Night Shyamalan’s “Lady in the Water” opens on Friday.
I’m delighted that the reviews are uniformly horrible. This man is a strutting egotist whose mouth is infinitely deeper and wider than his talent.
Rex Reed offered the most scathing summation of the Night phenomenon in the New York Observer:
“As vacation time nears, it is safe to say that no matter how rotten things get on the big screen during the rest of the summer, the worst of it is over. Hollywood cannot pollute the ozone with anything more idiotic, contrived, amateurish or sub-mental than Lady in the Water. This piece of pretentious, paralyzing twaddle is the latest in a series of head-scratchers by the incompetent, self-delusional M. Night Shyamalan. He�s the writer, producer and director, and terrible at all three, but if that isn�t bad enough, this time he has even gone one further and cast himself in one of the roles. I am here to tell you he is about as camera-ready as the corpse that Tommy Lee Jones dragged across the cactus in Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. In a war of wits, brains, imagination and talent, Mr. Shyamalan would be defenseless.”
“Lady in the Water is described by Mr. Shyamalan as a �bedtime story� he told to his kids. Do not even think of repeating it to yours unless you plan to turn them into runaways, orphans or worse.”
“A whole book has just been published about Mr. Shyamalan�s reckless budget, myopic vision and refusal to throw in the towel, after at least six Walt Disney executives flew to Philadelphia to meet with him before admitting they didn�t understand the script. Only the accountants will ever know if they were prophets or fools, but in my opinion, when Disney turns you down on the basis of incoherence, you know it�s time for a reality check.”
As as Night keeps making films to satisfy himself, rather than to entertain an audience (he seems to be combining the languid pace of Kubrick’s dialogue with the thematic self-importance of Oliver Stone with the flat-footed storytelling of a John Landis; what a great combination), he will no longer be able to boast, as he did in 2005, that “every” summer movie that “is a hit this summer” “was once offered to me.”