first impressions...


Author Topic: first impressions...  (Read 19345 times)

Erik

  • Futuristic (After Earth)

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 817
  • Personal Text
    d'oh!
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #30 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.
We can breath in space,
they just don't want us to escape...

auhin

  • Praying with Anger

  • Offline
  • *

  • 8
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #31 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.

Unbroken

  • Futuristic (After Earth)

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 351
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2008, 04:29:37 PM »
This sudden influx of relatively good opinions about The Happening is rather encouraging.  :)

okokokok

  • LITW

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 175
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #33 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.

Kable

  • Signs

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 70
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #34 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!

DILinator

  • The Happening

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 211
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #35 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!
"See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky?"

I'm a "Signs" person.

Sri HK

  • Futuristic (After Earth)

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 329
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #36 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).
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 10:57:06 PM by Sri HK »
What you see isn't always what u get.

auhin

  • Praying with Anger

  • Offline
  • *

  • 8
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #37 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).

joecartoon131

  • Wide Awake

  • Offline
  • **

  • 25
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #38 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.
Fate Won't Let You Hide Forever

MrStone

  • LITW

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 182
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #39 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.

MrStone

  • LITW

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 182
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #40 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.


MrStone

  • LITW

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 182
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #41 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. 

MrStone

  • LITW

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 182
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #42 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.

ypehmish

  • Unbreakable

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 54
    • Email
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #43 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

okokokok

  • LITW

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 175
Re: first impressions...
« Reply #44 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?