Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Movie Review: Lady In The Water

WARNING: May or may not contain spoilers. Proceed at your own risk....

Since this blog is supposed to be about movies as well as bitching about the entire frickin' world falling apart, I better get in a movie post now and then.

O.K., well, I saw this one over the weekend. By the way, I didn't realize it was possible for my town to close some pretty nice, relatively new movie theaters with nine screens and move across the street to the newly revamped mall and put in a 16 screen movie place, and me not even know about it. That shows how often I go out to see new movies these days. Most of the ones that I see lately are of the cartoon variety, suited for a 10 year old girl. Actually, OVER THE HEDGE was pretty funny in places. William Shatner cast in the role of a hammy, over-the-top possum was a very nice touch.

But I digress. This latest effort by M. Night Shyamalan seemed somewhat interesting. The prospect of a water nymph was rather appealing, even after I scanned a review that said the film started out with some promise but faded after that. Not terrible. O.K., I'll check it out. I have liked his other films (aside from BROKEN) for perhaps nothing more than the tone and mood they set. A lot of people seem to hate SIGNS. I wasn't pleased with the ending, but I really liked the foreboding mood it set, and it had some lighthearted moments that I thought clicked. Didn't like the end, don't like being preached to by a film. But, all in all, not bad. Same with THE VILLAGE, although I saw that ending coming from a mile away. So, perhaps some film about a water nymph seemed like a good way to kill a Sunday afternoon while the family is still out of town. Besides, this new movie house has much cheaper matinees than the old theater had. Wonder how long that will last?

Well, LADY IN THE WATER started out pretty silly and progessed nicely downhill from there. I can see making a film about what is essentially a fairy tale for kids, but Mr. M. Night should really make up his mind if he is trying to be serious about it or not. The story was really amaturish, some of the acting really didn't work, and some of the supposedly lighter "comedic" moments didn't work at all. What is with the guy who lifts weights only on one side of his body? Where did that come from, and what possible bearing did it have on anything?

It was pretty bad, but then, I don't mind bad films at times. My video collection is full of them. But bad films trumpeting themselves as good films rub me the wrong way. Still, I stayed put until the end. It was sort of like watching how bad a 20 car pile up on the freeway can be, all in slow motion. "Oh, my God.... That is REALLY going to happen, isn't it?"

Mr. M. Night is taking quite a lot of hits for this one, I see. I suppose he deserves it. For one thing, if you are going to make what is essentially a fairy tale for kids, it shouldn't be set in a run down apartment complex outside Philly. That just doesn't really cut it.

No comments: