Signs - why didn't I like it?

Discussion in 'Community' started by zarathustra, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #1
    After people here on the boards raved about it, i rented it, and was disappointed by the ending. It was suspenseful, and was building a great storyline, but I felt like I was left hanging at the end... So many unanswered (unanswerable) questions...

    I dare to say that save the first half of the movie, it was a letdown for me. Can someone explain to me what was the "moral of the story". Please no flames, we are all family.
     
  2. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #2
    Maybe because it was quite cheesy with it's over imposed quasi-religious aspects and the fact that the story dwells to much on a past tragedy at the expense of the current issues, there are many issues you can have with this movie. I mean you can see what he was trying to do with Signs but perhaps he was trying too hard here.
     
  3. zarathustra thread starter macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #3
    Yes, you are right. I couldn't quite stomach and understand Mel Gibson as the priest. Was there something to derive, maybe a parallel, between believing in UFOs and God???? Anywho, I can only tell you that other friends talked me into seeing LOTR - The fellowship, and I was very, very pleasantly surprised. I watched it, and after three hours I was like "no, you can't end it like this!!!!", so I became LOTR a junkie, bought the books, seen TT *shrugs shoulders*. I can't believe I missed it through my childhood!
     
  4. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #4
    Same here, the only book I read was the Hobbit (which was good enough but didnt hold my interest for anything further in the Tolkein library) and now that Ive seen the movies I wish I had read the other books, still have not bought the books though, have too many I already own but havnt read yet.....
     
  5. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #5
    WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW

    The religious ideology really ruined it for me, too. I wasn't thrilled that we never understood why the aliens were invading, other than the suggestion that they were harvesting us... why? also wondered why, if the aliens were so smart, they didn't just get some suits, or even plastic-couch-covers before they started, being as they were invading a planet that's mostly covered in water.

    It did have it's moments tho, the first time we see an alien silhouetted against the sky, standing on the barn, i found quite alarming. He did a good job of setting up tension, IMHO, especially as you were left to wonder if there was a UFO hovering a few yards from their house, and if an alien was suddenly going to appear behind someone. Introducing the individual alien in the TV reflection was also kind of cool, i was talking during that scene but when i realized what it was, i just kind of spaced off.

    Perhaps he put the religion thing in to explain all of the deus ex machinas (i won't even try to pluralize that currectly) like the kid's athsma, the lack of protection against water, etc... in that someone was "watching out" for them...

    you have to admit, this was the first movie of his that you didn't guess the ending to immediately... it took a whopping 45 minutes i think :)

    pnw
     
  6. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #6
    Re: WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW

    The story was told from a common persons perspectivce. We wouldn't have known more then the movie actually told us. Also I expect the Aliens were over confident thinking we were a lower life form not being able to figure out the water thing in the short amount of time they gave us.

    I really like it the suspense was awesome and the story had a lot of depth. I think most people are brainwashed by the modern alien encounter film where somehow we know way more then we could possibly. This in my oppinion was written really well from the basis of real life possibilities of what would happen if this sort of thing were to happen.

    Maybe also your environment has a lot to do with it. When I went it was many weeks after openning and the theater was only half full. The theater was dark and quiet and the suspense built well.
     
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #7
    Re: Re: WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW

    That's true, i watched it in my living room, tho that adds a bit in as much as you're a bit more paranoid afterwords :) i'm one of those people that craves horror and suspense, but when i go to bed after and hear a noise in the room, my eyes fly open ;)

    i'm finally starting to read Lovecraft, amazed that i made it 20 years without, and he's good for that :) The Rats in the Walls especially, anyone read it?

    pnw
     
  8. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #8
    Re: Re: Re: WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW

    I love horror/suspense also the best part is the crazed hysteria your're in afterwards when your by yourself in a dark house all alone.:D

    No I haven't read that or even heard of it. I use to read Stephen King when I was really little. The book, "Knight Shift," was the one that really got me that and, "Cujo". The whole closet opening on it's own in Cujo was spooky even though my bedroom didn't have a door on the closet.
     
  9. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #9
    Re: Re: Re: Re: WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW

    i'm a stephen king buff. it's interesting to watch what's happening now, very much worth reading. he's transforming himself, he came in as an infamous horror/gore writer, he's going out with a bang as a fantasy writer. the dark tower series, with which i'm obsessed, links his books together in a way that's (indescribable) completely different from the way they were. And it's said that his final book, The Dark Tower, will tie *every* stephen king book together, in a grand finale. i thought It (completely different from the movie, btw) was the ultimate tie-in book, both between it and other books, and with itself. bah, i can't talk about it too much, else i risk not being able to stop... and this isn't the thread for it :)

    needless to say, King says Lovecraft is his biggest influence.

    pnw
     
  10. losfp macrumors regular

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    #10
    I was a bit disappointed too. IMHO it feels like Shayamalan was doing a good job on the script, got 80% of the way through and then realised he had to finish it all in one night, while hungover. Hence, the "cop-out" ending.

    Good performances, good build-up, BUt I was disappointed by the ending.
     
  11. zarathustra thread starter macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #11
    THANKS to all that replied. Your answers were very supportive.

    I can see the point of telling the story as a "common" person, not knowing what exactly is going on, but that just goes so far. There were far too many holes to fill, and could have been thought out a lot better.

    Yes, the silhouette of the alien by the chimney - scared the bejeezus out of me, especially after listening to the girl : " there is a monster outside my window, can I have a glass of water?". If that kind of feel would have been carried over till the end, i would would whole heartedly say: it was the best movie of 2002.
     
  12. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #12
    the aliens were comepletely incidental. the story was not about alien invasion. that was simply a device to describe the *real* story, which was Mel's loss of faith. when his wife died he lost his faith in god, in higher power, in life having meaning. when the aliens came, humanity was in trouble. nothing could stop them. and he had no more "god" to rely on for help. it all came together at the end when he was remembering the death of his wife, and her final words, how they were somewhat prophetic. that his wife knew what was coming and was able to tell him what he needed to know long after her death renewed his faith in god, that there was a higher power watching over mankind. that's why the movie ended with him putting his collar back on. go back and watch it again, tell me what you think.
     
  13. marcsiry macrumors member

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    Jul 16, 2002
    #13
    the water thing

    okay. everyone trashes "signs" for the same thing:

    "How come the aliens landed on earth, a planet that's 80% water, without spacesuits or something to defend them from the water?"

    It's because it wasn't just water that harmed them- it was holy water, transfigured by holy creatures, like Mel's daughter.

    At one point, Mel turns to his daughter and says, "When you were born, I said you were an angel." Giveaway #1.

    Mel's daughter continually asks for water, takes a sip, and then says it "tastes funny." That's because her touching it has transfigured it. No one else can tell the difference- to them, it's just water. Giveaway #2.

    "Providence," "fate," or "God" has arranged for Mel to have all the tools necessary to save his son at the end- a washed up ballplayer son who stuck around and hung his bat on the wall, an asmhatic son who would be momentarily resistant to the alien gas, and dozens of glasses of holy water transfigured by his angelic daughter. If the nature of the water weren't important, they would have just made it a garden hose- the fact that it was the abandoned water glasses that he was so exasperated by earlier means that they had special significance. Giveawy #3.

    At the end, you hear on the radio that the solution for repelling the aliens was originally discovered in the Middle East. What's in the Middle East? Why, the centers of three major religions. Thus, it's a religious solution to the problem. Water is a chemical solution- holy water is a religious solution. Giveaway #4.
     
  14. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #14
    Yes, that's true. We're always lead to believe Signs is in reference to the crop circles, but in reality it's probably more in reference to the signs (the deus ex machinas from my earlier post) that bring him back to his faith.

    That said, it still ruined the movie for me. For me, the story of "a man losing his faith after the death of his wife and then regaining it miraculously" is really tired, even if aliens were involved... that's not to say the alien plot isn't tired, but at least he did it differently and creatively and well for the most part.

    i prefer to think of it as an alien movie, that way there's a chance i'll watch the damn $20 DVD again.

    :)
    pnw
     
  15. zarathustra thread starter macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #15
    I agree with paul, again. I am not that shallow to not be able to deduct all the "finding the faith" stuff. If this IS all about faith and God and spirituality, why is it disguised as an alien invasion - almost making a mockery of it.

    The points that marcsiry tells were too transparent for me - I saw it, but dismissed it because THERE WERE ALIENS OCCUPYING THE EARTH! Any who, The underlying story line could have been better played out in a script that focused on character development, rather than an alien invasion and then drawing parallels.

    pants.
     
  16. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

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    #16
    WAY off the topic....

    I've been dating a girl for who LOVES horror flicks for about 6months now. She's attended school for graphic make-up and she knows so much about it. The actors, the techniques, the make-up people.. we can't go into a horror section and find something she hasn't seen. (its safe to say her passion for horror rivals mine for mac) Anyways, we watch horror flicks all the time and I rarely if EVER get that freaked out feeling. I love nightmares. i love that panic feeling. I love being chased but I so rarely have those dreams.
    A friend of mine has night terrors, she wakes up in the middle of the night with a horrific impending sense of doom and can't move! I'm so jealous of her.. I'd pay $500 to be able to experience that... but I just don't get spooked.
    We sat down and watched the director's cut of the exorsist (i'm ashamed to say i'd never seen it) and it was just a bore to me... entertaining, but not scary... anyone else experience this? :mad:
     

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