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Print Page - first impressions...

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Films => The Happening => Topic started by: Khepri on June 12, 2008, 05:54:01 AM

Title: first impressions...
Post by: Khepri on June 12, 2008, 05:54:01 AM
Finally...I've seen The Happening yesterday,and the first thing that I have to say is that the movie made me think a lot...the movie has a very direct style,no long questions about what's goin' on or whatever,the answers comme very quick. the most similar movie that he made was "signs" but like I said with a very different style of telling the story. That's maybe the most pessimist movie he ever made,as always in his movies you'll find a lot of humour(see the scene where mark talks with the plant in the house...just awesome...),but the real topic in this very strong movie is the question of what is really important,the question of survival. After treating themes like what you're place in the world(unbreakable) or the question of faith(signs) here comes an unexcepted story about loving each others,the truth,and what needs to be done for our children in this world where the real enemy is not the nature...
I hope that I haven't told you to much,just tried to give for someones a general picture of this incredible movie.
And sorry for my poor english... :-[
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Khepri on June 12, 2008, 06:00:21 AM
Oh...I forgot...Leguizamo rocks,and the actor that was in the village too(the doctor,one of the olders) is just amazing...
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: marco on June 12, 2008, 06:36:48 AM
Similar to Signs?? :o  :o
That's very good,now I'm even more excited than before!
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: srkbeno.1 on June 12, 2008, 07:07:36 AM
I just bought my ticket for tomorrow 430 show!!! People in the past have hated Alot of M.Nights Work. I personally find him to be brilliant. I will see the film. and post my review here. and everyone should be careful in their reviews because alot of spoilers are already out
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Sri HK on June 12, 2008, 07:36:40 AM
Finally...I've seen The Happening yesterday,and the first thing that I have to say is that the movie made me think a lot...the movie has a very direct style,no long questions about what's goin' on or whatever,the answers comme very quick. the most similar movie that he made was "signs" but like I said with a very different style of telling the story. That's maybe the most pessimist movie he ever made,as always in his movies you'll find a lot of humour(see the scene where mark talks with the plant in the house...just awesome...),but the real topic in this very strong movie is the question of what is really important,the question of survival. After treating themes like what you're place in the world(unbreakable) or the question of faith(signs) here comes an unexcepted story about loving each others,the truth,and what needs to be done for our children in this world where the real enemy is not the nature...
I hope that I haven't told you to much,just tried to give for someones a general picture of this incredible movie.
And sorry for my poor english... :-[

Glad you like it.

 ;)
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 12, 2008, 08:11:21 AM
I'm a huge Night fan, that's why I'm a member of this site and why I own all of his films on DVD.  Recently I've been watching all of his previous work, in anticipation for "The Happening".  This was a great way of looking at how he constructs all of his films and got me really excited for his latest story.

To drive the point home, I want to stress that I'm not just a casual movie fan.  I'm studying film and would one day love to write and produce my own stuff, Night has been an important influence on my style and storytelling so I've always kind of "looked up" to his films.

Boy oh boy, I was terribly disappointed with "The Happening"...this film is terrible.

There are little to no redeeming values in the movie, it's a like a spoof of a b-horror movie...except it's not a spoof, its taking itself seriously.  Night is normally able to draw great performances from his actors, that is not the case here.  Mark Whalberg and Zoey Deschanel are wooden and seem to be rehearsing lines during the entire film.  The supporting actors are o.k, but there isn't a stand out moment in the film at all in terms of acting.

I think the main problem is the script in general.  We're thrown right into the middle of the action, so we're basically told what's going on straight away.  The rest of the movie spends so much time trying to explain itself to us, through clunky unrealistic dialogue, that we loose all emotional attachment to the characters.

Likewise the scares seem to be non-existent.  Yes, there's a lot of violence...but where's the tension building that we all love from Shyamalan so much?  I miss those extremely long shots which help to create the atmosphere (like when the Aliens arrive to harvest in Signs, and kill the family dog).  Even James Newton Howard's score is lackluster, where were the themes which he normally builds so well?

All in all, I was severely disappointed and I honestly don't know what to expect from Night in the future.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rohan on June 12, 2008, 09:06:14 AM
Finally...I've seen The Happening yesterday,and the first thing that I have to say is that the movie made me think a lot...the movie has a very direct style,no long questions about what's goin' on or whatever,the answers comme very quick. the most similar movie that he made was "signs" but like I said with a very different style of telling the story. That's maybe the most pessimist movie he ever made,as always in his movies you'll find a lot of humour(see the scene where mark talks with the plant in the house...just awesome...),but the real topic in this very strong movie is the question of what is really important,the question of survival. After treating themes like what you're place in the world(unbreakable) or the question of faith(signs) here comes an unexcepted story about loving each others,the truth,and what needs to be done for our children in this world where the real enemy is not the nature...
I hope that I haven't told you to much,just tried to give for someones a general picture of this incredible movie.
And sorry for my poor english... :-[

Hey, thanks for sharing with your thoughts with us. Now, I am more pumped up to watch this magnificent movie.
I can't wait.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Psychilles on June 12, 2008, 09:34:46 AM
I'm a huge Night fan, that's why I'm a member of this site and why I own all of his films on DVD.  Recently I've been watching all of his previous work, in anticipation for "The Happening".  This was a great way of looking at how he constructs all of his films and got me really excited for his latest story.

To drive the point home, I want to stress that I'm not just a casual movie fan.  I'm studying film and would one day love to write and produce my own stuff, Night has been an important influence on my style and storytelling so I've always kind of "looked up" to his films.

Boy oh boy, I was terribly disappointed with "The Happening"...this film is terrible.

There are little to no redeeming values in the movie, it's a like a spoof of a b-horror movie...except it's not a spoof, its taking itself seriously.  Night is normally able to draw great performances from his actors, that is not the case here.  Mark Whalberg and Zoey Deschanel are wooden and seem to be rehearsing lines during the entire film.  The supporting actors are o.k, but there isn't a stand out moment in the film at all in terms of acting.

I think the main problem is the script in general.  We're thrown right into the middle of the action, so we're basically told what's going on straight away.  The rest of the movie spends so much time trying to explain itself to us, through clunky unrealistic dialogue, that we loose all emotional attachment to the characters.

Likewise the scares seem to be non-existent.  Yes, there's a lot of violence...but where's the tension building that we all love from Shyamalan so much?  I miss those extremely long shots which help to create the atmosphere (like when the Aliens arrive to harvest in Signs, and kill the family dog).  Even James Newton Howard's score is lackluster, where were the themes which he normally builds so well?

All in all, I was severely disappointed and I honestly don't know what to expect from Night in the future.

I kind of agrea with you... I went yesterday and the first thing I though was, damm.. this is plain bad. It made me a little sad. But I also though that my expactations were to high... I was bluiding it up for quiet a time.

The acting and the timing were also my problem... Where were those very nice acting moments? were are the very slow and long cuts... I missed that. Alot.

But now after a day.... I think I want to see it again, also on my own, because my dad was with me and he always has to say what he thinks about everthing that he sees, so that's a bit anoying...

I'll post a real review here ones I've watched it the second time.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 12, 2008, 09:40:08 AM
I kind of agrea with you... I went yesterday and the first thing I though was, damm.. this is plain bad. It made me a little sad. But I also though that my expactations were to high... I was bluiding it up for quiet a time.

The acting and the timing were also my problem... Where were those very nice acting moments? were are the very slow and long cuts... I missed that. Alot.

But now after a day.... I think I want to see it again, also on my own, because my dad was with me and he always has to say what he thinks about everthing that he sees, so that's a bit anoying...

I'll post a real review here ones I've watched it the second time.

I agree, those long shots were great for character moments and for building tension.  The Happening just felt like a rushed mess.  Its funny that you say it made you 'sad'...I felt the same way afterwards, I was really bummed out.

I'll probably see it again too, only because I'm a fan and my mind is still trying to find anything about the movie it liked haha.  I'm not expecting to change my mind though.  It's really a shame :(
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 12, 2008, 10:08:26 AM
Huh, that's interesting.  Though I'm not ging to make my decisions until after I see the movie tomorrow.  Interesting, two people who didn't like it and one who loved it.  Guess I'll have to wait and see.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: DILinator on June 12, 2008, 10:45:21 AM
As much as I've been looking forward to my film, I keep reminding myself to temper my expectations, because nothing is worse than the feeling of "anticipointment".  That's a word I use to desribe the feeling one has when they build something up in their mind so much, that even if it's not bad, it can't possibly live up to the expectations that we've set for it.  Given how much I've looked forward to this movie, and counted down the days, it's a prime candidate for this happening (pardon the pun).  So I've really tried to prepare myself, starting with my disappointment with the gore level in the red band trailer, to obviously cheesy acting in the previews, and especially as of late as negative reviews have trickled in, for the possibilty that this movie will not live up to my hopes and expectations.  I do feel like Night probably had to compromise some on his style and vision to make this movie, and if it flops because of it it's too bad because it will likely put an end to Shyamalan's solo career, and it was actually more the studio's fault than him for forcing him to go more gory, and get away from his usual style. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself here.  I've yet to see the movie, and quite possibly I'll think it's brilliant, and a return the the Night of old!  I just think it's important for us all to prepare ourselves for the increasingly real possibility that this movie isn't all that great.  The reviewers above are all "one of us", so I believe they gave the movie a fair shake.  And there are two negative and one positive.  Just beware of anticipointment is all everybody....
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 12, 2008, 12:41:21 PM
*Crosses fingers*
Gosh, PLEASE let it be good!!!
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Erik on June 12, 2008, 02:10:33 PM
The movie was released in Holland today, and I just saw it.

I'm dissapointed...

The movie isn't really bad, but I thought it was Shyamalan's worst movie. The movie didn't scare me, there where no remoriable lines, there was no M. Night cameo, no twist ending.
Shyamalan created a really nice atmosphere in his latest movies: The Village, the house of Graham, The Cove. There isn't an area in the movie which you can hold to. It's always somewhere else.
Also the trailer already screened the best parts, there isn't much left except running.

About the story: it looks like M. Night made this movie just to scare you, not to have a good story line.

I'm sorry, I'll give The Happening another chance and watch it again, but then after the DVD release.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 12, 2008, 02:23:58 PM
I am truly prepared to not like it.  I wouldn't even care to see the movie if M Night wasn't directing it.  That is the same exact way I went into Lady In The Water, and that is my favorite M Night movie.  Hopefully he didn't try to sell out a bit in trying to make a more mainstream movie and then end up making something even less palatable to the general movie going audience then his last 2 movies.  I am more excited then ever though considering how strange and mixed some of the reviews have been.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: DILinator on June 12, 2008, 02:35:47 PM
There certainly is an element of mystery surrounding this movie that only adds to the excitement of actually seeing it, for better, or for worse!
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Miles on June 12, 2008, 03:17:04 PM
Honestly, if you didnt like it thats fine, I understand, but I dont know if you can call it a bad movie. I mean even the guy from joblo said "Even his worst movies are better than most of the films out there". But Ill leave that up in the air untill i see the film lol what I do have to say though is, M Night did not sell out. He did not compromise his vision at all. thats why he went to fox because they were willing to work together but give night full control. He wouldnt have done it otherwise, Night is a control freak. Trying something differnt is not selling out ya know. His movies usually have long shots and paced acting, which I love. But you cant blame him for trying quicker shots and a more fast paced film to create the panic that he talks about so much. Hes still M Night. Its still his style. Hes  just trying differnt things. Remember hes only what 36 and hes only made 5 big films that "define" his style. Hs got a lot of time left. Im glad to let him try out other things on route to creating his ultimate style.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 12, 2008, 04:21:39 PM
Miles, take it easy.  I didn't say he sold out.  I just said I hope he didn't.  Selling out doesn't mean you can't do it in small doses.  If he made any decisions based on what he thought might be more mainstream or popular, technically that's a bit of a sell out.  Ultimately, I think he stuck to his gut, but I will make a better assessment after having seen it.  But you don't know that he didn't sell it out a bit so don't talk like you do know.  We mostly agree here so it's all good.  I happen to think he is the best director working, and I happen to think that he didn't sell out.  But he has been under TONS of scrutiny and it sounds like he has been willing to collaborate more in this last outing possibly because of that which, to me, sounds less like a control freak and more towards someone who could have went for the hit then doing what he wanted to do at any given moment.  But, again, I don't think he sold out.

 
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: marco on June 12, 2008, 04:31:27 PM
After having read these two negative impressions and some interviews from Night himself,I'm definitely prepared to watch something new.From what I've understood,he's trying new ideas for his cinematography,and I think this can be good.But to be honest,if he gets rid of the emotional side typical of his works,that makes me really sad about The Happening...Let's see..  :-\
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Miles on June 12, 2008, 04:37:04 PM
My bad dude, I didnt mean that directly to you. I only said that cause Ive heard it a bunch of differnt places, and I know its on a lot of peoples minds.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 12, 2008, 05:24:55 PM
It's cool.  Apparently I'm just egocentric enough to think everyone is talking about me when they post I guess, ha.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 12, 2008, 08:24:00 PM
I don't want to be the guy who constantly posts negative stuff.  Like other have said, I really wanted this to be a return to the "Night of old", but it was nothing of the sort.  It's not just the difference in cinematography (which isn't as tight as it usually is).  It's the plot and dialogue as well...I don't want to give spoilers so I'll wait until most of you have seen it and then we can discuss.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Unbroken on June 12, 2008, 09:12:36 PM
Dadgum it. This don't look good. I'll keep an open mind, but I must say this really don't look good at all.

Critics are white noise as far as I'm concerned. Fellow fans, however, expressing disappointment isn't something I thought would happen.

Oh well. Night can still make like 15 more movies if he wants to, and I'm absolutely positive he'll do something amazing again, more than once I'm sure. This is not the end. This is just the end of the beginning.

M Night started out incredibly. And he will finish phenomenally, I guarantee.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: srkbeno.1 on June 13, 2008, 02:49:09 AM
i am leaving to see it right now.. will be back with review.. i have low expectations
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: srkbeno.1 on June 13, 2008, 08:42:00 AM
My Review

 Well as i mentioned before, i went with very very low expectations. Although, when the trailers came out, my expectations were through the roof! After reading so many negative comments, it got me down. But as usual i was there for the m night movie first day..

I know alot of people read these comments to find out if the person posting liked or disliked the movie. So i'll get right to it.. Let me start by saying, Yes, I did like the movie. Did i love it and think its one of his best works? No.

The film has a nice story with a brilliant idea. M night did a fantastic job directing. All the scenes that were about the "event" really were scary and well shot.

The acting. I donno why everyone is so mad at the "acting" in the movie. I think Mark and betty did a good job playing ordinary characters.

What i loved? I loved the scenes with the deaths. They were so disturbing and so natural. I loved the locations, the atmosphere and what i loved most was the mood of the film that was well maintained. The suspense keeps u at the egde of your seat

what i didnt like? I felt the film needed to be better scripted. M night usually gives huge attention to detail in each and every scene shot. In this film, that is a huge minus point. M night usually has elements such as the "red" omen, or his mini appearance in the film. All these things really made a difference to the m night fan watching.

The climax. So this is where i felt a major mistake was made. Although i am very happy it didnt have an obscure twist, it didnt even have a clear explanation as to what exactly happened! And this is what the entire audience was waiting for. I felt if they worked on the climax the film would work for alot more people than it did.

Over all. This film definitely ranks over Lady in the water, only because it was creepy. As far as the rest of the line up goes, it falls right behind the rest. Do not go in with huge expectations, as the film wont meet them. However, the film on its own, is a well made film and something that will make you think. I personally liked the film and i think on a second viewing i may end up really liking it. Ignore all the reviews your reading and just go watch the film. I promise, if you love Mnights work, you will enjoy the film..

7/10
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rohan on June 13, 2008, 09:12:37 AM
Thanks Srkbeno...

Good Review. I can't wait to watch it.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 13, 2008, 09:59:26 AM
I know, I see it tonight, I can't wait.  It just gets me down though, all the bad reviews.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Miles on June 13, 2008, 12:02:21 PM
I just got back from seeing it.

I will say the first act, incredibly rushed. And I say that to be fair. M Night has flaws we need to embrace. And this is shown in the first act, its almost as like he just couldnt wait to tell the rest of the story.

But the second and third acts were just incredible. The acting, cinematography, directing, and dialogue, all got increasingly better towards the end. The ending is a little tiny bit weak, but I was satisfyed. Good way to close.

NOT REALLY A SPOILER BUT JUST IN CASE..
I especailly like marks cough syrup joke haha.

My favorite Night movie is signs and to me this ranks just under it.

Im not telling anybody they are wrong though, if you dont like it you cant help that, but I personally was very pleased.

Ill say 8/10
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 13, 2008, 12:20:08 PM
Ah man, now you guys are making me feel like I'm the guy who's being too harsh....I can't honestly see how you could like this better than his other films?  I mean, seriously, the script is pretty bad.  Lines like "hey give that back, it has meaning to me" are so stilted it's almost unbearable, the same goes for the crazy old womans speech about the pipe which links the house to the shed....it's so damn obvious that she's describing it so it can be used later in the story that she might as well have finished her sentence with "so, if you want to use that later in the story, please feel free".

Again (because I know you love his other films, and so do I) I'm not trying to be picky or poke fun at Night, I just think it's time we acknowledge that he can't always be perfect with his film making.  Of course, if you genuinely enjoy The Happening, then good for you, I'm totally jealous.  For me, there were way too many negative aspects  :(
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Wags on June 13, 2008, 01:10:54 PM
Hey guys, I just got back.  And I have to say? its ok.  That?s it.  It?s an okay film that I believe was spoiled by all the trailers (especially the red band trailers) and the fact that my stupid ass read ?The Green Effect? script.  To be honest, when I first heard about the people who weren?t gonna watch or read anything before the movie, I was like ?man, they are just gonna hold this over us forever.?  But now, I am actually eager to hear from a fan that has not seen anything. But here is what I thought:

(SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!)


First off, the film moves at lightning speed.  Not bad, but just an interesting change of pace compared to his other movies.

The film?s major flaw, I felt, was in some of the dialogue.  Mostly, I felt that the nursery owner/hot dog enthusiast (even though he was perhaps my second favorite character, next to Julian [John Leguizamo was so good with the little screen time he got, he was excellent]) spent too much time explaining HOW this could happen.  And at the end, when we get the long-drawn out discussion about why this was happening on the TV; it just felt totally unnecessary.  Especially considering towards the beginning, when Elliot?s class is talking about why the bees are disappearing. It felt like we were being beat over the head.

And the dialogue, I thought, was sort of sub-par.  And the actors were a little stiff and unnatural.  At least in the beginning.  But once  they got to that diner in Filbert, I thought that both the actors got comfortable, and that the dialogue got more fluid and natural. 

The film looked really, really nice.  The scene at the end, when Elliot, Alma, and Jess are waling towards each other in the blowing wind: the combination of ?Be With You? from the soundtrack and the footage was perhaps the best and most moving scene in the whole movie.  Although I felt that the lack of development between Elliot and Alma sort of hindered that excellent scene.

Another thing that bothered me in this movie was the emotional center of the movie.  That is perhaps the thing I have always loved about Night?s movies.  They weren?t just about ghosts, they weren?t just about aliens; they weren?t just about superheroes.  They had these deeper meanings.  This film sort of had this, with the idea of communication and display of affection humans display towards each other, but it was shrouded by the ?event? and the eco-friendly message.  The film also gave us a good look at how people act and behave in times of crisis.  When people are driving off, leaving other humans behind, and when people see military personnel and think ?the army?we?re safe?.  That was an interesting angle.  And I know that Night was trying to make a fun ?B? movie, but all his movies are ?B? movies, just with rich subtext and underlying themes and messages.  And I felt that this film was lacking that. 

The mood ring?s importance in the film was lost in ?The Happening?.  In ?The Green Effect?, the mood ring is a HUGE plot device, and really explains why they weren?t affected when they went outside nicely.  But, for some reason, they got rid of that explanation, and now we have to assume that the happening just ended luckily before they walked outside.  I just don?t understand why they cut that out.

I know this all reads like I hated the movie, buts that is not the case.  I have a bad habit of only expressing what I dislike about things over what I enjoyed about the things.  I don?t know why I do this, but I am working on it. This movie is by no means deserving of the reviews it is getting, and neither is Night.  But this definitely a simplified version of what I consider to be an M Night Shyamalan movie.  If any other director in the world made this identical movie, it probably would have gotten better reviews.  No one goes into a movie with an open mind anymore.

But I also recognize that I really shot myself in the foot by watching and reading everything I could before I saw the movie.  So of course I knew what was going to happen, and why there might not be that much tension for me.  And so, when I go see this film again (yes, I will be seeing it once more this weekend, and then again during the week), I will be with people who are not as informed as I am.  And hopefully, they will be more shocked and awed than I was.

But mostly, I blame myself. 

The Happening: 7/10

By no means bad, by no means great.  Sorry if this seems incoherent and long-winded, but I guess I still haven?t quite gathered my thoughts entirely.  As I type, a few pieces are starting to fall into place in my mind.  But I?ll save it for later.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: DILinator on June 13, 2008, 02:03:07 PM
Wow! 

I saw the movie this morning, and wanted to come in here and share my thoguhts/review on it.  However, so much of what I have to say has already been said in the last few reviews, so I will save me some typing and merely quote and piggyback on some things....

I know alot of people read these comments to find out if the person posting liked or disliked the movie. So i'll get right to it.. Let me start by saying, Yes, I did like the movie. Did i love it and think its one of his best works? No.

The film has a nice story with a brilliant idea. M night did a fantastic job directing. All the scenes that were about the "event" really were scary and well shot.

The acting. I donno why everyone is so mad at the "acting" in the movie. I think Mark and betty did a good job playing ordinary characters.

The climax. So this is where i felt a major mistake was made. Although i am very happy it didnt have an obscure twist, it didnt even have a clear explanation as to what exactly happened! And this is what the entire audience was waiting for. I felt if they worked on the climax the film would work for alot more people than it did.

Over all. This film definitely ranks over Lady in the water, only because it was creepy. As far as the rest of the line up goes, it falls right behind the rest. Do not go in with huge expectations, as the film wont meet them. However, the film on its own, is a well made film and something that will make you think. I personally liked the film and i think on a second viewing i may end up really liking it. Ignore all the reviews your reading and just go watch the film. I promise, if you love Mnights work, you will enjoy the film..

7/10

I quoted the stuff I agreed with SRKbeno about.  Me personally, I liked it more than Unbreakable as well, though my dad who saw it with me, ranked it behind that as well like SRKbeno.  I think 7 out of 10 is a good ranking for the films, and upon repeated viewings it might move up a little, and even threaten to pass The Sixth Sense in my rankings.  I definitely feel like this is a film that needs to be given repeated viewings, as the initial reactions upon watching it are likely to be different from how you feel after thinking about it a little bit.  I, at least, found that to be the case, as did my dad.  There really is something important and valuable being said here in The Happening, but it is much more hidden and obscured by the obvious extrernal events, and frenetic pacing of the movie.  That's good for keeping the intensity flowing, but bad for character development and really driving home the poignant message I think the movie's trying to make.  And no, I again think the whole "eco-crisis" is a red herring, and merely another vehicle for the more personal and meaningful point the movie is trying to make. 

*Potential Spoiler alert if you don't want to know my idea of the "message" in advance.*

While it's not as clearly defined as some of Night's messages in his movies, I believe that overarching message is really that people need to value life more, and not be so selfish and consumed with their own little world that they fail to build realtionships with others, or treat them with respect, or even respect the world and environment that we live in.  It's all about the importance of relationships, and the importance of valuing what we've been given, and not taking it for granted.  I don't believe aliens are ever going to attack earth, nor do I think nature is ever going to turn on us as depected in The Happening.  However, I think they are dramatic examples that reveal the more important message being brought forth in the films. There's a lot more that could be said about this, but it's still seeping into me deeper as I write, and I definitely want to see it again a couple times to fully glean everything from it I can.  This is definitely an "onion" movie, and one that will take a lot more effort to draw things out of than some of the others.     

RE: Miles' review

I felt the whole movie was rushed, to keep up the pace and intensity befitting a thriller/horror film.  I think that's why character development was a little neglected, especially in some of the secondary characters, and the message somewhat obscured.  I would like to see a more thoughtful version, that's a little longer, and isn't so concered with "shocking" and "horrifying" the audience, but rather developing the story more.  Maybe there'll be a director's cut more like that.  Probably not, but it would be nice, as I feel that there's a lot more to this movie wanting to be told, then ever is, or likely will be.

RE: spikeshinzle

I honestly like it better than LITW and Unbreakable, and that's just taking it at face value.  As I come to grips more and more with the message and meaning of the film, it's inching up in my level of appreciation.  I definitely recommend seeing it again, as I think you may see more in it than you did at first.  As for the script, I agree it wasn't shakespere, or even terribly clever, but aside from maybe a few lines, it was effective, and real.  That's something I think reviewers, especially "film critic" types forget when reviewing dialogue.  People don't really talk like a lot of thoughtfully written movies.  People speak in a much more natural, uninspired, and reactionary way.  I think some of the lines fell flat, or felt unnatural, but not a ton, and not even the same ones that you described.  Too each their own though....  I don't think he's perfect all the time either, and there are certainly some flaws here, but in the end I don't think the negatives outweigh the positives. 

First off, the film moves at lightning speed.  Not bad, but just an interesting change of pace compared to his other movies.

The film?s major flaw, I felt, was in some of the dialogue.  Mostly, I felt that the nursery owner/hot dog enthusiast (even though he was perhaps my second favorite character, next to Julian [John Leguizamo was so good with the little screen time he got, he was excellent]) spent too much time explaining HOW this could happen.  And at the end, when we get the long-drawn out discussion about why this was happening on the TV; it just felt totally unnecessary.  Especially considering towards the beginning, when Elliot?s class is talking about why the bees are disappearing. It felt like we were being beat over the head.

And the dialogue, I thought, was sort of sub-par.  And the actors were a little stiff and unnatural.  At least in the beginning.  But once  they got to that diner in Filbert, I thought that both the actors got comfortable, and that the dialogue got more fluid and natural. 

The film looked really, really nice.  The scene at the end, when Elliot, Alma, and Jess are waling towards each other in the blowing wind: the combination of ?Be With You? from the soundtrack and the footage was perhaps the best and most moving scene in the whole movie.  Although I felt that the lack of development between Elliot and Alma sort of hindered that excellent scene.

But this definitely a simplified version of what I consider to be an M Night Shyamalan movie.  If any other director in the world made this identical movie, it probably would have gotten better reviews.  No one goes into a movie with an open mind anymore.

The Happening: 7/10

By no means bad, by no means great.

I agree with a lot of what was quoted above, though as I mentioned before I didn't think the dialogue was too bad, not as bad as what I expected from some of the previews.  There did need to be more development of characters, including Elliot and Alma, and the emotional center of the movie would have been even better.  However, I definitely think it was there, as I stated above, and hopefully upon your repeated viewings it comes to you a little more clearly.  It took me a little bit of thinking to really flesh it out as well.  I would have preferred part about the mood ring you mentioned, as I think that would have been a stronger explanation than the one the movie gave.  The ending was definitely a weak point in the film, and that would have made it a little bit better.  Especially since they kept bringing it up all through the movie only to ditch the crux of it's point at the end.  Strange choice....  I wouldn't say it's great either, but I do think it good, and the more I think about it, the closer I think it gets to being very good. 

Bottom line for me, I am happy with the movie, and look forward to digging deeper into it, and thinking about it's meaning more over time.  I think it's weaker than his best efforts, but as long as you don't have unrealistic expectations, or want it to be textbook "filmmaking" (which I think is actually overrated), I think you will be pleased with the movie.  It was nice to see Shyamalan in action again, and making a little more sense (in my opinion) this time! 
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Erik on June 13, 2008, 04:10:26 PM
I want to set something straight, I think I already explained it, but just to make sure:
I didn't think the movie was a bad movie, it's just not a Night-masterpiece. During the movie, I had the feeling I was watching a thriller by some unkown director instead of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. I think his unique style didn't control this movie, while it did in his last 5.
Ofcourse, there where good parts in it.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: auhin on June 13, 2008, 04:28:37 PM
I saw it today, and must say I liked it. M. Night still has his ability to create emotional characters you really feel attached to, he still has the ability to build suspense, and he really has the ability to make a great movie. In The Happening, he just wasn't trying hard enough.

SPOILER!!!!!!!!! SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!! SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!



Some of the scenes were excellent. But why not elaborate on Mrs. Jones and the men who SHOT Spencer Breslin's character? The way he just used them in a few scenes and then got rid of them left people (well, me and my dad at least) with impressions that M. Night was saying things about, respectively, religious people and people who bear arms. At the same time, I think DILinator said it best, these are just red herrings. M. Night wouldn't bag on religious people. (See Signs) And I don't think he's "going green" either. it represents, like DILinator said, a much larger theme.

The girls at the beginning are reading a gruesome murder novel, the construction workers are telling jokes, and Julian's trying to comfort a scared woman all before the attacks occur to those groups of people. I think the problem is M. Night made the cause of the Happening too vague to where it seemed he didn't even try to explain it. In his interviews, he says the movie's about love and relationships, which obviously makes the most sense. But why include the newscaster's interview at the end? That would suggest that it really is "a warning, like a rash", considering it ends up affecting France next.

Notice that it only happens in certain, concentrated areas. I think this is an indicator that perhaps the Happening is a test of faith and love, just like the alien invasion in Signs was. M. Night says himself that in each movie he solves a familial problem. 

OK, so my boring talk is over. what I liked about the movie? I liked pretty much all of the scenes. The dialogue wasn't amazing, but I still liked the cast. The scenes are done well, but it seems like not enough detail is given to the small things. I wish I could've read The Green Effect script, it sounds pretty good. I would've loved it if M. Night made the mood ring a bigger part of the film. Right now it's inevitably last on my list. Just didn't stand out enough, I guess.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Unbroken on June 13, 2008, 04:29:37 PM
This sudden influx of relatively good opinions about The Happening is rather encouraging.  :)
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 13, 2008, 05:28:00 PM
I saw it as well.  So first impressions: It felt very much like an M Night movie to me.  I loved that.  I was scared it wouldn't feel like M Night.  I love the way the characters interact in his writing and directing, in all his movies.  I loved Mark Wahlberg.  He reminds me of all M Night's leading men, which is a good thing I think.  I loved the comedy in the movie.  I don't think people realize that some parts are supposed to be funny.  Specifically a part that so many people have commented on as being bad, and it was CLEARLY supposed to be funny.  Also, the tone of this film isn't just some dark doomsday feeling, but he interjects what I think is becoming a trademark quarkiness and silliness in there as well.  It truly is b-movie style.

That being said, I like his last 4 movies more then this one.  The ending isn't as strong as I had hoped.  And I think that is not do to the writing as I think the climax is good idea, but it didn't end up being as impactful as I wanted it to be.  Perhaps the relationship between Zooey and Mark wasn't developed enough for me.  I am not sure yet.  The directing is the weak point in this film as far as I am concerned.  But it isn't weak.  It is still good, and sometimes great.

I will be seeing it again and looking forward to discussing it in more detail in the future.

I will say that when I walked out of the theater and heard and felt the wind blowing, well, I was very aware that the wind was blowing is all I am saying.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Kable on June 13, 2008, 10:22:30 PM
 :o :o :o

I?m in SHOCK.. I?ll come back here when my heart slows down.
Post your impressions!
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: DILinator on June 13, 2008, 10:29:04 PM
I loved the comedy in the movie.  I don't think people realize that some parts are supposed to be funny.  Specifically a part that so many people have commented on as being bad, and it was CLEARLY supposed to be funny.

I agree with you here.  I found myself chuckling in a number of different parts of the movie, and it wasn't a derisive chuckle.  I think I only felt that way once, and I don't even remember what about now.  As for that scene I'm sure is the one you're referencing, I had the same thought.  Why did everybody act like that was really supposed to be a serious scene???  It clearly was meant to be humorous, and if people were actually taking it the other way they are nuts!
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Sri HK on June 13, 2008, 10:53:08 PM
I just returned home after finishing the 7:30 show.  Here is my mini-review:

I should have stayed away from the Red Band Trailer.....damn sucked the fun out of the initial part.   >:(

Coming to the movie....it is kinda weird Shyamalan movie.  Very different from LITW.  May be that is why we love Shyamalan...every movie is kinda different and good in its own right.  The movie got better for me after the initial 30 mins (damn you those mini-spoilers).  The premise was very believable and blended well with the story line. But he should have stayed away from the "theory" part of Science.....my only "made me cringe" moment in the movie.       

The movie has it's fair share of comedic moments....all of them intentional and i enjoyed those parts.  I'm still kinda taking in the movie and cannot give a complete assessment of it. 

I definitely have to see it again.  Mixed feelings. :-\


Oh.....and i loved the ending of the movie...ambiguous with very subtle Eco message ( and stay away from France this summer..... ;D).
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: auhin on June 13, 2008, 10:54:28 PM
Yeah, I loved the plastic plant scene. I thought his dialogue was still great, just that the ending was weak (save the pregnancy part).
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: joecartoon131 on June 13, 2008, 10:58:50 PM
REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!


Forgive me, I saw the film this afternoon and in getting out my review, I may be a bit scattered...

First off, I admit, I read the first draft of the screenplay (The Green Effect) and I noticed many of the changes when I saw the finished film this afternoon (the 5:00pm showing in my area was a near sellout, which is a very good sign because it was playing in the large theater and it normally doesn't get full, especially at that early time). The omission of Elliot and Alma's fight, the omission of Elliot's guitar and his dream to be a musician, the change of the teenagers' demise, the different ending, even the change in where "the happening" happens (among other things) demonstrated that Night did do rewrites, not just amp up the violence. I must say I like the changes made. In terms of The Happening itself...

I LOVED IT! I won't even compare it to his other films because honestly, what other director has his or hers films compared to prevous ones like Night does? He wants them all judged individually, not compared. Anyway, the pace was incredible. I loved how it kept moving from one suspenseful situation to the next and still paused for the moments of character reflection (something Night always makes sure to include) that didn't feel forced. The humor was great too (I love Mark's playful "jab" at Alma about a girl he met in the pharmacy, that rectifies a previous problem between the two about Alma's co-worker - Mark's face and voice was so funny). I'm glad that Night kept with his style and stayed with the main characters most of the time (more than in the original draft). Central Park, the construction site, and Rittenhouse Square, I believe, were his only segments away, other than that, we followed the main characters as they witnessed much of the violence and "happening" firsthand. Leaving them to show how "the happening" was affecting other people didn't feel right in the first draft (though I did miss the little boy playing I Spy and noticing the man walking backwards - a really funny part from Green Effect).

I thought Mark's Elliot Moore was great. His interactions with Jess were sweet (I especially liked the quiet conversation when she approached him sitting off the side of the road). He seems to be getting quite the flak for his acting, but I totally believed in the character.

The worst of the violence - for those concerned - was shown in the red band trailer, though I think the most shocking death was of the two boys, just because they were teens. The one jumping construction worker who landed on the sidewalk was pretty grisly because the visual and sound was the perfect match.

Betty Buckley was awesome. Her Mrs. Jones will be a Shyamalan character to be remembered for quite some time!

I liked that Elliot remained clueless and searching for answers throughout the film. In Green Effect he figures too much out himself.

The "France" ending was great. I'm really happy Night changed it to continue the paranoia established in the film. I got a little worried when "the happening" only seemed to be affecting a certain area (because it's everywhere in the original draft - something I really liked in the whole "end of the world" side of things).

Overall, I don't see how any true Night fan will be disappointed. It was exactly what he said it was going to be and what I expected; a paranoia film that takes place in present times (like Body Snatchers was in 1956). The Happening felt very much like "an M. Night Shyamalan film" to me, only faster and more intense.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: MrStone on June 13, 2008, 11:06:57 PM
The movie was released in Holland today, and I just saw it.

I'm dissapointed...

The movie isn't really bad, but I thought it was Shyamalan's worst movie. The movie didn't scare me, there where no remoriable lines, there was no M. Night cameo, no twist ending.
Shyamalan created a really nice atmosphere in his latest movies: The Village, the house of Graham, The Cove. There isn't an area in the movie which you can hold to. It's always somewhere else.
Also the trailer already screened the best parts, there isn't much left except running.

About the story: it looks like M. Night made this movie just to scare you, not to have a good story line.

I'm sorry, I'll give The Happening another chance and watch it again, but then after the DVD release.

There was a Night Cameo - but it was his voice.  he's joey.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: MrStone on June 13, 2008, 11:27:51 PM
My REVIEW.

What I like about M. Night Shyamalan.  He's got original ideas, he's smart and he can make you think.  I just got back from the movie theater, so bear with me while I write this and sip on my McDonald's large coke.

Let me first preface everything here by saying A) i have read an early, if not the first, version of the script.  I am a huge Night fan and he's my favorite writer/director in Hollywood today.

Having said that, this movie is extremely disappointing.  Even having read the early version of the script - it's really quite sad that he derailed so much.  Had he been able to stick to the early version, with a few minor adjustments to the third act - we'd be having an entirely different conversation.

What this movie lacked was acting that was good enough to make you endeared with the characters.  In reality, Mark Wahlberg's acting is so bad - you are distracted from his first scene and never really recover.  Mark plays a science teacher, Elliot Moore, but you better be glad that I told you that - because you never really believe it.  In fact, some tree hugging plant lover in the film knows more about science than he does. 

So, enough ranting..on to the review.

The film fails in that you never get caught up in the dread of whats going on, you never connect with the characters and you never really care.  Because the editing was so vastly different, scenes are shorter and you never feel an emotional involvement with anything or anyone.  You feel like you're watching this spectacle emotionless and as a bystander.  It also fails to tie in all the pieces.  This is an editing issue...and the result of several re-writes keeping warmed over concepts from early versions.

SPOILER ALERT.

This warmed over phenomenon is quite evident if you actually read the early version of the script.  There is recurrent dialogue over a mood ring.  Yes, a mood ring that tells you how you feel based on your body temperature.  It's brought up at least 4 times and never finished in the movie.  The early script is quite the contrary.  If you remember, the original title of this films was "The Green Effect".  The color on mood rings that supposedly represents love.  What is not apparent in the film is that the trigger for the toxins switched from being human presence to being mood - which is what causes Elliot and Alma to survive.  The love in their hearts.  Lame, but heartwarming.  In fact, there is no such reference to any of this in the film.  In fact, there is a statement at the end that "it must have just ended before I went outside" that shows Night changed. 

The whole concept of 'love in their hearts' would have been an endearing reason for him to walk out into the 'danger' to be with Alma.  It would have been an arc of character, but to succumb to a lesser reason fails to bring home any emotional significance in this film.  That's my biggest problem.  I never really cared when I tried so much to and desperately wanted to enjoy this film.  I never could.

Where the film succeeds.  This concept is original.  No one else thought up anything like it.  And thats what's drawing people.  It's worth the 8 dollars, but don't buy any snacks. 

What sank this film?  The acting.  Hands down.  The direction wasn't good.  The script was average - but the acting sank this ship.  Every extra was bad.  Every filmed character was bad.    Marky Mark should try out for a high school play with the skills he demonstrated in the happening.  The film was a little short.  For this material: I feel that another 20 minutes to allow for more suspense would have vastly improved this film.  The running time is 91 minutes.  The original projected time was somewhere at 106.  With this extra running time, longer cuts, more scenes and buildup would have drastically improved the impact of the events. 

I am so sad to say this to all of you.  Seriously, I wanted to enjoy this movie so much.  I despised the early reviews that said this film was bad and wrote it off as Night bashing.  It's not.  This is truly his worst film.  But in the grand scheme of things - his worst film is better than most of the other films that are running right now.  That says something about him.  Even when his failures are more fun to watch than other films...then you know you have someone who is truly talented.  Unfortunately, this was not his rebound.  Maybe Night could use some time away from his own material so he can put out another blockbuster.

But, i remain, loyally a M. Night Shyamalan fan.

Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: MrStone on June 13, 2008, 11:31:05 PM
REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!


Forgive me, I saw the film this afternoon and in getting out my review, I may be a bit scattered...

First off, I admit, I read the first draft of the screenplay (The Green Effect) and I noticed many of the changes when I saw the finished film this afternoon (the 5:00pm showing in my area was a near sellout, which is a very good sign because it was playing in the large theater and it normally doesn't get full, especially at that early time). The omission of Elliot and Alma's fight, the omission of Elliot's guitar and his dream to be a musician, the change of the teenagers' demise, the different ending, even the change in where "the happening" happens (among other things) demonstrated that Night did do rewrites, not just amp up the violence. I must say I like the changes made. In terms of The Happening itself...

I LOVED IT! I won't even compare it to his other films because honestly, what other director has his or hers films compared to prevous ones like Night does? He wants them all judged individually, not compared. Anyway, the pace was incredible. I loved how it kept moving from one suspenseful situation to the next and still paused for the moments of character reflection (something Night always makes sure to include) that didn't feel forced. The humor was great too (I love Mark's playful "jab" at Alma about a girl he met in the pharmacy, that rectifies a previous problem between the two about Alma's co-worker - Mark's face and voice was so funny). I'm glad that Night kept with his style and stayed with the main characters most of the time (more than in the original draft). Central Park, the construction site, and Rittenhouse Square, I believe, were his only segments away, other than that, we followed the main characters as they witnessed much of the violence and "happening" firsthand. Leaving them to show how "the happening" was affecting other people didn't feel right in the first draft (though I did miss the little boy playing I Spy and noticing the man walking backwards - a really funny part from Green Effect).

I thought Mark's Elliot Moore was great. His interactions with Jess were sweet (I especially liked the quiet conversation when she approached him sitting off the side of the road). He seems to be getting quite the flak for his acting, but I totally believed in the character.

The worst of the violence - for those concerned - was shown in the red band trailer, though I think the most shocking death was of the two boys, just because they were teens. The one jumping construction worker who landed on the sidewalk was pretty grisly because the visual and sound was the perfect match.

Betty Buckley was awesome. Her Mrs. Jones will be a Shyamalan character to be remembered for quite some time!

I liked that Elliot remained clueless and searching for answers throughout the film. In Green Effect he figures too much out himself.

The "France" ending was great. I'm really happy Night changed it to continue the paranoia established in the film. I got a little worried when "the happening" only seemed to be affecting a certain area (because it's everywhere in the original draft - something I really liked in the whole "end of the world" side of things).

Overall, I don't see how any true Night fan will be disappointed. It was exactly what he said it was going to be and what I expected; a paranoia film that takes place in present times (like Body Snatchers was in 1956). The Happening felt very much like "an M. Night Shyamalan film" to me, only faster and more intense.

Wow.  I guess different people get different things out of his films.  I've studied several of his films since I am an aspiring screenwriter, have the "Green Effect" version and ..well, you can see my review above. 
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: MrStone on June 13, 2008, 11:42:57 PM
Hey guys, I just got back.  And I have to say? its ok.  That?s it.  It?s an okay film that I believe was spoiled by all the trailers (especially the red band trailers) and the fact that my stupid ass read ?The Green Effect? script.  To be honest, when I first heard about the people who weren?t gonna watch or read anything before the movie, I was like ?man, they are just gonna hold this over us forever.?  But now, I am actually eager to hear from a fan that has not seen anything. But here is what I thought:

(SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!)


First off, the film moves at lightning speed.  Not bad, but just an interesting change of pace compared to his other movies.

The film?s major flaw, I felt, was in some of the dialogue.  Mostly, I felt that the nursery owner/hot dog enthusiast (even though he was perhaps my second favorite character, next to Julian [John Leguizamo was so good with the little screen time he got, he was excellent]) spent too much time explaining HOW this could happen.  And at the end, when we get the long-drawn out discussion about why this was happening on the TV; it just felt totally unnecessary.  Especially considering towards the beginning, when Elliot?s class is talking about why the bees are disappearing. It felt like we were being beat over the head.

And the dialogue, I thought, was sort of sub-par.  And the actors were a little stiff and unnatural.  At least in the beginning.  But once  they got to that diner in Filbert, I thought that both the actors got comfortable, and that the dialogue got more fluid and natural. 

The film looked really, really nice.  The scene at the end, when Elliot, Alma, and Jess are waling towards each other in the blowing wind: the combination of ?Be With You? from the soundtrack and the footage was perhaps the best and most moving scene in the whole movie.  Although I felt that the lack of development between Elliot and Alma sort of hindered that excellent scene.

Another thing that bothered me in this movie was the emotional center of the movie.  That is perhaps the thing I have always loved about Night?s movies.  They weren?t just about ghosts, they weren?t just about aliens; they weren?t just about superheroes.  They had these deeper meanings.  This film sort of had this, with the idea of communication and display of affection humans display towards each other, but it was shrouded by the ?event? and the eco-friendly message.  The film also gave us a good look at how people act and behave in times of crisis.  When people are driving off, leaving other humans behind, and when people see military personnel and think ?the army?we?re safe?.  That was an interesting angle.  And I know that Night was trying to make a fun ?B? movie, but all his movies are ?B? movies, just with rich subtext and underlying themes and messages.  And I felt that this film was lacking that. 

The mood ring?s importance in the film was lost in ?The Happening?.  In ?The Green Effect?, the mood ring is a HUGE plot device, and really explains why they weren?t affected when they went outside nicely.  But, for some reason, they got rid of that explanation, and now we have to assume that the happening just ended luckily before they walked outside.  I just don?t understand why they cut that out.

I know this all reads like I hated the movie, buts that is not the case.  I have a bad habit of only expressing what I dislike about things over what I enjoyed about the things.  I don?t know why I do this, but I am working on it. This movie is by no means deserving of the reviews it is getting, and neither is Night.  But this definitely a simplified version of what I consider to be an M Night Shyamalan movie.  If any other director in the world made this identical movie, it probably would have gotten better reviews.  No one goes into a movie with an open mind anymore.

But I also recognize that I really shot myself in the foot by watching and reading everything I could before I saw the movie.  So of course I knew what was going to happen, and why there might not be that much tension for me.  And so, when I go see this film again (yes, I will be seeing it once more this weekend, and then again during the week), I will be with people who are not as informed as I am.  And hopefully, they will be more shocked and awed than I was.

But mostly, I blame myself. 

The Happening: 7/10

By no means bad, by no means great.  Sorry if this seems incoherent and long-winded, but I guess I still haven?t quite gathered my thoughts entirely.  As I type, a few pieces are starting to fall into place in my mind.  But I?ll save it for later.


I think I agree with you on everything.  I read that early script as well.  And really hated to see the importance of the mood ring removed.  It ruined the ending for me incredibly.

I think I may have to go see it again to get another perspective on it.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: ypehmish on June 13, 2008, 11:56:38 PM
just saw the movie. i'm not going to write much cause im tired and exhausted. anyways, the movie was eh... ok. its just so different from what shyamalan has done in the past. the chilling scenes are great. unfortunatly seeing so many trailers, clips, reviews, the shock value and effectivness were not as strong. mark whalberg was pretty funny, but he is completely miscast as this guy. he should stick to gritty hero and cop roles. zooey bothered me. John L wasn't bad, i would say he was better then both mark and zooey. didn't like how they cut the scene of john l cutting his wrist. u saw it begin, but in the red band trailer u see more. the score and cinemeotoraphy were the highlights. the movie was just too funny and sometimes unintentional. the first 10 minutes are the best part of the movie. the jeep scene is great as well. like i said the chilling scenes work, but there was too much humor for it have a lasting impression. by the time u saw the guy start of the lawnmower and let himself see the underside of it, the sucicides had become tedioius and uneffective. it was pretty cool though, and most of the theatre laughed when it happened. i love m night, never seen LITW, but i loved first three and liked village a bit. this one is just hard to judge, none less review. i so wanted this to be great and i dont even know if it was good. the movie was just too silly for its own good. less humor, better casting, more sucicides, and longer running time could of made this movie amazing. theres a masterpiece buried somewhere in this script, but its just too simple and shyamalan can do way better. by now im surprised im writing so much, its just the movie was very frustrating, yet i was entertained. i am so on the fence with this movie, i just dont how to react or think about it. i just feel like ive worked months and spent hours scanning the interent for an new trace of news on this movie. ever since the teaser came out, i cant remember the last time i was so excited for a movie. i love mnight and i love apocolyptic movies. ugh... i just dont know. it feels like a bad nightmare, like im going to wake and see a certified fresh rating on RT with raves of a comeback. not the case. though i do know this, this is not the end. im not even remotely interest in this avatar crap, he needs to redeem himself big time, and i know he'll do it, just not in the next 5 years. hopefully im still a fan by then. jeez i feel like watching signs right now....

my rating: C
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 14, 2008, 03:09:09 AM
I have a question.  Do you guys remember the title card that says what time it is when the walk out to be with each other at the end?  And what time do they say "The Happening" ended on the newscast right after that?
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 14, 2008, 04:16:28 AM
MrStone, I pretty much agree with you.  I haven't read the first draft, but it felt to me like there was a good film hidden inside this weird mish-mash of stuff.  I'm wondering if you still have a copy of the script?  Would you be able to send it to me? I'd love to see Night's original vision for the story.

I saw it for a second time today, even though I was thoroughly disappointed the first time around.  Going in with low expectations, I was able to enjoy the film a little more and I could see where Night was trying to go with the narrative and theme....he doesn't get there though and over all my opinion is pretty much the same.
I'm still a fan and I'll probably buy this on DVD when it comes out, because I respect the guy and what he's trying to do.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: afi_village on June 14, 2008, 06:32:06 AM
Miles, take it easy.  I didn't say he sold out. 
 

i'm going to go out on a limb here and i expect you all to hate me (although it seems like most of you would agree...) but, i kind of feel like he did sell out.  i hate to be that person that is all "oh man, they totally sold out", but compared to his previous films this was really different to me.  it was all about plot and gore.  (by the way SPOILER: the lion video was completely ridiculous and unnecessary)  the thing i used to love about his movies were the characters but i didn't feel like there was any character development in this film, i didn't feel a connection to them at all.  so that disappointed me.

i don't think it was a bad film, (it doesn't deserve the 1 and a half stars it got in my local newspaper) i just feel like this time he went for plot rather then characters and i didn't like that choice.  i still love him to bits, but i'm now thinking that he'll never beat his older films, i don't know if he still has 'it' which makes me sad.

i also kind of felt like he cut out bits from signs and inserted them into this...anyone else pick up on that?

on a positive note i REALLY enjoyed the opening credits, i would say they are THE BEST i've ever seen! and i liked the score too, that was well done. 

also, i remember in some interview i watched with him he said after a success like the sixth sense and signs were he liked to make something more obscure to follow it with.  so i'm hoping (after avatar) he will write a low budget, obscure, little movie that will blow everyone away!
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: srkbeno.1 on June 14, 2008, 07:31:57 AM
i have to agree with afivillage.. his quality of film wasnt up to the mark. had this film been handled the way he handled signs.. i bet he could have out done signs. as this had a much creepier feel. but he didnt. i feel maybe he rushed it
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Dr.Hill42 on June 14, 2008, 08:46:11 AM
I thought the quality was all there. It took a few scenes but it really started feeling like his kind of work after that, maybe more so geared towards Signs and Lady in the Water. Tak Fukimoto did some wonderful things with the camera, accentuating the tension with more close ups than long shots as was the case in the past. I walked away from it with the same kind of feeling I got from Lady in the Water. There was a hint of a refreshing, "Wow, I've never seen anything like that before," and an overwhelming sense of sadness knowing that this premise is all too plausible though the effects may not be so drastic. I don't know about you guys, but I couldn't stop noticing the wind blowing through the trees and tall grass on the side of the roads on the ride home. Anyway I'm going to see it again today so I can soak up more than just the story. It's all part of my master plan to bring as many people to see the film as possible. It's all part of the plan...
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Sri HK on June 14, 2008, 09:30:53 AM
I have a question.  Do you guys remember the title card that says what time it is when the walk out to be with each other at the end?  And what time do they say "The Happening" ended on the newscast right after that?


I believe it was 9:59 am and the newscast said the same.......tue 8:XX to Wed 9:49.

Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: moonflower843 on June 14, 2008, 11:10:15 AM
*SPOILER*

Out of curiosity, does anyone see a striking resemblance to the mrs jones window scene and the bike rider at the car window in the sixth sense?
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Cleveland Heep on June 14, 2008, 11:47:36 AM
i absolutely agree with the majority of people here.

there was some review somewhere that said in this film was a great film trying to break free

for me the movie felt insanely fast.
so fast i cant even say.


super super fast.

it should have been like 25 minutes longer

and in those minutes even if there werent any thrills, there absolutely should have been much longer development in story.

this could have been better than signs.
remember that scene in signs wheree its just merrill and grahham talking about fate (my fav conversation in a movie EVERR)

i was expecting that conversation to happen.
it was that conversation that made you feel SSOOOOOOOOOOO insanelygood at the end of the movie when he regains his aith.

when mark came out at the end of the movie to "be with" alma, it would have felt so good if there was that conversation about their relationship.

i felt like this movie didnt have a soul as much as signs did.

and it wasnt scary at alll!!!! the only scary time was at the bettys house when she creepsup on him looking at the doll. THAT was genuinely scary!

it was just disturbing!

ps. didnt that shot of the ipod look like total product placement until they zooomed in


BUT ALL IN ALL - for me it was his least best film but i still liked it a lot.
 and im going to see it multiple times.

i think out of everyone, zooey was PERRRFECT.

especially her face at the end
i wanted to hug her.


Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: marco on June 14, 2008, 12:05:04 PM
You guys are totally making me crazyyyyyyyyyyyyy!! ;D
Never saw so many impressions in such a short time before!!Even with LITW,two years ago :o
I'm going to see it tonight and I really can't wait anymore!! :-X
You know,I've been repeating in my mind "It'll be a b-movie,don't expect something else" for almost three days,because I'm afraid to get disappointed at the end ::)
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: werebearxxx on June 14, 2008, 12:58:15 PM
heres my review.


YOU ALL ARE CRAZY!!!
THE MOVIE WAS JUST ABOUT FLAWLESS.

EXCLUDING some of the small acting scenes, the movie was so well done. Absolutely brilliant. Not because hes my favorite director, but because given the subject of the movie.....it was done so well.
the tone was masterful, i was creeped out the entire movie. i really believed that this was possible.
and it was what i thought to be the most realistic depiction of the apocalypse ever put on film. It felt like the old Shyamalan was making this movie. Id compare it to the Sixth Sense or even Signs. I ve seen it 3 times now and can't understand everyones complaints. I was utterly blown away at how well this strange idea was pulled off. The emotion created between Mr. Good Vibrations and Zoeey when they were separated talking to each other through the **SPOILER** slave hole **SPOILER ENDED** was on par with the Lucous and Ivy porch talk in The Village, which was my all time favorite scene in any movie.
If this story was given to another director, it would have been so terrible.
Overall. I am COMPLETELY in love with The Happening.

Im taking my girlfriend tonight to see it for my 4th time.


\
for all the shyamalan haters....not on this board, but in the world.

YOU CAN ALL KISS MY BIG, WHITE,  PERFECT ASS!!!!!!! ILL FIGHT YOU ANY DAY, ANY TIME, ANYWHERE!!!
HAHAHA
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: DILinator on June 14, 2008, 01:02:08 PM
there was some review somewhere that said in this film was a great film trying to break free

for me the movie felt insanely fast.
so fast i cant even say.

super super fast.

it should have been like 25 minutes longer

and in those minutes even if there werent any thrills, there absolutely should have been much longer development in story.

this could have been better than signs.
remember that scene in signs wheree its just merrill and grahham talking about fate (my fav conversation in a movie EVERR)

i was expecting that conversation to happen.
it was that conversation that made you feel SSOOOOOOOOOOO insanelygood at the end of the movie when he regains his aith.

when mark came out at the end of the movie to "be with" alma, it would have felt so good if there was that conversation about their relationship.

i felt like this movie didnt have a soul as much as signs did.

I really agree with everthing I quoted above.  It had a lot of untapped potential, and could have been one of his best movies were it given a little more time, and was slowed down a tad.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 14, 2008, 01:25:14 PM
Alright, well here's my review of the film. I saw it on day 1. This was actually my review I posted on Myspace, so I just copied and pasted it here...Please don't kill me. Lol.



So is it Happening?...Not quite sure...

I was anticipating this film like a rabid movie freak for almost 2 years. I've always been a fan of M. Night Shyamalan's films, but lately, his work has been getting a bit rusty--most notably, "Lady in the Water", his previous film. I wanted him to bounce back with "The Happening". I was rooting him on. I was promoting it like nobody's business...But in the end I can't help but feel a bit let down--again.

The premise is very original and promising; A family goes on the run from what is believed to be a toxin that is somehow unleashed into the air across the east coast. This toxin causes people to lose control of their own bodies...making them do horrendous acts to themselves; suicide in any way possible.

There is a major flaw in this R-rated horror film; it's not scary. I found "Lady in the Water" to be scarier than this. Seriously. What saddens me the most about this aspect--or lack thereof-- is that ,ONCE AGAIN, Night is promoting this as a scary movie--even saying it's his scariest movie to-date. The beginning credits look VERY promising. It gave the movie a very foreboding feeling. I wish the feeling I had watching those clouds move stuck around throughout the whole movie...Unfortunately, those feelings quickly fade. Sorry, Night, but it may be your LEAST scary movie to-date. Why the R rating? This film would have been just as affective without the mindless gore. Much of the violence seems rushed and unnecessary. It had some SHOCKING moments and images...But for the most part it lacked that "boo" factor, and creepiness of other Night films.

The film is hilarious. That's right, I thought the film was hilarious. The problem is that this movie is supposed to scare you!!! While the film attempts to use humor as a way to ease the "suspense" through some jokes and such, much of the humor is actually unintentional!--Or it should seem that way! Seeing a close up of people's reactions to other people dying is down-right funny. Night needed better extras, I'll just put it that way. I couldn't stop laughing when some crazy old lady started bashing her face through windows!

The dialogue is even worse. Oh, gosh. This is one of the movie's biggest flaws. If you are gonna' make me believe in something that I can't see, at least provide me with people who SOUND convincing! Phrases like, "They're killing themselves!!!" Make you roll your eyes and yell out, "DUH!" Tell me something I don't know. Many of the conversations also feel stale. Most of the acting that accompanies the dialogue is just as bad.

Another disappointment was the character development. One thing Night, for the most part, has always done right, is create characters who are interesting and who have depth. These characters don't. Mark Wahlberg's character, Elliott Moore, is funny and quirky...But I never really cared for the other characters. In fact, I've already forgotten their names...Not a good sign.

While it seems as though I'm bashing this film and down-right hate it. The fact is that I actually quite enjoyed it. It's not the best horror movie you'll ever see, but it may be worth checking out if you go in with an open mind. The story is very original and made me walk out thinking, "what if?" If a film has that sort of impact on you, it's not a real failure. Also, like I said, the movie is very funny--it may be for the wrong reasons--but funny none-the-less. It also gives off a strange creepy vibe. It's also very well filmed. Oh, and let's not forget the best part: The musical score. Once again, James Newton Howard has created a masterpiece of music. While the score sometimes adds to the awkward comedic moments of the film, it keeps you on your toes. Very, very nice.

So in the end it comes to this: Do you want to give it a shot? I wanted to give this film a slightly higher score because I did enjoy it overall...But I knew I would be so bias if I did so. If you decide to watch this film, do so at your own risk. I'm not saying it's great--I'm not even saying it's good. This is one of those movies that tosses the horror book out the window and attempts to do something new. For the most part I don't believe it succeeds, but it definitely leaves you with some kind of impression. You may like it, you may hate it, you may think it's ok. I honestly can't say for sure.

A quick note to Night, though, from one of your BIGGEST fans and supporters:
PLEASE collaborate with a professional screenwriter. You're a phenomenal filmmaker. You know how to make movies...It's just that your screenplays could use some help. Go back and look at your first true masterpiece, "The Sixth Sense". Dissect it. Take a long good look at it. Look at everything that worked. THAT movie was suspenseful and scary. THAT movie had great character development. THAT movie played out smooth as silk. THAT movie had great acting and dialogue. THAT movie was GREAT. As much as it pains me to say, I don't think I could continue defending your work, dude.

FINAL SCORE: C



Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 14, 2008, 03:50:37 PM
Rulm, I understand where you're coming from, but I would give the movie an A.  I absolutely loved it.  It was amazing.  One of the few things I would do to imporove it would be too make it two hours like his other films, then you could get a little more character development.  Got to run, I'll post more about the movie later.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 14, 2008, 04:28:59 PM
Rulm, I understand where you're coming from, but I would give the movie an A.  I absolutely loved it.  It was amazing.  One of the few things I would do to imporove it would be too make it two hours like his other films, then you could get a little more character development.  Got to run, I'll post more about the movie later.

I don't see how anyone could think this movie's great. Please tell me what you thought was so great about it. I don't see it. I liked it, but didn't love it at all.



Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 14, 2008, 04:51:48 PM
By the way, I've read through all of the reviews on this thread and I'm honestly saddened. Critics don't matter, but seeing fellow fans express disappointment is depressing. Though, we have to be real here; The Happening could have been a classic...Unfortunately, it's only ok...And I'm being nice with that statement.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 14, 2008, 06:04:05 PM
I agree Rulm.  I am totally bummed a lot of people here aren't crazy about it.  However, I liked it quite a bit, just not as good as his last 4.  And when you say this could have been a classic, do you mean that every movie that M Night makes could be a classic?
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 14, 2008, 06:12:26 PM
I agree Rulm.  I am totally bummed a lot of people here aren't crazy about it.  However, I liked it quite a bit, just not as good as his last 4.  And when you say this could have been a classic, do you mean that every movie that M Night makes could be a classic?

Yeah, every movie Night makes has the potential to be a classic. "The Sixth Sense" is a classic for sure. Others like "Signs" are great to say the least...But there was something about this movie that made me think it would be a classic. Watching the credits in the beginning with the swirling clouds left me creeped-out and rose my anticipation for the movie even higher. Words can't really describe what I was feeling watching those swirling clouds. It was a great way to start it...Unfortunately, it just goes downhill from there.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 14, 2008, 06:27:53 PM
I agree.  I think M Night has the capability of making a classic, well, a personal classic, every time out. 
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: mnightfan4lyfe on June 14, 2008, 06:48:55 PM
As much as I love Night's movies, I think I'll sit this one out. I'm not a fan of graphic violence or Mark Wahlberg so.... I wasn't happy when I heard he was cast, but whatever. I enjoy reading fans opinions because to me, they're more accurate than biased sites like rottentomatoes. Thanks all of you for your reviews and comments so far. Regardless of whether this movie is a success or flop, I'm still a fan and know that Night will have more masterpieces in the future.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: BN on June 14, 2008, 08:30:30 PM
As much as I love Night's movies, I think I'll sit this one out. I'm not a fan of graphic violence or Mark Wahlberg so.... I wasn't happy when I heard he was cast, but whatever. I enjoy reading fans opinions because to me, they're more accurate than biased sites like rottentomatoes. Thanks all of you for your reviews and comments so far. Regardless of whether this movie is a success or flop, I'm still a fan and know that Night will have more masterpieces in the future.

If one of the reasons you are avoiding it is the supposed gore, rest assured most of those scenes are in the red band trailer. Also, those moments are few and fleeting. It is a good movie which you should not avoid for the wrong reasons.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Reflection on June 14, 2008, 09:25:44 PM
OK..

I know not to many people here listen to my crazy ideas but a simple question..

(and no I haven't seen the movie yet, can't get out to the theater at the moment)

But my first impression from what I've read here is that maybe a peice of the picture might be missing out to the viewer (maybe I'm wrong)..

Doesn't this movie sound like a type of Anti-rapture, you know, the christian rapture where all the "good/positive" people are gone in a moments time, in this movie the "bad/negative" people "disappear" all of a sudden?

Just a thought??
Title: My Review
Post by: Kable on June 14, 2008, 09:30:50 PM
This review contains SPOILERS.


(http://l.yimg.com/img.movies.yahoo.com/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/twentieth_century_fox/the_happening/_group_photos/aslyn_sanchez1.jpg)
The happening is one of the scariest B movies you?ll ever watch

Lady in the Water was being released when I heard about a paranoid thriller that Shyamalan was creating. I remembered the terrific Invasion of the Body Snatchers and my expectations suddenly increased. Today, having seen the movie, I?m not disappointed.

Suddenly, I realize that the critics? opinion is no longer that important to me. Obviously, The Happening is a B movie, but a B with a very thoughtful message and a very well made one. There is a terrifying(and remarkable) sequence when the Police Officer shoots himself on the head, drops the gun. The cab guy grab the gun and shoots himself, drops the gun, the woman in pretty legs grabs the gun in a scary endless chain reaction. The best part of Shyamalan?s movies is when they starts to ask the audience some questions. And environment is a very disturbing problem that we?re not used to care. This is the first movie that we don?t have specific answers and that is the most brilliant thing about it. He gave us his dots we have to connect them and give our theory. When Wahlberg?s character Elliot asks his class about some theories on the bees disappearing he is actually asking us. By the way, funny way he finds to present the ?plants threat? theory. First with a lunatic guy and then some specialist on the TV.

Media represents a great place in this movie, just like Night of the Living Dead, one of shyamalan?s inspiration. When the characters turns on the radio, or the TV and make us hear is the way the director finds to make the audience participate on the movie and brake the barrier of passiveness on the theater. That is something that every single director tries to accomplish. On the other hand, the bad acting on Elliot and Alma didn?t keep us away from the movie -on Julian you really believe in, his pain is so real. We care a lot. I wish Leguizamo had more screen time-. But you laugh in almost every joke they throw. The jokes are important to be the relief point. The deaths occur but after that we laugh and the tension decreases.  That creates the pacing of the movie.

I didn?t like the pacing during the first half hour whatching the movie. It?s not like anything the director who spent so much time on the quiet mood of The Village. But in the end, it all makes sense. The audience left the theater with the tension over its shoulders. If the movie doesn?t have 90 minutes and a straight message(with the deaths occurring in front of us in the most graphic way he could) it wouldn?t have worked. If the pacing were slower we wouldn?t have left theater with this strong felling. To something that strong could be work as an echo on our head, James Newton Howard elevates the mood throwing strong bass chords under Maya Beisier?s violoncello.

The happening isn?t the best movie made by M. Night Shyamalan but certainly is one of the strongest. I hope someday critics could see it that way. They?re not convinced by how powerful he is playing with the language of film making. But the prove is evident. Unbreakable is an awesome movie with only first act. The Happening lacks the third act(usually the relief act), so the tension could goes on and on?

Sorry about the my English, I hope you like this review. :)
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 14, 2008, 09:35:34 PM
By the way, I've read through all of the reviews on this thread and I'm honestly saddened. Critics don't matter, but seeing fellow fans express disappointment is depressing. Though, we have to be real here; The Happening could have been a classic...Unfortunately, it's only ok...And I'm being nice with that statement.

I totally agree.  I really don't pay attention to the critics because they're opinions are always scattered.  But to hear other fans besides myself be disappointed in the film, it's quite sad.  When I walked out of the cinema I really didn't know how to feel.  I think I've just been through my first fanboy 'break up' haha :P

I still respect what Night is trying to do and I'm sure he'll return to form soon.  I think it's great he's doing the Avatar films, as he's working with other peoples material...although he's still writing the trilogy isn't he?  Hopefully they also hire some screenwriters to help him out.  The man could direct paint drying and he'd be able to make it exciting, his writing does need some work though.  My belief if that his earlier films went through many drafts and were flying around in his head long before 'he made it'.  Now that he's an established film maker, maybe he doesn't take as long on his scripts as he should?  I know he's talked about the script for The Happening coming very naturally and quickly, perhaps this wasn't a good thing.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: thirdeyeh on June 14, 2008, 09:49:41 PM
I gotta say I really am trying to avoid other people's reviews of this film for awhile (ironic I know that I am now posting here).  Reason being is that I so totally enjoyed myself watching this film that I just can't see all of the problems people had with it. I am still mulling through this one too much and I don't want to lose that feeling.  I literally think about it and I can't for the life of me see the problems with the film.  People said it was fast, I thought it moved along fine.  People said it was boring, I thought it was vastly entertaining.  I read that the acting was awful, I thought it worked great.  I thought it had everything you want in a movie:  Humor, scares, heart... the works.  So I have a hard time with this one because I just can't even see the other perspective.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 14, 2008, 10:21:08 PM
I gotta say I really am trying to avoid other people's reviews of this film for awhile (ironic I know that I am now posting here).  Reason being is that I so totally enjoyed myself watching this film that I just can't see all of the problems people had with it. I am still mulling through this one too much and I don't want to lose that feeling.  I literally think about it and I can't for the life of me see the problems with the film.  People said it was fast, I thought it moved along fine.  People said it was boring, I thought it was vastly entertaining.  I read that the acting was awful, I thought it worked great.  I thought it had everything you want in a movie:  Humor, scares, heart... the works.  So I have a hard time with this one because I just can't even see the other perspective.
*Sigh* Seriously, I've tried to pull out ANYTHING great--or good--in this movie, and I can't seem to grasp onto anything. I can't defend this. It's all OK at best.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 14, 2008, 10:44:01 PM
Thirdeyeh, I kinda agree with you in a way.  That is, at this site, I am a little surprised how many problems people have had with the movie.  At the same time though, I can understand the problems people are having, even if I don't have the same problems.  M Night I think has been walking a fine line in his last few movies between who he is becoming as a director/writer and what people want him to be as a director/writer.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Sanford on June 14, 2008, 11:13:16 PM
Just throwing my opinion out there, I loved it! And I wasn't sure if I would or not.

I definitely think it's his most entertaining, fun to watch. Especially the second half, where a lot of the humor really starts rising up and taking a hold of the movie. I viewed it has his silly sci-fi B-movie, which is what he was going for I think. I think that's why a lot of the dialogue was the way it was, as well as the acting. If not, then it's still a lot of fun to watch, I think. The funniest part was definitely the "apology" to the house plant.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Wags on June 15, 2008, 12:30:43 AM
Hey everyone,  I thought about making another thread called "2nd Impressions", but decided to just put it here with everyone's else reviews.

I saw The Happening for the 2nd time this morning.  I went Friday, but being the guy my friend's know as "the M Night Fan", a lot of people ask me to go see it with me.  And, I can never say no.

The 2nd time around, this movie really, REALLY grew on me.  It's still not my favorite Night film (Unbreakable), it definitely jumped up the totem pole.  I sat around all day, wondering why my opinion changed (I always try to analyze my own thinking, metacognition, if you will) and I think I pinpointed why...

I believe that I took this film wayyy too seriously when I first saw it.  I went in there, looking for an ultra terrifying, gory film with some DEEP undertones.  I completely missed that this was supposed to be a fun homage to B-movies, even though they said that's what it is.  This became more evident when I found myself, and my theatre, laughing at moments in the film that were genuinely funny.  This was definitely one of Night's more humorous movies, and while it makes for an awkward combo (terror and hilarity), this film really is just a fun ride.  And I was just too wound up the first time seeing it to realize.

To regain perspective, I thought about what I consider a B-movie.  and i thought about those old 50's movies where, at the end when the monster is killed, some character gives a monologue about man's need to change his ways.  And I found that in one of the final scenes, with the TV anchors talking about the happening. It was a scene I loathed when I first saw it, but the second time around, it just clicked. And of course, like most B-horror movies, the ending sets it up in a to-be-continued style, where you almost expect it in big block letters "TO BE CONTINUED??".  There were just too many of these types of scenes in the movie to not pick up that this film is not meant to be taken so seriously.

Some IMDB poster wrote a very insightful article about Elliot and Alma's childlike behavior in the movie.  And I thought that was really fascinating.  And watching the second time around, I really picked up on that.  So if it was one you, nice going.  :)

Another thing I love about Night's movies as of late is how he views human nature.  And a lot of the ways people respond in "The Happening" to the event (boarding themselvs inside, looking out for themselves, etc.) really sort of coincides with the way I view human nature.  And when I see these selfish acts that people engage in, I can't help but find it fascinating how much I agree with how Night portrays them.

I blame myself once again for misinterpreting this great movie.  I think, like most critics, I failed to aknowledge Night's creativity and flexibility.  I was looking for another Signs, or Unbreakable, and that is unfair to the movie.  I have made this mistake three times now ("The Village", "Lady in the Water", and now "The Happening").  And while I always feel odd walking out of these movies, I loved them when I sat down and thought about them.  Like "The Man Who Heard Voices" said (about Unbreakable): "It lost the sip test, but won the take-home test". 

If I had to put his movies in order of favorite --> least favorite, I would have to put them as follows (though I like them all):

Unbreakable
Signs
The Happening
Lady in the Water
The Village
6th Sense

Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Sri HK on June 15, 2008, 12:39:20 AM
^^ Nice...second review.

Me planning to watch it again today or next weekend.

 :)
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 15, 2008, 01:12:55 AM
Hey everyone,  I thought about making another thread called "2nd Impressions", but decided to just put it here with everyone's else reviews.

I saw The Happening for the 2nd time this morning.  I went Friday, but being the guy my friend's know as "the M Night Fan", a lot of people ask me to go see it with me.  And, I can never say no.

The 2nd time around, this movie really, REALLY grew on me.  It's still not my favorite Night film (Unbreakable), it definitely jumped up the totem pole.  I sat around all day, wondering why my opinion changed (I always try to analyze my own thinking, metacognition, if you will) and I think I pinpointed why...

I believe that I took this film wayyy too seriously when I first saw it.  I went in there, looking for an ultra terrifying, gory film with some DEEP undertones.  I completely missed that this was supposed to be a fun homage to B-movies, even though they said that's what it is.  This became more evident when I found myself, and my theatre, laughing at moments in the film that were genuinely funny.  This was definitely one of Night's more humorous movies, and while it makes for an awkward combo (terror and hilarity), this film really is just a fun ride.  And I was just too wound up the first time seeing it to realize.

To regain perspective, I thought about what I consider a B-movie.  and i thought about those old 50's movies where, at the end when the monster is killed, some character gives a monologue about man's need to change his ways.  And I found that in one of the final scenes, with the TV anchors talking about the happening. It was a scene I loathed when I first saw it, but the second time around, it just clicked. And of course, like most B-horror movies, the ending sets it up in a to-be-continued style, where you almost expect it in big block letters "TO BE CONTINUED??".  There were just too many of these types of scenes in the movie to not pick up that this film is not meant to be taken so seriously.

Some IMDB poster wrote a very insightful article about Elliot and Alma's childlike behavior in the movie.  And I thought that was really fascinating.  And watching the second time around, I really picked up on that.  So if it was one you, nice going.  :)

Another thing I love about Night's movies as of late is how he views human nature.  And a lot of the ways people respond in "The Happening" to the event (boarding themselvs inside, looking out for themselves, etc.) really sort of coincides with the way I view human nature.  And when I see these selfish acts that people engage in, I can't help but find it fascinating how much I agree with how Night portrays them.

I blame myself once again for misinterpreting this great movie.  I think, like most critics, I failed to aknowledge Night's creativity and flexibility.  I was looking for another Signs, or Unbreakable, and that is unfair to the movie.  I have made this mistake three times now ("The Village", "Lady in the Water", and now "The Happening").  And while I always feel odd walking out of these movies, I loved them when I sat down and thought about them.  Like "The Man Who Heard Voices" said (about Unbreakable): "It lost the sip test, but won the take-home test". 

If I had to put his movies in order of favorite --> least favorite, I would have to put them as follows (though I like them all):

Unbreakable
Signs
The Happening
Lady in the Water
The Village
6th Sense


I think you have some good points goin' on. While I will not watch the movie in theaters again, I will buy it on DVD--It's a Night movie, so I must, lol.

Here's my order:

The Sixth Sense
Signs
Unbreakable
The Village
The Happening
Lady in the Water (Yeah, I still think The Happening was better than Lady in the Water)
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 15, 2008, 01:39:29 AM
While I think the whole "50's B-movie" is a genuine way to look at the film, and a genuine approach that Night took when writing and directing, I really don't think that it can be used as an 'excuse' for the bad qualities of the film.  I'm not picking on anyone here, because a lot of people have presented the whole "B-movie" point and I can totally see why.
I certainly think thats an element, but I also think Night was trying to create something scary and though provoking, in which case he pretty much failed.  Why else would he keep saying "This is my scariest movie, people were visibly shaken when they saw the movie" in all of the pre-release interviews?  If this was meant to purely be a silly/fun/slightly shocking "B-movie" I feel he would have talked about that more.  I know he mentioned it several times, but never really in the 'nudge-nudge wink-wink' manner that some people seem to suggest the film represents.

In other words, I think it's an element of the film.  However, I also think Night originally just wanted to pay homage to those films, rather than create one himself, but closer to release maybe he changed his mind and started saying things like "its just a fun b-movie".  Just a thought.  Surely he wouldn't set out to make a film with poor acting and a plot which doesn't movie very far?

Again, I'm not attacking anyone, just stating my thoughts.  Like I've said before (and so have many of you guys) I'll still be buying the DVD to add to the collection.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: GrOoDmAn on June 15, 2008, 02:13:36 AM
Actually in this interview, recorded before the release of the film, Night does tell us to laugh at the film when we're not sure if we should laugh or be scared, he calls the film "almost tongue-in-cheek", and that it makes fun of itself...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS7-E2xlbDU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS7-E2xlbDU)
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 15, 2008, 02:17:04 AM
Quote
While I think the whole "50's B-movie" is a genuine way to look at the film, and a genuine approach that Night took when writing and directing, I really don't think that it can be used as an 'excuse' for the bad qualities of the film.

Excuse? If you truly think it is a genuine way to look at the film, then why would you call it out as being an excuse rather then 'reason' it is what it is?  And in either case, you are basically saying that someone is not allowed to genuinely think that is the case with this movie.

Quote
I certainly think thats an element, but I also think Night was trying to create something scary and though provoking, in which case he pretty much failed.  Why else would he keep saying "This is my scariest movie, people were visibly shaken when they saw the movie" in all of the pre-release interviews?  If this was meant to purely be a silly/fun/slightly shocking "B-movie" I feel he would have talked about that more.

I don't think the general consensus here about the relevance of the b-movie factor is saying that the movie is only supposed to be "a silly/fun/slightly shocking "B-movie", as you put it, but that it may play a significant role in the tone of the movie.  And that it is not predominately a "thought provoking movie".

M Night had this to say about the movie in one of his interviews: (I underlined the part that is most relevant)

"One of the things I said to everybody, the cast and crew, I said, "We're making a movie about important stuff, but this is a B-movie. Let's get ourselves straight here. This is just a great B-Movie. We're making the best B-movie we can because that's our job.  We're making a B-movie.  If the themes of the movie that sticks with you, great, but we're not going to put that in front of the movie.  We're going to have a lot of fun.  It's a paranoia movie. We just need to pound away, that's our job."

That being said, I absolutely agree with you in that I think it is not as scary as M Night thinks or hopes that it is.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 15, 2008, 02:21:39 AM
Groodman, he also says "it wanted to make fun of itself". 
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 15, 2008, 02:22:23 AM
Fair enough, okokokok.  I wasn't trying to say anyone's opinions were wrong.  Bad choice of words on my part.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 15, 2008, 02:30:31 AM
It's cool spikes.  I am totally interested in what you have to say, I just hate feeling like people are suggesting their opinion is the truth and factual, while other peoples opinions are only opinions.  I am probably most to blame as I am really sensitive to the words people use in their arguments.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: spikeshinizle on June 15, 2008, 05:36:43 AM
I know what you mean!  There's so many people like that over in the IMDB boards, I hardly post there because no one takes anything seriously.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: marco on June 15, 2008, 11:28:36 AM
Lol,my strategy worked great!! :D
I saw this movie knowing the "b-movie experiment" Night tried,and I liked it!
I mean,this movie is good,guys!I literally loved some stylistic choices he made.
The script is good too,the movie starts immediately and the anxiety never goes totally away,even during the fun moments.
I still have to say it's not a complete horror-movie (though some scenes are actually shocking) because the "Night spirit" is present one more time (of course!),but that's my personal point of view.
The only thing I found a bit amusing sometimes was the dialogue,as the most of you already said...don't know how to explain,but some dialogues (especially at the beginning of the movie) sounded a little strange and maybe unnecessary to me (LITTLE SPOILER - see Leguizamo at the station with his daughter and Alma ::))
However,the characteristic I loved most of all was the style...this movie's got a lot of style!I've seen things I've never seen in other movies like this!If he wanted to do a great b-movie,I think he probably did one of the best b-movie ever made!Why am I saying this?Because he put something new into this genre.
And that's my first (messy ;D) impression   :D
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 15, 2008, 08:08:37 PM
I didn't go in expecting a whole lot from the story, cinematically wise I was expecting a lot and wasn't dissapointed.  When I walked out of the theater, I didn't say anything to my friends for about 5 minutes, I wanted to think.  I came to the realization that I really enjoyed the movie, people have a right to their opinion and can complain about parts that they thought were poorly done, but for the most part I will disagree.  Maybe it's the way I think, but I absolutely love every Night movie, there's something that grabs me in them.  I cry in everyone, and walk away feeling happy, but with a burden to be a better person.  That's my opinion though, and I know a decent number of people disagree with me.  ;D
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: ALF on June 16, 2008, 01:42:30 AM

I went yesterday to see the movie. And I also needed some minutes to organize my ideas and think about the movie, but it wasn't easy, all my friends were attaking me as soon as we went out from the theater. Since some months I talked them about the film, I was all the weekend talking about seeing the film and I created some high expectations on them, so after the film they attaked me, becasue they did`nt like it ;D

During the movie I was thinking about all Shyamalan's movies, and finally, when I was alone at home, I smiled. Becasue I undesrtood what he has done, and although there are some parts that I don't like, I'm sure that I'll love this movie when I'll have seen it twice or three times to discover all what it has inside. So my first impression of this movie is a good one.

Hitchcock`s Birds was a film very different of waht his public was used to, and perhaps in that moment it was considered out of his style, or a bad movie. Now it's one of his famous movies, unique , wonderful. But at the beginning people needed time to understand the film. For those who did?nt like The Happening, or myabe were disappointed, I'd like to say "don't worry, you will understand the movie after sseing it more times, and you'll love it".

I liked it, I'd wanted to see it again, this time in english, to pay more attention to the details. I saw it in spanish and this time the translation wasn't very good.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: mamasan on June 16, 2008, 08:28:24 AM
Could someone tell me which Doobie Brothers song it was that Elliott started singing on the porch of that one house? I can't remember, and it's bugging me!
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rohan on June 16, 2008, 10:37:26 AM
Finally, I saw the "The Happening" one of the most awaited films I was looking forward to just released and I watched it. I am glad I watched it. M.Night always comes with the suprises. Marky Mark is great in his character I loved his character. He is a normal teacher and when the incidents occur a person like him of course gets confused. Plus, he is going through a bad relationship. I think M.Night thought very carefully to chose Marky Mark, but no one else.

Zoey is great too. She is proving that she can work in an serious emotional movie. I love her personality on the screen and she has that style of 50s-60s and that's why M.Night casted her.

The Cinematography is great. The locations are awesome and freaky. The shot of the trees, grasses are really chilly and spooky.

I recommend to everyone to watch it twice so you can get it. I will go and watch it again next weekend.

There are not twists, no surprise endings, but can tell you that it kind of wakes you up in the end. I love it M.Night ended the movie.

I enjoyed the movie just like I have enjoyed all M.Night films. There is nothing wrong with the film, the film is shot differently like 50s-60s era style. Lots of "CUT TO:" not dissovles to: until the end. I love it.

Very different and nicely gory. I am impressed.

**** Stars in my book.

Rohan
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 16, 2008, 01:35:28 PM
While I think the whole "50's B-movie" is a genuine way to look at the film, and a genuine approach that Night took when writing and directing, I really don't think that it can be used as an 'excuse' for the bad qualities of the film.  I'm not picking on anyone here, because a lot of people have presented the whole "B-movie" point and I can totally see why.
I certainly think thats an element, but I also think Night was trying to create something scary and though provoking, in which case he pretty much failed.  Why else would he keep saying "This is my scariest movie, people were visibly shaken when they saw the movie" in all of the pre-release interviews?  If this was meant to purely be a silly/fun/slightly shocking "B-movie" I feel he would have talked about that more.  I know he mentioned it several times, but never really in the 'nudge-nudge wink-wink' manner that some people seem to suggest the film represents.

In other words, I think it's an element of the film.  However, I also think Night originally just wanted to pay homage to those films, rather than create one himself, but closer to release maybe he changed his mind and started saying things like "its just a fun b-movie".  Just a thought.  Surely he wouldn't set out to make a film with poor acting and a plot which doesn't movie very far?

Again, I'm not attacking anyone, just stating my thoughts.  Like I've said before (and so have many of you guys) I'll still be buying the DVD to add to the collection.

Interesting thoughts...
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: oglop44 on June 17, 2008, 08:57:52 AM
Hey guys. I saw The Happening on friday night with a few mates who all came out being very negative about the film, to be fair so was the rest of the cinema but being a big Shyamalan fan I kept quiet and gave it the weekend to sink in. Sadly, that didn't help. Here's my review anyway:

SPOILERS!!!!

The Happening **/*****

The Happening opens in true Shyamalan style with a minimalistic opening credits scene consisting of a bright but cloudy sky becoming dark and stormy hinting at the horrors to come. Simple but effective, thumbs up. Cut to New York, in the park, very creepy visuals of everybody stopping, walking backwards and then a cut version of the hairclip suicide. For me the cut version is more effective than the Redband trailer version. Shyamalan likes to leave the audience to imagine certain things and this has been one of his trademarks right from the start of his career. Which raises the question of why he shot the "Redband" versions in the first place. Either way, at this point my friends started to wonder why the other girl hadn't been effected, a problem that is never really explained, although none of it really is which in a way is the whole point of the movie. I sound like I'm rambling now and perhaps I am but my biggest problem with this film is that not enough of it is explained.

Anyway, back on track. The Good: All the scenes to do with the actual event, all the suicides, particularly the car into the tree which was just perfect. All the nature shots particularly the scene where they're being chased across the field and the wind gets gradually closer. The very ending i.e. the scene in Paris. Other than that, I'm struggling.

The Bad: Every single actor/actress in this film. Never have I come out of a Shyamalan film thinking that an actor has given a subpar performance. One of his traits is to get great performances from all the actors he works with, even getting good performances from very average actors. The Happening is a different story with Mark and Zooey having a complete lack of chemistry, Zooey's anxiousness about the phone calls from "Joey" are embarassing and sadly their dialogue is so badly written it's just awkward to watch. The only scene where the clicked was the climactic scene where they were talking through the plot device, I mean pipe that connected the two buildings. Plus her eyes are absolutely incredible.

It's difficult to attack the acting without having a go at the appaling script that they had to work with. I mean Marks delivery of "With Whom?" might be alright but the line is just so out of place it's laughable. It's amazing how much one letter can change a line ;) And how about the Hot Dog guy who is a two in one plot device package in that he has a car and has some sort of intimate relationship with nature and can explain to Mark exactly what's going on. Add in the soldier they meet, who is the most pathetic soldier ever seen on film. "Cheese and Crackers?" Are you serious? Then the two teens who join the group for about 10 mins. Who for no apparent reason decide to be unbelievably stupid and try and break into the house. When they eventually get shot, the audience just don't care because their actions are just so unbelievable. And finally the crazy lady. Mostly she's quite good, quite creepy and has a hilarious death scene but she can't be forgiven about starting a conversation by describing a part of the house we haven't even seen yet that is, surprise surprise, used in a later scene. Yawn.

The ending. Well, what to say. The idea is good, love conquers all kind of message but it's a bit, actually it's very coincidental that the "happening" stops at just that point.

I know my review sounds really negative but I just feel that the concept is so good and Shyamalan is so talented that this movie just feels like such a waste. Needless to say I'm not feeling positive about The Last Airbender anymore :(

Aside: I really wanted to mention the lack of MNS cameo in this film, FOX tampering perhaps? And also go into more depth about the pacing and structure of the film which just didn't have the MNS feel at all but i imagine you're all bored out of your skull by now, if you've bothered reading this far :P Thanks for reading anyway, can't wait to read the responses.

Dan
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Psychilles on June 17, 2008, 12:40:04 PM
My Review.

I didn't read all the reviews but I'll give my final review anyway...

First off I'd like to say that it made me feel realy disapointed. Lady was different and strange at first, but is certainly wasn't diapointing, this was...
In my opinion, to movie is too short and too thin, the first thing I though was.. huh? was that it? What took him so long to make this. I mean, lady is soo full of good dialog, beautifull imagery and depth. And this one is soo unbelivaly empty... and I realy mean empty.

The minimalistic aprouch is cool, and good, but I think it needed a lot more depth and deeper characters to be able to pull that off.

What I did like was the direct and to me a bit more natural way of acting, it feels realy strange if you compare it with other hollywood films, but I think it actualy is a lot more realistic.
Cinematography was minimal, that was realy cool, the setting and location were also realy clean and minimal, that was nice.

What I also noticed was that in the trailers you can see alot of big shots, like shots of citys and stuff... NON of that is in the picture.. and then I started to wonder... Was that stock footage? or was that all not used? Did he made a choice in editing to make it this short?

ooh yeah one more thing, I REALY did not like, ms jones.. damm.... What the hell did she come from? Why is she in the picture?

and... I was supposed to be scary and to me... this was not scary at ANY moment. mostly because most of what you see was already shown in trailers.


OVERALL..... I felt disapointed, but still it was nice. I watched it twice and it has a strange feeling and/or atmosphere to it. The acting is different and you have to get used to it, but in the end it pay's off, I think.
This, sad to say, is his worst movie, all his other work is brilliant.

I'm realy looking forward to 2010, and hope to see a movie with a lot more depth, because... wasn't that what we were waiting for?

peace out... I'm gonna make my own movie. (this movie made me wanne make movies)
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 17, 2008, 12:44:33 PM
Let me start by saying this is my least favorite M Night movie of the last 5 he has made.  And I think it is his poorest directing effort.  But I still like it quite a bit.

Quote
Add in the soldier they meet, who is the most pathetic soldier ever seen on film. "Cheese and Crackers?" Are you serious? Then the two teens who join the group for about 10 mins.

When you say the soldier is pathetic, why does that matter that he is pathetic?  Are soldiers only supposed to be represented as bad ass confident people?  Are you thinking that M Night did not write that character as purposely sort of bumbling and nervous and scared?  That is the kind of opinion I don't understand.  I don't know what you are really saying when you say that.  Do you think the Line "cheese and crackers" was supposed to be funny or a very serious line?  I think it is supposed to be funny. If you were saying that you thought M Night was trying write the character as this shining example of a strong commanding soldier, and then he ends up acting as he does and saying things as he does, then what you said would make sense to me.  Am I  making any sense? 

Quote
Then the two teens who join the group for about 10 mins. Who for no apparent reason decide to be unbelievably stupid and try and break into the house

This is interesting because you say there is no reason for it, when in fact they say OUT LOUD why they are doing it.  Because they want to get some food for the girl.  The scene may or may not have been executed poorly by M Night ( I think poorly), but their actions are not without reason as you say.  I think it is also interesting in that the teenagers are doing something with their heart in the right place, trying to help the girl, but going about it in the wrong way.  But you don't mention something for example how people are peeling out in Elliots face, when he is asking for a ride outside of that restaurant, as doing it for no reason?  I realize that the car scene is much less of a dramatic or important scene, but I only use it as an example because they don't say out loud why they are doing it.  There are plenty of things that happen without verbal explanation that weren't mentioned by you, but one that is actually expressed out loud is somehow to have no reason.

There are plenty things that people say they don't like about this movie, and I understand alot of them.  But sometimes I don't get what they are saying.

In general, I can't help but think how often M Night was calling this a b-movie, over and over and over,  when recalling some of your review.  I agree with those that have said it can't be used as a cop out.  But the fact that he has been saying this constantly, and before the movies reception is something worth noting in my opinion.

This is not me criticizing your review, as your opinion is as worthy as anyone elses.  But some points I just don't understand is all.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 17, 2008, 12:51:05 PM
Quote
ooh yeah one more thing, I REALY did not like, ms jones.. damm.... What the hell did she come from? Why is she in the picture?

I think her character is supposed to be representative of someone who is closed off and has turned their back on the world, which ties in with a main theme in this film I think.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: DILinator on June 17, 2008, 01:01:34 PM
Everybody keeps going back to the B-Movie thing, and I think he obviously fashioned the film in such a manner that lends itself to that genre and feeling.  He's stated so much.  However, I think he really did that for the moviegoing public who does not put a lot of deep thought into movies they are watching.  At least they could come away appreciating the movie for that.

Night always has a message, and a statement about the condition of man that he is making, and The Happening is not different.  There is a clear message there, underlying everything, and encompassing everything.  In many ways, this is his deepest film yet, even though it comes off at first glance as his shallowest.  I've yet to even see it a second time yet, but just thinking about all the events of the film after the initial disappointment wore off I've come to see what he's getting at.  I'm sure subsequent viewings will only reinforce those things I've already detected, and maybe allow me to see even more. 

I just find it interesting than many people think there's not much of a message here, while I see there being a very clear one: just Night has downplayed it because frankly, he doesn't believe in "casting pearls before swine (critics/haters)".  He knows those who have "ears to hear", will hear.   
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 17, 2008, 01:21:49 PM
Dilinator, I agree that this is not a shallow movie at all.

However, M Night said very specifically that the themes in this movie are not "in front of the movie" as he says himself, as though it is the first time he has done that.  It does not mean they don't exist.  I personally never implied that because this is a b-movie that it has not real messages or themes.  My only point is that, to me, it explains some of the choices that were made in the the film and the overall tone. 

Quote
I just find it interesting than many people think there's not much of a message here, while I see there being a very clear one: just Night has downplayed it because frankly, he doesn't believe in "casting pearls before swine (critics/haters)".  He knows those who have "ears to hear", will hear. 

I'm confused here, sorry.  Are you saying the haters hate him for his themes and messages?  I thought they disliked his writing and execution of ideas?
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: DILinator on June 17, 2008, 01:34:20 PM
Dilinator, I agree that this is not a shallow movie at all.

However, M Night said very specifically that the themes in this movie are not "in front of the movie" as he says himself, as though it is the first time he has done that.  It does not mean they don't exist.  I personally never implied that because this is a b-movie that it has not real messages or themes.  My only point is that, to me, it explains some of the choices that were made in the the film and the overall tone. 

Quote
I just find it interesting than many people think there's not much of a message here, while I see there being a very clear one: just Night has downplayed it because frankly, he doesn't believe in "casting pearls before swine (critics/haters)".  He knows those who have "ears to hear", will hear. 

I'm confused here, sorry.  Are you saying the haters hate him for his themes and messages?  I thought they disliked his writing and execution of ideas?


I never implied anything about you, but was rather stating that the themes were clearly there, just hidden.  It's like Night said himself: they're not in the front of the movie.  But I believe he did that for a reason, and the reason wasn't that they weren't important, or even the underlying point of the movie. 

There are a lot of filmmakers out there who write poorly and execute their ideas badly.  Yet, virtually no filmmakers stirs up such vitriolic hatred like Shyamalan.  Why?  If people aren't saying something valuable, and something worth saying, even if it's convicting, then they are unlikely to be met with such passion.  The amount of passion and hatred leveled against Night shows me that he's doing something right, and therefore stirring up reactions in those who disagree with his messages. 

While this is not the case with everybody who dislikes his movies, it certainly is why the Hollywood establishment and many critics have turned on him.  They prefer movies with fatalistic and dreary messages, and not ones which have positive, and cautionary ones.  I think there's an element to even the casual moviegoer that will react to the movie, and with their mind they'll say it was one thing or another.  But deep down they were reacting to a convicting message that they didn't like. 

In truth, a stroll around the message boards at IMDB is akin to being on the porch in The Happening.  There are cold and heartless people waiting with shotguns to blast anybody, even if they are simply trying to do what's right and being kind.

People in general are in a bad state today, which is something The Happening points out.  That doesn't exactly mesh with this false belief that is now prevelant that man is basically good.  We're not, because we've all become too selfish, and stopped respecting those around us, valuing our fellow man, and taking care of this world we've been entrusted with.  This is the message at the heart of The Happening, and that's not a very politically correct one nowadays.... 
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 17, 2008, 02:02:32 PM
My point was, after reading so many professional reviews of his movies(since this what we are talking about), it doesn't seem as though people hate him for trying to say something positive, but rather they hate the means by which he does it.  I have heard very few people/critics rail away at his themes or messages, but have heard many talk trash on his execution and specific writing style.

That's why this confused me.
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I just find it interesting than many people think there's not much of a message here, while I see there being a very clear one: just Night has downplayed it because frankly, he doesn't believe in "casting pearls before swine (critics/haters)".  He knows those who have "ears to hear", will hear.
Because it suggests the reason people hate him is because he is trying to say positive things in his films.  That was my point. 

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while this is not the case with everybody who dislikes his movies, it certainly is why the Hollywood establishment and many critics have turned on him.  They prefer movies with fatalistic and dreary messages, and not ones which have positive, and cautionary ones.  I think there's an element to even the casual moviegoer that will react to the movie, and with their mind they'll say it was one thing or another.  But deep down they were reacting to a convicting message that they didn't like. 

The argument that the Hollywood establishment hates a filmmaker only because the filmmaker is trying to say something positive is pretty out there to me.  Just by they fact of how many very positive movies are released and are given very favorable "professional" reviews and acclaim.  I mean, what about The Sixth Sense?



Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: steinmansbrain on June 18, 2008, 09:20:27 AM
This movie wasn't just bad by M Night's standards, it was just bad.

I love his other films, even LITW, so i'm not a hater, i'm actually just really upset :'(.

It's like he didn't even write the film.

The climax was a joke. In fact a lot of it was just pointless. It's like going to a regular crap horror like Prom Night or Jeepers Creepers or something where nothing actually means anything and it's all just there to get you from point A to B with a couple of scares.

The main problem is that I have no reason to ever watch it again. I've seen it all. That's all there was. You can't go back and look at the fine detail because there was none!

Lol that I know of...

So plain and basic and arrgghh i'm gonna compare it to another film that I saw recently

10,000 BC

Yep.

Yeah that's the amount of depth. Thats's the characterisation. That's the acting. That's the excitement (that's actually unfair to BC).

I have one reason to be happy, and that's that it didn't end with "I should write a song about this" - which was the initial ending in The Green Effect script.

Just while i'm on that, based on how bad that script was I thought there was no way it could be official.

How wrong I was.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: steinmansbrain on June 18, 2008, 09:21:07 AM
P.S.

There were some good parts  ;D
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: oglop44 on June 18, 2008, 12:16:06 PM
I'll write a proper response but I just want to say. Why do directors like B-Movies so much that they want to make them? By definition B-Movies are crap and sadly homages to crap movies are still, well crap.

Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: GenPion on June 18, 2008, 12:23:19 PM
The movie was still meant to scare you. It was still meant to make you think.

It's just that the premise is ultimately kind of silly and the nature of the movie is in that tone. Some will connect to The Happening's offbeat nature. Others will not.

B-Movies are not supposed to be inherently bad either, they are supposed to be a fun time at the movies...
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Rulm on June 18, 2008, 12:58:03 PM
As much as this movie disappointed me, I STILL think it was better than "Lady in the Water". The reason being that Night's ego seemed to be deflating on with "The Happening"--contrary to "Lady in the Water".
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: okokokok on June 18, 2008, 12:58:42 PM
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I'll write a proper response but I just want to say. Why do directors like B-Movies so much that they want to make them? By definition B-Movies are crap and sadly homages to crap movies are still, well crap.

Actually, you are incorrect.  By definition they aren't crap.  It's a definition of the style, not the quality.

I guess some world class directors just don't have the obviously much more keen and sophisticated aesthetic eye that you do.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Namaste on June 18, 2008, 01:55:11 PM
I won't go into too much detail here to avoid spoilers, but it should be clear enough that those of you who have seen the movie will know what im talking about.
I've only seen The Happening once, so I wont have to go too deep to review it (unlike the village or signs or 6th sense) There were a few themes in it and I'm not exactly sure whether shyamalan was for or against them.

Number one: Comfort- the lengths to which we go, just to make the people we care about feel better (statistics, cafe/moodring scene, the "vibes" we give off whether positive or negative, talking with the 2 teenagers about life, not mentioning the happening to the students, the old lady who cut herself off from a world she didnt wanna deal with-ignorance).

Number two: Responsibility (the obvious environmentalist aspect, Leguizamo's character and going after his wife, Zooey's character's fear of commitment, "don't you take my daughter's hand unless you mean it", Wahlberg's character and thinking about what needs to be done, The hotdog guy offering to help the Wahlberg party) 

These are just a few examples. I'm sure there are more. I agree that like most of M Night's work,  on the surface it's a crappy film, but underneath it is deep and beautiful. I didn't find this one technically brilliant like some of his other films; for example there were camera shades and boom microphones in a number of shots, and they were hard to miss. The special effects were mediocre and made me wish shyamalan would stick to pg-13 cuz he really doesnt know what to do with blood and gore. There were a few ironic shots in the film (i.e. the [insert object] behind hotdog guys house and the billboard outside the model home), but overall I think it would have been better as a book.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: GenPion on June 18, 2008, 02:55:20 PM
I agree that like most of M Night's work,  on the surface it's a crappy film, but underneath it is deep and beautiful. I didn't find this one technically brilliant like some of his other films; for example there were camera shades and boom microphones in a number of shots, and they were hard to miss. The special effects were mediocre and made me wish shyamalan would stick to pg-13 cuz he really doesnt know what to do with blood and gore.

LOL - I'm sorry but this post made me laugh. In a good way (I want to share my opinion). ;D

It's okay if your opinion is that most of his film's are crappy on the surface, I don't want to suggest your wrong for thinking that. A lot of people consider all of his films nothing more than extended Twilight Zone episodes... but I just wanted to comment on that. I've never had that thought! I think his film's are so well made that they can be enjoyed for people simply looking to find straight-up entertainment and for those of us who are willing to dig deeper to understand his film's themes that is another level of entertainment, another factor of enjoyment that we can get from his work that is separate from most of his film's surface levels. Signs and The Happening, for instance, are both extremely well directed movies that are meant to be scary and run chills down your spine. Audiences, people in general, can connect to that without even having to think about any deeper meaning that may exists beneath the surface. I have always felt M. Night is in a rather strange way an indie director in nature and yet a highly mainstream film-maker at the same time for this reason alone. He wants large audiences to enjoy his films and I have never seen harm in that. The more that see them the better IMHO. He is ambitious enough that he wants to entertain people and enlighten at the same time.

As for Special Effects - He has NEVER been good with them! He has even acknowledged this in interviews. It is his weakness. He tries to stay away from using them too much because it has been a bit of crutch for him as a film-maker, though I hope that over time he will find a fine-balance for how he uses them in his future movies. As for the effects looking too fake in this movie though, I would kind of guess (though I could be wrong) that it has more to do with the fact this was meant to be a B movie. A great one, yes, but a B movie nonetheless... and a lot of those films have strange effects. I personally think The Happening had better effects than most of his other movies have had.

Finally, to address the boom mikes and microphones - they are visible in a number of movies - not all - but a large number of films. It depends on how much the director tries to cover them up and how the film gets projected. This has happened in other Shyamalan films. The projectionist did not frame the movie right for your theater because they are supposed to be able to cover it up if they are properly projecting it. It's a problem with the theater, not Shyamalan. Once you get the movie on DVD or Blu-Ray this won't be the case and you will be able to enjoy the film without that kind of unfortunate set-back. I'm sorry to hear your theater didn't frame it correctly, though, as boom mics and such have been more visible in Shyamalan films than others If I remember correctly... but once again, it is not a problem with the film itself.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: DILinator on June 24, 2008, 03:52:56 PM
The "boom mike" thing gets me every time.  Because for all the movies I've seen, I've never seen any in a movie, not even when people start talking like they're everywhere.  Certainly, neither showing of The Happening I saw had any in the shot.  I think that either the projectionist was sloppy in some theaters, or people who are "hating" on the movie make that up just to have another thing to complain about from the movie.
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Mille on June 24, 2008, 04:06:22 PM
The "boom mike" thing gets me every time.  Because for all the movies I've seen, I've never seen any in a movie, not even when people start talking like they're everywhere.  Certainly, neither showing of The Happening I saw had any in the shot.  I think that either the projectionist was sloppy in some theaters, or people who are "hating" on the movie make that up just to have another thing to complain about from the movie.

The boom mic was very much visible in quite a few scenes in the theater where I watched it. I was actually getting really upset because people started raising their hands to point at it!  >:( And some started laughing as well... It almost made me think that Shyamalan was borrowing some ideas from Bertold Brecht. ;D
Title: Re: first impressions...
Post by: Prince111 on June 26, 2008, 01:46:47 PM
I liked the concept of the movie, it just didn't have that threatening link, something tangible that I can grab onto.  Let me explain what I mean by this, In the Sixth Sense it was all the ghost, in Unbreakable it was Mr. Glass, in Signs it was seeing the aiens, in Lady in the water it was those wolf like animals, (the name slips right now.)  In the Village it was the creatures "we don't speak of."  They were all something I could grab onto, In the Happening, just seeing people kill themselves caused by the wind blowing toxins that came from the plants was not enough for me.  Maybe if, through CGI, he could have went inside the plants or shrubs and you saw the atoms and molecules merge together and spray a light mist into the air with the wind blowing and making contact with the people, not all the time, but atleast on some of the more grusome suicides, that would have made it better for me.  Another thing that I think would have made the movie a little better is if M. Night to would have shown, almost in documentry form, how we are tearing this world apart.  That would have sinched it for me.