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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Matson – Mike Hears The Trees

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The cartoon

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44 Responses to “Matson – Mike Hears The Trees”

  1. LYT says:

    That one was pretty good.

  2. Yeha, nicely done Matson.
    I have to add….
    I’m a big Night fan and finally sat THE HAPPENING tonight. That movie is simply indefensibly awful. Even if he tries to backpedal now and say it’s the “best B movie you’ll ever see,” that’s such total bullshit. Did he tell his actors, “no…no…say it DUMBER…say it more stupid!” cuz if he didn. I can’t believe they’d listen.
    I was so genuinely shocked at how bad it was, I’m convinced Night is playing a trick or doing some kind of conspiracy on audiences. It’s as if he said “I’m so popular, I can make a totally awful, stupid, forgettable and pointless movie…and it will still rake it in.” If that’s the case, kudos, Night…you succeeded.

  3. Rothchild says:

    He has the least self-aware fanbase ever. M. Night calls it a “B movie” right before it comes out (after critics rip it to shreds and the performances are almost universally loathed) and they can’t put 2 and 2 together? There are some incredibly stupid posts over at IMDB. “I loved how Wahlberg gave such a stiff and laughable performance. He really committed to making a B movie. M. Night got an amazing performance out of him.” WHAT?!
    But the movie is hysterical if you see it drunk. Everyone should go once.

  4. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    enjoyed this one Mr Matson. having just come out of the ISHTAR of horror movies I can really appreciate it.
    M Night baby – oh my lord. If you haven’t seen THE HAPPENING before it hits dollar theatres go see it immediately. It’s the most fun I’ve had in a cinema in years. Laugh out loud funny.
    So many scenes that will have you doubling over. Wahlberg is drowning the whole time – its a beautiful thing to watch. I have huge respect now for other directors who have coaxed a performance out of him.

  5. Noah says:

    I really like Wahlberg, but it seems as if in The Happening he decided to play Dirk Diggler playing his character. Seriously, watch the scenes in Boogie Nights where he’s “acting” in the porn films and it’s a good approximation of his performance in The Happening. But that’s not even the worst thing about the movie…
    That scene at the end with Betty Buckley, oh my lord. That was when I decided that M. Night might never fulfill the promise he had. His scriptwriting abilities have long been suspect, but the fact that that scene is in the movie and that he let an actor chew the scenery like that…I can no longer trust him as a director either. After both The Village and Lady in the Water, that he would regroup after experiences failure; now that this film had a decent opening weekend, I don’t think he’s ever gonna get that mojo back because he can keep counting those box office receipts and delude himself into believing that he did something right.

  6. scooterzz says:

    jbd — i actually think there are more enjoyable moments in ‘ishtar’ than there are in ‘the happening’….but i get where you’re coming from….

  7. Noah…why you eyeing my lemon drink?

  8. Noah says:

    Don, I sincerely hope that “Why you eyeing my lemon drink” becomes the new “I drink your milkshake!”

  9. jeffmcm says:

    Noah, you hit it right on the head re: Wahlberg. The poor guy just looks like he’s not getting any support or direction at all.
    Are you planning to murder me in my sleep? (Quickly turning around without waiting for an answer)

  10. JBD, I had the same result from Prom Night. At first I started laughing at the girls sitting behind us who were screaming at every phoney cliched setup scare and then just gave up and laughed through the entire thing.
    I give myself credit for turning the entire cinema into a laughing fit for that movie. After about 30 minutes of listening to me laughing my arse off the people around started chuckling along and by the end the cinema of about 60 people had turned into a riotous laugh-fest. It was actually a good time if I forget about why I was there in the first place.

  11. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    I honestly got the vibe during SHIT HAPPENING that I was watching a $50,000,000 dollar version of a Larry Buchanan or Ted V Mikels flick.
    So many outstandingly badly directed scenes. You know he’s been compared to Spielberg but finally M Nights defenders will have to shut the fuck up and take to heart what all of us have been saying since day one. He’s a pedestrian director who somehow got elevated into the A Lis through sheer force of marketing.
    Speilberg could have produced something solid with the premise… like a cross between SAFE and NO BLADE OF GRASS.
    But after reading that book on M Night I honestly think that he’s not wired up correctly and that he’s probably suffering from aspergers or some other mild autism, because no one acts close to being human in SHIT HAPPENING.
    I beg you to go see this film. I came out energised that I saw something that was such a colossal misfire, it reminded me of AT LONG LAST LOVE – that sort of calibre. The only other genre film that comes close is DREAMCATCHER – or whatever that thing was called with the retarded kid shouting “I dudditz – I dudditz” and butt slugs shooting out of toilets and black actors yelling at helicopters.
    Go see SHIT HAPPENING for the following scenes alone.. Wahlberg berating good looking kid in class, Walhberg in a hissy fit as he strains to know what to do when the evil nature fart comes his way in a field, Leguizmo distracting a young girl from hanging bodies by throwing a sub-mensa question at her, Wahlberg talking to a plastic tree, Wahlberg saying “thats strange” when something isn’t strange as all, Zooey whatever her name is being introduced as terrified of a phone call from a workmate, the entire ITS raining men scene, Sweet jesus up in heaven, the lawn mower scene, the 80yr grandmother who has an iphone and shows everyone a hysterical you tube clip of a lion eating a moron – oh fuck I can’t stop laughing right now…
    its too good.
    GO SEE IT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T !
    Dave said TV for M Night.. TV are you kidding. Amex won’t hire this guy as a fucking gaffer anymore.
    He can forget that AIR BISCUIT film as well.
    Goodnight night.

  12. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Noah that comment about Diggler acting is a genius observation. And Kami – PN bad but SHIT HAPPENING on another level.
    And Wahlberg.
    Should Dreamworks feel slightly nervous about LOVELY BONES now? As a grieving father who has to carry a lot of weight, someone SHOULD be concerned.
    How did everyone who must have been seeing rushes let M Night get away with this shit? The producers and EPs on SHIT HAPPENING should all lose their jobs. No one stood up to the ego maniac and said.. umm M night.. this stuff stinks. No we mean like really stinks not like slightly stinky but you tried something different stinky like LADY but real oh fuck I just stepped in great dane stinky sort of shit.
    But you know what… I am fucking HYPED to see the next M Night film.. Ed Wood lives and breathes again. And for that – I salute you, you crazy, manic depressive, ego maniac you.

  13. leahnz says:

    don’t you worry your little head about lovely bones

  14. I agree with JBD…if you haven’t seen this film, GO. I love Night and had a 10 minute argument with Erik Childress from efilmcritic about him the other night in Vegas. Then yesterday, I had to call to apologize. The movie is so drastically awful, it must be seen.
    I also can’t believe he was allowed to get away with it. NO ONE stopped him?? NO ONE even mumbled that this is a really bad movie. Again, I think it was an ego thing and Night said “I’m so popular I can make the worst p.o.s. ever and it will still make bucks.” I dunno….
    In closing,
    “you know, I think hot dogs get a bad wrap…you like hot dogs, dontcha?”

  15. Earl Hofert says:

    “We can’t just stand here as uninvolved observers!”

  16. “We’re not crazy…just listen to us talk. I’M A TEACHER!”

  17. Noah says:

    “You should be more interested in science, Jake. You know why? Because your face is perfect.”

  18. “We’re packing hot dogs for the road. Hot dogs get a bad rap. They’ve got a cool shape, they’ve got protein.”

  19. Stella's Boy says:

    Wait, are all these actually lines in The Happening?

  20. Earl Hofert says:

    Yes, Stella’s Boy, they are all lines from the movie. I only wish that I had been taking better notes during the scene in which Wahlberg delivers a hopefully soothing monologue to. . .well, I don’t want to ruin it for you.

  21. “You’re plastic.”

  22. Dr Wally says:

    Blame Night all you want for the movie (and i liked his work up to Signs), but i really hope Wahlberg and the great Zooey Deschanel come out unscathed. His work in The Departed was on-point, and Four Brothers and Shooter are two of the best ridiculous ‘guy’ movies of the past few years.

  23. Rothchild says:

    Ishtar is actually hilarious and has great Paul Williams music. I like how she’s trying to find comedy in convoluted plotting and an epic scale in the third act, but it’s so bloated that it kills a lot of the jokes. In my experience, everyone that uses the title as a punchline hasn’t seen the movie. It was railroaded in advance in the same way Evan Almighty was, because it cost at least 20 times as much as it should have, but unlike Evan, it’s actually a hilarious movie.
    These are brilliantly terrible lyrics:
    Telling the truth can be dangerous business.
    Honest and popular don’t go hand in hand.
    If you admit that you can play the accordion,
    No one’ll hire you in a rock ‘n’ roll band.
    Because life is the way we audition for God;
    Let us pray that we all get the job.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    Hahahaha.
    “I’m talking to a plastic tree…I’m still doing it.”
    I kind of love Dreamcatcher, though. “Those people out there, they shop at Walmart, eat McDonald’s and watch Friends. They’re Americans…”

  25. LexG says:

    I was surprised to see in the end credits that the hair pin chick from the first scene was ’90s indie mainstay Alison Folland. She was the distaff member of Joaquin and Affleck’s posse in To Die For and the star of All Over Me.
    The Happening was awesome; No one has mentioned the WHAT THE FUCK? section where Wahlberg and crew start rolling with the world’s two least-convincing “juvenile delinquents” (really just Spencer Breslin and another kid), and in coming upon a house, the two kids GO FUCKING POSTAL and proceed to GET BLOWN AWAY WITH A SHOTGUN by a paranoid survivalist… and like, Wahlberg, Zooey and the little girl just kinda shrug and keep on truckin’.
    Awesome.

  26. Rothchild says:

    The whole theater was howling at the movie, but when those kids got taken out I was the only person who lost it. I felt like that asshole. But…come on! Spencer Breslin starts calling a house a bitch and gets shot in the face by some retarded people that left their window open. They don’t want you to come inside and infect them but their windows are open.

  27. “Don’t take my daughters hand unless you mean it”
    and
    “she said she was going to the town of Princeton”
    Did anyone else spots CLERKS star Brian Halloran as the driver of the red jeep?? I haven’t checked IMDB, but I’m pretty sure that was him. Even his anxious eye gestures were poorly played and overacted.

  28. Rothchild says:

    “The town of Princeton” is worse than anything that was ever in an Ed Wood movie.

  29. Monco says:

    This thread is hilarious. The Happening is really really bad. When Wahlberg is in the field and says something like “Think about the scientific process douchebag”, I lost it. But the scene where the kids get shot made me think that this has to be a joke it’s so awful. The hillbillies shoot two teenagers with no problem but don’t open the door and finish off the rest of them.

  30. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    The scene that caused some wee to come out was Wahlberg in the field with a group that has splintered off. They hear gunfire coming from the group they just left.
    Wahlberg, who looks as he does in every single scene like he’s got a turtle head popping out his rectum and is attempting to suck it back in by sheer will, stands in a complete wimpy panic.
    Everyone in the group looks to him because he’s the good looking man of aaction/ teacher. Wahlberg starts rambling about science and what gunshots mean symbolically to the situation or some shit like that. Everyone starts yelling at him to make a decision. Camera zooms into his face. And he squeals like a young girl and explodes “Can someone give me one godamn second puuuhhleeeeeeeeeeeeze”… stunned silence except for occassional gunshot. Everyone shrugs at Walhberg and just walks off.
    It doesn’t read that funny but take it from me this will become a legendary scene, up there with ‘coat hanger’ from Mommy Dearest.
    Oh and the cafe scene where everyone in this small town is jammed into.. like 100 people in a 20 person diner all watching the TV. And we see all the NE coast covered with dots where areas arre infected. And someone asks in the room – where are we – and the guy closest to the TV points to the middle of the infected area. And then says for effect – “right in the centre” even though we knew that. Then someone else says – “we have to get 90 miles away from here now” – the whole room goes silent. And I swear I’m not making this up…
    Like a scene from an old cowboy film where someone comes into the bar and says – “they’ve found gold up there yonder” – and everyone waits a beat – and then takes off flying.
    Same scene verbatim.
    I could talk SHIT HAPPENING all day long. I am going to see it as many times in a cinema as possible. I want the crazy prick to keep making movies like this. Imagine if he could pull it off. His crapola keeps making money from idiots like me and he keeps getting budgets to make z grade films.
    Now that, is nature in all its evil glory.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    And somehow even though all those people are stranded off the train that just decided to stop running (?) they all pour into cars and trucks and fly out of town.

  32. Rothchild says:

    The bit with the cars outside the restaurant is genius. I could also watch Zooey staring at a vibrating cell phone with this look of sheer horror on a loop. She doesn’t know how to hit the ignore button.
    And I love that M. Night said he was going to write something that would change the world in the last movie and now he casts himself as a guy Zooey Deschanel would rather do than Mark Wahlberg. I can imagine him walking up to her between takes and saying, “Look, between you and me, let’s be honest. You’d rather fuck me, wouldn’t you?”

  33. Noah says:

    I thought the last lines of the movie were pure hilarity. I had to look it up, but here it is (obviously SPOILERS, kind of):
    French Bicyclist: I should drop my bicycle off at the apartment before I go to work.
    French Bicyclist’s Friend: Can you make Nadia’s party tonight?
    French Bicyclist: I should drop my bicycle off at the apartment before I go to work.
    [a scream is heard in the background]
    French Bicyclist’s Friend: That frightened me.
    French Bicyclist: I should drop my bicycle off.
    French Bicyclist’s Friend: What?
    [the friend sees that everyone has stopped walking as the wind blows]
    French Bicyclist’s Friend: My god…
    French Bicyclist: My bicycle.

  34. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    The problem I had straight away was that I had seen the trailer for MEET DAVE which in all seriousness looks like it could be more diabolical than Norbit if that’s even possible.
    And this film looked like everyone had aliens in their head telling them ‘how to act’. The introduction of Zooey’s character is so other worldly its mesmerising. Its like watching Bowie in the Man Who Fell To Earth.
    The bgi crux of Wahlberg and Zooey’s relationship, the big mine that M Night is going to dig up for drama and conflict throughout the film.. what everything hangs on between our two leads.. [spoiler not really] She went out for a fucking piece of cake with a co-worker. Thats all he could come up with?
    lets all sing now “its raining men….”
    Keep me coming. This stuff is going to keep me from some boring work today.
    Can we change this thread title DP into a support group for those who have survived THE HAPPENING ?

  35. Rothchild says:

    God, I was so fucking drunk by the end of that movie I don’t remember any of the French guy’s dialogue.

  36. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Actually the last lines should have been
    “Mon Dieu!…. c’est merde”

  37. jeffmcm says:

    We’ve all been talking about the dialogue, but I also enjoyed watching all the strange pauses and gaps where a normal person would say something, but the actors couldn’t because M. Night hadn’t written a line to go there, so they just kind of act with odd facial expressions to fill in the space. Zooey especially had a lot of those.

  38. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    The casting killed the film. The dialogue just pissed on the grave. I do think it would have just been your average mediocre stinker if it was Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney.. but the casting took it into the stratosphere.
    just remembered the other divine bad hollywood moment that this reminds me of. First every screening of the long version (before it got chopped) of HIGHLANDER 2. That was fucking spiritual .

  39. tjfar67 says:

    “Did anyone else spots CLERKS star Brian Halloran as the driver of the red jeep?? I haven’t checked IMDB, but I’m pretty sure that was him. Even his anxious eye gestures were poorly played and overacted.”
    Yep, according to IMDB, that was him. Too bad he didn’t sneak in “I’m not even supposed to be here today.”

  40. I wanna see this movie more than ever!

  41. Rothchild says:

    Go drunk. You’ll have a great time.

  42. Joe Straat says:

    The worst (Best?) part for me was the discussion a the old lady’s house. The whole over-the-topness has been talked about, but my favorite part was, to paraphrase since I suck at remembering quotes,
    “NOT THAT THIS IS GOING TO COME INTO PLAY LATER, BUT THERE’S A SHED OUT BACK WHERE THEY USED TO HIDE SLAVES, AND THERE’S A PIPE THAT CONNECTS TO THIS HOUSE WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM LIKE YOU’RE IN THE ROOM. AGAIN, NOT THAT THIS IS GOING TO MATTER LATER OR ANYTHING. *SLAP* DON’T TAKE THAT COOKIE! IT’S NOT YOURS!”
    I miss the subtlety of the red doorknob.
    Locally, the biggest laugh was when they randomly cut to Fairfield, Nebraska with the gun hicks standing around piles of ammo. Not that there wouldn’t be any of them there in a town of 500 in the middle of nowhere, but how the hell does M. Night know it even exists?! Clay County ain’t exactly on I-80. Did Night throw a dart at a giant US map? Plus, they wouldn’t gather around a giant mound of ammo waiting for terrorists in a Midwestern town of 500 after a disaster centered solely on the East Coast strikes.

  43. Tofu says:

    “Plus, they wouldn’t gather around a giant mound of ammo waiting for terrorists in a Midwestern town of 500 after a disaster centered solely on the East Coast strikes.”
    If history has taught us anything about gun nuts, it is that they like to gather around a giant mound of ammo, sometimes even making compounds for themselves. I actually enjoyed that part of the film, hearkened back to the oddly scary video on the news in Signs. Which made that damned lion video in this one all the worse, since he had done so much better in the past.
    Night does pretty damn good when he goes large. The New York scenes were effective. Airbender might be just what he needs.

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