#1  
Old 06-14-2008, 03:29 PM
The Happening



The Happening - 8/10 (minor spoilers)

Okay, did I just see the same movie that has a 20% rating on RT, because The Happening, plain and simply was fucking awesome. Get over the fact that it has to do with plants. There are plenty of explanations which create the possibility of plants releasing chemicals, and if it had been anything else, I don't think the movie would have been this enjoyable.

The Happening starts off with a bang and ends with a bang. It is one of the most entertaining movies I have seen in a while. Shyamalan returns to his roots, keeping the intensity at an extremely high level, while also inserting some humor (obviously intentional, similar to Signs) to lighten the mood as the movie gets very, very dark in places.

Shyamalan went places I didn't think he had the balls to go. There were two particular parts where I had to ask my friend beside me if what just occurred actually happened, and this is a good thing. Some very brutal, gut-wrenching scenes that will make you cringe.

The acting while not Oscar worthy or anything, suits the characters well. There are many dramatic and emotional moments and there is one particular scene where is a mother is on the phone with her daughter who is at home by herself, which really gave me an old kick in the nuts.

The direction is flawless. The movie looks absolutely stunning and Shyamalan creates a great atmosphere. James Newton Howard's score is brilliant and brings back memories of some old school horror/thrillers of the 70s and 80s.

I can see why people might not like this movie. They might not like the fact of what is causing the event, they might not like that there is humor to lighten things up, they may not enjoy the creepy and somewhat bizarre places in which the characters end up. But to say the complete opposite, I loved what was causing the event and how it was directed and explained, I loved the humor that Shyamalan created similar to Signs, and I loved all of the places where the characters ended up. From the couple who drives them in search for help, to the two boys at the model home, to the crazy old lady who has completely lost touch with the world, I loved every one of the characters and all the situations created an immensely entertaining film. I highly recommend it. And the ending, loved it. Very reminiscent of some old school horror/thrillers.

P.S. For those reviews making fun of or complaining about the part where Whalberg's character talks to the plant, they kind of forgot to mention the context that it is in and that it is relevant to an earlier scene in the film involving Frank Collison's character, and is completely intentional humor. I felt it was a great scene.

Last edited by Bourne101; 06-14-2008 at 03:39 PM..
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2008, 10:45 PM
The Happening - 3/10

(thar be spoilers in these troubled waters)

"Oh, no!"

Dialogue from M. Night Shyamalan's latest? Or, is it the inevitable reaction most people will have when they feel the self-appointed heir to Hitchcock has pulled the rug out from under them once again?

I'm not one of those people...originally.

I love Shyamalan's films, from his breakthrough success The Sixth Sense up to his underrated, masterly The Village (a film whose dialogue I would use to make a lonely girl's heart swoon on a late night porch visit). While I only "liked" Lady in the Water, that's relative in comparison to his other movies, and in stark contrast to the horrific critical drubbing it received upon release two years ago. Matters of ego gone wild, an unfilmable script and a generally weird marketing pattern sunk the film long before it reached theaters or faced the wraths and red pens of snobs everywhere. It didn't have a chance, and while it's an extremely flawed film that I couldn't defend wholly, defend it I did against insurmountable odds. In it's own weird, metafictional manner, Night was doing something unique but was being punished for it. So, excuse the preceding as a fanboy's angry declaration against the world, arm to arm with one of his favorite filmmakers, two against the world.

This is where I turn and stab him in the back...at least letting a director you admire know that something is wrong is more like telling him you're cheating with his wife, directly to his face. Not so underhanded, but good for all parties. And...not cheating over dessert food, either. But, I digress.

I hated this film.

A director like him is fortunate to be blessed with a talent for taking geek concepts and B-movie genres and instilling them with A-list quality. A gifted director like him who falls in such a manner is even more brutal to eviscerate; you don't wanna do it.

If one were to watch a film like this for the first time, not knowing who made it, and were to see "Written, Produced and Directed" and "A Film by" credits, I'm assuming no less than money refunded, nor a paid hit on said filmmaker, would be called upon.

The movie starts off pretty creepy enough, but it isn't enough that we don't see most of the carnage, we have to be described in tedious detail what is going on. The R-rated hype behind the film is just that: hype. This has to be the least R R-rated film I've ever seen. When a lion attack makes me think of Monty Python ("It's just a flesh wound!") then something is amiss.

Blonde bench chick: "Is that blood? Oh my god, what's he doing?"
(we don't see anything, and are yet to be convinced due to blonde bench chick's stilted line readings)
(second blonde bench chick, whom I recognize as the girl from To Die For -- hey, she's lost a lot of weight since then, good for her! -- stabs herself in the neck with a hair pin -- I have yet to feel anything, either above or below the waist)

Cue Drowning Pool, and....let the bodies hit the floor. Okay, not the song, but that's pretty much the next scene, which I've already been spoiled by with numerous ads. Construction workers = watermelons hitting the ground. It's disturbing in terms of sound design. Okay, now I'm getting a little bit creeped out...

...and then we cut to the least convincing science teacher in history, Elliot, played by Mark Wahlberg in a career worst performance...but, he hasn't given a career best performance yet, or even a performance since Boogie Nights...hell, we could go back, since The Substitute. I had many doubts going in that there was maybe a wee bit of miscasting on Shyamalan's behalf -- of course, Bruce Willis has a bit of a non-expressive mug on him, too, but it was used to sad, tortured effect in The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I buy Marky Mark in this role as much as I found Denise Richards to be spot-on as a ...whatever she was, in The World is Not Enough. A physicist? I don't remember. Either way, warning signals go off immediately when he's chiding his students -- he's too hip, too much of a homey, to consider himself anything but one of them. Age be damned, but he oozes a smarmy prankster that offsets his really stiff, square mannerisms (and tight-hugger blue jeans).

So, he's pretty bad. But, not offensively so. It's just so disappointing to see Shyamalan create flesh and blood characters so well in his other films fail to captivate us with this man and his marriage problems. Enter Alma, his wife, played by Zooey Deschanel, she of the pale zombie stare and the big blues you just want to take laps in. At the offset of the crisis, the two are having marital "difficulties." Meet the new plot, same as the old plot -- did Shyamalan witness on-and-off again divorce proceedings between members of his (probably) large, esteemed family to constantly use this device? Regardless of inspiration or tired recycling, he trots it out once again, but it seems extraneous once the plot kicks in; or, is the plot itself extraneous? Because nothing screams frightening more than running from the wind.

Yes. The wind. I have yet to get to that thrilling concept, realized in a manner so painstakingly boring you'll be dying for the humor, unintentional as it may be, to start popping its wrinkled old head.

Okay, so Elliot the unconvincing science teacher and Alma the untrustworthy zombie waif find themselves caught up, as with many, to escape from the city and escape whatever is causing this "happening." This, of course, is further fueled by people screaming, "What's happening???" Something. Which involves wind. And trees that seem to be emanating a score by James Newton Howard.

In the middle of this, loooooong before they get to Betty Buckley as (a) a crazy old woman or (b) herself auditioning for a Razzie, they part ways with Elliot's math teach buddy, played by John Leguizamo. Since the character is a minority, I don't need to explain what happens to him, as red band trailers have already given that away. Suffice to say, his death was actually handed in a tragic, swelling manner, and it pays off in a later scene between the man's daughter (Ashlyn Sanchez) and Elliot the unconvincing science teacher. Kudos for giving me at least one reason to care.

I mentioned a bit of dialogue at the start of this review, and if I was slowly bored and fading from the picture for the first half hour or so (yet still hoping and holding some interest), this line and delivery completely killed the rest of the film for me. An act of offscreen violence occurs, and Wahlberg's reaction is to say:

"Oh, no!"

But, he says it in a manner so unconvincingly that you'll swear the actor secretly knew and was sabotaging his character and the film from here on out. Cut to an EXTREME close-up of his face as the words come out of his lips, "Be scientific, douchebag!" Or, was he calling himself a "scientific douchebag"? The entire scene devolves into people running (or, in the case of a hefty female extra, waddling) God knows where from God knows what. Oh, wait, they're hightailing it from The Climate Who Shall Not Be Outran, to borrow terminology from another Shyamalan movie. Elliot the unconvincing science teacher exhorts them to "run from the wind!" Sort of like scientists outrunning FREEZING FUCKING COLD in The Day After Tomorrow. So, from the worst line delivery in the entire film to the point where Zooey the Zombie screams, "We aren't like those assholes!" this segment has now entered through the looking glass of watchable cinema and become 2008's answer to The Wicker Man.

I'm not going to even finish the rest of the story, because it gets much, much, much, much, much, much worse. I've never been trumping Shyamalan for his writing, but at least his directorial skills make up lost ground. He can be a little preachy and on the nose, but the political subtext of The Village is an outstanding combination of writing and directing working so well together you can't imagine anybody else doctoring it. Sadly, some script notes would come in handy for this film, but even if he changed aspects to please Fox Studios, what he has on his hands here is astonishing, seeing as it took six drafts (I think?) for The Sixth Sense to be crafted into an economically sound draft. People say he's high on something, but I say less cannabis than hubris. I've defended him from that particular charge -- hey, asshole filmmakers that have talent to burn oughta set that mother on fire as much as they can, I say -- but this time, he clearly seems to be setting out making statements that are obvious, yet aren't there. What exactly is he saying? Other than people treat the earth like shit, everybody grab your neighbor, c'mon let's get together? His writing is bad; so are the scene he has staged. When a film throws you right away into the terror aspect without building to it properly, it doesn't even feel like the man is the same director. I didn't get a Shyamalan feel for the slow-burn shots, the long takes, etc. It's as almost if he was replaced with a pod person (an homage of sorts to Invasion of the Body Snatchers is in the opening credit sequence, set to swirling, darkening clouds).

A huge, HUGE disappointing return from the man whom I've claimed can make a comeback in the near future. The question remains: will he make one? The box office numbers so far show that he isn't down and out, but just as Rocky needed Adrian in his corner to overcome the odds, this fellow Philadelphian also needs someone in his corner: Lady Luck. And a helluva lot more common sense. Godspeed, Manoj. Maybe our next time spent together will be time spent WELL.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2008, 10:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy Boy View Post
The Happening - 3/10

(thar be spoilers in these troubled waters)

"Oh, no!"

Dialogue from M. Night Shyamalan's latest? Or, is it the inevitable reaction most people will have when they feel the self-appointed heir to Hitchcock has pulled the rug out from under them once again?

I'm not one of those people...originally.

I love Shyamalan's films, from his breakthrough success The Sixth Sense up to his underrated, masterly The Village (a film whose dialogue I would use to make a lonely girl's heart swoon on a late night porch visit). While I only "liked" Lady in the Water, that's relative in comparison to his other movies, and in stark contrast to the horrific critical drubbing it received upon release two years ago. Matters of ego gone wild, an unfilmable script and a generally weird marketing pattern sunk the film long before it reached theaters or faced the wraths and red pens of snobs everywhere. It didn't have a chance, and while it's an extremely flawed film that I couldn't defend wholly, defend it I did against insurmountable odds. In it's own weird, metafictional manner, Night was doing something unique but was being punished for it. So, excuse the preceding as a fanboy's angry declaration against the world, arm to arm with one of his favorite filmmakers, two against the world.

This is where I turn and stab him in the back...at least letting a director you admire know that something is wrong is more like telling him you're cheating with his wife, directly to his face. Not so underhanded, but good for all parties. And...not cheating over dessert food, either. But, I digress.

I hated this film.

A director like him is fortunate to be blessed with a talent for taking geek concepts and B-movie genres and instilling them with A-list quality. A gifted director like him who falls in such a manner is even more brutal to eviscerate; you don't wanna do it.

If one were to watch a film like this for the first time, not knowing who made it, and were to see "Written, Produced and Directed" and "A Film by" credits, I'm assuming no less than money refunded, nor a paid hit on said filmmaker, would be called upon.

The movie starts off pretty creepy enough, but it isn't enough that we don't see most of the carnage, we have to be described in tedious detail what is going on. The R-rated hype behind the film is just that: hype. This has to be the least R R-rated film I've ever seen. When a lion attack makes me think of Monty Python ("It's just a flesh wound!") then something is amiss.

Blonde bench chick: "Is that blood? Oh my god, what's he doing?"
(we don't see anything, and are yet to be convinced due to blonde bench chick's stilted line readings)
(second blonde bench chick, whom I recognize as the girl from To Die For -- hey, she's lost a lot of weight since then, good for her! -- stabs herself in the neck with a hair pin -- I have yet to feel anything, either above or below the waist)

Cue Drowning Pool, and....let the bodies hit the floor. Okay, not the song, but that's pretty much the next scene, which I've already been spoiled by with numerous ads. Construction workers = watermelons hitting the ground. It's disturbing in terms of sound design. Okay, now I'm getting a little bit creeped out...

...and then we cut to the least convincing science teacher in history, Elliot, played by Mark Wahlberg in a career worst performance...but, he hasn't given a career best performance yet, or even a performance since Boogie Nights...hell, we could go back, since The Substitute. I had many doubts going in that there was maybe a wee bit of miscasting on Shyamalan's behalf -- of course, Bruce Willis has a bit of a non-expressive mug on him, too, but it was used to sad, tortured effect in The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I buy Marky Mark in this role as much as I found Denise Richards to be spot-on as a ...whatever she was, in The World is Not Enough. A physicist? I don't remember. Either way, warning signals go off immediately when he's chiding his students -- he's too hip, too much of a homey, to consider himself anything but one of them. Age be damned, but he oozes a smarmy prankster that offsets his really stiff, square mannerisms (and tight-hugger blue jeans).

So, he's pretty bad. But, not offensively so. It's just so disappointing to see Shyamalan create flesh and blood characters so well in his other films fail to captivate us with this man and his marriage problems. Enter Alma, his wife, played by Zooey Deschanel, she of the pale zombie stare and the big blues you just want to take laps in. At the offset of the crisis, the two are having marital "difficulties." Meet the new plot, same as the old plot -- did Shyamalan witness on-and-off again divorce proceedings between members of his (probably) large, esteemed family to constantly use this device? Regardless of inspiration or tired recycling, he trots it out once again, but it seems extraneous once the plot kicks in; or, is the plot itself extraneous? Because nothing screams frightening more than running from the wind.

Yes. The wind. I have yet to get to that thrilling concept, realized in a manner so painstakingly boring you'll be dying for the humor, unintentional as it may be, to start popping its wrinkled old head.

Okay, so Elliot the unconvincing science teacher and Alma the untrustworthy zombie waif find themselves caught up, as with many, to escape from the city and escape whatever is causing this "happening." This, of course, is further fueled by people screaming, "What's happening???" Something. Which involves wind. And trees that seem to be emanating a score by James Newton Howard.

In the middle of this, loooooong before they get to Betty Buckley as (a) a crazy old woman or (b) herself auditioning for a Razzie, they part ways with Elliot's math teach buddy, played by John Leguizamo. Since the character is a minority, I don't need to explain what happens to him, as red band trailers have already given that away. Suffice to say, his death was actually handed in a tragic, swelling manner, and it pays off in a later scene between the man's daughter (Ashlyn Sanchez) and Elliot the unconvincing science teacher. Kudos for giving me at least one reason to care.

I mentioned a bit of dialogue at the start of this review, and if I was slowly bored and fading from the picture for the first half hour or so (yet still hoping and holding some interest), this line and delivery completely killed the rest of the film for me. An act of offscreen violence occurs, and Wahlberg's reaction is to say:

"Oh, no!"

But, he says it in a manner so unconvincingly that you'll swear the actor secretly knew and was sabotaging his character and the film from here on out. Cut to an EXTREME close-up of his face as the words come out of his lips, "Be scientific, douchebag!" Or, was he calling himself a "scientific douchebag"? The entire scene devolves into people running (or, in the case of a hefty female extra, waddling) God knows where from God knows what. Oh, wait, they're hightailing it from The Climate Who Shall Not Be Outran, to borrow terminology from another Shyamalan movie. Elliot the unconvincing science teacher exhorts them to "run from the wind!" Sort of like scientists outrunning FREEZING FUCKING COLD in The Day After Tomorrow. So, from the worst line delivery in the entire film to the point where Zooey the Zombie screams, "We aren't like those assholes!" this segment has now entered through the looking glass of watchable cinema and become 2008's answer to The Wicker Man.

I'm not going to even finish the rest of the story, because it gets much, much, much, much, much, much worse. I've never been trumping Shyamalan for his writing, but at least his directorial skills make up lost ground. He can be a little preachy and on the nose, but the political subtext of The Village is an outstanding combination of writing and directing working so well together you can't imagine anybody else doctoring it. Sadly, some script notes would come in handy for this film, but even if he changed aspects to please Fox Studios, what he has on his hands here is astonishing, seeing as it took six drafts (I think?) for The Sixth Sense to be crafted into an economically sound draft. People say he's high on something, but I say less cannabis than hubris. I've defended him from that particular charge -- hey, asshole filmmakers that have talent to burn oughta set that mother on fire as much as they can, I say -- but this time, he clearly seems to be setting out making statements that are obvious, yet aren't there. What exactly is he saying? Other than people treat the earth like shit, everybody grab your neighbor, c'mon let's get together? His writing is bad; so are the scene he has staged. When a film throws you right away into the terror aspect without building to it properly, it doesn't even feel like the man is the same director. I didn't get a Shyamalan feel for the slow-burn shots, the long takes, etc. It's as almost if he was replaced with a pod person (an homage of sorts to Invasion of the Body Snatchers is in the opening credit sequence, set to swirling, darkening clouds).

A huge, HUGE disappointing return from the man whom I've claimed can make a comeback in the near future. The question remains: will he make one? The box office numbers so far show that he isn't down and out, but just as Rocky needed Adrian in his corner to overcome the odds, this fellow Philadelphian also needs someone in his corner: Lady Luck. And a helluva lot more common sense. Godspeed, Manoj. Maybe our next time spent together will be time spent WELL.
[applause]. extremely well-written review.
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2008, 07:18 AM
To be fair , isn't it a good thing when a director tries a different style then the one he's known for . He seems to have been consciously attempting to do an anti Night film , i have no problem with that .
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2008, 03:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel1ssa View Post
[applause]. extremely well-written review.
(bows) Thank you very much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dellamorte dellamore View Post
To be fair , isn't it a good thing when a director tries a different style then the one he's known for . He seems to have been consciously attempting to do an anti Night film , i have no problem with that .
I think he tried something vastly different with Lady in the Water, and, warts and all, I'll take that one any day over The Happening. The reaction of people to give credit to Night for trying something and failing completely reminds me of the same brouhaha over Richard Kelly's equally messy and awful Southland Tales. I thought that one was an overstuffed ravioli waiting to explode, The Happening needed to be left in the oven to cook -- this turkey needed a few more hours.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2008, 03:40 PM
If Lazy Boy hated this, it must be bad. It's got a D at Cinemascore and a C- at yahoo movies. Bourne, I simply don't trust you at all when it comes to film reviews. I find myself almost always disagreeing with you. I would have been stunned speechless if you didn't love this movie. When you are determined to love a movie, you really see it through. It is so easy to predict if you will love or hate something. I'm never surprised by any of your reviews.
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2008, 07:50 PM
Well, whatever floats your boat. I went into the movie with very low expectations after it was completely lambasted by critics, and I ended up enjoying the hell out of it. It is flawed, but it was damn entertaining. If you see it for what it is (an old school B-horror movie) I have no doubt you'll enjoy it. You'll never really know what ensues in The Happening until you see it. It is an extremely crazy and bizarre movie. It's not just straight-forward typical crap, but a movie that goes places we either haven't seen ever, or haven't seen in a while. The acting would be the biggest fault. It was easy to point out that the line deliveries of Wahlberg and Deschanel were off, and that's partially due to some poor dialogue written by Shyamalan.

I can see why you might not trust my reviews. We obviously have quite different tastes, although I think the truly great movies of late (There Will Be Blood etc.) we definitely have an agreement on.

And just because I enjoyed The Ruins, Harold and Kumar, The Strangers, and The Happening while you either didn't, won't or have already made up your mind that you won't, doesn't mean that you shouldn't take my opinion into consideration.

I mean, I can obviously see crap when it's in front of me (Untraceable, Meet the Spartans, The Eye, 10,000 BC, Drillbit Taylor, 88 Minutes), and I can obviously see greatness when it's in front of me (There Will Be Blood, No Country, can't give many examples because there haven't been too many great films this year). But movies like The Strangers, Harold and Kumar, The Ruins and The Happening have pretty much been split down the middle by critics and movie buffs (although The Happening a little further to the negative side, lol), and the difference of opinion on a few of those films shouldn't sway you away from the opinion of a fellow schmoe. Hell, some of the great critics loved some of those movies. Michael Phillips loved The Strangers, Ebert liked The Happening, A.O. Scott liked Harold and Kumar.

And often with those movies that are split down the middle between movie buffs and critics, the ones I like I tend to give high ratings on first viewing. Usually because I see them with large exciting crowds on Friday night, full of adrenaline, and when I really want to like a movie I try my darnedest to and occasionally it pays off when you kind of shake off the flaws and stay entertained with the positives. If you check out the "What Films Have You Watched Today" thread in the General Movie Talk forum, you'll often notice that on re-watches my ratings will significantly decrease on some of those movies.

So yeah, maybe on first glance if I give a movie a high rating that has been split down the middle by critics and movie buffs, look for some other opinions, while also looking at the points I have made for liking it (For The Happening, the directing, premise and sheer bizarreness like that of The Twilight Zone), and then down the road see how I reflect on the movie after a re-watch or two.

Sorry for the insanely long rant, but you're one of the best schmoes here Madsen and I just wanted you to know where I stand in terms of me on occasion giving a questionably high rating to a film.

Last edited by Bourne101; 06-16-2008 at 08:05 PM..
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  #8  
Old 06-17-2008, 10:11 AM
Wow. That was a really thoughtful response Bourne. I appreciate you taking the time to do it. I know that you genuinely love movies, and I have greatly enjoyed many of our discussions here. However, I have noticed a pattern recently, and I couldn't ignore it. I just find it hard to take your opinion seriously when you repeatedly give extremely high ratings to certain films. I feel like you could have written your review of these movies months before you actually saw them. You're just so certain about how awesome they're going to be, and lately I can accurately predict your reviews before I even read them. I knew you were going to love The Happening. There was no doubt in my mind. You weren't going to allow yourself to not love it. Hey, I'm glad you love movies. That's great. I love them too. But you'll have to excuse me if I just don't trust you anymore.
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  #9  
Old 06-17-2008, 10:20 AM
It's all good.
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2008, 10:21 AM
You're a cool guy Bourne. I look forward to more debates about box office. You won the last one.
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  #11  
Old 06-17-2008, 10:49 PM
The Happening

My quick review: (Originally posted HERE)



The Happening: 2.5/5 Stars

The Happening is the latest from director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense). I’ve enjoyed most of his past work (including Lady in the Water). I wanted to see this without knowing too much about the film. So on Thursday afternoon I turned off my RSS feeder and pretty much avoided the Internet like a plague. Armed only with the knowledge of the previews, I watched The Happening Saturday afternoon.

The story follows Elliot and Alma Moore (played by Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel), a couple living in Philadelphia, the setting of most of Shyamalan’s films. A catastrophe strikes in New York, causing large numbers of people to commit suicide. Fearing the growing threat, Elliot and Alma flee Philadelphia in an attempt to escape the attack.

The Happening has a peculiar balance between humor, seriousness, and the morbid. The film was advertised as M. Night Shyamalan’s first film with an R-rating (”for violent and disturbing images”), which I think ended up being a problem for the film. Many people have compared him to Alfred Hitchcock (”the master of suspense”), and rightly so. In previous films, Shyamalan has worked well in the PG-13-rating. He’s great at introducing suspense and startling the audience. Think of the sprinklers in Lady in the Water. With his latest film, however, the horror is just…there. There were suspensful moments that I liked (the trees, he tracking shot with the policeman and the cars, etc.), but a good deal of it seemed there just to justify the rating than advance the story.

The acting in the film didn’t do it for me, either. Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel, two good actors I might add (Think The Depareted and All the Real Girls), just didn’t seem to fit. Should we blame the acting or the script? I don’t know. Coupled with that is the on-the-nose dialgue.

I liked the relationship between their characters. The change in Zooey’s character from the beginning to the end is especially intriging to me. I would have loved to see more development between their characters.

Now I loved the concept of the film. The idea behind the film. It’s so fantastic, but it’s also somewhat believable, which is a feat in itself. As far as the story is concerned, I also loved the way it ended. A really nice touch.

I guess it boils down to how much M. Night Shyamalan was trying to make The Happening feel like a classic “B” disaster flick and how much of it just didn’t work. Maybe I need to watch more movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing.
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  #12  
Old 06-21-2008, 11:04 AM
I enjoyed the easter eggs in the end of the film about The Last Airbender. The little girl wearing the Avatar backpack and boarding her schoolbus numbered #2010, the year the Airbender movie will be released. I thought that was clever.

Oh yeah, The Happening. Not a perfect movie, but I couldn't help but enjoy it. I just like the things M. Night tries to do, whether or not they are complete successes. I just like how he dares to be different and takes risks. The Happening wasn't perfect, but it did offer alot of disturbing visuals. The construction site scene creeped me out.

I did think the ending would be a little more epic. I would have liked to see one of the main characters get hit with the "toxin" (mainly Marky Mark's bad acting wife), and we could see Mark Wahlberg have to like...restrain her from killing herself or something.

Anyway. I dug the film. Wasn't my favorite of his work. But i'm looking forward to Avatar so much. THat's pretty much my favorite TV show, mixed with one of my favorite directors. It's gonna be epic.
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2008, 10:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutant_gorilla View Post

I did think the ending would be a little more epic. I would have liked to see one of the main characters get hit with the "toxin" (mainly Marky Mark's bad acting wife), and we could see Mark Wahlberg have to like...restrain her from killing herself or something.
I think if that were to have happened in the movie, my score would have been bumped up at least a point. That is a sweet idea.
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  #14  
Old 07-29-2008, 03:31 AM
I love every Shyamaln movie but this. It was really dissapointing for me. It has bad dialogs, characters without blood in their veins and after the beginning there isn't any kind of intensity on this film. People is running out of the grass!

I think Shyamalan is a master movimaker with an extremely efficient minimalism in his shotting style, but this movie was prissioner of this style. He has put more interest in being elegant than in tellin a good story in the best way. The script wasent awful, it was painful, and I don't understand the way much of the characters take their decissions or explein them to the others.

I hope Shyamalan will recover his pulse for his upcoming movies. I want another Unbreakable, another Signs or another The Village. Elegant films, with a really emotional way of telling them to the audience.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2008, 09:41 AM
i actually loved this movie (one of the few people that do)...I was pretty hyped for this one and couldn't wait for it to come out, and it was even better then i thought it would be. And i'm not the type to like a movie just because I was looking forward to it.

IMO this is the best M. Night Shyamalan movie since The Sixth Sense, Signs was ok, hated all his other films.
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2008, 05:03 PM
The Happening: 7/10

This film is about a family on the run when things start to happen: People are committing suicide all along the north-eastern area of the United Sates. What's causing this? Toxins from plants? Terrorists? The US government? Well, if you don't know what this film is about, or what's happening, I'll tell you. It's revealed within 10 minutes into the movie anyway: Toxins from plants. So, right now, think about it: If you think that sounds ridiculous, make a decision. Watch it or not. This film isn't for everybody. It's basically you'll love it or hate it.

Rather than expect what the trailers show you for M. Night movies, expect the opposite. Like all M. Night films, this film is no exception: It's marketed badly. It's marketed as if it's a serious and scary movie. On the contrary, the movie does not take itself too seriously and has moments of some very funny scenes.

No doubt is this M. Night's most funny film (not in an unintentional way). Think of this as a B-movie as M. Night intend it to be. The film really doesn't take itself seriously, in a way. There are some really funny scenes in here, including one with Mark Wahlberg apologizing to a plastic plant. So don't expect it to be all serious because of the trailer. From the beginning credits, the film pulled me in. I was with it. My heart was pounding. The score used in here is surprisingly B-movie like.

Within a few scenes into the movie, the film is quite eerie and chilling. This film is also character driven and I liked the characters. Obviously, the film has an environmental message. Preachy or not, I liked the idea of plants killing humans off because we're polluting the environment, but that's just me. You don't usually see original ideas like these. As a Night film, it's the worse but it's still a good movie. And no, there is not twist ending in this film so don't expect one.

Rather than CGI effects, mindless action scenes that does nothing with the plot, and the usual characteristics of a summer movie, "The Happening" shifts over to the other side: It's slow paced and character driven. The performance, whatever people said about them, were actually good in here. Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, and John Leguizamo all do a good job. See, most people expect them to act like people in every other apocalyptic thriller: Scared, terrified, etc. When you see this movie, they actually act calm, cool, and collected, and sometimes even funny, as if not taking things seriously.

People usually don't like M. Night movies because they have the wrong expectations for it. Well, I'll tell you this: Expect a B-movie inspired by "The Birds" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Some people will go along with the idea. Some will not. It depends the type of person you are that determines if you're going to enjoy this film or not. As for me, I enjoyed it much better than the usual summer fare.
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2008, 01:04 PM

Man how the mighty have fallen. Ever since Shyamalan directed the Sixth Sense he still can't seem to reconnect with the same magic. Unbreakable was good, Signs was fucking pretentious and boring, The Village just plained sucked as did the The Lady In The Water. The Happening opens up well, and some of the death scenes are disturbing (all about that dude in the lion's cage or that guy who laid down in front of that lawnmower,) but after that you as the audience feel cheated when they explain the entire phenomenon was caused by fucking plants. I think the real twist ending for this movie was that we were all stupid enough to pay to see this in the theaters and now Shyamalan is laughing his ass off to the bank.
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  #18  
Old 09-25-2008, 06:34 PM
Hmmm...I'm a huge M. Night fan. Currently, Signs is my favorite film of his. In fact, it's #3 on my top 100 films. You don't know how much I loved that movie. Very brilliant. The Village is around my 10-20 spot and I also loved that movie. It's an underrated masterpiece. The Sixth Sense is around the 30-40 and I also thought it was brilliant. I also loved Lady in the Water but it wasn't a masterpiece. It had a few flaws but I gave that a 8/10. Haven't seen Unbreakable but I would love to.
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  #19  
Old 10-31-2008, 09:01 AM
Nappening

This movie isn't as bad as most people say it is. It isn't quite the comeback I was hoping for, but even so it isn't the disaster everyone says it is. The plot and imagery are fascinating, the tone is bleak and for better or worse it kept my attention the whole time all the way through. While most will rightfully disagree with me on this, I consider it his best effort since Signs. Village started out great but kinda went nowhere to me. It was the first sign (no pun intended) that Night's luster was starting to rust. Lady was just as bad as bad can get. It was boring and lifeless. Which is why I had high hopes for Happening when I got word that this would be his first R rated feature. Despite me enjoyment, there are of course it's weaknesses: Wahlberg is seriously miscast in this. After great actors like Willis, Jackson, Giamatti, Brody, Weaver, etc., etc., Wahlberg is a big step back in his casting. Watching him talk science is about as believable as Charo playing Wonder Woman. It doesn't work. Also, him talking to a tree is bad, but at least even Night makes fun of the idea with dialogue. The usage of plants was a nice change for me. At the beginning, I said to myself, "I swear to god if water is the solution AGAIN, (it kills Willis & aliens, not to mention Lady is all about water), I'm going to scream!" So, it was nice to see him shake it up a bit and go with something else. If anything, I consider this more of Spielberg coming out of Night than Hitchhock. The story and climax breaks down to Mark patching up with his wife, very Spielbergian. While most will criticize wind being the enemy, it worked for me because it's a natural element that is, well, hard as hell to outrun. So, all in all, I would suggest THE HAPPENING to any of my friends but with the disclaimer that while it is a good story, it's not the comeback we're all hoping for. Either way, it's Halloween, it's scary, it's good for the occasion tonight.
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  #20  
Old 11-03-2008, 10:05 AM
****SPOILERS***

I'm with the 3/10 folks. It was intriguing and engaging, but the whole thing rested on the explanation, which sucked. No mood or scenery makes up for a lousy story. Think about this: the trees and the plants communicate with each other to quickly evolve with a poison that will kill humans by means of creative self-mutilation. And they can even "choose" which groups of people to strike at any time, even ones they "know" aren't harming them but are simply providing useful carbon dioxide for them. All this with the help of that other intelligent lifeform, the wind. And then, some people kill themselves in the quickest way possible, like jumping off a building or grabbing the nearest gun or piece of glass. However...you have other people, who get the creative death ideas like feeding oneself to lions who happened to be in an attacking mood, or the guy who starts the big lawn mower and the wheel is turned just such that it makes a big arc in the grass and he can mow himself over! Yeehaw. Completely ridiculous.
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  #21  
Old 11-03-2008, 08:36 PM
I reviewed this earlier, and I'll post it here at some point, but here is a quick summary. I thought the plot, and Idea was cool. I love that M. Night is okay with being quirky, weird, and different, i think that is a rare quality in filmmakers, and is really cool. The script, and dialogue, particularly, could have used some work. it felt extremely rushed and somewhat discarded. The actors seemed like they either, didn't take the film seriously, or just plain didn't care. "hell I'm getting paid either way." The acting was, quite honestly, atrocious, even from marci mark.
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