Monday, June 23, 2008

The Happening

Let me tell you about The Happening. The Happening is a movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Personally, I've never seen a movie of his that I didn't like. For instance, even though many critics panned The Lady in the Water, I found it to be a refreshing and charming modern fairytale.

I went to this movie reluctantly, as it is his first R-rated feature and it was portrayed as being unnecessarily gory. However, I found out that it really wasn't so. In fact, we were spared many scenes that had a potential for greater gore.

I also thought the actors played their parts deftly, giving their roles both humanity and a dose of reality.

The plot, though far-fetched, made at least a modicum of sense and was very nicely explained while the ending was a bit of bitter medicine washed down with a spoonful of sugar.

I highly recommend the movie, though I do advise you to leave your children at home due to the graphic nature of some of the scenes.


Ed Abbey said...

I was attracted to "The Lady In the Water" for a totally different reason. I'm a Paul Giamatti fan ever since I saw "Sideways." But now that you mention it, I haven't seen a M. Night Shyamalan film that I disliked either. I'm adding it to my que at Netflix right now.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I got it on my Netflix list already.

I am not really that into this guy's movies. Take "Signs" for example. You have aliens who can travel hundreds of light years in super advanced space ships - and they can not figure out the complexity of a doorknob? Just lock the alien in a room! It will never figure out how to get out!

And then the aliens pick a planet that is 3/4 water to invade? When the one thing that kills them is WATER?!?!?!

These aliens must have flown to Earth on the short space ship....

And then there is "The Village". A group of hippies living in some massive hippie preserve where they all think it is 1750? Right in the middle of an urban area? All the airspace is closed off? OK! Lets say I buy the premise just for the whole "come on its fiction! Don't be so pissy" thing.

It is still lame. Not as lame as the whole "advanced aliens come to Earth and can not figure out how a doorknob works, and not a single alien has a death ray weapon" idea, but still fairly lame.

But Ill bite on this one. It is on the list. Has been on the list for a while now.

I liked "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable" better. The Sixth Sense was good because it opened up many joke opportunities. Like when I was in a mall in Del Ray and I whispered so a friend "I see OLD PEOPLE" and we both laughed.

You had to be there I suppose. There was a SWARM of old people. Buses full of them all showed up. It was like invasion of the body snatchers, only without the body snatchers. Just the invasion part.

mal said...

his movies are certainly "novel". I agree, they are for the most part very entertaining and I have not seen one that I hated

Scott said...

Sorry, had to react to your first comment "However, I am not sure of how safe this is, in an era where the U.S. government refuses to lock down the borders and we know that an untold number of terrorists can and have snuck across the border this way."

Just curious as to how many terrorist attacks on the US have occurred since 9/11?

Why all the border paranoia?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Wow Saur, 'The Happening' is one of THE worst films Eva and I have ever seen, not only is the acting awful but the film itself is a mismatch of styles and genres.

But that's art.


The Lazy Iguana said...

No, Killer Clowns From Outer Space was the worst movie ever.

Some would argue that Ed Wood films are the worst ever made - but I would disagree. Ed Wood's movies were genius in their awfulness. Thats right - SOOOO campy and awful that they attained fame, therefore becoming great!

I own "Plan 9 From Outer Space" on DVD. It came with a video game. Destroy All Humans 1. The game has nothing to do with the movie. I was disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I saw it last week with my daughter. It wasn't my least favorite MNS movie, but definitely not my favorite. If you could believe Signs, then Happening is believable. I think the casting may have been good, but the acting was horrid ... in my opinion. Mark Walhberg sounded like he was talking to 5 year olds all the time and his female lead was just aweful. There was no edge to any of the characters and the tension between Leguisamo and the female lead wasn't even needed. Overall it had a good moral to the story and as always was well written. It lacked suspense ... IMHO.


daveawayfromhome said...

Saur, go ahead and say what you will. I can guarantee you that even should a female suicide bomber blow herself up somewhere in the U.S., it will not be aimed at you, nor will you be in any way responsible.

Or are you worried about our own lovely secret police?


I've been told the "secret" of the movie, and quite frankly, I dont buy it. Maybe that wont matter to the storytelling, but I'll wait till it comes on HBO to see.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

SO disgusted was I at the mention of 'The Happening' I missed the opening to that post about suicide bombers.

Gender doesn't matter, the reasons why they do it should be up for discussion and the answer is...RELIGION.

If we got rid of that it'd make it a lot more of an unattractive option.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Everyone, I decided to publish the post on female suicide bombers. I think it's an interesting phenomenon and one that could be easily solved.

Daniel, The real problem, of course, is that you CAN'T get rid of religion. Look at how hard the USSR tried and failed at it. So IMHO religion is a given.

What we have to do is take it to a point that people understand that antisocial religions cannot have antisocial practices such as rape, murder, and torture. They need to curb those practices or be eliminated, as they do not work well societally.

There are many SOCIAL religions (including modern Satanism, actually!) that do not believe in doing harm to others. But those that don't shouldn't be tolerated. And in the USA, we have sadly come to tolerate ALL religions for the most part, unless they were societally harmful.

For instance, the US government originally opposed Mormonism, as they felt that polygamy was against the greater good. So, the Mormon church revised their doctrine and voila! They still exist!

Daveawayfromhome, I guess it was a moment of paranoia. As for the movie, you're right - it's not believable (ALL plants would have to evolve simultaneously, and would have to count, too) but it's fun and not as nasty as a typical 'survivalist' type movie.

Knot & Daniel, I am usually a very good critic when it comes to acting. I've heard much panning of Wahlberg's character but I truly don't see the problem. I think he deliberately played his character in an understated way, and our reflex might be to dismiss it as we're used to him playing a stronger character. However, I liked this interpretation.

I DO admit his wife is a little over the top, but I think her acting is natural for her and far exceeds the Jamie Lee Curtis-scream-all-the-time style.

Yeah, the movie definately lacked suspense when it comes to the final revelation, but then most of them do when you think about it. I mean, how many times have we 'learned' that zombies are caused by a mutant virus? Every zombie movie should blush as their character 'learns' this. What??? Haven't they seen the average horror flick? Don't they KNOW it's a virus???

Lazy, NO WAY! The Sword and the Sorcerer is the best Camp movie EVER.

Scott, granted, attacks haven't happened. But the US government isn't all that efficient. IMHO, they're more lucky than good (an old American saying).

Mal, great to see you back!

Lazy, re: the movies - I really liked The Village. After all, there's not always going to be flyovers in a particular part of the country. Not EVERY area has airplanes passing over it. I'll grant you that the middle of a national forest would seem to be something that a hiker could stumble over, though...

I take it back though. You're right about Signs: I didn't like it. But that's one I wasn't thinking about when I said I liked everything he'd done.

Ed, I do like Paul Giamatti very much. I'm sure that colored my perception a little. And I didn't find his stuttering to be false, as some critics did. But then again, I've known stutterers.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I think you can Saur, I think humanity can grow out of it and stand on it's own two feet, it's a big ask but possible.

All religion is anti-social!

Still not convinced about his acting in this film, it switched from surreal understatement to tongue in cheek humour.

Many of the cast seemed to be acting in the wrong film.

Bryan said...

My daughter and I loved "Signs", it's one of our favorite movies. And we also liked "The Village" and "Lady in the Water".

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, that last line was a real zinger - it had me chuckling. I do understand your point. I guess I found it refreshing that it was more understated than most horror movies.

I don't see how humanity can grow out of religion, as many (myself included) believe that our eternal lives depend on our present understanding. Such a deep-rooted belief cannot be entirely eradicated although it can be somewhat successfully suppressed. However, the suppression can, in turn, become oppression just as many religions can or have been oppressive.

There are no easy answers.

Ultimately there WILL need to be some oppression if humanity is going to survive. As I said, anything dangerous will have to be forcibly stopped. But it's sometimes hard to know where to draw the lines for many.

Bryan, They are awesome, IMHO!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Just to be clear, I do not advocate the supression of religious peoples, only the chance to debate on an even platform where religion and its behaviour is not protected by the fact that it is a religion.

And I don't know if the acting in the wrong film is actually the actors fault, I think its more of the directors.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, then we agree wholeheartedly!

Interesting point about the director. I so often wonder how much is due to a director(?)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

The director is very responsible as sets up the stylistic rules for any play/film. Obviously a good director can't make a bad actor great but they can make them okay but a bad director can make an amazing actor look like a fool but making them look as if they are acting in the wrong film/play.