24 June 2008

The Happening

Spanks - 1.5 or 3

Director - M. Night Shyamalan

Writer - M. Night Shyamalan

Starring - Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, and Ashlyn Sanchez

Release Date - 13 June 08

MPAA Rating - R

When you see an M. Night Shyamalan film you are expecting a unexpected ending. This movie continues to have that. In my opinion, his movies have not had the same greatness as his first three films. This movie is a little different then all his others because it has more comedy.

The film starts off in Central Park on a regular sunny morning. Then all of a sudden people are stabbing themselves and jumping off buildings. The news of a terrorist attack gets to Philadelphia where Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo reside and they decide to leave the city and because it will be safer in the county. The film is then their journey to stay alive from this attack. I won't give say anything else to aviod giving anything away if you choose to see The Happening.

The reason I have the film 2 ratings is for how you look at it. If you look at it as a serious M. Night Shyamalan then its terrible, which is the 1.5. If you look at it as a comedy then it has some funny parts (the 3 rating). I don't know if he was going for laugh out loud funny, but I did. After I saw the movie I read an article on SciFi Weekly where he said he said to the cast and crew at the begining of production 'This is a B movie. Let's get ourselves straight here. This is just a great B movie. We're making the best B movie we can here. That's our job. We're making a B movie. If the themes of the movie have something that stick with you, great. Great. But we're not going to put that in front of the movie. We're going to have a lot of fun. It's a paranoia movie. We just need to pound away. That's our job." I can agree that it could be a B movie...just a well made, high budget B movie. Did anything stick with me? Maybe the guy with the lions or the guy with the lawnmower.

One thing I like about M. Night Shyamalan is that he always shoots his films in and around Philadelpia where they are set and not in Vancover or California where most things are shot and say that it is in Philadelpia.


frank said...

Are you saying that a relatively new film maker is trying to emulate and honor a genre that was not really a genre? B movies were not made intentionally bad just cheap. Their real following came years after their initial releases. A few have near cult status and have early glimpses of future stars, i.e. Steve McQueen in The Blob, James Arness in The Thing.

I have tried to understand M. Night SHabboobie's film, but signs eluded me altogether and The Village, well you saw that ending coming after about 20 minutes into the film.

Getting back to The Event, have not seen it yet but intend to. But as far as his planning and plotting a homage to B Movies - did he say that before or after the initial release and box office reports? Is he explaining his quirkiness or trying to excuse his flops? He is an odd fellow to say the least. I may have further comment after seeing this picture and, although i had passed it over, I may just rent Lady in the Water or Lake or Whatever just to see if I may have been tooo critical.

In any case, your reviews are anxiously awaited and I look forward to the next one.

frank said...

Just checking in. Haven't heard from you for a while Spankster. I still have not seen the event but I did rent "Lady in the water" just to complete and round out my viewing of Shabobolink's works. It was entertaining but a little hard to follow. Much more contrived than "The Village" (or whatever it's name was).

The only thing that made me wonder is how you can pass off a story and say it is an ancient legend while saying that part of that legend is that the dog-like creature makes lawn sprinklers work unexplainedly. More unexplainedly would be why an ancient japanese legend would mention water sprinklers. did they have autmatic sprinklers in ancient Japan?? Still it was somewhat enjoyable. He shouldn't (can't?) act in his pictures, I don't think he was any good and could have found a better person for his role.

He seems to be a real fan of the older stuff, though and I can appreciate that! He should emulate Hitchcock and stick to cameos in his films as Stephen King does.

Talk to you soon (I hope).

Frank/Rodney said...

I don't know why but I keep calling this film "The event" instead of "The Happening". Anyway I went to two theatres Sunday and it wasn't playing anymore. That was quick! Hopefully, it will pop again before the long wait to video. Your eview interested me and I shouldn't have put seeing it off for so long.