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View Full Version : "The Village" Review...is it good?


sjjordan
Jul 30, 2004, 03:58 PM
So, it's friday and I have 2 hours till I can leave...has anyone seen "The Village" yet? If so, please let me know what you thought. I've read nothing good from imdb.com. What are your thoughts?

krimson
Jul 30, 2004, 04:02 PM
if you liked his other movies, you'll probably like this one, though there's more story in the beginning than... lets say 6th sense.

it's all about the twist-ending, once you know, there's no point in watching it. :)

MacFan26
Jul 31, 2004, 04:39 AM
Well, I suppose this response is too late for your decision tonight :rolleyes:, but I would have to say I loved the film. Yeah, I read the negative stuff on imdb after I saw it, but I still gave it a 10. And from what I saw, people either loved it, or hated it. Nearly 60% gave it a 10, while almost 20% gave it a 1. I think the only reason why people gave it a 1 is because of their expectations. The trailers for this movie made the film appear to be the scariest movie you'd ever see, but the movie is much more complex. People just looking for a cheap thrill probably won't enjoy it. Of Shyamalan's movies, I've only seen this and Signs, and I probably like The Village better, but they're completely different movies, so it's kind of hard to compare them, even though they're both "thrillers." Be warned though...if you have any idea what the movie ends up being about, it would totally ruin it. (sorry for the longwinded response :o )

Awimoway
Jul 31, 2004, 01:09 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I'm a fan of Shyamalan's other work. I could tell a lot of people at the theater were disappointed, but I just don't think those people knew what to expect. It definitely wasn't his scariest movie, but arguably his most fascinating, and the character were warmer and better developed in this one. I don't like. I liked the atmosphere. My friend called both surprises early, but there's a certain TV show out right now that kinda gave him the idea for one of them. I called one of the surprises about a minute before it was revealed, but that's not saying much. I think Shyamalan has gotten such a reputation for surprise endings that he feels compelled to always have one, even though some of them (Signs especially) have been laughable or a little tame.

MacFan26, did you like the role-reversal in The Village with regards to the character in your av? I don't know how to be more explicit without giving a spoiler, so I hope you know what I mean.

Calvinatir
Jul 31, 2004, 02:15 PM
I loved it, it was not what i was expecting but it intrigued me. I've liked his other works, so i expected a good movie no matter what.

MacFan26
Jul 31, 2004, 02:42 PM
MacFan26, did you like the role-reversal in The Village with regards to the character in your av? I don't know how to be more explicit without giving a spoiler, so I hope you know what I mean.

Haha, it is a little difficult not to give spoilers to this movie. I did like the role-reversal, it was pretty ironic, even though I thought it was pretty obvious that was going to happen when that scene happens with him and Noah. (I hope you know what I mean :))

kaylie_kipe
Aug 1, 2004, 01:44 PM
Me and my boyfriend were talking about going and seeing this movie. In a way I don't want to because scary movies really get to me but it looks really good at the same time. What to do, what to do?

justinshiding
Aug 1, 2004, 03:49 PM
My take was that it wasn't a particularly bad movie...but it wasn't all that good either. I think my opinion of the movie is influenced by the fact that I got in for free....if I paid for it I might have a different opinion.

That being said...I actually did prefer this movie to all of his previous movies all of which I managed to walk out of the theater cursing the fact that I paid to see those movies.

krossfyter
Aug 2, 2004, 05:15 PM
Best movie i've seen this year.

I love the dynamic shifts (twists) in his movies.

I went into ubreakable expecting a realistic movie and came out surprised it turned kind comic bookish/fantasy.

I went into the Village expecting a horror film and came out surprised it was really natrualistic.


That kind of mind trickery i love.

invaLPsion
Aug 2, 2004, 06:43 PM
Best movie i've seen this year.

I love the dynamic shifts (twists) in his movies.

I went into ubreakable expecting a realistic movie and came out surprised it turned kind comic bookish/fantasy.

I went into the Village expecting a horror film and came out surprised it was really natrualistic.


That kind of mind trickery i love.

I completely agree. This movie was fantastic. It's not as scary as I'd hoped (there was a good amount of frights, don't get me wrong) but the movie made up for it in other areas. The movie made you think and guess till the end.

MacFan26
Aug 2, 2004, 06:47 PM
Did anyone pay any attention to the music in this one? I'm a huge film score fan, so I guess I notice stuff like this, but I thought it was wonderful. I really like James Newton Howard's score to Signs, but I think this one tops it.

P-Worm
Aug 2, 2004, 06:54 PM
Did anyone pay any attention to the music in this one? I'm a huge film score fan, so I guess I notice stuff like this, but I thought it was wonderful. I really like James Newton Howard's score to Signs, but I think this one tops it.

You're talking about all the creepy solo violin music, right? I noticed it to and thought it was spot on for a movie like this.

P-Worm

NusuniAdmin
Aug 2, 2004, 08:25 PM
i liked the movie overall but the twist at the end was completely terribly done.

I give it a 6 out of 10. - The actors could not speak the old english very well, a terrible twist at the end, overall the movie was well done however.

IndyGopher
Aug 2, 2004, 08:46 PM
Ok, apparently I need to watch it again, because I didn't know the ending was supposed to be a twist... of course, I also figured out Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, so maybe his mind and mine just work too much alike.

mgargan1
Aug 2, 2004, 10:19 PM
did anyone else think of a certain Jim Carrey movie at the end of the movie?

chewbaccapits
Aug 2, 2004, 11:14 PM
Ok, apparently I need to watch it again, because I didn't know the ending was supposed to be a twist... of course, I also figured out Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, so maybe his mind and mine just work too much alike.
BS...No way you KNEW the ending of Sixth Sense ....I could believe Unbreakable but not the later....I would say, as a Knight fan that this (Village) would be his weakest film; however, this is still a great film...One thing is fosure, Joaquin Phoenix's love interest was horrible; was it me or did anyone else have trouble figuring out that she was freaken BLIND?! ;)

NusuniAdmin
Aug 2, 2004, 11:46 PM
BS...No way you KNEW the ending of Sixth Sense ....I could believe Unbreakable but not the later....I would say, as a Knight fan that this (Village) would be his weakest film; however, this is still a great film...One thing is fosure, Joaquin Phoenix's love interest was horrible; was it me or did anyone else have trouble figuring out that she was freaken BLIND?! ;)

I knew the ending of the sixth sense very easily.

#1, he died in the beginning, a "dead" givaway
#2, the mother NEVER spoke to the guy throughout the movie
#3, the kid said "i see dead people" which gives away the fact that the guy is dead.

Personally i dont see how you could NOT know the movie's ending. there were so many clues everywhere!

Ya in the village i did not beleive for a moment she was blind, she moved wayyyyy to normally. I have met many blind people in my life and none walked like she did.

MacFan26
Aug 3, 2004, 12:25 AM
You're talking about all the creepy solo violin music, right? I noticed it to and thought it was spot on for a movie like this.
Yeah, Hilary Hahn is the solo violinist. Some of it is very creepy, but a lot of it is really beautiful. Like at the part when Lucius grabs Ivy's hand. (I have the soundtrack, so I guess it's different when you just hear the music)

The actors could not speak the old english very well,
I noticed that too, but I kind of thought that was intentional. Considering their circumstances, they shouldn't have been able to speak it anyway.

voicegy
Aug 3, 2004, 12:39 AM
*note: safe to read, there are NO SPOILERS in my review*

Some of my favorite lines from critical reviews of M. Nights latest, "The Village"

"Every village needs an idiot...and M. Night is hoping it's you..."

"...this one is only cable worthy."

"...what will moviegoers think when they realize they've actually bought**a ticket to an atmospheric but mostly mellow romance that delivers only a**few jolts?"

"...might have made a good 20 minute short or a Twilight Zone episode."

and my favorite:

"I see a dead movie..."

...which is what perhaps what this character may be thinking in the pic I included with this post. Without a doubt, the highlight of this ponderous bore of a flick (with the exception of a terrific scene which has nothing to do with the creatures in the woods) is a spectacular film debut of none other than Ron Howard's daughter. The rest of the cast is wasted - I've seen William Shatner act better.

I think most will figure out the twist within the first 1/2 hour - it's fun to just sit back and try NOT to figure out what's really going on here - it makes the film a bit more tolerable - but at M. Night's 4th outing, we can't help but NOT try and figure out where the twist lies; after all, it's what M. Night is all about, and we expect it by now. Are you going to get an "Oh, WOW!" out of it like the unforgettable 6th Sense (the first was still his best)? Not this time - more like a "Oh, ok, I thought that might be it..where'd I park the car again?" Just to make sure that the loose ends are tied up, M. Night makes his trademark appearance (in the reflection of a glass door this time, like a caged bird that falls in love with itself in a mirror) and, via his character, makes sure we get it a la' any Bond villian who has to explain his plot to agent 007 for world domination before setting the laser to kill.

I don't want to completely trash it - creature glimpses are truly wierd, and when we are finally treated to a full monty, this jaded moviegoer was still happily revulsed (read: "impressed"), and the cinematography is as pretty and atmospheric as you can imagine, not to mention a top notch soundtrack. It's hard to fully detest the movie - in fact, it's quite good - except it's too long, the acting is Al Gore Skool, some lines are unintentionally funny, the dialouge is Amish-Puritan-Old World-Mish Mash, and the plot twist may be too damn inevitable for today's viewers. Did I say it was quite good?

That's the problem with this film - it's so darn pretty, and you want M. Night to live up to the hype so much, and Bryce's acting is so enriching, and the idea has such potential - I can't say I hated it, but I think what clinched it for me was the thinly veiled references to post 9/11 control and isolation and fear of the other, admitted to by M. Night himself in interviews. Mr. Shymalan needs to adopt a screenplay next time and stop writing.

You could have done better than that, child. Honestly.

Scott
Critic At A Loss

voicegy
Aug 3, 2004, 01:05 AM
[...] think the only reason why people gave it a 1 is because of their expectations. The trailers for this movie made the film appear to be the scariest movie you'd ever see...[...]

Quite right, but being misled isn't the only reason why it rated in at such low levels across the board with most viewers. Sometime's studios are in such a quandry about how to promote a movie, that the previews are geared for pull-in, and even though it ends up not being what one expected, one can still appreciate what one did end up seeing.

One of my favorite case in points is "Fight Club." There was no way on Earth I'd ever bother to see that flick after seeing the previews. Who cares about guys beating each other up to join a club? Forget it. It took my best friend in LA (after renting it just for the heck of it one night) to convince me to put aside my expectations and "just do it."

"Fight Club" is now one of my favorite movies, and I watched it 4 times over a period of 7 days, turning others onto it as I did. Talk about "It's not what you think!" The studios figured on getting the hallowed 18-28 year old male population in, and thought that showing fights in previews would do it. How much larger of an audience would have had the pleasure with more thoughtful previews? Water under the bridge now, because the film has a rabid following since going to video / dvd, where word of mouth gave it the exposure it deserved.

This is where M. Night misstepped. This isn't as much about horror as it is about terror, control and created fear. Terror alerts (yellow and red), control from the elders (present administration in Washington), and created fear (Watch Out for The Others They're Everywhere). His post 9/11 allegory doesn't work, and is an overall disappointment. Sure, I wanted the pants scared off of me - that's what I was led to believe. My pants stayed on, but I wasn't treated to something else wonderful - I felt doubly cheated. But that's just my opinion.

The man is gifted beyond words, and his films are wonderful to watch. To come out of the gate from nowhere and blow away filmdom with his first film "Sixth Sense" years ago and not reach that level again in his subsequent efforts is, in my opinion, quite a shame. I dedicate so many words to this topic because I am fascinated by the potential of M. Night. To have to live up to ones' own legacy is a burden, and he could do it in future if he starts leaving the writing up to others.

NusuniAdmin
Aug 3, 2004, 01:26 AM
"Fight Club" is now one of my favorite movies, and I watched it 4 times over a period of 7 days, turning others onto it as I did. Talk about "It's not what you think!" The studios figured on getting the hallowed 18-28 year old male population in, and thought that showing fights in previews would do it. How much larger of an audience would have had the pleasure with more thoughtful previews? Water under the bridge now, because the film has a rabid following since going to video / dvd, where word of mouth gave it the exposure it deserved.


I love fight club as well...its for people who understand it. Those who dont well...they will hate it.

MacFan26
Aug 3, 2004, 01:27 AM
Some of my favorite lines from critical reviews of M. Nights latest, "The Village"

Those were good :) This is probably my favorite:

"No no no... You got it all wrong. The "monsters" are actually a small group of the aliens from Signs who got lost in the woods and never found their way out. They've never forgiven themselves for failing to kill Mel Gibson, thus allowing "The Passion of the Christ" to be made." :rolleyes:

To have to live up to ones' own legacy is a burden, and he could do it in future if he starts leaving the writing up to others.
Sounds like what everyone is saying about George Lucas over on the Star Wars thread :D

voicegy
Aug 3, 2004, 01:35 AM
[...]Sounds like what everyone is saying about George Lucas over on the Star Wars thread :D

HA! Hope he takes the hint for Revenge of the SITH...but given the obvious anagram, it's over before it begins. :p

chewbaccapits
Aug 3, 2004, 02:00 AM
I knew the ending of the sixth sense very easily.

#1, he died in the beginning, a "dead" givaway
#2, the mother NEVER spoke to the guy throughout the movie
#3, the kid said "i see dead people" which gives away the fact that the guy is dead.

Personally i dont see how you could NOT know the movie's ending. there were so many clues everywhere!

Ya in the village i did not beleive for a moment she was blind, she moved wayyyyy to normally. I have met many blind people in my life and none walked like she did.
well, sure, if you've saw the film you would no doubt understand that...I'm happy that I experienced the movie NOT knowing the outcome; implying that the outcome is very easy to predict or reveal is rather pretentious if you ask me.

zarathustra
Aug 3, 2004, 10:02 AM
I knew the ending of the sixth sense very easily.

#1, he died in the beginning, a "dead" givaway
#2, the mother NEVER spoke to the guy throughout the movie
#3, the kid said "i see dead people" which gives away the fact that the guy is dead.

Personally i dont see how you could NOT know the movie's ending. there were so many clues everywhere!

Ya in the village i did not beleive for a moment she was blind, she moved wayyyyy to normally. I have met many blind people in my life and none walked like she did.

Nooooo! ahhhhaaah!

You ruined the 6th sense for me! I have not seen it yet....


OK, I was half-kidding. Yes I have not seen 6th sense, but a friend of mine ruined it for me after seeing the previews and wanting to go see it (he already has) I was told, "he is dead, you know".

And that's where MKS is so bad. If you are familiar with the premise of the movie, one sentence can solve the twist. He is very transparent, and because his movies are done so well (cinematography, soundtrack, atmosphere, acting for the most part) I want to like it but I can't.

The Village gave me a few jumps, but that was it. It was slow and predictable and the twist was just a bit better than the fact that water can kill aliens (why weren't they wearing space suits after arriving from space? :) ).

So anyway, I didn't hate and I didn't love it. 5 out of 10.

Awimoway
Aug 3, 2004, 01:55 PM
And that's where MKS is so bad. If you are familiar with the premise of the movie, one sentence can solve the twist. He is very transparent, and because his movies are done so well (cinematography, soundtrack, atmosphere, acting for the most part) I want to like it but I can't.

The Village gave me a few jumps, but that was it. It was slow and predictable and the twist was just a bit better than the fact that water can kill aliens (why weren't they wearing space suits after arriving from space? :) ).


The thing is, in my view it isn't hard to make a scary movie. It's all about what you suggest but don't show. M. Night Shama-lama-ding-dong is a master of atmosphere. He can make good movies. But he trusts his writing too much. He needs to drop the surprise-ending fetish and just tell scary tories without snappy punch lines at the end because telling scary stories isn't really all that difficult. Shama-lama-ding-dong is poised to be the Hitchcock of our time, but I think he may be squandering his audience's trust. The promos for his movies are so intriguing that they fill seats every time, but if people walk away feeling robbed, how much longer can he get away with it?

Or maybe he wasn't trying to make scary movies to begin with, but since the first one was scary and the third one was, we misunderstood his intentions. It almost seems like he's actually trying to be the Rod Serling of our time. But I'll take a classic episode of the Twilight Zone any day over "Signs."

scem0
Aug 6, 2004, 04:58 AM
The Village - hmmm. Although I had pretty high expectations for this movie, I was not let down. It did not exceed my expectations either, though. What it did the most was suprise me. I expected a scarry movie. I don't want to give anything away, but it was hardly frightening at all. But as I said before, the movie wasn't a let-down. But if I had wanted to watch a scarry movie it very well might have been.

The biggest annoyance of the movie, IMO, was the very ameature script. It sounded like an 8th grader wrote it. I read a review that said it was like "Saturday Night Live channeling the Plymouth Brethren," and I couldn't agree more. At times it was almost comical (at times SNL is comical too :rolleyes: ). "The bad color"... "those we do not speak of"... must I say more? JK Rowling and Shama-who-who must think a lot alike when it comes to dialogue.

Other than that I thought everything was either par or above par. The acting - pretty good, especially in the case of Bryce Dallas Howard who probably has a good career ahead of her. The plot - above par, it was interesting which is always good. The atmosphere - increadible. This is what Shamawhatever has a knack for, creating the perfect atmoshpere. The music, the visual, and the sequencing of events all add up to very cathartic scenes.

scem0

Awimoway
Aug 6, 2004, 01:02 PM
The biggest annoyance of the movie, IMO, was the very ameature script. It sounded like an 8th grader wrote it. I read a review that said it was like "Saturday Night Live channeling the Plymouth Brethren," and I couldn't agree more. At times it was almost comical (at times SNL is comical too :rolleyes: ). "The bad color"... "those we do not speak of"... must I say more? JK Rowling and Shama-who-who must think a lot alike when it comes to dialogue.

I hear that. It was like nails down a blackboard. I'm an aspiring writer who is working on a period piece and I have sworn to myself to never never never use such stilted language in an attempt to sound authentic, because the opposite happens. The worst example of it that I can think of in recent memory is the movie "Gods and Generals." It was god-awful. Everyone delivered their lines like they had sticks up their ***es because, clearly, the screenwriter had a big one with rusty spikes up his ***.

However, in light of the biggest surprise at the end of the movie, I think the stilted language may have been an over-the-top attempt by Shama-hama-hey-hey to convince us of the illusion. So I haven't given it much thought since I saw it. It was stilted deliberately to tell the story. Still annoying, yes, but I don't think it was accidental.

vraxtus
Aug 6, 2004, 01:57 PM
From Entertainment Weekly:

What an irony -- and a shame -- it would be if ''The Sixth Sense'' turns out to be the movie that first made and then ruined the career of M. Night Shyamalan. A filmmaker of superb technical facility and emotional control, Shyamalan floored audiences with the ending of his 1999 thriller, the rare film twist that was genuinely unexpected without being in the least dishonest. It's not his fault that the public has approached each of his subsequent movies as narrative piņatas that will spill forth their secrets if only they can be cracked.

But audience expectations alone can't be blamed for the fact that Shyamalan's movies seem increasingly to be mapped from their endings backward. Watching The Village, which follows ''Unbreakable'' and ''Signs'' in what may come to be known as the ''Gotcha!'' quartet, you may find yourself poking and prodding the narrative for its first half hour, mentally combing each scene in search of what's not being expressed. That's not a great way to approach a film, but in fairness, the surface of ''The Village'' does not, initially, offer many rewards. Set in a 19th-century Northeastern rural community, it's written in a style somewhere between faux Crucible and an elementary-school tour of Amish country. Benign town elders led by Edward Walker (William Hurt) preside over the village's business while the young ones frolic and go a-courtin', and a romantic quadrangle begins to emerge: Walker's impetuous daughter Kitty (Judy Greer) is in love with stoic, awkward Lucius (Joaquin Phoenix), who in turn is smitten with Kitty's blind sister Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard), who's adored by mentally handicapped Noah (Adrien Brody, in his first role of any heft since winning the Oscar for ''The Pianist''). The tone is so chokingly wholesome, and the world Shyamalan creates is so quaintly ''simple'' in a way that urbanites often ascribe to the rural, that one longs for the other shoe to drop, if one exists. Since this is an M. Night Shyamalan film, prayers are answered in the form of an unseen presence -- terrifying creatures who are said to live in the surrounding woods, in an uneasy truce with the villagers that depends on neither species breaching the other's borders.

If by now you're thinking that surely something else must be going on here, well, who could blame you, since the writer-director himself has conditioned you to tweeze every line and frame forensically? What really lurks within those woods is (fear not: no spoilers here) a very mixed bag. It gives nothing of the plot away to say that there's a fine line between an ''Aha!'' and an ''Oh, brother!'' Whether you feel ''The Village'' crosses that line may hinge on whether you think Shyamalan's screenwriting ability is beginning to lag behind his skill as a director. ''The Village'' offers genuine surprises and a few haunting images, thanks primarily to his exquisitely precise sense of pace, mood, and framing (the brilliant cinematographer Roger Deakins proves invaluable here) and his evident fondness for actors. As a director, Shyamalan gets fine work from Phoenix, whose ability to convey emotion with limited language serves the film effectively, from newcomer Howard, who brings steely resolve and dynamism to what turns out to be a pivotal role, and from stage veterans like Cherry Jones and Jayne Atkinson in small parts. Less successfully used is Hurt, whose abiding taste for inserting...random...pauses...into his lines feeds Shyamalan's biggest weakness as a director, namely, a tendency to treat his own dialogue as holy writ. With each moment directed and played to maximize a sense of portent, ''The Village'' feels airless (and sometimes eye-rollingly solemn) in ways that can't be pinned entirely on its isolated-and-surrounded plot; it has the hermetic quality of a talented filmmaker bouncing ideas off the inside of his own skull. When those ideas are great, the result is ''The Sixth Sense.'' When those ideas are ''Hey, maybe the alien invader could be allergic to water!'' the result is ''Signs.'' In the case of ''The Village,'' it's not fair to talk about the plot yet, but it is reasonable to suggest that, with the road into these woods threatening to turn into a creative dead end, Shyamalan may want to think about making his next movie with a twist beginning -- a new writer.

Note ''The Village'' was reviewed by editor-at-large Mark Harris from a print without final color correction after Buena Vista declined to schedule a screening for critics that would permit EW to run a timely review.

MacFan26
Aug 6, 2004, 04:32 PM
"The bad color"... "those we do not speak of"... must I say more? JK Rowling and Shama-who-who must think a lot alike when it comes to dialogue.

haha, I agree with you there. When I heard "those we do not speak of" all I could imagine was Voldemort suddenly flying out of the woods.