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TOPIC: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water

Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 18 Jul 2006 08:46 #13066

  • leeler
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I'm getting a tingling feeling about Lady in the water. do you think Super ex-g is the way to go here?
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 18 Jul 2006 10:48 #13067

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anything Uma is yuma.


Michael Hurley
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 18 Jul 2006 10:52 #13068

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sounds good to me.... good enough anyway.....

Bryce Dallas Howard is a nymph-like female who comes from the world of water.

July 17, 2006


Lady in the Water


By Kirk Honeycutt
Bottom line: A fairy-tale world exists inside the quotidian but most of the magic remain locked up inside writer-director M. Night Shyamalan's head.


Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan's latest venture into the paranormal, "Lady in the Water," tries to locate extraordinary events within the ordinary and everyday. The setting is an apartment complex surrounding a swimming pool in suburban Philadelphia.

Nevertheless, living, breathing creatures from a child's bedtime story lurk within its confines. Working with a very talented cast and a strong visual design engineered by cinematographer Christopher Doyle and designer Martin Childs, Shyamalan does project genuine menace and suspense into this mundane location, especially in nighttime scenes. But the magic that would transport you from reality into fantasy is missing. The particulars of the fairy tale are simply too sketchy and convoluted to inspire confidence in its mythology.

Shyamalan's films, taking place in twilight zones far afield from all other Hollywood science-fiction, fantasy and horror, have earned $2 billion in boxoffice and video sales. So clearly there is something about his vision that resonates with audiences. Consequently, "Lady" should open strong, but the lack of any genuine frights or thrills may not sustain a long run.

Paul Giamatti plays the kind of character he does best -- Cleveland Heep, a guy hiding out from life as a caretaker/manager of the Cove Apartments. Lately, from his cottage near the pool, he suspects someone has been swimming in the pool at night against regulations. Pursuing this intruder one night, Cleveland falls into the pool and is rescued by a nymph-like female (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is very quiet and frightened and calls herself Story. She insists she comes from the world of water and that fierce beings want to prevent her return to that world.

One of the movie's conceits is that the Cove is more multi-ethnic than the U.N. So it is from a Korean tenant (June Kyoko Lu) -- whose hip and scantily clothed daughter, Young Soon (Cindy Cheung), provides the translation -- that Cleveland learns of a tale "from the East" that fits the particulars of the water nymph's situation.

Story is a "narf," a creature from the water, and her vicious adversary is a "scrunt," which when it finally becomes visible is a cross between a hyena and wild boar with matted, spiky fur and a really bad temper. The bedtime tale insists that several humans in the area where the narf appears have powers, unknown to themselves, that will enable them to protect and guide her to her destination.

So Cleveland, who buys into this fairy tale without a moment's hesitation, rushes among the tenants to determine which ones fit the necessary roles. His reluctant mentor is the newest tenant, Mr. Farber (Bob Balaban), a prissy and cynical book and film critic, who because he knows every possible plot devise and character thinks he can determine the obvious candidates. (This character must certainly be Shyamalan's revenge against his less friendly critics, but the character nevertheless is a hoot in his icy arrogance.)

Is Mr. Dury (Jeffrey Wright), a loving father with an aptitude for crossword puzzles, the Interpreter of Signs? Is Mrs. Bell (Mary Beth Hurt), a lover of animals, the Healer? Cleveland thinks he may be the Guardian. But how does the unusual bodybuilder Reggie (Freddy Rodriguez), the intellectual but remote Mr. Leeds (Bill Irwin) and an Indian writer and his sister (Shyamalan and Sarita Choudhury) fit in? One very curious thing about all these tenants is that when Cleveland comes to them with his tale of narfs and scrunts, no one looks at him and says he should check into a mental hospital. Not one.

If you take a stab at film fantasy at the level of such Shyamalan favorites as "The Wizard of Oz" and "E.T.," then you must be clear about your other worldly creatures and their goals. Here the film utterly fails. It never quite takes that very necessary step into the wardrobe as "Narnia" most recently did.

This bedtime story comes at a viewer too sporadically and the goals of the opposing forces are too vague. If a narf is a creature of the water, then why should she be rescued by an eagle from the air? If the mere appearance of Farber is enough to stop an imminent attack by a scrunt, then why should the scrunt assault Farber the next time it sees him? What are the rules of engagement here? Where is the jeopardy to the world of humans?

Giamatti is marvelous as a tortured soul whose damaged life may get resuscitated in this close encounter with a narf. Howard makes a beguiling, sculptural, waif-like being, but the role is more ephemeral than her one in Shyamalan's "The Village." All the other character actors are splendid but Cheung does stand out as a human who also exists in two parallel worlds, her mother's traditional home and the All-American life she embraces with such alacrity.

LADY IN THE WATER
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures presents in association with Legendary Picturesa Blinding Edge Pictures production

Credits:
Screenwriter-director: M. Night Shyamalan
Producers: Sam Mercer, M. Night Shyamalan
Director of photography: Christopher Doyle
Production designer: Martin Childs
Music: James Newton Howard
Creature designer: Crash McCreery
Costume designer: Betsy Heimann
Editor: Barbara Tulliver
Cast:
Cleveland Heep: Paul Giamatti
Story: Bryce Dallas Howard
Mr. Dury: Jeffrey Wright
Farber: Bob Balaban
Anna Ran: Sarita Choudhury
Young-Soon Choi: Cindy Cheung
Vick Ran: M. Night Shyamalan
Reggie: Freddy Rodriguez
Mr. Leeds: Bill Irwin
Mrs. Bell: Mary Beth Hurt
Joey: Noah Gray-Cabey
MPAA rating: PG-13
Running time -- 110 minutes

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Copyright 2006 The Hollywood Reporter



Michael Hurley
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 18 Jul 2006 22:37 #13069

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Living Night-mare

Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly

Shyamalan's latest is an absurd, overwrought exercise in narcissism

Lady in the Water
Grade: D
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, M. Night Shyamalan
Opens Fri., July 21

Has M. Night Shyamalan lost his goddamn mind?


That's the only logical excuse for Lady in the Water, the Philly-based writer/director/egomaniac's convulsive seizure of narcissism that's so nakedly personal—and also so unintentionally, hilariously revealing—watching the movie feels a bit like walking in on your roommate while he's masturbating … to a picture of himself.


Billed as “a bedtime story by M. Night Shyamalan,” the film takes place entirely inside a run-down apartment complex, where Paul Giamatti's Cleveland Heep (the names in this movie are really something else) is the depressed, stuttering superintendent. There's a Rainbow Coalition cast of self-consciously “wacky” characters dwelling in their separate units just above the poverty line. And then one day a mermaid shows up in the swimming pool.


Well, not a mermaid per se. She's a “narf”—some sort of sea nymph who can see into the future, and is visiting here from “the blue world” to help “man get back on the right path.” Played by Bryce Dallas Howard in a joyless Osment-ian whisper, our narf is really more of a wet blanket, quivering in Giamatti's shower most of the time and gravely intoning ominous prophecies. Oh wait, did I forget to mention her name is “Story”?


Story has been sent to this particular pool so she may serve 
as a muse to a brilliant young writer—a young man so exceptional, with ideas so powerful, an entire generation is going to take his words to heart—and thanks to the fine work of this astounding young genius, our ravaged, war-torn earth will be returned to paradise.


The brilliant young writer is portrayed by M. Night Shyamalan.


Poor Story didn't cross into our world alone—there seem to be several snarling hellhounds on her trail. These creatures are called “scrunts,” which I believe is a word I once heard in a completely different context on The Howard Stern Show. It falls on Cleveland to rally all the rascally residents to perform a complex nonsense ritual that'll somehow enable a giant eagle to swoop down from the heavens and bring the ailing Story back home—all while keeping those nasty scrunts at bay.


What's remarkable—and dramatically deadening—is that everybody cheerfully goes along with this silliness, grinning beatifically and spouting affirmative aphorisms about accepting their destinies. Shyamalan clearly wants to make a parable about the importance of faith (territory he already mined in his far superior Signs) and the value of a community working together toward a positive goal.


The trouble is he's put it together so hamfistedly, with such overwrought, cringe-worthy dialogue, you'll half wonder if he's going to pull one of his patented twist endings and reveal the entire apartment complex is actually an insane asylum.


Also, it doesn't help that the positive goal he's assigned to this makeshift community involves protecting and nurturing the genius of M. Night Shyamalan.


Even more embarrassing is that the only note of skepticism from any of the residents comes from a pissy film critic played by Bob Balaban. Perhaps intended as some sort of cathartic payback for the savage reviews given to Shyamalan's The Village (and probably as an inoculation against the even harsher ones Lady in the Water is bound to receive), the scrunts rip the guy to shreds.


Shyamalan knows how to put a film together. Even The Village is one of the most elegantly crafted stupid movies you'll ever see. But his locked-down camera and church silences are a terrible match for this script's loosy-goosey mythological musings. If something this extraordinarily asinine were ever going to have a chance of working, it needed to be joyful and light on its feet. Lady in the Water sags under the usual M. Night hush, with leaden pauses between every whispered line.


Somewhere in the middle of this foolish thing, Story peers into the future (perhaps looking ahead to the derisive cackles at my screening) and informs Shyamalan that he'll one day be martyred for his writing, but it's okay because his work is still going to reach people, and the power of his ideas will change the world.


You know, even Shyamalan's buddy Mel Gibson had enough common sense not to cast himself as Jesus.

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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 22 Jul 2006 08:17 #13070

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Lady in the Water spanked Super X in our theatre. 5 times as much business, and was second only to Monster House.
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 22 Jul 2006 14:28 #13071

  • leeler
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I think the real answer for me is "neither"
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 22 Jul 2006 16:04 #13072

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Super ex is super dud! A thriller in the summer is going to blow that away especially on the east coast this weekend casue of the bad weather.
The theatre I was at yesterday dn today were doing big business with Lady in the Water, Monster House and Pirates still. Super Ex was doing okay but not as well as those!
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 24 Jul 2006 22:41 #13073

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Both pictures will be mentioned with the worst films of 2006. I expected a much better movie for Lady in the Water. Huge disappointment.
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 28 Jul 2006 23:18 #13074

Uh, may I suggest keeping or getting a print of Pirates?

Lady looks stupid. I barely even read that review by sevstar because I just don't care.

I don't care for Sixth Sense (I hate that goddamn "dead people" line), and I hated Unbreakable. I didn't mind Signs when it first came out but its a dissapointment now. I was pissed off during "The Village" because of how much stupider it kept getting as each minute passed.

Now I just won't devote any time to an M. Night Shymalan movie. I also dislike how he puts himself in "big" roles. I don't like how he's compared to Hitchcock (one of my favourites) either. At least if you're going to cast yourself in your movie, do it subtly like Hitchcock. That was always the fun part of Hitchcock's movies.

Grr. Mad now.

:P
Since 1987
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 29 Jul 2006 09:40 #13075

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Stick with the kids movies this summer. Cars, Monster house, Barnhouse, Ant Bully and of course Pirates!
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 31 Jul 2006 13:19 #13076

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"Ant Bully" didn't live up to expectations, so a "kids movie" is no guarantee.


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John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 31 Jul 2006 14:19 #13077

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I would still stick with the kid movies....most often the best bet.
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 01 Aug 2006 02:22 #13078

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1 bad apple doesnt spoil the bunch! I am not saying all but there a bteer bet then Super ex and lady In The Water don't you think.
An Ant Bully did very good matiness over the weekend and increased concession sales!
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Re: Super Ex vs Lady in the Water 01 Aug 2006 08:30 #13079

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Well we have Barnyard coming so we will see if it does better than Ant Bully did for others. We passed on Bully but took Barnyard and Talidaga. My bet is on Talidaga but the booker really liked Barnyard.
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