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*** Official "SIGNS" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 21, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Just finished watching Signs, the new
    film directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring
    Mel Gibson.
    I don't know whether I'll be doing a full
    Sneak Peek review or not as I have a very busy
    week coming up.
    Let me just briefly say the movie was okay, but
    nothing earth-shattering.
    This is Mel Gibson like you have never seen him
    before. He plays Father Graham Hess, a man of the
    cloth who has questioned his faith and left the
    church after his wife is killed in a a car accident.
    He's a timid man who doesn't swear and doesn't drink.
    Left with his young son and daughter, he lives out
    on a large farm in Pennsylvania. Also living with
    him is his brother (Joaquin Phoenix).
    The movie wastes no time getting to its point.
    Within the first ten minutes we hear screams from
    Hess's daughter, as he runs out into the cropfield
    to find that his stalks of corn have been carefully
    mowed down. What he doesn't realize at first is
    that someone has created large symbols in his
    cornfield.
    Hess soon learns that the same phenomenon is
    happening all over the world. Suddenly, the world
    finds out that this may not be a hoax after all.
    This is all I can really tell you about the film
    without ruining it.
    I have a very mixed opinion about this film. It's
    not the type of film I expected from Shyamalan.
    Like all of Shymalan's earlier films, the movie
    plays out rather slowly. I have to be careful here
    not to ruin the film, but here's really no surprise
    payoff in the end other than the fact that the film
    goes in a very interesting direction that is a little
    reminsicent of WAR OF THE WORLDS. I think in the
    end, however, audiences are going to feel a little
    slighted. Though Gibson and Phoenix give fine
    performances throughout, the film never rises to
    the kind of thriller it could have been, though I'll
    admit, I was glued to the screen for the film's final
    half hour.
    Rating: 4 (on a scale of 1-5).
     
  2. Stevan Lay

    Stevan Lay Second Unit

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    4 out of 5 ain't a bad score [​IMG]
    I just wonder whether Signs will produce the same word-of-mouth appeal as his other movies did, in particular The Sixth Sense.
    Ron, on par with his previous how would you rate Signs?
     
  3. Michael Caicedo

    Michael Caicedo Second Unit

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    Sounds like it's worth a look. So far I have liked M. Night's films so, I think I won't regret it. Ron, up pretty late huh? or is that early [​IMG]
     
  4. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    Any thoughts on James Newton Howard's score, Ron? Bit of a fan of his, he's best with thematic stuff which his Sixth Sense score rather lacked (though its score worked well for the movie). I see the Signs score being somewhat the same...

    Dan
     
  5. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  6. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    4 out of 5 seems like a good score to me too. I'm so there for this. Like Dan I'm also a big fan of James Newton Howard - loved his score for Unbreakable as well.
     
  7. Stevan Lay

    Stevan Lay Second Unit

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  8. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    Ron
    Are you sure your rating is a 4 out of 5? Reading your review, it sounds more like a 3 out of 5.[​IMG]
     
  9. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    My 2 pennies:
    Howard's score is fantastic! It's absolutely one of the best things in the movie.
    The film, like Ron said, does move a bit...deliberately, but I'd never call it boring. I think it's a damn good movie, though probably not in the same league as The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable.
    Half of you will love it, and the other half will be either disappointed or simply dislike the flick outright. I give it a solid 4/5 also, though I suspect I enjoyed it a bit more than Mr. E. did.
    Perhaps Ron and I can do an Ebert & Roeper-ish discussion about the movie at Scooter's on Saturday. [​IMG]
     
  10. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    I have loved Shyamalan's first two movies, so having two reviews give this a 4/5 sounds pretty promising to me!
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    You know what, guys? I just don't know
    what to make of this film.
    It's hard to follow up Sixth Sense,
    and Unbreakable proved that.
    It's not really a "surprise ending" kind of movie.
    I dunno, as I think of it more, the film
    deserves a 3 out of 5, rather than a 4 out of 5.
    It's very average and it's sci-fi premise could
    almost be described as unbelievable and silly.
    Still, the film survives as being very entertaining
    since its been a long time since I have seen this
    kind of film done, and fortunately, the Director
    takes this film exactly where the audience hopes it
    be taken. Most other films would find a way to
    set the film up as one thing and pawn it off as
    something else.
     
  12. BooneG

    BooneG Stunt Coordinator

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    I LOVED this movie.

    I thought that the movie was very atmosphereic (sp?). Basically, the movie scared the crap outta me. The performances were all very good. The score was great.

    I thought that The Sixth Sense moved VERY slowly and it didn't scare me one bit. I thought that Unbreakable was an excellent movie, better than The Sixth Sense.

    Signs is one of the best movies of the year so far. It does what it sets out to do: Scare you but make you think at the same time. I loved this movie and would recommend it to anyone.
     
  13. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    And I also liked Unbreakable more than The Sixth Sense. I think I'll be seeing Signs. Color me intrigued.
     
  15. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    I too liked UNBREAKABLE better than THE SIXTH SENSE, and to me, SIGNS looks like Shymalan's best film yet. I have been waiting for it all year, and I'll be first in line to find out if it is his best yet!
     
  16. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

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    As far as I know, Disney isn't advertising it with phrases like "From the director of The Sixth Sense," just using Shayamalan's name, so I'd think any expectation of a SS-type twist ending is the fault of the moviegoer more than Disney. After all Shayamalan did Unbreakable, which really didn't have that kind of twist either.
    Speaking of Disney, which branch is distributing the movie? IMDB doesn't list it, Disney.com doesn't list it, nor does Miramax.com. (I know it's Disney because a friend of mine has a Disney poster listing all 2002 movies from their subdivisions.)
    Thanks for the mini-review, Ron (and Scott); I'm starting now to get a feel for Shayamalan's focus, and am liking him more and more with each film. I'm betting I'll love this one, and will be there opening night to see it.
     
  17. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    If I remember correctly, there was a Touchstone logo on this one...and a brand new one at that!
     
  18. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    I have a feeling that "The Sixth Sense" will always be MKS's best film. I'll check out Signs. I really don't care for Mel Gibson, but wanted to check it out on the merit of the writer/director.
     
  19. Bernhard

    Bernhard Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron, I looked up your review of Unbreakable and saw that you didn't really like it. How does Signs compare to Unbreakable... pacing and atmosphere-wise - Unbreakable is one of my favorite movies, I'm curious if M. Night Shyamalan continues to use his directing style.
     
  20. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Hehe, I will be the Nth person to say that I much prefer Unbreakable to the Sixth Sense.

    I am glad the twist ending thing is out of the way. These kind of expectations can be very distracting and detrimental to the enjoyement of the movie.

    --
    Holadem
     

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