M. Night Shyamalan
If it's Spielberesque smoke-and-mirrors or whether he truly does have some subtle depth, I'm a fan of M. Night Shyamalan's cinema. I've admittedly watched and re-watched each and every one of his films. This guy has a spark of creativity that is otherwise totally devoid in the Hollywood system. He is one of my few bridges to the the theatre of today. If he was working in the first half of the last century he would be creating the likes of The Wizard of Oz and similar visions established by the joy-filled expressions of Capra or stylistic atmospheres of a von Sternberg. He can seemingly craft pure magic in his scenarios. This boy is one of the futures of modern film.
I've always been befuddled by the tides that shift public opinion - the ones that herd the collective mentality around with such invisible purpose. Regardless of the mass critical disdain and limited perspicacity regarding anything Shyamalan has created since his breakthrough film, The Sixth Sense - Lady in the Water is another truly marvelous piece of work. Yes, it is heavy fantasy... but with so many veins and threads of interpretation that it encompasses you, forces you to think, yet still uses the purest power of the medium to enrich and spread the old-fashioned celluloid warmth that is so absent in today's bitterly cold and sour entertainment. I don't know... I loved it and can't wait to watch it again. Such is my puny world.
Refusing the lure of Hollywood, Shyamalan is a family man whose craft is deeply informed by his rejection of the big studio draw. All of his films are set in his hometown of Philadelphia and indeed, the filmmaker refuses to shoot more than a twenty-minute drive from his family. If anything, Lady in the Water can be read as the manifestation of Shyamalan’s fears of losing his family to his career. For those who like to sit in the theater and be mindlessly entertained, or those who feel like they are above that and try to guess what will happen next, you will be sorely disappointed in this film. This is a contemplative film, one that asks you to look deeper and consider the implications of what is on-screen. It was screening at Shopping Malls nationwide, but this is an art-house work through and through.
Theatrical Release: July 20th, 2006
DVD Review: Warner - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.53 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), DUBs: French (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, French, None|
of Lady in the Water (34:45) - 6 part documentary
The image is good - probably a speckle below 'great' but on both a plasma and a tube it looked as fresh as modern film transfers do. Strong detail, colors, contrast. Coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard this is progressive and 1.78 anamorphic.
In previous Shyamalan films-to-DVD we have been treated to one of his boyhood short subject efforts. Unfortunately, I, surprisingly, couldn't find anything of that regard on this one. I also suspect this film could support a full director commentary and wonder if it was ever in the cards. What we are give is a 6 part documentary half-hour featurette - Reflections of Lady in the Water - another, Lady in the Water: A Bedtime Story, some audition takes, a gag reel and some deleted scenes. Standard fare but I always enjoy hearing the man speak of his work. Good DVD, great film...