Films => The Happening => Topic started by: jefffhaines on February 14, 2010, 12:57:40 PM

Title: Bad Dialogue
Post by: jefffhaines on February 14, 2010, 12:57:40 PM

The thing is I consider myself a fan of this director/writer/producer.  I own all of his movies.  The Sixth Sense is among my top ten favorite movies of all time, and The Lady In The Water gets better the more I watch it.  Since The Sixth Sense, I've been eagerly awaiting M. Night Syamalan's releases.  Every new movie he puts out, however, is a little less satisfying that the last.  After The Happening, I figured the guy was washed up.

I really like his ideas.  I think he reaches down and touches his inner child, and it's because of that I'm usually excited to see one of his movies.  But something happens along the way.  He fails (in my opinion) to bring the idea to it's fullest potential.  With The Happening as a prime example, he gave us a movie that I felt was only half-baked.  

Much of the trouble is in the script.  He needs people who aren't Yes Men to read his work and make suggestions.  I just finished watching The Happening, and I was appalled that a seasoned director actually writes movies like this.  I've never seen so much telling (as opposed to showing) in my life.
Zoey Deschanel's character (paraphrased): ?You and I are alike.  You don?t like to show your emotions either, do you??

Worse than that, she was repeating information she?d just given her husband: ?I?m not that kind of person, I don?t like everyone knowing our problems.?  (Again, paraphrased.)

This was a movie meant for an older audience; I felt like I was being spoon-fed information.

Another problem I see with his movies is the acting.  Mark Wahlberg didn?t even come close to pulling off a schoolteacher.  Even Zoey Deschanel, whom I love in just about everything, seemed flat.  

I?m not meaning to overly criticize M. Night Shyamalan.  I actually do still consider myself a fan.  But I do hope he works on some of these issues, because for the first time since he made his debut in Hollywood, I find that I?m not at all excited about his latest movie.  Something about an airbringer?  Airbreather?  Oh, whatever.  Either way, I don?t care.  The title makes me yawn.

But I will say that, eventually, I?ll see his movie.  I?ll probably rent it.  I am hoping that he?s going to make me eat my words.  Because anymore, it feels as though I?m not really a fan.  But I definitely still want to be.

Title: Re: Bad Dialogue
Post by: Erik on February 14, 2010, 02:17:25 PM
I believe that almost everyone agrees with you on The Happening. It is the least likable movie of his. Though most of us are looking forward to The Last Airbender. I guess it's gonna be a movie that you either love or hate.
Title: Re: Bad Dialogue
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on February 15, 2010, 04:23:59 PM
Yeah, I agree also.
Title: Re: Bad Dialogue
Post by: Rulm on February 28, 2010, 12:52:11 AM
Yeah, even now that I own it, I REALLY want to like it, but I just can't.

What frustrates me even more is that he still probably believes The Happening is fantastic, going by a quote in the DVD bonus features: "I set out to make the greatest B movie ever." (or something along those lines) Seriously?  :-\ I think his ego is still up in the air; he NEEDS to listen to studios who have some problem with his scripts. The Happening is completely empty in every way; it's devoid of any real sense of emotion, any memorable scenes, any scares and suspense, any surprises, any character depth, any good dialogue, any believable acting, and surprisingly enough, any strong gore that merits the R-rating. If you've seen it once, you've seen it all. There is nothing there to analyze. I honestly think he rushed this or has completely lost his mind. Another hint of his ignorance to this movie was a deleted scene I saw; his reason for deleting this particular scene was that "there were too many death scenes", but he claimed it was one of his favorite scenes He described it as scary. I LAUGHED OUT LOUD at that scene. Is it possible for anyone to keep a straight face while watching that kid shove the violin rod down his throat like some kind of sword swallower? He even tried to recreate similar scenes to his previous movies, such as "Signs": That lion attack scene seemed to try to evoke the same hair-raising feel, but failed miserably, and may be the worst scene in the movie. There is no way any sane person would think this is great, and "OK" is kinda pushing it. I appreciate what he was trying to do, but his execution of it was dreadful. I still laugh at so many of the supposed "scary" scenes. and I get embarrassed having to tell my friends not to watch it when they're curious to check it out . . . their inevitable hatred of the movie will only sadden me more.

His first 3 movies were incredible, in my opinion, and I even liked The Village to an extent.
But Lady in the Water and The Happening lack everything that has made his first 3 movies memorable. That being said, I hope this isn't the last time we see him make a thriller, or even one with a twist (in fact, I love the twist endings when they feel right), but I would like him to take his time and MARKET IT THE RIGHT WAY.
Title: Re: Bad Dialogue
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on March 02, 2010, 10:56:49 AM
Yeah, I feel like he might have gotten into too much of a rythem, a movie every two years, so that caused him to sell himself a little short.  On a side note, I loved The Village.
Title: Re: Bad Dialogue
Post by: Rulm on March 02, 2010, 03:01:30 PM
Yeah, I feel like he might have gotten into too much of a rythem, a movie every two years, so that caused him to sell himself a little short.  On a side note, I loved The Village.

I think he'd be so much better off co-writing his scripts, or simply letting a prestigious writer do it him/herself. It's strange going back to his earlier movies and seeing those, then coming back to his newer movies and seeing these. The reduction of quality in the newer ones could take a fan's breath away. His earlier movies had a sense of poetry to their writing, and genuine thrills--and were for the most part advertised properly. They trusted the audience to show up, because they knew they had a quality film. I saw Signs again recently, and checked out the bonus features. There was this line he said that feels a bit contradictory now but really gave me more respect for him at that time: ". . . see, you treat them [the public] with intelligence and they show up! They show up like they show up for a blockbuster movie!" (Paraphrasing) That much doesn't seem to be happening lately.  :'(

I have a theory as to why this is happening ("Could this really be happening?" Argh. I was just reminded of that line. LOL)--Again with the Signs bonus features: There was a moment where he talked about how Signs was the last of these 3 ideas he had (the first 2 being The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable)--his trilogy, so to speak--and that at that time he had a few other ideas but wasn't currently writing them. I have a feeling that because he's had the first 3 ideas in his mind for such a long time, he was able to develop them properly and trust the audience (US) that we will check them out. And we did. But I think his later movies didn't have as much thought going into them. The Village is debatable, but Lady in the Water and The Happening are hard to cover up. I think he simply didn't want to be forgotten, so he put out movies as fast as he can. His name alone got people to check out his movies. It now seems to be the opposite.

I would suggest he take his precious time developing another original script when he has the time (right now he has Airbender to worry about), and put out the movie in about 5 years. Kind of like what Quentin Tarantino does. Quentin likes to write and direct all his movies as well, and like M. Night, Quentin's movies are not typical. Each has his signature in a way. But he continues to take his time to give them polish. If M. Night wants to release a movie faster, he should definitely co-write or just worry about directing.

I believe he'll make a come back, but I'm trying not to get too excited about Last Airbender, just in case that one's not it. Lol.
Title: Re: Bad Dialogue
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on March 04, 2010, 10:24:07 AM
Interesting thought, however, I think The Village was completely thought out, and was a very good movie.