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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old August 16th, 2004, 12:48 AM   #31
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I finally saw the film and was surprised how null the suspense actually was. One feeble attempt to introduce doubt in the audience's mind about the already-revealed twist via a voiceover replay really stretched narrative's credibility.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 11:46 AM   #32
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I think it's interesting to mention that "Unbreakable" was actually only the 1st act of a 3 act work. The other acts were Bruce's character meeting other Heros, and then becoming a full blown Super Hero, and taking out villains (Glass). Night liked the 1st act so much that he thought he could stretch it out and turn the original 3 act screenplay into a full-blown trilogy. Obviously, it didn't do well enough in the theater to warrant the sequels.

I wonder with his usual pacing being so slow, if that was in any way a byproduct of slowing down "Unbreakable"s 1st act to feature length.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 03:45 PM   #33
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the problem with mns is he totally thinks he's the man now after 6th sense.

his style of writing and directing fits perfectly within the realm of a movie like 6th sense. in the end though i think it was the relationship between the mother and the son that had people coming back to the cinema or enticing other people to go watch it for the first time. yesh the scare was great. the audience i watched it with on opening night had ladies screaming top of their lungs... but that alones does not a movie make. it was the relationship between mother + son and also the 2nd story-thread invovling the dead husband and the still alive wife (in case anyone hasn't seen it yet =^). his slow buildup of the scare where he never cuts, instead he lets the cam roll and roll til it builds the scare and then finally releases it. i think that has to go along with a story/characters that people can identify with easily. 6th sense had that in spades. if you look at stuart little (adapted from the eb white book by mns) and wide awake (a bit melodramatic) you'll see what the man does have talent. the problem is that 6th sense got to his head too quickly. it is still his highest grossing (total) film of his career. i would like to his first feature, "praying with anger" on DVD (not out yet). i think it'd be interesting to trace his steps as an early filmmaker. hopefully he goes back to his own roots and finds himself again.

why do i say that fame+fortune got to his head too quick? well unbreakable and signs you can see the problems. though his style worked on 6S, it does not work with both unbreakable and signs. there was a lot happening with 6S (dual story-line, twist, supernatural suspense). there isn't a lot happening with unbreakable (comic book obsessor+mayhap hero) nor signs (family+aliens). the style of direction and pacing should have changed with unbreakable but did not. i saw unbreakable opening day and the there were many people that left during 1st 20min. it's simply TOO SLOW! though he had utilized that to great effect in 6S, i did not know he was going to continue to rely on and use that for ALL his following films! it's like he keeps the cam rolling for waaay too long.

unbreakable should have been more fast-paced and more action could have taken place. instead we have bruce willis and all the actors/actresses in the movie (even sam l) behave as life-less as the script itself. mns thinks that the words he writes is scripture and it is to be performed with extreme reverence and revelry so that audiences can try to decode all the screwy meanings behind it... the problem is... there AIN'T MUCH TO FIGURE OUT behind his shallow writings!!! no deep intellectual symbols, no ongoing themes of great catharsis. you can try to say that bruce's character in unbreakable is about the catharsis of him discovering to be a superhero, the prob is we dunno that he is one by the end of the film. if his own kid has shot him and he died... that ain't no superhero. did he ever have a cold? was he ever sick? we don't know that for sure. even if there is a epiphany, SO WHAT? what's the point of bruce being a superhero? and then what? ya see? nothing behind the veiled attempts at high concept. you can decipher all you want but behind all of that cryptic message, it's for naught.

same with signs, ok so the man of lost faith comes back to his faith... so NOW WHAT? what's next? better life? he gets new wife? what? nothing. besides "Father" indicates that it is Catholic, which means he could not have gotten married! and Protestant or non-Catholic Christians do not call their pastors "Father" unless it is a smaller sect or section of Christian division. all in all it was for nothing. the only redeeming thing about unbreakable is sam l's nice performance and for signs, joaquin phoenix continues to cement his status as one of the greatest young actors of his generation from the shadows of his brother's legacy.

so it is with the village. so what? what's the point of the movie? nothing. i bet it is just slow+boring as unbreakable+signs. the trailer make his movies look good cause everyone wants another 6S experience, being scared shitless but also want to feel and root for the characters. that's why his opening weekends are always massive! audiences weren't scared in unbreakable nor signs (for the majority of the film) like they were by signs nor were they rootin for any of the characters. so the 2nd weekend was less money, the 3rd even more. i bet the same happens with the village. i'm also going to bet that by his next movie, if he doesn't change his style of pace to better fit whatever movie he is making, his core fans/audiences will abandon him, even opening weekend. his fans will be more cautious next time and read reviews, etc. you can tell already by the drop in teh 2nd weekend of the village, 67% drop!!! that's massive for a mns film. then the 3rd weekend even more!
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Old August 18th, 2004, 05:59 PM   #34
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UFOs (and maybe some crop circles) are mysterious aspects to existence, half-legendary stories with unsatisfying explanations. The message of Signs seemed to be: Crop circles are real, they're made by alien invaders, but don't worry, so long as your wife was killed in a freak accident, you'll have been magically endowed with the riddle that can defeat them should one happen to get into your house, thereby restoring your wavering faith in the essential.

What?
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Old August 26th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #35
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You know, I like MNS's style of directing.- When i first saw The Village i was slightly disappointed, but that was because I was expecting to see a scary monster flick. After having gotten over what i thought the movie was gonna be, I liked it.-

The only part i thought was bad was Adrien Brody's Character when he didnt fit his character's profile. Other than that the movie was very interesting to me. I liked it.

Im starting to find that people in this world are so critical and have made expectations in all areas of life so high that few things- except what they hold personal- can actually impress them. Just like the debate with the xl2 and dvx, very few people seem to be able to just appreciate something for what it is- instead they tear things apart if they dont see some kind of divine life in it or unless they have a personal connection already involved.

It really sucks, because theres alot more things to appreciate in this world than many people seem to find. And I find movies to be a good example of this viewpoint which people hold.

When I was younger I could watch almost any movie and be entertained, but now since ive become "artistically educated", I find myself unable to appreciate as many movies as I used to. Criticism- unless it deals with things that really matter- SUCKS!

I'd love to enjoy movies the way i used to, but im seeking to get that back by simply looking for the good in movies now and just enjoy it. Because I must say- even when "educated art people" like a film, photograph, or painting, they seem like they are more involved with technical appreciation- which seems to create more pride than joy, because they "understand it"- than the people who can just simply appreciate something because of how it makes them feel.- That's the child-like happiness that creates joy in life.- Can I get an AMEN!!
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Old August 26th, 2004, 05:01 PM   #36
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Amen, brother.

But still. . .COME ON, WHAT'S WITH THE ZOOMS?
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Old August 26th, 2004, 05:09 PM   #37
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A lot of us here have chosen to understand filmmaking as a process, and you will inherently lose some of the magic that the average watcher experiences (especially when you can name the SFX programs used in different scenes!). Instaed you are given the ability to express yourself through the medium, which seems like a very good trade-off to me. Studying poetry decontructed some of the wonder I felt when I read poets twist language to serve their expressions, but alowed me an outlet as a writer to do it better myself.

Also, you can really appreciate a wonderful film, like "American Beauty" on an emotional and technical level, which is pretty magical.

I still find magic in the other areas of life too like the joy of driving a new car, eating cuisines I can't cook, etc...
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Old August 26th, 2004, 06:13 PM   #38
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I don't think this has been mentioned yet here, but I just read a nice piece on the filming of The Village in American Cinematographer.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 08:47 PM   #39
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Jesse, thats very true- definitely two sides to this argument.

well put.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 11:52 PM   #40
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kev,

i think it goes beyond "educated art people". easy example is citizen kane. no matter how much education in art, literature or any hyphalutin fakery i can always appreciate citizen kane on an intellectual and emotional level. if a film is so well made it can easily surpass the sum of all its parts.

another example. i just finished watching 'the kid' charlie chaplin today and though i knew most of the technical aspects behind it i still felt emotionally drawn/pulled and moved by it.

this "magic" exists merely in the hands of a few artisans.
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