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*** Official "SIGNS" Discussion Thread


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#1 of 530 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 20 2002 - 09:28 PM

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).

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 530 OFFLINE   Stevan Lay

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Posted July 20 2002 - 11:41 PM

4 out of 5 ain't a bad score Posted Image

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 of 530 OFFLINE   Michael Caicedo

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Posted July 20 2002 - 11:57 PM

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 Posted Image
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#4 of 530 OFFLINE   Dan Brecher

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Posted July 21 2002 - 12:15 AM

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 of 530 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted July 21 2002 - 01:25 AM

Quote:
I just wonder whether Signs will produce the same word-of-mouth appeal as his other movies did, in particular The Sixth Sense.

Probably not, it will be a gooooooooood while before anything reaches that level. The truth is that the Sixth Sense commercial success is almost entirely due to its ending. I doubt people would recommend a movie which turn out to be much slower than expected from the trailer to their friends if it did have that jaw dropper at the end.

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#6 of 530 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted July 21 2002 - 01:52 AM

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.
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#7 of 530 OFFLINE   Stevan Lay

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Posted July 21 2002 - 02:15 AM

Quote:
The truth is that the Sixth Sense commercial success is almost entirely due to its ending.
That's a valid point but the staying power of The Sixth Sense in its theatric run could not have been all due to first-time viewers but repeated goers, I would think. The suprise ending element washes away after the second viewing. The deft direction, story and acting of the main leads (Willis, Osment, & Collette) was probably what drew in the crowds.

#8 of 530 OFFLINE   Tino

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Posted July 21 2002 - 02:17 AM

Ron

Are you sure your rating is a 4 out of 5? Reading your review, it sounds more like a 3 out of 5.Posted Image
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#9 of 530 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted July 21 2002 - 08:48 AM

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. Posted Image

#10 of 530 OFFLINE   Rob Tomlin

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Posted July 21 2002 - 11:16 AM

I have loved Shyamalan's first two movies, so having two reviews give this a 4/5 sounds pretty promising to me!
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#11 of 530 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 21 2002 - 11:46 AM

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.

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#12 of 530 OFFLINE   BooneG

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Posted July 21 2002 - 02:22 PM

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.
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#13 of 530 OFFLINE   Rob T

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Posted July 21 2002 - 02:34 PM

Quote:
I thought that Unbreakable was an excellent movie, better than The Sixth Sense.

I agree.

I'll be seeing Signs, too. Posted Image

#14 of 530 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted July 21 2002 - 02:49 PM

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

#15 of 530 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted July 21 2002 - 05:07 PM

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 of 530 OFFLINE   Dana Fillhart

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Posted July 21 2002 - 08:29 PM

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.

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#17 of 530 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted July 21 2002 - 08:33 PM

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

#18 of 530 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted July 22 2002 - 01:22 AM

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.
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#19 of 530 OFFLINE   Bernhard

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Posted July 22 2002 - 01:49 AM

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.
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#20 of 530 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted July 22 2002 - 02:06 AM

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.

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