Lady in the Water (2006)
Written and Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Cindy Cheung, June Kyoko Lu, M. Night Shyamalan, Sarita Choudhury, Bob Balaban, Jeffrey Wright, Bill Irwin, Mary Beth Hurt, Noah Gray-Cabey, Freddy Rodriguez
Well, I liked it. Okay, so it wasn't particularly fantastic, some of it was pretty lame and I saw IT coming, but it was okay.
The plot is about a sea nymph who comes to our world in order to inspire a guy to write a book that will inspire some other guy to save the Universe or something. I didn't really get that part. Anyway, then there are these nasty beasties out to get her and shit while she waits for an Eagle to come pick her up (I don't know how it had time between fighting Nazgul and rescuing Sam and Frodo...) I didn't think the whole mythology part was too interesting, or believable for that matter. Dammit, I want my weird-ass fantasy bullshit to be believable.
First of all, I have a hard time accepting that this ethereal, extremely dignified creature who has such a proper way of speaking that she doesn't even use contractions could stand to be called a Narf. I mean, really. I wouldn't stand to be called a Narf, and I'm a dirty little human (I could probably name one of my kids Narf, though).
The whole thing is so obviously made up, too. According to the movie, it's an old, Chinese bedtime story or something. You know, the traditional Chinese mythology about Narfs and Scrunts.
Anyway, if you sort of go with the whole thing and pretend it makes sense, I guess it could come off as a relatively entertaining fairytale. The other stuff in the movie is okay. There were some pretty quirky characters in there. Like a guy who pumps up only one side of his body. (I was briefly confused to see Rico with one massive arm (I just finished watching season five of Six Feet Under, by the way. JESUS FUCK, what a way to end a show. Man. (I won't go into details. Even I am not that cruel)))
Moving on from The Show (second best show ever. I guess), Bryce Dallas Howard was freaky as hell. She didn't look human. I guess that was sort of the point, but Jeezuz. What a terrible haircut. Paul Giamatti was cute though. Heh heh. Milk.
I thought it was kind of lame for M. to cast himself as the super duper important guy. I mean, come on.
Not that that matters. Speaking of M., this had all the usual things that make an M. movie irritating. The maddening camera angles. The maddening plot. Mind you, it didn't have the maddening twist at the end like so many of his movies. It was more like in Signs where everything just sort of fits together at the end. Unfortunately, I saw the fit coming, and wasn't surprised or impressed.
I didn't buy that buddy's family got killed. I thought that was pretty cheap, but what the hell. It didn't come up too often. His movies are often kind of cheap like that too...
The monster was pretty cool, though. Very Miyazaki. It was called a Scrunt, but okay.
I thought the whole bit with the film critic who kind of fucks things up for everybody was kind of funny, seeing as critics routinely bash Shyamalan's films. He was a dork and got et by Scrunt. Film critics are probably the lowest form of life...
ANYWAY, it was all pretty... uh... enchanting. I hate that word when used in that particular context, but it's the most appropriate one I could think of. I enjoyed it. It let me feel briefly like a little kiddliwink. It was nice.