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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I’d Rather Go Down on a Goat…

posted by on June 18 at 11:33 AM


…than pay money to see another M. Night Shyamalan film.

Nevertheless, The New Republic’s point-by-point, spoiler-ridden dissection of the endless stupidity of The Happening makes me think I need to go see it right now.

(Thanks for the heads-up, MetaFilter.)

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simple answer? buy a ticket to a decent movie and sneak into the happening. That way, you get your schadenfreude without supporting the movie itself

Posted by dbell | June 18, 2008 11:36 AM

Um, seriously, if this is what the movie is like, you'd be far better off just watching it when it comes out on commercial TV.

Why not go see a much better film at SIFF Cinema or rent a good video instead?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 11:41 AM

WiS: I'm all about focusing (and re-focusing) on good art; that's why I've watched Double Indemnity roughly 700 times over the past five years.

But The Happening sounds like a one-of-a-kind disaster, which I've also got a soft spot for. (And seeing such films in their natural habitat—in first-run cinemas, with audiences hoping to enjoy themselves in a non-ironic manner—is invaluable.)

Posted by David Schmader | June 18, 2008 11:48 AM

It was awful. Although all of his movies--save The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable--are terrible, this is the first time I felt like he didn't give a fuck about the movie he was making. Even James Newton Howard, one of my favorite composers, half-assed the score. All of the acting was mono and lame, and in this particular film his out-of-nowhere mood-killing comic relief was obnoxious. "Hot dogs really get a bad rep." Durr.

His characters are finally now all caricature. Smirks and smiles and radical expressions make up the cast, and if Mark is claiming M. Night put him in such a paranoid mood that his life will never be the same, that might explain why he's the same fucking character in every movie he's in. His character was calm the entire film, and when he wasn't it seemed more like agitation rather than fear.

90% of the suicides are in the trailer. The only thing you're missing is the little bit of blood shown before the scene cuts to a reaction shot.

The whole thing was bad, and not in a good way, Schmader. Not the bad you enjoy. But don't take my word for it, the R in the poster is colored blood-red! Gee! That's actually the best idea he could have to get people to see another one of his films. Make it R, and remind everyone that you haven't made an R yet, and hey, it's a blood red R! So you know it's going to be gruesome! Yeah!

No. It wasn't. Argh I hate that guy. For assistance with hatred: read. And read some more. Or just read the whole thing. He's totally unlikable. In every way.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 18, 2008 11:49 AM

I was really interested in this movie until I found out it wasn't a big-screen adaptation of the popular sit-com "What's Happening!!"

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 18, 2008 11:56 AM

Download the fucker. Hello?

Posted by Non | June 18, 2008 11:59 AM

"Hay HAY hay!"

Posted by David Schmader | June 18, 2008 12:00 PM

Well, if you insist on watching it, bring a group of friends and heckle the movie by saying things like "You left the doors open! The trees will get you!" at appropriate moments.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 12:05 PM


People who provide their own commentary in theaters deserve to die by way of asphyxiation.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 18, 2008 12:13 PM

9: True, with rare exceptions.

I still wish I could award a trophy to the audience member at a midnight screening of Purple Rain at the old King Cat Cinema in the mid-late-'90s. After Prince and the Revolution played "Computer Blue" and "Darling Nikki" only to be berated by the club owner:—"No one likes your music but YOU!"— a calm, quiet voice spoke from the audience: "I thought it was good."

Clearly, you had to be there, but if you're reading this, mystery Purple Rain interrupter, know that I love you.

Posted by David Schmader | June 18, 2008 12:21 PM

@9 Can I also put my two nominees for cinema talkers who should not die? Why thank you:

1) Old Joy starring indie icon Will Oldham opens with a shot of a sparrow on a phone wire. Hipster dude a row back whispers to his girlfriend, "is that him?"

2) At Ocean's 11 on Flatbush Ave. Brad Pitt appears on screen with nachos and a woman behind me says, "He ALways eatin'!"

Probably also have had to been there, but I loved them both.

Posted by Travis | June 18, 2008 12:41 PM

I thought of you, David, when I read yesterday that Marky "Mark" Wahlberg is claiming that making the movie drove him to paranoid insanity:

I doubt it's bad enough to be compared to Showgirls or Valley of the Dolls--it's more of a Caged Heat really.

Posted by Boomer in NYC | June 18, 2008 12:42 PM

I agree that in 99% of instances people who provide movie commentary in the theater need to die. However, I also have a favorite exception -- in The Mist, when the black neighbor bites it at the store, a black guy sitting behind us said "Awww, man, why does the black dude always have to die?"

Everyone within 20 feet of us was cracking up.

Posted by Julie | June 18, 2008 12:45 PM

@6, why bother to download -- you can stream the thing right now off for chuckles

I'm consistently amazed at how many people I know that will just go pay to see any old piece of shit that comes out in the theater, every single week. 97% of movie releases aren't even worth a rental.

Posted by um | June 18, 2008 12:51 PM

I just want to make sure "The Village" isn't overlooked in the general rush to hate on his movies. God, that was one of the worst pieces of shit ever. (I knew it would be but damned if I didn't fall for the ad campaign anyway.)

But has anybody gone back and watched "The Sixth Sense" recently? I don't think that was actually very good either.

Posted by David | June 18, 2008 12:56 PM

Lady in the Water is, I think, the single worst movie that I've ever seen. And not in an amusing way.

Posted by Paul Constant | June 18, 2008 1:13 PM

Ever since The Village, ShamaLamaDingDong has been dead to me. His work shall never again rape my eyeballs.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | June 18, 2008 1:16 PM

M. Knight formula:

get B-list star to walk through entire movie in a disconnected daze, reveal something retroactively about them (they are an alien, a ghost, a robot, whichever) in Act 4 after audience has gotten used to how inhuman the main character is, for a minor shock of realization that 90 minutes of their lives was just wasted

Posted by Just Sayin' | June 18, 2008 1:24 PM


Are you serious? The Sixth Sense was/is a crowning achievement. It's practically flawless.

I never finished LITW, but if we're going to play the "worst movie ever" game, I'd have over 100 in front of it. Like IJat: Temple of Doom, Cold Creek Manor, In the Bedroom, 2001:ASO, LOTR: ROTK, et al.

For me, I need to have at least some level of anticipation to see a movie before I can hate it enough to throw it on a "worst" list. If I know it's going to be garbage, there isn't any room for a punch in the stomach. It's like hitting yourself in the head. There is no letdown, there is only shame.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 18, 2008 1:25 PM

Now, about the goat...

Posted by Vince | June 18, 2008 1:31 PM

Her name's Lucky.

Posted by David Schmader | June 18, 2008 1:38 PM

Some flaws in The Sixth Sense:

Most of the scenes with Olivia Williams are patently only there to camouflage the fact that Bruce Willis is dead, i.e. to shore up the OMG PLOT TWIST rather than for their own sake.

Parts of the plot make no sense, e.g., the ghosts can move/manipulate physical matter elsewhere in the movie, so why does the little girl ghost need Haley Joel Osment to get the tape of her (step?)mother poisoning her food and put it in the VCR?

@18 is basically right on the mark.

Posted by David | June 18, 2008 2:14 PM

OK, I have to chime in with my movie commenter since it just happened last weekend. The woman who shouted loudly "shut the fuck up we're trying to watch the movie here" to the loud talker who was translating the dialogue for Sex and the City for his non-English speaking friend.

Posted by PopTart | June 18, 2008 2:14 PM
Most of the scenes with Olivia Williams are patently only there to camouflage the fact that Bruce Willis is dead, i.e. to shore up the OMG PLOT TWIST rather than for their own sake.

For the most part they worked. And they weren't irrelevant, we needed some dip into his personal life to also hide the fact that absolutely nobody in the movie is communicating with Malcolm. Not to mention his honesty and release of something uncomfortable is what led Cole to finally reveal his secret. "Once upon a time.../How does the story end?"

I'd agree with you on the mechanics of hiding the "twist" if it were any of his other movies, but this was his first and only twist that worked. If it didn't work for you, that's a shame. That movie has so much substance I still pop it in more than annually. To let the remaining debris of his trainwreck filmography hinder it would be like refusing to watch Star Wars because the rest of them fucking sucked.

Parts of the plot make no sense, e.g., the ghosts can move/manipulate physical matter elsewhere in the movie, so why does the little girl ghost need Haley Joel Osment to get the tape of her (step?)mother poisoning her food and put it in the VCR?

Yeah, the bumble-bee pendant is a flaw, but it's not one that would ruin my "flawless" comment. It's so minimal, and with the conclusion with Cole's mother in the car at the end makes it work well. If I was going to nit-pick something like that, I'd have to start shoveling out the continuity errors to sound like I have somewhat of a case.

But that's just me.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 18, 2008 2:43 PM

worst. movie. ever. right after the village, which actually made me more angry than anything.

as far as audience commentary, my favorite will always be jurassic park, during the video conference scene, some guy yelled "he's talking to a fucking quicktime movie!"

Posted by skye | June 18, 2008 3:09 PM

I kind of liked The Village.

Mind you, I saw it on DVD on a big screen TV while fooling around with my prior girlfriend at the time, so maybe that has something to do with it ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 4:46 PM

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