There is only one press screening I can recall that caused a member of the professional media to actually stand up and begin beating his head against the back wall of the theater. Injured Joking though he may have been, it was very much a shared sentiment among those of us being subjected to M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water three summers ago, and it's the one image that I will most associate with that film for a long time to come.

I could go on about how clumsy and indulgent the film is as a whole, but I already did that to the tune of 1,500+ words here, and while my rant then was justified, I inevitably find myself curious to give the film itself another look (not today; gots me some errands). At the moment, though, I know there's at least one scene that just plain doesn't work and won't work again, and I'm hoping to make that my focus of Scenes We Hate That Don't Necessarily Gross Us Out. See, Bob Balaban's arrogant film critic is the only one in this fairy tale who stubbornly dismiss the dilemma at hand in his apartment building -- that of some particularly nasty wolf-like creatures after one particularly obtuse nymph (Bryce Dallas Howard) -- and is consequently fated to die. What Shyamalan fails to understand is that film critics can take a joke at their expense, so long as it's a good one -- they really tend to be a self-deprecating lot -- but when he has Balaban's character smugly denounce the likelihood of getting attacked aloud, he only makes a stronger case for every real critic out there. (We would just run.)

If he simply ran and died, it'd be one thing, a cute touch on a familiar beat. But having him detach himself so much from the events as to narrate the attack before it takes place... well, I guess that's really no sillier than anything else anyone does in that movie.

And now, for your head-bashing delight...

categories Cinematical