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From M. Night Shyamalan, the writer/director of THE SIXTH SENSE and UNBREAKABLE, comes the story of the Hess family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who wake up one morning to find a 500-foot crop circle in their backyard. Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) and his family are told extraterrestrials are responsible for the sign in their field. They watch, with growing dread, the news of crop circles being found all over the world. SIGNS is the emotional story of one family on one farm as they encounter the terrifying last moments of life as the world is being invaded. "It's easy for a filmmaker to blow up the world -- but what Shyamalan does is much riskier. He tries to blow our minds. I was engaged by every inch of SIGNS." - Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper.
The key component of this Vista Series DVD is a six-part documentary about the making of the film from idea to theatrical release. M. Night Shyamalan talks at length about the film and his filmmaking technique in this exclusive one-hour feature. The approach is straightforward but at times is as self-congratulatory as a marketing puff piece. Because Shyamalan works so leanly, the five deleted scenes are excellent, including a chilling scene from the film's final act. Also included are storyboard comparisons and another glimpse of one of Shyamalan's early home movies. Signs is the first of the Vista Series to be a single disc and the extras seem light, but there are only a couple of quibbles: the director again does not provide a commentary track and there is no DTS soundtrack. --Doug Thomas
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Top customer reviews
I was afraid that after so many years it would be really dated. It stands up well. If you look at it too closely, you will see that the story isn't all that logical in places, but it's a really thrilling ride nonetheless.
So to get these both, "Good-watches, but nothing great" in a 2-pack is cheap entertainment for movies that don't leave an impact, but nevertheless, entertain.
With Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones and the director himself, as a guilt-ridden man who fell asleep behind the wheel and caused an accident that has caused Reverend Graham Hess (Gibson) to lose much more than his faith in the Almighty.
Graham can no longer function as a minister, and now believes hiimself an atheist. He hasn't any qualms about cursing a God that would allow such tragedy to occur.
Phoenix, as Merrill Hess, Graham's younger brother, is a failed minor league baseball player. His weakness was swinging at bad pitches and striking out too much. But when Merrill connected... that pill flew a mile!
On a lazy late summer day in rural Pennsylvania, eerie things start occurring on the Hess farm: a family dog goes violently mad, crop circles appear in the corn field, and seemingly invisible late night prowlers make their ghostly presence known. The TV and radio are flooded with similar reports. We soon learn that these night creatures are hostlie extraterrestrials. A full scale invasion of Earth (a la "The War of the Worlds") is on, and the Hess family (and their neighbors) will soon be under siege.
Besides being an excellent story with superior cinematography, this M. Night-mare's brilliant orchestration (by James Newton Howard) adds to the terror.
Kudos to casting director Douglas Aibel for pairing Gibson and Phoenix. They truly look like brothers and have great on-screen rapport.
As the movie starts out, Mel Gibson gives an effective performance as a man who's lost his wife and a minister who's lost his faith. Very strong performances from Joaquin Phoenix and the children give the film a very strong family orientation.
This isn't a blood-and-guts movie and there's only a few acts of violence committed during the film. Surprisingly, there's very little profanity. Still - the subject matter will certainly upset small children.
I do recommend this for UFO buffs, and perhaps even fans of the Hitchcock film style. This is a dark film, smoothly paced, and very well directed. This is from the director of "The Others", so you should know what to expect.
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