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Massawyrm Is Vexed By LADY IN THE WATER!!


Hola all. Massawyrm here.

You know, I tend to not read interviews. I know I should, I know it’s probably expected of me, but I just don’t. I simply cannot stand many of the canned answers and the clever dodges of good questions that pepper virtually every interview I’ve ever read, been witness to or performed myself. And when it comes to directors, I rarely have any interest in hearing what they intended with their film. Why? Because I give them two hours of my life to convince me what their film is about while watching it, and if they can’t convey it in that time, then as artists, they’ve failed. It’s like the old axiom If you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. I feel the exact same way about film.

Now granted, film is a subjective medium. There will always be audience members that either don’t get or simply don’t appreciate what you have to say in the time they give you. For those occasions I find myself in that category, I like to listen to commentary – because at that point the director is no longer promoting the film. They’re explaining it shot by shot, often talking about what works and what they wish they’d done better. That’s when you begin to get the real story – or at least as real as it gets outside of a behind-closed-doors, whispered conversation that usually begins “Now promise me that this doesn’t leave this room…”

That said, I am absolutely aching, dying and driven to read as many interviews with M. Night Shyamalan as I can find. Because Lady in the Water is a total fucking mystery. I am so on the fence about this one that I can’t even fathom which truth is definitive. This is either a work of devious genius or one of pure madness. Honestly, I don’t know which.

Shyamalan is a strange cat. Rumors about his ego and demeanor have been circulating since the Unbreakable days. It doesn’t help that he not only seems to worship Hitchcock, but tries to emulate him every chance he gets. Add to that the fact that he wrote a book that reportedly rips Disney, his old home, a new one – and even bigger questions begin to arise. And while his first big hit, The Sixth Sense, is considered a modern classic, his subsequent films have divided audiences and critics right down the middle. Rarely does someone walk out of a Shyamalan film feeling ‘meh.’ People tend to love them or outright hate them.

So when I sat down to watch this I had no clue what I was in for. And yet, having watched it, I’m still baffled. This is a vexing as hell film, one that is either the greatest hoax ever perpetrated upon film critics or the completely insane pedantic ranting of an insulated egomaniac. And when I say hoax, I don’t mean on the audiences. I mean the critics. Shyamalan calls us out and challenges us directly. He throws down the gauntlet and then proceeds to offer us up a pile of ammunition to fire at him.

What I’ve been asking myself for almost six hours now is: Am I supposed to take the bait?

Is M. Night sitting in a room somewhere like the Amazing Karnac - with an envelope to his forehead containing a version of our reviews already written with every criticism he deliberately set us up for? Is he daring us to make these complaints? There appears to be a startling meta-film within Lady in the Water – one in which the characters seem to achieve a kind of lucidity, and begin to question the rules of their own story in order to get to the proper ending. And the man they turn to to answer their questions? A film critic. A very opinionated films critic.

Now this is where Shyamalan really opens himself up to a volley of vicious criticism that will result in the same three complaints across the board. And frankly, whether intentionally placed to taunt the critics or not, I can’t defend them.

1) You do not under any circumstances answer or attack your negative critics. Not only does it make you look bad, but it lets them know they’re getting to you. Show one small crack and many will go in for the kill, using your response to ridicule you further. Here, with what Shyamalan does with the film critic character and the position he holds in the story, there is no mistaking his position on the profession. If this were the only flaw or point of contention in the film, it would be something that could be a poignant and harsh commentary on critics themselves. Unfortunately, it is not.

2) Once again Shyamalan has given himself a role in his film. However, since his brief appearance in The Sixth Sense, his screentime has increased exponentially with every subsequent venture (leading me to believe his next film may indeed be titled M. Night Shyamalan’s M. Night Shyamalan.) The role he plays this time is not only crucial to the story, but exactly the type of role he shouldn’t have played. The character would have been one some critics would have criticized for existing in this film to begin with – but with Shyamalan playing the role, accusations of not only egotism, but rampant megalomania, are bound to find their way into virtually every review.

3) The film has the very prevalent theme of Storytelling and the gift of inspiration. And there are points in the film in which the stereotypes of film and the rules of storytelling are laid out. Now, when you do this, you damn well better make sure you tell a story better than the one you’re putting down (see: Swordfish.) Many are going to feel that this film does not accomplish this. One of the most important rules of writing is that any rule can be broken – if you break it well enough. In Lady in the Water, this is going to be a huge point of contention. He may not have broken the rules well enough for some.

Man, do I ever want to see Shyamalan address these issues. I mean, I want to believe that these were absolutely intentional – that Lady in the Water is not only his full frontal assault on modern criticism, but a challenge to the critics to put together the puzzle he lays out in the second act. Why do I want to believe this so badly? Because other than these things that have had my mind reeling all night – I dug the hell out of this film.

It is by no means perfect – but there’s so much to love here, for those willing to go along with it. This is definitely one of those films that asks you to sign up for it, and ultimately it comes down to whether or not you embrace the conceit of it. This is a fairy tale, and it plays by the rules of a fairy tale. This leads to several problems that those not ready or willing to go along with it will scratch their heads and complain about. The character development is thin, the characters in the film never seem to question the reality of what is going on (except to question the nature of how the story is supposed to work), and the fantastical elements are bizarre and out of the ordinary – to the point that some will find it more nonsensical than mythological.

And yet the story is beautiful and uniquely original. Drawing its inspiration from classical and eastern mythology, this film tells a story unlike any you’ve seen in American live action cinema. Everything, from the creatures to the plot elements are symbolic and metaphorical, and the moral of the interconnectivity of us all is beautifully woven throughout. This is a think piece, one that asks you to take it apart and examine every fragment of it to drink in every last image and hint it has to offer. It is a complex telling of a very simple story. One that can be either enjoyed or loathed on several levels.

And as much as Shyamalan seems to be going to town on his critics, one thing becomes abundantly clear when watching this – he’s been listening to them. The two biggest criticisms of his previous work are remarkably absent in Lady in the Water. First, while his camera angles are inventive and very much his trademark style, there’s none of his over the top gimmicky shots he tends to pepper throughout his films. No strange camera rotations or bizarro placement. Secondly, and most important, there’s no twist.

Now early reviews have stated that this film once again has a major twist. But it doesn’t. Certainly there are some late game revelations and secrets, but there is nothing resembling Shyamalan’s trademark genre changing twists. In his previous four films, every ending changed the very nature of the film you were watching, so that on a second viewing it was a completely different film (if you didn’t figure it out or have it spoiled going in to begin with.) But Lady in the Water is the exact same film when it ends as it is in the beginning. He doesn’t change the rules, he doesn’t spend the bulk of the film lying to the audience just to pull the rug out from under them later. It is one, singular, cohesive story that plays out exactly as it leads you to believe it will.

Shyamalan has not only taken on making a film with classic storytelling elements, he went WAY classic. And that’s why I love this film. It so plays to my passions, that I can’t justly tell anyone else to see it – unless they share similar passions. I mean, this is a fairy tale that discusses the nature of storytelling and film, while presenting me with mind bending questions about the director’s intentions that have had me pacing around all night, blowing through an entire pack of smokes and a whole pot of coffee. If ever there was a definition of a film that appealed to my sensibilities, this would be it. I love that it’s kept me up all night. I love that it took me until 8 in the morning to put together my feelings on it. I love that it is risky and devil may care with the opinions of critics.

Yet I cannot strongly recommend it to anyone without caveats. This is a film you really have to be ready to embrace. It’s a film that’s going to challenge critical thinkers to get past some pretty steep self-indulgences. And you have to be ready to try and take it apart piece by piece to understand the fundamental logic of it. If any of these things seem like they might be a problem, I offer to you that you’re about to see this years AI. Clearly well made, but an epic level “What was he thinking” disappointment. However, if all of these things sound like something you’re ready for, then you just may be in for good time with something to scratch your head over a cup of coffee thinking about.

While Shyamalan may have dumped several of the hallmarks we’ve both at first loved and then come to criticize him for later, one hallmark clearly remains – he’s made a film that will divide audiences. And for the life of me, I’ve got to know what the hell he was thinking. Time to start tracking down some interviews and piecing this thing together.

Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. I know I will.

Massawyrm



Remember folks, the “Make Me a Massawyrm” Art Contest is still going strong. Click here for more info!!!



Man, I can’t believe I went the whole review without making a single joke about the protagonist being named Cleveland Heep…Oh God Damnit…





Readers Talkback
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  • July 18, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    EAT IT, FIRSTERS!

    by Cletus Van Damme

  • July 18, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    vexed by Lady in the water?

    by moondoggy2u

    Now there's a twist...

  • July 18, 2006, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Seriously though, this looks interesting.

    by Cletus Van Damme

    I'll probably go see it. I loved Sixth Sense and Unbreakable and even loved Village and Signs (but to a slightly lesser degree).

  • July 18, 2006, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Twist

    by PwnedByStallone

    Ummm...what genre bending twist was there in Signs? There wasn't one.

  • July 18, 2006, 11:58 a.m. CST

    "However, since his brief appearance in..."

    by -guyinthebackrow

    "...The Sixth Sense, his screentime has increased exponentially with every subsequent venture." NOT TRUE! He was in, like, 30 seconds of that crap film "THE VILLAGE"... which, by the way, had a good first hour and then started sucking bigtime. And Massa... next time how about you actually review the movie? Try that... it could be fun.

  • July 18, 2006, 11:58 a.m. CST

    It looks like a strong dvd purchase for me

    by moondoggy2u

    but I won't see it in the theater. Nothing against Shama, but this one hasn't really tickled my fancy.

  • July 18, 2006, noon CST

    AK-47

    by -guyinthebackrow

    The twist in SIGNS was that, in the end, the movie wasn't about the alien invasion... it was about one man's faith. I, personally, wouldn't call it a "genre bending twist", but that was the "twist".

  • July 18, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    "i am so on the fence about this one"

    by capitol f

    sounds like you made up your mind mid-review.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:03 p.m. CST

    AK-47

    by whit3_ninja

    It went from alien invasion movie to a movie about the nature of faith. What about Unbreakable though, how is that a genre changing twist? Granted there is a twist, but genre changing?

  • July 18, 2006, 12:04 p.m. CST

    All MNS's movies...

    by mbg98

    Don't necessarily have a TWIST, but ALL of them (usually at the end) have something that recounts what you have just witnessed in the last ~2 hours and makes you see them in a different light. Appearances are ALWAYS deceiving in M. Night's world. One question I have - does Lady in the Water take place in or around M. Night's beloved city of Philly?

  • July 18, 2006, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Cromulent and Craptacular

    by DrKodos

    No dounbt, I'm choosing endodonture with no anesthesia over this one.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    So, where's the movie review?

    by Karl Childers

    ?

  • July 18, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Insane directors are ...

    by godoffireinhell

    ... the most interesting directors. No, actually they are the ONLY interesting directors.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    guyinthebackrow

    by whit3_ninja

    Well put. Shymalangadingdong has really grown on me. I think Signs was the movie that did it. before that I thought he was pretty cheesy and gimmicky. Like in 6th Sense, whats up with the red?

  • July 18, 2006, 12:10 p.m. CST

    wait??

    by seekshelter

    Signs had a twist ending?? i dont remember that... on the other hand, i really didnt think the Sixth Sense was a twist. i thought it laid it out pretty well that the guy was dead at the beginning of the movie...

  • July 18, 2006, 12:10 p.m. CST

    guyintheback row

    by PwnedByStallone

    Yeah thanks dude. I saw the movie. That's not a twist. My point is that Shyamalan gets bashed for all his movies having big twist endings and I wanted to point out that Signs doesn't and neither does this new one apparently. I personally like the twists though and I'll never understand the criticism of The Village, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed and didn't predict at all.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Can't Wait to See This...On TNT

    by DrTobiasFunke

    I'll pass. This guy's only had two decent movies in my opinion - Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I believe this will probably be the defining film where his "loyal" viewers finally learn that the guy's lost it. So sad.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    UNBREAKABLE's genre change

    by godoffireinhell

    was that it turned from a mystery/drama into a real superhero flick.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    I'd love to see this film...

    by Billyeveryteen

    Unfortunatly, my wife feels burned by The Village, and won't go.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Great review. No I'm dying a bit more to see this one.

    by MrFloppy

    But I didn't like this: "The two biggest criticisms of his previous work are remarkably absent [...]there

  • July 18, 2006, 12:17 p.m. CST

    M. Night speaks! See his video commentary on Amazon.com

    by robogeek.com

    Warning: Spoilers! But it does provide important context for the film... http://tinyurl.com/gbdk9

  • July 18, 2006, 12:18 p.m. CST

    at least the music will be good

    by oscarmike

    and I'm guessing the critic is suppose to be revenge for Ebert's negative review on "the village"

  • July 18, 2006, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Ebert Where Art Thou

    by Cumlauncher

    Awww...someone brought up Ebert. I miss Strokey, Anyone seen him? I'm sure he'll just drool over the new Shamalamaheiny-Ho film. And by drool I mean drool all over it while shitting his pants and screaming "Blankets!"

  • July 18, 2006, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Great review Massa, I am intrigued now

    by Lando Griffin

    Whereas before I wasn't sure when I would see this one. Haters can ridicule me because I am an admitted M Night fan, however The Village was just "ok" for me compared to his other films. Now I am looking forward to this one. Probably a double feature with Clerks II this weekend, a couple different tastes for the palate.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Lady in the Water

    by Mr Nice Gaius

    Is this the film about the hooker with dysentery?

  • July 18, 2006, 12:27 p.m. CST

    it baffles me that people still don't understand

    by white owl

    the meaning of the color red in 6th Sense. THERE'S A DEAD PERSON IN EVERY SCENE WITH IT. Who hasn't seen the dvd? Anyways.. I think M. Night Shawangwang is still one of the most crazy but interesting filmmakers around. Only because whenever a movie of his comes out, I'm just dying to see it. Now in hindsight, all his films aren't the greatest but the atmosphere and storytelling is spectacular. Seriously folks, not alot of directors out there are as good as him, I think. I'm looking forward to checking this out because I'd MUCH rather spend my time thinking about the movie and putting the puzzle together than watch other "shut-off-brain-and-watch" films that have been barraging us all summer.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST

    The Lady, the Dome and Massawyrm

    by Crash Crator

    *****Like Director/Actor Ron Howard, M. Night Shyamalan is also losing his hair. He

  • July 18, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    White Owl

    by DrKodos

    That is my largest gripe with Shamalamadingdong: All style and atmosphere with very little substance that can stand the light of day or reason.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:38 p.m. CST

    what makes a filmmaker indulgent?

    by Guy Gaduois

    Why isn't Orson Welles seen as indulgent? Kubrick's last filming effort? Woody Allen? Admittedly Night doesn't have the volume that these guys have, but how is "Kane" not indulgent? How is Kubrick's last effort ( I will not name it - it is deplorable ) anthing but an oblique, masturbatory flim flam. How does that steaming pile not cheapen his entire catalog? I guess what I'm saying is, in twenty years, will Night be heralded a genius based simply on rep, is he really any good or what? Some of these "classic" film makers get by an awful long distance on rep. For all our desire for immediate, knee jerk response to the latest work in this medium, we sure end up in a rush to judgment that will be none too sound as we look back. Of course I'm mystified by the awe folks hold for "Kane" over "Touch of Evil". Sometimes there's a favorite whipping boy du jour (I think Night is now) and there's filmmakers who get an automatic pass that never, ever should. That said, I'd like to see "Lady" during a matinee because it's hotter than the hinges of hell in SoCal and I usually enjoy Night's movies. You couldn't force me into any theatre at gunpoint in the heat of a day to watch a preview for a Bergman retrospective, however.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST

    I'LL BE SEEING THIS

    by THE KNIGHT

    Just because I'm looking to see something different.... Tired of the remakes and Superman Returns....

  • July 18, 2006, 12:42 p.m. CST

    white owl - Red

    by whit3_ninja

    Yeah but so what? Why the color red? It is cheesy because he seemed to be trying to infuse meaning into something that is otherwise meaningless. Oh wait, I think I've got it, it is because it rhymes with dead right? That being said I think this movie will "knock it out of the park"

  • July 18, 2006, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Clever, but not smart

    by ChicagoRonin

    That's how I view Shyamalan. For that matter, I put Tarantino in the same category. I think they're both very talented from a technical standpoint: they know how to set up a scene, make it visually interesting, create engaging characters and dialogue, and even surprise you with fantastic dramatic or comedic effects. However, I don't think either of them is particularly innovative. Hitchcock's best films weren't just about entertainment or shocking the audience - they actually aimed for that crazy pretentious realm of insight, and sometimes even succeeded.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST

    I'm smiling...

    by brycemonkey

    because say what you want about MNS, everybody is talking about him. And that's what he wants. And I'm sure his next project will be the movie about himself. But only if someone gives him a $100M budget...

  • July 18, 2006, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Lets just enjoy it for now........

    by millermeusa

    Serious, Lady in the Water will be loved and hated. But it will still be better than Superman Returns, and besides, 2007 comes about a half dozen Hurricane katrina pics, and I'll be contemplating slitting my wrists when those trailers hit!

  • July 18, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Guy Gaduois:

    by FluffyUnbound

    I think what happens is that filmmakers are judged differently after the fact then they are in real time because "after the fact", you can experience their oeuvre all at once, disregarding the subpar stuff. Take Kubrick for example. Sure, Eyes Wide Shut isn't so great, and neither is Barry Lyndon [although honestly I kind of dig that one, a lot more than most people]. But you can dial up his total body of work and say, "Spartacus Paths of Glory Dr. Strangelove 2001 Clockwork Orange Full Metal Jacket" and there really isn't anything else to say. But if you're one of those people who thinks A Clockwork Orange is violence porn, and didn't really like his version of The Shining, then you could have sat around talking film in 1986 and said, "Kubrick hasn't made a good movie since 1968! He's lost it!" because you'd be experiencing his works in real time and "feeling" all the years in between. So if M. Night hits another home run, either with this film or with some other film down the line, it won't be a matter of saying, "Hey, what has the guy done since Unbreakable? Crap!" but instead it will be "This is the guy who made Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Lady in the Water! [Or whatever.]"

  • July 18, 2006, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Shama-lama-ding-dong is garbage

    by Ricky Henderson

    Anyone who claims the Sixth Sense was a good movie is an idiot. I hate films with creepy, depressed kids, and Sixth Sense started that ugly trend. Also, his dialogue puts me right to sleep. I'm ok with the idea of making movies with big external events told through small scale family intereactions (such as War of the Worlds) but in order for that to work, the dialogue needs to no put me into a coma. Signs was a good example of this flaw, and so is Unbreakable. The man is a hack, far too caught up in his own overhyped mythos to make a decent film.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Ads are enough to make me stay away

    by StovetopStuffin'

    Is anyone else really annoyed by the ads for this movie? The ones with the whispering little girl voice. God they make me want to hit something they are so contrived.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST

    oh, and M Night the movie was already made

    by StovetopStuffin'

    It was that crappy fake documentary that came on TV right before The Village came out. That was depressing to watch so many good actors looking like morons.

  • July 18, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    What The Fuck Ever!

    by 2Girth2Ferguson

    M. Night is one of the biggest A-holes in entertainment. He acts like he is a likable guy but you can hear it from other people that he is a dick! His movies getting worse each time he makes one and he makes excuses for each one that sucks. This better be a great movie with a great twist. Shit it will probably be some stupid shit like Clevland Heep is in a mental ward jerking off to the Sixth Sense or E.T. M. Night fucking sucks and I am totally fucking Serial!

  • July 18, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Shama-lama-ding-dong paid the girl in The Village 150K

    by Ricky Henderson

    Yep, only $150,000 for her (fairly sizeable) role in the film. Yes, I know that's not really the director's decision, but the man is a prick, plain and simple.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:05 p.m. CST

    It is an attack on film critics

    by JoeyRusso1290

    and a rather funny one too. Check out my review @ this address: http://www.movietack.net/r923-lady-in-the-water-movie-review.html

  • July 18, 2006, 1:06 p.m. CST

    I think some of u are too wrapped up in the film maker

    by Orionsangels

    Just watch the movie and take it for what it is. Why must every M. night film be compared to his other films? Who cares. Just watch the damn movie. If you hate it, fine. If you like it, good for you. but stop obsessing over the filmaker and taking every movie he makes as some personal attack against critics and the audience. Some of you are looking too deep, trying to find something that isn't there.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Well, of course he's making fun of you!

    by Silver_Joo

    If you do want to read a good interview with him that might explain the film for you, hunt down the new issue of Creative Screenwriting.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm - Night was on Howard Stern this morning 7/18

    by Damitol

    If you have access to Sirius, they will be replaying it all day (Tuesday 7-18). I just heard the last half, and will hear the whole thing on the way home this afternoon. He seems like a pretty cool guy and freely admits this film is very different. I'll go see it as I enjoy Night's films (plot holes and all), and seeing Bryce Howard "scantily clad" (Night's words) throughout is a big bonus.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Shyamalan has said:

    by Silver_Joo

    There is no twist in Signs. He would have happily had Ivy running into the street at the beginning of The Village but in numerous drafts, he could not get this to work. What links all of his films is that they ask you to question your own personal belief systems. This is, and has been, blindingly obvious for years. If that's not what Signs is about, then I'm George Clooney's Smug Cloud! They are, to quote Shyamalan: "Conversations with faith". I kind of think that's it, that's his real trick so all the pacing around this 'critic' did seems a little pointless to me. He also argues that Lady In The Water is a meta-sequel to The Village; the light to its dark. He wrote 13 drafts of Lady too!

  • July 18, 2006, 1:17 p.m. CST

    I hated The Village....

    by Mr. Profit

    But at least the mutherfucker writes his own stories and is not copying other directors. And I'm sure if you gave him 260 million he would have made 2 Superman movies back to back with that budget and they would have looked nice. Sure the twist at the end would have been that Superman was gay. But whatever. Shayamalan is a good filmmaker.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    I think the ever-changing marketing is a tipoff.

    by AnnoyYou

    First the trailers are benign and slightly eerie, making it seem like a film for children. Then there's (abrupt change: all of a sudden it's a straight-up horror film, with bizarre angles and lots of growling by an unseen monster. This tells me that the studio knows it's a dog and is trying to get the mindless Grudge/Ring/Saw/When A Stranger Calls audience (which can be big). To me, Shyamalan's career ended with the idiotic "The Village" (despite the wonderful performances by Phoenix, Howard, Hurt, Weaver and Gleeson). And now he's actually has the nerve to put this film in the same category as "ET" and "The Wizard of Oz?" Please. To say his ego is out of control is putting it mildly. Someone please cut off this megalomaniac's funding NOW.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Can You Say ...

    by bigboxer

    Turd in the pool?

  • July 18, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Old M.Night and the Sea?

    by Mooly

    Sounds like this movie is his take on the Old Man and the Sea. I'm an unashamed M. Night fan who makes no apologies for the pain the Village caused. the Village was a sellout piece. And I was pretty uninterested in Lady until this review. I just heard it was based on a fairy tale, and after seeing commercials I could only roll my eyes and grumble, "here we go again" as the studios once again misrepredent what they are selling. They should realize by now that people keep complaining about M.Night being the same every movie and yet they want everyone to think Sixth Sense with every ad they put out. The Village was also sold as a thriller and now Lady is too. Come on studios. Don't be the idiots we all call you. I just wanted to disagree with you that all his movies have twists and this is the first to NOT have a twist. I think the point you touch on speaks volumes....that no matter what Night does in his movies, people are going to call it a twist regardless because the lamer critics expect a twist and want to find one even if there isn't one to find. I am in the camp that only Sixth Sense and the Village had twists...and the Village twist was terrible because they give it away (flat out) before you actually even see it. Unbreakable had no twist I figure and Sixth Sense didn't either. This review, even though lukewarm, has peaked my curiosity enough to go check it out.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Translation = this film is a confusing mess

    by Trazadone

    So in a nice way you're telling us that, as predicted, this film sucks. Like his last 3 films I'll rent it.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:31 p.m. CST

    The WORST of the WORST

    by bigboxer

    Shamalingodingo is POSITIVELY the WORST excuse for director EVER !!! To even mention Welles and Kubrick in the same breath is as close to BLASPHEMY as you'll ever get. Shamie is a DOUCHE. There aren't enough D's in DOUCHE. A HACK, a NO-Talent, a pitiful Excuse, a ONE TRICK PONY and we've seen the TRICK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    There's something called a "narf" in this film...

    by Ricky Henderson

    Is that related to Snarf somehow? Do Thundercats appear in this movie? That's the only way you'll get me to see this movie--if Thundercats are in it.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:33 p.m. CST

    So it's different and weird?

    by vinceklortho

    Thank god. Bring it on this weekend. I'm going with something weird instead of a rehash of Clerks. Don't get me wrong, I wanna see Clerks 2, but I need to actually think about something this summer. I heard Monster House is great too.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    A FAiry Tale?

    by DrKodos

  • July 18, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    A FAiry Tale?

    by DrKodos

  • July 18, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    A Fairy Tale?

    by DrKodos

    That Shamalamadingdong made up himself to tell hiw own kids. Nikkah please. He was interviewed on Stern today and spilled the beans. And he is a spoiled a-hole to boot.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    He doesn't imitate Hitch

    by bigboxer

    NO ONE can imitate the Great Fat One. He was a genius in a category by himself. He was such an ego-maniac he probably wouldn't have given Kubrick the time of day. (If he had bumped into him on the Universal lot.)But he knew how to make a movie he wanted to make, and then follow it up with a move that was COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL !!! Shamylongmydindong has done one turd after another, UNWATCHABLE anyone?

  • July 18, 2006, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Narf ???

    by bigboxer

    Hey Shamymydick, NARF ON THIS !!! You no talent, one trick, hack writer, gotta do a cameo schmuck !!!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 1:39 p.m. CST

    M nights

    by emeraldboy

    with the exception of the kiddie gets cancer and gets a cure movie. I have seen all of M.nights movies. When the sixth sense first came out there was nothing else like it and it felt fresh, new and different. The more you see that movie, you know what happens and the twist that willis is dead for the entire movie is no longer new. Haley joel Osment was then the kid de jour around hollywood in those days. how many times has that scene been parodied to death and you know the scene i am talking about. In unbreakable, you can hear the frustration of MNight as the movie continues and only at the end does he give you the pay off up front but he does it as bad temepered child. Signs, is where i believe the rot set in, rumours at the time, that MNight wanted squid like aliens and that he threw fits everytime when ILM did give him what he wanted, at one stage threatened to fire ILM of the project. So ILM gave the aliens that we see in the movie. The village, ah the village, there is a certain point in that movie, where i was hooked and I thought this is the best M.Night film ever. here is where i and talkbackers part company. The ending of that village made me nearly walk out of the theater. after the ending I really hated that film and dont get me started on adrien brody. That film can go burn itself for all i care, performance wise. I thought it looked great but Screenplay. Jaysus. I read a review for the lady in the water on yahoo. the reviewer wondered how the cast kept a straight face. Giamatti is magnficent as ever. but maybe just maybe disney had a point about the script. I mean ahem, a narf called story from the blue world where there are creatures called narfs, scrunts, the tartutic and the great eatlon. The blue world is under this apartment complex called the cove, home to all sorts of odd bods and loners. the yahoo reviwer says that the support is actors are all plucky and that Bryce dallas howard is luminous. it only gave the film. two out of four stars sayin it was all mood and no menace. WB will be looking at that contract it signed with mnight after this movie, me thinks.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Correct Titles----

    by bigboxer

    Samimydick's correct titles: Dollars and Sentz Unwatchable Dollar Signz The Village Idiots The Turd in the Lake Hhahhahhahhahhahhahhaha !!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    M nights endings are no twists they are more like

    by emeraldboy

    story explanations

  • July 18, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST

    What a useless review

    by BobParr

    "I kinda like it but kinda don't". Thanks for your input. Actually, this review convinced me not to see the movie because it was compared to "AI" on some level.****** MNS and his "twist endings" are a little overblown. The reveal of Mr. Glass being an archvillian at the end of "Unbreakable" wasn't a big twist. It went perfect with a comic book origin story. There was no big twist in "Signs". The movie sucked because it was boring and a bunch of aliens couldn't open locked doors. "The Village" blew but their was a twist. The scene where Adrian Brody is wearing a mask to scare a blind girl after it has been revealed that the monsters were fake is a major FU to the audience. Did he really think he was fooling us?

  • July 18, 2006, 1:46 p.m. CST

    I love how...

    by AyebKraken

    the media and critics alike's ego tells M. Night how to write when he is a succesful writer and director and they have never written crap. And that they don't like him having twists so because he doesn't have one in Lady in teh Water it's because of them. So who here has the ego trip? The media and the critcs. I have enjoyed all of M. Night's movies and will continue to do so. While the crits embrace some of the worst movies Hollywood has ever made keeps churning out year after year and M. NIght's are fresh.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:46 p.m. CST

    EgoManiacs

    by bigboxer

    Welles was one, Kubrick was one, so was Hitchcock and even DeMille. BUT THEY DELIVERED !!! They filmed CLASSICS !! Movies that students will dissect years from now. Shamysuckdick produces crap after crap after crap. If you love lapping up crap, this is YOUR MOVIE OF THE SUMMER !!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST

    M. Night Shyamalan

    by tychonotgabe87

    Cant wait. I think im the only person that really respects M. Night and all of his work. The man knows how to tell a story, just sometimes people dont like his stories, i guess. And of course Lady in the Water is at least decent, cause Paul Giamatti is in it.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:53 p.m. CST

    How Sad !!!

    by bigboxer

    How sad that Shamsuck dick is seen as fresh and creative !! He's a recycler, and every movie is recycled from other, better sources. The Twilight Zone for one.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Worst review ever

    by Engineer_at_peac

    I like your work generally, but this was your worst review ever. Hey, look, I'm a critic critic.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST

    How is LITW like The Old Man and the Sea?

    by Ray Garraty #47

    Somebody wrote that comment above. What does one have to do with the other? Explain please.

  • July 18, 2006, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I Love "You've never written a script"

    by bigboxer

    THAT'S RIGHT, DOUCHE !!! Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get ANYONE to look at a script these days??????? It's a one in a million chance to even get a script in front of someone who can pass it on to someone else who can get it looked at !! THAT'S WHY Shamymydick is so hated, how dare such a no talent schmuck get as far as he has ???

  • July 18, 2006, 2:02 p.m. CST

    CHUD

    by Mr Nice Gaius

    Devin has a pretty interesting review over at CHUD...a 7.9 no less.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Nice "Swordfish" reference...

    by Uga

    So which is more tired: Calling him "Shama-lama-ding-dong," or calling somebody an idiot for liking a movie? Well played, Ricky Henderson - you're a douche squared.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Hey Kids !!!!!!

    by bigboxer

    DON'T GO SEE THIS MOVIE !!!! It'll suck so bad, it'll suck the oxygen right out of the theater, and YOU'LL DIE !!!! The teenie attendents will be tossing bodies in the dumpster behind the multiplex !!!! It's a TERRORIST CONSPIRACY !!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Love the guy, can

    by Proman1984

  • July 18, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see the movie. And M. Night's M Night

    by Proman1984

    Would rock!

  • July 18, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Scary ????

    by bigboxer

    Oooohhoooohhh, the aliens communicate on baby monitors, oooohhh!!! The Villagers are scared by red and yellow, oooohhhhh, I'm peeing my pants !!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 2:12 p.m. CST

    So, to sum up, massa...

    by Childe Roland

    ...if he meant to fuck with you as a critic, then he did a good job. And if one isn't a critic but, rather, someone who just wants to enjoy a movie, one really ought to turn off the critical portion of one's brain and not question the inconsistencies in the internal logic of the narrative. In other words, "embrace the conceit." I appreciate your honesty (and, to some extent, your desperation to find something worthwhile in this film), but people recommended the same approach to Signs and, really, that didn't make it a better story or movie. I doubt I'll even rent this. Disappointing.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Um, was there a twist in Signs?

    by quadrupletree

    Cause I missed it. All five times I've watched it... And the most important question to me is, is it better than the Villiage. Cause I walked out of that one pissed off! If it's as bad or worse than the Villiage I'm waiting to rent this one.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:16 p.m. CST

    M. Night Shyamalan

    by tripp5

    im there opening night

  • July 18, 2006, 2:17 p.m. CST

    M. Nightynite = ????

    by bigboxer

    He's as bad as Ed Wood. Someday in the future, a Tim Burton-type director will do a parody of M. Nightynite sitting in a theater, repeating his dialogue in his dreadful crappy flick that's being projected on the screen !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Ray Garraty #47

    by Mooly

    Hemmingway wrote Old Man after years of being torn apart by critics. The story of the old man finally getting a fish only to die from exhaustion after battling countless sharks intent on picking away at his catch was Hemmingway's shot at critics who years prior attacked him for his past works. NOw, apply that to this review which sounds like M. Night is attacking and mocking HIS critics in this latest movie. The critics who have bashed him for years and nitpicked his past movies to death and yet no matter what he does he can never win with them. Granted, I'm simply thinking about this absed on the review posted here as I know little else about the movie. Interestingly, both stories seem to heavily involve water. Maybe it is a coincidence and maybe not.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Un-BreakingTheBoxOffice-able

    by Stabby

    That's for Man in Chair looking for an original bust on Shim Sham.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:22 p.m. CST

    36 on Metacritic

    by LilOgre

    I know that most AICN'ers think that critics suck so we'll wait for the box-office to see if the film is really worthwhile since that seems to be the barometer these days (sic).

  • July 18, 2006, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Filmmaker Ruins Any Hopes

    by jols316195

    I would love to be able to seperate the filmmaker from the individual movie but the fact that Shymalan is such a self-promoter, whiner, and egomaniac almost ruins his films. Even if Lady in the Water is a really good movie, I would have a hard time seperating a great film from Mr. Shymalan.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:29 p.m. CST

    If you think it sucks, just say it.

    by Rupee88

    I didn't read the whole review, but what I did read seemed to be extra careful not to blast the film, when clearly he thought it sucked. I hate reviews like this.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but here's the problem:

    by Orbots Commander

    No matter how deep or philosophical the movie is trying to be, the big goof, particularly by the studio is that it's being sold, during the Summer movie season, as a mainstream studio horror film. From your review, it seems like anyone going in expecting that will be seriously pissed and walk out.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Shyamalan...eh.

    by rbatty024

    I really liked Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, and enjoyed Signs until the really dumb twist. However, The Village was one of the worst films that came out of 2004, and the problems with that film started long before the terrible twist ending (by the way, anyone see the Robot Chicken episode making fun of Shyamalan...hilarious). I'm hoping this movies good, but after hearing about the whole attack on critics thing I'm worried. The Hemingway analogy is interesting, but when Hemingway attacked critics he was attacking a small group of elites. Book critics are different than movie critics because just about every one of us is a movie critic to some extent, and the attack on movie critics could be seen as an attack on his audience in general. I'm pulling for M. Night, but I'm also weary.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:39 p.m. CST

    The Simple Truth

    by bigboxer

    Is that you can't separate a director from the movie. No One but Welles could have made "Citizen Kane" at that time. No one but Kubrick could have made "2001". A director imbues his films with his ability to "see" a project. Or, in Shamalongmydingdong, A LACK OF TALENT SHOWS UP AS CRAP ON TOP OF CRAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 2:43 p.m. CST

    "...this year's AI"

    by Abin Sur

    I should have just scrolled down to the end of the review. Count me out.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:46 p.m. CST

    M. Night Rocks!!!

    by BilboRing

    He is an original director who is not putting out remakes of old movies, sequels, prequels, adaptations, etc. He comes up with this stuff himself and I could not respect him more for that. I loved all of his movies up until the Village. It wasn't bad but it never pulled me in. I hope this pulls me in like the other great M. Night movies. Someone above mentioned his movies are about questioning your faith. I love that. He's a great director. Spoiled? Big ego? Who in hollywood doesn't? Peace!!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 2:47 p.m. CST

    as long as its better than the village

    by isildur29

  • July 18, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Lady Full of Crap

    by tie345

    If you read between the lines of this review, it tells us what we all already knew, that most people are gonna hate this film. It also sounds as if there is already a built in excuse, allowing Shama-lama's fans to counter our detest with things like "you just didn't get it" and "why do you always have to compare everything to his other films". Signs sucked, The Village was boring and obvious, The Sixth Sense was annoying, and Unbreakable was confused. I expect Lady in the Water to be a mixture of all those things. Thank God for DVD rentals...

  • July 18, 2006, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Shyamalan BLOWS GOATS!! MASSAWYRM YOU SUCK!

    by wolack22

    So if i went and slapped you in the face you'd call me a genius right? You dont know crap about storytelling, and fairy tales... and I doubt Shyamalan does either. You gave me nothing in your review of his film to demonstrate your knowledge that he pulled of good storytelling and interpretation of fairy tales. You just want to be the one loser who says this pretentious hack is great. I'm sick of this country... I love capitalism, but when someone fucking fails at it, and screws up doing what they were good at they should have to pay! SHYAMALAN SHOULD BE bankrupt right now... im sick of you neanderthals pandering to this one-jizz shot wonder. DOWNLOAD THIS CRAP if you have some sick want to see it!!! dont go see it in theatre. I wont be seeing this at all.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:55 p.m. CST

    This is why Shyamalan always gets a free pass

    by wolack22

    Just because Shyamalan is Indian and dark skinned you people feel he should get a free pass from shitty film making... if these films were made by a white dude, they would be derided as crap.

  • July 18, 2006, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Why show up ???

    by bigboxer

    If everyone "on the fence" would quit showing up, and buying a ticket, then perhaps Mr. Meglomaniac would ACTUALLY have to do a good movie !!! Everybody KEEPS buying tickets, and it gives the studios an excuse to let him be lazy and INDULGENT !!!!!!!!!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Both extremes are wrong.

    by rbatty024

    The Shyamalan haters who say he's worthless obviously know nothing about cinema, or are blinded by hatred. On the other hand, those who give this man undue praise are just encouraging him to make another Village. Those praising him are more interested in what he is "trying to say," rather than whether the narrative was well done or not. For the message of the film to be interesting, first the narrative must be well crafted. I like Shyamalan's style, but am sometimes put off by his occasionally shoddy screenplays. I'd like to see him "adopt" someone else's screenplay or interpret a book.

  • July 18, 2006, 3:08 p.m. CST

    I think I'm more interested now

    by Mechasheeva

    to see this than I was before reading Massa's 'review'. I loved 6th Sense and Unbreakable, really liked Signs despite its flaws, and managed to have a good time with The Village having watched it with a group of people willing to be scared (but I'm not interested in a repeat viewing . . .). If nothing else, Shyamalan makes very, very pretty films, so if I find myself not digging it I can look at the pretty pictures . . .

  • July 18, 2006, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Read "The Man Who Heard Voices."

    by PhantomZone111

    Suggest you read the new book, because it offers fascinating insight into Knight, his creative process and the struggles over making "Lady In The Water." The first third of the book focuses on Knight squabbling with, and ultimately leaving, Disney over "Lady." The other 2/3rds deals with the making of "Lady" and Knight's struggles with self doubt and his massive insecurities. Fascinating read.

  • July 18, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST

    I agree with rbatty on the...

    by Childe Roland

    ...wanting to see Shyamalan direct someone else's story. M. Night's credibility as a writer is gone, in my opinion, but he set up shots with the best of them. He can also pull amazing performances out of people...if the goal is to depict people who are scared, confused or depressed. He should probably hire an AD who can cover the other end of the emotional spectrum and maybe get on some good meds himself. And speaking of things we'd like to see happen: I'd like to see Wolack dropped off in the blackest part of Harlem with nothing but his sparkling personality to sustain him and see how long he lasts. I'm betting he snaps (figuratively and then literally) the first time someone gets "uppity" with him.

  • July 18, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Douche in the Lake

    by bigboxer

    What a piece of total crap !! M. Nightynite is writing some crap that will ACTUALLY BE IMPORTANT ??? THAT'S a fairy tale !!! Someone from the future going back to the present and trying to change things goes all the way back to the original Outer Limits. The Lady coos, "Oh, what you're writing will eff up all the world!!!" THAT would be entertaining !!! Hhahaahhahahhahahahh !!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 3:38 p.m. CST

    "Worst Review Ever"

    by Engineer_at_peac

    I must apologize, Massawyrm. I just read Harry's review. Now THAT was the worst review ever. This is certainly your worst however.

  • July 18, 2006, 3:59 p.m. CST

    bigboxer - You are a stupid cock-sucking motherfucker

    by Lamerz

    A worthless piece of trash. Your life won't amount to dick because you are too stupid to do anything worthwhile. You suck more dick than your gay ass father. ......... How does it feel dickhead? Who cares if the movie sucks, M Night is still a person. Why does it bother you so much that the guy has been successful? Jealous fuck. Stupid MFs like you are just irritating.

  • July 18, 2006, 4 p.m. CST

    Why...

    by Rakafraker

    do schmucks like bigboxer keep posting? I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I think I get it. You don't like MNS. I think we all got it after your 3rd or 4th post. Granted TB's are here so you can speak your mind, but enough already. I think you're just a bit lonely and need a friend. Maybe leave Mumsie's basement for a bit and find someone you can talk to. ***Hint: Most people don't like bitchy whiners for friends.***

  • July 18, 2006, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Mooly

    by Ray Garraty #47

    Thanks for the response. I love Hemingway's novel and have read it many times but must admit that I was unaware of that message as I am not a scholar of his work...now your comments make more sense.

  • July 18, 2006, 4:10 p.m. CST

    wolack22

    by Rakafraker

    WTF are you thinking? Just because he's brown??? Are you really that daft? I highly doubt that he gets a "free pass" for being another color, other than white. Double WTF... That is among the most racist things I've heard on here. I'm of Irish roots, so I have no vested interest in defending him, other than on his artistic merit. Hell, I didn't even know he was of Indian heritage until after Signs. I've seen you say some interesting things on here, some even thoughtful and provocative, but the tripe that you puked out above is just idiotic. Come back to reason.

  • July 18, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Hell, this really makes me interested to see this.

    by DarthCorleone

    I had no plans to see Lady In The Water anytime soon, but I'm intrigued now. I might hate it, but I'm compelled to discover that for myself.

  • July 18, 2006, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Saw it in Chicago last night and it was good

    by UserIDGoesHere

    Obviously if you are part of the M. Night backlash, you'll hate it, but for the rest of us, it was entertaining and funny, with a couple of suspenseful moments. It is definitely NOT a confusing mess ... it is actually very a simple story, directed superbly. The audience at the preview liked it. Laughter in all the right places. Jumps and gasps in all the right places. Applause at the end.

  • July 18, 2006, 4:32 p.m. CST

    M. Night Shyamalan?

    by Ribbons

    More like M. Night Shyamalamadingdong! Zing! You like that one, Shyamalamadingdong? I made it up myself. It's supposed to be an insult or something.

  • July 18, 2006, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Oh joy, bigboxer is back from under his bridge...

    by brycemonkey

    Yeah, your 'alternative titles' thing wasn't even funny the first time you posted it. Say something new and or interesting, or go away.

  • July 18, 2006, 5 p.m. CST

    Titles

    by bigboxer

    Okkkkkaaaayyyy, here goes:Sixth Dollar & Centz, Unlikeable, Million Dollar Signz, The Village Vidiots, Lady in the Terlet Bowl. Hahhahahahayhaahahhahahahhahhahahahahhahahhahahahha

  • July 18, 2006, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Get it?? Huh??

    by bigboxer

    Get it?? "Lady in the Terlet Bowl"?? Get it, eh?? Hhahhahah, I've got a million of 'em. Hahhhahah. (How'd you know where I lives?)

  • July 18, 2006, 5:07 p.m. CST

    I shouldn't make fun ...

    by bigboxer

    of Shamylickmydingdong, it's like making fun of a retard. Too easy, really, but then again I love a cheap laugh !!!! HHHhahahahahhahahhahahhahhahahahhahahahhahahah

  • July 18, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    YOUR FUCKING AVATAR IS SILENT BOB!!!

    by HarmoniumSaver

    complaining about Filmmakers in their OWN MOVIE is HYPOCRITICAL if you love Kevin Smith. I do, and I understand that his role hardly involves any speaking, but think about it. HE IS IN HIS MOVIES A-FUCKING-LOT. And not only that, but he is always the voice of reason in his movies. Sure, they're comedies. But jesus! I like Shyamalan. He is a cool guy. I would like to have fun with him and watch him make a movie and 'twould be cool to have a director in your shoes as an actor. Fun too. Equals you are then. So Says Yoda. Anyways, Lay off the M. Night Egotism. Maybe it's not as bad as you'd like to think, ya freaks.

  • July 18, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Holy shit!

    by Childe Roland

    I find myself in compelte agreement with moviemack. Someone check for the other six signs of the apocalypse. Did Meat Loaf release another album? Are the Brewers in contention for a pennant? Has Tom Cruise become self aware? These are the end times, people. Anything's possible.

  • July 18, 2006, 6:13 p.m. CST

    The twist is that....

    by I Dunno

    the Lady in the Water takes a dump in the motel pool but Bill Murray discovers it's just a candy bar. And he's a super hero. And he's in the 21st century. And he's dead.

  • July 18, 2006, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Poit

    by Zorak5

    Too bad he didn't add zort and troz creatures along with the narfs.

  • July 18, 2006, 6:19 p.m. CST

    I'd like to Second that !!

    by bigboxer

    Childe, you are sooo right to agree with moviemack. Shamoo isn't worth $10 to go see him criticize critics. He's a whiny multimillionaire who needs to SHUT UP and buy his island to live on. (Or whatever.)

  • July 18, 2006, 6:20 p.m. CST

    This film may duck, but...

    by FluffyUnbound

    ...Some of you are just a leeeeeetle too upset about it. I've always directed the smell of "frustrated screenwriter / director / producer / gaffer / whatever" around the fiercest of M. Night's critics. They seem unusually pissed at him, probably because no one will let THEM make films that are basically old Twilight Zone episodes. I don't mean you, Moviemack, I realize you hate everything. But some of you guys...it's just a little more personal for you than it should be. I mean, I don't exactly love Lucas at this point, but it's not like I'm desperately angry that he gets to make films, in the personally jealous way that some of you are exhibiting.

  • July 18, 2006, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Sorry, naturally that's "This film may SUCK..."

    by FluffyUnbound

    EOM.

  • July 18, 2006, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Narf?

    by bigboxer

  • July 18, 2006, 6:24 p.m. CST

    That's right up there with ...

    by bigboxer

    EWOKS !!!! Aaauuughghhghh, or naming a character Count Dooku. People make fun of HPL, but at least he made something cool like 'night-gaunt'.

  • July 18, 2006, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Anyone else remember Devlin/Emmerich's

    by CreasyBear

    inclusion of stupid Siskel & Ebert clones in Godzilla? Presumably as retaliation for the widespread critical panning of Independence Day. It looked cheap and overly sensitive then, and M. Night's swipe seems equally cheap and over-sensitive. (Speaking of overly sensitive, please don't "flame-war" me or whatever you call it. I cry easily.)

  • July 18, 2006, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Mighty Niteynight is ...

    by bigboxer

    Overly sensitive, and a cheap hack. You never read about Kubrick being angry over bad reviews of his films. He also NEVER acted in any of his films, or wrote a whiny tell-all book. Wwwwwaaaahhhhhh !!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 7:16 p.m. CST

    the twist

    by PeteBogs

    the "twist" in "The Village" was just insulting enough to make me not trust him anymore as a director... very derivative of "The Twilight Zone," but not in a good way... it just had no reason to be... as for "Lady," the marketing has been all over the place... the teaser had a fairytale feel to it, but on the new spots they've made it more of a horror flick? which is it? why is there a child's voice on some spots and a woman's on the others? are they trying to be all things to all people? they probably didn't know how to market this thing... since I already know the rating, I already know I'm not going to catch a glimpse of B.D. Howard's naked body before Giammati slaps his shirt on her... so, what's the draw here?

  • July 18, 2006, 7:41 p.m. CST

    tychonotgabe87, you're not alone pal

    by clockpolitiks

    I respect and love every movie the guy has made. I even loved the village. I understand why some people felt cheated by it, but I felt it coming the whole movie. It was a commentary on humanity, not a horror movie. It was about no matter how hard you try, violence and death follows you everywhere. You cant isolate yourself from loss and pain. I thought the village was great. Are me and tychonotgabe87 the only ones? Oh and I will be seeing this movie. Obviously.

  • July 18, 2006, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Massa...

    by thebearovingian

    you, Harry, Moriarty, Quint, and especially Latauro are the vicious wolf-like creatures (critics = Big Bad Wolves) trying to kill the girl (the story). So I have but one question: what the hell did that lil Narf ever do to you? And why do you hate and try to destroy the very same stories that are integral to your life as critics? I'm gonna say that yes, that was one question, consisting of two parts. LAUS DEO

  • July 18, 2006, 8:21 p.m. CST

    What ?!??

    by The Dum Guy

    So what Massa is saying is that he isn't sure what he thinks about the movie? If the only thing this film is supposed to do is divide audiences then I got a pitch for a film that will absolutely divide, think about this "Godzilla vs. Jesus Christ: With a Passion to Kick Ass"

  • July 18, 2006, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Kill The Narfs ????

    by bigboxer

    Is that like "Kill the Wabbit, kill the wabbit"??? Schlongodong should direct toons, cause that's as much logic as he can muster !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • July 18, 2006, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Hey wolack22...

    by PwnedByStallone

    Do the world a favor and eat a bottle of sleeping pills, drink a pint of scotch, put a plastic bag over your head, wrap a rubberband around it, and spare us all your racist bullshit. Thanks.

  • July 18, 2006, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Goodness Gwacious !!!

    by bigboxer

    Moviemack, such venom !!! By the way, pass the bottle over here so I can dip my keyboard in ... I HATE SCHMAYLINGDING !!!! (And I've run out of expletives!!!)

  • July 18, 2006, 10:12 p.m. CST

    "M" stand for ...

    by bigboxer

    MILLIONS, as in American dollars !! M. Nightynite Schlongdong. M. Nitenite Suckmydingdong. M. Nice Sclongingnydingdong. M. Naughty Suckysuck. M. Nicenicey Suckydingdong.

  • July 18, 2006, 10:18 p.m. CST

    bigboxer, when was the last time...

    by Rakafraker

    ...that you even set foot outside? I went to one of my jobs, came back, and you're STILL posting. Is it 'cause Mumsie WON'T let you out? You poor soul. It must suck having to do all of your communicating in a movie talkback. How pathetic.

  • July 18, 2006, 10:27 p.m. CST

    My Mommie's still not home ..

    by bigboxer

    I forgot the Swami variations. M> Niteynite SwamiDingDong. M. Naughty Swamisuckmydingdong. M. Niceynicey Swamistealyermoney. M. Nicey Swamischongdong. M. Nitey Swamisucky. M. Nighty Swamischlongyerdingdong. Whew !!

  • July 18, 2006, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Hmmmmm....

    by Cheif Brody

    If I leave a movie feeling "vexed" it usually means I wasted 9 bucks. I gotta say, all this review told me was "Wait for DVD director's commentary"...so M can "explain" his "joke" to me. I past up an advanced screening to see LITW last night here in Tampa. Kinda glad I did now.

  • July 18, 2006, 11:17 p.m. CST

    13% on RT

    by DrKodos

    And even that is far too high.

  • July 18, 2006, 11:18 p.m. CST

    I like how the haters judge his movies...

    by pizzatheface

    before even seeing them. And you're not being terribly clever by changing his non-American name so it rhymes with something dirty. I think most of us gave that up in junior high. Besides being racist and ignorant, you can all keep being couch critics while he makes good movies and good money to boot. Go Nighty!

  • July 18, 2006, 11:32 p.m. CST

    M = Manoj

    by keepcoolbutcare

    and how's Mighty Shyster Layman sound?

  • July 19, 2006, 12:19 a.m. CST

    muthafuckin bigboxer in a muthafuckin talkbac

    by Lamerz

    What a fucking racist.

  • July 19, 2006, 12:22 a.m. CST

    bigmouth iz a reetarrd...

    by Lamerz

    ... oh, and Kai'whatever-the-fuck your-name-is, your contest is lame. that shit with M Night's name has been around for years. you ain't original. get a new schtick, dumbass, cuz your shit is played.

  • July 19, 2006, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Fluffy's onto something...

    by SAVOIR_faire

    WAY too much hate, and it smells like creative frustration... Oh, and by the way, ALL dude's films have been profitable - all of them.

  • July 19, 2006, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Im sorry

    by wolack22

    I'm not racist. What i said was wrong. I am totally not racist. If you must know I am east indian. Both of my parents are iranian jews. I'm jewish. Yes i know this is too much information. I felt realy bad about what I said. I honestly dont believe that about shyamalan. At the time I was just so frustrated about why so many people like his films and I could not figure out how to disuade them from enjoying them so i played the card. I feel bad about it now because I know it's wrong to go that route. Please ignore my previous outbursts. I loved 6th sense, and I enjoyed unbreakable,,... but i hated the village and i hated signs... even though i understood it's messages about faith. I just dont think he's a good director. I'm not about race. I think that anyone who bases their opinion on shyamalan's race is an ignorant loser, but seriously the guy doesn't have any real talent. He's a hack. I have no excuse for my outburst. I am asking for your humble forgiveness. Please forgive me, and don't use what I said against me in future posts.... I love posting on AICN and I'm not a person of race opinions..... again I did not mean to say what i said to be taken to heart... sorry

  • July 19, 2006, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Cut and Paste problems with the movie.

    by GuyLombardo

    It looks like you simply took the same problems Nina Jacobson and Dick Cook had with the screenplay and stuck them in as your critique. Gimmie a fucking break. At least form 1 thought on your own.

  • July 19, 2006, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Why so much hate for a movie that's not even out yet?

    by andrew coleman

    "This movie SUCKS!!!" How do you know? How about you see it and make a logical opinion about it not just ranting blindly about a movie few have actually seen. It seems AICN is all about hate these days no one seems pumped for movies anymore just really angry that movies are coming out. Relax and enjoy these flicks.

  • July 19, 2006, 3:23 a.m. CST

    So long Nina Jacobson -

    by GuyLombardo

    Nina out the door - maybe Night will boomerang back to Disney? http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-fi-disney19jul19,1,1768636.story?coll=la-headlines-entnews&track=crosspromo

  • July 19, 2006, 3:27 a.m. CST

    It's okay for you to hate Village & Signs...

    by SAVOIR_faire

    ...Just as it's okay for some of us to love 'em. Is that such a terrible thing?

  • July 19, 2006, 4:06 a.m. CST

    The twist in Signs was that a once-promising director..

    by Fatal Discharge

    ...revealed himself to have laughably bad plot tendencies. I loathe that film and The Village was more of the same. What makes this even worse to swallow is that the guy obviously has talent but needs a good writer and editor badly. I like David Letterman's synopsis of this film - "a lady is in a pool and when she tries to get out, there's a big dog that won't let her".

  • July 19, 2006, 5:44 a.m. CST

    SIGNS did not have a twist

    by Razorback

    Though, some argue that not having a twist was the twist since people expected a twist.

  • July 19, 2006, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller writing and directing THE SPIRIT!

    by Brendon

    Why isn't this on the front page? Surely an estimable site like AICN can dig up some dirt on this one? Here's what I know so far: http://tinyurl.com/ozr6q Oh, and while we're talking about Night - I reckon he's GREAT. I truly do. Signs doesn't have a twist in the way the others do, no. That's correct. I loved all of his films since Sixth Sense, and was quite fond of his previous work too. For me, The Lady in the Water is one of the few remaining big budget films of the year to look forward to.

  • July 19, 2006, 7:36 a.m. CST

    After hearing M. Night ....

    by Fat Beach Bum

    ... on H. Stern I'm going to be there Friday night.

  • July 19, 2006, 8:09 a.m. CST

    come on bigboxer, I said something new...

    by brycemonkey

    So far all your posts (all 50 of em) are vaiations on 1) Calling MNS a millionair hack. 2) Making very unfunny and unoriginal jokes about his name. 3) Making very unfunny and unoriginal jokes about the titles of his movies. Please get some new material, you are boring me.

  • July 19, 2006, 9:32 a.m. CST

    And what the hell does the 'M' in M.Night stand for ...

    by emeraldboy

    "Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan" aka "Manoj Night Shyamalan"

  • July 19, 2006, 9:39 a.m. CST

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOkkkkkkkayyyyy

    by bigboxer

    Here goes:Shamipoopoo is a hack director without an original thought in his wittle head, a total egomaniac, is worshipped by boyteens who have to explain the lapses in logic with tortured pretzel logic explanations that come off as sooooo verrrrrryyy LAME !!!!!!!!!!!

  • July 19, 2006, 9:52 a.m. CST

    No Tweesh?

    by fiester

    What a Tweest!

  • July 19, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST

    The endings of his films are more

    by emeraldboy

    Story explanations than anything else. Sixth Sense dr gets killed and dosent know it. boy can apeak to dead people and convinces dr that he is dead, in the end. Unbreakable. Samuel jackson character is pyschotic and has brittle bone disease and is stalking bruce willis who happens to appear to be superhuman. Willis cant stand water. Jackson made those accdidents happen to make it look like Willis was superhuman. Signs. Was one long practical joke designed to push gibson pastor back ont the right path character after his wife died, notice there were no alien space craft in that movie, the so called aliens were afraid of water and when gibson brought his daughter back to life that was the miracle he needed to go back to being a pastor again. the village was about a man played by william hurt whose father dies and is quickly left reeling after his wife is shot dead. His father left him a vast fortune and some land. so he recreated a fictional village. to keep his family under his control(he created the monsters) and to shut out the rest of the world. ie the real world, which took away his wife. All of this is revelead in the dying moments of the movie and for me that really killed the movie and adrien brody as well.

  • July 19, 2006, 10:14 a.m. CST

    That's number 1) bigboxer (with minor variations)

    by brycemonkey

    He's a 'hack' without an original thought in his head'. Well you are wrong, most people that know films would say he is at least a competent film maker and he writes original movies and shoots them (not remakes or pre/sequals). You say he's an egomaniac. So? What's your point? Practically every writer, director, actor, producer in the world is. You say 'boyteens worship him' ahh, are you lonely? Nevermind, I'm sure there is a boy out there for you too. Now please go back under your bridge.

  • July 19, 2006, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Now THERE'S the moviemack I know and love!

    by Childe Roland

    Fuck me, sir? That's just what I said when I realized you had vocalized a thought I actually agreed with. Soo we apparently agree again. But if you'd bothered to read a little higher up on the talkback, you'd see that I already typed out my original thoughts on Night and what he might be trying to do here. For Fluffy's sake, I'll revisit them briefly. I don't think everyone who "hates" on Night does so because he (or she...gals can write, too) is a frustrated writer who wishes he could be doiung the same thing Night is (although, deep down, I suspect all of us on this site wish we could be paid to write or direct movies...does that automatically invalidate our opinions on film?). I know the reason I give the man shit is because I saw a lot of potential in him with his first two films. Sure, the stories were both kind of textbook exercises in setting up suprise endings from the Serlingian school (although UNbreakable less so and far more about character, which is why I like it better). But both were excellently shot and, despite their shortcomings in the narrative department, I enjoyed them both. His second two movies were complete let downs in terms of story (regressions, it seemed, from the very simple square he started at) that couldn't be redeemed by his Hitchcockian camera tricks or the (misguided?) enthusiasm of his actors. Now instead of branching out to different genres or even focusing with his proven strength (character development), he's indulging an exercise in metafiction? If I wanted to pay to watch another marginally talented writer go through the standard undergrad workshop progressions, I'd go back to college. For me, SHyamalan is like the mirror universe version of Quentin Tarantino. He's a gifted (although highly derivative) director who thinks his real strength is his writing, which it's not. Tarantino is a gifted (although highly derivative) writer who thinks his real strength is his directing, which it just isn't. Both impressed the hell out of me with their initial efforts and have steadily disappointed me ever since. Both made their last pcitures into self-indulgent wank fests that anyone who isn't a dyed in the wool devotee of their work is going to find unwatchabel (granted, that last parallel supposes that all the actual reviews I've read of Lady are accurate). I'm just tired of being disappointed by artists I once cared about.

  • July 19, 2006, 12:50 p.m. CST

    I don't get the hate for massawyrm.

    by minderbinder

    Unlike harry, he wrote a review that I found pretty thoughtful. So what if he had mixed feelings about it? It's bullshit to make accusations that he hated it but had an agenda. Sometimes a movie will be a complete fucking mess but will still be interesting (in some cases BECAUSE it's a fucking mess). I'm not really interested in seeing this movie...although it sounds more and more horrible and wacked, I'm starting to have some morbid curiosity about just how bad it is.

  • July 19, 2006, 1:10 p.m. CST

    I definitely see what you mean, Childe.

    by FluffyUnbound

    Early success can be a curse, because you end up thinking you have to make "M Night" films, instead of just making films. I do have to say that my appreciation of Kill Bill just increases with time, though. I don't think QT is on the down track at all. I don't see how, given the fact that his lifestyle should have produced a personal and professional degeneration by now, but he somehow put it together for KB. [More for KB1 than KB2, but why quibble?] And sure, he's a better writer than he is a director, but that doesn't mean that Kill Bill isn't a visual tour de force in the way that Pulp Fiction was an editing and structural tour de force. In Night's case, it may be that I'm cutting him more slack than the rest of you because I still haven't seen The Village. That seems to have left a bad taste with quite a few people.

  • July 19, 2006, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Ripping on Swordfish

    by AlwaysThere

    WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM?

  • July 19, 2006, 6:21 p.m. CST

    copying Hitchcock

    by ufoclub

    I think "Match Point" is Woody Allen's miming of Hitchcock.

  • July 20, 2006, 3:37 a.m. CST

    My own personal talkback vanity project

    by PapanikiSimbimbo

    Can I just say that, and forgive me if this point has already been made, the notion of supporting "oddball" films in order to encourage Hollywood producers to churn out less crap is the most nonsensical suggestion I have ever heard. Does anybody here really believe that big shot producers are actually stupid people? To get a job that big and that powerful requires a certain degree of intellectual savvy. Hollywood will ALWAYS churn out crap because guess what? It's no risk. And when you are gambling with HUNDREDS if not thousands of millions of dollars do you think it would be a good idea to say: "you know what guys, lets not make Pirates 6 or Superman the musical, lets give 'em what they really want, ART!" I am not trying to suggest that we should abandon creatively daring films, but we should DEFINATELY abandon them if they are useless vanity projects that annoy us when we watch. Hollywood is big business and as such it understands the concept of calculated risk. The money men go:"Right, we have a billion dollars. Lets put 900 million into no risk cashcows and with the remaining 100 we can put out some risky stuff that might just take off" Thats how it has worked in the past, thats how it works now and that is how it will ALWAYS work. Don't fight the system, learn to love it. It's simple economics.

  • July 20, 2006, 5:24 a.m. CST

    Massawyr, don't listen to people who telll you ...

    by Snuffles

    you are "trying too hard" in your reviews. What that basically means is, you made a review that was more interesting than they were willing to deal with, and so they wish you'd dumbed it down. Keep writing the way you write, because your reviews are seriously the ones that stick with me on this site. They are lucid, and you still have a soul to appreciate the art of film, not stuck in a cynical analysis of the economics of lowest-common-denominator judgements of art. Keep it up. That being said, I have no idea whether or not I'll enjoy this flick (Shyamalan is hit or miss) but I doubt I'll come out of it feeling "meh" as you said.