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Thread: The Moose Hole - 'Signs' Shows the Best to Come

  1. #1
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    The Moose Hole - 'Signs' Shows the Best to Come

    M. Night Shyamalan's Signs

    Released August 2nd, 2002

    Starring: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones, Patricia Kalember, M. Night Shyamalan

    Screen Writers: M. Night Shyamalan

    Director: M. Night Shyamalan

    Premise: Everything that farmer Graham Hess (Gibson) assumed about the world is changed when he discovers a message an intricate pattern of circles and lines carved into his crops. As he investigates the unfolding mystery, what he finds will forever alter the lives of his brother (Phoenix) and children (Culkin, Breslin).


    After a string of failures at the box office for Disney like Bad Company, Reign of Fire, and The Country Bears, Disney is hoping this will be a sign of better things to come. M. Night Shyamalan has been described as the next Spielberg after the surprising success of The Sixth Sense in 1999 and the cult following of the 2000 film, Unbreakable. Now that he has conquered ghosts and superheroes, he now goes after aliens. Will Signs bring back the same success or better of The Sixth Sense, which debuted in the same weekend in 1999, or will it show the decline of the director's success?

    The story goes that a man by the name of Graham Hess, a former minister, has lost his faith after the death of his wife in a car accident. He soon finds that crop circles have appeared in his corn fields but dismisses them as pranks and nothing more. But soon the news from around the world shows the lights from alien space crafts and everything that we had feared about life from other worlds is coming true. An invasion by the life forms looks to happen and now Graham must find the faith within him which is the only way to save his family. The story, which was written by M. Night Shyamalan himself, is nothing but pure majesty. The plot mixes humor in well needed places and for the first time this year, I was scared more during a movie then I had ever been before. And I loved every moment of it. The story doesn't seem long or too short which is a great rarity among the modern feature-length films.

    Mel Gibson, who has starred in many great successful films like Braveheart, What Women Want and the Lethal Weapon series, is sure to have another huge hit with Signs. Gibson plays the role of Graham Hess down pat. He plays with so much emotion especially with the scene involving the last supper the family shares together before the alien invasion happens. The tears just stream from his eyes which made the scene just so perfect. The kids in the film were amazingly good. Some cute children will ruin a film but these kids played their roles perfectly making us laugh, cry and scared. Joaquin Phoenix has another great role after the success of Gladiator. You just cheer for him at the very end of the film, which I will not give away in this review. M. Night Shyamalan, who made a cameo appearance in The Sixth Sense, plays a much larger role in Signs and shows that his genius goes beyond directing and writing.

    Overall, Signs spells another huge success for director M. Night Shyamalan and actor Mel Gibson. This is the best movie I have seen in 2002 and one of the best films ever made. The scariness and the emotions go way beyond that of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. The music was perfectly scored by James Newton Howard who also scored The Sixth Sense, Dinosaur, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The opening credit music set us up for the greatness to come and made the credits very interesting to listen to. There are so many things to love about this film that any problems seem ridiculous. Though the ending to the film, which I will not give away, was a bit cheesy but that is what Shyamalan intended. The Sixth Sense delivered a surprise ending but Signs gives you what you should have expected but dismissed it for some surprise ending. The movie is meant to make you think as a movie goer and it does that with excellent flare and style. Signs is sure to remain the top film of the year despite heavy competition from Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers later this year. Make sure you make it your duty to see this film. It would be a crime to miss it. You never know when life from other worlds may visit. You would like to be prepares, right? ;)

    My Rating: ***** out of 5 (A Perfect Score)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  2. #2
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    Unfortunately, I am one of the few apparently that found "Signs" not very scary nor very memorable. Instead, I thought Nicole Kidman in "The Others" had a much more scary and haunting movie. The plot weaknesses in "Signs" dragged the movie down. I found it pretty difficult to believe that the Sheriff for whatever reason seemed to disappear in the last half of the movie, that the aliens weren't really believeable. The role of the brother seemed an unnecessary addition except to add humor to a movie that would have been better without it.

    There were a three moments which had bump in the night shivers and the beginning field scenes were effective. But the rest of the movie didn't really rise up above any of the other sci fi/horror movies that I've seen before.

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    At least you are not one of the people who hated the film just for the last ten minutes.

    I found 'The Others' to be quite a rip off of 'The Sixth Sense'. I didn't care much since it was released by Miramax which is owned by The Walt Disney Company which also distributed 'The Sixth Sense' but it felt like the same darn thing only slightly different.

    The role of the Sheriff was not needed for later on in the film. It was mainly needed to bring some relief to the characters if only temporary. The Sheriff was seen later on but so as not to give it away, I will not mention it.

    The role of Joaquin Phoenix as Graham Hess' brother was well needed. There was much more humor in this film then that of 'The Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable'. The humor was well deserved to offset some of the scarier moments of the film. This dash of humor was spliced into the film so the audience didn't feel like they were thrown into another typical horror film.

    The mystery of the film was in that you didn't see the aliens. If the aliens had been shown earlier in the film, it would have ruined the effect of the ending, which I will not reveal.

    Everybody is entitled to their own opinion but take what I have said into consideration.
    The Moose Hole Movie Reviews:
    Hidalgo --- March 5th
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind --- March 19th
    Jersey Girl --- March 26th


    Click Here to Read The Moose's Review of Miracle!

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    I found it pretty difficult to believe that the Sheriff for whatever reason seemed to disappear in the last half of the movie, that the aliens weren't really believeable. The role of the brother seemed an unnecessary addition except to add humor to a movie that would have been better without it.
    Quite strange about the sherrif. I would also say that there were some strange edits in the movie. When the brother goes into the army recruitment office and sees his apparent "archenemy", you would expect him to reappear in the movie somewhere, but he doesnt....Shyamalans role as the guy who killed Gibsons wife was very weird too. All of these things make me think he was going for a 50's-eque thriller but got caught up in a 90's mess. Nevertheless, an entertaining picture.

  5. #5
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    Shyamalan is the Hitchcock of modern thrillers today. By that, I mean that not only does he direct his films but he makes it a priority to appear in his own films. In 'The Sixth Sense' he plays the role of the doctor who talks to Cole's mother after he is trapped in the pantry closet.

    A lot the factors like the Sherieff and the archenemy of Joaquin Phoenix's character were just small elements and weren't important to the true factor of the story of faith.
    The Moose Hole Movie Reviews:
    Hidalgo --- March 5th
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind --- March 19th
    Jersey Girl --- March 26th


    Click Here to Read The Moose's Review of Miracle!

  6. #6
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    Since I didn't find "Signs" a really scary movie, I didn't find the humor as entertaining. It seemed to distract me from the real experience of horror that was occurring. It was more humor for humor sake than real humor in an intense situation.

    The aliens didn't seem real or scary when I saw bits and pieces of them. And the end struggle really didn't seem deserved because I didn't seem like an alien was all that is was cracked up to be - more like us and very vulnerable - so much for high technology which then supposed to have had with all the lights in the sky.

    As for "The Others" being a rip off of "The Sixth Sense" I have to agree with that statement. But rip off if don't well, isn't something I mind and Nicole Kidman did a real good job in presenting the fear and emotions in an isolating situation.

    The brother in the movie made the movie less scary. Being a father of two and alone, now that would be scary for me and allow me to concentrate on Mel Gibson and his relationship with his children and how he dealt with the aliens himself, only. Him vs. them and nobody else.

    One of the best scenes in "Signs" is with Shyamalan, he did a great job of acting without upstaging the rest of the cast.

  7. #7
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    The aliens didn't seem real or scary when I saw bits and pieces of them. And the end struggle really didn't seem deserved because I didn't seem like an alien was all that is was cracked up to be - more like us and very vulnerable - so much for high technology which then supposed to have had with all the lights in the sky.
    If they added more of the aliens, it would have been less scary. What Shyamalan was trying to do was present the scariness and horror of invaders from outside our world without giving too much away. Leaving much to the imagination gives the aliens a much more sense of horror to them. It didn't seem to work on everybody but it did work on those who appreciated the film.


    As for "The Others" being a rip off of "The Sixth Sense" I have to agree with that statement. But rip off if don't well, isn't something I mind and Nicole Kidman did a real good job in presenting the fear and emotions in an isolating situation.
    I don't quite understand what you are stating here. You seem to agree with me but there is that one line that confuses me. If you could clear that up, that would be great.
    The Moose Hole Movie Reviews:
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    Jersey Girl --- March 26th


    Click Here to Read The Moose's Review of Miracle!

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    A refreshing discovery - MickyMoose15 is a person who really cares about "Signs" and is good communicator and open-minded.

    Even though "The Others" was a rip off, I'd prefer the idea borrowed and adapted, of "The Sixth Sense," Nicole Kidman brought to the screen a more darker, sinister, creepy version of "The Sixth Sense" which is some way wasn't has horrific, shot more in bright, lighted, normal scenes than "The Others" which was blacker and more isolated, haunting in the traditional sense. I believe the "The Sixth Sense" holds the market over a remarkable twisted ending, while "The Others" the ending wasn't quite as dramatic.

    In "Signs" the little I did see of the aliens really annoyed me because of the many versions of monsters, these monsters were pretty 1950s fake looking and detracted from the movie. Actually more stunning would be something mind-blowing images like from "The Cell" with Jennifer Lopez that I recently looked at again. The aliens in "Signs" didn't seem to have the impact that I would have expected from such a devastating assault on earth. There was something definitely missing with the aliens. In some respects I think Mel Gibson's character was at fault at getting the alien in the last scene upset. If I had a wipe stabbed at, I'd be made too. I mean I didn't really see a lot of the take over except over the television (which mysteriously kept working much too long - I mean everybody by now knows about electronmagnetic pulses to wipe out all electrical connections, I would think the aliens would.) Were the aliens really that evil? Or was it just our imagination?

    The the connection between Mel Gibson's wife and the ending was a bit of a stretch.

  9. #9
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    Even though "The Others" was a rip off, I'd prefer the idea borrowed and adapted, of "The Sixth Sense," Nicole Kidman brought to the screen a more darker, sinister, creepy version of "The Sixth Sense" which is some way wasn't has horrific, shot more in bright, lighted, normal scenes than "The Others" which was blacker and more isolated, haunting in the traditional sense. I believe the "The Sixth Sense" holds the market over a remarkable twisted ending, while "The Others" the ending wasn't quite as dramatic.
    That makes total sense. I just had a problem with 'The Others' but then again I have never really been a fan of Nicole Kidman.

    In "Signs" the little I did see of the aliens really annoyed me because of the many versions of monsters, these monsters were pretty 1950s fake looking and detracted from the movie. Actually more stunning would be something mind-blowing images like from "The Cell" with Jennifer Lopez that I recently looked at again. The aliens in "Signs" didn't seem to have the impact that I would have expected from such a devastating assault on earth.
    I sort of felt the same way but I thought that this really wasn't meant to present anything new on aliens and even the make factor wasn't even the aliens. If they were going to present something different with the aliens, they would have been shown much more in the film then they were. Much of the 'devastation of earth' was meant to be left to the imagination.

    I mean I didn't really see a lot of the take over except over the television (which mysteriously kept working much too long - I mean everybody by now knows about electronmagnetic pulses to wipe out all electrical connections, I would think the aliens would.) Were the aliens really that evil? Or was it just our imagination?
    Considering that they invaded the planet and killed million of people by poisoning them in their own homes so that they could 'harvest' them, then yes they were that evil.
    The Moose Hole Movie Reviews:
    Hidalgo --- March 5th
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind --- March 19th
    Jersey Girl --- March 26th


    Click Here to Read The Moose's Review of Miracle!

  10. #10
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    Anybody else have thoughts on this review? I really enjoy listening to the comments you guys make.
    The Moose Hole Movie Reviews:
    Hidalgo --- March 5th
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind --- March 19th
    Jersey Girl --- March 26th


    Click Here to Read The Moose's Review of Miracle!

  11. #11

    ?

    The original reveiwer wrote,

    "This is the best movie I have seen in 2002 and one of the best films ever made. "

    I wrote,

    "Puh-lease."

  12. #12
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    If you didn't like it then you may gringe when you hear that a sequel is a very good possibility.
    The Moose Hole Movie Reviews:
    Hidalgo --- March 5th
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind --- March 19th
    Jersey Girl --- March 26th


    Click Here to Read The Moose's Review of Miracle!

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    Im sure there is a three-quel in the works... ;>

  14. #14
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    Actually that is planned for Unbreakable.
    The Moose Hole Movie Reviews:
    Hidalgo --- March 5th
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind --- March 19th
    Jersey Girl --- March 26th


    Click Here to Read The Moose's Review of Miracle!

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