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August 28, 2002

Movie Review: Signs ... Oh

Movie Review: Signs


Oh my GOD, it's bad. I don't know who keeps going to see this movie or how it got to be the number one movie AGAIN this week, but it is HORRIBLE. This is the worst movie I've seen since "Pearl Harbor", and I've seen a lot of movies since then. (I had to go see a lot of movies after Pearl Harbor. It's kinda' like forcing yourself back onto the horse after it's thrown you.)

Where do I begin? What a heavy-handed, ham-fisted, piece of CRAP!

Okay, here's the plot. Space invaders leave symbols in the corn field of a farmer who used to be a priest (Mel Gibson), until he lost his faith because his wife was killed in an accident. The aliens eventually invade. The priest must find his faith again in order to save his family from the alien invaders. The end.


Breath in. Breath out. Find your happy place. Let it all out. Calm. Caaaalllm. There. That's better.

Here are my problems with the movie: from the very outset of the movie, you can tell the movie is going to be beautiful cinematically speaking. There's a beautifully framed shot of the corn field from the window of the farm house to start the movie. I have no problem with that. I start to develop a problem when you get the feeling that the director (M. Night Shyamalan) is POINTING out to you how beautifully filmed everything is. You get the feeling that he's saying "See, look how beautiful this shot is. Can you see how I've framed Mel in this doorway with the light behind him, and see the outline of the crucifix where it used to hang on the wall? See, it used to be there when he had faith, but then his wife died and he took it down. See? See? Neat, huh?!" It's like that thoroughout the entire movie. New scene. Pause on actor. Actor poses in doorway, gazing thoughtfully at something, or nothing. Pose. Pose. Pose. Cue actor to move slowly across the room. Slower. Slower. SLOWER. Now pause. Pose. CUT!

And then the camera angle switches to some out of place fish-eye lense or something. I felt like I was watching a f*cking Tums commercial.

You know, I'm not stupid. You don't have to spoon-feed me all this depth and heaviness. But you get spoon-fed from the very start. The movie OOZES somberness, because, you know, questioning faith is a heavy topic and we should all consider it in a very somber way. The actors all appear as if they were forced to swallow sedatives before every scene. No one smiles. Everyone moves slowly and acts very somber and concerned and far away. No one so much as blinks throughout the entire movie. I am not lying or exaggerating. I can count on ONE hand the number of blinks in the entire what-felt-like-7 hours of the movie. It's not natural.

What else? Oh, the aliens are a joke. Most of the alien scenes are some guy with a rubber hand pawing under the door. OOooohh, scaaary. Gimme a break. Evidently aliens can't work doorknobs or bust through doors or windows if they have so much as one board across them. Oh, EXCEPT for towards the end where one unexplicably manages to break in a boarded up window without being heard WHILE EVERYONE IS IN THE SAME ROOM. This one was out for personal vengeance, evidently. There is one scene in which you get to see the alien up-close and personal. My immediate thoughts: "What a horrible rubber suit that is."

I do have to mention one notable almost-positive about the movie. The almost-positive is the little girl, the priest's daughter. She is played by Abigail Breslin. She's somewhere between 8 and 10, and if she weren't forced to play a child zombie, she would have been wonderful. She reminded me of Carol Ann in "Poltergeist", except that she had exceeded her recommended dosage of Ritalin. Blink! Blink, damn you!

I do not understand how anyone, even your mainstream movie reviewers, found this movie to be suspenseful or frightening or entertaining. I was bored out of my mind inside of 15 minutes. I kept thinking to myself: "Was this movie made in France? Where is the sad happy clown of life?" How bad was the movie? There were bits that were supposed to be funny, evidently, and people laughed. People laughed because it was so obviously not funny, that it was funny. People laughed in the serious parts of the movie too. Everyone around us kept up a running commentary on how horrible the movie was, and I'm usually the only one that talks out loud for everyone to hear in movies.

Some poor *sshole gave this movie FOUR STARS. Wha'? How?

I guess I'm so worked up because the movie just felt like it had to force all this heaviness and thought-provoking stuff down your throat, as if you weren't bright enough to pick up on it if the director bothered to disguise it in any way, shape, or form. Steven Spielberg, the director is not. Not even close. This one makes my worst movies of all time list. Others include the aforementioned "Pearl Harbor" and "Battlefield Earth", if that gives you anything to go on. The trouble is, someone is going to win an Oscar for this movie, and I just don't know why. Prediction: this movie will win Shyamalan Best Director at the Oscars next year. Rating: D- or One Star

Update: Letter from Gotham hated Signs as well.

Posted by Kehaar at August 28, 2002 09:55 PM | TrackBack
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