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weather: sunny
outside: 18°C
mood: mmm...
music: Luciano Pavarotti - Aprile
M. Night Shyamalan needs to be locked in a children's daycare centre for a week with about 100 kids. He just doesn't write kids well at all. Seriously, he needs to take some Developmental Psychology courses and spend some time observing and interacting with real children. Every child protagonist in the main cast of his stories is a creepy little sedate sociopath with severe flat affect and an all-powerful, supernatural sense of perception.

And he has Joaquin Phoenix saying, "CHILDREN! Get out of the way!" at the TV. In a panic, North Americans will NOT say "children"; they say "kids".

Yes, I agree that the water thing was stupid. Hello? Planet of mostly water. Ugly bags of mostly water.

I saw Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs, in that order. Sixth Sense was neat in that it caught you off guard. Unbreakable wasn't as impressive, but it was still very interesting. Stuart Little doesn't count because it was an adaptation of E.B. White.

Signs was just all over the place.

[All My Movies]


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 1st, 2003 03:28 pm (UTC)
I saw Sixth Sense - and loved it...but I haven't seen any of his other ones. We actually have them on DVD...it just hasn't been a priority.
Whoever did the Ring had a problem with the whole kid thing too. At least the Sixth Sense kid had an excuse for being creepy....that kid was just...odd. Inexplicably odd.
Sep. 1st, 2003 07:10 pm (UTC)
I liked Sixth Sense except someone spoiled the ending for me before I saw it >_<. Signs scared the crap out of me only because I am horribly jumpy hehe :)
Sep. 1st, 2003 10:27 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed Unbreakable the most, probably, but it helped that I'm a big comic book fan. I've also only seen it once, so it's very possible it'd suffer in a rewatching.

I had no idea he did the screenplay for Stuart Little. I didn't like the movie, if it makes a difference. The kids did, though.

I thought Signs was very overrated, personally.

Finally, I wish - I really wish - that he'd stop doing cameos in his own movies. He sucks as an actor. It's not ok when Quentin Tarantino does it, and it's certainly not ok with MNS does it either. Bastards.
Sep. 1st, 2003 10:42 pm (UTC)
Since you got me thinking about it, I'm going to keep babbling.

I think the biggest weakness of MNS is that he is becoming increasingly obsessed with the "trick ending". I get the impression that he thinks of a clever concept for a trick ending and then forces the entire screenplay to fit that, even if it would've worked better by dropping it or changing it. His films are very clever, but they lack heart - or at least the ones I've seen do.

I saw Signs in a pre-screening preview a few weeks before it opened, so the hype wasn't that big yet, and I could watch it without any clue of what it was about, other than the name/logo. I found it very disappointing. Sitting in that theater, I watched him pushing everyones' buttons - I could actually picture him rubbing his hands with glee, deciding which emotion to hit next. "Oooh, fear!" *presses button* "Ok, now sadness!" *presses button*

It all felt very arbitrary and technically oriented to me - like some film school student who is discovering how by writing a few choice bits of dialogue and doing a few things you can evoke an emotion in the audience - and then spending an entire movie doing it over and over again with various emotions to see how much he can get out of the audience. It feels almost manipulative, in that way. A good drama moves you not because the writer and director are specifically thinking "Hmm, what can I do next that will most tug at peoples' heart-strings?", but because they're putting some of themselves into it and because they're letting the audience share in some of the emotion they're feeling as well. That's what makes art - of any sort - so special, and so powerful. That's why creating art is so draining. You leave some of yourself in every piece, and the audience takes some of it with them. When you touch them with a piece it's because YOU are touching THEM - not because you're artificially manipulating them into feeling some arbitrary emotion.

Anyways. I think MNS has a lot of technical ability, his technique is nearly flawless, but I think he's got to learn how to either put more of himself into his films, and make them more genuine, or to try to stop making them these overly emotional, melodramatic pieces and just focus on having fun. I think he could be successful following either path, but right now, he's making these empty films that are fun to watch but leave you feeling terribly unsatisfied afterwards. Or that's how they make me feel, anyways.
Sep. 3rd, 2003 01:55 am (UTC)
i really like signs
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


The Bride of the First House

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