on 22 December 2013
This is a film that's become popular to hate these days, especially on the internet and while I think it probably does have one or two flaws, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It has some great atmosphere, tense moments, a great score and it creates a dark tone, which I love. The blu-ray transfer is really good as it has some great picture quality. I would give the film an 9/10.
I know lots of people on Amazon haven't been impressed by this film, and they've a right to their opinions. I guess it's just people like me who enjoyed it.
I love and hate this film. I hate it because it still gives me nightmares sometimes (I have a phobia of aliens, started in childhood by ET...), but I love it because it tells a beautiful story with the concept of an alien invasion as a chilling backdrop. A man who loses his faith after his wife is killed in a freak accident, then finds it again after (through perhaps fate) his son's life is saved.
I found the aliens terrifying-that first time when Graham (Mel Gibson) looks out the window and sees one in the dark is one of my scariest movie moments ever.
It also has a beautiful and often chilling score by James Newton Howard. I had to buy it. Look out for the amazing music during the climax.
on 1 March 2003
M. Night Shyamalan is one of the most important people in films nowadays.
He directs excellently with the cold atmosphere he creates in his films to make them as scary and as interesting as possible, while also being probably today's best scriptwriter.
Shyamalan, in the three films in this collection, shows outstanding story-telling skills, where he leads you down the main part of the story while giving you clues that you don't pick up on until the end, and then at the climax it all fits and makes sense.
The best part about endings like these, where there's always a twist, is because thw twist is there all along in the film but you just don't know it, and when Shyamalan reveals it your shocked, and you take a completely different view from the film your watching, and makes it better film for it.
Shyamalan just pulls these stories out from his head, and is a promising hope now in the world of cinema, with films around his being mostly sequels (Final Destination 2, Terminator 3, and soon to be Spider-Man 2 and Die Hard 4), modern day versions of old films (The Time Machine, 13 Ghosts, Gone In 60 Seconds, Vanilla Sky), or adaptions from comics or books (Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, Daredevil, Harry Potter).
The other side of Shyamalans class in his ability to write well, and in playing small but relevant roles as an actor in his films, is his ability to direct superbly.
He creates dark and cold atmospheres in The Sixth Sense, the way he films 'Unbreakable' with such a dark atmosphere to show you the turmoil and hurt of Samuel L. Jackson's character, while contrasting it with Bruce Willis's character who leads a dark life but with hope.
He also makes not so usually scary scenes in 'Signs' quite scary with his excellent use of shadows, lighting and music.
There is a particular scene when there is a news broadcast saying an alien had been accidentally filmed at a kids birthday party in Mexico-and its just the way the director uses the music, the shadows and the kids screams to make it a really haunting atmosphere, building up to where an alien is seen.
Another good scene is when the main characters are in the basement and its dark and the aliens are trying to get in while the family of four people are trying to keep them out, and there is only two torches and when things happen the torches are dropped and all you see is darkness, but the music and the screams and the noises leave it to the imagination of what kind of thing is taking place.
A top line of Hollywood's finest actors also join forces for these amazing films, in top names like Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Samuel L. Jackson and Jacques Pheonix making leading appearances.
Just to quickly say what the particular films are about; the first film (The Sixth Sense) is a dark thriller/horror about a boy who can "see dead people" as his sixth sense, and the only person to who listens to him is his physiatrist who tries to help him confront, and solve why the dead people can communicate with him; the second film (Unbreakable) is about a man who survived a train crash where he came out unscratched while everyone else died, provoking an obsessed comic book collector to believe he has superhuman powers, just like the people he reads about his comics; and finally the third film (Signs), which is also my favourite film of the three, is about an ex-Priest who after losing his faith in God after the death of his wife in a car crash six months earlier, notices strange crop circles in his fields, and later as UFO's are spotted across hundreds of cities across the world ready for an invasion, it all builds up to a mesmerising ending.
'The Usual Suspects' was a pretty good film overall, and has a pretty good and thoughtful climax, but these films just blow it away.
From the five discs in this set, there are two discs of extras for 'The Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable', with the other three discs being the actual films.
For great storytelling, originality, excellent direction, great acting and mind-blowing endings, you'll need to add these three films to your collection.
on 2 January 2006
“Signs” is a very difficult film to both describe and classify as it covers a lot of different genres and yet doesn’t fit really comfortably into any of them. Certainly it’s a very intriguing and at times, thrilling film and yet it also somehow doesn’t quite deliver the full results.
Graham Hess is the widowed Pennsylvania farmer who lives in a remote farm along with his two young children and his younger brother, Merrill. Very early one morning both Graham and Merrill are awoken from their beds to find both children wandering around in the field of corn by their house. Investigating further Graham finds a series of huge crop circles decorating his land. The national news is reporting other sightings of such crop circles, mostly in India, and when UFOs are spotted and filmed in Mexico fears and suspicions start to build.
The strange goings on continue around the Hess farm, the dogs bark and turn nasty, Graham’s daughter Bo finds the water tastes strange and his son, Morgan seems to be far too well informed on aliens and methods to stop them reading our minds! When actual sightings of aliens are not only being reported but also being experienced by Graham we know that this dedicated and honourable man will do all in his power to defend his family.
As I say it’s a most strange film to classify because it’s not really a horror and neither is it a true thriller, and yet it has some of the best tension building scenes I’ve ever seen. There are several leap out of your seat moments and also scenes when nothing actually happens and yet you find yourself hiding behind a cushion.
The performances are more solid than breathtaking, Mel Gibson is quite strangely cast as the rather reticent Graham Hess but he’s given great support by Joaquin Phoenix as Merrill and the two children, Rory Culkin & Abigail Breslin are both charming and extremely competent actors.
The film isn’t perfect though, I question the effectiveness of the sub-plot concerning Graham’s wife and also the fact he is a lapsed priest. Whilst the two factors were interesting, I felt they served more to detract than add to the plot and tension. It’s also one of those films where you find yourself think that had it been made with a complete cast of no-bodies it may well have ended up as “the surprise hit of the season!” Instead it’s sort of become one of Mel Gibson’s lesser known films.
Mind you it’s still an excellently effective piece of film work and I would recommend all to watch this.
on 1 September 2003
I liked this film. It wasn't the best film I've ever seen, nor was it the worst. It certainly doesn't deserve the censure it has received in previous reviews. Having seen Sixth Sense, but not Unbreakable, I choose not to judge it as part of a trilogy, but to assess it on it's own merits.
Signs deals with the question of life beyond that which exists on Earth, both physically (represented in form of the aliens) and metaphysically (represented by Hess's crisis of faith and whether there is someone up there looking out for us).
The film worked best before the aliens were seen (althought the footage of the Brazilian birthday party scared me half to death), and the tension was built up well. I thought Gibson and Phoenix were excellent, and the children were portrayed well.
I don't have a problem with the alien's not knowing how to open doors, or indeed not having anticipated problems with water. Nothing is shown of the interiors of the alien crafts nor of their homeworlds, deliberately I believe. We simply don't know the capabilities of the aliens.
I do however have a problem with being patronised by the flash backs to earlier parts of the film - when Hess realises where he has seen the alien in his house before etc. It worked well in Sixth Sense, where is was an appropriate device, but was out of place here. I think the director needs to give his viewers slightly more credit than that!
The religious element was dealt with poorly, and it seemed that Hess's dilemma was 2 dimensional. Also I've never heard of non-Catholic clergy being referred to as Father. Just a thought.
The ending was a bit "Hollywood", which was a shame, and it was unsatisfying in so much as there was no explanation for why the aliens came or why they left. But that is exactly what redeems it above run of the mill sci-fi thrillers.
Makes you think, makes you shake your head, but all in all not a waste of an evening.
on 11 August 2014
Depends if you like his films, they are all fairly slow paced, and the dialog is very important. These films (well the two 12 rated ones) elicited lots of questions from my children and made them think about people and motivations- which I think is really good. As Hitchcock did, Shyamalan appears in all the films, so it is quite fun spotting him.
on 23 August 2003
This is a great film with an underlying subtle power.
If you like the 2 previous M Night Shyamalan films, then you won't be disappointed.
I think the director continues with the idea of confusing the audience with the narrative - 6th Sense is not about the boy but about the psychiatrist, Unbreakable is not a medical story but about a superhero, and Signs is not about aliens but about family and faith.
I especially like the director cameo, when we first see him, the audience is asking "Is that...?" when the characters are saying the same thing.
M.Night Shyamalan' does write some unusal material, 'Signs' being no exception.
In this film a series of 'crop-circles' begin to alarm people, when sightings are filmed of strange beings along with 'lights' from U.F.O's
Craft hang over the sky's it becomes increasingly apparent an alien invasion is on the way ?
The film follows one family's experience of events, former priest 'Graham Hess' along with his two children, 'Morgan and 'Bo' and brother.'Merrill'
As events and sightings around them become more intense they try to shut out what's happening around them, trouble is the threat
gets a whole lot closer.
'Mel Gibson' and 'Joaqin Phoenix' lead the cast list.
i myself enjoyed the film on each of the now three occasions i've seen it, starting at the cinema when first released.
the 'Blu-ray' picture and sound quality is good.