ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Lady in the Water (2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring:
Paul Giamatti/Cleveland
Bryce Dallas Howard/Story
Jeffrey Wright/Mr. Dury
M. Night Shyamalan/Vick Ran
PLOT-CRUNCH
Poor building concierge Cleveland (Giamatti) sees his life go ‘coo coo” when he’s saved from drowning by some “out of a Fairy tale” broad. She’s what they call a “Narf” (too bad she wasn’t a Nymphette) and now that she’s in our world, there’s a monster on her ass. With the help of his wacky tenants, Cleveland must find a way for her to E.T. go home.
THE LOWDOWN
I used to jizzm on M. Night Shyamalan’s shite. From the Sixth Sense right up to Signs the man could do no wrong in my book of superior films. Then plot hole laced The Village came and he lost some points and now with this "meh" flick, I don’t trust the guy anymore. No wonder Disney (who produced his four last films) wanted nothing to do with this (WB took it on)! I don’t blame em.

Lady in the Water could’ve been something if the screenplay wasn’t so flat and the whole executed in such a stale fashion. The initial premise was a potentially groovy one. Hot dame comes out of pool, monster is after her and a mystery needs to be solved in order to get the wet toad back home. It was all there! Too bad Shyamalan cooked his pot-pourrie in a manner that didn’t appeal to my taste buds. The characters were my first irritation. Cleveland (Gimatti ) and Narf girl (Bryce Howard) aside, I didn’t believe in any of them. Not only that, but for the most part, the characters/relationships never went far enough and most of the peeps here got on my nerves big time. What was up with that Asian chick (played by Cindy Cheung)? She took the cake in the “I wanna leap into the screen and choke” department. SHEESH! Now according to some folks I yapped with, this is a Fairy Tale and all…hence I should let shit slide….F*CK THAT! Snow White was a Fairy Tale and I bought those midget-ty dudes, the storyline and that evil witch. And I'm talking about the cartoon! What I'm saying is that the Fairy Tale tag shouldn't be used as an excuse for poor writing and casting...in my useless opinion of course.

It didn’t go down smoother as to the unraveling of the plot. Once the groundwork was laid down, suspension of disbelief had to kick in hard for me to gulp the events at hand, with the worst part being some old dame knowing the Fairy Tale that Cleveland is living from point A to Z. Talk about an obvious plot device to keep the viewers in the know and the story moving. Should’ve handled that more subtlety. The deciphering of the mystery bored me to acid tears as well. With little investment in the characters, watching these mooks trying to ‘piece things together’ was like watching paint dry on a corpse. There was nothing exciting or remotely stimulating about the redundant chain of events or the bland way they went about things. YAWN! Finally, if you’re gonna have a supernatural “water gal” in your film, how about doing something with her? Here she squatted in a shower for the bulk of the running time. Ouuu, how gripping! She's in the shower...WOW! Transform into a boom-box and eject "Ravage" or something! JUST DO SOMETHING! That’s like having the Three Little Pigs stay in their house, picking lint out of their navels, even though the Big Bad Wolf is blowing their houses down. 

On a positive stab, the flick looked fantastic, with potent cinematography and efficient directing choices all over the place. Some of the humor worked, a couple of character "revelations" reached me emotionally and two tears did stream down my man-bitch cheek... once. Paul Gimatti has a monologue at one point, and his solid performance tagged with the powerful score broke me. Who knew? Great scene! Moreover, the movie was semi-enthralling in places with the varied, unique and startling beasties on display squeezing some suspense out of this mostly dry fruit. And it should be said that the movie critic character and the way he was handled was golden. He brought me some hearty giggles and his last scene was a freaking keeper.

When all was blabbed and spanked, Lady in the Water was for me, a limp ride. The finer than hooker-juice ingredients were all there but somehow they didn't gel, therefore leaving me in a very indifferent state of mind as the end credits rolled. You gonna kiss this lady, bang her or drown her a lot?
GORE
Ugly creatures aside, none of the sweet nectar of life here.
ACTING
Paul Giamatti (Cleveland) gave a likeable, credible and at times heart wrenching show. Nice! Bryce Dallas Howard (Story) looked the part and did what she had to do…”sit in a shower and look pasty”. I love Jeffrey Wright (Mr. Dury) but his character bored me. M. Night Shyamalan cast himself as Vick Ran. Bad move cause all I saw was M. Night Shyamalan “acting” instead of the character.
T & A
We see Bryce Dallas Howard’s long, white legs. You hard/wet yet?
DIRECTING
I’ll give the film this; M. Night Shyamalan was once again on top of his game behind the camera with infectious mood, able tension and swell shots all kicking in. The flick looked great, the script couldn’t keep up.
SOUNDTRACK
James Newton Howard delivered a poignant, multi layered and evocative score that jacked up the film's impact.
BOTTOM LINE
I either didn’t get LADY IN THE WATER or it’s a half cocked flick. Which one is it? You be the judge. Although the flick looked polished, sported swell ideas and strong leads, it dragged during its middle block, never went far enough with its concept/characters and failed in pulling in all of its elements together to work me right. Yeah I know, its a Fairy Tale. Doesn’t mean the script and the casting has to suck crisp donkey dongs man!

To be honest, the most back-handing moment of my Lady in the Water adventure was that after I paid a whopping 16 bucks for two regular Pop Corns and Drinks, the twat behind the counter had the nerve to charge me 1$ extra to get some of that fake butter on both Corns. So that’s 17 bucks! For two corns and beverages! Wha???? I can get a blow job for that amount! Next time I’ll sneak in a McDonalds’ value meal instead! F*cking thieves! No wonder people aren’t going to the movies anymore! 
BULL'S EYE
The movie is based on a bedtime story that M. Night Shyamalan wrote for his children.

Kevin Costner was considered for the role if Giamatti didn't bite. He bit, Costner didn't happen.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL LADY IN THE WATER SITE HERE

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12:05AM on 10/16/2010
A critic who was not offended by the moronic critic character. Cool.
A critic who was not offended by the moronic critic character. Cool.
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5:52AM on 08/14/2006

Meh.

I wouldn't necessarily call this a bad film, but the most frustrating thing about this film is the fact that there are so many great ideas and concepts which are never fully explored. Despite this, I enjoyed Giamatti's performance as always, but I wish Bryce Howard would have been given more to do--she is the freaking subject of the film after all. Shyamalan still knows how to create suspense and to make a film look beautiful visually, but I think it's high time he hired a writer. Another
I wouldn't necessarily call this a bad film, but the most frustrating thing about this film is the fact that there are so many great ideas and concepts which are never fully explored. Despite this, I enjoyed Giamatti's performance as always, but I wish Bryce Howard would have been given more to do--she is the freaking subject of the film after all. Shyamalan still knows how to create suspense and to make a film look beautiful visually, but I think it's high time he hired a writer. Another highlight of the film was James Newton Howard's score--which I am actually listening to as I write this. The score actually helped the film in places the script could not. It's a keeper.

I LOVED the last stretch of the film, specifically the showdown with the creatures, as well as the "healing" sequence. If only the film had fully explored its ideas, and gotten rid of all of the bizarre and unnecessary characters, this would have been an excellent film, but as it stands now, it's "ok."
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