M. Night Shyamalan's Signs

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by -_-_-_-_-_-, Aug 2, 2002.

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  1. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    I thought I would open this topic of discussion specifically for this movie. I will be the first to say straight out, this move creeped the living hell out of me if I may be frank about it. The way Shyamalan directs this film is simply brilliant, he is surely worthy of a Best Director nomination for this piece of work in my opinion. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and I found myself dreading each approaching scene out of pure fear. Share you thoughts.


    I apologize if I am being redudant here, knowing there was another M. Night Shyamalan thread. However I believe this film will generate enough discussion that a specific thread is inevitable.
  2. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    You and me both.


    I saw this movie last night and I can can honestly say it is one of the best movies released in the past two years.


    I loved the characters here. They are so rich and human-like instead of being
    one dimensional it was really amazing. The whole movie was about the occurances with aliens and a possible "invasion," but when you watch the movie
    its really about one man's struggle with his faith. I think this movie, without
    spoiling it for anyone, ends in a more naturalism than a more traditional way than
    most movies of this type. The suspense was amazing as well. Running through
    the cornfield and later chasing down a mysterious figure in the cloak of night
    really put the audience and myself in a state of tension and suspense. The
    comedy in this movie is pretty good. I think some parts, like the old man in the
    book store saying all they are doing is promoting soda drinks, sort of touches on
    the whole "alien- outer space" ordeal we have had for some many decades. The
    acting, of course, was really good and its so good to see Mel Gibson showing us
    his real talent in a real and thought out film directed by one of the best movie
    directors out there today. And thats saying a lot. Speaking of the director, his
    cameo in the film, as Ray, was really good. I like this guy a lot and I wish he does
    more stuff like this, going into acting more, so people can see his many talents.


    I wish this movie had a novelization. I would buy that book in a heartbeat. :)
  3. DilatedPeoples Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Signs was a very poor movie. I can't believe the critics like it, it just shows that they want to follow the hype, it lacked all the aspects that make a film bearable.

    The movie was a parody of itself. I spent the entire movie laughing out loud at the theatre, and being told to shut up by the morons around me who were into it. But it was impossible to take seriously. From the lines about the lady spitting, to the Scandinavian Olympians, to the ridicolous Asthma plotline, I couldn't contain my delirious laughter.

    Now, besides from being funny, it was just a horrible movie.

    SPOILERS:

    It was anti-climactic, "tons of ppl have just died, but now the aliens are leaving b/c ppl throw water on them." Oh My God. Are you serious? Independence Day took alien invasion more seriously.

    It was not scary. When that kid stands there in front of the chute and is like "what?!"[are u lookin at] I wanted to rewrite the script and be like "what are you guys looking at? we've only locked ourselves in the basement with a f***in alien and have just discussed how he would come through this chute!!!"

    Any movie that plays a clip from earlier on in the film at the very end bellitles the intelligence of its audience. The movie was WAY TOO SIMPLE!!! Aaaah. It was made for four year olds. They might as well have had a director's commentary running along explaining its blatantly obvious themes. Not to mention its point was a stupid one. So much for allegorical, M. Night has lost it, allegories have subtlety and depth, this movie was about as deep as the Jordan's Furniture commercials that come on before it.
  4. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    I thought the way Shymalan portrayed and revealed the aliens a bit at a time was masterful. The part where he looks out the window to see a dark figure standing on the roof of that building was creepy, as was the part where the alien is finally revealed on the home video footage. The later more so, after having some of these visions in my head, I got no sleep that night.
  5. Ramius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 3
    It was anti-climactic, "tons of ppl have just died, but now the aliens are leaving b/c ppl throw water on them." Oh My God. Are you serious? Independence Day took alien invasion more seriously.

    The aliens never intended to stay. They just came for the people. Like Joaquin said, it was a raid!
  6. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I don't mean to sound like a party-pooper...but you guys might as well talk about this here, or, at least, here.

    :)
  7. Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 4


    The movie is virtually a catalogue of techniques other directors have used.
    It didn't affect me very much. I thought his directing was very ham-fisted. It was almost comical the way some of the shots were set up.
  8. stevo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2001
    star 4
    I thought it wasn't a raid, it was just some guy on the radio thinking he knew everything. The reality was that the aliens were forced out by the water. (You don't need hundreds of UFO's to stage a raid.)
  9. JediBeowulf Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2001
    star 3
    OK so this is really, really, REALLY starting to piss me off.

    First of all "Dilated Peoples"...whatever the hell that name means (and oh...it's a poor attempt at humor and wit by the way) and your buddy, the self-proclaimed director critic...what the hell is your problem?

    Do you guys have a personal problem with M. Night Shyamalan? Seriously...what is it? You and people like you keep on saying the same damn things! You're so unoriginal! --> anti-climactic blah blah blah...contrived plot blah blah. I mean...it is obvious that mr. "director critic" doesn't know jack about directing and the skills associated thusly, and he is talking about of his a%$. If you guys actually knew what you were talking about, then maybe, just maybe you would have a license to talk. But you all are just shooting the film down based on some unknown and pathetic reasons.

    What...do you think you are cool because you're not like the majority or something? Oh yes...that's real original! You all must be geniuses, right, cause the majority of the people out there (who liked the film) just didn't get it huh? Just face it guys...This was an excellent movie and many inumerable people truly liked it (all of whom are more intelligent than you psuedo-intellects).

    You're not fooling anyone with your pedantic posts.
  10. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    This flick is a laugh-riot in the vein of "Plan 9 From Outer Space"! Destined to be a classic shlock film. Truly, it was all set up and NO delivery...the ending was just assinine. Truly stupid and empty...destined to be a hit in modern day moron America...a real treat for B-film-trash-culture freaks like myself! Someone's been steppin' on the corn...OOOOOOOHHH!! :p
  11. stevo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2001
    star 4
    It was a good movie-- but a bit predictable. I had already told my friend that the characters needed to throw water on the aliens(duh) by the time he had discovered the alien in the pantry.
  12. Ramius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 3
    You don't need hundreds of UFO's to stage a raid.

    Well if you wanted to take a lot of people away you would. But we can assume all we want about the aliens and thier plans because it was never fully explained.
  13. Melyanna Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Well, I think the point of the movie was lost on a lot of people, from the conversations I had with people in real life concerning the movie.

    No matter what anyone says, Signs was not about aliens or an alien invasion. This is why the aliens' motives weren't fully explained, and why it shouldn't be so surprising that the aliens just left abruptly - this was not supposed to be another Independence Day! Instead of being about the people of Earth fighting back the aliens, it's about one man's fight with his faith. If Shyamalan had wanted it to be about the aliens, we would have seen Independence Day-esque battle scenes.

    Instead, we get a gripping scene in the basement when Graham helps Morgan fight back an asthma attack - something within his body - while at the same time, Graham himself is fighting with everything he has ever believed. In this scene, his son's asthma, able to destroy Morgan's body, becomes symbolic of his doubt, able to destroy his soul. But then, Morgan's asthma "strengthens" him against the alien's poison gas by closing his lungs - in the same way, Graham's doubt, when overcome, strengthens his faith.

    The story is about Graham regaining his confidence in God, not about aliens attacking. The extraterrestrial invasion was merely the vehicle Shyamalan used to convey the message that there's always someone watching over us, and that things happen for a reason.

    Mel
  14. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    Did anyone else notice the filming methods and techniques Shyamalan used throughtout the film. He would always place an emphasis and focus on the reactions of the main characters to an event or object before he would actually show the audience what they were reacting to.
  15. JediBeowulf Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2001
    star 3
    Yeah, I knew the s*$) was gonna hit the fan when you could Grahm looking out the window at something the audience couldn't see, and then he goes to Bo and starts explaining how brave she was when she was born (how she was smiling etc). You knew he had to have seen something pretty upsetting to go and start reassuring his daughter's confidence.

    One of the best directed scenes in the movie IMO. You don't even see the aliens, but you know that they're there because of Grahm's reaction.
  16. skawookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2000
    star 4
    "This flick is a laugh-riot in the vein of "Plan 9 From Outer Space"! Destined to be a classic shlock film. Truly, it was all set up and NO delivery...the ending was just assinine. Truly stupid and empty...destined to be a hit in modern day moron America...a real treat for B-film-trash-culture freaks like myself! Someone's been steppin' on the corn...OOOOOOOHHH!!"


    I think you missed the point of the entire movie. How sad.
  17. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    No. I didn't miss the "point" of the movie. I just have my own take on it and like to laugh at what I consider to be bad films. Someone else mentioned Independence Day earlier, which I also find to be a unintentionally hilarious piece of garbage. It frightens me that some people see films like that as "serious" entertainment. But, whatever, they're entitled to their opinions, just as I am to mine.

    As far as a films "point" goes...that is VERY subjective and depends on what we as viewers WANT to see in it. My .02.
  18. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    The film dealt only with aliens and crop circles for the first 20 minutes of the film. The "invasion" and alien related shocks only served as factors to move along the story and develop the characters in the face of crisis. "Signs" is truly about one man's struggle with his faith and among other things, signs of faith.
  19. stevo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2001
    star 4
    Unfortunatly, I may have biased my view of the movie-- only because I do not believe in faith and am totally against the morals taught in the film.
  20. CwrnPuppet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 4
    Reading this thread, I'm glad to finally see that I'm not the only person who has been extremely unimpressed with Shyamalan.

    I wouldn't call Signs crap, per se.

    IMHO, it was okay.

    I didn't feel that I wasted my money seeing it, but I would also say that I was more amused by watching the high school girls in the audience shreik like banshees at the most inane things. THAT'S quality entertainment.
  21. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    stevo


    You don't necessarily have to believe in Christianity or any religon to understand it's subplot. Faith is something all human beings have in some form, religon or no religon. When it all comes down to it, a human is going to have faith in something and believe in something, whether they believe in a God or in some cases, believe there is no God whatsoever.
  22. weezer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 6
    I agree. I don't think that god has anything to do with this beyond the fact that Mel's character was a preacher.

    The movie is about the signs that happen in everyday life and what those signs might mean. Think of it as a good final destination.

    IMO pigeon holing it as a religous flick cheapens Shyamalan's excelent story.
  23. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    I loved Signs. It wasn't a hard story for me to understand. I thought it was a joy to see a film have such a simple plotline for a change and not just be about special effects or action. This film was made to tell the story and oh boy for me it did.

    I adore suspence films. I find them more of a scare than any slasher flick. ex: any Halloween film, I know What You Did Last Summer.
    With Slasher flicks you know what to expect at every turn. They're all the same in plot.

    With a film like Signs I didn't have a clue what to expect. I like films that make me think for days afterward about it.

    And it did scare the hell out of me too. It was Alfred Hitchcock style at it's best!

  24. stevo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2001
    star 4
    Are you kidding ?? The whole movie was basically about keeping the faith!
  25. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    It doesn't matter which faith, though. Shyamalan had wanted to create a movie that would unify people of different faiths in some way... what this movie shows isn't whether or not Graham's faith was "the right one" or whether or not the "signs" had anything to do with god.

    Just the fact that he regained whatever faith he had, wherever it came from... be it god, the aliens, the signs, himself, Daffy Duck...

    Graham regained his faith in God. His kids regained their faith in their father. Merrill regained faith in himself.

    Making art isn't about taking something simple and making it look complex (though to some crafty pseudointellectuals out there, it is)... Art is about taking something complex and making it look simple.

    Shyamalan's plots have the appearance of simplicity precisely because he is a master at juxtaposing audio/visual and character elements in the right places, in the right ways.

    He conveys motion with motion, not lengthy dialogues or diatribes. If a character has a reaction, he doesn't make them recite a soliloquoy about it... he uses camera angles, music, lighting, characters, in a carefully planned composition to tell what's going on... as anyone would derive the meaning of a situation in real life. In other words, in real life we don't hear lengthy narratives booming out of nowhere, or popup keyed text telling us where we are, what time it is, which military installation is about to hurl expensive special effects at the enemy...

    A lot of people don't like the long, one-take cuts Shyamalan uses... but I think it adds a "documentary" feel to his shots that bring the situation right home to your living room... you're there living in it. When you go to the kitchen and you are scared because you think the boogeyman's around the corner, you don't suddenly freak out in pan-and-zoom-o-vision Jean Claude Van Damme-style seeing the same shot from four hundred points of view all within three fourths of a second.

    (For reference these quick-cut multiple angle montages are comprised of "coverage" shots... basically shooting the same scene over and over from different angles. Shyamalan rarely, if ever, shoots coverage... and often encourages his actors to carry out scenes in one continuous take... intensely difficult for actors to survive, and a feat few directors can pull off with any success at all.)

    Sting once said in a keynote speech he gave at Berklee College of Music in Boston, upon receiving his honorary doctorate, that music is often just a frame for silence. Shyamalan takes that concept of framing one step further... moments of tension are framed by moments of silence... and vice versa. It's not just about what he shows us, but what he doesn't show us...

    The thing waiting around the corner, that may... or may not... be there... is what we fear. Now, showing us the aliens ultimately had its purpose... overcoming fear... regaining faith.

    Ultimately, this absolutely freaked out family realizes they can overcome this situation if they act with their individual faiths helping them act with self-confidence, without doubt, without fear.

    Shyamalan's youth was consumed with fears... basically he describes himself as "being afraid of pretty much everything" when he was young. So, making movies, which is something he's done since he was 11 years old (first with the family video camera), is about confronting those fears and self-doubts.

    The issue of confronting self-doubt is central to his family's Hindu beliefs. The Episcopalian priest (judging from the fact that he has two kids who are older than 6 months...) was just an incidental choice... not necessarily meant to convey that this is the "right" faith. But of course if he is to regain his faith, he'd have to regain his faith in God... not cheeseburgers. Because, as someone pointed out, he is a priest. Merrill was a baseball champion, who lost his faith in his abilities as a baseball player... and ultimately he regained that faith. And so on...

    At any rate, what I'm trying to say is that... and I don't have time to
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