Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water

The worst film I have seen this year, hands down, is M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water In fact each of his films after a great start with The Sixth Sense was a little less accomplished than the previous one. The only good thing about the film is Paul Giamatti who is a great actor and does his best with the poor material he has to work with. Shyamalan needs to give up this whole "Writer-director-auteur-cameo filling player of all instruments in the band" thing and hire a decent writer. He has to put some distance between his own undisciplined vision and the final product. If he has minders and advisers he sure isn't listening to them. The dialogue is indulgent and stupid new age psychobabble crap (boy I really did hate it didn't I?) It's a bedtime story he made up for his kids and on that level maybe it works but if I'm going to shell out my hard earned dollar (OK the Boy Wonder paid on this occasion but you get the point) I want a better story than "a water person came to the earth people to save the world but the big bad wolves with grass for fur ("scrunts" - almost a very bad word indeed) tried to kill her so all the people in the apartment got together to save her, then the big eagle came swooping down from the sky and the earth and water people could now live in harmony again. " Puh-lease! When he is told this mythical story the main character shows no incredulity at all, buys the whole scenario and when he passes the story on to everybody else in the building they show a similar and totally unrealistic propensity to just accept the whole far-fetched story without question. OK all fantasy films are far-fetched - no problem there, but there need to be real world characters who find the fantastic elements of the story at least somewhat difficult to believe, in order to provide a sense of authenticity to the narrative. In previous films the director has written himself into relatively unobtrusive cameos. This time he has a major role - no less than a misunderstood writer who will write a book that others will read which will change the course of human destiny. Such humility! And he's not even a very good actor. I have enjoyed all of his films until now. For awhile I thought maybe he could have been this generation's Hitchcock but now the wheels have fallen off all of that. Ironically, he takes himself far too seriously to be considered seriously any more. And what's with those monkey things that turn up at the end to chase the scrunt away? Simian versions of the lupine scrunt they look like something the intern cooked up playing around with the digital software when everybody was out of the studio getting krispy kremes. Okay I'm finishing this post before I lose my last trace of composure.

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Ross said...

Thanks for the warning, Glen. As a general rule, I usually avoid watching bad movies, but sometimes it can be fun. Battlefield Earth (2000) is one of the most unintentionally funny movies I've ever seen.

Ludicrousity said...

I thought it looked pretty bad. Can't say I have any desire to see it.


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