I’m feeling like the other reviewers although I probably liked Lady in the Water a bit more.
Problem is indeed how everyone react so irrational. I mean, it’s a kind of “fairy tale” but I need to feel what the characters feel to care for them.
It worked at some level for the Giamatti’s character, but everyone else looked like part of a puzzle story just waiting for the right moment to play their part and this is the only problem I had, but it’s a big one.
Other than that the editing work is perfect in both movies. Pictures quality is VERY good, menu are great.
The Happening is SO much better now it’s incredible. I mean, it’s the same story, same characters, but I could feel the tension that was not present for me in the original. GREAT job at making good something bad.
I can understand why other reviewers gave it a 7/10, but I was so pleasantly surprised by this DVD that I can’t rate it less than 8/10.
I lost all my expectations for Shamalamadingdong the moment the credits rolled after Unbreakable. To follow up something as enjoyable as Sixth Sense with something as plodding and boring as that did not bode well for his career, and M’s career has been consistently erratic ever since.
By the time The Happening and Lady came out I had just plain given up all together and I simply didn’t even bother to watch these. But intrigued by Q2′s creative idea I trudged out and picked up copies of these maligned flicks, and proceeded to see what Q2 had achieved.
Overall, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by both movies of this double-feature. For this review I watched the Single Layer DVD5 and the video quality was good on both TV’s that I watched this on (32″ LCD and 52″ Plasma) Audio was good for both, although my rears are currently not working so cannot fully evaluate the 5.1.
Even after Q2′s editing, it remains that not very much happens in the Happening. It is a listless, meandering narrative. A neat idea, but not a visually interesting one. It is such a painful emulation of Hitchcock’s The Birds that I almost feel bad for Shamalamadingdong. However by slicing out the pointless sub-plot and cleaning up the more gratuitous gore, I found that overall I found the movie more interesting and more enjoyable than the original. (I watched his edit before watching the original, and upon watching the original was even more impressed). Q2 has polished this movie about as much as it can in my opinion. The movie is not great, but the editing was good. The commentary track was also very entertaining and interesting, particularly the apology
Lady in the Water
Contrary to those who reviewed this before me, I found I quite enjoyed Q2′s take on Lady. The black and white worked even more for me on this as it helped place them in a sort of undetermined twilight that helped make them feel more isolated and in a fairy tale. I wasn’t bothered by how the participants in the plan quickly bought into the story. For me, it was simply a matter of them all sensing that something bigger than themselves was going on. It was obvious that Q2 had cut out a ton of really boring exposition and useless dialog which Shama seems to bloat his screenplays with, and this kept the movie focused and moving forward. My only major critique was the manner in which he handled Giamatti going into the pool to recover her ‘key’. Not seeing him even enter or exit the water really threw me for a loop at first and it took me out of the movie while I had to figure out what had happened. While I did figure out what happened, the lack of visual assistance severely interrupted the flow of the movie and it took me a few minutes to find myself back into the movie.
If I had to watch either of these movies again, these are the only versions I would consider watching. Technically well executed, these are both improvements on the original.
Being that I am in the minority of actually liking Shyamalanâ€™s films, I felt it appropriate that I should give a review. I have not watched Lady in the Water or the Happening since their dvd/theatrical releases. Therefore in watching these edits now, it would give a fair unbiased opinion to see how it flows since most of the original scenes have left my mind (to some varying degree)
Honestly I really do not know why people dislike Shyamalanâ€™s films so much? They are not that terrible and certainly miles above most of the crap shoved down our movie watching throats nowadays.
I loved Lady in the Water and I really enjoyed the Happening. I looked forward to seeing this editorâ€™s work:
The disc opens up with a nice menu and watery or windy transitions for each edit. The menus are well done. I did not yet watch his commentary subtitled versions and I am sure it will pinpoint many of the smaller things I might have missed that he did work on for each edit.
The video quality is decent enough. All video and audio had no hard cuts or errors to speak of. I am using a regular analog 27â€ tv for viewing as well as sound. Each film edit on here is presented in Black and White, something I am a fan of.
I really wanted to see this new take on the Happening, so this is what I watched first.
Wow! This was one heck of an improvement over the original. The editing was pretty flawless and the filmâ€™s pacing was not hampered down. In fact I do not miss anything that was removed and likewise, if you never saw the film, you might be hard pressed to find what was taken away. The only problem I do have is the use of black and white. I tend to prefer films in black and white as it brings across a greater atmospheric feeling on the screen, however for the complete first half I felt it worked against it. It just did not feel right and should have been left in color. The second half of this worked well and the black and white use (especially during the sequence at Mrs. Joneâ€™s cabin) was very effective. I would have to double check my original, but I thought one scene towards the end was slightly re-arranged. The pacing really stands out on this and keeps the whole film going without any downtime. I think many that were disappointed with the original would find this as a breath of fresh air.
Lady in the Water:
I am glad I watched this one second. This feels very disjointed and does not make that much sense. It opens with strangers talking and saying things that normally one would not say in a conversation with someone you just found in your pool. It gives a very strange and surreal feeling. So far it reminds me of something I would see in a foreign art film. As this edit goes on, the damage to the filmâ€™s story and integrity increases. This is one film where it is critical for more characterization and back story. Instead due to the removal of many such scenes, you are given a general plot idea, but it moves way too fast and removes too much to be anything of interest or sense. It really killed the film and only 30 mins in I am having a hard time viewing it.
Ok look, I was only able to make it to 52 mins before I started skimming with the fast forward button. I just could not watch it any longer past this point. Even if the ending does work well, there is already too much damage committed that seeing the rest is not worth the bother. I am really sorry to sound like this, but this edit just fails horribly. Keep in mind I did see the film on dvd before and this edit only slightly makes sense with the knowledge of what is already going to happen. God knows how one would interpret this particular edit if they never saw the film beforehand?
The use of black and white on this feature does hamper it and removes most of the fantasy element by making it feel kind of dreary and dull in addition to my previous thoughts about what the editor removed. I just cannot recommend this half of the edit at all. In theory it was an interesting idea, but on the screen it just failed to translate over
Overall this edition is worth viewing alone for the great improvement with The Happening, but what a horrible mess for Lady in the Water