Thursday, June 12, 2008

Early reviews of "The Happening" are in, and they are not good

M. Night Shyamala-ding-dong has a new film "The Happening" and he appears to have done it again. As many of you know, I have not liked ANY of his movies, including the highly overrated "The Sixth Sense". His films are stagnant, predictable, overwrought and worst of all, boring. His dialogue is so stilted, predictable and trite, it makes George Lucas cringe. Don't believe me? Check out this little literary nugget from "The Village":
"You wonder how I recognize you? Some people - just a handful, mind you - give off the tiniest color. It's faint. Like a haze. It's the only thing I ever see in the darkness. Papa has it, too. Do you wonder what your color is? Well, that I won't tell you. It's not ladylike to speak of such things. You shouldn't even have asked."

The early reviews for "The Happening" are coming out, and it's so nice to see that people are finally realizing there is not a wizard behind the curtain. Ever since I saw "The Sixth Sense" in the theater and realized two minutes into the film that Bruce Willis was dead, I have been trying to tell people that the Emperor had no clothes. My very good friend Macotar (Check out his great blog here) has tried for years to justify "Unbreakable" as a misunderstood super hero film, but I still don't like it. Between giving Samuel L. Jackson the worst haircut in recent cinema history (and yes, I include Javier Bardem from "No Country for Old Men" on that list) and dialogue like "Go to a place where people are... you won't have to wait very long." I can't agree that M. Night is just a misunderstood genius.

The marketing for "The Happening" is completely based around the fact that it is rated R. It's basically saying "You kinda liked some of his other movies, and this one is rated R. The other films were PG-13, but this one is R, so that means it's even better!" It's trying to be like Aliens vs. Predator Requiem with the red "R" prominent in the trailers and posters. The rating is the only marketing tool they have. All the other marketing is photos of people staring off into space.

Here are some of the early reviews. Enjoy!

"It doesn't work. In fact, excluding a few moments of chilling
effectiveness, this could fairly be called his worst film yet. Even his usual saving grace of keen directorial acumen for the first time visibly loses cohesion on screen, ultimately yielding a film that would've been considered one of the year's most notable disappointments had there actually been any moderately-sized anticipation for it. Instead we get a few action set pieces with our characters ridiculously trying to out run gusts of wind, wind with an astonishingly slow pace, flat front, and inability to blow through the many cracks and holes of houses in a state of disrepair." and "...Everyone winds up in the Pennsylvania countryside. The science teacher decides, on the basis of absolutely no evidence, that the toxins are generated by plants and trees and are airborne, so every breath of air, every flutter of tall grass or rush of wind causes hearts to stop. Even Elliot's mood ring -- yes, he has a mood ring -- is going bananas."

From the Hollywood Reporter
"But the movie's own logic and logistics are never clear. If the toxins are in the wind, where is everyone rushing to?
Why aren't our heroes taking shelter in airless buildings
or breaking into pharmacies for an antidote to suicidal tendencies? We're told that the toxins attack people in large groups, but then an old kook (played with an odd stridency by stage and screen veteran Betty Buckley) kills herself with no one around. The ecological idea of Planet Earth striking back at humankind might bring a smile to Al Gore, but in terms of cinematic intrigue and nail-biting tension, it's just not happening."

From NewsBlaze
"...he may have reached a point where the yawner of a toxic mystery might simply lie in unintentionally boring people to death." and "Walking though someone else's worst nightmares, M. Night's for instance, can be the most potent terror tactic imaginable in a movie. But hey, let's keep the focus on making the characters miserable, not the audience."
"The Happening is at its most ridiculous when Mark Wahlberg's logic-driven science teacher, Elliot, starts talking to a pot plant in a bid to negate a potential attack of poisonous toxins. Never mind that the plant is plastic or that it sits in one of the rooms of a model home in the middle of nowhere. This is the world according to M. Night Shyamalan and nature is the villain in his latest sci-fi thriller. It seems the idea came to him as he drove across the new Jersey countryside, but sadly for Mr Shyamalan, the ideas that have been coming to him since his brilliant first hit The Sixth Sense are progressively worthy of less merit and more deserving of ridicule."

From Entertainment Weekly:
"Supposedly, the cause of the catastrophe is unknown — it might be the work of terrorists, a virus, a toxin in the air, or the legacy of nuclear malfeasance. In fact, it's a cinch for any moviegoer familiar with the post-Sixth Sense oeuvre of writer-director M. Night Shyamalan to diagnose the situation as an advancing case of crippling Shyamalania."

1 comment:

Macotar said...

Unlike you, I have a soft spot for mister Shamylan. I really liked Unbreakable. and I didn't mind that dead people show at all. After that he started going way down hill. I'm afraid he was a one trick pony that is having a hard time doing the trick again.