Tag: signs

Don’t See Lady in the Water…. Just. Don’t.

You may have liked M. Night Shyamalan's previous work in The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, and/or The Village.  You may think that because of this, you should give his latest flick Lady in the Water a chance, even though you have heard bad reviews about it.

Trust me here – this is one to pass on.  My wife and I finished watching it last night, and as the credits rolled, we turned to each other and both said, "That was REALLY bad.  I can't believe I wasted 2 hours of my life watching that."

The premise is simple – a live-in superintendent of a motel (Paul Giamatti) discovers a woman swimming in the motel pool and subsequently is saved by her after he slips, hits his head, and falls into the water.  As the movie progresses, he discovers this woman (named "Story") is actually a creature called a "Narf" out of an old bedtime story/fairy tale.  She has come to our world to "awaken" a chosen human being (played by Shyamalan) before she can be carried back to the "Blue World" by a giant eagle, all while avoiding a creature called a "Scrunt" (basically a big-ass wolf made out of grass) who is trying to kill her.

After the movie was over and my mind finally got past the point of only being able to think "WTF?!?", I came to some basic conclusions about what made this movie so bad.

  • The symbolism/coincidences from Signs that "gave people chills" have been re-purposed here in new forms for another story.  Every odd quirk or behavior has a reason behind it.  Most are blatantly obvious, but all fall flat and don't add anything to the plot as it moves along – they are there solely to provide a deus-ex type feel to a scenario later in the movie.
  • The fairy tale/bedtime story plot is laughably bad, as is the exposition of it through the film.  Giamatti ekes out the storyline as the movie progresses, only learning enough at one time to carry him through the next scene.  When he gets stuck, it's a sure bet someone will come around the corner with some "I found out more about that bedtime story!" dialog.
  • People act contrary to human nature.  When Giamatti reveals what is going on to a group of people, they immediately believe him and tag along to take part in the action.  No explanation or disbelief is ever expressed until near the very end.  This could have been a much better film if the main conflict was Giamatti getting a group of chosen individuals to believe what was going on, rather than having them initially accept his story and pushing the conflict to an "us vs. them" mentality.
  • The film can't make up its mind as to what it is supposed to be.  There are scenes intended to be humorous, tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at the plot of the movie itself.  Other scenes try to make you jump in fright, using scare tactics and sharp scene cuts to try to keep you on the edge of your seat.  All that happens is you end up with a film that feels pieced together, with enough expository dialog to fill in the holes the actors can't fill in their scenes.

I will still give Shyamalan a chance on future films, but in my opinion, there's nothing redeeming about this movie.  If what I've said above hasn't been enough to disuade you, good luck with your viewing, and don't say I didn't warn you.

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Wachovia… What the Hell?

Saw a new billboard from Wachovia (the bank) on the way home that said something like:


Is anyone else reading this and saying "WTF?"  Let me give you some other sentences that use this kind of logic:

My car is faster than your car, unless we own the same car.

I have more money than you do, unless we share a bank account.

My Dad is smarter than your Dad, unless we have the same Dad.

Yeah, none of these are things anyone would think to say, either.  I'm not sure who came up with this ad campaign, but I suspect it was someone who took speaking lessons from George W. Bush.

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Yod’s Weekend Photo Scavenger Hunt, Take #1

Well, I have to admit this was a lot of fun.  What was even more fun was sneaking out to take photos under my wife's nose, since she doesn't understand how I can get wrapped up in all that "blog stuff".

Anyway, I'm hoping there are many more of these contests in the weeks to come…it's definitely better than spending the time wishing the thermometer would drop below 104 degrees!

1. Take a self portrait using a mirror and a very bad camera angle. Think about your average teenager's MySpace profile picture and you're on the right track.

Let's see.
Mirror?  Check.
Bad camera angle? Check.
Camera in photo so you are positive it's a self-portrait? Check.
Slightly out of focus? Check.
Weird awkward smile that would look right at home on a MySpace page?  Double-check.

2. Show us the "Welcome To" sign for where you live.

I drive past this one almost every day.  It's always struck me as a bit of overkill in the signage department.  But I guess someone in the city council has a nephew or brother that prints street signs, or something like that.

3. Show a cellphone being used by someone/something that shouldn't be using it.

I swear I wasn't copying TheOcho's post with this one!  My daughter LOVES to pretend to talk on the phone.  She will use anything as the pretend phone, including but not limited to: a shoe, a playing card, a matchbox car, a plastic teacup, and a computer mouse.  However, she ADORES my cell phone (must be all the pretty colors and buttons).  She isn't allowed to play with it (other than for this picture) anymore since the time I caught her one button-press away from erasing all my contacts.

Strangely, she refuses to talk to anyone on a real phone.  I think the voices scare her.

4. Take a picture of a sure sign that the world is ending (don't post a pic of a sober Lindsay Lohan, I know that it's either a picture you didn't take this weekend [since Lindsay was last sober 10 years ago] or completely fake).

I was all set to take a shot of an article about the French kid who got arrested for translating Harry Potter into French – after all, what is a better indication that the world is ending than a kids' books publisher pressing charges against a kid?  Then I caught sight of these guys this morning on my neighbor's lawn.

The guy bent over?  He's been trying to start that weed-whacker for about 6 minutes.  Before that, he tried to start a different one (same model) for about 5 minutes.  Shortly after this picture, he realizes that he has to HOLD DOWN THE TRIGGER on the weed-whacker while pulling the cord to get the motor to start.  His partner in crime on the riding mower was completely oblivious to the whole incident.  Now, normally, I wouldn't think anything of this (especially if it was someone in my family trying to figure out how to run one of these things).  But remember – this guy is part of a PROFESSIONAL LAWN CARE team.  His JOB is to use the weed-whacker, probably dozens of times DAILY.  You know the world is coming to an end when the average Joe can get a job doing something he has no competence for, and nobody (or almost nobody) seems to notice.

Yod, I know you said no photoshop, but I didn't want to get sued for libel, so I put black bars over the name and number of the lawn service in this publicly-posted picture.  I still have the untouched original, though, if you need to ensure I wasn't doctoring anything.

5. Show us something over 100 years old.

The guy who used to own the land all the houses in my neighborhood sit on still owns a parcel behind my house.  I was talking to him one day a few months back and commented how much my family loves the giant sycamore tree (pictured here) in our back yard, and how we're glad the developer didn't get rid of it when building the house.  He told me that his family had owned the land since 1750, when this area was settled, and that his great-grandfather had planted a bunch of sycamores around the 1850s because he liked the look of them.  As best he can figure, this one is around 150 years old, and still going strong.

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