Signs (DVD) review by The Grim Ringler


Since I already reviewed the movie I will forgo any lengthy discussion of the film and hope that if you have not seen the film that nothing was spoiled. Because thats half the fun of Shyamalans movies, that there is something to look forward to. A surprise. And sure, said surprise loses its impact after the first viewing, but the rest of the film is crafted so well that you are able to focus more on the details, which are equally fascinating.

Perhaps the most interesting and greatest thing M. Night Shyamalan brings to the table as a director is how very unlike modern directors he is like, forgoing the fast cuts and music driven fast-food that movies are fast becoming to focus more on creating a work instead of making moments. What makes him such a director is that he doesnt need to show the action, he doesnt need to tell you everything, he doesnt because its all there, even if he doesnt push your nose in it, all you have to do is put it together. He treats the audience, miracle of miracles, as if they are intelligent, and I have to tell ya, its a nice change of pace. Because even if people find issues with his films, find points to argue for or against, they all have to admit that at least he is making them think. Making them talk about the film, and too little of that happens anymore. Sure, we go out and say yeah, that rocked but we rarely talk about what it meant, why it rocked, and what we felt because of it. We just see it and walk away.

Essentially this is the story of a family during a turning point in their lives, and in the lives of all humans, and it shows what this family goes through as they try to stand together and come to terms with their individual pain. And as such its a pretty darn brilliant film. The actors are spot on as is the writing, and perhaps the Spirit Award goes to M. Night himself for taking a gutsy turn as Ray, a man that changed this family and still carries the emotional scars because of that fact. Is the movie perfect, well, no, but then few are, but it is a wonderful film and was one of the standouts of last year. Not quite a science fiction movie, and yet not quite a drama, he made a film that was intelligent, was scary, and had something to say, and while we may not agree with what it is he is saying, its nice to see a film that actually has SOMETHING to say.

The DVD, while not jam-packed, is yet another great Special Edition of an M. Night film and sheds some much needed light on some of the intricacies of how it was done and what it all means. The highlight is an hour long documentary about the making of the film that shows how it all began all the way through the scoring and the premiere. It isnt that in depth then nor is it bogged down with a lot of useless information that we dont need. The deleted scenes are pretty good as well, all of which are generally good enough to have been in the film itself, though they might have leant little to it all in the end. And finally there is M. Nights First Alien Film which is another snippet of an early film Shyamalan did and which shows he has a very good sense of humor when it comes to his past. The big disappointment for me was that they didnt put the movie trailers on the disc, which is a real letdown since M. Nights trailers are almost as much as the movies themselves. A real shame.

All told, this is a really great film, and a darn good, if simple, disc. If nothing else, I guess you cant fault them for just including the stuff most people are interested in, even if us geeks dont get the ephemera we love so much.


8 out of 10 Jackasses

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