Friday, August 11, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Lady in the Water

I decided after my first day back from the exile that is unemployment to go and see a movie. I don't normally like to see movies by myself but I figured none of my friends nor my wife was curious to see this film, so if I was going to see it, I was going to do it alone. The movie started very humbly I didn't see an M. Night Shyamalan hovering over the title. The score was refrained and melodic as the narration began. The only images were simple sketches, almost like cave drawings that told a story about sea nymphs and their relationship with mankind. Okay, sounds like the beginning of a bedtime story, as the trailers suggest, I was intrigued, but--and maybe I'm being just cynical here, but it's hard to watch this movie and the people in it and take anyone seriously. I know it sounds like the harsh critic who doesn't get it, but I've always been a fan of M. Night and I think this film is wonderfully directed and acted but--what the hell was M. Night smoking?

The film is about Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) who is the superintendent to an apartment building. He lives alone, he seems lonely and everyone in the building is constantly after him to fix something. One night he meets a strange half naked girl in the swimming pool, her name is Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) and she is a Narf. That's right I said she was a Narf, whatever the hell that is. She is from a place called the Blue World. In the film they explain that a Narf is actually a Sea Nymph, okay--it's like the mermaid from Splash, got it. So this girl Story, the Narf has a message for mankind--I won't tell you what it is, but when you find out you may be as disappointed as I was. Story needs to get back to the Blue World but there is something stopping her and she needs Cleveland's help. This something, I believe, could be taken care of in just a few minutes if Cleveland were packing a really big Weed Whacker, unfortunately he only has a broom handle. This creature is a cross between a dog and a shrub and it is called a Scrunt. Now these Scrunts can't just attack at any time because of these tree monkey things called, um Thrymopsu something. I don't know but they were tree monkeys and apparently they are evil but they keep order between the Narfs and the Scrunts. You getting this?

Maybe I need to see the movie again, I didn't hate it but I didn't really like it that much either. If Paul Giamatti was not in this movie saying these funny names and trying to work through this strange prophecy before him then I would have certainly thought this was a comedy. I think the problem I had with the story is that M. Night doesn't explain what these creatures are or how they exist or why, except that they are apart of a legend or bedtime story that is very ancient. It's hard to follow a story with so many fantastic things without explaining at least some of it. The ending is abrupt and extremely unfulfilling. I'm still not 100% sure what this was all about. I thought that the rest of the cast was great: Jeffrey Wright, Sarita Choudhury, Cindy Cheung, Freddy Rodriguez, Mary Beth Hurt. Bob Balaban was great as the movie critic guy. Not to give anything away but I think M. Night hates movie critics. The film had great suspense and was beautifully photographed and if you can get past the Narfs, the Scrunts and the Thy--those damn Monkey things then you may enjoy it much more than I. I still have faith in you M. Night but maybe it's time to direct something that you haven't written --for a change. Maybe a romantic comedy.

Grade: 3 Buckets


Speck said...

M. Night sucks dong. Period.

His only two good movies were 6th sense and unbreakable.

He needs to go back to blue world...and drown.

G.I. Jeff said...

No he doesn't suck--He's an excellent director--it's his writing as of late it has been really sucky. Man you really have a hate on for the guy.

I think he should direct a movie that was written by Kevin Smith. That would be interesting....Maybe have Paul Haggis write him something--but I agree with you on one point he needs to stop writing for a while.

Speck said...

He needs to stop writing...he needs to stop acting in his own movies.

He needs to quit think he is on the level with Hitchcock and Speilberg.

He needs to get his head shrunk and have some ego knocked out of him.

Had he listened to the studios that all turned down his script in the first place...

The dude is a turd. I liked him better when he was some unknown making good movies without feeling the need to put his name over the title.