Shyamalan's Backlash

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Nigel
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Shyamalan's Backlash

Post by Nigel »

The critics seem to be tiring of our buddy M. Night. Most are not kind in commenting about The Village, according to imdb.com/studiobrief:
Movie Reviews: 'The Village'


The scariest thing about The Village may be some of the reviews that it's getting. Once the darling of critics following his The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan has been reduced to a whipping boy with this film. Indeed, New York Post critic Lou Lumenick remarks, "A gifted director and visual stylist, Shyamalan's scripts sadly have gotten progressively clunkier." Roger Ebert writes in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Critics were enjoined after the screening to avoid revealing the plot secrets. That is not because we would spoil the movie for you. It's because if you knew them, you wouldn't want to go." Discussing those plot twists, A.O. Scott in the New York Times remarks: "The last thing I want to do is spoil the fun, meager though it is." As for the surprise ending, Stephen Hunter in the Washington Post comments that it's "quite lame, quite tame and quite old. ... I figured it out plenty early, and the 75 percent of you who are smarter than I will get it even earlier." Jack Mathews in the New York Daily News refers to the movie as "a genuine clinker" and "a dreary mess." Joe Morgenstern writes in the Wall Street Journal: "Movies don't come much sillier, or slower, than The Village." On the other hand, Carrie Rickey in the Philadelphia Inquirer calls it a "hair-raising yarn ... Shyamalan deftly turns a familiar fairy tale into an eerie scary tale." And Eric Harrison in the Houston Chronicle calls it "Shyamalan's best film since The Sixth Sense."
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Lisa Simpson
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Post by Lisa Simpson »

It has only got 44% on the Tomatometer, although my local paper liked it.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/village/

I'm sure he'll come back with some great movie that everyone will call a 'comeback'.

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Post by Hexxenhammer »

I'm seeing it next week with my sister because our spouses are big scaredy cats. I've liked all his movies so far. Even Signs with it's scary but unrealistic aliens and divine intervention. I don't think Unbreakable got very good reviews either with it being about superheroes. All I expect is some creepy twilight-zony story with a twist I'll probably miss cause I'm a dumbass.
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Post by specious_reasons »

I liked "Unbreakable" but avoided seeing "Signs" because I was told that the "twist" ending was disappointing. I had planned to catch it on video but haven't bothered yet.

We've managed to not see any movies but Harry Potter this summer, due to lack of babysitting resources in Lousiana. In tha, I'm only upset we missed Spiderman II and Shrek II.
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Post by Some Friggin Guy »

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I have not enjoyed a single one of Shyamalan's movies. (Well, my wife agress with me for the most part, though she did enjoy Sixth Sense.)

I find that his writing is hackneyed and he relies too heavily on the "IT'S A COOKBOOK!" style of ending.

The thing that made the Twilight Zone successful, where as M.'s movies are not (IMO) is that the Zone's endings were intelligent (not all of them , but many). I have been able to successfully predict the ending of every one of M.'s movies once I know the theme, simply by asking myself what the laziest possible ending for the movie would be. Once I identify that, I know how the movie ends.

The problem is, no matter how much my wife dislikes his movies (and it is progressive. She has told me that she dislikes each one more than the last), she insists on seeing them, so I have to subject myself to it.

Actually, I'm beginning to think my wife is a bit of a masochist, since she absolutly LOATHES Signs, but will still set a reminder on our cable every time it airs on HBO just so she can turn it on.
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Post by Cloverlief »

M. Knight Shayamalan seems to be a one hit wonder, but doesn't seem to realize it. Sixth Sense was an excellent movie that I enjoyed thoroughly, but sadly, I haven't seen anything else from Shayamalan that didn't make me want to go ewwwww and hold my nose to avoid the horrid stink!
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Post by Quester_X »

Liked "Sixth Sense", "Unbreakable" was okay, "Signs" SUCKED, and "The Village"... was not that good. I saw the ending coming a mile away.
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Post by Loon »

Some Friggin Guy wrote:I find that his writing is hackneyed and he relies too heavily on the "IT'S A COOKBOOK!" style of ending.
To what does this refer?
I guess there he chose to err on the side of more votes. -[size=75]Grammatron[/size]

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Post by Nyarlathotep »

Loon wrote:
Some Friggin Guy wrote:I find that his writing is hackneyed and he relies too heavily on the "IT'S A COOKBOOK!" style of ending.
To what does this refer?
A Twilight Zone episode where aliens landed on earth and solved all of our problems. They also were taking humans back to their homeworld, supposedly to learn about their society. They had a book called "To Serve Man". The pisode ends with someone getting a copy o it and translating it and discovering that it is a cookbook. HE comes out yelling "IT'S A COOK BOOK!" as the first shipload of humans is leaving for the alien planet.

So SFG's analogy is pretty fair, I'd say.

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Post by Grammatron »

Nyarlathotep wrote:
Loon wrote:
Some Friggin Guy wrote:I find that his writing is hackneyed and he relies too heavily on the "IT'S A COOKBOOK!" style of ending.
To what does this refer?
A Twilight Zone episode where aliens landed on earth and solved all of our problems. They also were taking humans back to their homeworld, supposedly to learn about their society. They had a book called "To Serve Man". The pisode ends with someone getting a copy o it and translating it and discovering that it is a cookbook. HE comes out yelling "IT'S A COOK BOOK!" as the first shipload of humans is leaving for the alien planet.

So SFG's analogy is pretty fair, I'd say.
Bah, you remembered it all wrong! :)

The guy and a girl were translating it, the guy went to the alien ship to ask some questions as they were boarding all the delegates, as he is standing at the entrance the girls comes out yelling "IT'S A COOK BOOK" or something like that, the aliens push him inside and take off. The episode ends with the alien telling the guy he should eat more or else he might get skinny.

The aliens were kind of stupid - they could solve all the world's problems but they couldn't figure out a good way to kidnap a bunch of people for food. Come on now.

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Post by Nyarlathotep »

Grammatron wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:
Loon wrote:
Some Friggin Guy wrote:I find that his writing is hackneyed and he relies too heavily on the "IT'S A COOKBOOK!" style of ending.
To what does this refer?
A Twilight Zone episode where aliens landed on earth and solved all of our problems. They also were taking humans back to their homeworld, supposedly to learn about their society. They had a book called "To Serve Man". The pisode ends with someone getting a copy o it and translating it and discovering that it is a cookbook. HE comes out yelling "IT'S A COOK BOOK!" as the first shipload of humans is leaving for the alien planet.

So SFG's analogy is pretty fair, I'd say.

Bah, you remembered it all wrong! :)

The guy and a girl were translating it, the guy went to the alien ship to ask some questions as they were boarding all the delegates, as he is standing at the entrance the girls comes out yelling "IT'S A COOK BOOK" or something like that, the aliens push him inside and take off. The episode ends with the alien telling the guy he should eat more or else he might get skinny.

The aliens were kind of stupid - they could solve all the world's problems but they couldn't figure out a good way to kidnap a bunch of people for food. Come on now.
Hey give me a break, man. I haven't seen that episode in four or five years at least.

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Post by Nigel »

It was also told as a flashback, and the hero looks at the camera and says something like, "They're coming for you!"

Ten points up for grabs: Which actor played the alien?
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Post by Some Friggin Guy »

Actually, the episode in question is about a governemtn code-breaker who is trying to determine the intetions of the aliens. When the aliens first address the UN, they leave a book behind. THe code-breaker tries to translate it, but it will take time. They determine (as some time has passed and the aliens have fed the starving, etc.) that the title of the book is "To Serve Man". In the mean time, the aliens are taking ship loads of people to their homeworld, which everyone thinks it idyllic and wonderful. People are looking forward to making the trip and there is a waiting list to get on a ship. The code-breaker finally gives in to the overwhelming evidence he has seen and assumes the aliens are benevolent. The night before he is scheduled to leave, he is told by his assistant that the book is almost translated. The next day, as he is getting ready to board the ship for his trip to the alien's crib, his assistant comes running up and shouts "The BOOK! We've translated it! 'To Serve Man'! IT'S A COOKBOOK!!!" At which point, the aliens hustle him into the ship.


This recap brought to you by a huge Twilight Zone fan who tapes any episode he may not have in his collection from the Sci-Fi channel's various Zone marathons.

Bonus points to any Twilight Zone fans who can tall me the title of the single episode which has only aired once (from the original series.)
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Post by Bottle or the Gun »

I liked 'Unbeakable' but it was slooow. I'm the only person I know who liked it though. I read that M wanted to make it over the top, (read Busiek's great Astro City series for an idea of how he could have pulled it off) but didn't think anyone would go for a super-hero movie again since the genre got destroyed by the Batman films. Then along came Spider-Man....


>>>And SFG, it was also lampooned on a Simpson's episode, which some people probably didn't get unless they were familiar with the classic Twilight Zone show.
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Post by jkorosi »

Some Friggin Guy wrote:Bonus points to any Twilight Zone fans who can tall me the title of the single episode which has only aired once (from the original series.)
"Incident at Owl Creek Bridge", or something of that nature. It seems the (relatively) graphic death scene at the end was too controversial. I also thought the corny "I'm so glad to be alive"-ish musical interlude was kind of over-the-top. Aside from that, I must say that the episode rocked.

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Post by Grammatron »

jkorosi wrote:
Some Friggin Guy wrote:Bonus points to any Twilight Zone fans who can tall me the title of the single episode which has only aired once (from the original series.)
"Incident at Owl Creek Bridge", or something of that nature. It seems the (relatively) graphic death scene at the end was too controversial. I also thought the corny "I'm so glad to be alive"-ish musical interlude was kind of over-the-top. Aside from that, I must say that the episode rocked.
Not familiar with it, what happened in that one.

(Yes I am to lazy to google.)

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Post by jkorosi »

Grammatron wrote:
Not familiar with it, what happened in that one.

(Yes I am to lazy to google.)
A condemned man is about to be hanged from the side of a bridge. However, when he is pushed, the rope snaps and he falls into the river below. He swims down the river, evading gunfire from the pursuing marshals, and comes ashore eventually in a wooded area that he recognizes. He walks for a while, until he hears again the sounds of pursuit. He begins to run, spotting a hedgerow at the far end of the forest; the hedgerow encloses a house and large garden, in which is standing a woman (a wife, or girlfriend?). The fugitive runs desperately toward her; she turns to him and spreads her arms wide to embrace him. Just as the two are about to make contact...

...the man is pushed off the bridge and hanged; he was imagining the entire escape. It's one of the very first instances of the "it was all in your head" twist ending - from back when it wasn't yet a cliche'. In any case, a whole slew of people called in complaints that the final hanging was so "graphic", and the episode too generally disturbing, so the episode was never aired again. Kind of like the X-Files episode about the in-in-inbred family, which was so disgusting that it prompted a similar complaint campaign and Fox never aired it on broadcast again.

Bear in mind, it's been over ten years since I saw the episode. I'm sure if I got anything wrong, I'll be corrected.

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Post by Doctor X »

Sadly looks at the Great Unwashed scurrying for scraps in the garbage. Feels some pity for them. . . .

Occurance at Owk Creek Bridge is a fantastic short story by Ambrose "The Devil's Dictionary" Bierce.

To Serve Man while may seem strange that the aliens could not find a way to get humans the point is they did not hide it--they left the cookbook. Seemed like a fair trade. TTZ tends to be "preachy" regarding religion, communism, and all of that stuff that bother'd white people in the fifties-sixties--the message has to do with a willingness to sell-out to those who offer comfort and an easy life.

Another version is with Roddy McDowell who agrees unwittingly to become part of a zoo.

Yet another has to do with a cemetary.

Rod tended to rehash things, including Urban Legends. However, it is easy to "tease" and criticise Rod and others now in retrospect. It is a bit like teasing Classic Star Trek which also labored under ridiculous censorship restrictions.

The actor in the TZ played in ST. . . .

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Post by Grammatron »

Doctor X wrote: The actor in the TZ played in ST. . . .

--J.D.
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Post by shecky »

The large actor playing the alien in "To Serve Man" was Richard Kiel, more famously known as the indestructable metal mouthed foe, Jaws, of James Bond in a couple of the Bond movies.

"Incident at Owl Creek Bridge" was a bit unusual in that it wasn't actually a TZ produced show, but rather a short from France, IIRC, that was purchsed to fill out the last season economically.

I think there was a epiode which was only aired once. I don't recall the name, but it starred George Takei as a young Japanese American gardner in a rather tense converstion with a fairly haunted Pacific rim WWII vet. There's some racial tension in the story leading it to be aired only once originally. I was a diehard TZ fan as a kid in the 70s and saw every half hour episode in rerun on TV, but never saw this episode or "Incident at Owl Creek Bridge" until the DVD era.

The Roddy Mcdowell episode (People Are Alike All Over) has him playing a scared, mistrustful astronaut crashed on another planet (Mars?), in contrast with his more optimistic, glass-is-half-full, comrade, who dies before encountering the seemingly gentle and generous humanoid aliens. Mcdowell comes to share his comrade's optimism when faced with the alien hospitality. Only to face the aspects of human nature that both he and his comrade espoused in typical ironic TZ style.