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Moriarty Drowns In M. Night's Shallow WATER!!

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

Story is looking for a writer.

But... is that the synopsis of LADY IN THE WATER, or is it the review?

There’s only one way to approach a new film by M. Night Shyamalan at this point. Tune everything out. The hype, both positive and negative, that surrounds every move of his these days is crushing even the possibility of pleasure out of the releases. I think a film like THE VILLAGE works best as a stealth bomb. Something you start watching without really knowing what it is. Something that just sort of unfolds, and by the time you get a handle on it, you’ve been pleasantly shaken up and twisted about. Sure, it’s a TWILIGHT ZONE episode. That’s Night’s thing when you boil it down and strip away all the pretentious “I have the secret to filmmaking” twaddle from the medicine show he runs to turn himself into a myth. He does big-budget TWILIGHT ZONE movies. I have no doubt that if he’d been working in ’82, he would have been one of the filmmakers who was asked to contribute a segment to TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. Not every episode of TZ ended with a twist, but they all tended to moralize and place fantastic elements into mundane settings, two things which are increasingly obvious as signatures of Shyamalan’s work.

I’ve never written a negative review for an M. Night Shyamalan film here on the site. Based on the mail I get about him, you’d think I had talked shit about his mother or something, but it’s just not true. The worst you can say about any review I’ve written for him so far is that it was mixed. Sure, I’ve held his films to hard critical standards because I think he’s got real talent, but I hold many directors to the same sort of scrutiny. If I think someone’s really got the goods, I invest in whether or not they’re really connecting. That class of ’99, all the guys who sort of came of age that year like Spike Jonze or Sam Mendes or David Fincher or Brad Bird or PT Anderson, or even Shyamalan... I had high hopes for all of those guys after that year.

They made me believe in American movies again. They convinced me that strong personal visions could find a place in the corporate entertainment landscape. I saw ’99 as a promise, and each year, I can’t help but ask myself, “Is that promise being fulfilled?”

Let’s start with a given. Something that I think it hard to dispute on a purely technical level. M. Night Shyamalan is a very good director. No doubt about it. He’s got an excellent eye, and he’s obviously very good with his actors.

At times, he’s also been a very effective writer. It was his gift with language, the economy of what he did on the page, that made him so distinct as a writer. If you can get hold of SIXTH SENSE or his draft of STUART LITTLE or LABOR OF LOVE, check out the way those scripts read. Check out the simplicity of how he suggests a whole world by saying so little. He was pretty much every writer’s favorite writer when he first started blowing up. Him and Charlie Kaufman were the beautiful freaks among their peers, the guys who made Final Draft their bitch each and every time. They just shat great structure and character with seemingly no effort.

I honestly think Night’s time as an A-list writer may have passed, though. As I said, “Story is looking for a writer” could double as a comment on this film’s subtextual meaning. Night’s command of film language grew by leaps and bounds with each film he makes. There’s no doubt in my mind that he studied the work of Spielberg and the work of his ‘80s peers and that he’s also heavily versed in ‘70s cinema here and abroad as well. He’s just as film literate, just as adept at bending genre convention, as Tarantino. It’s just that he is regurgitating Rod Serling and Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney instead of exploitation fare and Italian crime movies and ‘70s cinema. This is simply how he thinks about story and structure now. He’s retreating into this rarified air, and if there’s any pop culture icon that he truly resembles at this point, it’s not Michael Jordan, and it’s certainly not Bob Dylan. It’s Michael Jackson. Remember when Michael Jackson was supposedly sleeping in that hyperbaric oxygen chamber, and there were even photos of it? Remember how that was supposedly a hoax by Jackson?

As my co-writer said to me earlier today, “What’s creepy about that situation isn’t that Michael Jackson supposedly slept in some oxygen chamber. What’s creepy is that he doesn’t, but he wants you to think that he does. What kind of freaky game is he playing?” Well, I think that’s Shyamalan at this point. His movies are beside the point now. He is the point. His ongoing media presence is the point. He obsessively compares himself to Michael Jordan and Bob Dylan in his new book. Two geniuses at what they do. Guys who are, for lack of a better term, touched by God. Shyamalan spends much of his time in interviews these days invoking these two names, making sure you understand that he is like them. That he is also an icon. That he is bigger than the game. Bob Dylan isn’t a rock star from the ‘60s. Bob Dylan is more famous than that. He’s the rock star from the ‘60s. And Michael Jordan is the basketball player. These guys transcend what they do because they did it like no one else. And Shyamalan is desperate to be acclaimed on that level. He’s not content with making entertaining movies that speak for themselves. He’s not content with contributing a commentary to a disc or doing a few interesting interviews. He has to put himself front and center, and he has to build that aura, that myth, adding new and weirder details to the public persona that he tends with the fervor of a gardener with OCD.

However, film after film now, he’s pursuing a line of diminishing returns. He’s choking the life out of his work because whatever life he’s living, he’s lost touch with the normal that made SIXTH SENSE and UNBREAKABLE so powerful. Those films are about real places, real people. “Make the mudane magical, and make the magical mundane” was an early mantra of his, and he’s gone off-message now. Normally, he grounds his outrageous ideas just enough. Even if I think he made some odd stylistic choices in UNBREAKABLE, I still think the movie’s set in a recognizable reality. It’s messy, and those rough edges add to the film’s charm for me. It’s a fantastic story, but no one’s running around in costumes or capes or anything ridiculous like that. Instead, it’s just people, living lives like our own. But Shyamalan reached for whimsy here, something that very few filmmakers are ever able to accomplish, and he ended up with a mish-mash of hubris and strained hyperactive charm instead. He’s given in to complete stereotype, and he seems overly pleased with some oddly offensive characterizations.

The Hispanic sisters. The Korean mother and daughter. The cynical useless film critic. The stoners. The characters that crowd the various rooms in The Cove, the apartment building where Cleveland Heep is superintendent, are not people. They are simply devices. He’s writing in a cartoon style that is totally different than what he’s tried before, but it works at odds with what he’s obviously trying to make a very heartfelt experience. If SIGNS was his CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, then LADY IN THE WATER is obviously struggling to be his E.T. And unlike the great calm of his work in ’99, this film is positively drenched in flopsweat. Shyamalan’s self-portrait in THE MAN WHO HEARD VOICES is a strange one, apologetic and defensive in advance, like he thinks it’s going to take a full book to explain why LADY IN THE WATER is brilliant and brave and why it’s so important for him and for the whole world.

And anyone who tries to blame the media for this image is wrong, wrong, wrong. There is obviously a bottom-feeding tabloid culture in this country, but they’re not the ones who made Shyamalan a media figure. He did it to himself, and he’s the one who insists on the massive self-promotion with each film’s release now. When someone says, “I feel so bad for him,” I want to yell at them, Don’t do it! Don’t fall for it! He did this! He set himself up for this fall! He did it with his bullshit fake three-hour documentary that came out just before THE VILLAGE, and now he’s done it again with the book. He makes himself the story. The reason he put himself in the film this time is because he’s no longer concerned with making films for the audience. Instead, he’s making excuses to them. LADY IN THE WATER is metafiction, fiction that comments on the very nature of fiction, fiction where structure and symbolism can comment on the story being told, even within that story. By building his film this way, he’s hoping that he’s bulletproofed it. After all, he says in the film that the only way you can truly understand a story like this is to approach it like a child, with your heart wide open, listening with innocent ears. And if the film fails, then that’s because you didn’t watch it right. And when he includes the character of Mr. Farber, that film critic played by Bob Balaban, and when he kills him, that’s his way of guaranteeing that any critic who hates the film hates it because of that scene. In a way, I admire his effort and the crafty nature of that. It’s ultimately a shell game, but it’s a smart one.

And just to further qualify this review, since it seems that Night’s most rabid supporters love to label any dissenting thinker as “a hater,” I’d like to remind you once again that I’ve never given one of his films a bad review. Sure, I had some hard words for the early draft of THE VILLAGE that I read, and I think there are major structural issues with the finished film, but I was quite kind to it when I reviewed it, just as I was with SIGNS and with UNBREAKABLE. This is an important film for him, though. Coming on the heels of a perceived disappointment like THE VILLAGE, and coming at the same time as the crazycrazycrazy portrait of him in the book, he needs to stick this landing. This needs to be more than a movie. This needs to be a cultural event. Remember the summer that E.T. came out? I do. I remember the way the film snuck up on the mainstream. It was as low-key a marketing campaign as I’ve ever seen, and people felt like they discovered the movie, like it was a secret that audiences passed one to the next. That was a genuine cultural event. And that’s what Shyamalan is striving for here. I think the last time he had this much expectation and pressure centered on the release of one of his films was when UNBREAKABLE was released to follow up the success of THE SIXTH SENSE.

The moderate underperformance of that film ($250 million or so worldwide) will be a positive triumph compared to what finally happens with this film. Or at least, that would be the best thing that could happen for Shyamalan as an artist. If this film fails, then he loses that absolute final cut/no rewrites/insulated bubble thing he’s got going on right now, and I am a firm believer that he will be better for it. If he has to make a few films while working with others, it will force him to allow in more voices than the ones he talks about hearing in his head. He’ll be healthier for it. I’ve said before, and I believe completely, that film is collaboration. No one makes a movie completely by themselves, and if they do, I doubt it would be worth watching. To the extent that he allows other people to claim any stake on his work, Shyamalan serves them well.

His cast is obviously trying to please him in this film, and he’s put together a pretty damn fine list of performers here. Paul Giamatti. Jeffrey Wright. Bill Irwin. Bob Balaban. Jared Harris. Sarita Choudhury. Mary Beth Hurt. Once again, James Newton Howard has stepped up with a lovely piece of film composition. And he’s picked a heavy hitter in the form of Christopher Doyle, the cinematographer whose work was a big part of the luminous magic of films like 2046, LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, INFERNAL AFFAIRS, HERO, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, ASHES OF TIME, CHUNGKING EXPRESS, among others. And, true to form, Doyle’s work is good in the film, even adventurous at times. But these collaborators are all 100% in the service of M. Night’s vision, and this time out, that vision has failed them, left them literally standing around in the rain with nothing to do, waiting for directions from Story that never come.

Enough preamble for you? Can you see how much baggage Night brings to the table now with each film? And each bit of it is his own doing. He wants all of this bouncing around in your head while you’re watching, no matter how much he tells you in the film to watch like a child. His intense desire to make himself into a movie star is one of the major things that hobbles this particular movie, and it’s also the key to deciphering this particular act of hubris. In order to fully explain, I’m afraid I have to indulge in some spoilers, and in doing so, it’s possible that I will ruin whatever experience you might have with the movie. But again... that’s very canny on Night’s part. A critic can’t fully dissect or discuss this film without revealing plot points, and in doing so, they risk the wrath of Night’s fans, who believe every one of his golden and perfect plot points is to be zealously protected. I don’t feel particularly obligated this time, though, since he lays everything out at the beginning (sort of), and then sticks to what he says (pretty much) and then just tells you the story he promises he’s going to tell (in a way). And here’s where one more level of bulletproofing comes in... he has made sure to preface all of this as a bedtime story. In a bedtime story, one you’re making up off the top of your head, you are allowed to change the rules or reinvent things as you need to in order to get out of whatever narrative corner you’ve painted yourself into. I don’t buy that as a narrative in a film if there’s $14 a ticket and $5 parking on the line, but if I complain, it’s because I don’t “understand” it’s a bedtime story.

Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a Narf. Narfs are water people from the Blue World. Eons ago, people and water people got along and talked all the time, and the water people told us important things. But then we went up on land and evidently our desire to own things led to wars and we forgot the water people completely, and so they went away. But from time to time, they have to tell us important things, and for that reason, they have invented a complex and arbitrary set of rules that must be followed, and it is the discovery and understanding of those rules that makes up the majority of the running time of the film. Story comes to The Cove looking for someone, a writer. She has to meet him so that he has a magical awakening. Once he does, he will write a book that will end up being published, only to end up in the home of a boy who will read it frequently before growing up to become President of the United States. He will go on to do great things, and it will be because he read this book that is written by whoever it is that Story has come to see. And should it come as any surprise to anyone who has watched all of Night’s films that he casts himself as the ultimate goal of Story’s quest? He is the man destined to write the book that will change the world. Despite the way Story tosses around the phrase “Every person has a purpose” a few times, he doesn’t mean it. Or at least the film doesn’t demonstrate it. The contributions that each of the people in The Cove make to the plan that develops to send Story home are negligible at best. One character demonstrates a real skill, the ability to read messages and signs from images, using cereal boxes in place of ancient runes or chicken bones or whatever, and that’s one of the few character bits that I think really works. But for the most part, his attempt to illustrate this particular theme fails, and instead, he seems to have cast himself as the Writing Messiah, a man whose words are so powerful that they will alter the very fabric of our reality. The character idea alone would be a little nauseating, but for Night to step in and play his biggest role in any film except his largely-unseen first film... and to have it be this particular role... this is what I mean when I say he invites the comments on his ego now. This would be like George Lucas insisting on playing The Emperor or Hitchcock playing Norman Bates. It's so lunkheaded you can't look away.

God help me, I’m not exaggerating.

Narfs are afraid of Scrunts, but Scrunts are afraid of Tartutics. And all of this is important to know if the Great Eatlon is supposed to come and retrieve Story, who is actually a Madam Narf, a special Narf who will lead the other Narfs. We know this because it is laid out in meticulous, painstaking detail for us.

And that meticulous, painstaking detail... that’s really all there is in the film. There’s very little else going on here. As much as I admire the design work that Mark “Crash” McCreery did for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2, I think his work here is as bland as the concepts he’s bringing to life. He’s hindered by the ordinary quality of these particular inventions of Night’s. A dog covered in grass. Freaky monkey-tree creatures. And a big eagle straight out of the end of RETURN OF THE KING. These are the elements of magic that are supposed to add up to transcendence at the end of this film. But it’s all so nonsensical, so completely without even the bare minimum of logic that a great fairy tale should possess, that none of it matters. By halfway in, the worst feeling had taken hold of me, and no matter how much effort I was seeing expended onscreen, the same thought just kept playing over and over for me, louder and louder as the film progressed.

I. Don’t. Care.

Everything seemed overconsidered. Everything felt phony. Giamatti’s journey in the film is pretty much a rehash of the standard “wounded hero who must heal himself in order to face his own heroism” that Shyamalan’s been writing since THE SIXTH SENSE, but it’s the least interesting and most underdeveloped of them all. Giamatti’s family was killed. He’s very sad. He stutters. That’s it. That’s all you get. You want to see a great version of this character? You want to see a movie that manages whimsy and horror and magic and comedy and tension in an effortless way? Check out THE FISHER KING sometime. That’s a film in which magic and reality blur. That’s a film in which belief in a fairy tale is more important than the fairy tale itself. That’s a film that does everything LADY IN THE WATER tries to do, but it makes it so human that it hurts. The reason FISHER KING resonates with me a full 15 years later is because I believed those characters, and they mattered to me. What happened to them mattered to me. With this film, Shyamalan’s script is such a stiff, so completely overcooked from the very start, that I’m never given a chance to invest in anyone. I’m never allowed to believe in this world because Night is too busy slapping on the ham-handed exposition. He forgets to draw us in. I never felt like these were people I might actually meet. I never once felt like this was something that might happen. I never managed to believe.

It’s a strange week to be a critic. Watching the Kevin Smith/Joel Siegel thing happen, watching people tie themselves in knots to kiss Shyamalan’s balls while struggling with their own obvious disappointment with the film, watching foreign governments step in to stifle film criticism for the good of the economy... one gets the feeling that this world would be happier if critics would just shut up and get onboard for each and every movie. Maybe our job should just be to describe movies to you without daring to have an opinion about execution or merit. It’s funny that Smith got so upset at Joel Siegel walking out and making a few comments at the screen. It happens sometimes. People have visceral reactions to movies, and sometimes, talking is part of that. I don’t condone it, but it happens. At the Arclight on Monday night, there was a press screening for LADY IN THE WATER, and the mood at the start of the film seemed to be a pretty open-minded one. People applauded a few times as the film settled in and got going, and they laughed in all the right places, oohed and aahed a few times. When the Scrunt appeared, people jumped and giggled afterwards. The film played... up to a point. And it’s hard to be exactly sure when it happened, but I’ll tell you when I noticed them turn. There’s a moment after Night’s character discovers what his destiny is, where he’s wrestling with the implications of it, and he’s talking about how he still can’t believe he’s the one. “Who am I to tell people these things?” he asks. “I’m no one special.”

And from the back of the theater, clear as a bell, someone grumbled, “Goddamn right about that.” And there was a ripple of laughter from some of the people around him. I didn’t think it was a particularly pithy comment, and I don't endorse ruining other people's experience with a film at all, but the reaction was telling. People laughed. And the more Night talked about how important his work is, the more people seemed to shut down and disconnect. The more other people felt like it was okay for them to talk. By the time the credits roll (to a cover version of a Bob Dylan song, once again reinforcing how much he wants to be associated with the icons he believes himself the equal of), there was open hissing and booing. A fair amount of it. More than I’ve ever heard at any press screening anywhere. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it. This was the most openly hostile room I've been in for a film since the first test screening of NORTH, where Jerry Seinfeld loudly told Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Jason Alexander, "Nope, not even for you guys," before he walked out. People didn’t just leave the theater on Monday night; they stormed out. I normally don’t discuss the reactions of crowds when I write reviews. I think people frequently project onto the audience.

That’s not the case here, though. Those people turned on Night over the running time of that film, and that’s a genuine problem. All the spin in the world and all the talk about watching like a child and all the pre-release excuses aren’t going to help with the general audience. This film will bore and infuriate many viewers, and the marketing that’s selling this as a horror movie won’t help at all. This is not a horror movie. It wants to be a family movie. It’s fairly chaste, and there’s nothing really objectionable in it as long as your kid isn’t a stickler for good structure or solid characterization.

I wish I could convey to you just how much this film depressed me. It made me so sad that it’s taken me two days to write about it. This is one of those films that will genuinely bother me when I hear someone try to defend it. I’m not going to try to explain to you why someone else does or doesn’t like something; that is presumptuous, and it always seems like you’re trying to tear someone else’s opinion down to build up your own. If you really love this film, then I guess it’s a good think Night made it. But I think this is a hard film to defend, and I think overall, this is a creative dead end for an artist who makes it hard to like him even when his work is at its best, much less when he’s churning out aggressively condescending material like this.

And don't think I wanted to write this. This review isn't going to make Harry very happy. This review won't please the good folks over at Warner Bros. who have been so very accomodating to me this year. This review won't endear me any further to the guys at Legendary Pictures, who really do seem to be betting on passion projects with all the best intent, no matter what I think of a few of the films. Writing this serves no purpose, it would seem. Unless that purpose is, despite all the negative ramifications of my writing it, to say these things to Night that need to be said. Maybe that's my purpose. And if so... then I've done it. I’ve written a blatantly negative review of Night’s work for the first time. Feel free to send me your angry missives now explaining to me how Night is “original” and “unique” and how I should count myself lucky to live in a world where the exquisite Mr. Shyamalan is allowed to do anything he wants. In one way, I agree. The creative deal he has from picture to picture is exceptional. No rewrites. Final cut. Casting and marketing control. This guy’s got it made, and he sets an interesting precendent as a result. Other writer/directors would do well to push their own representation to follow his lead. But if you do end up with that much control, I would ask you to return to this film, to gaze into this WATER, and pay attention. This is what happens when no one says no. This is what happens when you don’t trust your audience and you don’t trust your collaborators on a production. This is what happens when the only person you listen to is you, to the exclusion of even the best-intended critical reaction from those around you.

I’ll be back tonight with my pre-Comic Con pieces on STARDUST and 300, and I’ve also got my review of the one film opening this weekend that I can recommend without reservation. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • July 20, 2006, 7:20 a.m. CST


    by McGsStepson

    And I think about it all the time. I love that movie and no one ever talks about it. Thanks for bringing it up!

  • July 20, 2006, 7:30 a.m. CST

    two reviews, two posts

    by tripp5

    same shit

  • July 20, 2006, 7:37 a.m. CST

    I love Teh Village, sue me.

    by Shermdawg

    At least 70% of the haters are just pissed that there was no crap cg monster like in Signs. I've heard some compare it to Contact. And while I did think the "dad" reveal was kinda lame, that flick was more about the journey than the destination. Yes, I love that flick too. Or, at least, I did when it opened. I'm not a big dvd guy, so I haven't seen it since.

  • July 20, 2006, 7:40 a.m. CST

    I Repeat...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... I am no "hater." Read that VILLAGE review again.

  • July 20, 2006, 7:42 a.m. CST

    "This is what happens when no-one says no"

    by simonsays

    Remind you of anyone? A certain Mr Lucas, perhaps?

  • July 20, 2006, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Mori, the formatting's still screwed up

    by Monkey Butler

    But I agree with your review. MNS talks way too much about his talent without ever having shown it up on screen, in terms of writing at least.

  • July 20, 2006, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Did I call you a hater?

    by Shermdawg

    Read my post again. And btw, since I'm only a one year AICN vet. I haven't read that review once. :P

  • July 20, 2006, 7:43 a.m. CST

    fuck Shyamalan fuck him in his stupid asshole

    by Dick Sleazly

    Ever since I saw the advert for 6th sense and said "Bruce Willis is a fucking ghost" I've been waiting for some one to tear him a new asshole.

  • July 20, 2006, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Move over, Tom Cruise...there's a new whacko in town

    by JohnGalt06

    and his name is M. Night Shyamalan. Seriously, the man is just completely out of his fricking mind. After this movie, he will get to make another one, but if it is as bad as this one looks to be, it will be the end of his career.

  • July 20, 2006, 7:50 a.m. CST

    he's no Hitch

    by scratcher

    6th Sense was great, Unbreakable was flawed but GREATER (possibly the best superhero film ever). But since then, all disappointment. No, the CG monster from Signs isn't what we want, that was the worst part of the whole film! Where does he get all this self-importance? He doesn't appear to have any personal charisma, or at least any that shows up on the screen, and he's obviously obsessed with Hitchcock's immense fame. But Hitch could hold an audience just by talking - imagine Night trying to make a trailer like Hitch did for Psycho - it would fall flat. Image and fame over substance.

  • July 20, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    i'll repeat what I said on the other review you wrote

    by oscarmike

    not having a close relationship with M Night and not getting to talk to him on the phone like some reviewers from this site must have given you the chance to tell the truth about this movie. i really hope it bombs

  • July 20, 2006, 7:56 a.m. CST


    by antibody

  • July 20, 2006, 7:57 a.m. CST


    by ALUCINOR11

    I have loved all of his movies so far except for every second after the monster is revealed as not a monster in The Village. Then it's the real world, then I sit there wondering why M. Night stooped to the bullshit political metaphors. Anger. I will not see this movie in theaters. I will see it on Dvd and I felt like they were trying to advertise his name more than the movie, ever since the first trailer for The Village came out. I dunno why all of the wackyness is happening these days (perhaps M. Night and David Blaine look so much alike they took on the same characteristics). Fucking pissed I am.

  • July 20, 2006, 7:57 a.m. CST

    M.Night...You Just Got Served! Terrific review, Mori

    by The Wrong Guy

    As soon as I saw the preview, I thought this was going to be a disaster. I'm a fan of Signs, (few films nowadays scare me, I mean, literally SCARE me...that movie did) and I've liked his other films except The Village (which felt like one big giant slap-in-the-face) but this looks as bad as Mori says it is. I'll avoid it, I think

  • July 20, 2006, 7:57 a.m. CST

    I just cant beleave that this film sucks!

    by Capfan

    Just kidding, from all the reviews on this site you have all said that it sucks, even Harry did in a kinda round about way. Before all the bad reviews I was interested in this but now that it seems like this is no horror film like the TV ads make it out to be pass!

  • July 20, 2006, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Mori!

    by antibody

    Thanks, Mori, for another intelligent and honest review! I've thought for some time that MNS would be better off directing someone else's script. With each film, he has demonstrated he's locked himself inside a box. It's a real shame. He showed a lot of promise early on -- but, sadly, I think his meteoric success has harmed him -- and us.

  • July 20, 2006, 8 a.m. CST

    The Critic In The Water

    by Kung Fu Hustler

    Moriarty, not to be a prick, but that review did some of the same things Night seems to have done in this movie. That last paragraph was unnecessary, making this about you and your relationships. As someone who enjoys your writing, leave out the insider bullshit. It really served no purpose here. BTW -- I asked in your last DVD column if you watched "The Matador" yet? I'm really curious what you thought of it.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Kung Fu...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... just got it. I'll watch it soon. I'm moving this week into a house, so no DVD coverage until I'm there. It's just impractical.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Unduly harsh

    by Kung Fu Hustler

    Sorry -- the rest of the review was excellent, and I really have no desire to see this anymore. I was mildly curious, but now I'll wait for HBO or something.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:04 a.m. CST

    And Also, Kung Fu...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... I'm sort of serious, sort of sarcastic in that last paragraph. I don't really think writing a negative review is "my purpose." But at this point, I've been covering Night's work as long as anyone, if not longer, starting well before SIXTH SENSE was shot. There's no way I could skip writing about this one... but I seriously considered it for about ten minutes because this kind of piece is no fun at all, and there's far more of a downside to writing it than there is to sitting it out. We'll see how things play out, I s'pose.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:04 a.m. CST

    A mansion in the hills?

    by Kung Fu Hustler

  • July 20, 2006, 8:08 a.m. CST

    L O L

    by drew mcweeny

    Hardly. But it's nicer than the old Labs, and there's a lot more room for the family. Now that my boy's running around, he's got to have space to do so.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, you...

    by Jerri Blank

    ...are my hero. You're probably the best writer on this site and that was an exceptionally well done review. The folks at Disney only wanted to help Night. But he picked up his toys and walked away. I hate to see Warners lose their shirt on this but that is exactly what is going to happen.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Do reviews really need to be this long?

    by LLcruize2

    You know, I find it rather ironic in a review which points a pretencious finger at a film maker/film that the review itself is trying to convince us it is more than an "opinion". Do we REALLY need a chapter of yadda yadda about the film maker? Damn, we just want to know how someone felt about the movie. I have no idea what you thought of the movie Moriarty because honestly I stopped reading 1/4 of the way into the character study of M.Night. Who am I but "Joe" net rat surfing around for what folks think about movies coming out. I don't have the opportunties to see advanced movies, don't have connections, etc. I just want to know what folks think about movies. I am tired of having to swim through line after line of reviews that try to bring more self-importance to them, when all they are is an opinion of a film. Can we just get opinion without having to go through some persons M.Night 101 paper? That is all I ask. But as I said, who am I to critique or complain.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Dick out of moriarty's ass.

    by ALUCINOR11

    christ, you suck ups act as if you want a job and to be best buddies with the gang... The critics hate you.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Come on, Mori you know you hated The Village...

    by JohnGalt06

    Just go back and read your own review. Sure, you said it was "impeccably acted" (yeah, right) but there's little else positive, besides praising Roger Deakins. Hey, you were TOO kind, considering The Village is one of the absolute worst films of the last 10 years. I'm glad you're finally not letting the apologists scare you... it's okay to criticize Shyamababy.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:14 a.m. CST

    M. Night...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... and his film are the same thing this time out, LLcruise2. That's the point. You can't separate them anymore, and that's a huge, huge problem.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Down but not out...

    by mobley

    I think most people would have their head in the clouds after all the smoke M night musta had blown up his ass. The fella has talent, hope we see it again when comes back to earth.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:19 a.m. CST

    16% on What a tweest!

    by SpyGuy

    Somebody stop M. Night before he directs again! Think of the children!

  • July 20, 2006, 8:23 a.m. CST

    do i have to care about any of this to watch the movie?

    by newc0253

    i saw shayamalam being interviewed on the daily show and i've read the press coverage of the disney book. and i have to say, i really don't care that much, one way or another. maybe he's a clever press manipulator, maybe he's a narcissist egomaniac, maybe he's just batshit crazy. the question i have for mori is this: do i really have to know any of this in order to watch the movie? because i really just want to enjoy the film on its own merits, instead of sitting there thinking "is this one of the things that disney hated?". all i know is that it took me several long paragraphs before mori actually got around to reviewing the movie. mori said it was shayamalan's baggage. maybe it's mori's baggage. the question is, does it have to be my baggage too? or can i watch the movie without it?

  • July 20, 2006, 8:24 a.m. CST


    by beefywhore

    This was going to be my birthday movie...oh well... Clerks 2 it is then.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:24 a.m. CST

    on a related note:

    by newc0253

    i liked the village. i think i would have liked it a whole lot more if i hadn't already been spoiled as to the big twist.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:27 a.m. CST

    It's Not Fear, Jay...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... it's disappointment. And it's bitter for someone who had high hopes for Night at one point.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:29 a.m. CST

    It looks interesting enough...

    by JiggamanSpence

    to go see, probably at matinee price. I'm assuming it'll have a horrible reaction and bomb though. I like M. Night's first 3 movies, but the Village was crap and this looks to be similair.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:31 a.m. CST

    The Beat Goes On

    by Jack Knight

    Regardless of your Village review (which I didn't read), you spent weeks banging the drum of hate for that movie. I can remember reading your posts on the CHUD message board telling people not to waste thier time on it. Usually your reviews are the ones I read first on this site, but you just spent an awful lot of words telling people why they shouldn't like M. Night before you reviewed anything. Sometimes in school the bad kids are less objectionable than the kids who have to tell on them every five minutes. You just do your work and stop worrying about what M. Night is doing.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Night is a SCROD

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Mori, on the other hand, is *SKRINKLEISHISS* ;)

  • July 20, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Just Keep Proving My Point, Jack...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... no matter what, you can never be positive *enough* for Night's fans, and having any opinion other than sunshine and rainbows means you hate him. That makes it convenient, doesn't it? Dismiss me as a "hater," and nothing I say, no matter how accurate, needs to be discussed.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Seriously though

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Thanks Mori for not labeling've given a complete discription without telling us explicitly who does/is what. Although all the other reviews I've read have already spoiled most key surprises in this movie I fear. This will be a $1.50 theater movie for me.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Bad summer for WB....

    by JohnGalt06

    First, POSEIDON flops, then SR flops and now LATER IN THE WATER isn't just going to flop... it's going to massively tank. I'm talking $20 mil... not for opening weekend. No, $20 mil final domestic gross. Time to clean house at that studio. The inmates are running the asylum.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:39 a.m. CST

    hey Moriarty

    by bluelou_boyle

    Thanks for the review. Do you think you would have liked it more if M night had not cast himself as the writer ? It seems as though other reviewers have a problem with this as well. If this does not do well, do you think he will have less control over his films ?

  • July 20, 2006, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Unbreakable was the beginning of the end Mori...

    by Ricky Henderson

    Talk about a let down of a film. It had hints of great things (the weight lifting scene) but the end "hero scene" in the bedroom with the rain was a complete soggy letdown. His takes on genre film aren't anything new or revolutionary, they're just sad, sleepy, and emotionless.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Oh no you didn't!

    by Engineer_at_peac

    "watching people tie themselves in knots to kiss Shyamalan

  • July 20, 2006, 8:47 a.m. CST

    M Night is the Orsen Wlls of our time.

    by spider-ham

    Mark my words. 50 years from now, people will still rave about the greatness of Sixth Sense and Unbreakable but after that he is going to crash into nothingness except for being some sick parody of himself.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:48 a.m. CST

    My take on your review, Morry

    by MrNelson

    Let me tell you this. Morry, you dissected the whole movie and Nights state of mind like Freud. As an artist it is amazing to see after the work is done how much I put into a piece without putting them in there intentialy. They are like hidden messages during the process and later when analysing, you see messages that others will see or they will be left unnoticed. That is ART. Art is an abstract part of life that pops up in the strangest of ways. In other words. Like 50% of what Night does in his films is not there intentialy. It is there because of no reason, but later on it becomes a thing noticed by a spectator and himself, perhaps. All in all, I think that nobody, critics or someone else, have the right to enter the realms of the artists subconscious. It is dangerous because you have no idea what you are talking about and as a critic you can make a complete fool out yourself.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Hey Mori, dish on the "North" screening some more

    by durhay

  • July 20, 2006, 8:54 a.m. CST

    pampered child

    by scrnwrtr

    When a toddler presents an accomplishment so beyond the natural curve, it's quite normal for a parent (and all the immediate family) to gush rhapsodic about the nascent genius god has graced their family with. Things work in a near identical fashion in this insane biz known as film/movie/show/entertainment/what-ever-moniker-one-wants-to-assign-the-machinations-of-hollywoodland. Such was the fate of m.night after the sixth sense; his handlers/parents at the studios leapt on the prodigy bandwagon. The resultant furor over completed material, drooling over new product, anticipatory wet-dreams of what might be by fandom the world over was the inevitable by-product of such a success from one so untested. Jump ahead to the stream of wishy-washy apologists who can't face facts that a furry and blurry monster has indeed been let loose, and his name is night. Disney's divorce from the director was destined (forgive the alliterative indulgence) given the way things were shaping up with a script any self respecting writer would've taken a step back from, say at least a few weeks, and then revisited with an objective eye. Night appears incapable of such introspection, and while I'm loathe given my years in this arena to let the suits parse and plunder my work, I am aware a fresh set of eyes, even if they're my own after some down time, are worth their weight in gold. Night DOES have the talent to come up with a good story, but his talent in actually telling it has fallen woefully short with each subsequent picture. The rate of decay is near exponential. Wake up a smell what

  • July 20, 2006, 8:54 a.m. CST

    You don't have to be a good scriptwriter to know a bad

    by Engineer_at_peac

    script. It just helps. I've never seen Masters of Horror, but I do know Mori's work was at least good enough to get him another episode. So he's probably infinitely more qualified than you to know a bad script when he sees it.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:57 a.m. CST


    by R.H. Alexander

    ...a real review. As this site goes on, it seems that the only reviews I can trust are from Massa and Mori. Harry seems to decide whether or not he likes a movie long before he actually sees the damn thing. And I still don't see why everyone praises Shyamalan all the time. The guy's had two good movies. When you're Hitchcock or Spielberg, you're allowed to have an ego. This guy is neither...and he never will be.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:58 a.m. CST

    i've never heard about all this ego shit until recently

    by HypeEndsHere

    where the fuck is everyone hearing about his eccentricities? and what of his anti-Disney book? who the fuck cares?

  • July 20, 2006, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Mori's right--humorless M. Night defenders abound!

    by Lance Rock

    PLEEEEEASE write a review for Snakes on a Plane! Thanks.

  • July 20, 2006, 9 a.m. CST

    Moriarty Is Not A Hater

    by Jack Knight

    I didn't label you, I'm just talking about what you've written. And I'm not a Night fan, I actually think you were absolutely right about The Village, it was crap. Sixth Sense does not bear repeat viewings well for me, and Signs was enjoyable until you actually think about it. I do own Unbreakable, and watch it about once a year. I just don't get all the criticism of the man himself. If you just wrote a negative review, I'd just think you didn't like that movie. When you go on and on about his book and his agenda to be perceived as some kind of icon, it's just wierd. You do come off sounding more than just disappointed.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:01 a.m. CST


    by Kung Fu Hustler

    So you've never had an opinion on a piece of art? Shut the fuck up. Critique the MoH script all you want, but Moriarty can still tell us that WATER isn't worth the time or money. Frankly, I appreciate it, especially after reading a review yesterday saying there were things in it worth checking out.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Know how I knwo Forumfatale3 is gay?

    by Burgundy82

    Because he had to wipe the M. Night jizz from his chin before he wrote that last post. Jesus Christ man, you go right for the all-time cheapest of schoolyard insults, the old "Nobody likes you!", combined with a little of the "Oh yeah? well you do something better, then!" ... Yeah, I'm sure that hurt Mori's feelings. If he's fucking 12. You are a douche, and the textbook definition of "apologist". Please die.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Wait, M. Night Shamalamadingdong has MARKETING control?

    by zerogundamx

    Why the fuck does he intentionally advertise Lady in the Water the way he does? He did the same bullshit with the Village, and I'm glad I spoiled the film beforehand because I would have been pissed if I saw it based on advertisement impressions alone (Two of my friends walked out of that one). Lady in the Water seems even worse, my Fiance sees an ad for this and says "Oh! That looks really scary!", and that's shameful. This movie deserves to fail on the worst level to knock some much needed sense into this guy.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The hype and Michael Jackson analogy...

    by Andy Dufresne

    ...maybe I'm isolated here in the UK but I don't hear all this hype and the "myth" of Night. Except of course, right here onaint it cool. Maybe I need to read the book. I just watch his flicks. Of the four I loved three and kinda hated the fourth. I look forward to the fifth. If he is going Jacko that can't be good. But if his films steer clear of the Village then I don't much care.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Looks like the Paul Giamatti A-List domination...

    by dr_buggerlugs

    ...doesn't begin now...and there was me hoping this'd be a great big hit and turn him into the next everyman a-lister. I agree with that the above poster mentioned it about it being a fairly bad summer for WB. Poseidon sunk, Superman hasn't soared (even though it's a fine piece of work and no way it deserves to be overshadowed by the Be Here Now of pirate movies) and this looks like tanking big time. However I like the fact WB seem to be trusting filmmakers again...they've got both The Prestige and The Fountain this year so there's some serious hope there for some major critical acclaim and love for film fans of not the big box office receipts...

  • July 20, 2006, 9:16 a.m. CST

    I don't always agree with you, Mori...

    by Childe Roland

    ...and I know I've accused you of being pretentious and condescending on more than one occassion, but your views on Shyamalan mirror mine note for note (high hopes dashed by incrementally increasing disappointment as a result of his narcissism and self indulgence at the expense of the audience's enjoyment). I applaud you for this review. It was honest and brave of you, especially considering the prevailing attitudes of your peers on this site and your professional ambitions as a screenwriter. I can only hope Night might read your words and, as you are someone who understands the world he operates in and has treated him kindly in the past, take them more seriously than the words of his other critics or the rest of us he's let down.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Wordy Fuck

    by DrKodos

    So many words to say so little.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Told Ya ...

    by bigboxer

    I told ya this movies sucks, and here it is, Proof It Sucks !!!

  • July 20, 2006, 9:18 a.m. CST

    I am now fully engrossed...

    by Burgundy82 watching this train wreck. And I don't mean the movie, I mean Night's eventual reaction to its inevitable failure. After reading the book exerpt in EW, along with almost every review put out so far, I am thoroughly facsinated to see how he takes it when the public rejects him for the same reason the Disney execs did.. Judging from Night's tearful breakdown over their reaction (they had all of the exact same problems with it that the critics have, by the way) makes me think the guy should be on suicide watch this weekend.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:19 a.m. CST


    by lofe101

    once again, you deliver the goods. nice job. your still the only one's opinion i take here. you tell it how it is. bravo. i love paul giamatti too, so that sucks

  • July 20, 2006, 9:20 a.m. CST


    by Johnny Ahab

    Great review, Mori. Nail on the head. And you are absolutely right about what happens when you get too much control in Hollywood. Suddenly, you don't have to listen to the dissenters who actually might have something constructive to help your film. I really enjoyed Spielberg's "WAR OF THE WORLDS", but the ending in Boston was such a screaming cop-out, I left the theater annoyed. And that was just one scene. I can't imagine paying to sit through Night's folly. I'll check this out...eventually. On Netflix. No way am I shelling out $10 to encourage Night's self-absorption. What Night has forgotten is that he is not the most powerful entity in the Hollywood equation. I am. You are. It's the audience. We vote with our dollars, and we can make or break anyone. And all this screaming hubris needs to be checked. Night NEEDS a failure right now. And not just a failure, but a catastrophe -- to bring him back to Earth. The guy has talent, make no mistake -- but he's gotten more ponderous and pretentious with each successful film. I look forward to the movies he makes after this one -- provided he can get over his anger at the audience for not showing up for this film, and making films for the audience again, not just his own inflated ego. Again, don't see this film in theaters. Make it tank, people. It's the only way to send a message, and perhaps even save the career of a talented filmmaker.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:21 a.m. CST

    MNS needs to...

    by neonist

    smoke a huge, fat spliff. By himself. In a hotel room. And do some serious self reflection, become aware of his douche-ocity, and remove his head from his ass. He also needs to stop casting himself- it's a terrible idea. When I see him in a scene, it takes me right out of the movie. That was a good review, Mori.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:22 a.m. CST

    This is a GIGLI-like fascination with this movie...

    by JohnGalt06

    But it's not enough to get me into the theater. Will there be people on the news wearing "I survived Lady In The Water" t-shirts? And yes, WB does seem to have two very solid movies -- PRESTIGE and FOUNTAIN -- which could become sleeper hits but they won't offset these expensive summer flops.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST

    The growth of Shyamababy's ego...

    by JohnGalt06

    It began when he predicted UNBREAKABLE would be the biggest box-office hit of all time before it was released. Then he put his name over the title of SIGNS...which didn't bother me that much. Then he gave himself a meaty part in that movie, which only bothered me because THERE IS AN ENTIRE SCENE WHERE ALL THE CHARACTERS IN THE MOVIE JUST STARE AT HIM. Then the phony Sci-Fi doc, the obnoxious cameo in Village, the stupid tell-some anti-Disney book, now casting himself as Jesus. ENOUGH! He's a raving egomaniac.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:28 a.m. CST

    He won't learn from this...

    by Burgundy82

    In fact, he may withdraw even more. The self-described "voices" in his head will only further nurture his hubris... "They just don't understand your genius, Night... It's their fault. Don't pander to the masses". Mark my words (and this is coming from a former big fan), the guy will not learn.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Nelson, you are so full of shit

    by Strabo

    Ok, you state that art is special because the artist embeds bits of himself subconsciously and that an astute viewer would notice and analyze them. Then, immediately afterwards, you say that no one should try to analyze these subconscious thoughts because they'll make fools of themselves. Good job contradicting yourself, dipshit.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Excellent review, Drew...

    by genro

    There's a distinctive split now, between Drew and Harry, that I find quite interesting. Where they were once of a common geek-mind, the change in career professionalism and personal lives are reflecting in the reviews. Drew, a writer-for-hire, someone who knows firsthand how hard it is to mount a production, who has a family to provide for, has sharpened his critical edge and is more willing to call a spade, a spade, even if it means upsetting some people he may or may not have the opportunity to work with in the future. This review is not a pass when it could have easily been, and I think the reason why is because Writer Drew was actually insulted by the blatant arrogance on display in Shamy's movie. Writer Drew knows that is usually the mark of an amateur, not a seasoned professional. Writer Drew knows one must be objective as possible so they do not tread into myopic waters. So the fact Night could get away with, and then preface a justification in a book, was just too much to let slide...then we have Harry and his most nonsensical, relativistic review to date. I'm not going to delve deep into this, but just consider how long Harry has had access to the best of the best when it comes to the independent scene, how long he's been producing, and what he has to show for it. Now compare that to Drew's record and go re-read the reviews.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Now I understand Harry's review

    by BobParr

    "I know this review isn't going to make Harry happy. And Warner Bros. has been so nice to us". Now I understand why Harry "loved" the film but couldn't explain why in his shortest review ever. He claimed in the TB that his fingers were hurting. Shame on you Harry. You're a complete shill!

  • July 20, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST


    by MrNelson

    Yeah. You are so right. But you got the message.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST

    I'm Confused. How Do You REALLY Feel About M. Night?


    Seriously, let's flesh this out a bit.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:37 a.m. CST


    by happygolucky

    Seriously, after three paragraphs of self-indulgent verbal masturbation for Moriarity here, I gave up. I'd rather sit through Shyamalans pompous tripe than Mori's, mainly because Shyamalan is entertaining atleast.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Harry is just as far off the reservation as MNS...

    by Burgundy82

    ...As evidenced by his increasingly nonsensical reviews... raspberries on the cheek and young girls in the shower and all that.. WHAT THE FUCK IS HE TALKING ABOUT most of the time... Harry makes these crazy, matter-of-fact observations that we're all apparently supposed to identify with, but I've no idea what they mean.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    Not anymore, he's not.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Imagine if Christopher Nolan had followed up MEMENTO...

    by JohnGalt06

    with every one of his movies being told backwards, because that's what got him noticed, and you have a pretty good of idea of where Shyamalan has gone off-course artistically. The irony of course is that his first movie without a big twist or revelation is the one that is apparently going to send him over the edge.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Why doesn't he ...

    by bigboxer

    just start talking in a falsetto, wear one glove, and call himself Michael Night Schloopydingaling?

  • July 20, 2006, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Great review Mori

    by ScaryJim

    it's really amazing how trailer editors can make a film so easily seem like one you want to watch. Interestingly sometimes a trailer can do the oppossite - I dodged watching fight club for a couple of months thinking it was some kind of gritty street fighting version of rocky...

  • July 20, 2006, 9:39 a.m. CST


    by happygolucky

    well, more entertaining than moriarty ;)

  • July 20, 2006, 9:40 a.m. CST

    by fiester

    The move is so laughably bad and unintentially funny it may just succeed as a cult classic midnight movie.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Mori's apologetic review

    by BobParr

    It seems to me that this review was one big apology. It seems that he was apologizing to "someone" for not liking the film. I guess he has disappointed a few people that had expectations that he would write a positive review.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:42 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    If you want further proof of that, check out the sappy Shining trailer re-edit on YouTube... yeah, it's old news, but it definitely shows you can cherry-pick scenes to make any movie fit just about any genre

  • July 20, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Bob Dylan

    by beelkay

    Is not a rock star!

  • July 20, 2006, 9:47 a.m. CST

    This is the most shallow of criticisms..

    by Burgundy82

    compared to everything else you could say about this shitty mess, but Bryde Dallas Howard just LOOKS horrid in this film. Do all narfs look like Sissy Spacek?

  • July 20, 2006, 9:53 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    That should say "Bryce"... Jesus, hope that wasn't a Freudian slip...

  • July 20, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST

    A moment of silence, please ...

    by bigboxer

    We're gathered here today to pay last respects to MNS's talent. Yes, it burned bright at first, but then flickered and went out. I know we're all sad at it's passing, but truly we must all face a time where we jump the shark. For MNS's talent that time came sooner rather than later. Sad indeed, that such a light extinguished itself. Would any of you mourners care to say a few word, I'll leave the mic open ...

  • July 20, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Slant magazine calls it...

    by Burgundy82

    "a gaping psychic wound, a blood-spattered, pulsating tumor ripped violently from both its creator's head and, more fascinatingly, his heart, then planted onscreen, raw and unfettered, for all to come and see"... and that's from a "POSITIVE" review.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Hmn, long review...

    by Billyeveryteen

    "I swear, I used to like him! I swear!"

  • July 20, 2006, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Off topic - websites reporting Heath Ledger as Joker

    by LilOgre

    Superherohype, Latinoreview, etc.... I like it.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:06 a.m. CST

    My friends ...

    by bigboxer

    I can tell from the way you speak that you're all in a bit of a state of shock. Yes, God's way is mysterious. Granting talent, then yanking it away, seemingly at a whim. Let's mourn MNS's talent with dignity and grace ...

  • July 20, 2006, 10:12 a.m. CST

    am i the only one

    by simonsays

    who finds it slightly racist that people are so quick to take the piss out of MNS's name? "Shyamalamadingdong" and so forth. I don't see anyone doing this with non-Asian names...

  • July 20, 2006, 10:15 a.m. CST


    by TTT

    My Gawd! A critical review of MNS

  • July 20, 2006, 10:17 a.m. CST

    M.Night is a dildo

    by batzilla

    what the fuck? WHY does this moron get to keep making shitty movies? He sucks donkey bawz.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:23 a.m. CST

    This weekend is crowded as it is

    by Terry_1978

    I hardly expect any of the four newbies being released to come out with anything over 15-20 mil. The market is saturated.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:25 a.m. CST


    by malcolm_mccallum

    I've also seen none of this hubris that M Night is supposedly tossing around, just like I didn't see any of Tom Cruie's antics personally. I had to go looking for it. I can see why critics feel they have to watch creators like hawks but I still don't see why their opinions of the creator has to so colour their appreciation of the works. Maybe Lady in the Water sucks. I don't know, not having seen it, but the critics bring so much baggage to the reviews that I can't trust them. Critics are so stuck into the movie-making world (as are passionate movie geeks) that they can't see the film clearly anymore. Maybe the artists can't either and this film was designed to be meta. Maybe this film was designed for the in-crowd. Whatever the case, we don't think about Van Gogh's ear and madness when we appreciate his paintings and we don't take Michelangelo not taking off his leggings for a year so the skin came off when he removed them into account when studying his works. Judge the works when discussing the works, not the man.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, what made you...

    by atleastpretend

    What made you decide to comment in talkback? Don't take anything personally here. With the millions of people that probably read your review, you are bound to get some haters. No worries.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:33 a.m. CST

    by Touch of Evil

    The main thing I garnered from this review is that Mori envies Night's success.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Not ruling out great movies from him in the future...

    by InfinityWave

    I loved Signs, Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, and that makes me believe there's every chance he'll make great movies again some day. But The Village and now this are not for me at all. Like Moriarty says, they're too closey associated with M.Night's egomaniacal, self-made persona. All that talent, but he's a fool to himself. Hopefully a few rejected future projects and a few more closed doors at the studios will give him time to reflect.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:41 a.m. CST


    by scratcher

    I thought that Moriarty made it clear: in this film it is about "the man." He cast HIMSELF to play a writer who is the salvation of humanity. How could anyone expect not to have themselves psychoanalyzed for something like that? As for Van Gogh, his psychiatric troubles are DEFINITELY part of what the viewer brings to his paintings. The poor, troubled genius, unappreciated and poor in his time, his work now commodified into decorations for coffee mugs and umbrellas. Do people still believe that you can observe films or art in a vacuum, and that a reviewer should pretend they're a newborn watching their first film? Why not instead blame the studios for making ads and trailers?

  • July 20, 2006, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Sci-Fi Channel originals consistently feature more...

    by JohnGalt06

    suspense than the idiotic, embarrassingly awful woodland scenes in The Village. Get your head of Shamy's ass... it's not a good look.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Forumfatale, Moriarty is a better reviewer than you

    by scratcher

    There, I said it. You think you could write a good review, and get a job writing for a film site. Then you open up Word, and write a paragraph, and give up because you can't do it. Seriously, had any reviews published yet? You would give anything to have talent of Moriarty's calibre. Why read reviews if you can't respect anyone short of Scorcese's right to write them?

  • July 20, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Mori

    by kai028

    You have proven yourself once again to be the most intelligent and perceptive reviewer on this site. Great review.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    You miserable douche, you completely repeated your earlier, nonsensical Mori-bashing post. I'm not gonna stoop and rehash my previous response to your idiocy, but I urge you to go back up and read it.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST


    by Kung Fu Hustler

    Dude, some people just like watching movies. We don't all want to be in the business. You're a fucking retard. Most of us have said we respect MSN's insane talent, but it's been providing diminishing returns since Unbreakable. I'm also pretty confident somebody in this talkback could make a more believable reason for the alien defeat in Signs than water. But, hey, keep sipping the Kool-Aid. And don't ever write a negative comment about anything on this site, unless you enjoy being a hypocrite.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:54 a.m. CST

    I really hope this fails to make money

    by DirkD13"

    Purely to put a dent in MNS's obviously massive ego. I like the Sixth Sense, I absolutely love Unbreakable, but since then? Act 1 & 2 of Signs was great followed by one of the worst finales to a film I've ever seen, and the Village veered further away from quality, and it seems this has gone even further. I just think this needs to fail, because (like a bully who gets his ass kicked) he might wake up to realise that he himself is not such hot shit and actually try to make something cohesive and intelligent. Kudos for attempting to make original work though, just bring yourself down of that pedestal you believe you have a right to be on.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:55 a.m. CST


    by malcolm_mccallum

    So it turns out that Uncle Tom's Cabin was actually written by a plantation owner and slaver on a bet with some friends. Not one word of the book has changed but your argument would mean that the value of it, the meaning of it, and the artistry of it changes. I disagree.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Forumfatale3 = Night's wife

    by lilgoodmn

    I hope to GOD you have a personal relationship with Night based on the complete and utter bullfuckingshit you just wrote. I have liked all of Night's movies up to this point. But you just made perhaps the most retarded comments ever uttered about film in the history of the universe.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Shymalan = Lucas

    by IAmLegolas

    And another Ivory Tower is erected...

  • July 20, 2006, 10:57 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    Man, I really can't believe you went for the "You're all just jealous!" defense. You're either in elementary school, or Shymalamadingdong himself.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:57 a.m. CST


    by scratcher

    No problem. I was trying to figure out what the hell you were talking about, since we said basically the same thing in both our posts. Glad to hear you're doing somehting you love, and yes, I do love my job too. I used to want to be a director, until I worked on a film. No thanks to that headache.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Thanks for posting a review, Drew

    by Eaglet1138

    Your opinions and mine about films seem to be just about on the same wavelength (although I passionately love Unbreakable and Signs, sue me). Harry and Massa almost had me convinced that I should check this movie out, but now I'm thankfully back on the side of realizing what a hopeless wreck of a film this is.***** Question, though. Do you think that if Night started shooting other people's scripts, he might start turning out quality pictures again? Or would anyone even care about a directed-by-only Shyamalan movie?

  • July 20, 2006, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Moriarty = Best. Reviewer. Ever.

    by DrTobiasFunke

    Goddamnit son. Excellent review. It's such a shame that Shyamalan doesn't realize that people don't pay money to see a movie for any reason other than enjoyment. If your movie's not enjoyable, people won't give a crap how "fantastical" it is. I knew from the first trailer that this was going to be another suck-fest staring a great actor (Giamatti) acting out a shitty story for a hackjob director. That executive was right about Shyamalan's script apparently. It's garbage.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:03 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    After this, Night will be hard-pressed to find anyone interested in seeing something he had ANY hand in.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:04 a.m. CST

    You can't completely separate...

    by rbatty024

    the artist from the work of art. In today's world with so many interviews, behind the scenes previews, Hollywood gossip it's impossible to completely separate the artist from his art. I also think that with a work of metafiction the artist is inviting this kind of examination. I haven't seen the movie, but from the looks of the reviews it seems like Shyamalan is making some obvious analogies to his work as an artist, and I think that opens the floodgates to any criticism one might have of his off-screen persona. Although, all of this talk of meta-fiction and fairy tales makes me curious to see the movie. At the very least it's a DVD renatl.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:04 a.m. CST


    by scratcher

    I'm sure that there are films that you saw in your teens, which you had an entirely different appreciation for when you saw them as a mature adult (I'm making some assumptions here). Did the film change? Taking the Uncle Tom's Cabin analogy, I think you're wrong. You couldn't help but read it differently. You're talking about the difference between someone trying to write honestly, and someone who's work is entirely deception. You mean to say that the result is exactly the same? That's a very cynical view.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Mori, you would probably agree that

    by Orbots Commander

    the best thing M. Night could do for himself at this point in his career is to take strictly just a director's job on somebody else's big project. Maybe it could be a popular book adaptation with a strong narrative or a script from a really good screenwriter. I've heard rumors that he wants to do a Harry Potter movie; that would be right up his alley and the perfect medicine---to try to bring J.K. Rowling's HP to the big screen in his own particular way. Or even, God help us, a Superman movie.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    I completely agree, but as long as we all keep frequenting this site, we're just feeding the machine ... as you know, people have been complaining about the validity of AICN reviews for a long time (Harry's in particular), but nothing has happened in return... so what do we do?

  • July 20, 2006, 11:10 a.m. CST

    M. Night's Superman

    by Engineer_at_peac

    A sequel to Superman Returns. Superman and Lois finally get together and deicde to marry and raise Jason. Meanwhile Lex Luthor arrives again and warns everyone the Earth will explode. No one believes him. But Superman investigates and finds it to be true. While he tries to stop it, Lois places Jason on a rocket and sends him into space... Then the Earth explodes. But it turns out Earth was actually just Krypton's sister planet, Argo, and Jason arrives on the "real" Earth with a blue sun where he is raised by farmers. WHAT A TWEEST!

  • July 20, 2006, 11:11 a.m. CST

    My Fellow Mourners ...

    by bigboxer

    I detect some hostility at the burial of MNS's talent today, but remember we're here to say goodbye and farewell. Sure, we're all a bit distraught that MNS's talent was strangled by his ego, but that is the story of many great men, isn't it???

  • July 20, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST

    MORIARTY = The only reason to read AICN reviews

    by MJayX

    You completely put into words how I felt about that mess of a movie. BRILLIANT analysis. Down to the built in defense mechanisms of the film critic's demise (who would be so arrogant indeed). You always have the guts to get your reviews right - and really dig into the film. Even if thats unpopular (X3 anyone?) Thanks for that.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST


    by Eaglet1138

    You should check out the Red Son comic--(spoilers)--in it, it turns out that Superman is the great, great, great, great, ect. grandson of LEX LUTHOR, who was sent INTO THE PAST to save Earth from Capitalism. in context.***** Also, yeah, Harry's reviews have consistantly annoyed me in recent (well...maybe even not so recent) years. It's as if he's taken the stance of game magazines, in that they feel like if they review bad movies and call them bad, then studios will stop giving them inside scoops (less hits to the site), and the audience will start drifting away (movies suck nowadays? k, maybe I'll find another form of entertainment). It's dishonest, is the problem. It used to be fun to come here and read how Harry jizzed himself over a movie that I liked, but even that's getting old. Mori, I honestly think it's getting to be time for you to start your own movie site. I think you have enough clout for it, and you don't need to be weighed down by the bullshit that oozes of of AICN's pores.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    press audiences

    by myspoonistoobig

    I'm a movie reviewer, I hit up them press screenings...and seriously, you have to make a BAD movie for people to boo. Generally the people coming to the screenings are people who are hyped for that movie since it's probably a bit of a chore to drive out to the city and get up there in time and then wait in line, and then add that to the fact that audiences are pleased by just about everything...

  • July 20, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    Dude. Please. Shut up. And also kindly remove your tongue from MNS's rectum.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:27 a.m. CST


    by MJayX

    low blow dude - from someone who clearly doesn't have sense of how the movie business works. First off a final film IS NOT an indication of the quality of the original script - and second, you're just spitting insults rather then responding to what he's written. I'd guess the review struck a sensitive chord, but you probably haven't even seen the movie yet.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:28 a.m. CST


    by Kung Fu Hustler

    I've seen Cigarette Burns. Didn't particularly care for it. But hey, at least the man tried and got something of his made. Better than you, who is more than likely the jealous party here. What have you ever done to make me trust your opinions on Night's previous films? Have you written several scripts? If so, can I see them? That said, you're obviously a pathetic troll with nothing better to do today, so I'm done arguing with you. Enjoy your failure at life.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Please, please ..

    by bigboxer

    My fellow mourners, I urge you to not fight amongst yourselves !! We're all a little upset that the Talent That Burned So Bright has been extinguished, but all this bitterness directed at each other !!!

  • July 20, 2006, 11:33 a.m. CST

    GREAT review

    by zikade zarathos

    that's it.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:36 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    Dude. Enough with the funeral thing. We get it.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Fantastic review Mori

    by Rapmaster C

    I haven't seen such a well-written, passionate review in a long time. And yes, I think the background on Night and the reaction from fellow film-goers in the theatre was necessary, as I found your take on the growing media circus surrounding Night most interesting. Also, to those who say it wasn't a review, did you actually read beyond the first 3 or 4 paragraphs? Probably not, as it seems many of you have the attention span of a 3 year old. You moan about the state of reviews, and yet when a really good one comes along, its length is interpreted as self-serving and pretentious. I continue to be surprised at how fickle some people can be.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Hmmmmm ...

    by bigboxer

    I think some of us are more distraught at this funeral than others. Perhaps you COULD all fight it amongst yourselves, but ask What Would MNS Want Me To Do ?? Ask yourself that as you insult your fellow mourners.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Forum - are you kidding?

    by Eaglet1138

    Of course everyone figured out that it was set in present day. And even if we hadn't, why would that be a reason to be 'pissed.' I don't hate the twist in Village, I just think it's a poor excuse for a film, with a silly, hamfisted, boring ending.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    The Sixth Sense twist ending

    by BobParr

    I am so sick of reading everyone saying how they know the ending to that movie in the first 10 minutes. Bullshit! All of you guys are friggen geniuses. I bet you all knew that "Rosebud" was the sled as well.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST


    by Shermdawg

    Uh Bob, The Sixth Sense's twist was hella weak, especially if you were raised on X-Files and The Outer Limits. I mean c'mon, NO ONE TALKED TO BRUCE THE ENTIRE FLICK, other than Osment! Teh movie is overrated.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    ...I feel kind of stupid, and I'll be the first to admit it. We've all been wasting precious TB posts blasting forumfatale, when it is now painfully obvious that he's just fucking around. Nice try man, but you crossed the line of plausability when you accused people of not understanding The Villiage.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Crybabies about the Village make me laugh...

    by andrew coleman

    You guys hate the movie because there were no real monsters? Grow up and if you want monsters go buy the Ultraman dvd's. I have no idea what bomb means anymore I guess if any movie makes under 200 million it bombs. Anyway Lady will not do well in theaters simply because soooo many movies come out at once stealing audiences from different groups if I had to make a guess on BO it would be 1. Monster House 2. Pirates 3. Lady 4. Super Ex 5. Clerks 2 and then the rest from there.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    yeah, we're all JEALOUS...

    by gernblanston67

    that's why we hate every good filmmaker. Gimme a break with this "jealous of M. Night" crap. Village sucked. I saw the preview and thought to myself, "if this is one of those present day, twilight zone kind of things, I'm gonna be pissed." Signs blew too. What was the point of that movie? What was the freakin message? That aliens smart enought to invade another planet will pick one covered in than 70% of water, SOMETHING THAT CAN KILL THEM!?! That is takes an alien invasion for Mel to get over his wife and believe in God!?! WTF...

  • July 20, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Like U2's Rattle and Hum

    by Shaner Jedi

    Mori, it's funny but after you mentione dhis constant invoking of Bob Dylan, I couldn't help but think of the Rattle and Hum period for U2 when they did the same. That'd just come off Joshua Tree and R+H was a film and record in which they too had reached a creative dead-end. They also caught alot of flak from critics and audiences who saw that record and period as being way self-indulgent and condescending. Constant invoking of The Beatles, Stones, Dylan, etc. They started to buy the hype and it cost them. They were burned and learned from that experience. Now, will Shaymalan be able to pull a Achtung Baby and reinvent his creativity or will we see him afraid to do so?

  • July 20, 2006, 12:14 p.m. CST

    I hate to use the term "No-Talent Ass Clown"

    by DirtyRatBastard

    But I have to say that it is exactly who and what M. Night is, except for one nagging fact: People bankroll his films, and other pay to see the finished project. Talk all you want about diminishing returns, but the point is that his films become more self-centered and aggrandizing with each new one, and the thing is, Shyamalyanis probably the greatest snake oil salesman I have ever seen in action. He tries to sell the spectacle of himself, but he is easy on the grist that we need for our collective mills. We ask for movies, and he delivers PR Backgrounders...He's a huckster trying to sell himself. A dark-skinned PT Barnum for the masses...

  • July 20, 2006, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    Yea, The Village sucked. We all did want to see monsters because it was marketed that way and monsters are fucking cool. What we got instead was the Special Olympics. A retard wearing a mask trying to scare a blind girl! Why wear the mask when she can't see?! Why have that scene AFTER you reveal that they don't exist? Why make the monsters Pigmen?

  • July 20, 2006, 12:16 p.m. CST

    FORUMFATLE3 is M'Night's intern

    by MJayX

    Thats so cute how loyal you are. He's still not going to hire you - sorry. Go back to copying drafts of his next 15 minute premiere speech.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:17 p.m. CST

    the "Twist"

    by scratcher

    If a twist ending is all that a film has going for it, it's shallow. C'mon, O'Henry's short stories are entertaining - when you're 15 years old. Citizen Kane isn't dependent on Rosebud, it's simply a device on which to hang the narrative (and comparing Night to Welles?? In his dreams!). I'd say the same thing is true of Unbreakable - I think the twist is probably the least interesting thing about the film. It's Signs and the Village that are thin lead-ins to a shallow payoff. I loved Signs the first time I saw it, when it was called War of the Worlds. What makes it worse is that you know going into a Night film that there will be a twist, so you spend most of your time trying to figure it out. It doesn't take long to guess it in the Village, and the answer, that somehow someone could manage to keep an entire group of children completely isolated from society in the middle of the US for TWENTY YEARS, is pushing the limits of our suspension of disbelief. There wasn't anything else there, other than a breakout performance by Howard. Rod Serling kept his stories to 30 minutes, and they were more entertaining and a helluva lot funnier. I don't think that Night is a hack, but he should come up with a great body of work, and THEN do the star thing. Of course, you could've said the same thing about QT after Pulp...

  • July 20, 2006, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Eno Was The Force Behind the U2 Resurgence

    by DrKodos

    Unless Night is willing and able to bring in a talent on par with Brian Eno, he has no chance of creating an Achtung Baby.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:18 p.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    It was a retarded attempt to get audiences to think the "twist" would be that the monsters WERE real... and it didn't fool anyone.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:21 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    Did you really catch that detail that Bruce Willis only talked to the kid while watching the movie? Be honest!***** Did you really catch the detail that Bruce Willis only wore different combinations of the same outfit he wore the night he was shot while watching the film? Be honest!******* Did you know that Tim Robbins was really dead at the end of "Jacob's Ladder"? Be honest!

  • July 20, 2006, 12:21 p.m. CST

    the villiage twist, cont'd

    by Burgundy82

    It was hinted at when Hurt's character said "there really might be monsters, though..." when he was explaining the costumes to the blind girl.... Ugh, I hate talking about that shitfest... It was basically a Truman Show retread with pigmen

  • July 20, 2006, 12:27 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    I did not mean to in anyway compare MNS to Welles or "The Sixth Sense" to "Citizen Kane". I just don't buy the fact that everyone on this board claims they figured the twist out before it happened. Nobody was looking for the twist in his first movie.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    I understand what he was trying to accomplish in "The Village". I am asking "why" because it was so stupid and "why" would he think it would work. It was a big middle finger to the audience. Let's see how much shit of mine you are willing to eat.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Mr Below Parr

    by DrKodos

    Maybe no one was looking for it but is was glaringly obvious and became the 2 ton White Elephant in the room and that is what made it such a turd. Unless you have never, EVER, seen an episode of Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, or read a comic book, how could it not have been obvious by about 20 minutes in? Nikkah please....

  • July 20, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST

    I didn't know Bruce Willis was dead.

    by scratcher

    I think 6th Sense was great, but is it an all-time classic film? Check back in ten years, and we'll see if people are still talking about it. Does it still hold up when you know the secret? I think Memento has a better chance for longevity (even though I knew previous to viewing what was going on the first time I saw it, it still worked). Night has always been a very mainstream director.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by Shermdawg

    Uh, no. Are you forgetting that Bryce's character new that it was a suit? Are you forgetting WE knew it was a suit? "It wasn't a retarded attempt to get audiences to think the "twist" would be that the monsters WERE real" No it was nothing more than a extremely well done Scooby Doo who's behind the mask scene. Also, even if you were in her shoes, you'd freak out too if there was someone stalking/trying to kill you in that getup. She was alone, she was blind, and she was frightened. Shammy's previous films have led people, including you with your assesment above, to read too much into the film to spot "twists". I will say though, how cool would it have been if it was Sigourany instead of Brody? (which it couldn't have been) She'd give up saving her son's life and the try to kill Bryce just to protect their way of life. It would have been a even better ending to a great movie.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:43 p.m. CST

    One-Man show.....

    by twkfilmfan

    Funny, seems like I've heard all these comments about the director hogging control and wanting to be a "one-man show" before -- oh yeah, it was when Orson Welles made "Citizen Kane." Also, for those who have complained about M. Night playing a major character in the same film he is directing, let us not forget Star Trek 3 and 4, werein Leonard Nimoy both acted and directed, not to mention a couple of Clint Eastwood films which he acted in while directing. So while I'm not comparing M. NIght to either Welles, Nimoy or Eastwood, I am saying that this kind of activity is not unusual in Hollywood.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST


    by abcdefz7

    Bob -- I'll tell you how I knew the twist in The Sixth Sense. *** The advertising hinged on "I see dead people." If not for that, I might not have known. But when the movie opens with a happy couple celebrating their anniversary and the man gets shot, and then the VERY NEXT TIME we see the couple together, she won't speak to him on their special night, etc., you know that, narratively speaking, something's very wrong. That was the tip off for me, right there, and in that state, it becomes so obvious that no one but the kid is interacting with hi, etc. But, since I knew there was some big twist at the end and this was so obvious, I wound up trying to figure out what the REAL twist was going to be. Disappointment set in about halfway throught the movie when I realized, nope -- there IS no other twist; this is what they're saving up.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Brilliant review.

    by Traumnovelle

    Good job, Mori. You hit the nail on the head about this guy. He wants to be a movie star. He wants to be in the spotlight at all times. Did you see this jackass on the Daily Show? He said people on the street come up to him and call him a genius. He said that. That people on the street will walk up to him and tell him he is a genius. There's certain things you just don't mention in interviews and shit, at the incredibly costly risk of sounding like a pretentious asshole, and that would definitely be one of them. And his American Express commercial....hooo fuck. M. Night lives in a dreamworld of imagination and wonder, don't you wish YOU could too?? TOO BAD! He really does need a whip cracked over his back and be forced to answer to other people for a while. He would be such a better director for it. I would quite literally spit in his face if I saw him on the street. I can't fucking stand him. And, like you Mori, I like his films. Aside from the Village, which I felt was great until the twist ending turned out to be that it wasn't a good movie after all. But I like all his others. I just hate him as a person. A director should be in the shadows; they should let their movies speak for themselves. But now I'm just repeating you, so again, GREAT fucking review holmes.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:48 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    They were all actors before they were directors. And Orson Welles was a very underrated actor. Have you seen "Touch of Evil"? MNS is not a good actor. If he was this wouldn't be an issue. It's a distraction.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:49 p.m. CST


    by Shermdawg

    I didn't notice Bruce's clothes, but did I honestly notice no one directly talked to Bruce? HELL YES. The film was so boring, how could I not notice it? And don't even get me started on Unwatchable. (ugh) That was, by far, Shammy's worst film. Btw, I haven't seen Jacob's Ladder.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by scratcher

    What are you, ninety years old? What was it like seeing Kane in one of them motion picture palaces? Nobody here is criticising his acting in his films (I wouldn't say his previous parts involved "acting"), the discussion is in relation to autobiography, since he's playing a writer with a messiah complex.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the honesty, Mori.

    by Chet Hudson

    Here's some back at you: I've not always been the biggest fan of your stuff. Heck, I even still remember the glowing praise you gave The Real World Cancun. And remember your open letter to the Coens? Sheesh. But I gotta say this review may be the most important I've ever read at this site. Harry, as a reviewer, may have hardly a shred of credibility left -- I don't think HE even knows what he likes sometimes -- but you sir have picked up the slack. It's criticism like this, honest, forthright, that this site and all others like it truly need. Excellent job, Mori. Thanks.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Welles ...

    by bigboxer

    was a certified genius who lived a tragic life trying to get his film projects funded. Shammylammy isn't a pimple on Welles huge ass.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:56 p.m. CST

    now go see the movie, maybe?

    by SAVOIR_faire

    and THEN we can come back and talk like we've, um...seen the movie.

  • July 20, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Ooooohhh Puuuuuuleeezeee,

    by bigboxer

  • July 20, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Hey Mori...

    by DoctorWho?

    That story about Seinfeld walking out of NORTH is classic. And thanks for the honest review. BTW...Can't wait to read what yo thought of THE MATADOR!

  • July 20, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    The Village wasn't allegorical ...

    by bigboxer

    it just wasn't ANYTHING, ecept lame, and LAZY. What possible allegory did it contain??? What 9/11 allegory??? A retard dresses up to scare a blind girl?? THAT'S SUPPOSED TO BE ALLEGORICAL ???? Monsters that are used to scare everybody, but don't exist??? In case you haven't been watching the news, TERRORIST ARE REAL, YOU DOOFUS !!!!!!

  • July 20, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    While we're talking about The Village,

    by neonist

    I may as well ask a question that I've had for a while: In the scene right after the 'monster' put the red marks on the doors, when Weaver and Hurt are alone discussing the event, didn't Weaver know it was a suit? Why would they both talk about 'It must be 'they' as a coyote isn't tall enough' as if they really thought it was a monster? Did Weaver's character not know it was a suit? Please tell me that whole scene wasn't a setup to try to derail the audience that might already have figured it was a villager in a suit...

  • July 20, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... I'm not sure what you expect from me as a reaction. You didn't like CIGARETTE BURNS? *shrug* Lots of folks didn't, including our own Harry Knowles. But lots of folks did. I've got my own problems with it, and I would be the first to tell you that it's not what I originally envisioned. I think our next film is better, though, and I think the one after that will be better still. I'm not fooling myself into thinking that every little thought I have is genius and that I could film a used tissue by this point, brand it with my name, and hype it past $250 million domestic, though, so I'm a long way from the delusional airspace Night's in right now. If it really bothers you that a shitty, shitty filmmaker like me is talking smack about your beloved genius, sorry. Certainly not my intent. Be well and enjoy the film this weekend.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Chet Hudson it was The Real Cancun

    by Shermdawg

    Don't besmirch the name of Teh Real World with that garbage. It had nothing to do with that show.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:05 p.m. CST

    bob dylan>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>michael jordan.

    by dr.bulber


  • July 20, 2006, 1:05 p.m. CST

    All y'all is just hatin' on a player.

    by FatPaul

    Y'all haters need to back the fuck off! Y'all just hate M. Night cause he 's pimpin' it big an y'all ain't got what it takes to get the bling. Kna'mean? Quit hatin' on a player! Don't hate the player. Hate the game! Fuck y'all haters!

  • July 20, 2006, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Such Langwidge !!!

    by bigboxer

    I means REALLY !!! Sayin' such smack !!!

  • July 20, 2006, 1:08 p.m. CST

    M.N.S. is a far better director then he is a writer

    by odysseus

    I've thought so since Sixth Sense -- which had great structure, but some cringe-worthy dialogue.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:08 p.m. CST

    problem w/Sixth Sense twist

    by Burgundy82

    First of all, to Sherm: Wait, so you didn't like Unbreakable or Sixth Sense, but you defend The Villiage? hmm.. oh well, you're more than entitled to your opinion, just like everyone else on here (except for forumfatale) .. Anyway I guess I forgot we were supposed to know about the suit. On an unrelated note, while I did enjoy Sixth Sense, I must admit its twist (while good for fooling most people) doesn't hold up to outside logic -- the same problem with most of MNS's twists ... Did Bruce not realize that NO ONE besides the kid acknowledges his existence? Not just his wife -- no one. That time Haley Joel walks in and Bruce is sitting with his mom.. What the hell preceded that moment?? How did Bruce get in the house, and what kind of conversation did he think he was having with the mom? It didnt make sense.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Jordan would've hit 100 on Dylan

    by scratcher

    Dylan has absolutely no D

  • July 20, 2006, 1:11 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    You haven't seen "Jacob's Ladder"?? Sorry if I ruined the ending for you, but you should still rent it at once!

  • July 20, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    The kid says that the ghosts don't know they are dead. Lord knows what the hell a ghost is perceivng. I didn't have a problem with that. I had a problem with a teacher calling a student a "freak" and not getting fired for it. I also can't believe that the kid is going to be able to handle being bugged by ghosts all of the time. I would definitely pull a Donnie Wahlberg and shoot myself.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST


    by Shermdawg

    Haven't seen Fight Club either, lol. And yes, I was spoiled on that one as well.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST

    "This is one LADY that's a tall drink of WATER!"

    by El Scorcho

    I can see Joel Siegel's review already... hehehehe

  • July 20, 2006, 1:33 p.m. CST


    by Burgundy82

    you silly bitch... "where we're coming from"? From what I've seen today, you're the only one "from" there.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    M. Night

    by blackwood

    Is it possible he's neither as great as he and his fans believe, nor as bad as the 'haters' proclaim? Could it be that he's got a good eye and a knack with actors and is largely mediocre in every other respect? That maybe, the weight of film-as-art shouldn't rest on any one man's shoulders? I'm a little baffled why anyone gives a shit, to be honest.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    The ending of Signs negates anything good before it

    by IndustryKiller

    The aliens are allergic to water and somehow didn't take that into their world domination calculations. If we had been told at the top of the film that we were dealing with some of the dumbest lifeforms in the galaxy I don' think we would have enjoyed it as much.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Actually ForumFatale bring up MoH is totally unfair

    by IndustryKiller

    I don think Mori showed us at all how HE would do things. He showed us how he would write things. Thats notthe same thing at all. Mori didn't get to direct his own script, or hire the actors, or have total creative freedom, and especially didn't have a MASSIVE budget, Shyamalan did. And I gotta say Im a pretty harsh critic and Cigarrette burns had a pretty fucking cool concept, some definite execution issues but there was some good stuff in there. The script wasn't the problem, so you can quit using thata s an argument now.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:48 p.m. CST

    tsk tsk

    by white owl

    AICN would be nothing without you Mori. For 5 years you've been my absolute favorite internet reviewer and this one again proves it. Great work. I just wonder if you are critical of Harry's short pointless reviews as I and most others are. Of course you'd keep it to yourself though. Again, good job. Clerks 2 is gonna rock!

  • July 20, 2006, 1:50 p.m. CST

    They also had a problem with door knobs

    by BobParr

    M. Knight locked one in his kitchen closet.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:50 p.m. CST

    It's crazy, I think to psychoanalyze the whole thing...

    by Lobanhaki

    What I heard, very early on, is that this all based on a set of stories he told his children as bedtime stories. Now, think for a second, what does that mean for Shyamalan's role? Why does he end up there? Well, why do parents end up in the stories they tell their children? Because its fun. Because it breaks the wall between storytelling and story told, and children enjoy that. The notion that it's all about his ego misses the artistic point, which he telegraphed by telling you that it was a bedtime story. The trouble with so many fans nowadays is that they aren't willing to sit back and be told a story. They ask for ninjas and get ninjas, they ask for kung fu and they get kung fu. They ask for this and that, and insist on complete consistency and all of a sudden the stories they're being told are rigid, conventional and boring. Why? Because they're being like that. Me? I did myself a favor when I was younger and watched all kinds of movies. Because of that, I could appreciate a romantic comedy the same as a Kung Fu movie, a indy drama the same as a special effects extravaganza. As a writer myself, I believe that there's no clear cut template out there for excellent storytelling. I also believe we should try to cultivate some humility. But in the end, I also believe we need people who are daring, and willing to take a risk. Without those people, even those who fail, we are left with people who repeat the conventional until all the original meaning is drained out of it. Now maybe Shyamalan's movie will be a failure with me. Could be. But I'm going to walk into that theatre willing to accept the story to the extent I can. And why? Because so far, Shyamalan's movies have been worth the effort for me.------------------------------------------------------------------------------P.S. on the subject of logic and consistency. It's nice to have, but not always vital. The key is how it shapes the experience. Cinema is about experience, it's about feel. Many critics get too cerebral about it, and end up missing the meaning of the film because they don't agree with the methods, the subject or the style of the filmmaker. Because they get so particular about their tastes (like some fans do), they are unwilling or unable to take note of things the director is trying to tell them, things that might answer some of their criticisms. Additionally, they might miss something else crucial: nobody's perfect, and there are no prototypical filmmakers or films that spell out exactly what's right. Film is an emergent art, built within frames, between frame, the sounds, the words, the music, and the behavior of people on screen, all rolled together. That's why it's so important to deal with it in terms of experience, because differences in people themselves, and differences in the filmmakers can create unpredictable differences. Even a shift in culture over time can change the way people percieve a movie. Network was once a farce, to cite one example. Now it's fulfilled prophecy to a large degree. The point is, there's no absolutely privileged ground from which to perceive film, and trying to create that, to enforce codes of behavior and lists of requirements on artists ultimately misses the point of how artists create and translate meaning. Rendering verdicts and giving out charges is for courts, not for for art.

  • July 20, 2006, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Forumfatale3, you tell them haters!

    by FatPaul

    I got your back, Forum. Damn right. Ain't a damn hater out there could make a movie better than ma man M. Night. If y'all ain't made a fuckin' masterpiece, then y'all betta shut ya fuckin' mouth 'bout tha man's movies! Like me. I ain't made any movies, so I keep ma mouth shut. Y'all don't know if I liked Village or not, an' I ain't sayin'. Kna'mean? Like ma man Forum says, I don't know shit about movies, so how should I know if Village is any good? I got no idea. So, I keep ma mouth shut. All y'all haters need to do the same thing. Quit hatin' on a player if y'all ain't made no fuckin' Citizen Kane! Fuck tha haters!

  • July 20, 2006, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Cigarette Burns?

    by Billyeveryteen


  • July 20, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST

    This is a really fine review.

    by Stan the Bat


  • July 20, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Signs = War of the Worlds

    by scratcher

    Seems like a direct enough copy to me.

  • July 20, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Damn... well... i guess someone had to say it

    by antonphd

    Well, I ussually wait to see how I personally feel about a movie... but um... you certainly sound like you have a pretty good grasp of the situation. Damn. This is a bummer. Well, maybe someone will kick him in the ass and he'll come back down to reality. I don't follow the media shit beyond this site(not to call this site shit, but, it's pretty much to only pop culture source i read), so, I am not up to speed on what's going on with MNS. This sounds like he has gone to MJ land. That's really too bad. Typical. But too bad. Maybe there's some chance and hope that he's just wanting to be a movie star and the genius selling thing is just that, a selling thing, and he doesn't really believe it. Cause if he does... wow... that's too bad for him. Of course, now i have to watch this movie to see how bad it is. Thanks alot Moriarty. :P

  • July 20, 2006, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Could still be good if...

    by The Dum Guy

    This film could be salvaged if used as a drinking game. Just down one beer/shot everytime Night does something egotistically gratifying and/or makes up some nonsensical bullshit to further the plot. Warning though, based on Moriarty's review it could lead to death.

  • July 20, 2006, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Hey Shermdawg

    by Chet Hudson

    Besmirch The Real World? Hasn't the last, oh, eight years of that show done enough? ;)

  • July 20, 2006, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Forumfatale3, Night is far from original

    by Kung Fu Hustler

    I don't know if the suit went anywhere, but he allegedly ripped off a young adult novel for "The Village." Sixth Sense was a rip-off of Orson Scott Card's "Lost Boys." Signs, as stated above, of "War of the Worlds." Nobody's original anymore, as they say, and certainly not Night. Next you'll be telling us he invented the superhero genre...

  • July 20, 2006, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Um, Forumfatale...

    by Childe Roland ever hear of a guy called Rod Serling? What about Alfred Hitchcock? Without the ideas of the former and the style of the latter, Night would still be scripting Sturat Little direct-to-video sequels. You need to hop off Mori's back before you slip and hurt yourself. Maybe you could try sampling a little bit of TV and movies from before you were born (as well as more than a few after if you were conceived before E.T.) to get a sense of just how unoriginal your cinematic hero is.

  • July 20, 2006, 2:39 p.m. CST

    The Sixth Sense

    by King_Midas

    Does not hold up at all when you know the secret. What is shown holds up fine, but the internal logic of the movie was crap and it

  • July 20, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    This review and TB is officially the reason I love AICN

    by performingmonkey

    And only Night could rake up this amount of shit with his ego. Still, I wouldn't mind if he directed Half-Blood Prince, but WB probably already have someone lined up as they are shooting almost immediately after Order Of The Phoenix.

  • July 20, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Um, did Moriarty actually talk about the film here?

    by Kusoyaro

    Because I tuned out after the 10th or so paragraph....

  • July 20, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Excellent review, Mori

    by DocPazuzu

    I'd say a lot more than that, but Childe Roland pretty much summed up my feelings about both your review and Shyamalan's oeuvre. Thanks for the demolishing of horseshit notions of having to be willing to have "chocolate syrup" all over our faces while "gnawing on centipedes" and talking to naked girls in showers in order to enjoy this film. Come to think of it, after reading your review maybe that IS the only way to be able to enjoy this film. Literally.

  • July 20, 2006, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by Kung Fu Hustler

    In Signs, is it ever CLEARLY STATED why the intelligent alien species coming to dominate another world chooses the one with all the blue stuff they are allergic to?

  • July 20, 2006, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Great review Moriarity

    by Gwai Lo

    sums up pretty much everything I think about Shamalian.

  • July 20, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    6th Sense

    by SnakesOnABicycle

    It still surprises me that whenever someone is defending Shammy they bring up what is basically a rip off of Carnival of Souls.

  • July 20, 2006, 3:27 p.m. CST

    McWeenie Tends to Be Verbose - However...

    by hipcheck13

    ...this was a good review. A good editor can cut it down by 40% at least, though. You getting paid by the word Drew? Oh yeah - Harry believes anyone who doesn't like "Dead in the Water" just doesn't "get it;" ergo that person is stupid. A tad pretentious, methinks.

  • July 20, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST


    by King_Midas

    Nice logic, man. Wow. How to respond to the power of your intellect? The fact is that Bruce

  • July 20, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Signs wasn't bad, but...

    by rbatty024

    it did signal that something bad was on the horizon for Shyamalan...The Village! Sure, you could nitpick the aliens in Signs all you want, but I'm not expecting too much logic in my aliens from another planet movie. The only thing that really bothered me was the whole water weakness, now that was stretching it. This showed that Shyamalan was more interested in his his faith/"everything happens for a reason" message than he was about the actual story line. It think this is the major flaw in most of his scripts. Instead of just crafting a great story he's too concerned with the underlying message, and he's willing to sacrifice the story for the message. I'm all for a movie that says something, but first I want a well crafted tale and any philosophy is just a bonus.

  • July 20, 2006, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Signs and WotW had the same ending

    by Kung Fu Hustler

    Allergic to water/unable to handle germs. What's the fucking difference?

  • July 20, 2006, 3:52 p.m. CST

    If I hear one more...

    by Harysuxafat1

    fucktard call Unbreakable the greatest superhero movie ever made I'm gonna claw my own eyes out. That was a boring insipid piece of utter shit. It's so good to hear this fucker has finally gone the way of Howard Hughes. The next we hear of him he'll be shitting himself and wiping it in his own hair while cutting himself for enjoyment. Fuck this asshole he's nothing more than Tim Story with no checks on him.

  • July 20, 2006, 3:56 p.m. CST

    The difference? Germs make more sense.

    by scratcher

    The Signs aliens invading Earth is like humans invading Venus. Oh, you mean it rains there daily? That might be bad. Geez, if they just asked we might have given them the Sahara or something.

  • July 20, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Best reviewer on the site

    by Captain Sensible

    Your Superman Returns review was the best one I've read yet, and each M. Night movie has gotten progressively worse. This has the ring of truth to it. Ignore the clowns man, you're money right now.

  • July 20, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST

    right now...

    by samuraijack

    right now M. Night is the only essential filmmaker working. We can all watch stuff like Pirates, or Superman Returns and enjoy them, but like it or not, we are all here discussing the man, looks like he has succeeded.

  • July 20, 2006, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Thank you Mori

    by Stollentroll

    Thanks for pointing out the increasing MORAL aspects of M.s work. I hated "Signs" for it's pathetic "believe or die" conclusion - I thought it was worse than Mel Gibson's medieval christianity in the "Passion".

  • July 20, 2006, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Moriarty: Finally, a literate review.

    by ByTor

    I don't even bother with Harry's reviews anymore, as he doesn't seem to get the whole "critical" thing. He gushes instead of analyzes. Thank you for a thoughtful, literate review. I really liked Sixth Sense (even with the shameless trickery). I thought Unbreakable was good, but slightly disappointing. I didn't like Signs at all, and I thought the Village was OK at best. I'm not liking the overall trend, and I do think he may end up in Welles territory ONLY IN THE SENSE that he never quite lives up to his initial success. (Don't even start with me Talkbackers...I would not ever suggest that Sixth Sense is even in Citizen Kane's area code, and Magnificent Ambersons is still much better than anything M. Night's ever done...)

  • July 20, 2006, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by maceodkat

    why the hell do you keep posting. for gawd sakes woman. and i'm assuming that with the word "fatale" that your a woman. your posts have been absurd, your taste in films are suspect, as well as your knowledge of films. its like arguing with a 10year old why x-men 1 is better than x-men 3. please STFU. pretty please. with a cherry on top.

  • July 20, 2006, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Moriarty's best. review. ever.

    by quadrupletree

    Great job man. Unfortunately I'm still on the fence as to wether or not to go see it or rent it...

  • July 20, 2006, 5:03 p.m. CST

    An ego-piece...

    by Waxfinger

    ...The review i mean, i haven't seen the movie.

  • July 20, 2006, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Chris Doyle

    by TheGreenPoncho

    Thank you, Moriarty, for mentioning Chris Doyle. I give you serious kudos for being the first reviewer to not only bring up this legendary cinematographer, but also list some of his fine past work. Doyle's the only reason I plan on seeing this one.

  • July 20, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    So Forumfatale...

    by Childe Roland

    ...this maxing and relaxing of which you speak,: does it take place before or after you fuck your girlfriend on webcam for the amusement of folks you meet in talkback forums. Seriously, man, how can you even try to post thoughtfully about anything after throwing an offer out like that (see Capone's "Lady" talkback for that slice of comedy brilliance). And Midas is right on about the inconsistencies in The Sixth Sense. You're telling me Willis, who eventually figures out he's dead all on his own by the way a ring bounces, didn't get suspicous when he hadn't had a bowel movement or a meal in nine months? Sorry, but it's a one-time-viewing pleasure that, like all of Shyamalan's films, starts to unravel if you think too hard about it. That's not the earmark of a great storyteller. That's the kind of catch-you-off-guard illogical setup that makes a knock-knock joke amusing...once.

  • July 20, 2006, 5:48 p.m. CST

    You are right forumfatale about the Village.

    by mrfan

    With each viewing of it I find it to be a movie that gets worse all the time.

  • July 20, 2006, 6:05 p.m. CST

    "Girl in the Pool"

    by Son of the Blob

    Actually I find his work to be improving each time out: Signs and The Village are on equal footing, followed closely by Unbreakable. The weakest by far is The Sixth Sense, which did so much business simply because nobody was expecting anything out of the ordinary..."What a twist! Bruce Willis is actually dead!" was a chorus heard across the country- but keep in mind these audiences are the same people who made the "Dukes of Hazzard" remake and "Fantastic Four" big moneymakers. If you didn't figure out the "twist" by the time he has dinner with his bereaved/estranged wife then you weren't paying attention. If you label me a Night buttkisser that's fine but I can tell you that there isn't a person on this talkback board who can do a better job at storytelling than he does- otherwise I'm sure you would be doing it for a living instead of carping about how bad he sucks at it.

  • July 20, 2006, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Moriarty IS M Night

    by antonphd

    I'm sitting here thinking about this review and I realise that it's the biggest piece of bullshit I've ever read. It may be the truth about M Night, but coming from Moriarty it's pretty damn hypocritical. He's actually doing the same thing he's saying M Night is doing. I was too tired earlier to really catch what bothered me about the review, even though it definitely is spot on about M Night. Everything Moriarty is saying M Night is doing, he just did it in his review and the following posts. And that's what bugged me. Cause he only saw it because it's in himself, not because he's some expert, which despite the downplaying, he's talking like he is. You are M Night and Harry is Disney. LOL LOL LOL LOL

  • July 20, 2006, 6:13 p.m. CST

    By the way... about Bruce Willis in SS

    by antonphd

    The idea that ghosts can't accept that they are dead as a parallel to people's traumatic retreat from reality after suffuring great loss is pretty damn accurate. People do go years not realising all of the obvious clues that they are over the fucking hedge. Paranoid people are the same. You can argue face to face with them and they won't believe what you can show them on video tape... they will just dissappeare into a coccoon of repression. This is very real. My parents were foster parents and I was a foster kid and I can tell you from personal experience that shit like that really happens and it's freaky. And yeah, sometimes, after time and a safe environment, a moment of clarity comes and they pop out of it.

  • July 20, 2006, 6:20 p.m. CST

    ForumFatale when you have the entire talkback united..

    by IndustryKiller

    against you you have some ridiculously asinine point of views. I mean Jesus we couldnt even agree that Fantastic FOur was garbage, you really have done something miraculous here.

  • July 20, 2006, 6:25 p.m. CST

    cigarette burns criticism

    by dsk2

    I haven't seen Cigarette Burns in about 6 months when I caught it on On-Demand, but I remember thinking how it could have actually been so great had there been a few changes to the scene chronology, along with the removal of the supernatural 'cigarette burns' motif. As an example, the wingless Angel-Thing in the Collector's living room should have been introduced near the end, not in the first five minutes. Because of this early red flag, the audience knows the Collector's the 'bad guy', we know there's an evil, supernatural element to the proceedings, and thus we don't sympathize with the hero's quest, nor are we surprised when bad, strange things befall him. He knows, and we know, that he's doing work for the dark side. Why would the hero, after seeing a tortured, nightmarish Angel-Demon thing imprisoned in his new boss' living room, still go ahead and accept the job without even voicing the slightest concern? 8MM is a good example of how this dynamic can work, i.e., Cage's character is hired by a seemingly legit businessman, only to be pulled into a dark world and find the businessman is one of main villains. In other words, he probably wouldn't have accepted the job if the businessman was watching kiddie porn on his laptop in the first scene. Other scenes that should have been cut & pasted are the Vancouver apt scene where the hero finally finds the film. He meets the Filmmaker's Daughter in this overly-convenient, anti-climactic, exposition-filled scene, and with little fanfare and no money down, she pulls it out of her nearby book shelf and gives it to him. First off, she shouldn't have the film. So much destructive and evil power surrounds it, and yet she's unaffected by it. This scene should instead be placed early in the quest. It seems like a pretty obvious place to start asking questions anyway, considering she lives in N. America, and that she would most likely own her father's estate. If this was one of our hero's first stops, then she would point him toward Europe, and tell him something along the lines of it not being worth the price. After meeting with the dealer and the crazy film reviewer who saw it, he should be led finally to the the psychotic snuff-filmmakers in France. And instead of the convenient and inexplicable 'cigarette burns' plot device (a blatant example of deus ex machina)whereby he blanks out and wakes up to find them all dead. Maybe there about to make a snuff film out of him, but he turns the tables, has some clever "Pulp Fiction" inspired kill spree, and then finds the film there in their basement. At least that would help explain why they have some savage need to make snuff films. Like the tape in The Ring, or the Ring from LOTR, or the Ark from Raiders, or the Aztec coin from POTC, bad things happen with the film's central object-of-desire is nearby. There's other problems as well, but those were the most obvious to me. Overall, "Cig Burns" was a great concept, but it needed a good scriptreader to iron out the plot missteps. At least that was my 2 cents.

  • July 20, 2006, 6:25 p.m. CST

    I don't get it.

    by BillEmic

    When has M. Night ever tried to make himself out to be some sort of cultural icon?? Mori acts as though M. Night is on E! Television or Entertainment Tonight, ever other night talking about how much of a visionary he is. M. Night is a quiet guy, I never see him on he made a lukewarm documentary, who cares? I read his interview in the latest Creative Screenwriting magazine and he seems like an intelligent, normal guy who is incredibly talented at filmmaking. In no way, shape, or form was he trying to create a cult of personality around himself! The way Mori talks about M. Night, it's like he's David Bowie's character "The Man Who Fell to Earth." Seriously, M. Night is a writer/director...writer/direcotrs do NOT get exposure by the media, ACTORS do. And at the end of the day, I'd rather watch an interesting failure from individualistic filmmakers like M. Night than even a "pretty good" movie from your average Hollywood studio-men.

  • July 20, 2006, 6:29 p.m. CST

    This review nails it. Nice work, Moriarty.

    by Nate Champion

    I usually think you're a bum, but this is a terrific review. Unlike most of the reviews I've read that simply make fun of Shyamalan and the movie, this really dissects exactly where the movie goes wrong and where Shyamalan needs to go from here. Great call on Fisher King too, that's a perfect comparison point.

  • July 20, 2006, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Mori, you're my fave AICN writer but...

    by DreDiggity

    First, let me say I am a fan of Knight's work. I'm also a big fan of your film writings. I think the reason you get labeled as a "hater" though, however innacurate, is because more than any other film writer I can think of, online or not, you have written about M Knight, the man behind the films. I honestly can't think of any other writer who has obsessed so much about a director (except maybe Jeff Wells with George Lucas). If I'm blowing it out of proportion (maybe my Knight-fanisms are skewing my perception) and you feel you have written more frustrating in-depth articles about another director please point it out. I know you're going to hate that word "obsessed" but I'm talking about perception. I understand why you have written what you have written, I just don't agree. I have absolutely no hangups about the man, I am not thinking about him as a person or artist when I am watching any of his movies. I'd like to believe I'm judging his films based on the actual films. And wouldn't you know it, I enjoy them. It's very simple, I'm not out to please anybody...If I don't like a movie of his, I'm not saying I like it. I have no one to pose for. I'm not saying you're wrong about his movies, you're entitled to your opinion. I like them, you don' let us both have a coke and smile shut the fuck up about it. However...where I do want to vehemently disagree is the notion that you cannot separate the man from his films. He is a shameless self-promoter? what? He has an ego? what? I don't have to live with him, I don't have to work with the guy, I don't have to change his diaprers. M Knight the man does not affect me, my life or my viewing pleasure. But that's just me homey

  • July 20, 2006, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Stop the "hate" - on Mori, that is.

    by ckane123

    Fellas, Mori has written a great piece of movie criticism that could stand tall with some of Harlan Ellison's best enterainment writing in the '80s and 90s and you guys are saying "he has no place criticizing M.Night cause Cigarette Burns sucked!" Guys, think about it: "are you critical of the current Bush administration? Well HOW DARE YOU! Has ANY ONE OF YOU been in a political office? No? Then you have no right to criticize!" That was sarcasm, roughly crated, intended to make a point. I too have seen the descent of M. and think that the fact that there was "no one to say no" hurt this movie as Mori says. Though iIMO it hurt King Kong and Superman Returns FAR MORE than Star Wars Ep. III (this factor, however, absolutely screwed Episode I beyond repair). Mori is not paid enough and should agressively persue opportunities on other sites and other media to promote his film wisdom. That is all.

  • July 20, 2006, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Not like Spielberg, more like Lucas

    by lavaboat

    For me, comparing M. Night to Spielberg doesn't make sense. He's way more like George Lucas when you think about it. They both got the writing thing going on. Night's Sixth Sense was an out-of-left-field blockbuster, much like American Grafatti. His Star Wars was supposed to be Unbreakable(envisioned as a trilogy I believe)Also, time has kind of revealed that Lucas' real strength is as a conceptual thinker. This could not be evidenced more than in the poor character development and limp dialogue(much like in LITW I hear)in Phantom Mencace

  • July 20, 2006, 7:12 p.m. CST

    But Clerks II...

    by AyebKraken

    will be hailed as the best film ever by his legion of fans. Kevin Smith also has a huge ego. He puts himself in his films and refuses to talk. Ego Trip!

  • July 20, 2006, 7:20 p.m. CST


    by King_Midas

    Um . . . the scene I am referring to is between Bruce and the kid's mother - not Bruce's ex. The kid's mother is a complete stranger to him. He goes to talk to her because he thinks the kid has issues and he wants to help. Do you often relax in the house of a complete stranger, saying absolutely nothing at all to explain your presence and expecting no questions in return? Not to mention, how would you even get into the house in the first place? It kind of changes the dynamic of your argument doesn

  • July 20, 2006, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Hubris and myth-making

    by Runs with a Gut

    Some of the contributors to this website think their opinions affect sub-cultural shifts, and while this may or may not be true, the belief that they do is hubristic. And the aggrandizing, self-mythologizing practiced by Harry, Quint and, to a lesser degree, Drew McSweeney, stems from a need to be larger than life -- to use this site's profile to mastermind their own escape from the margins.

  • July 20, 2006, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Self Control

    by EL Jerkwad

    Wow Mori, you should get some sort of medal for the manner in which you reviewed this piece of shit. You really tried to be fair and balanced in your comments. Signs= stinky crap Village= chunk o crap wet lady= worse than crap Harry I love you boyo... but gives a break on this one.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:04 p.m. CST

    The Passion of the Storyteller

    by Black Satin 2

    One person has a joke and they tell it to another person. After they hear it, the other person says, "That's funny, but it would be really funny if..." and the first person says, "Yeah, that is much funnier. Lets work together." It seems Shyamalan doesn't want to hear another, perhaps better, version of his joke. He is content to saying his version and risks everyone not getting a bigger laugh from it. If anyone goes to this movie and doesn't laugh, he is going to be very upset.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:30 p.m. CST

    M. Night = M. Jackson

    by Cheif Brody

    Think about it...Simonsays nailed it in the 7th post of this talkback. "This is what happens when no-one says no". There was no one willing to stand up to Michael and tell him that going to bed with children is a very "bad" idea. Everyone on his team just shrugged and looked the other way. Same thing with the studio's handling of M. Night. They figure...we put "A Film By M. Night Shyamalan" and it's a guaranteed huge opening weekend. Then they let him "do his thing"...The problem is...Michael Jackson was the one with all the power & money...that's why his handlers and "friends" didn't question him. However, it's the studios who have all the power & money in M. Night's case. If they want to continue to shrug and look the other way while he wastes their money on ego-tastic, vanity drivel...they get what they deserve. But I have a feeling after "Lady" sinks by way of bad word of mouth after opening weekend...hopefully, the NEXT studio will be there to tell him "No"...or suffer the same consequences WB Pictures will be feeling after counting their loses. But it doesn't help when audiences refuse to "just say no"...and line up for M's ever increasing steamy piles of crap. Well, I'm saying "no" this weekend, my friends. I'll catch it on cable sometime, and thank my lucky stars later that I didn't shrug and look the other way...thus, further enabling the Michael Jackson of the film world to continue subjecting his "bad" ideas on the paying movie going public.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Is it ok if I still love Signs?

    by Rowley Birkin QC

    Sixth Sense too. The Village however I have had no desire to see more than once, and Unbreakable is a pretentious ponderous film lost up its own arse. Not at all interested in this one.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:45 p.m. CST


    by JohnGalt06

    A new spin on Night's name. Hooray for me.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Prima donna? M. Night Shymalan? You betcha'

    by Shub-Wankalot

    After the turd pile "The Village," I lack any willpower to see M. Night Shymalan's next video flytrap. Twists and turns a la the Twilight Zone-ish ending of "The Village" left me not only impotent, but empty in my pocket. Burn in hell, M. Night.

  • July 20, 2006, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Gitesh Pandya has lot his frickin' mind...

    by JohnGalt06

    He thinks LITW could make $33 million this weekend. It will be very lucky to make $10 mil.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Turning on Shymalan now...

    by Red Ned Lynch like yelling at the Emperor for walking around naked six days after he bought his new clothes. The Sixth Sense was his best and at best it is well made Hollywood product, not a bold act of creation. Unbreakable is such a great idea for a movie that you can almost forgive its horribly flawed execution, but that's a sadly wasted opportunity, not a masterpiece. If anyone other than Shymalan had made signs it wouldn't even be discussed as anything but a disaster. The aliens come to a planet that is powered by a substance that kills them, every character arc is preceded by smoke signals, phone calls, text messages and flaming arrows, and beat for beat the movie plays like a film made by someone determined only to film the worst instincts of Steven Spielberg. And the Village is simply one of the most idiotic movies ever made, a movie that demands every character behave in a way that defies every tenent of logic and consistency in order to perform the function Shymalan needs for the movie to go the way he wants. It is the definition of dreadful. So you say the new one's naked too?

  • July 20, 2006, 9:20 p.m. CST

    The guy should give up film making and

    by speed

    make a HBO series instead. His ideas are far better suited to A new AMAZING STORIES or TWILIGHT ZONE REBIRTH type show. I find watching his films laboured and boring, but maybe if they were confined to TV with a strict time limit he might be able to pull it off. otherwise its just a cinematic wank-fest.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Apologists unite!!!

    by Rupee88

    A new M Night film is a major party for you types.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:24 p.m. CST

    reviewers: please quit calling him "Night"

    by Sir Loin

    It's NOT his real name and it doesn't sound cool.

  • July 20, 2006, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Night Falls On Manoj...

    by JohnGalt06

    aka his real name. Would Manoj Night Shyamalan's LADY IN THE WATER sound less appealing?

  • July 20, 2006, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Hey, I just read...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...ForumFatale's comments above. I like them, because the logical conclusion to them would be that no one could comment on films except the people who created them, and the only way we would know if they were good was if the people who made them told us they were. Uwe Boll would be Jacques Tournier! Watersports Anderson would be Val Lewton! Only poor Brett Ratner would still be a stiff.

  • July 20, 2006, 10:58 p.m. CST

    So forumfatale is a troll, then.

    by ByTor

    Citizen Kane is the same each time but you see something new each time in The Village? Holy Christ, that's the dumbest thing I've ever seen in a Talkback, and that's a pretty damned low bar to begin with.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:06 p.m. CST

    I'm not a shrink but ...

    by fenario80

    This all sounds pretty textbook: my ideas are so strong and so wonderful that they will change/save the world. If you reject me it is only because you are, sadly, too weak or just plain unenlightened to understand that I only want to do you good. If you reject me too harshly, my Father will smite you down (i.e., you will be shredded by wild shrubbery wolves). M. Night Shamalyan is STALKING us all, people! AND ALL HE NEEDS IS FOR US TO UNDERSTAND, DAMNIT! Me, I'm getting a restraining order and staying at least 100 yards away from any theater that's showing this movie. Great, and unreasonably fair, review. Funny that you invoked MJJ, the celebrity Shamalyan most resembled on The Daily Show the other night. He definitely NEEDS a fall; let's all hope he survives it makes some great movies. I loved the Sixth Sense, really like Unbreakable, and didn't understand how they let him ruin the seemingly-very-crafty The Village with that wacky ending. Oh, well. One man's opinion. As you attack me, btw, be fully aware that are obviously choosing to become M Night's scrunt, which is just a filthy-sounding thing to be. Kisses.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:12 p.m. CST

    I love you, Drew.

    by AnnoyYou

    This is one of your best critiques yet, and I hope to God you have a book deal to collect all the criticism you've written her over the years. And please don't beat yourself up over something that is this articulate, reasoned, and precisely on point, not to mention extremely clear-eyed about the vagaries of fame and ego. It was a pleasure to read. Better still, you've saved me ten bucks -- I'll wait for this to show up on cable.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Harlan Ellison, eh?

    by Zeke25:17

    Hey, Drew McWeeny can write a review all right; and he's a more than fair screenwriter as well...but comparing his work to Ellison seems as off base to me as slamming Shyamalan because he didn't make the movie YOU wanted to see: he made the one HE wanted to see. Oh, and apparently he offended us all by daring to have an ego (which no one seems to mind in professional athletes), so much so that he DARED to tell some clueless suit to stick it up her not-feeling-it-dont-get-it ass, and then went off and did what he wanted to do! Why is it that so many seem to be siding with the fucking DISNEY EXECS on this? Since when did we, the moviegoing public, become such supporters of those who generally do their best to suffocate writers and boil everything down to the lowest possible fucking common denominator? Shit like "Little Man" gets made (WHY?) and people queue up to see it, so I find it kinda hard to believe that we're all such masters of good story construction that we can hold our collective noses over Lady in the Water. Let's see: Shyamalan gets pissed at Disney; takes the film to Warner, makes the movie he wanted to make. Nothing wrong there, so far as I can see; in fact, it sounds like something ELLISON would do if HE were making a movie and dealing with some pissy executive who could barely get through the latest Grisham novel without hurting his head. The other suuposedly grevious sin here is that Shyamalan cast himself in the part of the writer. So the hell what? Do you want Brad Pitt in there? Is the guy on fucking magazine covers at every checkstand in every store, like certain other "personalities" that we really shouldn't give a shit about even though we do anyway? If it weren't for the internet, most people wouldn't know what the hell he looked like in the first place....Look, I've barely scratched the surface here; and truth be told, I haven't even seen the film yet. I'm not prepared to say it's either the best or worst I've seen this summer, this year, or my life long. I suspect, however, that I will like it as much as I liked Unbreakable, and probably more than I liked The Village (which I confess mostly had to do with Bryce Dallas Howard, River Phoenix, and the musical score). And maybe I'll think Night dropped the far as I'm concerned. But if I learned one thing a hundred years ago, when I wrote stories on a regular basis in college and we had these laughable "discussions" about who did what wrong in their's that ultimately, you write for yourself. Of course, you want to touch and move other people; but you do it in the way YOU believe to me most effective. Again, of course, nobody wants to write a story that only they themselves will read or see--but all any creator can do is give you his/her impression of an idea that THEY had in the way that is MOST true to themeselves, whether they write, paint, sculpt, direct, whatever. No, I've never met the man; who knows, maybe I wouldn't like him. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with the work; I'm sure Ellison has a hundred enemies for every ten friends. And guess what: he doesn't give a shit. Neither does Shyamalan. That attitude, along with creativity that goes beyond the pablum that drives box office numbers, is what seems to me to be under the gun here. Or hell: maybe it's just because he's a little brown man, and we all know that he's not really One of Us, right?

  • July 20, 2006, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Mori, about the "stereotypes" in Lady...

    by moto

    That was the whole point of those characters. The whole movie is about storytelling... fairytales, etc. Stories/fairytales have stereotypical characters that serve their purpose. That was the whole point. You should have seen that as a screenwriter. But hey, you didn't like the flick. At least you have a better argument than most here who are so quick to toss aside M. Night's talents. I'm no M. Night follower or anything, but his movies are great escapism that launch you into a whole new world. And the people here at AICN will continue to love you because you write a negative review on a popular film (not ripping on you here... this is towards talkbackers). At least you aren't so black and white like everyone else here.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:30 p.m. CST


    by scratcher

    Come off it with the racism claims. We just want good movies, and M. Night aint't bringing 'em. We don't mind ego if it's backed up. A good review of the film in the NYTimes tomorrow by Manohla Dargis, with this excellent summary: "Mr. Shyamalan isn

  • July 20, 2006, 11:35 p.m. CST


    by Red Ned Lynch

    You're posting at a place where John Woo, Takashi Miike and Stephen Chow are considered dieties by the majority of visitors. And you pull the "little brown man" card? And someone who has had to make a fair portion of his living writing, I can tell you something, too. Most people who write do write for themselves, but any writer who wants to have the luxury of doing it for a living keeps his eye on the markets. Harlan sure as hell does.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:47 p.m. CST

    I mean he reminded me of Michael Jackson

    by fenario80

    in his stiffness, and in the vacant, vaguely-sneering look in his overly-lined eyes, and the overall overuse of make-up. Come to think of it, Bob Dylan himself went through a lot of little bottles of mascara during the drug-drenched early 70's. Hurm ...

  • July 20, 2006, 11:53 p.m. CST

    On the Martyrdom Front ...

    by fenario80

    I think we can all agree that M. Night has rather brilliantly staged his own crucifixion. Wow.

  • July 20, 2006, 11:56 p.m. CST


    by thatpeterguy

    Only a true auteur could ever screw things up as much as it sounds like he did with this thing and still stay in the minds of the viewer for days after. Look at Brian Depalma and Bonfire of the Vanities. Not just anyone can screw up on that scale. It takes a special kind of talent to go out that big. Lesser directors make inconsequential sequels like X-Men:Last Stand. And who cares if he is an egocentric asshole. Do you guys really care that he uses his big voice with his producers and maybe doesn't acknowledge his fellow filmmaker's ideas. Kubrick was the king of egocentric assholes and he is considered a genius. I suspect that is where M. Night will be headed before it is all said and done.

  • July 21, 2006, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Other reviewers should take lessons from Mori.

    by Snowden's Secret

    I love the way he frames himself and his judgement. He makes it very clear what he thought of each of Night's films so I can judge whether his tastes might be similar to my own. I totally agree with Mori re: Unbreakable and Sixth Sense. Unbreakable resonated with original ideas and took comic book paradigms and placed them into the real world. Lateley, though, he's like a great horse with no rider. He's running crazy without any clear, over-arching structure to his ideas. He needs to be challenged and told when he's not making sense - everyone needs that.

  • July 21, 2006, 12:13 a.m. CST


    by scratcher

    Welles was bad enough, but please don't drag Kubrick into it. Sure, sure, M. Night is happy that we're all talking about him, but I'm not giving him my money. I'll wait for Netflix. Go see Monster House instead (in digital 3D if you can), that's what the rest of America will be doing.

  • July 21, 2006, 12:14 a.m. CST

    Hate to say it, because I was so curious about

    by superninja

    the premise at first, but Moriarty sounds right. The more I read and see about this film, the more it seems flat-out annoying. Night takes the idea that he is precious waaay too seriously. Michael Jackson comparison creepily apt.

  • July 21, 2006, 12:42 a.m. CST


    by comedian_x

    If you have read any interviews with Kubrick (like the 1980's Rolling Stone interview) you would see he is nowhere NEAR an egocentric asshole. Also, he chose he stay OUT of the media spotlight; unlike Manoj

  • July 21, 2006, 12:53 a.m. CST

    It'll be interesting to read Stephen King's analysis

    by TJ50

    Excellent analysis Mori. It'll be interesting to read Ms DuPont's review and also author Stephen King's analysis of both the LITW film and of Shyamalan in a week or two (in his regular Entertainment Weekly magazine column), in terms of whether he likes it, or thinks it totally sucks and wasted a good concept, plus what he would've done with the film's story concept, if he had written it.

  • July 21, 2006, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Fuck You Night. You're A Scumbag Plagiarist Egomaniac

    by Bari Umenema

    Night needs to be prison raped. He stole the entire story of The Village from a book published much earlier everything in Village was lifted by Night from this book do a Google search if you don't believe me. He's the emperor without any clothes and he should be sent to prison for the rest of his life to be butt fucked every night by a 400 pound monster named Bubba. You disgust me Shamalangadingdong and by the way gang I was the very first poster on the web to coin the name Shamalangadingdong for this shithead. He has zero talent left. He was overrated from the start and he should be sent to San Quentin immediately for 75 years.

  • July 21, 2006, 1:46 a.m. CST


    by Crash Crator

    "Based on the mail I get about him, you

  • July 21, 2006, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Cigarette Burns' Father

    by Crash Crator

    *****Star Wars inspired Mori to become a writer. How do you go from Star Wars to writing horror scripts? I'll never know.

  • July 21, 2006, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Bari, don't be silly.

    by FluffyUnbound

    The whole problem with The Village is that it was derivative of about a billion works of hidden-environment science fiction. It's one of the most played-out tropes in the genre. To point to one book and say, "This movie is ripped off from this source!" is silly, because both the movie AND the book are "ripped off" from a huge swath of similar stories. Maybe there's an Ur-Village out there somewhere, but you'd probably have to go back to at least the 30's to find it. And Mori, did you seriously just right in a review that ET had a low-key marketing campaign? Then how come I can remember reading Time Magazine articles about every aspect of the film and its special effects [including how they made ET's voice] months before it came out? How come there was ET merchandise falling from the sky everywhere you looked? ET had about as low-key a marketing campaign as Return of the Jedi did.

  • July 21, 2006, 2:09 a.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... I think your chronology is off. There were no photos of ET pre-release, and no discussion of how he was created, either. The articles and the merchandising you're talking about came after the film's phenomenal success was well underway. The entire hook to the E.T. campaign was secrecy and keeping everything quiet until it hit theaters.

  • July 21, 2006, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Sheesh Moriarty...get a grip dude!

    by Photoman

    For one, that was on of the longest reviews I've ever read go on and on and on and on...THEN you turn around and post 9 follow up messages so far trying to explain your position. You write a fricken novel of a review THEN you have to post 9 more times to clarify what you mean? Pull it together man! This movie must have really zapped your brain because you can't seem to let it go.

  • July 21, 2006, 2:39 a.m. CST

    I'm in Clerks 2 Bitches !!!!!!!

    by Darth Evil Dead

    Well not physically...But my name Darth Evil Dead is in the credits. Kevin Smith rewarded his Myspace Friends (Tell me that does not sound gay), by putting them in the credits of the movie. After the official credits roll. The View Askew Logo comes up..Then the fan credits roll...And they roll faster then my Mom rolling a dubie. Anyways double D..all the way on the right ... There it was "Darth Evil Dead". Awesome... Saw the film at 12 AM last night.. With a bunch of rowdy motherfuckers that laughed at every punchline. If this movie played to a regular PC audience..I dont think it will get as many laughs as this audience gave.. It was a Kevin Smith audience. And we loved it!! Whats a Kevin Smith audience... Well its middle age dudes.. That probably live with their moms, think everything sucks, and just talk about sex and pussy all fucking day long!!! Yep..and what the hell is wrong with that? Well all for the living with the mom thing. Clerks 2 is that movie, that tells people.. Its time to fucking grow up loser !!! Yeah its fun to be a kid. Fuck around and shit with your friends. But one day, its time to become an adult. You have to grab life by the horns and become a grown up. Not everyone can walk around this world and be K-fed or Paris Hilton and do nothing !!.. You got to accept some responsibility one day. We all have to. Sure I want to fuck around, watch movies, talk shit, and play sports and videogames all the time. But I looked down the tube of a gun one time.. And had to decided. Do I want my life to be like this forever. And amount to nothing. Or choose a direction to greatness, and try to leave a mark on this rotating rock. Thats the point I got from Clerks 2. But besides that BS.. We get discussions of Porch Monkey's, Star Wars vs The Rings Trilogy, Pussy, and Animal Love. Kevin even pokes fun of his own movies a couple of times in this movie. And had a dance sequence right out of The Blues Brothers. Also alot of Ro Dawson's boobies bouncing up and down. Ofcourse Jay and Silent Bob Returns, and they do not disapoint. Jay has a Silence of the Lambs moment that made the audience shreek in Horror..That was amazing. All and all this is a great fun film.. Its a Kevin Smith film. If you dont get Kevin's humor, and talking about Pussy, Queers, Blow Jobs, and Cunts for an hour and a half. Then you might not like this movie. But if your a fan like me...You will love it. Make sure you watch the credits..If you joined Mobbies on Myspace your name will be there. Also there are some funny movie facts about the cast written by Kevin. And of course it states in the end..That Jay and Silent Bob might Return in the future (a 007 tribute). And for all us fans..we hope its real soon. Again see my movie trailer at EvIL

  • July 21, 2006, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Terrific review, Mori

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Well-written. Nice. I am no M Night hater, either, but I hated, hated, hated The Village. A critic friend of mine who was at that screening told me the same story about the loud boos and the man who said, "You're goddamned right." He even said Leonard Maltin had some choice words after the screening. Interesting.

  • July 21, 2006, 3:17 a.m. CST


    by SG7

    ...but dude, you guys need to lighten up on the preamble epics on your reviews. At least you didn't work in some sort of digusting fat man sex analogy in there. I really appreciate that.

  • July 21, 2006, 4:18 a.m. CST

    Comedian x

    by thatpeterguy

    I'm no film historian or anything but I do know Kubrick made everybody do one take in The Shining an infamous 160 times and that most who worked with him swore to never do it again. I think that would qualify him for being an egocentric asshole. But it worked for him so what can I say. The Shining was a great film.

  • July 21, 2006, 4:45 a.m. CST


    by SAVOIR_faire

    "Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions." - Albert Einstein

  • July 21, 2006, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Haters and Pretenders

    by AyebKraken

    I will bet a Narf and a Scrunt that pretty much all of you so-called haters know you will go and see this movie and like it.

  • July 21, 2006, 6:31 a.m. CST


    by scratcher

    Nicole Kidman sure didn't feel that way about Kubrick, and Peter Sellars was a repeat customer. The outrageous amount of takes were part of his strategy to get actors to stop consciously "acting." You might not like his results or approach, but that in itself is no evidence of egotism. That being said, I can't believe that there are many directors out there who aren't egotistical, complaining about that is like complaining that they're directors.

  • July 21, 2006, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Red Ned and Scratcher

    by Zeke25:17

    The guys you mentioned are all little YELLOW men. :) Appreciate the response, seriously; but it's interestin' that my last line in the post, which was certainly not meant as a serious "racism" indictment, is what prompted two of ya to write. What I should have written was something like "Or maybe he's just a dick"...which of course everyone would have taken seriously as well, though it would clearly have been meant to crack a smile after all that preceded it. So, we all want good stories, eh? Then explain Click to me. Explain Little Man. Explain You, Me, and Fucking Dupree! How is it no one works themselves into a frothy rage over that shit? Is is because the directors are nice, quiet, and polite; and always respectful of Them Who Runs the Studios? Or is it because so many of us would just prefer to accept crap as good entertainment?

  • July 21, 2006, 8:38 a.m. CST

    by DonkeyBalls

    It's hilarious watching Mori deride M. Night (who I think has never made a good movie) for making himself too front and center in a review in which Mori makes himself front and center. It's fifty fucking pages of what little Drew thinks, and it is only that long because he shat all of his opinions out and then was too proud of them to do any editing. I'm sure Lady in the Water sucks -- M. Nighht made it -- but Moriarty is a complete fucking twat if he thinks no one can see that there is a lot of jealousy here. Drew wishes that the talk of this generation's Spielberg was about him. He wishes he were the one with creative control, final cut, etc. Instead, M. Night is getting Oscar nominations an dmoney, while Drew does episodes of shitstick TV shows no one is ever going to see. It's one thing to review a shit movie, and even to dedicate a paragraph to some background info on the filmmakeer. But writing a fucking diatribe like that, and then daring to call the filmmaker too self-obsessed and egomaniacal, has got to be the height of irony. You should have just reviewed the fucking movie, Mori, because in the end you exposed a whole hell of a lot more about you and your own ego than you did about Shyamalan's.

  • July 21, 2006, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Mori's M Night reviews always anger me.

    by Samuel Steamer

    Not because I don't like you you Mori. In fact you are one of my fav reviewers around. You rank at #3. Behind the filmspotting podcast guys ( They are truely fantastic in the reviews they provide. But I started reading and kept reading....then I decided to peak at the length of this review. No thanks. I gathered you didn't like it and stopped. No review should be that long buddy. And for the record, you did not like THE VILLAGE. I know this because you practically called M Night a racist. We exchanged emails about that. I have no real intrest to see this movie because it looks a bit lame but I'll probably go see it because my wife wants to.

  • July 21, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Eat this haters!!!!

    by PwnedByStallone

  • July 21, 2006, 10:33 a.m. CST

    WOW. Amazing review, mori.

    by minderbinder

    And I say make it as long as you want if it's that thoughtful. I completely argree that having complete control is the worst thing that could happen to MNS. The guy has some serious talent, but he's ruining his movies more and more with his insane self indulgence. He can probably make some great movies if he worked with a producer who had an iron fist and was forced to make revisions. I know that sounds horrible, but on his own, it seems like his movies will just get more and more out of control. If I was a studio, I also wouldn't sign him to a deal unless it included a gag order that limited his ridiculous self promotion. It will be interesting to see where his career goes. I'm guessing this doesn't do well, and as his movies increasingly flop, studios refuse to let him make movies with no strings attached. And when that happens, it will be interesting if he takes the strings or completely stops making movies because nobod will let him do it with a blank check and his won terms.

  • July 21, 2006, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Bari is like that Steven Spielberg stalker guy...

    by wash

    ...that wanted to break into his house and rape him. Creepy. Relax people, they're just movies.

  • July 21, 2006, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Hey this if you got a sec

    by Knightsong

    Here's me two cents. I applaude you for your honesty. It doesn't matter that it's not popular or what someone else wanted to hear. You're the only reviewer on Ain't It Cool I feel gives an honest opinion of the film. I generally read all the reviews posted and I'd have to say 9 outta 10 times I agree with you. Don't comprimise how you feel because it isn't popular; what good is it being a critic if your opinion is not your own?

  • July 21, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Who pays $14 per ticket and parking for a movie?

    by Sith Witch

    The theatres around here only charge $7.50 for an evening show, and the thought of paid parking isn't even a conception in the back of our minds. I hope they pay well in California.

  • July 21, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by hollywoodsummers

    No I'm not gay, and I don't want to suck your dick, but you are the only reason I still visit this studio kiss ass site! Please continue to write from the gut and if you get any pressure from that fat fuck who thinks he runs this thing then PLEASE JUST LEAVE AND START YOUR OWN SITE!!! You know you would take more than half the readers Harry gets here and you would deserve them all. And by the way, I've personaly thought M. Night was a hack from the start... nothing but Hitchcock/Spielberg rip with plot holes the size of Texas. Fuck him and the magic carpet he road in on (and i'm not racist, but thought that was funny).

  • July 21, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST


    by Ghosts

    ....and since there was some pedantic idiot who earlier mentioned that 'the entire talkback community was against forumfatale' I just wish to include my support for Forumfatale, who seems to speak from a logical and truthful viewpoint. I cannot believe the anger, venom and bile that most of the people here have for night, judging from the personal comments you have made about him, it would seem that he broke into your house, raped your sister and pissed over your parents. I mean, you have a right not to like the man's works, but don't you see the strand of posts here tend to indicate an idiotic and repulsive group-pack mentality, with ignorance as it's leading star. I agree with Forumfatale's comments about the nature of critisism from the comfort of your armchairs....inventing crude terms to shoot people down and pour shit over night, because that's all you can really do. Heard that famous saying? Anyone can critizise, how about coming up with some soloutions? Well, that's how I feel about all the armchair blog-terrorists in this 'virtual room' you all act like a group of bitter schooldchildren, to pre-empt the fact that you are probably not even 5% as constructive or creative as Night is. Before ripping into him, why not go and attempt to make your own film? As a director myself, I assure you that YOU WILL have a new found respect for his films (which are still a million times better than most hollywood efforts) that's not a thought, it's a fact....people dig Night because he takes people to different worlds, and the length of this talkback and all the others on Night is proof that HE STIRS DEBATE LIKE NO-ONE. He's an artist, and one that is trying to do something different with the rules of storytelling, instead of dissing him before you have even seen it, why not encourage imagination and rebelious difference, he's trying to do something new.....he does not make what you simply want him to make!

  • July 21, 2006, 12:45 p.m. CST


    by Ghosts

    One Example that I can think of to support my argument that Artists do not simply 'create' what consumers ask of them is the NINTENDO WII. It's the most original thing out there, and yet if most fans had been asked what they wanted from a Nintendo Controller, they probably would have cited a slight variation on the N64/Gamecube pad....and we would have ended up with a crappy ps3/360 pad instead of the incredible Wii remote. Give Artists the room to breathe and create their own shit, Van Goth was never dictated to........

  • July 21, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Night Advertising


    I'm not the biggest Night fan out there but if your name sells a film, I have absolutely no problem seeing an M. Night Shyamalan film all over the place... Not many directors can put their name at the top of the title and get the same results..

  • July 21, 2006, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Bitter...are we?

    by KabutoKoji

    Moriarty, Moriarty, Moriarty. Easy there, put it down. You are just reviewing a movie here. The director didn't insult a member of your family. A lot of the things you wrote about Shyamalan you know them because you know insiders in the industry, and they have told you personal, inside stuff about him. See, that right there is crossing a professional line, and is highly unethical. For years professional writers have known inside stuff about politicians, sports figures, singers, etc. But the way it works is you show integrity, and write about the person's work, and you keep the rest to yourself. You employed as much personal attacks here against the director, as you did against the film and its contents. As an honest and responsible journalist, you critique the film, not the directors personality, or his shortcomings as a person. This is a site for movie reviews and such, it's not the E! True Hollywood Story. You wrote that the way M. Night wrote the story, and some of the plot points he used, that that made him seem like an egomaniac, and very arrogant. Well, the way you wrote the review makes you seem extremely jealous, and envious of Shyamalan. I have read your articles on this site for years, and the way you write have always shown me that you also have a massive ego, and that you think what you write smells better than everybody else's shit. It's always about you, all the time, and you think you always do it in such a clever and subtle manner that no one notices, but you are severely wrong about that from the get go. You are not nearly as good as that. To push yourself front and center, and make it all about you through your writing, and have very few people notice that you did that, you have to be talented. Case in point, and you said it yourself, Shyamalan. Only like 15% of the movie going public out there gets and knows he does that. The rest, like you said, are fascinated by his work and fall for it everytime, and don't even see, or think, or understand how he makes himself the center of attention. So, you see, the point of you been jealous of his success comes into better focus after that review. Remember how you wrote:Story is looking for a writer. I'll write a clever one about your review then: Wannabe writer attacks talented Writer/ Director for making it to the place where he can't quite make it. Got it, bad movie. But, as such, only a movie. Critique that. Let's not make it personal.

  • July 21, 2006, 1:40 p.m. CST

    For years professional writers have known...

    by Childe Roland

    ...inside stuff about politicians, sports figures, singers, etc. But the way it works is you show integrity, and write about the person's work, and you keep the rest to yourself." Um, what bizarre parallel universe do you live in where there are no tabloids, no E! TV, no nightly news broadcasts and no episodes of South Park? DO they even have satire where you are? When an artist makes him (or her)self the focus of attention rather than his or her work (in this case, probably rightly so, as the work apparently blows) all bets are off in terms of keeping a lid on said artist's weirdness or affectations. Sorry...that's just the way the world works. Shyamalan thought he had all of that figured out and could play it in his favor to generate an air of urgency and mystery for this movie (not unlike his BS documentary for The Village). He miscalculated. It backfired. Now he's become a joke. Sad, really, because I do think the guy had talent once.

  • July 21, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST

    MNS's egomaniac status is no secret.

    by minderbinder

    You don't have to be an insider to know about it. (what did mori write that isn't general knowledge? that could have only came from insider connections?) And most importantly, the man himself is most to blame for that reputation, he goes out of his way to shamelessly tell the world what a genius he is. Normally, I'd say the critique should be of the film and not the people who made it, but in this case the writer director PUT HIMSELF ONSCREEN, IN THE PLOT. And he cast himself as a genius writer whose works literaly save the world. The vast majority of reviews have mentioned how distracting it is and how you can't help but think of the real-life guy when you see it. It's silly to attack Mori for having some sort of personal bias when the other reviewers have been virtually unanimous with what he said.

  • July 21, 2006, 2:22 p.m. CST

    I heard that for M. Night's next movie...

    by ldm882

    ...he's going to license MASSIVE in order to play every role, including crowd scenes.

  • July 21, 2006, 2:33 p.m. CST

    one guy who shouldnt be reviewing here

    by ZO

    is mori. especially when he has deals at others companies and with other people. wheres the objectivity? what if he was paid by WB? would be savage this?

  • July 21, 2006, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Childe Rolan

    by KabutoKoji

    I'm sorry, Childe, I should have written IF YOU HAVE ANY INTEGRITY. Yeah there's tons of tabloids and E! television and what not out there, but I doubt those there have any integrity left, if they ever had any to begin with. Tha's my whole point. Is Moriarty tabloid? I don't consider this site that. Yeah, a lot of critics have written about Shyamalan placing himself in that matter in the film, but none felt as personal as Moriarty's article. Read them all again , then read Moriarty's again. One line, two maybe, fine you made your point. More than that and it smells like... well like this article smells. And, think about this, all those other critics are critics, and that's all. They are not Screenwriters/Hollywood player wannabes buying their time until they make it big. See where I'm coming from?

  • July 21, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Mori doesn't review movies from company he works for

    by minderbinder

    What's the problem with him reviewing other movies? Like he's going to pan every movie from a competitor or something? So are you OK with reviews running in magazines and newspapers owned by the same companies as studios?

  • July 21, 2006, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Koji, what did mori write that's "insider"?

    by minderbinder

    That the general public woudln't know about? He mentioned MNS interviews, the book, and the faux hoax TV promo for the villiage. All of which MNS was completely behind. It's ironic that you're trying to dismiss Mori's review as a personal making a personal attack yourself on Mori.

  • July 21, 2006, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Peter Cullen being considered for Transformers movie!!

    by Mechasheeva

    It was uttered at Hasbro's Transformers panel!!! And the reason? Fan support on message boards, apparently! Keep it comin'!!!

  • July 21, 2006, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Actually a good movie

    by timmer33

    I read Mori's review, along with others, then I saw the movie. I was pleasantly surprised. WAAAYYY better than THE VILLAGE. About equal to SIGNS, but not as good as SIXTH SENSE or UNBREAKABLE. LITW is like a fantasy movie that accidentally gets thrust into the real world. Paul G. is great, as are all the characters in it. Night is also believable as a struggling writer trying to find his direction in life. The supporting characters were all entertaining. The movie critic in particular was a nice touch ... the self referential bits reminded me of the Scream franchise. I was ready to be harsh on the concept and the story (the narfs, etc.) but it all worked surprisingly well and had a nice "signs-type" ending (re: people's places/meaning in life and the story). Just to let you know where I stand on things, I thought MI3 was good, Superman was great, and X3 and Pirates insulted the audience's intelligence. Go see the film then decide for yourself. I recommend it.

  • July 21, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST

    That news rules, Mechasheeva.

    by Childe Roland

    And it would be the smart thing to do...throwing the angriest fans a much needed bone and securing a guy for the part who understands the character. Here's hoping.

  • July 21, 2006, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Everyone makes a bad film

    by Giant Ape Balls

    I can't understand why so many people are standing up for Shayamalan quite so vigorously.

  • July 21, 2006, 5:28 p.m. CST

    I think I know...

    by rbatty024

    where M. Night Shyamalan's "genius" went to. I blame his recent downfall on a youth obsessed culture that was ready to crown the man Hollywood's genius after his first successful film. While most people should have call him a good film maker who may someday create his magnum opus, I think the media were ready for a "kid" genius. I don't know anyone who wouldn't have let that kind of praise go to their head. Therefore, instead of honing his storytelling skills he was ready to go out into the world and conquer the film industry. Shyamalan is undoubtably a talented film maker, and the reason many of us are citicising him is merely because we want him to fulfill the promise of the kid genius.

  • July 21, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST

    RE: Ithink I know...

    by Giant Ape Balls

    Nah, I don't buy it.Speilberg was the same and went on to prove his brilliance. The sad thing is this guy tuly believes he is the second coming. He needs to get a grip, he makes movies for Gods sake, he's not found the cure for cancer. Or even athletes foot for that matter.

  • July 21, 2006, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Love this film.

    by Billy_Oblivion

    I usually like Night's films a little better than most folks. Loved Unbreakable, liked 6th and Village a lot. Enjoyed the craftsmanship of Signs, but it really didn't click for me. Watching LITW put me in mind of the adorable hobbit kids in LOTR, listening to Bilbo's tale at the party. All wide eyes and held breath with total investment in the story. If you can't find that kid in yourself (or just don't want to), this movie probably won't work for you. If you like to hold yourself above it all and cultivate a world-weary cynical air, you might even take it as a direct attack. ... The "critic" sub-plot was a bit on the nose for my taste, but "on the nose" also means "accurate". At first I thought it could have been edited out with small loss, but I've come to think it is an integral part of the story. If the story is about where inspiration comes from, you should also talk about what kills inspiration. If you want to make the point that we are surrounded by amazing people whose virtues and depths go unplumbed day after day, you probably have to talk about the laughing jackasses who make us all armor ourselves with cynicism about our neighbors. If you want to have a character willing to die for his art, might as well mention the guy who thinks it's all stale self-indulgent nonsense. ... This film has a point and it's not at all subtle about it, but I don't have a problem with that. I like that it is straightforward. No twist ending, characters that say what they think, subtext buried about 1 millimeter deep. It's not what I want for every movie, but it worked fine for this one. Not much more than a charming diversion, but I found it a very charming diversion indeed. Very surprised and pleased to see this from MNS at this point in his career.

  • July 21, 2006, 7:28 p.m. CST


    by Billy_Oblivion

    Posted the above before reading the talkbacks. Very interesting thread. A film that critiques critics (on one level.) Then a critic who critiques said film's critique of critics. Then talkbackers critique critic's critique of film's critique of critics. Then other TBers crtiticize the ... but you get it and I got lost somewhere in the nested critiques. I wonder if MNS meant to start this exact conversation?

  • July 21, 2006, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Lady is Lovely

    by CyberVishnu

    This is the most daring and magical piece of film since "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind". You people are dead inside and you embarass me.

  • July 21, 2006, 8:45 p.m. CST

    You articulated my feelings exactly

    by rollergirl325

    Thank you for the right-on review/essay. I have defended Shyamalan's film before to the many people who wanted more from his 'twists' or wished too much for what the marketing campaigns promised instead of what the films actually were. With LADY IN THE WATER, I wanted to LOVE the film and went in with an open mind as usual. Unfortunately, everything you wrote summarizes the experience of this film. (And your knowledge of the details surrounding the director is very important in this case - and necessary to the review.) Did you also wish that at the end you would have been left with more of a "Wow" feeling? The music swells, he dedicates to his daughters, the eagle flies... I wish it had been SOMETHING. I loved the meaning and intention behind the film, but that is all that was there. Meaning, intention, ideas... and then nothing really grabs the audience strongly enough.

  • July 21, 2006, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Small men big egos

    by jogz

    The reviewer seems to be jealous that a man can make a commentary on a national stage....he's earned it...he passed the point where he a can thru hoops for the public and cater to their average tastes....M Night is making a commentary on the world thru a well told fairy stop acting like this film is at all academic material from the NY film school...stop analyzing, and enjoy the fairy tale , good acting , comedic moments, and morals that the story end up telling....and STOP getting into pissing matches with someone who obviously is in a position of more power and wisdom, as he is actually doing some good with the power he has. btw I'm not talking about superpowers, just the power to tell a story and create interesting films, with progressive and positive lessons to be learned. The reason why the world is so fucked is the fact that ppl think they are above the lessons and get their panties in a bundle when they feel as if they are being taught something for their own good.. peace

  • July 21, 2006, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Narfs are afraid of Scrunts, but Scrunts are afraid of

    by PurityOfEssence

    ...Tartutics. And all of this is important to know if the Great Eatlon..." So this movie is about Scientology?

  • July 22, 2006, midnight CST

    If you see this movie..Then your a queer Bitch !!

    by Darth Evil Dead

    I dont have any facts that my statement above is correct. But I will tell you this. M. Night. Shaaaalaaa is a fucking Hack !! He struck gold once...and we have been watching his turds since. This fucker thinks he is Hitch Cock for christ sakes !!! Fuck this bitch. A Bedtime story? They only Bedtime story I want to think about is me in a hot tub with 3 strippers. I open the paper today and what do I see? The review of this movie. And what did it get? ONE FUCKING STAR !!!! Ha hah aha ha!!! M. Night shahahahhahah!!! Your movie The Village...sucked..everyone with half a brain figured out the twist in the plot 20 min in. Signs??..Aliens with super tech and space ships take over a planet that is filled with 90% of their main weekness....MOTHERFUCKING H2O !!! Good job in writing that one Shit Brick!!! Your so brillient M. Night Shamahlitgh... Oh I bow down to your directing. Your acting is also so amazing !! How do you do it? Im watching your movies.. I see a bunch of white people on screen..Then all of a sudden this motherfucking Indian Hindu comes on the screen!! What the fuck is that? It just takes you out of the movie. This fucking Hindu Indian that cant Act is on the screen, and no one knows what the fuck is going on. FUCK YOU M NIGHT !! If any of you pussy cunts go see this movie instead of Clerks or Monster House..I hope a massive Cock hits you in your head and knocks you the fuck out !! Do not support this M. Night shaklklajkodfoaskjnfkasnvokansfnas's fucking Ego anymore. Let this shit hole of a bedtime story that is not scary..FUCKING FAIL!! So we can see less of this bitches movies !! Thanks for your time..Go see Clerks 2...

  • July 22, 2006, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Hey, thatpeterguy, get a dictionary.

    by ByTor

    Kubrick doing 160 takes of a scene didn't make him an egomaniacal asshole. It may mean he was a hyper-perfectionist micro-manager, but not an egomaniacal asshole. Quiz time: how many Kubrick movies featured Kubrick as an important character whose actions were going to change the world? And even M. Night's best work couldn't hold a candle to mediocre Kubrick. Gah.

  • July 22, 2006, 1:59 a.m. CST

    M Nite Shamalama Ding Dong!!!


    Thats what my indian buddy calls em. Seems I've heard that before(probably here). Anyway... From this day forward he shall be known amongst all bipedal hominids as M NITE SHAMALAMA DING DONG!

  • July 22, 2006, 1:59 a.m. CST

    RIP Jack Warden

    by Kung Fu Hustler

  • July 22, 2006, 2:19 a.m. CST

    It worked for me

    by kanain

    I saw this film on Thursday night (advance screening for CNN employees), and I enjoyed it. I've enjoyed, on one level or another, all of Night's films except for "Signs". I couldn't really get into that one. "The Village", however, is one of my favorite movies. I'm sure that statement will discredit my opinion for many people, but I don't care. I also don't really care about Night's ego, or if he fashions himself as a Dylan or a Jordon. All that matters to me, when viewing a film, is the "reality" of the film itself. To me, it's not Night up on the screen trying to sell himself as the writer who will change the world. That was Vick Ran up on the screen. He is the writer who will change the world of the film. (By the way, his writing isn't going to "alter the very fabric of [the film's] reality". It's going be the the foundation for great social change.) In my opinion, if you carry your baggage from the real world into the reality the film is portraying, you're doing the film and yourself a great disservice. You're not allowing yourself to exist within the film as you otherwise might have, and you're also not allowing the film to exist in and of itself. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie. It works for what it is: a fairy tale / bedtime story. It doesn't make you wrong if you don't like it. It doesn't make me right. It certainly doesn't make me a Shyamalan ball licker. I do think it's unfortunate, however, that people can't draw a line and let reality stay on one side while allowing the movie's reality to tell the story it's wanting to tell on the other. And never the twain shall meet.

  • July 22, 2006, 3:36 a.m. CST


    by Sakurai

    I don

  • July 22, 2006, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Better than the critics made out

    by AJD_1

    Just saw it and have to say that after reading the reviews for it I went in with low expectations but was pleasantly suprised by it. Very well directed and great performances, especially Giammati. The critics obviously took offence to one of the characters in particular but that's no excuse to trash the whole movie. And to those who say it isn't being realistic - it's a bloody fairytale. What did you expect? Most people came out of the theatre happy.

  • July 22, 2006, 7:38 a.m. CST


    by thatpeterguy

    I want you to listen cause there is going to be a pop quiz on this next Thursday. Making an entire cast and crew sit around for an entire day to film one take not one scene mind you one take, requires a huge ego because you are flexing your muscle on the set to do something that for all intents and purposes could have been handled differently and is unwarranted. Some say he did it to make the cast feel alienated and crazy like their characters should be but either way he is playing God instead of directing which is egomaniacal in my book. My other point was simply that M. Night is an asshole and so was Kubrick. That alone is not a good enough reason to say the guy is a shitty director. And by the way, I really respect Kubrick but I defy you to watch Barry Lyndon in one sit down without falling asleep. That guy made some tedious shit to go along with the great stuff. But I do appreaciate his ability to sneak topless women in nearly every film he ever made and still be called an artist. That is impressive.

  • July 22, 2006, 10:34 a.m. CST


    by LivesWithinLaws

    I have to laugh at you "film fans" who are thanking a single critic for saving you $10 and a wasted trip to the theater. Why don't you step away from the computer for a few hours and go judge for yourselves? You may love it or hate it, but at least you will have had your own experience. And if a movie ticket breaks your bank, you shouldn't be sitting here reading Aint It Cool News, you should be on Craigslist looking for a job.

  • July 22, 2006, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Won't Even do $20 Mil

    by DrKodos

    In and out of the theatres in two to three weeks, this won't even break $20 million this weekend now that word is out how silly and assinine it really is. Now maybe a new slot for someone with actual talent and vision will be opening up.

  • July 22, 2006, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the honesty. It's refreshing.

    by Doom II

    I wasn't going to see this anyhow. The Village (not that I've ever sat through it) is on cable a lot and it looks soooo fucking slow. I can't watch more than 15 minutes at time. M Night is a little self-obsessed and pompous for my taste and I do carry that baggage into his movies now. I have NO desire to ever see Lady In The Water.

  • July 22, 2006, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Roy L Fuchs

    by DrKodos

    Has gone to Miami Beach, dummy.

  • July 22, 2006, 12:42 p.m. CST

    This is by far...

    by nEo4EvEr

    The best movie I have seen in a awful summer of sequels.Support this movie or be doomed to sequel after dumb sequel..that's why people like night don't get movie's made..all you people complain about it and don't support it..oh my god that can't can't make a movie like this...were's all the crazy creatures? has to be like every other stupid studio people are hypocrites.....Well,you can have your boring superman movie or your slapstick we forgot how to funny but give us your $10.00 pirates of the caribbean.

  • July 22, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    yeah moviemack I take those odds.

    by McGsStepson

    monster house will barely make $25-30, if its lucky this weekend. and from now to september there is a damn cg movie coming out EVERY OTHER WEEK. CARS has done $225 and is on its way to $240 mil. this has nothing to do with the quality of the movies, just whether or not you are a MORON.

  • July 22, 2006, 3:17 p.m. CST

    OK, so maybe Moriarty is right.

    by FluffyUnbound

    It's a long time ago. I could indeed have the chronology wrong. **BEHOLD THE SPECTACLE OF A TALKBACKER CONCEDING THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR. BASK IN ITS UNLIKELIHOOD.**

  • July 24, 2006, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Lady pulls a bellyflop

    by Reverendz

    Not a good opening weekend. It'll probably just break even domestically and do ok internationally. It'll do better on video because all the peeps like me who felt burned by the village will check it out on netflix just out of curiosity.

  • July 24, 2006, 12:59 a.m. CST

    What was so wrong about The Village?

    by chien_sale

    I thought it was brilliant that there was three twists back-to-back. 1. The Monster is not a monster, it`s someone in costume; 2. But blind girl is still attacked from it and we`re scared for her even though it`s someone in costume. That`s what showed me what Night was capable off. Even though we know the monster is not real, we`re still scared for her. And that`s due to Night`s ability to command his field as filmaker like nobody else. 3. The Village doesn`t come from the past, it`s happening now.

  • July 30, 2006, 9:26 p.m. CST

    The Last Word...

    by SlappyMcNeal

    Narfs don't like Scrunts, because Narfs get fucked by Scrunts. But Scrunts also fuck Tartutics: Tartutics that just want to shit on everything. Narfs may think they can deal with Tartutics their way. But the only thing that can fuck an Tartutic is a Scrunt, with some balls. The problem with Scrunts is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate - and it takes a Narf to show them that. But sometimes, Narfs can be so full of shit that they become Tartutics themselves... because Narfs are an inch and half away from Tartutics. I don't know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don't let us fuck this Tartutic, we're going to have our Scrunts and Narfs all covered in shit!

  • July 31, 2006, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Man, Moriarty can sure talk out of his ass!

    by amerdale876

    I was directed to this review after a friend of mine who agrees with Moriarty read the review and saw the movie. While I do agree with the fact that the idea of Night-as-hero is lame, I think this story was very entertaining and highly imaginative. Now, I'm not going to say that Moriarty and his followers "just don't get it" because I think they truly do. The problem is that they dig and dig into looking into something from a director that falls short in their eyes. They look so deeply into certain aspects such as the blend of realism and fantasy or the killing of the movie critic that they are blinded as to what the movie actually is: a fairy tale bedtime story! After all, Night makes it quite clear in his usage of storytelling techniques (the mirror to only see the enemy, the band of eccentric characters that must unite, the character from another land that no ones listens to or believes in, etc.) that this movie is just that: fairy tale. I mean, no one's used those basics before (BTW, I'm being sarcastic, check out Snow White, Canterbury Tales, Peter Pan, etc.)! As for the comparison to Fisher King (which was also a good movie), Moriarty says that it doesn't seem like he would meet the characters of Lady as opposed to the characters in Fisher. Well, of course you would! I knowing a suicidal DJ is much more likely than knowing a body builder who only builds up one side of his body! And Night isn't expecting you to know these people! That's why he's introducing them to you. Night's wanting you to step into his world so he can take you on a ride. His story might be consisted of weird, ecclectic characters but, hey, that's never been done before has it, Moriarty? (Sarcasm again, check out Canterbury Tales, X-Men, Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, etc.) As for the killing of the critic, once again cynicism as taken the reins on this one. While Moriarty and others lead us to believe, they think that the killing of Bob Balaban's character is Night's way of saying, "Oh, if you don't like this part, then you just don't get it!" No, the way I look at it is Night's way of getting back at PAST efforts where critics have so negatively reacted to Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village. It's his way of saying that you can't pigeonhole me into one specific genre and I'm gonna try my hand at any story I want to, not what others expect from me. And there have certainly been such statements like that from other actors/directors such as Jim Carrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Smith, Phil Joanou. Look at Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob rant in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" when the two main characters witness the horrible comments/reviews of them and their characters. You know that that was Kevin's feedback to all the negative reviews of his past movies. But, no one ever made it a point to bring that up when the movie was released nor did they say, "Oh, Kevin's just added that scene to say that people who don't like it don't get it." As for previously mentioned actors/directors, take a long look at Bruce Almighty, The Majestic, Truman Show, Last Action Hero, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Chasing Amy, and Entropy. You'll see that they're all statements saying that these people don't want to be seen as merely one type of actor/director/artist. They want to make the movies they want to make. But that's all besides the point. The main effect here is that I believe Night has put out a great entertaining movie. Believe me, I'm not some peace-loving hippy nor am I some dreamy-eyed idealist. But I do think Lady is full of mythological motifs that have many philosophical truths. While I do think two heads are better than one in filmmaking, I still believe that Night is making great films that are highly imaginative for a new generation. And, in the end, isn't that a reason to go to the movies nowadays?

  • July 31, 2006, 9:41 a.m. CST


    by amerdale876

    Sounds like KabutoKoji, DreDiggity, Mr.Nelson, LLcruize2 and others are on to something. I'm not calling Moriarty a "hater." I just think he put way too much thought into this whole Night's-ways-of-filmmaking aspect into a movie where that should be the last thing on your mind. All in all, I liked the movie a lot and think most people will like it.

  • Aug. 18, 2006, 3:49 p.m. CST

    The most true to the fact review I've ever read.

    by brokentusk

    Mori, I know the movie has basically come and gone now, but here in South Africa it only just opened today and I went to check it out with some mates. I kid you not, I walked out spouting the EXACT same things that you talk about in this review. You're definitely the best reviewer on this site, at least for me. You seem to see things the same way I do (most of the time). I mean, I walked into this movie really wanting to like it, but walked out completely confused by what I just saw. This film was an absolute mess and I actually felt like M. Night had taken the script and slapped me in the face with it. He should have done THE LIFE OF PI instead of this ego-driven rubbish. Not good, not good at all.