Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.
A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.
Cleveland Heep, a stuttering apartment superintendent, encounters a girl named Story swimming in the complex's pool. He soon learns that she comes from the Blue World, and has a message for mankind. Will he be able to help her complete her mission? Written by
M. Night Shyamalan, delighted after he discovered unknown Cindy Cheung, was shocked to hear that her agent demanded 1 million dollars for her role in the film. Night was prepared to pay the SAG minimum, $65,000. They settled at $100,000. See more »
At the pool party the overhead view shows the flood lights facing the lawn. When Anna is taking her place, she takes off her sweater because the flood lights are facing the pool. Later they are facing the lawn again. See more »
Once, man and those in the water were linked. They inspired us. They spoke of the future. Man listened and it became real. But man does not listen very well. Man's need to own everything led him deeper into land. The magic world of the ones that live in the ocean, and the world of men, separated. Through the centuries their world, and all the inhabitants of it stopped trying. The world of man become more violent. War upon war played out, as there were no guides to listen...
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Childlike illustrations appear over and under some of the end credits. See more »
a truly disastrous, ultra pretentious work of film-making that fails completely
I was totally boggled when Lady in the Water ended. Actually, that's a white lie, I was boggled from the very beginning. I read the signs though (no pun intended on M. Night Shyamalan's other film) from reading some reviews, and the general response from online. But I could not have expected such a rancid pile of egotistical malarkey to ever make it past any lowly production company, let alone a major studio, and that it's meant to be taken seriously, absolutely so. It almost reminded me of another film from 2006- Apocalypto- where a director hot on the heels of recent success went for broke on something burning in the filmmaker to be told. Both films, truth be told, aren't good at all, but Lady in the Water- still no pun intended (maybe some)- sinks even further. I can almost picture Shyamalan sitting in front of his computer writing out the script to this film thinking "I am so clever. I mean, I have narfs, I have scrunts, I have a giant eagle, and porcupine monkeys that hide in the trees, what more could an audience ask for? This is so awesome." Rarely in the history of modern movies has a director's hubris gone to such lengths and taken an audience down with them.
And the shameful thing too is that the little merit that came with Shyamalan's previous film, seriously flawed The Village, was in his abilities as someone who could direct well enough up to a point. Here though, script and direction sink to lows, to the point where as an amateur filmmaker myself I felt like I had achieved a lot in comparison with this. Shyamalan cooks up some incoherent mythological 'fairy tale' (originally meant for his kids, usually not a good idea) involving Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti), a maintenance man at an apartment complex, one night finds a very strange, petrified girl in the pool, and soon he finds out a) her name is 'Story', and she's b) called a 'narf' based on an old tale told to him by a Chinese lady, not to mention c) she needs to leave this place before these weird moss-covered dog creatures called 'scrunts' come after her, so d) practically all of the attendees at the apartment complex will somehow play a role in her getting safely away on the talons of an eagle.
So you can imagine what could be attained from this material, which is nothing. Zero. There's not even the chance of potential as there was in Gibson's train-wreck picture. From the opening animated introduction to this magical world, things do not look good. It also doesn't help that this time, as a director, Shyamalan doesn't even halfway competently film this stuff. It looks as if the actors, who already seem incredibly stilted and with looks sometimes on their faces like 'why the hell am I in this clap trap' (Giamatti most of all), get very awkwardly, art-farty framed in compositions that do nothing to illustrate any kind of connection with the subject matter. It's self-conscious past the point of inertia, and even if one doesn't really usually pay attention to how a film is directed it won't take long to see something is f***ed up here scene after incredulous scene. And the actors, of course, end up being at the mercy of the director's own pretensions. Giamatti has to deal with cruxes like a stutter, a family of his that died, and a director who forces him and co-star Bryce Dallas Howard into whispering dialog scenes- even when he's all the way across the room from her! Other usually dependable character players like Jeffrey Wright and particularly Bob Balaban also become cannon fodder for Shyamalan's own twisted dealings, with Balaban playing a movie critic who finds there are no original stories left in movies...and then has to shamelessly comment on his own demise when it's met with a scrunt.
And there's Shyamalan here, too, for the first time giving himself more than just the hapless cameo role that he's done in past films. To add on to the heap of completely illogical and just plain laughably bad camera set-ups (leaving the camera on nothing, or do a half face of a person, or do very odd cut-aways without transitions), he plays a writer who's book may save the world. Then again, he's only one piece to the Goodyear Blimp wreck that is Lady in the Water. While I've never found him to be the genius wonder-kind that he became after The Sixth Sense, his first few major successes were pretty impressive, with the occasional script flaws and annoying twists compensated by the strong performances and good sense of direction. But maybe only someone with such clout, and sparks of talent, could go so far off the deep-end as he has here. Not to be immodest about it, it becomes a litmus test to see what a filmmaker with carte-blanch can do to annoy the audience. One thing's for sure, except for unintentional purposes watching the movie with friends who feel the same way, there's no entertainment here. It's simply one of the worst films I've ever seen.
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