Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lady in the what?

Well obviously I’m off my game, because I let eight whole days go by without commenting on one of the most perplexing trailers I’ve ever seen in my life, which I stumbled across while browsing the Apple trailers site .

You may recall several months ago, when I posted about M. Night Shyamalan’s new film, Lady in the Water, which according to Variety “concerns a building super who finds a sea nymph in his apartment building's pool.”

Cut to eight months later, the teaser is out! I’m somewhat speechless after watching it, in particular because of the emphatically large titles which say:

A BEDTIME STORY WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN

I mean it’s ridiculous, and a little pretentious to boot.

The teaser is cut to this melodramatic sappy, soppy, string filled music, and the images are mostly of Giamatti’s character, Cleveland Heap, walking around and doing his job in a sad and somber fashion. I can’t help but scratch my head wondering if I am supposed to be scared, touched, or laughing out loud.

Paul Giamatti is a terrific actor and I really enjoy the work that he’s done, but this doesn’t seem like a typical choice for him. Sure it’s by a reputable studio, and its directed by a successful and talented guy, but what interest could this plot possibly hold for….anyone?

Further research on the official website reveals the following information about the story:

In Lady in the Water, a story originally conceived by Shyamalan for his children, a modest building manager named Cleveland Heep rescues a mysterious young woman from danger and discovers she is actually a narf, a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the treacherous journey from our world back to hers. Cleveland and his fellow tenants start to realize that they are also characters in this bedtime story. As Cleveland falls deeper and deeper in love with this woman, he works together with the tenants to protect his fragile new friend from the deadly creatures that reside in this fable and are determined to prevent her from returning home.

I was sort of hoping it’d turn out to be a horrifying creature who posseses his body and makes him kill the innocent children that frolic in the pool. Or something like that. Overall it stinks of a love story, and I can hear the audiences guffawing already as Giamatti holds this sickly green but beautiful woman in his arms, weeping as she tells him she must sacrifice their love to save her people at the bottom of the pool.

The exterior shot of the camera in the pool where we see Giamatti in his cottage and we see something move in the water, but we don’t see just what it is, is admittedly disturbing. But other than that I really don’t know how this will play out. Why the bedtime story element? Will this be Splash all over again? M. Night, what’s happened? The idea of the characters becoming aware that they are but players in a story that is already written could be kind of interesting, but I think if not executed properly could become more of a source of confusion than anything else.

Still, no matter what M. Night does, I always respect his work. I haven’t disliked any of his films to date, though I’ve enjoyed some much more than others. All in all, I say this, it’s still a heck of a strange marketing campaign.

9 Comments:

Anonymous DoorFrame said...

Whoa, two posts, weird.

Well, I'm going to quote nacho, becuase he already made the best joke about this movie. We were discussing what Mr. Night's "twist" ending was going to be this time, and he said:

"After seeing the trailer I remember saying to a friend next to me, 'what's the surprise? she's actually a merMAN?'"

7:28 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

A hahaha. I like that.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i liked it better when you talked about how weird L.A. is.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

Why do your friends seem to hate you so much?

2:17 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Doorframe, this "anonymous" is not the "anonymous" we know and love. IT's someone else, potentially my friend, but unlike the other anonymous, I do not know their identity.

As for the comment, L.A. is wierd, but I think several hundred indie movies have that territory covered.

3:13 PM  
Blogger The Moviequill said...

THAT anonymous, no not THIS anonymous also haunts me...who sicked them on to whom I wonder?

5:35 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

wait really? I SO did not sic them on you if that's what you were thinking. From one blogger to another, I would never do that. Scout's honor.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you people serious? That was the most stupid and pathetic thing I have ever read on the internet. You really need to get over it and find something more productive to do with your time. If you hated the trailer that much why would you even take the time to think about it and write that shit. God forbid a writer/director actually comes up with something original and doesn't give away the WHOLE movie in the TEASER trailer. I am so sick of hearing this bullshit from people who don't even understand Shyamalan and what a TEASER trailer is meant to do.

9:35 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Obviously you have enough time on your hands to bother reading such "stupid, pathetic" items. Its my opinion and I'm entitled to it. I well aware of what a teaser is suppoesed to be ----its supposed to tease the audience and peak interest. This teaser did neither of those for me, and that's my opinion. Also, I don't condem Shyamalan, I merely think he's gotten himself stuck in a bit of a pickle where he consistently has to come up with the "Shyamalan" twist. That's a difficult thing do to. I find the teaser ridiculous --you obviously don't. The blogging community's purpose is to incite dialogue about exactly this sort of thing. Next time I suggest you do so with a little more substance to back up your opinion. I've used specifics to support my stance, besides your insulting tone, you've used none.

9:42 AM  

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