Friday, June 13, 2008

I've typed the word 'Shyamalan' so many times, it's lost all meaning.

A co-worker, actually in the cube next to me, nearly backed into me as I was biking to work this morning. (Or a couple of mornings ago, since I doubt I posted this right away.) It was a clean miss, no harm done, and admittedly I'd much rather be hit on my way to work, than on my way home.

Rambo 4 came up in conversation the other day at work. I was assured that it was violent and awesome, but the sad fact is, I've never seen a Rambo movie. As far as I can remember, anyway: my folks thought they were too violent, and by the time I was old enough, they were passe. On the other hand, I've seen Cobra. Yeah, if you ever wonder why I look sad all the time...Between that and my haphazard recollection of the Rocky movies, when I think of Sylvester Stallone, I think of a Mort Drucker style cartoon rather than anything he's actually done, or anything resembling a real person.

I know my wife wants to see The Happening, and I'm starting to think I don't. M. Night Shyamalan has worn out his welcome with me. And whenever I see his movies for sale (rather than just rent) I can't imagine why you would buy them: I don't think his films hold up to repeat viewings. To steal a line from a friend, watching a Shyamalan film again would be like re-reading an Archie comic. You watch them, wait for the surprise twist, go on with your life. I remember getting hammered with some friends while trying to watch Unbreakable. Want to try the Unbreakable drinking game: drink every time nothing happens. After that fiasco, I was drunk as a lemur and Snatch was the next movie, and I could not get through Brad Pitt's made-up language/accent/whatever he had going there.

I think I'm being a little hard on Shyamalan, and maybe I'll be wrong and the Happening will be swell; but I get mad that Shyamalan has a lot of potential and goodwill that he seems intent on burning. Signs was all right the first time through, maybe, and it does an excellent job of building dread; but it completely falls apart if you think about it for five minutes. I know I'm not the first person to say this, hell, I've been complaining about it for years, but Signs is the crappiest alien invasion ever. Hell, it's not an invasion, it's a pantie raid.

I swear, it's like they all just piled in the car, drove to earth, and started tear-assing around. You know what would've been better than bringing nothing? Anything! Guns! Pokey-sticks! Rocks to drop over the side of their spaceships! (Now that I think about it, if the aliens had one of those medieval cauldrons of molten lead, that would be awesome.) The whole movie builds up to the hand of God showing Mel Gibson's character that there is a bigger plan for the universe; unfortunately, it's a plan involving unprepared, half-retarded, poisonous aliens. (An IMDB message board post posits that the aliens aren't aliens, they're demons or something. I don't know about that, but still, demon or alien, any invasion you can chase off with a garden hose kind of sucks. In theory, I suppose you could quite literally lick the aliens...)

Just so I don't sound completely negative, I am looking forward to seeing the Incredible Hulk this weekend. My Wife was a little sad that the old Ang Lee one was being glossed over a bit (i.e. most people are going to pretend it never happened, like Daredevil, Catwoman, Elektra, etc.) since she liked it. Still, she was up for seeing the new one, so I'm hoping we get to that before the Happening.


SallyP said...

I've never seen a Shyamalan OR a Rockie movie, and I'm rather proud of that.

Poe Ghostal said...


I wrote this right after I saw Signs:

The Fortress Keeper said...

You know, I kind of liked the Ang Lee Hulk as well. It was like some sort of philosophical tract combined with comic-book visuals and silver-age dialogue.

Still, I'm looking forward to the new, smash-friendly film as well.