's Pizza or Newtown Book & Record Exchange, they both have scenes in the film (well they could have been cut) and I have been to those 2 places! It is just exciting and I thought I'd let you all know.

  • July 28, 2002, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Be careful what you say about M. Night

    by SlayerOfTheGods

    Don't say anything bad about M. Night because it might get India pissed-off. When M. Night was shut out during the Oscars for "The Sixth Sense," several large riots took place in major cities in India accusing the U.S. of racism. And they're still pissed-off because now they hate Ang Lee for the attention he got for Crouching Tiger. Uh, why? He didn't win any of the major awards(Best Foreign Film ain't a major award).

  • July 28, 2002, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Uh-Oh...

    by ThePoleOfJustice

    ...looks like we might have another REIGN OF FIRE here, wherein the filmmakers try to tell a story about people in extaordinary circumstances, and it bombs because the dipshit patrol whins that there aren't enough SFX. Maybe America has dumbed down so far that there's no bringing 'em back up. I mean, people were confused by THE USUAL SUSPECTS, for God sakes. I mean, I've watched that movie explicitly to find out what people find confusing about it, and...nope. Pretty black and white there. I have the sneaking suspicion that SIGNS will have a similar problem...

  • July 28, 2002, 4:32 p.m. CST

    A quick question **POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

    by ThePoleOfJustice

    ...so, if the alien really does manifest itself as Mel's dead wife (which may well be just a rumor,) does this mean it'll be as anti-climactic as CONTACT? Just a thought...

  • July 28, 2002, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Pole of Justice

    by Miss Aura

    Dont listen to the idiot who said his wife is an alien, she isnt.

  • July 28, 2002, 4:57 p.m. CST

    CONTACT HIGH

    by TomVee

    One talkbacker said an alien simulates the dead wife. If such is the case, it definitely sounds right out of CONTACT. And as much as I love Jody Foster's performance and sme of the sequences in that film, the busienss with an alien appearing as her deceased father was truly, awesomely lame.

  • July 28, 2002, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Shamalaman & actors

    by MANTHING

    It is apparent to me that there is no room for the unique talents of individual actors in M Night's movies. Every actor's performance is fed through his choking filter. Brooding and tense whispers. It gives new meaning to heavy handed. Every character is fundamentally the same. And for what? He wields this hyper-tense tone as if it were a style of filmmaking but in reality it is a device. A device of set-up and payoff, constantly hinting at something unimaginabely frightening and revelatory. ANd there is plenty of set-up but ultimately no pay off. This is something so fundamental to filmmaking and M Night doesn't grasp that.

  • July 28, 2002, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Americans are stupid....

    by cookiepuss

    That's why the rest of the world hangs on our every word. (Much rather live in England where the movies suck and the women are dogs.)

  • July 28, 2002, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Cookiepuss

    by Miss Aura

    You wouldnt want to live in England love, us English women still wouldnt want to be the ones to take away your virginity. Oh Well, theres always prostitutes for you.

  • July 28, 2002, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Ashok

    by Miss Aura

    Take your head out of your arse and stop thinking youre so powerful. Its people like yourself with stupid statements like the one you just said, that causes arguments between countries and causes bloodshed. Nice time, dont talk with the small mind that god was good enough to give you. Free it and learn something.

  • July 28, 2002, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Relijah

    by Miss Aura

    If you want to attack Britain then just remember that our soldiers are out there helping you guys out, are they stupid for doing that? Do not diss a country who is standing by your side, that shows the stupidity of yourself.

  • July 28, 2002, 8:28 p.m. CST

    SPOILER WARNING FOR REAL

    by aceattorney

    SPOILER ALERT: Did anyone else catch the cut-outs on the wooden boards when they came out of the basement? What's the deal with that? As if aliens have the 5-pointed stars as a symbol of stars as well? Oh and why didn't Mel call the cops to come kill that freakin alien at M. Night's house? And why didn't they arm themselves with knives and that damn axe for defense? END SPOILERS

  • July 28, 2002, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Oh, and another thing....

    by cookiepuss

    If we didn't save your asses in WWII, you'd all be speaking German through your crooked teeth.

  • July 28, 2002, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Miss Aura: chill ya boots, love.

    by Otto Parts

    I'm not sure if you read Jake Blackstream's post which started all this bollocks off in the first place. Basically, he stated that the entire American general public were morons, which is a tad harsh. The reasoning behind his allegation was basically that no-one in America "got" The Usual Suspects or Mission Impossible [please]. This sparked off cookiepuss' rant and here we are now. Now, it's interesting to me that Jake was immediately presumed to be English, because I don't think he said anywhere that he was. I'm kinda hoping that he's Kiwi or Canadian, just to render this discussion more irrelevant than it already is. But, for the sake of argument, I'll guess that like me and yourself [Miss Aura], he's British. You have to look at it objectively: he [Jake] has come on a website run by an American, primarily for Americans, which deals mainly with American movies, to state that the country which has produced consistently for more than 80 years more classic cinema than anywhere else in the world [you know it to be true], lacks the intellectual wherewithall to appreciate anything more than its basest output. I think I'd react pretty strongly if I was an American, and I saw someone spouting such shit. Now, I know the real reason you're pissed off, which is you took the slurs on British women seriously, and you were personally offended because I daresay you are fit as fuck, but don't worry about what they said, the real villain here is Jake_Blackstream for inciting this anti-British stuff [and he may not even be British]. As for you Jake, here's what I've got for you: you really need to come off your imaginary perch of intellectual superiority, and you might realise that you sound pretty stupid making those kind of generalisations. Sure there are plenty of "dumb" people in America, but it's hardly unique in that respect. If you ARE British I've got one word for you: Jade. She represents a large section of the general public in this country, are you still feeling superior? You may just notice American dumbasses more because it is simply so much bigger, so we watch multiple freakshows like Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones. Unfortunately a huge country means a lot more fools. But don't forget, it also means more smart people.

  • July 28, 2002, 10:47 p.m. CST

    aliens of the corn

    by greenlightscafe

    Here's the movie: A1. Priest Hess gives last rites to his dying wife. Loses faith in his God who can effect instant divorce by car accident without his consent. A2. Merrill, his unshakable brother keeps his faith. But he did lose his faith is baseball and stopped playing. Really. I'll try to remember that by the end of the movie. He didn't have a wife that dies. Daddy, what are those strange crop circles in the corn field. Daddy, can I have a drink of water? No. You and aliens don't drink water. Really. I'll try to remember that by the end of the movie. A3. It's a sign from God. The one I don't believe in, anymore. You should? It helps to believe in something. Even the Country Bears. A4. The aliens are coming. No, really. They just landed. A5. There's something in the basement. You go look. A6. It's an alien. A7. Merrill SWINGS AWAY at the alien. They leave. Where's mommy? Is she an alien coming back to get us? Thanks kids, now I have my faith restored.

  • July 28, 2002, 11:45 p.m. CST

    wow, bitter and pathetic talkbackers abound today

    by devil0509

    I don't know Shyamalan at all, could care less if he's an arrogant butt or the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. I do know that, as a young filmmaker, he's doing a pretty damn good job. Now making films isn't really that important of a job. It's just entertainment, so we shouldn't go out of our way to bow in worship to these people. On the other hand, this is a young guy who's doing a demanding job and doing it well, well enough to have already been nominated for the top award in his field. For all of you folks screaming hack and loser, what will you have accomplished by your early thirties?

  • July 29, 2002, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Forget the critics Unbreakable was awesome!!!

    by millermeusa

    I hate Leonard maltin for only one reason...he slammed Unbreakable...Im curious to what he has to say about Signs..Id like to ses his stupid review about it

  • July 29, 2002, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Surprise ending? Don't make me laugh.

    by Col. Klink

    Even my wife, who (trust me) isn't the brightest bulb on the tree, figured out the "surprise" ending. Halfway through the movie she said to me, "Why don't they just throw water on the aliens?" When I asked her why she thought that would hurt the aliens, she said, "They already mentioned three times that they don't like water." Talk about hitting the audience over the head with obvious clues! I would have felt better if the twist had turned out that the alien was Mel's wife. That would have been surprising!

  • July 29, 2002, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Signage

    by Novelty

    A) Calling your wife stupid is real classy. Good job there. B)The aliens turning out to be his wife? Why not have them turn out to be Haley Joel Osment? Yeah, it'd be surprising. Also wouldn't make a lick of bloody sense. C) The water thing was partially a red herring (to make you think there was something wrong with the kids)and spelled out clearly in M. Night's scene. It wasn't supposed to be a surprise.

  • July 29, 2002, 3:21 a.m. CST

    No offence , but Jake_blackstream's a fuckin' idiot.

    by flowvox

    "The American general public is just plain ignorant and stupid." "You people are considered the 'big dumb bullies' of the earth. "If you people would have alittle more brain than brawn...." "Then again if the majority of American's were smart..." Now why would I take offence at any of that? You idiot. Then to throw in a tragedy like Columbine just to emphasize your point just shows you for the pompous, unfeeling, arogant prick you are. No offence

  • July 29, 2002, 3:49 a.m. CST

    Peace on Earth, Goodwill to ignorants

    by Lonestarr2

    Hey Jake, did you know that way before Columbine that a couple of maniacal school shootings took place in Scotland and Australia? It's true, so get your facts straight before you open your hole, wherever you are. Have you been to the States? It happens to be among the most beautiful countries in the world, with practically EVERY climate in existance. You think New Zealand is nice? You should come here too. It's just as Howard Stern said, "Everyone else is just jealous..."

  • July 29, 2002, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Everyone just relax, it might just all be OK.

    by curvespace

    I'm English, my girlfriend isn't ugly (trust me on this), I don't treasure Star-Wars dolls in my garage (they're in my attic) and my teeth are straight. What does this make me? Oh my god! The same as every other person on the planet, a HUMAN!!! Shit, does that mean we all have something in common?! What next; people getting on with one another? Come on guys, go easy on all this bull-shit name calling. There are some American people I don't like, there are some French I don't like, there are some Brits I don't like, hell, there are people in my family (extended) I don't even like. This doesn't make all American's, French, Brits and members of my family dumb bastards does it? There are good people and there are bad people in every culture. The only catagory we should ever point someone into is that of human. We cannot accuse entire countries of being evil (please note Mr Bush). So would everyone just chill out, we are all worryingly alike, remember that. (P.S. I am not a new-age tree-hugger. Would it matter if I was? Think about it.)

  • July 29, 2002, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Otto Parts

    by Miss Aura

    Thanks for that, sorry for my ignorance. I did miss the post by Jake, I should have read back.

  • July 29, 2002, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Night Skies

    by reni

    Has anyone read the Night Skies script? Anyone got any info on it? (Thanks in advance.)

  • July 29, 2002, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Shyamalan thinks audiences are stupid?

    by necron99

    Well, that's because they are! Not people like us, mind you, but the average filmgoer. Case in point: when I went to see Road to Perdition, during the final scene when Jude Law comes back for revenge, or to finish his mission or whatever, a woman behind me exclaimed "Oh, I completely forgot about him!" And her husband agreed! On the way out of the theater, I heard lots of people discussing the "surprise" ending. What the hell?! Maybe this is a result of conditioning as movies have gotten dumber and dumber over the years, but, until the average filmgoer can think for himself or herself, keep on handin' it to us on a silver platter, Mr. Shyamalan! God knows you can't make any money if no one understands the damn thing! Yeeeehaw!!

  • July 29, 2002, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Great Debate

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    This is a fun talkback - proof again that talking about movies is infinitely more enjoyable than seeing them. I truly believe now that the studio film is dead, and our generation has lowered its expectations. Signs is one of the better films out there this summer, but it's no classic, its not really that good. There are no great films being produced in the United States anymore. None. I can't think of any. There used to be. Anyway, its just sad really. Oh and that Ashok guy or whatever really frustrates me - Americans almost to a man have no idea why they are so powerful - its one of the great ironies in today's world.

  • July 29, 2002, 11:10 a.m. CST

    I find Shyamalan arrogant and patronising.

    by curvespace

    Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't rate The Sixth Sense? Maybe I didn't enjoy it because I spotted the 'twist' within the first ten minutes. Admittedly I was looking for it because I heard people mentioning it had a big twist, but it just didn't hold together for me. I found the performances irritating and nothing in the film was as clever as M. Night thought it was. A great film is one that you can go back and watch over and over and still it seems fresh, full of new joys with every viewing. With The Sixth Sense M. Night seemed so proud of his 'intellect' that he just HAD to show us all the little (bloody obvious) hints he'd dropped earlier in the film. It was a 'look at how clever I am and you aren't' sequence. This irritated me in the extreme. Why would I want to go back to spot new things now, I dont. It appears that he has done the same with 'trick' with Signs doesn't surprise me, nor does his statement a secret of film-making. This guy seems like a prize-twat to me. Just my opinion.

  • July 29, 2002, 11:52 a.m. CST

    thanks

    by brena

    separating out the spoiler review from the non-spoiler review! I can't wait to see Signs this weekend and have been trying to keep myself spoiler free so I'm trying not to read the whole review or the talkbacks...just wanted to jump in here and say that I'm excited to see Signs and I know that it's going to be another awesome Shyamalan movie!

  • July 29, 2002, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Jake blackstream, you're an idiot, plain and simple

    by Tristan_Megistus

  • July 29, 2002, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Jake blackstream, you're an idiot, plain and simple

    by Tristan_Megistus

    I'm Canadian, and I LOVE America. The U.S.A. aren't perfect by a long shot, but dammit, they're the best thing that we've got. Without them there wouldn't be any tv shows or movies worth watching, they're the only ones with the money and the talent necessary for theatrical greatness, they're our singular source of entertainment. So Jake "No offense" backstreet boy, don't you dare bite the hand that feeds you. Oh, and "Signs" was fucking great, by the way, even the overdetailed ending was somewhat appropriate.

  • July 29, 2002, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Whoa!!

    by deftone

    I can't believe that "Signs" is getting beat up like it is. I thought it was great--and a good/interesting change up from his earlier work. Shyamalan is a great young writer/director and I'm sure feared getting cornered into the role of a "surpriser." I liked Joaquin Phoenix alot and thought he was great. This movie should do very well at the box office this weekend.

  • July 29, 2002, 1:58 p.m. CST

    If you want people worldwide to respect you a little more, get a

    by Otto Parts

    I have to admit, that did crack me up. But Jake you've notably omitted to tell anyone where in fact you ARE from. Well done for inciting anti-British rants without even being British though, I suppose that DOES say something about the people who assumed you were a Brit...

  • July 29, 2002, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Bite my ass, HA-4

    by PrestoChango

    shut the fuck up you whiny, arrogant, artsy-fartsy poser. yeah, i went to film school too, buddy, but i don't feel the urge to broadcast my useless knowledge of which arthouse flicks inspired mainstream directors. NO ONE FREAKIN' CARES. it's always self-congratulatory, holier-than-thou, know-it-alls like yourself who are so quick to criticize other's work, but are usually incapable of producing anything displaying talent yourself. you write a script, buttplug. for now, get the hell outta my country you anti-establishment jerkoff.

  • July 29, 2002, 5:47 p.m. CST

    I don't care what you say, I'm going opening night

    by sprint

    I think this movie is going to be fantastic. I love the way Shyamalan gets his actors to *underact.* I think he pushes them out on a limb and makes them work even harder for it. Other directors will let big name actors slide. Not Shyamalan. Plus, I really can't wait to see how Joaquin does in this. He has such an amazing talent and I've heard fantastic things about how he does in this film.

  • July 29, 2002, 6:34 p.m. CST

    SIGNS good. very good

    by TheFlo2

    read my full review.... http://www.stevenybarra.com/movies/signsspoiler.htm This explains it all.

  • July 29, 2002, 8:08 p.m. CST

    to jake blackstream

    by fantom penice

    you are no one in this town. you are just happy because you found a place to go where you can ruffle some feathers because you are bored. my guess is that you are indian (the real kind) and you live in america. oh, my other guess is that you are a fag. don't come to a site where you are not as smart as the average poster, because you will get shredded. my other guess, by the size and intensity of your original rant, is that you don't have any friends to offer your opinion to so you need to vent. join a singles club, or stop dating mutes and get someone to talk to, it's not us you homo.

  • July 29, 2002, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Movie still good

    by TheFlo2

    I am not going to let the ending ruin this whole movie for me. This movie had everything in it, with the exception of a great twist. The end to Unbreakable was better, but Signs as a movie is unbelievable. It is easily the best movie by far this year. It even is better than Road to Perdition, until the last ten minutes.

  • July 29, 2002, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Harry's all fat and ready to stink!!

    by MonkeyPenny

    What a fuckin' crybaby you've become! I think they kidnapped the real Harry Knowles, and replaced him with a bloated whiner. You piss and moan about everything now. Boo-hoo, Paul Anderson is a hack! Goldmember sucks and Undercover Brother was soooo much better. Tomb Raider is gonna BLOW because they have a SHARK (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!) that's gonna SAVE Angelina Jolie!!! Sob, sob, I'm a Blob! Waaaaaa!! Harry, what happened to your love of films? The joy of seeing movies that are so bad they're good? Movies that are great, because of their sheer spectacle? Now, all you talk about is box office, and how unfair everything is. Get over yourself. Enjoy the show!

  • July 29, 2002, 11:31 p.m. CST

    NEWSFLASH: jake_blackstream is an american

    by sycamore

    And a dumbass, but thats beside the point. Sorry boys (and girls), jake_blackstream is an american. How the hell else would he know the term "white trash". He's just a nerd trying to get a rise out of someone, sound familiar. Damn, I think his trick worked on me. Bad sycamore, bad.....

  • July 30, 2002, 1:07 a.m. CST

    This movie will be a HUGE hit...this talkback proves it!

    by UTellEmSteveDave

    The INSTANT arguing over the ending is going to propel this thing into big box office. Everyone will want to find out if the end truly sucks or if it is truly inspirational. You retards are a perfect marketing tool. Now then...lets see what happens when we TAKE AWAY the puppy...

  • July 30, 2002, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Did "The Five Man Electrical Band" do the theme song?

    by Eugene O

    Just curious.

  • July 30, 2002, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Note to self

    by Nigel7

    Ignore any review of his promising spoilers, you'll just get a long, pompous review of the director/writer/actors. Seriously, Moriarty's spoilers were only spoilers to people who saw the movie. If you haven't seen it, it's just vague references to scenes that you've never seen, and have no clue what he's talking about. It's a decent review, better than some of the stuff on this site, but as far as spoiler reviews go....it fails. Oooh, now I'm a talkbacker, watch out richard dawson, here I come...

  • July 30, 2002, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Signs-Excellent film.

    by TheJediclone

    What a blast this movie was! Funny, suspensful. I had a great time and that's what counts. I was taken away to a farm and lived there for a while. I got to know a wonderful family. I laughed with them, got scared with them and even cried a bit. This was M. Night's best character development yet. There is a short list of directors who's films I will see without question even without prior knowledge of what the film's about or who's in it. M. Night is on that list. He delivers.

  • July 30, 2002, 2:43 a.m. CST

    Yo, Novelty!

    by Col. Klink

    A) I said my wife wasn't "bright", not "stupid". Sorry if it offended your delicate sensibilities, buttercup. B) Since M. Knight spent the entire movie shoving religion down the audience's throat, it would have made much more sense for the lights in the sky to be angels, not aliens. 'Course you need imagination to see that possibility. C) The water thing was such a red herring that everyone saw it coming from a mile away. Not "supposed to be a surprise"? Mel and his daughter sure looked surprised when the spilled glass burned the alien. Too bad the audience wasn't. D) This movie will die the same death that "Unbreakable" did. Bad word of mouth. Whatever it makes the first weekend will be ALL it makes. It won't even be in the top 10 after it's 2 week of release. And you can quote me on that.

  • July 30, 2002, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Klink

    by Novelty

    In the middle of the movie M. Night's character says that the aliens don't like water. This kinda sorta makes me believe that we were supposed to be clued into that. Because it was stated. In the middle of the movie. In English. Moving right along, I'm not real up on divinity studies, but as far as I know angels don't make crop circles and scare dogs. Although that would explain why all golden retreivers are agnostic. The movie wasn't about religion, per se, but about faith. Sorry you didn't like the movie, and I'm doubly sorry you have a not bright wife. They're no fun.

  • July 30, 2002, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Penice, I guess you don't know Dennis?

    by curvespace

    Fantom Penice: I agree with you that Jake Blackstream was outta line, but you post wasn't mucher smarter than his. What if he is a 'fag', does that make him any less worthy a person or his opinion any less important? I disagree with what he said point blank, but I can't deny his right to say it nor can I make reference to his private life because of it. There was a GREAT line in Jerry Springer once, a woman said "I hate the way people bitch about this country, at least we have freedom of speech". Needless to say they bleeped out the word 'bitch'. He can say as he wishes without people questioning his sexuality, what has that got to do with anything? Homophobic men are 3 times more likely to be gay than non-homophobic men. That is fact. Experiments have been done by showing straight guys gay porn and those who showed homophobia were 3 times more likely to get aroused. Looks to me like someones in denial;) Oh for what it's worth, and it's not, I'm straight. And before I forget: what the hell do you mean by "Indian (the real kind)"? How can you have ANY idea what race he is and even if you think you do, what difference does it make? You may have proven him to be less smart than your average poster, but you my friend aren't much brighter.

  • July 30, 2002, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Spoiler - My problems with Signs

    by neuronomad

    I know that this movie is about faith and family in time of crisis primarily so please don't think I am calling this a bad movie because of the sci-fi side of the story, which I know plays very little overall with what the story is really about. With that said I do want to gripe about the lesser side of the story, the invasion or as some put it raid (which I would agree more with). The problems I have with the sci-fi side of the story have pretty much been gone over to an extent. 1) If the aliens are allergic to water why come to a planet that is 70%+ of water. Would humans go to a planet made up of acid and send our ground forces to fight unprotected from this hazard? Not likely, even if we were desperate, because you would most likely stand to lose more than you would gain. Of course I have read that some people feel that maybe Bo was right and in some way the water was "bad" and maybe it was not just plan water that the aliens were allergic to. This would clear up the plot holes of rain, dew, etc. And the movie leaves this very open ended so you can assume this if you want. It would not change the fact of it being a "miracle", but make it even more so that Bo had the glasses of bad water lying around. But if this is not the case, and the aliens are allergic to H20 in general, then I do think that this is a major plot problem. Like someone just said, Humans are made up of a lot of water. Heck we could just spit, sneeze, sweat or pee on the aliens and kill them. That must scare them a lot more than their "spray" would scare us. Even more so if they are fighting us hand to hand without any type of weapons other than their close combat spray and claws, them wounding us would be just as deadly to them since our blood is made up of water as well. So looking at it this way would be like the Space Marines in Aliens look to the Xenos being a food source. So to me this either says one of three things: A) They are not allergic to all water, only certain contaminations within water. B) They are here for other reasons that food resources. C) They are total dumb arses that didn't have enough brains to check out the planet enough to know what they are getting in to. 2) I have a problem with the alien

  • July 30, 2002, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Signs - Spoiler - My problems with the movie

    by neuronomad

    I know that this movie is about faith and family in time of crisis primarily so please don't think I am calling this a bad movie because of the sci-fi side of the story, which I know plays very little overall with what the story is really about. With that said I do want to gripe about the lesser side of the story, the invasion or as some put it raid (which I would agree more with). The problems I have with the sci-fi side of the story have pretty much been gone over to an extent. 1) If the aliens are allergic to water why come to a planet that is 70%+ of water. Would humans go to a planet made up of acid and send our ground forces to fight unprotected from this hazard? Not likely, even if we were desperate, because you would most likely stand to lose more than you would gain. Of course I have read that some people feel that maybe Bo was right and in some way the water was "bad" and maybe it was not just plan water that the aliens were allergic to. This would clear up the plot holes of rain, dew, etc. And the movie leaves this very open ended so you can assume this if you want. It would not change the fact of it being a "miracle", but make it even more so that Bo had the glasses of bad water lying around. But if this is not the case, and the aliens are allergic to H20 in general, then I do think that this is a major plot problem. Like someone just said, Humans are made up of a lot of water. Heck we could just spit, sneeze, sweat or pee on the aliens and kill them. That must scare them a lot more than their "spray" would scare us. Even more so if they are fighting us hand to hand without any type of weapons other than their close combat spray and claws, them wounding us would be just as deadly to them since our blood is made up of water as well. So looking at it this way would be like the Space Marines in Aliens look to the Xenos being a food source. So to me this either says one of three things: A) They are not allergic to all water, only certain contaminations within water. B) They are here for other reasons that food resources. C) They are total dumb arses that didn't have enough brains to check out the planet enough to know what they are getting in to. 2) I have a problem with the alien

  • July 30, 2002, 11:30 a.m. CST

    What happened to the infamous post by Jake-whats-his-name that s

    by White_Noise

    It's funny to read all the TB's about a certain post and then the post not even be available anymore. I respect AICN's right to police their own private site, and I don't need to read the words of a rabble-rouser, but after all the other posts I kinda was looking forward to the essayist car crash that I had read so much about.

  • July 30, 2002, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Signs was a trip

    by mavsman15

    i saw the film and it was awesome, i saw a rough draft of the film and it was intresting. I can't wait to see it at the movies.

  • July 30, 2002, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Again, the ending twist revealed

    by Darth TJ Mackey

    After Mel takes a job at the establishment with the "long haired freaky people need not apply" sign, he removes his hat to reveal...a full mane of mullet!

  • July 30, 2002, 6:13 p.m. CST

    You make a good point Neuronomad,but..........

    by Cru_Jones

    I just read your(Neuronomad)problems with the film,and i must say you make some good points.I found myself laughing a few times as i was reading because i thought and said alot of the same things.The thing about water was a little weird and confusing,but i am sure everyone will have there own theory.What i thought was a little weird is how the Little girl kept talking about dreams she had that basically told what was going to happen to some extent,but yet no one ever thought to ask her about them.And what was up with the dog in the beginning of the film.Still though,i must say i really liked this movie alot,plot holes or not.The acting was awesome,and i think the roles were cast perfectly.I liked how you saw the film from only one family's perspective,and how you see them change as the movie progresses,especially Merril,there are some great scenes involving this character,with my favorite being the one described in the review above,it is absolutly chilling.When you see the fear in his face,it really makes it feel real.Finally,i just really liked the story as a whole,even though at times confusing,i still found it to be a great film......

  • July 31, 2002, 2:29 a.m. CST

    novelty

    by Col. Klink

    Don't feel bad about my wife. Someday when you finally meet a woman, you'll learn that smart women are nothing but trouble. If you're into girls, that is.

  • Aug. 2, 2002, 7:47 p.m. CST

    !00 percent true

    by ewem

    This is an awesome film and easily the best of the summer. Forget the overrated Minority Report! He's right...the ending was handed to the audience with a little too much give away. I think it would have been world's better without the flashbacks. Everything else would have been fine. A small nit to an otherwise amazing film. I can't wait to get my DVD loaded with goodies for this gem!

  • Aug. 2, 2002, 9:33 p.m. CST

    It was great, but not better than Unbreakable

    by neovsmatrix

    Spoilers: > > > > > > Are you kidding me? The ending was not a surprise. It wasn't meant to be. Those cuts weren't meant for us. They were only meant to relay what Graham was only realizing at that very point. THAT'S why it was needed. You had to see Graham Hess's thought process, or else it wouldn't have made sense to most viewers. Not like most viewers got it anyway, they were too obsessed with seeing a horror flick and they were treated with something MUCH greater than that. IMHO, this is a classic in the horror genre. > > > > > > > > > end spoilers

  • Overall I loved Signs. And I think the ending is fine. One could quibble about the flashbacks but I do think they need to be there so we can see Mel's character make that journey in his mind. As such, it felt satisfying to me. I thought it was much more of a "talking down to the audience" moment at the end of The Sixth Sense where Shyamalan uses flashbacks (as I recall) to spell out the fact that, yes, Willis is dead. With Signs it feels more like giving the character his moment. A very well-crafted horror film that honors the best in the genre.

  • Aug. 3, 2002, 12:06 p.m. CST

    The ending was exactly right

    by Kikstad

    :-) But great review nonetheless, Moriarty.

  • Aug. 3, 2002, 4:10 p.m. CST

    To Neuronomad

    by Not Todd

    I think a lot of the problems you brought up can be cleared by remembering what the recruiting sergeant said earlier in the film. This was a raid, a reconnaisance. They weren't here to take over the Earth, they were here to take some prisoners and learn about what we're capable of. They'll be back in a few hundred or few thousands years.

  • Aug. 4, 2002, 11:38 a.m. CST

    you guys make me sick sometimes

    by riouxda

    I saw M. Night Shyamalan's film Signs last night and I thought it was great. Of course, there's something about the ending that let me cold somehow. I'm still trying to figure out what I thought about it. Of course, the fact that there seem to be some cuts in the movie I saw doesn't help. When Graham goes to bring the TV to his son on the couch, the scene cut right to the scene where everybody was in the room, looking at the alien with the boy in his arms. There was something missing there, even if just a few seconds...It annoyed me. But, I loved the movie anyway. Now, what makes me sick tho is the talkbackers complaining about Mori's review and how he shouldn't talk about what he thought of the psychological side of the movie. Also, if you want me to give you some credit, why not search on the net to know how to spell Shyamalan's name instead of writing anything and just putting (sp?) beside it. It's just plain stupid and I know right away that your personal review has no value since you're not intelligent enough to write it correctly. Or maybe, you're just trying to make the same joke that thousands of others have already done before you. That's just stupid. And also, I don't believe what people say about Shyamalan. About the fact that he is so full of himself. I think those are just rumours that some started because they are jealous of him. It always happens in Hollywood. He might have said that he thinks that him and Spielberg have something in common about how to make a movie (of course, I have no proof that it has been said really) but then, someone might have taken what he said out of context and use it against him. Again, that's just plain stupid and it always happen in Hollywood. I personnaly think that the guy is great and I hope he continues to make movies for a long time. cya!

  • Aug. 7, 2002, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Ummmm, nitpicks?

    by Theta

    "Sixth Sense" did precisely the same thing, Mori. Go back and see it again, he diagrams it out for those of us just tuning in. I personally like the ending, although I do agree that it is far from seamless. I just hope he makes good on that threat to direct someone else's script in another genre next.

Top Talkbacks