Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lady in the Water

I'm a pretty big fan of M. Night Shyamalan. His movies are the only ones I look forward to with anticipation. In fact, he's the only director who can consistenly lure me into spending 10+ dollars to see in a first-run theatre anymore.

So of course I was at Lady in the Water on opening night, and while I can't say I was disappointed, I also have to admit it was the least of his films thus far. I didn't want to say so right away because sometimes you have to think about it a bit, but now I'm sure. It's not that it was bad. It was still better than most of the regurgitated drivel that comes out of hollywood these days. But it was no Village or Signs, that's for sure. (Those are my favs)

Now, let me qualify my comments by saying that I don't want to be one of those people who compares every M Night film to Sixth Sense and if it doesn't amaze them with a cliffhanger then it was a waste of time. But one has to admit that half the reason they to see a film is because of certain expectations. And when I see M Night's stuff I expect good directing, creative film-making, good characters, great sound, layers of meaning, and a compelling story.

This movie had all of that, except perhaps the latter.

My problem with the film I think mostly came down to not knowing how to watch it. Was this a Thriller? A thinker's drama? A horror? A comedy? A fantasy? A spoof? Truthfully I think it was all of those at once. If I had to pick one I'd say it was mostly a comedy. I laughed more than anything else. That's fine, but it took me 3/4 of the movie to figure that out. As a result I think I might enjoy the movie more the second time around.

It's not like they didn't try to warn me though. They billed it as a bedtime story. I just didn't realize they were serious. The description is dead on. As far as I know however, this is the first film of the genre, at least that's geared to adults. As a bedtime story this movie was great.

Think about it. It's a light hearted myth. It's sort of scary but like any good bedtime story it stops short of anything that will give nightmares. It's got weird characters. The plot doesn't have to be water tight. The telling of the story is more important than the story itself. And it has a main character who goes through a crisis of sorts and comes out all the better for it. Bang on. A bedtime story, and a great one at that.

But a great movie? I don't know. Maybe I'll just say it was good. What do you think?


Heidi said...

Thanks for commenting back to me Jon. I suppose it wasn't so much your comments but some of the others views on FOTF that bothered me a little bit. (I just didn't know where else to go to vent some of my frustration, your blog is the only one I know of.) I agree, FOTF does some great things, they also do some not great things, but then we all do that on this earth. It just didn't seem fair to totally condemn Dobson for that.
Our kids are really young too, so Rob and I are going through the same thing you are regarding what to expose or not expose them to.
By the way, we have met in person before, at the Hansens (Regina July 2002, and Selkirk June 2004), at Brian and Andrea's wedding, and I also know you and your family from Chilliwack Alliance way back when I was in Junior High, although I spent more time with David and the twins. (Alliance Land is such a small world hey?)

Anyways, thanks again, I am really enjoying your blogs. I have never seen any of M. Night's movies. Have never felt a desire to mainly because I get too tense during scary movies, end up with a headache, and his seem like they'd be scary. Though now I may see this one.
Hope your move goes smoothly.

Tony Tanti said...

How'd we get into FOTF after your Lady in the Water post? Sounds like a continuation of a past conversation. I think I know who Heidi is though. Hi Heidi.

As far as Lady in the Water goes, I like what you have to say here. I loved Lady in the Water. I guess I found the backstory of Mr. Heep compelling and as he was the main character it helped give a context for the rest of what was going on.

Your analysis is great though. This movie is a whole new genre and as usual with M. Night I don't think people know what to do with it. Even most of the critics I've read have missed the point I think.

You're right too about it being more funny than anything else, though there were a couple tense moments. Overall I loved it but wouldn't say it was my favorite M. Night movie. That still goes to Unbreakable for me.

The worst M. Night is still better than most of the crap Hollywood puts out these days, and this is not the worst M. Night. We'll have to rent it at Christmas and see what we think then.

Coutts said...

not the worst M. Night movie? then what is? and if you say the village then you still haven't seen it thru the right eyes and we'll have to watch it again, maybe a double header with Lady

The Hansens said...

Can I come too? 1. I haven't seen this one yet. 2. I enjoy M Night movies. 3. I miss hanging out with you guys.

PS It is interesting to see who comments on other peoples' pages.

Coutts said...

yes, you can come. we just need a date, and i suppose we should watch all the M. Night movies to make the trip worthwhile because someone is inevitably going to have to drive across the mountains.

Coutts said...

FOTF comments are a spill over from another site. its all good, i welcomed them. considering getting an email address set up for that blog so people have a place to go with their comments, arguments, fan mail, etc .......

Tony Tanti said...

M. Night marathon it is. I'll drive at least 10 hours for that.

Worst M. Night movie? Good question. Understand that I love them all so this is really more like my least favorite but I would choose... Sixth Sense. Maybe just because it's old and I've seen it so many times and all the people who say it was his only good movie annoy me.

I'll put them in order of greatness for further analysis and fun:

The Village
Lady in the Water
Sixth Sense
Stuart Little (yes he wrote it)

Coutts said...

I'm in general agreement. Haven't seen Stuart Little but now I will at my first opportunity. Here's my list:
The Village (love it. Puritan history folks, and the inevitable break down of legalism.)
Signs (fantastic all around. will emerge as my favourite after I've hyped the village enough)
Sixth Sense (c'mon it was great)
Lady in the Water (still better than anything else this year)

Heidi said...

Ha ha!
Hi to you too Dave.
And it is interesting isn't it Dwayne?
If you do set up an email for holy crap Jon I'd send lots of fan mail because I'm now a huge fan. ;) I must admit that it felt a little weird commenting on something unrelated to what you'd posted on here. Made me feel like even more of an internet voyeur than I am.