M. Night... you got some 'splaining to do...
Today I headed out to see an 11AM matinee of this here Village film. I bought a bagel and a Arizona Green Tea and some Cape Cod chips on the way and I did something new. It only took me like 2-3 years of sneaking snacks into the movie when I finally got an idea that I should have thought of say... 2-3 years ago. See, I've been stuffing beers and wasabis and stuff in my pockets for years. Intentionally dressing in cargo pants or wearing my big coat to make sure I can get the stuff in. So the big idea today (finally) was 'Just bring your bag, stupid!' Sure enough I put the bagel and stuff in my Timbuk2 bag and just walked right in. As long as you're not wandering in with a friggin supermarket bag. Nobody asks what's in your bag. Not sure why it took me so long to realize this. So much for security in general but at least the lack thereof works like a charm for snacky snacks!
Anyway, I was kind of psyched for this movie but I knew something seemed wrong about it going in. Something seemed a bit off. It didn't look that scary. Dudes running around in yellow jawa robes and talking in ol' tongue bout the bad color. WTF maybe? Whatever. I like M. Night alot and he can do whatever he wants as far as I'm concerned...or as far as I was concerned. There was really only one main problem with this movie. It shouldn't be a movie. It is a good short story. A twilight zone episode. If M. Night took three or four ideas like this and wrapped em into a Creepshow format I would be psyched. But The Village was like taking one twilight zone episode and stretching it to 2 hours. And it was one of the more forgettable episodes.
From the get-go I was bored. I kept actively refocusing on the movie. I was constantly silencing the voice in my head that kept saying, 'This sucks!' I made valiant efforts to claw myself into this movie, into this village, to try and get on the same page and get into it. I'd launch out of my seat like a cat and sink my claws into the screen. But as soon as I got a hold of something decent..., a bad line, a bad change, a dumb scene, or a big flaw would pop in and I'd slide right down back down into my seat. After a bit of boredom I'd brush myself off and pounce back up on the screen and really dig in. Then something else would fly into story so painfully bad that it would boot me back into my seat. This movie just wouldn't let me in.
That's not to say it was all bad. There's probably a good half-hour of good stuff.. Conceptually it's fresh I think (although it's vaguely familiar. maybe it was an Outer Limits?) I dunno. But M. Night has officially turned a corner and I think it's for the best. He pigeonholed himself into 'the big twist' movie and its twisted him into a safety knot. So safe that half the time I felt this could have been a friggin episode of Little House. Did I just hang out in Walnut Creek? I was waiting for Nellie to come flying down the hill in a wheelchair splash down into the water. Maybe that was the original ending?
In any case I do have some concerns for Shamamysharona. I heard him recently on Howard Stern (howard played indian music constantly during the interview) and M. Night seemed extra concerned about this movie and insecure about the coming reviews. It sounded like he knew this flick was the one where he was going to take a hit. His golden boy status perhaps reduced to silver.. or bronze. Which is fine with me. Because maybe without the intense need to be intense and meaningful, he'll serve up something that will sink its claws into me... for a twist.
Three Good Things About This Movie
- It had moments both on the emotional level and the scary level. And it
looked sorta good.
- I thought the lead chick did a good job and I liked looking at her eyes and hair.
- I didn't see the twist coming (I never do but I didn't again anyway)
Three Bad Things About This Movie
- The only thing that really got under my skin was frustration.
- There were dialogue problems galore and loose 'who are you again?' characters.
- At a few points it was heading to bizarro and I got excited. I felt it turning. Then it would say, 'Nah.' And straighten up. Feh.
All in all this is probably a decent video rental. I did stay awake and alert the whole time so it did hold my attention. Even in the last third of the movie I was still making an effort now and then to claw my way back into the movie. At least until this woman a few rows back shouted out, 'I want my $6.00 back! It's enough of this shit!' The once silent theater erupted in laughter my claws retracted. Cause she hit the nail on the head with something that rang truer than the whole friggin movie.