Sunday, July 06, 2008


My name is Cliffie and I paid to see this picture! And what's more, I'm not entirely sorry I did! Now, this is a film for the diehard Discordian movie buff. Naturally, it's getting limp and soggy reviews across the country. So many people JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND. And one of the intriguing things about this picture is that you really can't tell from watching it whether M. Night Shyamalan understands, either.
Here are a few salient points:
>> In spite of the requisite Monday-morning quarterbacking at the end of the story, we REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, OR WHY.
>> The people who made it through pretty much made it, not by courage or special wisdom, but by blind luck. AND IS THERE ANY BETTER WAY TO SURVIVE A FILM WITH AN UNKNOWN MENACE?
>> The only one who appeared to know what was going on was what they used to call an "ambulatory schizophrenic." Like the wise old Native seer or the Gypsy woman smoking a pipe in many another film, who explains everything during a lull in the action. AND IT DIDN'T HELP THE GUY AT ALL TO KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. It may have helped others in the story. But then again, MAYBE NOT. And of course, he may have been DEAD WRONG, and just a little late on his Thorazine. We never really find out.
>> The self-destruction angle in this story really appealed to me, naturally. The serial suicides starting with the disoriented cop made for a great movie moment, but not half as great as the ironworkers going a-lemming off the edge of the unfinished building. And none of that was as effective as what happened to the plucky survivors at the boarded-up house. I love that none of this affected the dogs or birds on the scene, just the Homo saps. It just goes to remind us all: MOST OF THE MAYHEM, EVEN WHEN YOU'RE UNDER ATTACK BY SOMETHING NEW AND TERRIFYING, ISSUES FROM YOUR OWN STOOPID NAKED-APE HANDS.
>> Sighted along this axis, it's a great picture. Seen from the point of view of standard moviemaking, which holds that the only real entertainment is watching things explode, this movie is just nothing. So see it to try to find out where you stand.


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