Monday, December 24, 2007

M. Night Shyamalan Theater 3000: The Motion Picture

(Or, as I like to call it: MNST3K: The Motion Picture.)

I see what M. Night is trying to do*, but it still sucks. ;)

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan (TMH? MOOHOO?)

* Okay, here's what M. Night's trying to do. Perhaps it is his indictment of how Hollywood movies are made, or perhaps it's his valiant attempt to do something different, but any way you look at it, the screenplay for Lady in the Water is nothing less than the Proto-Screenplay. That Mighty Acorn that M. Night planted which ends up growing the whole damn Hollywood Screenplay Tree, with William Goldman, Paddy Chayefsky and Matthew Michael Carnahan being but mere branches. Mere branches. Mere pine cones and twigs in Louis B. Mayer's backyard. Mere footnotes unto themselves, along with Dalton Trumbo and Preston Sturges, with a little Joe Eszterhas thrown into the mix. For good measure.

Take for instance, the speech that Bob Balaban gives before he gets mauled by the Colbert bear. Very insightful! Very, very self-aware of his place in the universe in general, and in the screenplay in particular. And all that stuff about "The Council", it is true. Generally, movies show how actions relate from a Seat of Power higher up than the boots on the ground, if you will. A tradition as old as Buster Keaton, and as new as Matrix 2 & 3. But M. Night forgot The Most Cardinal Movie Rule Of All, and it is this: DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO HIDE THE RULES! Do NOT make the audience aware of the rules. Don't make the audience think: aww, I can make a movie as good as this. Do not make Self-Awareness a movie style.
Just a thought, anyhow. Also, comedy names. Cleveland Heep? Story? Well, comedy-drama names. Just give 'im the damn Oscar he should've gotten for Sixth Sense and this will all be over! Trust me...

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