I announce, with trembling anticipation, the debut of what may be our next Great Bad Movie. In preparation, I hereby impose a Suck Watch: In just five days, M. Night Shyamalan’s embattled Lady in the Water will begin to suck!
Be forewarned: I have no specific intelligence; nay, I have no intelligence whatsoever, as many of you have observed. I haven’t seen the Lady in question. My colleague Gary Susman cheated and caught a screening. He declares it "not terrible." In the spirit of the age, I’m going to ignore this report, as it does not correlate with my preordained conclusions. I have only my nose to guide me. And my nose detects the sweet reek of hubris rising off the proud city of Shyamalot.
What we know: It’s a passion project. It employs a nomenclature ("narf," "scrunt") that appears to derive either from babytalk or frat initiation. It places its maker, acclaimed screen presence and noted credit card user M. Night Shyamalan, in a pivotal role. And, according to star Paul Giamatti, "the plot unfolds, because all anybody does in the movie is sit around and tell each other the plot. It’s a really weird thing to try to do." And there’s the fact that, thanks to Michael Bamberger’s hagiography, the very talented M. Night lately seems to be trying for a slightly Christlier impression of David Blaine.
These factors, taken together, practically necessitate a Suck Watch, where we here at PopWatch anticipate the debut of that most rare and wonderful of pop phenomena, the Act of Solemn Hilarity. That’s probably the best-case scenario: At the other end of the continuum crouches Ritual of Ponderous Self-Indulgence. Neither outcome is good news for Night’s interest in taking over the Harry Potter franchise — the mere fact of which adds a new speculative dimension to his sudden, angry jump from Disney to Warner Bros., a.k.a. the House that Harry Built and Puts a New Roof On Every Couple Years.
But that’s just business talk: We’re discussing something far more important here, the minting of fresh new badness. Will Lady in the Water be good-bad? Or bad-good? Or good but misunderstood? (Misundergood?) (Hey, if he can coin stupid new words, so can I.)
Narf up some responses below.