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Subject: "Don't let them in"

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Date Posted: Wed, Sep 08 2004, 4:18:28 am PDT

A familiar crackle can be heard as the air blisters and tears revealing a glowing white opulence. This displays all the trademarks of a portal opening and indeed from the aperture steps forth one of the Magic Box's more eccentric inhabitants. With a swish of his leather trench coat he strides purposefully towards the darkness 'neath the stairs.

Fortune Teller: A big CONGRATULATIONS to both you and moose (and Gothic on becoming an Aunt). Of course now that you're pregnant you'll have to give up the things that helped get you that way..boozing, smoking and clubbing. Although, I fail to see how hitting people with clubs helped get you pregnant. Don't forget that what every baby needs is a teddy bear.

Dogtrot: It does sound quite idyllic to be able to follow the progress of your favourite season as it wends its way round the globe. But I think that I would miss something of the variety that the seasons bring and it does give you something to look forward to. I'm just glad that we don't get Autumnal weather like the unfortunate people in Florida and the Caribbean. However, I wouldn't mind some of their Summer weather.

I finally managed to see "The Village" on Saturday so here's my views on it.
Village review in spoiler font so as not to spoil it if you haven't seen it yet....***

Having seen two out of M. Night Shyamalan three previous films, albeit the two with Bruce Willis (Signs being the one that I've missed so far), expectations were fairly high for this his fourth offering. Especially considering some of the talent assembled for this, William Hurt, Adrien Brody and Sigourney Weaver. The problem is by now we expect a twist in Shyamalan's films and I spent most of the film trying to figure it out. What worked so well in "The sixth sense" and "Unbreakable" appears to becoming a milestone around his neck. Teddy's theory that the "those we don't speak of" were giant killer rabbits was quickly dismissed and I chastised him for even thinking so ridiculous, then crossed it of my list of possible endings.
The actual story as you probably gathered from the trailers centres around a some almost Amish like village located out in the woodland of America. Another thing about the village is that there is no electricity or motorised vehicles making it difficult to establish a time setting for this period. Solely based on the evidence before your eyes, I made the mistake of putting things around the latter part of the 19th century, about 1880 to 1900.
Having settled in their new homeland it appears that they have some rather unwelcome neighbours how inhabit the forest that surrounds their village. Although never mentioned, it is implied that they were responsible for the deaths of some of the early settlers. Thus having set the scene what appears to unfold is a romance between the tomboyish Ivy Walker (newcomer Bryce Dallas Howard) and the stoic Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix). Things start to become mildly interesting when a rash of dead animals appear, all of whom have been skinned had there fur removed. Alarm bells started to ring when this was blamed on an insane coyote rather than the supposed creepy inhabitants of the forest. But I found that the fear of he "bad colour" was the most frightening and daunting proposition. Anything red was banned from the village, I looked a teddy and said "do you realise that they have no..no strawberries". What did make everyone jump was when the guard in the watchtower spotted a red cloaked figure heading towards the village. The fact that we only saw one figure had already started to confirm my suspicions that it was someone from the village in costume. Wild animals don't feel the need to dress up like little red riding hood I thought. The village's idiot, Noah Percy (Brody), had become prime suspect. Events conspire to have the need for someone to venture in to the forest to get medical from the town, when Noah makes sure that Lucius gets the point that he isn't too keen on his recent engagement to the blind Ivy. Ivy volunteers to fetch the needed supplies for he beloved and no sooner has a small party been despatched into the forest, Ivy's more abled bodied escort decide that she might fare better on her own and namely that they've too scared to go on. Just over halfway into her journey Ivy encounters a red cloaked figure which resembled a large porcupine (or a demented hedgehog as teddy put it). The gutsy Ivy manages to despatch the strange looking foe, although considering that she's blind you have to question the need for such an elaborate costume, save for the fact that it's for our benefit and not Ivy's. Ivy does well navigating her way through unknown woodlands and manages to reach a hidden road which will lead her to the town she seeks. It's at this point that what I suppose the real twist is revealed and I have to confess that I didn't guess it before it was sprung on us, I was questioning why the myth of the forest creatures was created.
In all despite some worthy performances, a special note should be made of Ms Bryce's first film performance, a turn that I think will bode will for the future and some beautiful and atmospheric photography the film disappoints with its plot revelations. One was easy enough to figure and I suppose some had worked out the main twist. But you can't help thinking that Mr Shyamalan has become something of a slave to them. The film contains some interesting characters and he has a pleasing eye for a shot. Perhaps in his next film the twist at the end will be that there is no twist at the end.

end "the village" review

Teddy wanted me to point out that Thursday 9th of September is Teddy bear day, so give your teddy a big hug tomorrow...if you feel you must.

Work calls so..

Take care all!!!!

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