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The Happening

Like any other type of art, the distinctions between good movies and bad movie are subjective. After all, one man’s nigh unwatchable stinkburger is one internet column’s entire reason for being; our two sugary scoops of raison d’être, if you will.  And then there are those bad movies which only become bad when people commit the heinous offense of…looking at them. Take for example M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening. No, seriously, take it. Take it far far away from us. Shyamalan is a filmmaker known for his tricky third-act twists, and The Happening is no exception. Of course, the twist in The Happening was that Shyamalan’s brain was slowly leaking out of his ear canals the entire time he was directing; the leak caused by a direct smack on the head with the proverbial coo coo stick. Since The Happening’s release, film pundits and those who don’t use words like pundit alike have been scratching their heads in a mixture of wonderment and disgust. Disgusterment. The prevailing question, for lack of a better writer hired to pen this column, was what happened with The Happening? During a recent conversation/bacon-ingestion with my good friend, and confirmed snarkplug, Will Goss of Film.com, the overly stilted nature of The Happening’s dialogue was dissected. We began to wonder if perhaps the biggest problem with The Happening was merely the medium in which it was exhibited. In other words, was the film suffering from the fact that it was a film?

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Back when he was blowing up gophers and busting ghosts there probably weren’t too many people who though Bill Murray’s career trajectory was taking him on a path to portray Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a historical drama. But here we are, in a world where a script for a third Ghostbusters movie exists, but Bill Murray refuses to read it and instead is looking to star in an adaptation of a British radio play called Hyde Park on Hudson. If you had told twelve year old me that not only would this be the case, but that I would be in agreement with Murray’s decision, he would probably be very angry right now. But, despite how much it might disappoint that little guy, I have to say I’m really intrigued to see how Murray will do playing FDR. Hyde Park on Hudson is a telling of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s weekend visit to Roosevelt’s upscale New York home in 1939. As the weekend unfolds, details of Roosevelt’s personal life are put on display, including a rumored affair with his cousin Daisy. This being ’39, the year before World War II started, nobody really knew much about the president’s personal life at the time. There was real stuff on people’s minds. Rumors of his too close for comfort relationship never came out until much later, and still haven’t been fully explored. I think if anybody has the chops to be a shameful, incestuous version of FDR and still make […]

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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