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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: July 29: Signs


July 29: Signs

"A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come."
Directed by: M. Night Schamsadmalmlamalmlman Rated: PG-13, 106 minutes

Signs is the best movie to use when explaining the career of M. Night Shouldertocryon. He's a terrific visual director, capturing suspense brilliantly, but cannot direct actors worth a damn. The dude is a horrible script-writer as well, only hindering his ability to direct people as it's hard to get good performances through disgusting scripts. Wooden characters and cheesy dialogue destroy an incredibly creepy film, and a cop-out ending just makes matters worse. I consider Signs the rather quick downfall of Schmayancalendarman, as it's nowhere near the quality of his first two major films, The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable

"I see a dead career."

Signs follows Mel Gibson's Rev. Graham Hess, the patriarch to a farming family, and his struggling to accept the fact there may be more than just us out there, while coping with the death of his wife. Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix), Graham's brother, also lives with him and his two kids, Morgan (Rory Culkin) and Bo (Abigail Breslin). It's worth noting that both of his kids are pretty f**ked up in their own ways, as Morgan is a conspiracy theorist and Bo can't finish a damn glass of water (which is just too convenient later on). After crop circles appear on the Hess farm, strange things begin happening and the media becomes obsessed with the idea that we may have "visitors". I don't think it's giving much away when I say that there is indeed, aliens, and they creepily invade around the world. The scariest parts of the movie are the "amateur" home videos that are shown on the news, featuring the aliens and their arrival. As I stated, Shimoleon can craft some incredibly suspenseful scenes and builds up to scares very well, but besides that, Signs absolutely sucks. 

'Nuff said. 

There's really not a lot more to say about Signs that I haven't already said. It's an easy film to critique because it simply doesn't have a lot going for it. The scares are solid, and the buildups are intense, but everything else, from the dialogue to the acting, ruins the film as a whole. Mel Gibson seems to phone in his performance, and with his headlining news and personal life issues, Signs has not aged as well as one would think. Gibson is far from the character he plays and thinking the man can be a "family man" whose faith is tested leaves a sour taste. The two child actors are great in their roles, but their characters are such mini caricatures that they come across more laughable than anything else. Skip Signs if you haven't already seen it. If you have, I'm sorry. 

The Good:
suspenseful scenes that genuinely scare
The Bad:
those same scenes ruined the moment after with some shitty dialogue and/or piss poor acting
The Ugly:
M. Night Shockakahn thinking he has the ability to tell a story, when in fact that's his biggest weakness

Overall: 3.6/10


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