Monday, June 16, 2008

The Green Effect*

So the weekend box office figures are in, and although M. Night Shyamalan is being credited with "rebounding" somewhat from the unequivocal failure that was Lady in the Water, I seriously doubt he's dancing around his house flipping the bird out in every direction this morning.

The Happening made an adequate 30 million since its release on Friday, but what's worth noting is what, and who, beat it. Rather than sit through Shyamalan's supposedly big-themed "vision" -- something he pushed as high-brow right up until hedging his bet at the very last minute and declaring that he purposely set out to make a B-movie -- millions flocked to see not one but two on-screen characters that don't even exist.

Both The Incredible Hulk and the irritatingly Jack Black-voiced Kung Fu Panda are wholly CGI creations, and both cleaned Shyamalan's clock -- forcing him to settle for third place on a weekend that saw no new studio releases other than his and the Hulkster.

What's more, the bank taken in by The Happening over the weekend will likely be the only first-run money the movie ever sees; there's just no way it's not dropping back 60% this week, as almost anyone who actually wants to see this dreck already did within the past 72 hours.

I'd like to think that all of this will be enough to give the director a much-needed dose of humility and make him think twice about haughtily turning up his nose at -- and raising his voice to -- those who don't defer to his special brand of self-inflated brilliance, but somehow I doubt it.

After this weekend though, let me be the first to spoil the ending of this little saga by revealing the big upcoming twist for you: Shyamalan's reputation as a visionary genius is dead, and the supposedly impressive filmmaking skills he wields have been that way all along.

(Update: And then there's this -- according to IMDB, Mark Wahlberg claims that Shyamalan turned him into a nervous wreck during the making of The Happening by helping him to "get in touch with his inner paranoid." Wahlberg says the nightmares have carried over into his personal life since well after the film wrapped. While I could make oodles of good jokes about Shyamalan giving just about everyone he comes into contact with nightmares one way or another, best I just let the director, as usual, come to his own defense via that special brand of M. Night humility we've all come to know and love. "It's a bad rap. I'm a good guy!" the director says. You know something, Night? At least I admit that I'm kind of a jerk. You on the other hand are made all the more dickheadier by the fact that you actually think you're a prince. Seriously man, go fuck yourself.)

(*For the record, The Green Effect was the working title of The Happening. Ironic, considering that he got crushed by The Hulk.)


Mr. Controversy said...

YES! I KNEW his career was dead all the long. Hulk was pretty decent, I remember saying to my best friend after the movie "Well, good news for anyone who bitched about The Hulk movie, at least you didn't see The Happening."

Still getting dragged to see this, any particularly funny parts I should be looking for?

VOTAR said...

Kung Fu Panda was actually better than I expected it to be.

Rick(y) said...

You'll definitely appreciate this spoof from robot chicken:

Heather said...

I had actually considered seeing this until a friend who went to see it on Friday told me that it was complete and utter shit. So, I went to see Iron Man instead. Far better choice! Another friend who checked out The Hulk (and is a comic nerd) actually dug it, so that might be next on the list of things to see.

Stephen said...

Now who will provide fodder for Scary Movie 22?

Babypants said...

I wound up going to see it this weekend because my roommate really wanted to and I'm a sucker for an armageddon movie. I figured there'd at least be *some* entertainment value to it. Shame on me.

Absolutely awful from start to finish. Never has the potential destruction of humanity been less compelling. If it weren't for the lack of sharp objects in my purse I would've followed the example of the characters in the "film" and driven something sharp into my jugular.

Anonymous said...

It's basically maximum Overdrive, but with plants. Plants too stupid to realize that they could have simply stopped producing oxygen and made us all their slaves.
Manoj's attempt to force his cock into whatever mouth is currently sucking off Al Gore is hopefully going to be the first of many in a long line of slow painful failures.
If there's any justice in the world, which there isn't, he'll be teaching film production at some community college in ten years.

Fuck that guy.

Alex said...

Actually, I was very impressed with Kung Fu Panda. There were several points in the movie where the obligatory fart-joke was going to happen and then it didn't. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the movie ended up being.

Ref said...

He's an ass, and his movies have always been pretentious, overrated crap.

Anonymous said...

I'm seeing Kung Fu Panda this Thursday at the drive-in. I can't believe they have drive-ins I thought they all burned down to the ground...

why am I here, oh that's right, here is a review, well kind of review, of The Happening.

You guys may want to read this because it really does highlight the level of Night's brilliance.

Anonymous said...

new BF and i went to see it, first time we've been to the movies.

we agreed that the previews were better and scarier.

this COULD have been a good movie but it missed on SO many levels.
we walk out into a storm and yawn.

we shoulda stayed in the hotel and fucked.
Now, 2 people our age going at it, hot and heavy? SCARY!!!!

Tabes said...

Towards the end of The Happening, I honestly thought the big twist would be Night coming out on screen and announcing that the entire movie was a joke. He managed to pull the worst possible performance out of Wahlberg.

foolery said...

Hi Chez,

Haven't checked in in a while, and have seriously been living under a rock, so I wasn't aware of this guy's latest movie. Nor could I care, EXCEPT that I knew I would find a good read here at the House of Malcontent . . . and I did. You don't disappoint. Gracias.

-- Laurie

Robo said...

From What Would Tyler Durden Do:

"Did you know that M. Nights real name is Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan. When you say it out loud it doesn’t even sound like an actual name. It sounds like a spell. I heard that if you say it out loud three times you can turn someone into a bunny."

Hahahaha...thought you'd all enjoy that. Although I would have gone with " can turn a shitty plotline into a 7 figure bank account"

Anonymous said...

He is a great director, but a terrible screenwriter.

What I don't eally get is why all this hate against him. Is he forcing anyne to watch his movies? Or read his interviews? Grow up folx and stop acting childlish.

Chez said...

You grow up.