The Village

DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005

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Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson, Cherry Jones, Judy Greer
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Studio: Touchstone
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I didn’t see the Village in theaters. I liked the previous films of M. Night Shyamalan but heard mixed reactions toward the film so I decided to wait for DVD. I think the Village is a decent movie, but I think it was marketed totally wrong.

I’ve heard so many negative/mixed feelings towards this film, that I tried to view this movie with an open mind. In a sense, I thought the movie was okay, but on the other hand, I was disappointed with it. I thought they shouldn’t have marketed this movie as a thriller/horror and just made a drama about this story. It’s already a drama, with a few twists and supposedly scary things thrown in there, but I feel they executed this movie wrong. The story is a cool concept and if the movie wasn’t built around the twist, maybe more people would have liked it. I think that’s one of the biggest complaints with the film and M Night, it seems he needs to have a twist in every movie. By the first five minutes, you could definitely tell that something weird is going on and that most of these people aren’t normal. By the half hour mark, you could figure out more to the story. I’m curious to see if M. Night will do anything else besides this type of genre. Why not make a comedy or straight up action flick, change it up a bit. I think people get disappointed in his films because they aren’t scary enough. Even I wasn’t scared with this film, and I’m usually a complete wussy with thriller/horror movies. I sort of see this movie as a drama with thrilling elements.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t outright hate this movie like other people I know, in fact I enjoyed it. I just felt disappointed with it afterwards. The acting was superb, and the cast was really an all-star ensemble. Bryce Howard’s first starring role and she did an excellent job. I’m looking forward to seeing her other movie roles after this. Joaquin Phoenix was okay, William Hurt was great and Adrien Brody played a half-empty glass kind of guy really well. The look of the film was really well done as well. M. Night’s cinematography is his movies has always been a strong point. The only part I thought needed work was the way the story was told.

There’s about 45-60 minutes of extras on this DVD. It’s got some deleted scenes that showed more character development, and some other scenes that didn’t really move the film along. M Night Shyamalan has an introduction to each scene and explains his feelings on that scene, plus why it was cut. I rather have directors have a video introduction to cut scenes instead of audio commentary. It seems more logical to have an introduction about the scene, instead of someone talking over it. The featurette was pretty good, a little brief in some areas. The feature just goes over each section of film like shooting the movie, casting, scoring, editing and more. There’s also a production gallery, an old home video movie from M. Night Shyamalan, plus a video diary from Bryce Howard.

My overall feeling of the movie is I liked it, but thought it could have been done a different way. A film shouldn’t be marketed or built around a twist and I think that’s what M Night was trying to do. It just seemed he wanted to fool the audience and not really tell a story.

Deleted Scenes
Introduced by the Director M. Night Shyamalan
Deconstructing The Village:
The Making of the Movie
M. Night Home Movie Production
Photo Gallery
Bryce’s Diary

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)


Favorite Scenes: I liked the scene where the creatures show up in the village, the scenes with Ivy in the woods, and I also liked William Hurt as Edward Walker. I liked the scenes with him and Ivy towards the end.
Rating: Rated PG-13
Running Time: 108 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: