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First review of M. Night Shyamalan's LADY IN THE WATER!!!

Ahoy, squirts. Quint here. I know you're missing the big review of LADY IN THE WATER, but the author requested we remove it. It appears the film wasn't screened at a test screening, but a personal "friends and family" screening. The review might be putting unwanted pressure on the reviewer... whatever the reason, the author sent us a request to remove the review. I decided not to delete the whole thread, so all the talkbacks remain.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 25, 2006, 5:54 a.m. CST

    With a name like smuckers...

    by Dark Vapor

    well, if the opening credits are that "creative", it must be a very good movie,right?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 6:14 a.m. CST

    This should be titled, "M. Night Shyamalan is still a hack

    by Trazadone

    He's the Kajagoogoo of movies. Could his latest really be as awful as The Village?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Wow, that sounds just terrible.

    by Citizen Arcane

    I could barely get through the review. I'm thinking The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable were flukes.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Well I liked THE VILLAGE - and Giamatti always rocks in everyth

    by Spacesheik

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 6:42 a.m. CST


    by Mahaloth

    just kidding

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:03 a.m. CST

    M. Night's flash in the pan is just about over...

    by Tony Mike Hall

    Never been overly impressed with him, and he is WAY TOO impressed with himself. The next Hitchcock he ain't.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:10 a.m. CST

    "For those fans of Shyamalan who were highly disappointed with "

    by newc0253

    if you were a fan of Shayamalam, i don't see how the Village could have been that disappointing. aside from his fixation with big twists, he's a fantastic director.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:20 a.m. CST

    I want a review not a description of the film

    by ChorleyFM

    If anyone else has seen it and wants to offer thoughts as opposed to telling us about every detail of the film then please do.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:23 a.m. CST


    by jaxnnux

    Sucks to be Shayamalan.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:31 a.m. CST


    by Napolean Solo

    Tony Mikehall, You must be sucking on some serious chocolate salty balls!

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:38 a.m. CST

    who is still letting this guy make films?

    by thegoldencalf

    sixth sense was amazing, granted, but it was obviously all this guy has in him as the rest are pure bollocks!

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Bucknasty: Maybe I am... or maybe I am

    by Tony Mike Hall

    Don't get me wrong, he is capable. The Sixth Sense was good, although I did not find it orgasmic like everyone else. Unbreakable... I would it call it decent, the same with Signs. There are shots/moments in both films that work really well. But (here's the other shoe), there is an air of pretentiousness in his movies - like he thinks he's the absolute shit. To me, his shot choices are made not to serve the story but to try and impress - they actually pull me out of the movie. Finally, I found The Village to be really lacking, and the descriptions of this new one don't enthrall me. He's a decent director, I just think the badge of "brillient auteur" everyone likes to stick on him is now ready to be removed. That's what I meant by flash in the pan. Just my opinion.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:44 a.m. CST


    by JackSkellington

    The guy is trying to do something that 98% of the film industry seems unwilling or incapable of doing: creating something original, whimsical and, god-willing, magical. We should consider ourselves lucky to have a person like M. Night making films.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Wow, I fell asleep 10 seconds into that review...good bedtime re

    by nomad202

    Seriously, this guy probably has the same mind track as Shyamalan himself so thats probably why he didnt like it, just a rambler. Keep writing reviews and poor attempts at witty humor while attempting to slam a film in slow-motion like fashion, I'd rather read your review than taking a sleeping pill.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8 a.m. CST

    Yeah... I just want to know two things abot Shilameo's new "

    by JackPumpkinhead

    1: At which point does Shilameo have his standard cameo in which, using horrible "acting" and HAL-like droning, he tries to patch one or two of the most moronic plot holes? 2: Which Twilight Zone episode does THIS film of his rip off?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Chris Penn is dead.

    by SoulOnIce

    RIP Nice Guy Eddie.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:09 a.m. CST

    I'd rather hack off my penis with a rusty spoon and eat it t

    by Johnny Wishbone

    Sixth Sense: Good. Unbreaklable: Lame. Signs: A Worm Infested, Bloated Turd of a movie. The Village: Words don't do justice as to how awful this film was.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Bon app

    by squidman

    You know, then don't fucking watch it! I'm sick of the talkback being an outlet for people's subconscious desires. "I'd rather eat my shit than watch ...", or "I'd rather fuck my own mother than watch ...". You know what - don't watch it. Don't tell us about it. Most people don't care if you watch a movie or not. Trust me, we care less if you DON'T watch it. So SHUT the FUCK UP about it already. Oh, and Johnny, just because you are too stupid to realize how SIGNS was about a man who found his faith again in the face of one of the most convincing arguments against the existence of a God, is your problem. Think about that while your fucking dick is hanging out of your mouth, you fuck.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:29 a.m. CST

    I'll take any Shyamalan film over Quint's WAR OF THE WOR

    by Spacesheik

    i know at least they wont be ruined by shitty last 1/3 of the film or fixated on star performances or children or involve peanut butter sandwhiches being thrown at walls or grenades being detonated in alien machinery by blue collar workers who miraculously manage to move from city to city and find long lost families

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Whoah, whoah, whoah, Shyamalan needs a ladder to kiss Spielberg&

    by Tony Mike Hall

    Now, see, this is what I don't get: using Shyamalan's name in the same sentence as Spielberg and Hitchcock. No way - not even close. Shyamalan has not proven himself to be at that level yet. And Spielberg certainly knows how to end a film: I direct you to Jaws, Close Encounters, Schindler's List, Minority Report, yes, even Munich, etc., etc., etc. Shyamalan needs to take few more laps around the track before we start comparing him to the likes of Spielberg.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:43 a.m. CST

    In all seriousness, are we talking about the same Spielberg?

    by Tony Mike Hall

    I mean Steven Spielberg, not Larry Spielberg or Phil Spielberg. Steven. You know, the one that ended Minority Report perfectly. Munich - his best film yet in my opinion. Saving Private Ryan - what was wrong with the ending there? Raiders of the Lost Ark? Jaws? Catch Me if You Can? GET SERIOUS. And talk about endings: The ending to the Village was AWFUL. What a cheap parlor trick way to wrap up the movie. I really don't see how the two are even comparable.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:43 a.m. CST

    i agree w/ FIRST

    by tranpkp1

    Seriously at least put a rating down or something.....

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Spooky Co-incidences

    by TheBoyFromUlster

    That was the most long winded, fucking boring review I

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:44 a.m. CST

    I loved The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable...

    by Childe Roland

    ...but M. Night has not created anythijng worth a warm shit since. I doubt there's anyone in the world who saw Signs that didn't "get" it. It was hardly subtle. It was just stupid. And the Village falls into pretty much the same camp with an even less interesting premise. I should probably blame myself for how bad this latest Shyamalan epic apparently turned out, though. I was the one shouting that the man should try something different. Write a straight story for a change and leave the Serlingian twists in his bag of tricks for another day. If this reviewer is right, that's just what M. Night did...and the result sucked even worse than his last two films. It's a shame, because I really thought he was gaining momentum after Unbreakable. Instead it turned out he was just getting the last bit of moviemeaking genius he had out of his system.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:46 a.m. CST

    As for WOTW

    by Tony Mike Hall

    Not his best, I'll agree, but he's had fewer misses than Shyamalan IMHO. And certainly Spielberg has a better, more diverse filmography. Okay, I'll shut up for a while now.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Signs DID suck

    by YouIgnorantGeeks

    Squidman... "Oh, and Johnny, just because you are too stupid to realize how SIGNS was about a man who found his faith again in the face of one of the most convincing arguments against the existence of a God, is your problem. Think about that while your fucking dick is hanging out of your mouth, you fuck" I did understand this... and still thought the movie SUCKED. So stop being an arrogant, pompous, wanna be "intellectual" jerk. Johnny is a jackass.... but your just as bad. The reason I picked my name is for people like you and him. So... if I think a movie is crap that you like, and that most people like... automatically its too deep for me to understand and thats why I dont like it? UM NO. Try... I do understand it... and still think it sucks. Like that movie a few years back everyone was raving about, the Loss of Sexual Innocense. ABSOLUTELY SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!! All the critics were raving about this little indie film and how great it was and how deep and how though provoking.... and I go see it... and I am like "um, no... this sucks... I see where they can say its deep, but its not... it did provoke my thought... uh huh... and..... my thought is that it sucks." In fact, it was obvious the whole movie was going for the whole "come on were different, were deep, we provoke thought" and it was just so bad and boring! So, in summation. Never saw the village, but want to, and will soon. Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, I thought were great. Signs I thought was Horrible. And just because you think a movie sucks doesnt mean your too stupid to understand it. It means you do understand it, and still think it sucks. On a side note... what has happened with the power and emotion in some movies lately? Like... not that this was supposed to be a great movie... but uh... the family stone. Such boring crap. It could have been really good. Fake emotion though. Or... better said... it didnt know how to bring the emotion. It had no POWER behind it. Why, cause the ending happened were supposed to feel sad and nice at the same time? I felt nothing... cause they just couldnt do it right. And Chronicles of Narnia! What the hell! It was good... but where was all the power! First of all, why add 40 minutes to this! The book was 100 pages... and Aslan... where is his power! Even the queen didn't have that much. Use the effects, use the visuals. I mean for instance.. isnt he supposed to be ALOT bigger then a normal lion? Isnt the sight of him supposed to cause wonder? And what was with the "walk to the stone tablet scene" TAME THAT DOWN MUCH!?!??!? Again they took out the power and the emotion TOTALLY from that scene. What... for the kids... too much? Thats funny, Harry Potter seems to stick to the growing violence and adult themes and seems to be doing just fine.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:46 a.m. CST

    At least Spielberg knows something about pacing

    by Citizen Arcane

    Shamylan's films make Star Trek:The Motion picture look like a 3 minute music video. And anyone who thinks he's unique or original has never heard of a show called The Twilight Zone. But then people thought The Matrix was original too.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Well mate if you think MINORITY REPORT, A.I., AMISTAD WAR OF THE

    by Spacesheik

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Maybe the audience deserve to be insulted

    by Mooly

    I think clearly the point about the self-referential film critic is Shyamalans way of mocking the mass movie audience who always complains about his movies not following standard and predicatble "Hollywood" conventions. So he invents an idiot character to point out all the plot points and clihced characters in the movie. Just my guess. Personally, I still consider myself a part of the Shymalan defenders, although not necessarily a "fan". Personally, I believe even when his movies are bad, they are still better than most of the garbage the studios pump out and there is always something worth talking about. At the very least, his movies as well made and nicely shot...even if you hate the story. I'm keeping an open mind with this movie. Maybe it will be good and maybe it will be trash. However, this review sucks and is hard to take seriously. NOt only because he is yet another person complaining about Shyamalans movies all being the same and too reliant on "twists" and then complains that this movie isn't another Sixth Sense. In other words, not only does he not understand what constitutes an actual "twist" but he is going to hate the movie simply because it says Shyamalan in the credits and hes the cool guy to hate these days. It is also hard to tkae his review seriously when he goes to a Shyamalan movie acting like it should have explosions and/or chase scenes. Even Sixth Sense was slow moving. Who goes to these movies expecting something full of action? Shymalan would probably make a movie with nothing but people sitting at tables brooding and talking if he could.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:52 a.m. CST

    If Spielberg had shot LADY IN THE LAKE hed have used Tom Hanks o

    by Spacesheik

    spielbergs best films were never star driven - JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, RAIDERS (Harrison Ford was not a star when that was made) SCHINDLERS LIST etc. Nows hes into star productions with tom cruise and tom hanks etc - hes lost his populist touch

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:54 a.m. CST

    A Lesson in endings

    by Phimseto

    "Saving Private Ryan: Ditch the lame patriotic book end." - Knowthyself Ironically, the first thought that came into my mind upon reading this was a quote from the same film: "The Statue of Liberty is kaput? That's disconcerting." Knowthyself sez: "Schindler's List - Ditch the lame present-day survivor book end."

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9 a.m. CST

    Signs was great, in its own way

    by chrth

    It's an alien movie that's not about aliens. Got to love that. But Unbreakable is Superior. Best comic book movie ever.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:13 a.m. CST


    by angel_svn

    As this reviewer was questioning elements of the film, they were making sense to me and I haven't even seen it. It might be a pretensious mess of a film by a narrow minded director, but this is a pretensious mess of a review by a narrow minded audience member.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Bryce Dallas Howard is playing a character called a "Narf"? Isn&

    by Osmosis Jones

    Oh, and Spielberg only makes movies with big stars now? Yeah, Eric Bana is a real box office draw...

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Munich wasn't star-driven, Spacesheik

    by Tony Mike Hall

    And, again, it's his best yet. It's not a fairy tale about watery tart in a motel swimming pool, but a controversial look at terrorism past and present. His best yet. Spielberg's hardly lost the populist vibe as this fine film exemplifies. And even if he has, you're going to argue Shyamalan is the people's hero because of a film about a wet wench? C'mon...

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST

    knowthyself, I respect your opinion...

    by Tony Mike Hall

    I do, you're obviously a huge Shyamalan fan and I do get it to a point. But I do not agree with your take on Spielberg's endings - I think he is one of our greatest filmic storytellers of all time. And I don't think we can yet compare Shyamalan to Spielberg, until the former creates a breadth of work that approaches that of the maestro.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:32 a.m. CST

    I liked the Village

    by bigj3rk

    I might be in the monority but I liked Village probably second best of all his movies. 1. Sixth Sense 2. Village 3. Unbreakable 4. Signs (I hated Signs, Gibson needs to stick to directing from here on out)

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    why are folks facing off spielberg and shayamalam?

    by newc0253

    i reckon shayamalam would be the first to admit his debt to spielberg. and obviously spielberg's made more good movies but then again he's been around for a fuck of lot longer and made more bad ones too. the way i see it, shayamalam has only been in the game a relatively short time: his best movies are yet to come.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST

    If you do not have the exact same taste in film as me, you are s

    by rev_skarekroe

    How can you like the films I don't like? They're objectively terrible! The films I like are masterpieces, and I don't understand how you could possibly not recognize their genius. You must be an idiot.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Well, I don't think you'll be seeing Tom Cruise in anoth

    by Citizen Arcane

    Not after the sickening display at the premiere and in the media. But Tom Hanks almost the asshole buddy of Spielberg than John Williams. The difference being that I look forward to William's work.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:37 a.m. CST

    I have yet to see MUNICH but I heard good things

    by Spacesheik

    everyone i know has 'yet to see MUNICH' - thats the problem - but if its a return to spielberg gritty RYAN/SCHINDLER non star flicks then ill be the first to eat crow

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Tom Cruise's antics fucked up WOTW press

    by Spacesheik

    i hope that teaches spielberg to watch it with stars and never hire someone who is bigger than the film and has the potential to overshadow it - oprahs couch jumping, eiffel tower engagement, the matt lauer confrontation etc etc

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Im not that exciteda bout Spielber helming INDY 4 either

    by Spacesheik

    i dont liek what he brought to the plate in INDY 3: rat infested sewers, comical arabs in a venetian boat chase, buffon nazis flying into tunnels with planes, weak unmemorable villains (julian glover) and girl sidekicks (dooley), tongue in cheek hitorical references (indy meeting hitler at a book burning) and a weak climax featuring 1 tank and three nazis getting shot with 1 bullet and the old grail dude sitting on a chair asking a riddle -- fucking anticlimactic - at least TEMPLE OF DOOM was bold, dark, violent, action-packed and had a great villain

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:44 a.m. CST

    With this quote from above . . .

    by Guy Gaduois

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST

    the village had no twist

    by rotten666

    I still love that people bitch about this movie. There was no twist! The truth of the situation was implied from the first fucking 20 minutes of the movies. If you couldn't figure it out you'r a moron. I stayed away from the movie cause of fanboy flaming, but when my girl insisted on watching it, lo and behold: it was a grreat entertaining movie.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST

    double posting ass

    by Guy Gaduois

    "But (here's the other shoe), there is an air of pretentiousness in his movies - like he thinks he's the absolute shit." When did we start talking about Tarantino?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    It takes a Village to raze a reputation

    by BrandLoyalist

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:52 a.m. CST

    YouIgnorantGeeks - you have to EXPLAIN your screen name to me?

    by squidman

    Gee, guess I am dumb. At the VERY least you had the decency to say more than Johnny Wishbone: "Signs: A Worm Infested, Bloated Turd of a movie". I apoligize, but if THAT's ALL someone says regarding a movie, I get the distinct feeling that that person just doesn't get it. As a matter of fact, all YOU did was agree that my thoughts were indeed the crux of the movie and still, all you can say is, "and it STILL SUCKED!" Well, why? That's all I ask. You know, I'm rarely vulgar and combative here, and perhaps I was set off by Johnny Wishbone's wishes to eat his own member, but I fail to see how my calling them as I see them makes me an intelectual wannabe? I mean for Christ's sakes, your screen name is an attack on everyone here in itself. Okay, I have to go. I'd rather be neck-deep in pirahna infested gorilla diarrhea than go see "insert movie title here". (And no, neither you or Johnny Wishbone can lick me off when I'm done).

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:56 a.m. CST

    I really love Unbreakable...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...but I don't wanna talk about the rest of Shymalan's work, including the oscar-nominated masterpiece with the brillant twist ending that nobody could see coming. :P

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:58 a.m. CST

    You want to say that about Tarantino, that's fine by me.

    by Tony Mike Hall

    But I think it also applies to Shyamalan. Perhaps the two of them can get together and make a "we think we're the shit" sandwich. (Lame pseudo-Spinal Tap reference, my apologies.)

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10 a.m. CST

    i think what we are trying to say is this: a Shyamalan film exci

    by Spacesheik

    no one is saying Spielberg is a worse director than Shyamalan all were saying is Spielberg had done a lot of dogs lately - Shyamalan films are "event" films - people want to see them, they are interesting - shaymalan doesnt shoot one film while editing another and planning a 3rd simultaneously - i think this hurt MUNICH - Speilberg is fact but hes not fast in a quality control way like Eastwood is, hes fast for fast sakes and he misses now more than he hits

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:04 a.m. CST

    sometimes you have to destroy a village in order to save it:

    by newc0253

    okay, i still don't quite understand the hate for this film. shayalam's trademark 'big twists' became annoying after unbreakable and i certainly wouldn't claim it was my favourite film of 2004 but the village was otherwise a decent film. where's the love?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:04 a.m. CST


    by Spacesheik

    and they will remain classics forever - but Spielberg's 80s misfires (i.e. EMPIRE OF THE SUN) were bolder and more interesting than his recent misfires (A.I., TERMINAL etc) - hes lost something, i dont know quite what, he's just not the same filmmaker

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Of course The Village had a twist, rotten666

    by Citizen Arcane

    Just because there were clues about it doesn't mean it wasn't a twist. I know people who figured out The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable early on, and they definitly had twists.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Unbreakable had a great ending...

    by cookylamoo

    but was it really necessary for the entire film to move like the Flash's old enemy...the turtle. Besides, the cut scene on the tilt a whirl was the best thing not in the film.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Emotional resonance.

    by Billyeveryteen

    Ok, Sixth Sense, you know that scene in the car with mom, when they share a "John Edwards" moment? She's all like "I asked, at my mother's grave, were you ever proud of me?" And the kid responds "always". I bawled like a woman. Unbreakable. How about that silent breakfast, after Bruce has saved some family members? The kid is pissed at dad for not accepting he is a hero, the mom is oblivious, and Bruce slides the newspaper across the table. The kid reads it, looks up at dad incredulously, and Bruce slightly nods. Holy shit, that was great! Signs, pre-crazy Mel. Talk about slow burn. I was horrified at the first glimpse of the alien in that grainy video. There was real "end of the world" stuff in there. By the time the alien was threatening the asthmatic kid, I wish I had a baseball bat to help. Talk about release. The Village, ick. I was enjoying it, till the end. I too, am someone who wishes I could have unwatched it. I will say, I was shocked at the stabbing, and feel it was done well. My point? I'm still a fan.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Anyone else tired of "M" appearing in his own films?

    by Behemoth

    Hey, it's his movie, he can do whatever the hell he wants, no argument from me there. But as a viewer, I'm always taken out of his films now when I see him. It's like, "Oh, there's M. Night Shamalamdingdong." Seems too ego-driven at this point for my tastes. That said, I've really loved most of his films. Signs was a let-down, and although the Village was full of problems, I still enjoyed parts of it very much. But I was hoping the next one would be full redemption. Doesn't sound too promising from this review.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:22 a.m. CST

    no dice arcane...

    by rotten666

    Way too obvious. Night went out of his way to telegraph the ending. Plus the elders spill the beans an hour into the movie. You cannot compare the village to his other work.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:26 a.m. CST

    wait, you hate the ending for munich but liked the one in schind

    by newc0253

    for me, everything in schindler's list after the move to the czech factory was schmaltz ("this ring!", etc). the rest of the film was brilliant, though.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:29 a.m. CST

    See, Billy...

    by Childe Roland and I are largely on the same page...but I just didn't get the same jolt out of signs that you did. It felt very flat and transparent...mechanical without oil is a good analogy for a Shyamalan film when it's not working. But still, I think statistically speaking, Shyamalan has a better batting average than Tarantino, who also really only had two great films as a director (Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction). I guess I just find QT's misfires more watchable than Shyamalan's because they don't hinge entirely on the audience accepting a questionable plot point (that's what ruined Signs for was just clumsily/conveniently built, plotwise - these Aliens wouldn't have anticipated water troubles on an 80% water planet?). At least when QT's stuff misfires, I can usually count on being entertained by some choice dialogue snippets (except in the case of Kill Bill, which was just worthless in my opinion).

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:29 a.m. CST

    I dont get the hate for Shamalayn

    by Lovecraftfan

    Ill admit I really didn't like The Village although it looked gorgeous but Ive always thought his other films were great and is one of the few directors willing to put out original stuff. Remeber how all of you complain about remakes and sequels. Originality is good.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:30 a.m. CST

    rotten666, the film began in a 19th centruy style village with m

    by Citizen Arcane

    It doesn't matter if you guessed it or when it came in the film, that's a twist. This isn't rocket science.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Sorry but Speilgberg hasnt been great in a long long ti

    by Lovecraftfan

    I enjoyed Catch Me and I enjoyed Minority Report. Terminal was God awful and Munich is overrated. Speilberg hasnt made any truly great films sicne Jurassic Park and Close Encounters essnetially his golden years.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST


    by TheBoyFromUlster

    knowthyself, What are you banging about, 'give the guy some respect' no-one gets, or is allowed any respect on this site.....Thats why I like it! So as the Disciples said to Brian, Why don't you just fuck off! I like the '"SHYAMALAMADINGDONG" joke and thus, I decree, it will stay forever!!!

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11 a.m. CST

    My favorite thing about MNS movies...

    by Firebird

    James Newton's Howard's scores. Especially loved the violin for The Village.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the review, nicely done.

    by minderbinder

    Too bad this movie is such a crapfest. Hard to believe that it's actually probably worse than the trailer makes it look. And MSL's second film in a row that makes it hard to believe the description. "You're kidding...he *couldn't* have really put THAT in the movie"

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Is it okay if I still call Shyamalan my sugar-doo-dee-doop?

    by Tony Mike Hall

    Only because he puts the ooooh-mau-mau back into my smile, child.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:07 a.m. CST

    "Mr. Tamberine Man" in the opening credits

    by IAmLegolas

    I hope that's the William Shatner version. (Did someone already beat me to the punch on this joke? I haven't read all the TB's yet)

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:18 a.m. CST

    obviously we don't agree

    by rotten666

    let me get this straight....THERE WAS NO GUESSING INVOLVED...I DIDN"T "FIGURE"ANYTHING OUT... it was obvious. I'll act it out: The sixth sense: Holy shit he's a ghost! Unbreakable: Holy shit Samuel L. is his evil arch enemy! 45 minutes into the Village: Gee, obviously these people have been damaged by modern society and are sheilding their offspring from the world by hiding out in the woods somewhere. Do you get what I'm saying?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    beating a dead horse...

    by rotten666

    ok consider this... pretend the prequel trilogy came out first. would you call Anakin turning to the dark side a twist? Or could you figure out by the second movie becuase lucus was telegraphic his punches??

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Walter Kornbluth

    by Veraxus

    You sound like one of my whiny film school professors. Constantly whining about everyones WIPs while your work is complete unabashed formulaic shit. I guess I'm the antithesis to the rest of the moviegoing population. I HATED Sixth Sense (I "figured it out" in the first 5 minutes), Unbreakable, and Signs... but I positively LOVED The Village. It definately sounds like Lady in the Water meeds some cleaning up (that is what test screenings are for, after all - to identify specific elements the audiences like and don't like), but there is also absolutely nothing wrong with story elements staying enigmatic. If you want movies where every facet of the story is explained to you in a tidy epilogue, go watch anything Spielberg has done in the last decade (he needs to have a long hard talk with Cronenberg - noone ends a movie like Cronenberg). Some things are magic and magic needs no explanation, no epilogue, no reasoning.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:28 a.m. CST

    yes, but it won't be as good as circa 1965...

    by jig98

    that movie will blow mission: impossible 3, poseidon and dare i say, the MOTHERFUCKING da vinci code when it hits may 5th! chris collins is the SHIT!! CRAZED QUOTERS BEAT NARFS FROM MAGICAL WORLDS BY A LONG SHOT!

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Unless of course its a Double Deceptive Plant Bluff With A Twist

    by flamingrunt

    The studios get the word of mouth out that there is no twist by planted reviews. But thats the twist! It has a Twist! And 5 minutes towards the end of the movie Mel Gibson comes out and reveals everyone has elbows for cocks and cocks for elbows

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:47 a.m. CST

    I think Sheeld (first!) said it best...

    by Hail

    Is it good or not? And this guy should should more subtle about a film he critiques. It's a frickin' test screening and he's judging it like the Bible! Besides just what everyone wants: A Shayamalan filmed ruined before its release, because some fucker saw it in its unfinished form. I think this review is more pretentious than the tagline..."A Betime Story..."

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by R.C. the "Wise"

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Thoughts on M.Night and being scared that this movie will suck..

    by vinceklortho

    Love M. Night as a filmmaker. He is one of the best out there, a true disciple of Hitchcock in every sense of the word. If you want to call him a "hack", you would probably consider M. Bay not a "hack". There are too many other for hire studio directors that literally get pissed on when M. Night comes out with a movie. He's great, not that great. Better than a lot of directors out there. Get your head out of your ass. The Village is his worst movie and it's not THAT bad. I'll give you the ending, which is just a stupid ploy for him to throw in another twist. Signs is an awesome example of manipulating the audience with genre bends and heart mixed with some chilling thrills. I'm really worried that this will bomb. It's still very, very early, though. It comes out in July. It seems he just had a problem with the pacing...the 2 1/2 hours it runs at. Its a lot easier to cut than to add on, so let's hope they learn from the tests. God, I hope this is fucking good.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:55 a.m. CST

    No One Who Posts to a Talkback...

    by SamuelLappDance

    should ever call into question the directing skills of Steven Spielberg. And that includes Kevin Smith. No matter what you have done in your life, your accomplishments can never touch the holy combo of "Jaws," "Close Encounters," "Raiders," and "E.T." As far as I'm concerned, those four flicks have given Spielberg a free pass to make whatever movie he wants to make and end 'em however he wants to end him. If Spielberg never had those four to his credit and his career just included "The Color Purple," "Empire of the Sun," "Schindler's List," "Jurassic Park," "Minority Report," "Saving Private Ryan," "A.I.," "War of the Worlds," and "Munich" he would still die a legend of the cinema. He is Da Man. All others living bow down before him. That said, Robbie being alive at the end of "War of the Worlds" is the single worst creative decision since ... well, since replacing the guns in "E.T." with phones.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:05 p.m. CST


    by Spacesheik

    at least MARS ATTACKS had Tom Jones sing "It's not unusual." Or MINORITY REPORT: I still shudder at that scene where the blindfolded Tom Cruise looks for a sandwhich and chooses a bugger infested old filth in the fridge. Any movie that ends with a bald girl shouting here head off while a CGI helicopter circles her house is not getting an A in my book. As for A.I. im sure you guys enjoyed the "star celebrity voices" such as chris rock and robin williams in that robot graveyard/demolition scene. Or the Wizard of Oz ending. Or the cute teddy bear. That's not Kubrick folks, thats bad cinema. Or wait how about AMISTAD which took a 15 year court case and for creative decisions made it 6 months in the film with a tedious star performance by Anthony Hopkins. Or how about TERMINAL with Tom Hanks doing his "im stuck here alone" shtick - but this time sans le island - and throw in Zeta Jones as a sexy stewardess - wow! That's cinema! NOT.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Thank goodness for Talkbacks like this - were not all Richard Sh

    by Spacesheik

    Spielberg needs to pay a bit more attention to talkbalkers and less attention on the Richard Shickels of the world

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:13 p.m. CST


    by Veraxus

    ...and let's not forget the extra 15 minutes at the end of AI, and the two guys on the bridge at the end of Munich, and yes, the fucking craptacular ending for War of the Worlds (I swear to God it's like they cut that in from a different movie). Spielberg is losing his sense of subtlety. It's by no means as bad as Lucas, but if Munich had ended with Avner on the phone with the Mafia guy (or him lying disinterested next to his wife, just before the final sex scene) - the movie would been 100% more powerful. All of his movies since Shindler's List have been about 15 minutes too long. All movies have a natural ending, where it's most effective - but with Spielberg the movie just keeps going - usually so that the characters can stand around and hit you over the head with the moral of the story (as if we havn't already got it). You basically confirmed this in your own post. Sure he has a right to end it any way he wants, and I have a right to say that his endings are ruining what would otherwise be classic films.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:16 p.m. CST


    by Veraxus

    Dead-on. Bravo.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Knowthyself beat me to it...

    by Mooly

    Sixth Sense and the Village were the only two with twist endings. A "twist" forces you to look baack upon the events in the movie and realize that the clues were there all along...and therefore change how you look at the movie. In Sixth Sense, the dead thing makes you re-evaluate everything, the same thing for The Village. The characters aren't who you thought they were. BUt there is no twist in Signs or Unbreakable. Those movies aren't about hiding the ending from the audience but are about self discovery and emotional impact. Saying "Unbreakable" had a twist ending is like saying every crime movie ever has a twist ending simply because you find out who the real criminal is in the end. Holy Crap! Every CSI and Law & Order must also have twist endings becuase at first, you don't know who the bad guy is...but then you do at the end! You may as well say Signs "twist" is the same "twist" in every movie in that the monsters are beaten. Gotta love all those twists in the Godzilla movies, or every Horror movie ever made.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Horizontal scroll-inducing tards

    by BrandLoyalist

    OTP. The first person to deliberately force horizontal scrolling with a bigstupidstreamofconciousnseswithnowhitespace played a good joke on us all. Their identity is now lost to talkback history. The daily imitators are just annoying mailbox-vandalizing buttplugs. It's rare, but every now and then someone actually tries to read a post, you know! The code that purges html from these posts should suppress anything longer than 60 characters with the string [...] or something.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:25 p.m. CST

    "Saying "Unbreakable" had a twist ending is like saying every cr

    by newc0253

    of course 'unbreakable' had a fucking twist: we find out that someone who we thought all along was a good guy (i.e. helping the hero to become a hero) was ACTUALLY A VILLAIN. the 'twist' in signs was that his wife's seemingly random utterances were ACTUALLY SEEING THE FUTURE. jesus, some folk really are too dense to see the wood for the trees.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:26 p.m. CST

    I avoided THE VILLAGE in theaters cuz of Mori's early script

    by George Newman

    I really enjoy the story and acting of the film. I just don't treat it like a Twist Film. I'm not trying to uncover the ending throughout the film, I just experience the story. And its nice. Now I am not some rabid fan of Shyamalan's. I dont own any of the movies (Unbreakable is the only one really worth owning, nothing else of his has the rewatchability factor I need in films). I hate hate hate the ending of Signs. I hate really hate M's coincidence Idea. Maybe its just the coincidences he chose that sucked: 'Swing away!' and stupid obsessive-compulsive girl who doesn't put her dishes in the sink. Sucks. sucks sucks sucks. It cheap. It isnt thrilling like the rest of the film was. Poop,,, poop mouth..

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Spielberg vs. Shyamalan

    by Flickerhead

    Tony Mike Hall, I agree with you -- it's too early in Shyamalan's career to compare him with Spielberg, and Night is in danger of becoming a one-trick pony. I also agree that "Munich" is his most interesting film yet (if not his best). However, I must also agree with knowthyself, that Spielberg's biggest weakness has always been his endings, which are typically contrived, trite, and ham-fisted. "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan" are among the worst offenders, turning the films' emotional subtexts into blatant, self-conscious, melodramatic speeches. It's as if Spielberg doesn't trust his own storytelling enough, like those old grade "z" horror flicks with notices at the beginning to warn the audience about how scary the film is. It's notable that he finally resisted this urge (sort-of) with "Munich." (If anyone's interested in my review of "Munich" and why it's Spielberg's most interesting film, see As a rule, though, Spielberg's at his best when he's producing feel-good adventure flicks. He ought to stick with what he's good at. _____________ (And, by the way, Tony Mike Hall, I'm sorry I never had a chance to respond to your final thoughful post in the "Rocky" debate. Real life intervened.)

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable - Twist or Revelation

    by oisin5199

    I'd argue that Unbreakable's revelation worked like a twist, because learning that Jackson's character is the villain DOES make you rethink the film, what his motivations were, how Willis responded to him, the point of the film, etc. The end title is the only flaw in an otherwise perfect film for me. Still wish he could pull a George Lucas and fix that. And I've said it before and I'll say it again - people who obsess over the twists completely miss the point of MNS's films. The twists, if they're there at all, are only to highlight the story. And I'm going to ignore all the reviews of Lady in the Water, because I read some dumbass reviews of The Village (especially Ebert's) and when I saw it, I knew they were completely WRONG. It's not as close to my heart as 6th Sense or Unbreakable, but it's still an excellent film, no matter what any of you say.

  • Every movie is a total piece of shit. I have been wasting my enitre life. Thank you all so much for making me finally realize this.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Signs - twist or revelation

    by oisin5199

    Now the whole 'wife seeing the future' thing is a bit of a stretch. Given the theme of the film (faith), I think that Mel's character was simply inspired to interpret his wife's comments in the moment to save his family. That he had faith that this inspiration would prove correct and work. I think it's intentionally ambiguous and it's highly doubtful we're supposed to think that his wife suddenly became a fortune teller. I would maintain that there's absolutely no 'twist' in Signs.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST

    The Village was so bad...

    by myspoonistoobig made me change my opinion on Signs. It was like...once Shyamalan had made a movie so bad all the seams showed, then watching his older stuff I could easily find all the problems there too. It overwhelmed a movie like Signs. Yes, the son should have definitely been dead at the end of War of the Worlds. That pissed me off. Yes, Munich wasn't all that great and the sex scene was...well, what the fuck. And I didn't see A.I. because I was told it was massively boring. But there was nothing wrong with Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal or Minority Report, even if they didn't have some sort of cold, dark, non-Spielbergian ending. But that's about as far as I care to defend Steven Spielberg. He makes popcorn movies. Great ones, maybe, but still popcorn movies really. I can't wait 'till Shyamalan, what with the acidic ending of The Village and this whiny, five-year-old film critic presence in this film, makes a movie that just plain pisses off all of America. I will smile.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by Veraxus

    I have a saying: I don't hate movies. I hate *bad* movies. I just happens that most movies are bad.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:43 p.m. CST


    by myspoonistoobig

    Signs didn't need a twist. It could have been more Close Encounters than Independence Day (damn it, more Spielberg) but instead the aliens just had to be malicious. Very very simply, I think at the end, they should walk outside and there's the last alien ship taking off in their cornfield and it leaves a crop circle behind. It could be stunning enough to restore Mel's faith and shocking enough to enduce the asthma attack. As for "swing away," I dunno, but that was dumb anyway.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    the twist is

    by w1k

    that there is no twist. that'll be the real shocker. when people walk out of the theater they'll be like "holy crap. that twist was amazing" and their friends will be like "what was it? i'm not going to see the movie anyway after The Village" and they'll say "nothing. there was no fucking twist! isn't that an amazing twist?" "yeah, thanks for ruining it."

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Shyamalan plagerized the movie poster!

    by Trazadone

    Check out his poster and then the Shallow Ground poster: Lady in the Water Shallow Ground

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:50 p.m. CST

    OMG The Village didn't have REAL monsters!?

    by Veraxus

    Therefore it sucks. The "twist" in The Village wasn't much of a twist at all, but I thought the movie was very good in it's own right. I think most of the bitterness surrounding the movie was a result of the deceptive marketing campaign, which painted it as a supernatural thriller when, in fact, it was a marvelous human drama.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST

    "the spy didn't have a spy name so I dubbed him cornblut"

    by Windowlicker74

    what kind of bullshit is that? Quint is obviously running the show these days..I'm starting to long for Harry again....

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST


    by Veraxus

    Because footprints obviously have never been used in posters before.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by Tony Mike Hall

    Thank you for your post. First, re: the endings, I am willing to concede that Spielberg has been heavy-handed of late. Although teh ending of Schindler's List (the placing of the stones) was an obvious shout out to the people of his faith, almost like a postscript, I'll agree that it pulls the audience out of the story of the film. I don't think Saving Private Ryan was as egregious, but I see what you're saying: there are better ways to cinematically express the guilt Ryan would be feeling. I will not defend The Terminal or WOTW, I will agree these are misses. But I see no problem with the ending of Munich - I am going to reread your review to see if you address it there - but I approve of the note that film ends on. Finally, I am glad that we are in agreement that Shyamalan needs to establish more of a track record before we compare the two. And no worries about the "Rocky" thread - I shouldn't have wasted my earlier posts on flames and got to the point faster. It's good that your life comes before this message board.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST

    birdy birdman, say you're sorry for stretchng the TB, you tw

    by I Dunno

    They have to know what they're doing, since this is the only board I know of that can't handle continuous characters without sapces and it's also the only one I know where people type them in posts.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Oh please, scrivener, they're VERY similar

    by Trazadone

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Are the terms "twist" and "revelation" really...

    by Childe Roland

    ...officially defined somewhere in some film school textbook the way a couple of folks have used them above? Because I'm sorry, but it sounds like bullshit down here. I know what a revelation is (even outside the Biblical context) and I will maintain to my last breath that if a revelation at the end of the film gives information that is unexpected and will make you look at the film slightly differently the next time you watch it, you've just experienced a "twist" ending. Unbreakable absolutely has a twist ending. So does Signs (even though I loathed that fucking movie, I rented it after seeing it in the theater just to make sure the Aliens couldn't have encountered water, moisture or humidity in the first four-fifths of the film and knowing that there was no way they could've avoided exposure to water prior to the "Swing Away" sequence actually succeeded in making the movie that much worse). Call it a twist or a revelation or whatever you want. It's intended to be a surprise in each and every instance. Just because he didn't do something successfully (like with the Village) doesn't mean he wasn't trying.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST

    threatening kids with guns

    by misnomer

    Spielberg-bashing? the man is famous for a reason you know.. And as for the whole "guns into walkie-talkies" thing, I really dont see the problem. It makes no difference to the story WHATSOEVER- its a film about a lonely boy who befriends an alien for christ sake. its a FAMILY movie- the tone of the film never called for having kids "threatened" with guns. It was an entirely justifiable move by a responsible director. Having said that, I find the new edition of E.T to be largely unwatchable-the cgi feels so out of place in contrast with everything else. Although, I think his more recent films are getting better because they are dealing with more though provoking issues and themes. Is he biting off more than he can chew? possibly,but at least hes trying. Minority Report was faultless. Artificial Intelligence was solid (although had it ended in the water, it wouldve been a classic.) I LOVED WOTW- I havent been that effected by a film since the opening scenes of JURASSIC PARK. Okay, so worlds wasnt faultless. I always thought the aliens should have been something less obvious,more ghost-like. how cool would it have been if they were just like evil consciousnesses or some shit like that? The son surviving was a little far-fetched, but at the same time, what would be the point of the main character becoming a responsible father if his kid died anyway? it wouldnt serve the character arc. The terminal? I liked the terminal alot-it was an enjoyable film and an interesting concept. Shyamalan vs Spielberg? No contest. Spielberg has only ever made one bad movie- "the lost world." Thats one misfire-not bad considering how many films hes made. Shyalaman? 3 out of 5 have been misfires.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST

    just my opinion is all....

    by misnomer

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Sheesh, WOTW...

    by Durendal

    Was just Xenu trying to purge everyone of their Thetans. The side effect is that it turned them into talcum powder. Maybe Xenu was going after Tom Cruise for being such a Scientologist asshat...

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Long, waaay tooo long. Just get to the point.

    by alucardvsdracula

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    On the Village...

    by Sakurai

    Same thing as some of you have mentioned. I knew the twist going into it so i just focused on the acting and the wonderful visuals. I really liked it. I felt bad for those who were too wrapped up in what the twist was to notice that Bryce Howard is one of the best young actresses today. Wonderful film.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    it would be helpful if the reviews on this site would say at the

    by cornstalkwalker

    I hate trying to skim through the article, avoiding spoilers, looking for the sentence that says something to the lines of, overall I enjoyed the film. Or, perhaps, the film is trash. I don't really want to know all the details of the film.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Goddamn M. Night sucks

    by ZeroC

    It's ironic how his mindless fans can put up with his overlong, self-indulgent films, and yet criticize this review for being too long and not getting to the point quickly enough.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    M. Night Shama-lama-ding-dong

    by Buck Turgidson

    The trailer looked ridiculous. Come on... Does any one really believe a shitty old bungalow, within 20 feet of the swimming pool, could have withstood the wrecking ball when this hotel was built?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Re: " I dont wanna read all that, just tell me if it's good

    by jollysleeve

    Translation: I want desperately to be a first poster, so I need to post SOMETHING in the next five seconds so I have no time to read the actual article.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Good review.

    by jollysleeve

    Really well-written review. Even though I've been critical of M Night, and thought the Village was pretty bad, I was still kind of looking forward to this. Disappointing to hear this report. I'll still probably check it out on DVD.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Steve Speilberg has lost all credibility?

    by Wee Willie

    With who? You? Don't make me laugh. Credibility? What the fuck are you talking about? Yeah, WOTW was such a flop and a mis-step it ONLY made half a billion dollars. God, what a loser! And isn't this talkback about M. Night Shyamalan? I didn't love The Village, but it was better than most of the shit out that summer (I'm lookin' at you, Spiderman 2! "Go get 'em Tiger, my ass!") Signs rocked, Unbreakable rocked. 6th Sense rocked... Even Hitchcock didn't knock 'emn out of the park every time. The guy is building a body of work. You nerds are so quick to dismiss people after one not-so-great movie.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Cornstalkwalker and others who think this is too long

    by abcdefz7

    Yeah; it is, really. But five sentences in, the writer says what you need to know: "However, the film in its current state gives one the impression that as he sits by his daughters' bedside, they have fallen asleep after about fifteen minutes, while Shyamalan continues to ramble onward in an overcaffeinated stupor." That kinda sets the stage.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 4:11 p.m. CST

    "the same hunched, disillusioned ardor"

    by DocPazuzu

    Good lord... Looking up either "ardor", "arduousness" or "oxymoron" would have fixed that heinous phrase. As for Shyamalan, I loved The Sixth Sense and (especially) Unbreakable. I find Signs to be increasingly tolerable, but subtle it ain't. The Village was almost unwatchable, however. It was like a bad parody skit of a Shyamalan film which wouldn't end. Dreadful, dreadful movie full of respected actors who were whoring themselves, servicing awful material in order to be seen in a film by the current director flavor-of-the-month. Pathetic and embarrassing. Not that whoring myself in that fashion is something I'd refuse to do if I were an actor, but let's at least be honest about what it is.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Robot Chicken said it best:

    by fiester

    "What a twist!"

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Village = The Road (c) Nigel Kneale

    by Scrip'teaser

    Go read it and weep.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 5:03 p.m. CST

    A very fair assessment...

    by Childe Roland

    ...of Shyamalan's body of work, Doc. Although I have to wonder how Signs is getting more tolerable? Are you romantcizing the memory of Mel's last pre-crazy film or have you actually revisited it willingly (like I said, even I was drawn back to the scene of that crime against intelligence once, so it's okay).

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by Scrip'teaser

    Spielberg is an artful and hugely gifted director with a mercurial imagination who biggest weakness is the prism of nostalgia and romanticism with which he views his subjects, and quite possibly, the world. This is highlighted in his 'boy's own' portrayal of Nazi's in RAIDERS, and his attempts in subsequent films to 'get serious'. His fixation with Cruise, an OK actor, a BIG name, (a little guy) is another dimension of his honey-colored glasses vision of character - especially in the dreadful mish-mash that was WAR OF THE WORLDS. However, Spielberg's canon of film IS Hollywood, and defines that rare Golden (as in the Golden Era) seam that ran through the 1980's and 1990's. M Night is a writer and opportunist film maker, who plunders TWILIGHT ZONE and NIGEL KNEALE and HAMMER HOUSE and WEIRD TALES and various other sources; some obscure and sometimes obvious, to further a jobbing career. To compare him to Spielberg is nothing short of Geek Blasphemy. (Or simple stupidity.)

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Munich ended with someone literally getting off to tragedy.

    by Winterchili

    What the fuck?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Two words that should never appear in a talk-back.

    by Capt. Blackadder

    Matt Lauer.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST


    by Veraxus

    Hey, what's with the Jeunet-knocking? The guy has ten times the talent of 99% of the directors in Hollywood. Lest you forget, he also delivered "City of Lost Children" and "Delicatessen" before Amelie was even a thought. Since then he also delivered A Very Long Engagement. In other words, if Alien Ressurrection is your weakest movie, then you're doing pretty damn good. Jeunet is, more or less, the french equivalent of Terry Gilliam.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Citizen Arcane, do you think originality even...

    by drewATX

    really exists anymore? Did it ever truly exist? Something free of any influence whatsoever?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Oooh, possibility of Scream 4 AND a new film by MNS..

    by Lone Fox

    Thanks alot Hollywood...

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:27 p.m. CST

    The "twist ending" of Shyamalan's "Signs"...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...was that the evil scheming yet obviously intelligent beings from another world who perish at the very touch of water decided to attempt to conquer a planet whose composition is 75% water. The particular "twist" makes us re-think of these aliens, whom we previously thought to be superior to us in every way, to be, in the end, kind of dumb...

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Can't compare Shyamalan with Hitchcock...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Hitchcock used the genre of mystery and suspense as a means to an end. That end was "cinema" itself, the very act of composing cinematic images and sounds to create an effect. Hitchcock was very much in the same mindset as Russian director Sergei Eisenstein, who created the theory of montage editing. Both were students of the cinema. A good book to read more into Hitchcock's modus operandi is "Hitchcock/Truffaut". It's this reason why Brian DePalma constantly references Hitchcock, why he was called "the Master", why the French critics loved him, and in turned helped inspire the French New Wave in the 60's. Now, Shyamalan, on the other hand, is the kind of director, and this is the majority of them, who uses cinema as a means to an end, that end being "twists" on a particular genre, such as the ghost story, the super-hero, alien encounters, or the boogey man. Also, Hitchcock's stories involved particular revelations mid-way through the film, which then required the characters to deal with that revelation in one way or another. Hitchcock didn't believe in "trick endings." He said that himself. Shyamalan's films are all about "trick endings", in fact, his films would be nothing without them. Not to take anything away from Shyamalan as a nice guy and decent weaver of multiplex masterworks, you just can't compare him to Alfred Hitchcock.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 7:54 p.m. CST

    The only writer working today who creates more fan excitement th

    by Anchoriite

    It's a good thing they're both excellent.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:02 p.m. CST

    "city of lost children never heard of, delicatessen sorry"

    by Veraxus

    Good God, man! You're missing out on two of the most fantastically bizzarre and wonderful movies ever created. Get City of Lost Children NOW and order a copy of Delicatessen from for your region free player (it never got released on DVD in the states). I quite liked Amelie, even if it wasn't as good as those two and Alien Resurrection was merely decent. A Very Long Engagement was good, but it was also A Very Long Movie (though not long and uneventful as King Kong)... I find it funny you try and convict the greatest french director that ever lived having not even seen his best work.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:02 p.m. CST

    M. Night Depression (A Swing and a Miss!)

    by DeltonParker

    I have read this talk back with much enthusiasm and I don't usually read past the first few rantings, however this one really caught my attention. I see there are some passionate M. Night Shyamalan fans out there. Some fanatical enough to suggest he has surpassed the Godfather of event movies Grampa Spielberg, who I would agree is past his prime and suffering from overexposure. My feelings on M. Night's movies can be collected into one argument. To me the movies are my ultimate form of escapism and to really escape, to really get pulled into a movie and stay there with my hands dug into the artifical leather armrests, you need to get me some EMOTIONAL IMPACT. Now Sixth Sense without a doubt I felt it. Wham! Why is the mood depressing? Why is Bruce so Somber? Well he is not only in a meloncholy funk (as is the boy), but in the end you must agree a movie centered around death must be somber. Now lets move to M. Night's next films.. Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village. Having a knack for trick endings or revelations (no matter what you call it) is a gimmick and a draw. It is why you go to see an M. Night movie? (I hate to break it to you guys, but Hitchcock relied on it, Spielberg relied on it, and so did Coppolla.) THEY ARE EVENT MOVIES! THEY ARE ALL MAGICIANS WITH A CERTAIN STYLE! So back to my original point, its not the gimmick that bothers me. It is EMOTIONAL IMPACT. LONG, SOMBER, EMOTIONLESS, DOESN'T PULL ME IN. My friend told me something funny when we walked out of The Village. "This guy really needs to do a comedy, because his movies all have one emotional undercurrent SAD, DREARY, DEPRESSING" M. Night may have entertained me. Unbreakable I can watch to this day, but it never pulled me in which is why I go to the movies. THATS IT! I'm outta here!!

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Beetlejuice Dead and Loving It!

    by DeltonParker

    Before you guys hammer me for my comment "A movie about death must be somber." Let Me RePhrase "The Somber atmosphere worked worked for me in Sixth Sense cause the theme was about death."

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:32 p.m. CST

    I knew this was gonna suck

    by geek molester

    I liked Signs. It's a freakin science fiction movie, who the fuck cares if water kills the aliens? Faith was one of the themes of that film, did you ever consider that possibly God made it so we could protect ourselves from the aliens with water? just a thought. I didn't like The Village so much, it pretty much sucked balls, for a Shamalamadingdong movie. Compared to other shit Hollywood does it wasn't that bad.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Oh so it was BAD??? That's it then. The movie is officially

    by Orionsangels

    Aw well, good luck next time shamyshamlammy whateva ya name is. Mr. one trick pony. NEXT! J/K lol

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 12:16 a.m. CST

    You removed the review?

    by J-Dizzle

    You guys are such cockteases.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 4:22 a.m. CST

    Spielberg needs a long vacation. He's overexposed. Makes too

    by Spacesheik

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 4:35 a.m. CST

    feh, it was a crappy review anyway

    by newc0253

    and not merely because the reviewer didn't like the movie. it was badly-written and all over the place. it was probably some teenager who got to go with his parents and now they've found out it was him and had him grounded.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 5:08 a.m. CST

    it was a vicious review thats why the poster ask it be removed -

    by Spacesheik

    it was a review by someone who seemed to have a grudge against shyamalan

  • Don't take another's word for it. Do it yourselves dudes. Is it so hard? Can you all keep the fuck shut up untill y'all see the film? Hmmm? And if you don't want to, why that's cool too BUT WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN THIS TB? NOT GETTING ENOUGH SEX?

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 7:37 a.m. CST

    I'm here cuz

    by geek molester

    I can tell guys like you to stick your willie in a blender and set it to puree! Actually I agree, seems like most people, or maybe it just seems that way, that post on here have some sort of object stuck up their arse pertaining to one director or another for whatever fuckin reason and will incessently bash them even if they haven't seen the fuckin flick. I like Shyamalamadindong's movies for the most part but c'mon dude, is this really like a remake of Splash or something? WTF? you KNOW its gonna suck. Whats the twist, the girl is in a mermaid costume and tricks him into marrying him without a pre-nup cuz what the hell, a mermaid can't exactly go around buyin Vercace shit with a credit card can they? fish are cheap so why worry!

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Sure, geek molester...

    by Childe Roland's entirely possible that god made the water purposely harmful to the aliens...just like he made the fire purposely harmful to us humans. That's why we haven't started planning a hostile takeover of the sun. And we aren't even smart enough to have developed interstellar travel. So the aliens were just fucking stupid. And the movie wasn't even consistent in its treatment of their allergy. It was a fucking misty night when they were chasing the alien around the outside of the house. Why didn't that big-eyed gray fucker scream as the condensation hit his skin? Why didn't his feet fry on the dew-speckled grass? Why wasn't he wearing a fucking slicker, at least? It was a clumsily/conveniently slapped together plot that was used to hammer home a clumsy and convenient point during its surprise TWIST ending (because no-one would ever have believed aliens smart enough to travel through space would try to take over a planet where they're potentially allergic to the atmosphere depending on the fucking dew point).

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 8:49 a.m. CST


    by Wee Willie

    Nowhere in the film does it say the aliens are trying to take over the world.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Of course they don't SAY they're trying to take over...

    by Childe Roland

    ...Wee Willie. They don't speak English. But for the sake of argument, let's say their objective isn't domination or colinization. Let's say they're just on a 78% water planet for a snack. Why the happy fuck wouldn't they have suited up? I didn['t see any goatees or Mountain Dew cans, so I highly doubt it was for the X-treme thrill of risking death with every breath and every step. So don't even pretend that little loophole of not explicitly knowing why the aliens were there invalidates my fundamental criticism of this major plot point.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 10:27 a.m. CST

    The Review Got Taken Off Because It Was Devastatingly ACCURATE

    by Rebeck

    It called this piece-of-shit film for what it was and people (cough studio weasels) got very nervous. And the review was well thought-out and better written than 99% of the crap written by illiterate talkback assholes, so please, give me a break. It's ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC how desperate M Night's fans are to stay in denial. You're a liar! It's going to be another masterpiece! Like SIGNS, the biggest cinematic turd of the last ten years! Get a life.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 10:38 a.m. CST

    All these alien movies are so lame.

    by Spice-Orange

    if and when something from another world comes to destory us, you can bet that they wont fall to WATER, GERMS or POLKA MUSIC. I think its so stupid that our human nature makes us think we're the biggest shit in the turd pile when, in all likelyhood, we'll be squashed before we even knew what hit us. I wanna see an alien movie where we get wiped out completely, survivors are slaves and theres no hope what so ever of us fighting back. maybe if you need a "positive" or "hero" element, have good aliens come in and attack the bad ones, but at the end of the day, us humans are retarded and we all know it. Hollywood Directors suck. oh, and to say something on topic: M.Night will never have another 6th or Unbreakable. its impossible. you cant be genius forever in this industry. Look at Lucas and Speilberg. They suck now.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    The mere fact that "aliens" could reach our planet proves they a

    by morGoth

    But, I agree, the aliens in "Signs" were dumber than a brickbat. "Hmmm, I see this planet we're about to invade is a nice sparkling blue color. Doesn't that indicate mass quantities of H2O?" The fleet commanders personal aide responds as he hands the Commander another tall glass of sintered bug-muck, "Oh, no sir, our intel folks assured us it's covered with sapphires. Piece of cake."

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Childe Roland

    by DocPazuzu

    In reply to your question about my increased tolerance for Signs - yes, I've actually watched it repeatedly over the past few years. Not that it becomes a better film each time I view it (like Unbreakable), it's just one of those films that feels... cosy. It has an atmosphere I find enjoyable for some reason. Signs is the only film I can think of that actually feels like it's on painkillers or cough syrup. A very strange vibe, to be sure, but also vaguely entertaining in that way. As for the whole water-allergic aliens thing, it never really bothered me since I never viewed the film as hard SF. Sure, it's as stupid as "point five past light speed" or spaceships roaring audibly through the cosmos, but it's not what the film is about in the final analysis anyway. Personally, I think if Shyamalan had spent a little more time thinking about the script he would most likely have come up with a more believable lethal substance allergy and could then have had BOTH an exploration of faith and decent science fiction. It certainly was something I thought about after viewing the film for the first time, but I have since just learned to ignore it.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Get off the whole aliens and water thing

    by oisin5199

    The movie's not about aliens, for Chrissakes. Trying to explain the water thing could not be further from missing the point. It's symbolic, anyway. (water = baptism?)This isn't a scifi extravaganza. It's a Twilight Zone. The aliens are a convenient way to have a story about a minister who lost his faith and his family. It's about the human story. The aliens are just a metaphorical plot device. This isn't Independence Day (which made even less sense, anyway). You watch MNS films for human stories, and sorry to break it people who'd rather his films be comedies, sometimes human stories can be serious. Like another poster, I still reference the breakfast scene in Unbreakable as an amazing example of a rich, complex emotional scene with little to no dialogue. This is why MNS fans love his films. Not because of twists or aliens. If this kind of thing is not for you, fine. But the relentless bashing is just getting tired.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:05 a.m. CST

    This Talkback Proves How Great Shyamalan Is!

    by Harker-Writes

    Hell, there's not even a review posted here and yet this thread goes on and on. He must be doing something right for you all to want a piece of him.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:12 a.m. CST

    by DoogieHowitzer

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Nice call on the breakfast scene in Unbreakable

    by DocPazuzu

    That's one of my favorite modern movie moments. Wonderfully done. I also love some of the scenes of Dunn in his hood in the rain when he's attempting to rescue that family. A few shots are purely comic book, but not in an obnoxious or obvious way. Brilliant.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:19 a.m. CST

    oisin5199, if Signs is a Twilight Zone, then its a shitty season

    by chickychow

    because it sucks. had it been a GOOD Twilight Zone, it would've had balls and not some perfunctory revelation about water and faith and all this other cra- uh oh, startin to sound a little like Lost...

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Shyamalan's Endings

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Yes, I'll agree Shyamalan attempts to throw in visceral experiences, emotional moments, and the like into his movies, it's just that his clever endings tend to undermine anything we assumed was real in the film prior to. I understand M. wants to throw real people, real experiences, and real responses into a fantasy-genre milieu, but in the "end", I just feel like I've been set up for a big magic trick, or a really long joke. As for his emotionally resonating moments, I feel it's just more of the same "emotional button pushing" we get from any other Hollywood movie, nothing really special. The mother finally knowing that things are okay with her dead mother in "6th Sense" if you're easily sucked into that whole John Edwards flaptrap, Mel Gibson in "Signs" trying to save his dying asthmatic son as the alien attempts to steal him, "The Village"'s children running frightfully from some craftily concocted boogey-men. Mostly a lot of same old Hollywood button-pushing, if you ask me. "Let's do this or that there, and we're guaranteed to get a chill or a tear here." To his credit, Shyamalan seems to do it as well as any other Hollywood hack. Again, it's the clever endings that make M. Night's films stand out. If we weren't told that Bruce Willis was really a ghost at the end, "6th Sense" would have been just a sweet boring tale about a kid who sees dead people. If we weren't told in the end that "The Village" was actually an illusion set up by a couple of sicko hippy parents, the film would have been just another scary monster movie. In my opinion, Shyamalan's "true" adult moments of reality all ring false anyway, especially when we realize they were all a set-up to begin with. If I do get one thing from M. Night's films, it's those brief chilling moments he seems to include in each of his films. The kid seeing the dead biker at the end of "6th Sense", the first TV video footage we see of the alien a-la Sasquatch-Patterson film in "Signs," seeing the red-robed boogeyman pass under the watchtower for the first time in "Village." Those, for me, more than anything, are worth the ticket price of Shyamalan's films, in a sort of "carnival haunted fun-house" kind of way.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Compare the basement scene in SIGNS to the basement scene in WOT

    by Spacesheik

    the former had mood, tension, an aura of doom, the latter had CGI snake-head like aliens looking around while tom "youre a jerk you know that?" cruise stood by trying to avoid them - shyamalan is a better director at this sort of thing and as for REBEK who thought SIGNS was garbage, im glad you said that, cause now i know your post about LADY being shit and was removed is PURE BULLSHIT - you didnt like SIGNS eh? that means LADE IN THE WATER is probably a greta film

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Is that the porno version?

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST

    and for the record UNBREAKABLE was a great film, ruined only by

    by Spacesheik

    shyamalan had the audience by the balls until the last shot - i was in a theatre ive never seen an audience turn 180 degrees on a film like that - they loved it til that last shot

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:32 a.m. CST

    BTW saw FLIGHTPLAN last night - Shyamalan would have done wonder

    by Spacesheik

    A good looking thriller ruined by a hysterical Jodie Foster performance and a totally out of left field DIE HARD 2 ending that fucked the film up the arse - there was even a voiceover in the background going "she never gave up" - is that the kind og ego feeding movie that foster needs these days? If Shaymalan had directed that...Whats wrong with filmmakers these days NOBODY can fucking make an exciting airline pciture anymore? The last best airline picture i saw was the 20 minute beautifully shot and acted thrilling "nightmare at 20,000" segment of TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE. Man that George Miller (Road Warrior) is a fucking genius and John Lithgow *owned* your collective arses in that.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Exactly, oisin5199...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...without the planet dominating aliens and the rip-off/tribute Spielberg E.T./Close Encounters moments, "Signs" would have been just a rather one-note pedestrian Hollywood story about a simpleton priest who lost his faith.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Signs (abridged version)

    by Lone Fox

    Alien 1: 'There's a human child. Let us abduct it and thus continue our invasion of the planet.' Alien 2: 'Sounds like a plan.' Human Child: 'Waaahhhh boo hoo etc'. Alien 1: 'Bugger'.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:43 a.m. CST

    morgoth, that scene must have been cut from the final theatrical

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...and I think the aliens in WOTW were smarter, it's just with all their inter-stellar travel and roving tripod machine technology, they forgot to invent microscopes...

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Now I get it.

    by Childe Roland

    To enjoy Signs on a story level, you need to buy into the whole "Don't think so hard about stuff" and "Science is bullshit" and "God will protect and provide" thing. Completely explains why I think it's stupid. Doc P's explanation for revisiting sounds far more plausible (and entertaining) to me. If only M. Night had found a place for the mumbly Tobey Mac in his movie, it would have been a perfect consciousness killer. I'm sorry, but there is simply no way to extricate the faith allegory from the Alien device in Signs without revealing it for the hack job it is. Unless of course he'd made the Aliens terrorists and had their undoing be a combination of Miller Lite and NASCAR. But then it just would've been a campaign commercial. It's a sloppy, clumsy piece of work by a director whose previous works had impressed me. That's why it disappointed me so. By the time the Village rolled around, I wasn't in a position to be disappointed. It was just another unimpressive, conveniently structured movie with a twist (although it didn't insult my intelligence quite so much as Signs, so I hate it less).

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Again, I repeat, to the film school neophytes on this thread, Hi

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Hitchcock's particular revelations came in the middle of the film, to which the remainder of the film's story is about dealing with that revelation. In "Vertigo," Jimmy Stewart realizes that Madeline and Judy are the same person, he then reacts to it. In "Psycho," Janet Leigh, the main character, is killed halfway through. In "Rear WIndow," halfway through, everyone realizes there really is a killer living across the courtyard. The main characters then deal with it from there. The closest Hitchcock ever came to a twist ending was "Psycho", when we realize that the mother was dead all along, and that Anthony Perkins was the killer. But the true revelation was the cinematic one, of Hitchcock daring to kill the main character halfway through the film. I'd say if any Hollywood director today is continuing the "cinema technique" philosophy of Hitchcock, that would be Martin Scorsese, another(as Quentin Tarantino calls them) "cinema guy." Like Hitchcock, Scorsese's films are less about the subject matter, and more about the cinematic techniques and nods. Maybe that's why both Hitchcock and Scorsese historically have been snubbed of Oscar gold.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST

    MNS must be doing something right

    by oisin5199

    for people to disagree so wildly about his films. Really goes to show how we bring our own perceptions and expectations into watching a film. All I can say is that I cling to the belief that the majority of MNS detractors are completely missing the point. I can't think of a single other director that has made me want to see every one in his films IN the theatre. I like the stories and characters and mood and the experience I get while watching it. As a kid, with a kid's tastes, I probably might have said that about Spielberg (but that was mostly before home video and dvd, anyway). But certainly not now. As an adult who hasn't lost the childlike wonder, I love MNS films. I don't go looking for action, hard sci-fi or gimmicks. I don't believe in the ejaculatory method of watching films that most people here seem to adhere to. I look for great allegorical tales with human drama at the center. If that's cheesy and cliche, then maybe I'm just not cool enough for aint it cool.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 12:52 p.m. CST

    by myspoonistoobig

    People keep whining about how everyone complains about the twists. I don't plenty of things about his movies. I don't like how they're all melodramatic and pretentious and the most mainstream type of "awkward" humor and how they're manipulative and all that garbage. They're just...not that great. I liked The Sixth Sense and I liked Unbreakable, but those movies were while Shyamalan was gaining ego up to make a movie like Signs. Signs managed to mask its manipulative nature by mimicking his first two films and using the little bit of talent he had left, but after seeing The Village, everything that's wrong with Signs becomes apparent. It's like seeing how a magic trick was done. Once you see the sleight of hand going on behind the scenes you can't stop seeing it. Additionally, a bunch of directors have admittedly ripped off Shyamalan's deadpan straight-in-the-eye style of revelations and whatnot, and so that got played out as well, admittedly beyond his control but still true. He hasn't made any attempt to reinvent himself a little in the wake of all the copycats, which makes him look even more derivative. Contemporary great films like Requiem for a Dream, Oldboy, Se7en and whatever, they don't pander to the audience. Shyamalan not only narcissistically panders to the audience, but at the same time throws any respect or emotional response we give his films back in our face with "fucking white people" and "lazy American, eat too much McDonald's". Obviously he doesn't care about us, and yet he makes movies that are meant to be for our enjoyment. I mean, Spielberg certainly buys into the audience's expectations and occasionally gets a little too pretentious, but he doesn't talk down to us -- he's trying to make movies that people can connect with, no matter how corny or stupid they may be. Shyamalan clearly hates his viewers a lot and his detractors more, and that's going to be a very short path to travel.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 12:53 p.m. CST

    by myspoonistoobig

    Second sentence: "I don't LIKE plenty of things in his movies." Dammit.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST

    "maybe I'm just not cool enough for aint it cool"

    by newc0253

    trust me, if you're posting on a AICN talkback, cool is something you will never ever need to worry about.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 2:01 p.m. CST


    by emeraldboy

    I am very slowly going through Patrick McGilligans tome like bio of Hitchcock. One thing that is part of the hitchcock story is the Henley telegraph that company more than any other started Hitchcocks career in the film business by the time he left the company, he knew about camera lenses, cable lenghth, how to write about advertisements and how they should be lit etc, he even wrote stories that appeared in the paper, He loved absorbed the theatre and one go to shows on more than one occasion. So by the time he entered the film business, hitchcock was ready.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    If none of you like his films.

    by emeraldboy

    Then dont go.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    M. Night Shenanigans

    by trevorfactor

    this is bullshit, did anyone actually see the review that can give any details about the movie? such bullshit indeed - SHENANIGANS

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 2:22 p.m. CST

    "The death of any talkback."

    by DocPazuzu

    BZZZZZZT! " 'What does trevorfactor's appearance mean' , Alex."

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 2:45 p.m. CST

    I'll take Shyamalan over Boll or Anderson anyday..

    by Bong

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Childe Roland

    by Wee Willie

    I meant that there is a possibility the aliens landed for some other reason but that earthlings assumed it was a take-over. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I con't recall them blowing up buildings are asking anyone to surrender, don't they just land and walk around. Even the alien at the kids birthday party seemed to be lurking around without attacking anyone. Even if they were trying to take over the world, they would of course be aware that the earth is 75% water, but maybe there's something else they needed from us. After all, a dangerous, hostile environment never seems to stop humans from barging in and trying to take what they want? Like how we invaded Vietnam to get their rice. Know what I mean? (kidding)

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Now that interpretation could make the movie worth re-watching..

    by Childe Roland

    ...Wee Willie. What if the aliens really were just down for a look-about and all of a sudden people start freaking out on them and locking them in pantries and cutting off their fingers and throwing this toxic liquid at them? That pretty much flips the faith allegory on its ear and makes Gibson's and Phoenix's characters two of the dumbest, most unintentionally dangerous fucks in filmdom from that year. I'd love to see a director's cut with alien subtitles like: "Shit! Why are you throwing water on me? I'm totally allergic! I just wanted to say 'Hi!'" And maybe a post credit sequence where the aliens are back aboard their ship, toweling off, and they say something that translates into: "Crazy fucking Earth people." It would be even better (and truer to M. Night's Serlingian roots) if they then aimed a big ol' superweapon at Mel's house and blew the fuck out of them from orbit.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 3:43 p.m. CST

    "blew the fuck out of them from orbit."

    by DocPazuzu

    "It's the only way to be sure."

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 4:51 p.m. CST

    You people who think the water killed the aliens in Signs are MO

    by Novaman5000

    It wasn't the water, it was the bacteria in the water. What happens when you leave water sitting around for a couple days in a glass? It goes stagnant and beings to grow bacteria, hence why physicians say it's not a good health practice to drink out of bottles of water that have been open for a few days. This movie was based on War of the Worlds, and what happens in that story? BACTERIA kills the damn aliens. Not water. Do you really think M.Night would be that stupid as to employ a twist that assumes they never encountered ANY moisture on a planet 3/4ths covered in water? Use your brains, people. These things breathed our air. If it was water that killed them, our air (filled with water vapor, among other gasses) would have done them in long before they even had a chance to start taking over.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Novaman, you just reiterated my point...

    by Childe Roland

    ...about why the movie was so stupid. Because at no time is it ever implied it's the germs and not the water killing them. Nowhere in the movie does anyone even say: "Oh, honey! Don't drink that! Nasty bacteria growing in there. Let me get you a fresh glass." If it were germs, Shyamalan would've given some indication...some hint. He wouldn't have been able to help himself (because subtle, he ain't). You desperately want to believe he intended it to be germs, but your brain is making that leap without any specific prompting form the film. In fact, given M. Night's pathological use of water as the ultimate nullifier in Unbreakable, he's set a precedent for any use of water in his subsequent films to be suspect. So go on and keep shoving square pegs into the very round plotholes if you want to preserve the integrity of your precious movie for yourself, but don't think for a minute the rest of us are deficient for not sharing your delusion and looking at this lazy exercise in plotting with a critical eye.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 5:02 p.m. CST


    by myspoonistoobig

    Well, I COULD always wait for Shyamalan to put up a big sign in his next film that says DEAR AUDIENCE: I FUCKING HATE YOU but I don't think I will. Even if I don't know him at least I know the difference between "your" and "you're".

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Perhaps it was the flouridation of America's city water that

    by Chishu_Ryu that it compromised their Purity Of Essence...

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    I've been wanting to make a...

    by Childe Roland

    ..."precious bodily fluids" crack all thread, but all of this "You just don't get what Shyamalan was trying to do" nonsense has been in the way. Nicely played, Chishu!

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    You want a hint?

    by Novaman5000

    Actually, if you want a hint of the germs being the key, look at the little girl's explaination as to why she isn't drinking the water. She says, "IT'S CONTAMINATED." If that's not enough of a indication, I don't know what is. And check out War of the worlds. It's been cited time and time again as inspiration for this movie. Just because you refuse to see any halfway plausible explanation because you're so blinded by your Anti-M Night ramblings isn't my fault. It's in there.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 5:22 p.m. CST

    I guess implicitly stating it through a narrator would have been

    by Novaman5000

    Her comments are still adequate.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 5:27 p.m. CST

    And I thought the village was his worst movie...

    by Novaman5000

    It looked and sounded fine, but it was average at best. It's not as if I can't recognize when M. Night screws up, I just don't believe he did it with signs.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 5:30 p.m. CST

    I've read War of the Worlds...

    by Childe Roland

    ...and seen most of the film adaptations, Novaman (even the Scientology-friendly version). Signs is not War of the Worlds. But let's say for the sake of argument that you're right. It is the germs in the water that undoes the aliens. Does that make this movie better or does it make it yet another tired fucking ripoff of H.G. Wells' classic (a'la ID4) that couldn't even be bothered to set itself in the accurate and more interesting time period? Either M. Night structured something original very clumsily or he ripped off every War of the Worlds inspired movie ever made. You decide which interpretation you like better and live with it. Doesn't matter to me, because I only needed to get burned twice (Signs and the Village) to know this guy's stove is so cold it hurts.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Signs is not war of the worlds,

    by Novaman5000

    But it's no doubt inspired by it. To say that all the movie is is a WOTW rip off would be wrong, however. I think that there is a lot to like in the film, but that's my opinion. You don't have to like the film, I don't care if you like the film, and I'm certainly not trying to convince you to like the film. I'm only saying that it wasn't the water that hurt the aliens, and those citing the "water plothole" as a reason why Signs sucks are citing something that doesn't exist.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Stop shouting...

    by Childe Roland

    ...THE KNIGHT. It's annoying. And "It's contaminated" doesn't do dick for the germs theory unless you really, really want it to (which you apparently do). The girl is dismissed as delusional and no one else is getting sick from the water. Unless, of course, she's the offspring of an alien and Mel's dead wife. Then she'd have a particular aversion to the water. See...I can make up backstory to fill in plot holes, too, Novaman. Then it makes sense. But the movie, standing on its own, doesn't. And the reason I'm riding you like a carnival pony on this is that you came out and called anyone who doesn't subscribe to your fantasy intrerpretation of the movie (based on something you're assuming that isn't given to us in the plot) is a moron. Sorry, but you can't back that call. "It's contaminated" could have meant her brother peed in it, for shit's sake. ALL water has microbes in it...including the 80% that makes up the planetary surface. Including the stuff that comes fresh out of your tap. Including the dewdrops on the blades of grass. Even the moisture in the air if the humidity is high enough. It's part of the way water manifests on earth and the aliens should have figured out pretty fucking quickly after stepping naked off their ship that they have a problem with water in general (unless of course, someone tried to sprinkle Aquafina or some highly purified, distilled shit on them...then they might be fine). Saying it wasn't the water but the microbes or germs in the water is like saying: "It wasn't smoking that gave him lung cancer, it was the tar and shit in the cigarette smoke." Whatever helps you sleep at night, kids.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 6:23 p.m. CST

    All apologies, but this TB'er can't buy this "contaminat

    by Chishu_Ryu

    Are we to believe that the germs in the water, and there aren't that many because of the chlorine and flouride that goes into the water, did that much damage in so little time? It wouldn't seem logical, even in a sci-fi movie. And what about the germs in the air, which are probably more plentiful than in the water, or the germs on the surface of everything? Why didn't they vaporize then? No, the water on Earth must be some kind of acid to them. I think Shamalyan possibly took a page from DC Comics' JLA, in that all Martians, including Martian Manhunter, cannot touch fire. Only the "Signs" aliens can't touch water. The "Signs" aliens even look like the DC Comics aliens(*See the first five issues of the new JLA series). I think Shamalyan probably realized his mistake half-way into production, then put in the "It's contaminated" line to throw everyone off. Or it all could have been just a damn Commie plot after all...

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 6:59 p.m. CST

    The water doesn't hurt her because she's immune to it,

    by Novaman5000

    We all are. Just because the germs don't hurt her doesn't mean it isn't contaminated. In the movie, Mel pours her a fresh glass from the faucet, she takes one sip and then says it's contaminated. It's true, too, she isn't delusional. One sip and water in glass becomes contaminated from your mouth. Mel doesn't know why she's doing it, kids are weird, it's fine, except that at the end it comes out that everything happened for a reason, so the girls dislike for "contaminated" water becomes clear. The aliens began dying a day after they officially attacked. They came in contact with the bacteria in the water/air/wherever and began to die off. We see direct effects of this when the water pours on the alien, however I would argue that water that has touched a human mouth has more bacteria in it than rainwater, especially if it's allowed to stagnate. Even a couple day old, half consumed water bottle can make a human sick because of the germs that have grown in it. Maybe I was out of line to use the word "morons" but I was frustrated at the people who just post things like "THE WATER KILLED THE ALIENS, THAT'S SO STUPID!!" I don't, however, take it back. People use alot worse words than "moron" on here, we're all adults. As for your analogy, it's also like saying that it wasn't the gun that killed the person, but the bullet in the gun. But make no mistake, if the tar and shit wasn't in the smoke, the bullet not in the gun, and the germs not in the water, no one would be dying. That's my point. Oh, and don't worry, I feel nothing like a carnival pony.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 7:06 p.m. CST

    I don't think it's all the water...

    by Novaman5000

    I think it was probably because each glass of water had been sipped by the little girl. It's what I was said above about water being touched first and allowed to sit. Even if you don't buy it, the point is that the germs killed the aliens in the movie. Even if you think it's stupid, i think it's fairly obvious that it wasn't the water, it was the germs in the water. Love it, hate it, do what you will with it.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the M Night Shyamalan Bashing C

    by Forestal

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 7:12 p.m. CST

    The only thing "contaminated" is this talkback with pointless po

    by J-Dizzle

    Why are people still posting on a talkback for a non-existent review? And before you ask me why I'm posting, I'm posting to let you know that you're posting on a talkback that has no point for people to be posting on.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 7:18 p.m. CST

    oh my god, you people are pathetic

    by oisin5199

    Bitching and bitching about water and contamination. You didn't like the movie. You don't like Night. We get it. Why don't you move on? And this whole thing about MNS hating his audience is just plain stupid. Maybe he assumes that his audience aren't generally nitpicky nerdy assholes and can recognize a decent character piece when they see it. But I guess that's just too much to ask around here.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 7:30 p.m. CST

    The review removed? Dubya-Tee-Eff-Ell-Oh-Ell-Bee-Bee-Cue-Oh-Emm

    by Cletus Van Damme

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:30 p.m. CST


    by Mrs Danvers

    Yeah you're spot-on. Speilberg's lost relevance but if you're a filmmaker it's his coverage that's amazing, irrespective of all other flaws. Not one of his movies since the last Jurassic Park did I wish to see (even Schindler's list was incoherent crap despite the Emperor's New Clothes reverence around it), but I go in the first week to all his films because of his technical genius. That 4-minute dialogue shot around the driving car in WOTW, the vertical shot looking straight down at Leo on the wet sidewalk in Catch Me, the whole opening half-hour of Ryan, the U-turn beside the crashed bus in Always, the flying shots through the city at the end of AI, the opening ten minutes, the balloon scene and the death of Max von Sydow in Minority, the razorblade scene in Purple, the use of the amazing set in The Terminal, the flying scenes in Hook. Yes, he's sold out to the star system -- a fact I wouldn't mind if he actually cast anyone decent (ie someone who can ACT, not mentioning names Tom Cruise). At least Eric Bana can act in spite of the charisma bypass. Speilberg's morality's confused, an inevitable function of being a rich American, but it sounds pretty simple in Munich. When it comes to genres his greatest talent is mimicry (and was best at that in the 70s, when his films had the then fashionable anti-establishment slant), but how he shoots a scene, however else he may misfire, is always worth the price of admission. Not to mention the genius work of his most unsung collaborator, Michael Khan.

  • Jan. 26, 2006, 11:45 p.m. CST

    I heard that M. Night Shaya`s real name is Duayne Latuque

    by chien_sale

  • Jan. 27, 2006, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Hyperbole and Humility

    by DarthCorleone

    Reading threads like this makes me realize many AICNers (including myself) could tone down the former and take a dose of the latter.

  • Jan. 27, 2006, 2:33 a.m. CST

    by pauljames33

    all you haters, why bother posting, why? Seriously, I don't understand why, if you don't like why are you wasting your time bagging it? There are movies i hate, but i don't actually go on talkbacks to bitch about them.

  • Jan. 27, 2006, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Mrs Danvers

    by Spacesheik

    Spielbergs coverage these days is not very proficient, I mean Brian De Palma does this sort of thing all the time (i.e. SNAKE EYES) and both filmmakers still havent reached the glory of their old films. Spielberg always uses Janus Kaminsi as the cinematographer - as of late - his movies are all non anamorphic - unless hes shooting INDY flicks - and they all have a washed out out - MINORITY REPORT and AI look almost the same. Look at BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES and the tracking shot at the beginning by De Palma - its still a horrid film.I liked CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, it had a lightweight 60s sensibility to it and was an entertaining film but it wasnt a classic film by any means. Spielberg needs to go back to his DUEL roots and create something with an unknown, something edgy, unnerving and exciting, something new in cinema, he's not breaking any new ground as of late.

  • Jan. 27, 2006, 4:30 a.m. CST


    by Spacesheik

    I saw WOTW at the Odeon Leicester Square (the best cinema in London) on *opening* day. The theatre was packed. The sound was great and the visuals were impressive. 1st sign of trouble: Cruise throws peanut butter sandwich at wall, audience laughs - and this is supposed to be a dramatic scene. Silence until Tim Robbins appears and people start giggling during the CGI basement sequence. Tom Cruise detonates a grenade in the alien machinery and some audience members go 'oh cmon...' By the end of the film when Cruise finds his kid, audiences just left the film quietly. Walking out I heard a young lady talking on her mobile "no it was really stupid, really." And you know something she was right, its a stupid film. Its up there with the other formula non sensical bullshit hollywood produces such as FLIGHTPLAN. Worst thing you can do to an audience is *insult* their intelligence, they will turn on you and shred your film to pieces even if they admired elements of it.

  • Jan. 27, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Spielberg: some final thoughts...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    It's futile to wish or expect our favorite filmmakers like Spielberg, or DePalma, or Scorsese to return to their original roots, because of one main factor: time. These filmmakers have aged, they've changed. We can't expect them to be reckless youths their entire careers. When Spielberg made "Duel", he was an unknown, getting his feet wet, no family to take care of, a filmmaker of wild abandon, somewhat. It was the same when Scorsese made "Mean Streets," or when DePalma made "Hi, Mom!". You won't even see a madman like Jean Luc-Godard make another French New Wave shaky cam film again. Age slows us down, changes our philosophies. Were Spielberg a younger man, Robbie might have actually died in "War of the Worlds". Maybe. But Spielberg himself has a family now. He knows what it's like to be a father. As a filmmaker myself, I know it's difficult to detatch one's self from one's work. I think what's we're seeing from Spielberg now, an aging filmmaker, and we can't expect him to make the same "edgy"(I don't think Spielberg ever truly made "edgy" films, but...) films he made when he was young. However, we still see bits of the Spielberg we know and love. The "unknowns" you pointed out, Spaceshiek. In "War of the Worlds", we see a mysterious train rush by, all afire. Where did it come from? What exactly happened? We're not sure, are we? Or the strange mysterious bloodroots. What was their purpose? I think Spielberg is still a master of thrilling us with the "things that go bump in the night." He's just slowed down a little, he's changed, and so has his outlook on life. I think the same could be said of any human being.

  • Jan. 27, 2006, 5:11 p.m. CST

    "You see if Night had made a film that said "Christians are stup

    by Capt. Murphy

    Yeah, but I've never seen him make a movie based on a true story.

  • July 10, 2006, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Shay's movie suck, period

    by shonb123

    I thought 6th sense was alright, but thats about all I can say for him. The village left me so mad I could hardly stand it. He needs to stop trying to convince us that he is so smart and spend some of that time trying to film a movie that doesn't insult my intelligence so much. Wow, a secret village tucked in the wildlife that is never flown over or explored. That doesn't exist on the globe anymore, much less in the US. A good director builds up suspense without letting you know. Somehow I can get on mapquest and see my house via satellite yet this village just goes unnoticed. Yes, I know they went over why there were no planes. Sham basically says "hey, I'm going to be overly dramatic and play way to much music" He makes such a big deal out of everything that I am waiting for something nuts to happen like characters just spontaneously combusting or something. The real problem isn't that water killed the aliens or that this stupid village would never work, it is that Sham spends so much effort making sure that his twists are plausible, only to leave the door wide open with stupid stuff. If he didn't spend so much time trying to explain to me why it could be real then I wouldn't spend so much time thinking of why it couldn't. It's called suspension of disbelief, and in movies like these you basically have it from the start, it is yours to screw up. I don't go and see Superman and expect them to explain his flight in a scientifically sound way. I spend the whole movie waiting to see something that finally entertains me, and in the end the surprise is lame. Its like walking into your own surprise party and expecting a big "SURPRISE!!!!" but instead only a few people notice you came in and say "hey man" Ok, so here's a plot. We are going to have crazy bugs, they are going to be deadly. It will seem like there is no way the humans can win. In a crazy twist you find out that getting bit by the bugs makes you able to fly and shoot burritos out of your butt! Yes, lets make it! They will be so fooled. Movies like his and the poeple that think they are Brilliant are the same reason that american films, at least major films, are mostly trash.