I think Lady in the Water is targeted toward a very very specific group of people, and anyone who falls outside that group isn't going to just be 'meh' about it--they're going to hate it. I suspect that I happen to be about as far outside that ideal target audience as is possible, though it's worth noting that within my immediate circle of family and friends I'm the only one who despises the film--everyone else loves it. What did you enjoy about it? People I know loved it for its fairy-tale aspects--which I don't quite understand, given that I enjoy fairy tales as well, but found little in the film to love. It seemed *too* insistent with regards to the importance of stories and myths, but I found that, in spite of its insistence, it didn't do much to respect mythology and fairy tales (the supernatural aspects were all so forced, convoluted, and just *silly*), and instead wasted its time preemptively defending itself against criticism. I honestly just felt as if Shyamalan were trolling me, or more specifically, people who tend to approach most of their entertainment with skepticism.
As for The Village, I'm not sure that your argument works, at least not for me. Two of my favorite directors are Andrei Tarkovsky and Ingmar Bergman, both obviously concerned with the spiritual life and inner workings of their characters and the worlds their characters inhabit. I don't believe that I am a conventionally spiritual person, but I find several works from both men to be intensely moving, particularly because of their detached, ponderous excavation of what I suppose most would call the human soul. I see little evidence of this inner character development present in Shyamalan's work, unless one willfully conflates moodiness with characterization, in which case, yes, the characters of The Village are quite moody, indeed. Perhaps Shyamalan is *interested* in such material, but there is an immense gulf between the inclusion of compelling themes in a film and the compelling *exploration* of such themes. You may not care about poor plot-twists and other such superficial ornamentation, but even if I agreed with you that Shyamalan was doing an intriguing job of charting the invisible, I would still come to the conclusion that his love of red herrings and plot twists cheapen the overall effect.
Originally Posted by mutabor
Oh really? It's not the first time when I read that this movie was someone's worst experience. It's almost like a cliche to make such a statement. I remember reading comments that people divided into two big camps who enjoyed the movie and who hated it. Either you love it or hate it thing.
I quite enjoyed Lady in Water.
Personally for me The Village was not about twist ending which I didn't care or about pretty cinematography. It was about things you didn't mention. I think that he is good at presenting inner character development. Not the objective look from outside as it usually happening in the majority of movies ( with rare exceptions like The Master directed by Anderson) but Shyamalan is trying to convey what is invisible. Those who don't care about spirituality will find many faults in his direction missing his main strengths.
Gosh, I didn't like Man of Steel. Pathos of the movie started to kill my interest somewhere in the middle. After that I stopped being engaged and just coldly watched. There was a lot of going at the end but everything was just tiring and exhausting. I felt relieved when I left IMAX hall. Now I'm seriously considering to quit watching movies based on comics. On the other hand there were some which I quite liked, for example, the last Spider-man but it's an exception.