Deja Shyamalan

August/2004: Movies - A few years ago, I saw a great movie that received a maddening response. That movie was Unbreakable. I decided from the point of seeing that movie and hearing criticism of it, that I would judge people harshly by their opinion of that film. If they disliked the film, I'd look down upon them. If they loved the film, they would signify that they are pretty intelligent about movies, at least.

Unbreakable was a movie made by M. Night Shyamalan. M. Night is pretty much my favorite director currently making films. He is akin to Hitchcock in his ability to set up shots and establish a creepy, creepy tone... but is superior (Someone is going to bitch at me for that line) in that he has a greater subtext behind his moviemaking. The best part about his movies is that the meaning and philosophical point of the movie is usually left up to the movie-watcher to pluck from the film.

That is great for myself. I'm intelligent.

It's not so great for dullards who can't understand the philosophical point of a movie unless it's slapped in their face, Meg Ryan style.

I started judging people by their opinion of Unbreakable. It split pretty much the way I expected. Those whom I had previously regarded as intelligent liked the movie, as was expected. Those I regarded as unintelligent hated it. I started doing this due to a near-altercation I almost got into upon leaving the first theater-seeing of the film. This dullard and his likely-vacuous girlfriend were discussing the movie, with the dullard vociferiously decrying the lack of "action." I loudly corrected the slovenly sort outside of the theater, perhaps appearing insane to all afoot.

Reading the reviews of Unbreakable, I wondered how people could be so stupid as to not get the beauty, acting and point of that wonderfully crafted story. So many messages, just under the surface. It was a deeply intellectually touching film.

Now, in 2004, I'm experiencing "Deja Shyamalan." You perhaps do not know what "Deja Shyamalan" means, since I just made up the term. Let me define for you:

Deja Shyamalan: The experience of being confounded by the public's "deja vu" negative, sloppy reaction to great M. Night Shyamalan films.

Recently "The Village" was released. I heard people were hating on it, as they usually do with Shyamalan films. I go and see it. Again, this is the Unbreakable Conundrum. The Village is a spectacular movie. It's simply spectacular. There are so many bubbling discussion points lurking under the surface that to even list them all out would be an insult to the finely honed work of M. Night. I do not see how someone can see that film and dislike it. There is no intellectually justifiable rationale for disliking this movie.

It is superbly filmed, finely acted, and the screenplay is once again unique, original and nuanced. I was into this movie hook, line and sinker. Perhaps the problem is that people try to feel "smarter" by guessing the future happenings of a film. That doesn't make you intelligent. When you're sitting there going "I knew that would happen!", you reveal yourself to be a slimey dullard of the highest magnitude. It doesn't matter if you know what is going to happen. I can go to any Meg Ryan film (outside of City of Angels) and go "I know what is going to happen!" It's easy. If I were to criticize "You've Got Mail" because it was FUCKING OBVIOUS that they'd hook up... I'd be an asshole. A huge asshole. That is not what a movie should be judged upon. To lambaste the Village because people claim to have "seen it coming", is ridiculous. The measure of this movie isn't in whether or not some blowhard thinks they "knew what was going to happen" but what did happen. This is a similar criticism of years ago, but fat-headed movietards whom viewed Unbreakable and "knew" the ending. Wow, a cookie is for you!

The Village is a work of measured emotion. It is a film. Not a "flick." Anyone going to this movie expecting a "horror movie" simply is movie-ignorant. Shyamalan would not do a "straight" horror movie. He'll make a creepy movie (and the village is creepy) but he will never succumb to the brainless unwashed masses and create "The House of the Dead." This is a man, not a hack. That isn't a bash on movies like "The House of the Dead." It's not even a real comparison. Shyamalan makes "films" not "flicks." Comparing anything done by a horror director to Shyamalan is like comparing Cotton Candy to Steak. Nobody eats Steak and goes "Man, this isn't cotton candy! I expected cotton candy!" Learn to read the movie menu. You went to a high-class restaurant and expected steak to be cotton candy. That makes you stupid, not the movie.

I'd write more about why the movie is good, but I don't really want to launch spoilers upon you guys. Instead, I'm going to pimp Erika out (Not literally, as none of you have the cash amounts that one would have to charge for such a stellar person) with her excellent blogger reviews if you want more detail about the movie: Click for Erika's Movie Review Page.

The point of my writing is simply to decry the public and this "Deja Shyamalan" bullshit that pops up everytime he makes a movie. Just make a deal with me: If you didn't like Unbreakable, or the Village, don't go see another M. Night movie. He doesn't need your attendance. You don't deserve to attend his movies. They are not for you, you are not a good enough person to deserve such fine fuckin' filmmaking. Go watch "Superbabies 2: Baby Geniuses" or "Anacondas"... maybe go hit up "Farhenbullshit 9/11" or Yu-Gi-Oh! For Night's movies are not made for you... they are made for people like me, individuals with the ability to pick out points and messages that are not slap-dashed across the screen in an Ad Populum attempt to sell tickets to living, breathing, primates.

I do hope M. Night is confident and intelligent enough not to listen to the craven bullshit criticisms of the general public, for they know not proper moviemaking. It would be a tragedy if one of his ability were to dumb himself down to the Lowest Common Denominator just because the American public appreciates a piece of trash like "Eurotrip" more than works of art, beauty and subtlety.

Go die.