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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Signs Recap

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, and those who are still deciding, they're back: the movie reviews. Well, some people have correctly pointed out that they're more recaps than reviews. Except it's not just a recap, because then there wouldn't be any of my opinion in there - look, how about you just insert your own word? I don't even care if it makes sense. Hey, everyone, it's one of Kristen's movie sporks! See? There you go.

Anyway, tonight's mockery will focus on the movie Signs, ooooh, aaaaah. I will say that even though I'm not a huge fan of the Shyamalan movies, this is one of the better ones. Which, as you'll soon see, might not mean much.

Also, in the interest of a) making these a little shorter and b) trying something new, I'm going to use a different format. Let me know if you like it, hate it, want to take it home and name it, or whatever else you can think of. Ahem.

{We see a lovely farmhouse surrounded by a lovely cornfield and a lovely barn. Oh, and Mel Gibson and the town sheriff, who is, in theory, a woman.}

SHERIFF: Oh heyyyyyyyyyyyy, Father, 'wassup?

MEL GRAHAM HESS: The name is Graham. Like the cracker. And I was actually just going to run inside and wallow in some self-pity, so if you'll excuse me -

SHERIFF: Oh, sorry, Fa - uh, Graham. I just got used to it, you know, since you were a priest and all.

GRAHAM: Right. And now I'm not. So... the self-pity calls. Peace.

SHERIFF: Just to clarify, you're not a priest because six months ago your wife was in a terrible accident that killed her and it made you leave the church, right? And now you pretty much hate everyone? And you don't believe in God anymore? Is that pretty much the whole plot?

GRAHAM: Yep, that covers it.

SHERIFF: And now you sit in your house just thinking about how pitiful and crappy your life is and how how HOW it could be so very bad and -


SHERIFF: All right, sorry. Hey, have you ever thought about counseling? Because I know a guy--


{They run to the crops where I guess his kids hang out, because why not, right?, only to find the kids staring at a crop circle in the field AHHH AHHH ALIUMS. There is a little boy, Morgan, who suffers from asthma and being Macaulay Culkin's brother. We also have a little girl named Bo - what is that short for? Bosephine? - who is probably one ofthe cutest kids ever. We soon learn that she is very paranoid and specific about her drinking water. Idk.}

BO HESS: Look, Dad! (Wait, do we have to call you Graham, too?) We found a DESIGN!

MORGAN HESS: *inhales heavily* Yeah, see? *exhales heavily* It's a CIRCLE! In the CROPS! A CROP CIRCLE! *locates and uses inhaler*

GRAHAM: It isn't a design. It's just... something circle-shaped must have fallen here.

SHERIFF: But the stalks aren't even broken -

GRAHAM: I'm sorry, why are you here, again?

SHERIFF: reason, really. It just gets lonely at my house. No one visits me. I get sad.


{The sheriff and Graham both leave the fields as the sheriff prattles on about how a lot of animals have been acting strange, and by strange she means trying to devour humans, which I suppose does fall under the category of "strange," among other things. Then they hear a little scream and see Morgan sitting on the ground near a dog that isn't so much with the aliveness.}

GRAHAM: Morgan... whatcha doin'?

MORGAN: Well, the dog was going to eat Bosephine, so I hoe'd it to death.

GRAHAM: ...oh.

SHERIFF: *whispers* Betcha want that counselor's number now, huh?


BO: Daddy, why did the dog try to eat me? Is it because I shower with kibble-flavored shampoo? It's never bothered the pets before...

GRAHAM: No - wait, what? Look, I don't know what happened. But I'm real glad Morgan here was able to save your life with a garden tool. Now, you scamps run along and wash the blood off your clothes before supper.

MERRILL: Hey hey hey hey Uncle Merrill's back! I'm Graham's little brother. I was supposed to be watching the kids, but it's important that the audience knows that I'm an irresponsible screw-up right away, so I left them to go into town and party. I figured the dog would keep them safe for a while...


MERRILL: So, what did I miss?

{The family goes inside and we switch to nighttime, ooooooh.}


MERRILL: Graham, did you just hear Santa on the roof?

GRAHAM: No, but I did hear a mysterious sound... we should probably call the sheriff.

MERRILL: Yes, OR we could run around outside, scream really loud, and then chase whatever's out there, thereby ensuring that if it's a prankster they won't come back and if it's an alien that they definitely will.

GRAHAM: Best plan ever, let's go.

{The brothers each take a side of the house and run and scream, but all they see is something ambiguous disappearing into the crops.}

SOMETHING AMBIGUOUS: Bahaha, you humans will never catch me. Latah, suckahs.

{The Hermanos Hess call the sheriff again. She arrives quickly (probably never left) to get their report.}

MERRILL: then we screamed a lot, but it got away.

SHERIFF: Short? Tall? Hair color? Human?

MERRILL: Uh... we screamed a lot, but it got away?

SHERIFF: You seriously got nothin'? Look, I don't know if you understand how crime-fighting works, but we need DETAILS to find people.

MERRILL: I... we... it was dark... thumpity thump thump... we screamed a lot, but it -

SHERIFF: All right, never mind. I'll keep my eyes open. Btw, a woman in town totally flipped out on these people in CVS earlier, so it could be her. Which means you were outrun by a girl.

SHERIFF'S WALKIE-TALKIE: *crackle crackle*

MORGAN: Sweet radio - how do I become a part of this crackle crackle?

SHERIFF: Got a baby monitor?

MORGAN: *inhale exhale* Yeah...

SHERIFF: Well, that'll get you only halfway there. Have fun. I'm out.

BO: Um, I think Kristen forgot to tell you that at some point during this scene I tell Daddy that the same thing is on every channel on TV, and that the family comes to the TV to see that every station is showing pictures of the crop circles. Just sayin'.

{The Hess family decides to spend the next day in town. Morgan needs batteries for his fake walkie-talkie, and Graham needs to go somewhere that the Sheriff won't follow him. Merrill finds himself at the Army recruiting center.}

MERRILL: So I get to shoot guns AND scream a lot?

OFFICER: And the bad guys won't even get away. Say, you look an awful lot like that former minor-league ball player. The one who had a lot of hits. But who also had a lot of strikes because he always swung no matter what. And who was eventually fired from his team because of it. Is that enough plot exposition for your character, or should I keep going? PS: In the Army, swinging every time will probably get you killed.

MERRILL: Fine *mumble mumble* Don't even LIKE the Army *grumble grumble* It seemed wrong not to swing *mutter mutter* You're a doo-doo head.

{Meanwhile, Morgan and Bo have found batteries for the walkie and have moved on to the Random Weird Alien Crap store, where they purchase a fun book about the end of the world. The family meets for pizza when a Mysterious Man walks by...}

MYSTERIOUS MAN: If I stare at the main characters long enough, you'll know I'm significant. Let's do this.

BO: Daddy? That mysterious man is staring at us... he hasn't blinked in a while... I think he wants us to recognize his significance... who is he?

GRAHAM: No one. Pizza delivery guy. Uh, he cleans the pools. He's our dog-walker?

BO: I'm five, not stupid.

GRAHAM: He's nobody, really - look! Your water has bacteeeeeria in it, gross.

{As Bo is successfully distracted, the Mysterious Man leaves, probably because all the non-blinking dried his contacts out, and the Hesses head back to their farm.}

FAKE WALKIE: *weak crackle*

MORGAN: Yesssss - only halfway works, my foot. This thing is awesome. *inhale exhale* Hello? Can anyone hear me? Hello?

BO: It's a baby monitor - one-way, you moron.

{More mysterious crackles occur until it turns into a clicking sound. More clicking answers the first clicking and finally Morgan realizes they're having a clicking convo.}

MORGAN: They're ordering On-Demand!

GRAHAM: Okay, time to go inside and be less crazy. How about we go inside and -

MORGAN: *inhale exhale* Watch TV?

GRAHAM: Um, no, too dangerous.

BO: Decontaminate our drinking water?

GRAHAM: ...No. Why don't we just sit around and think about how miserable our lives have been recently?

{While the rest of the family is moping, Graham hears more clicking - but this time in the CORN FIELD. NEAR HIS HOUSE. LIKE TEN FEET AWAY. DUN. DUN. DUNNNNNN.}

GRAHAM: Hello? ...Clicky noise? Look, if you really want to rob us can you just go ahead and do it? We're trying to mope...

ALIUM: Nah, this is too much fun. Tell you what, though, if you run dramatically you might catch a glimpse of my slimy green leg.

GRAHAM: Deal, go.

{Graham does indeed see the leg, but it turns out that didn't really help him very much, so he returns to the house.}

GRAHAM: So... I know what I said about no TV before... but I just saw a leg in the cornfield, and I'm thinking that's not so normal, so how's about we just see what's on Fox News.

EVERYONE: *is glued to the TV*

TV REPORTER: Well, I'm gonna say it: We're screwed. No, no, I kid... Seriously, though, the aliens are here and they've got weird powers. Like these lights over Mexico City. At first we thought it was just an awesome party. But it's been like a week, and the lights haven't moved, soooo... we're thinking aliens now. Also because we saw an alien at a kid's birthday party, but we're not sure if the events are related. Anyway. Lock your doors.

{As the kids fall asleep to the blissful sounds of other-worldly invasion, Merrill and Graham have a serious heart-to-heart.)

MERRILL: This not believing in God thing... are you gonna like stick with it, or what? Because the rest of us have kind of been waiting for you to get over it so you can tell us what to do.

GRAHAM: No, it's pretty permanent. Bitter suits me.

MERRILL: Okay, let's compromise: What if you just tell me reassuring things about us surviving this invasion and I won't ask you anymore about God for the next two scenes?

GRAHAM: Nope, sorry; we're all gonna die.


GRAHAM: What do you want me to say? We all gotta go sometime, right? Remember when my wife was in the horrible accident? Exactly.

MERRILL: Well, yes, that was terrible, but I'm not really sure how it's related to what I'm asking--

GRAHAM: It just IS, okay? Just trust me on this one. It's all related.

{As the movie goes on, we get more flashes of what happened to Graham's wife, but I'll just stick it here real fast: She was out walking one night when the Mysterious Man from town drove by, fell asleep at the wheel, and hit her. Before she died, Graham got there in time for her to tell him bye. She also told him that she loved him, and to tell Merrill to "swing away." Sad, and also kind of spooky.}

MERRILL: Whatever. I'm gonna go swing my bat. You never know.

{The next morning, Graham gets out of the shower to see his children sporting tinfoil hats and looking at an alien book. Ha.}

GRAHAM: So, we've just abandoned all pretense of sanity, now?

MORGAN: *inhale exhale* Shut up for a minute and look at this book. It's awesome. This house, here, looks exactly like ours! And here's a picture of what it would look like if aliens attacked it. And here's what it would look like if aliens attacked it and we were dead on the lawn. See? There's a forlorn dad and two weirdo kids and an irresponsible uncle and--

GRAHAM: That's enough reading for today, kids. Go outside and watch for aliens.

BO: ...anybody have some uncontaminated water?


{Graham, bored of the everyday hum-drum that is often associated with alien invasions, decides to pay his wife's murderer a visit. Because why not, right?}

MYSTERIOUS MAN: Oh, hey, buddy. I was just leaving. In my truck. Not the one that hit your wife, because that one was totaled. Not that that's your fault. I was just saying. I mean, even if it hadn't been totaled, I'd probably have gotten rid of it, because... well, gross, you know? I mean, your wife wasn't gross. She was hot. Not like hot hot. Just wife hot. But it'd be weird. Am I still talking? I am. Well. Awkward. I'm gonna go. PS an alien came for me so I trapped it in the pantry if you wanna see, and for some reason it hates water; I offered it a Dasani and it tried to kill me. Peace.

{After staring awkwardly for a few more moments, MM leaves and Graham goes inside.}

GRAHAM: Hello? Uh, alien? Are you here?

ALIUM: Om nom nom mmm pantry snacks.

GRAHAM: Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt dinner. Just real quick, though: Are you guys here to kill us, take over, or...?

ALIUM: Oh, goodness, no! We're your friends.

GRAHAM: Sweet, really?

ALIUM: No. We're here to destroy you all.


ALIUM: Yep. Anything else?

GRAHAM: No... but, hey, could you stick your fingers under the door, here? Yeah, just like that. Thanks.

{Graham, armed with a kitchen knife, slices off the aliens fingertips. ...I don't know why. It does seem that angering the things that have to come to kill you isn't the brightest idea, but I'm not in charge.}

ALIUM: You're a jerk, man.

{Graham returns to his family, who will never recover from the damage to their eyes after sitting four inches away from a television screen for two days.}

GRAHAM: So - apparently the aliens don't like water -


GRAHAM: ...yyyyeah. Aaaanyway, I was thinking we could all go for a little vacay at the lake. You know, just until the rest of the world is conquered, or whatever.

MORGAN: Yeah, and what happens *inhale exhale* when they attack us before we GET there?

GRAHAM: Oh. Right. Well, I was just kidding; we're obviously staying here. Who wants to watch TV?

{The Hess' turn on the TV to find reports of the mysterious lights and crop circles all over the world, and that more are appearing every moment. Dun dun DUNNNN.}

GRAHAM: Mmm, potential world domination makes me hungry - who wants a snack? Or better yet, a huge, unecessary dinner? Because I can't think of anything more appropriate than sitting here waiting to be killed while we munch on spaghetti.

BABY MONITOR: *crackle* killllllll *crackle*

GRAHAM: On second thought, belay that. Uncle Merrill and I are gonna get some two-by-fours and board up all the windows and doors. You kids watch the TV for a while -

MORGAN: Uh, the impending invasion made the TV staticky.

GRAHAM: FINE, then just sit there for a second while we hope that their technology hasn't advanced past hammers and nails.

{Turns out their technology HASN'T advanced past hammers and nails, because no alien attacks yet as the Hesses wait in the family room. Awww, family.}

DOG OUTSIDE: *barks*

BO: Should we bring the dog in?

GRAHAM: Nah, the dog will be fine.

SCARY NOISE: *approaches house*

DOG OUTSIDE: *suddenly stops barking, probably not by choice*

GRAHAM: Uh... it's probably just... resting.

BO: I hate you.

SCARY NOISE: *is now on the roof*

MERRILL: Silly aliens! Don't they know that we boarded up every entrance into the house, thereby denying them access to any corner of our residence?

ALIUM: Yeah, we're totally in the attic - howsabout staying where you are so we can eat you?

MERRILL: OH, right - board up ALL the entrances, that was the goal. Guess I forgot the attic access. Heh.

GRAHAM: Oh, for the love - here, everyone, go downstairs into the basement. Merrill probably screwed that up, too, but we may as well try to dig our way out.

{The Hess family runs to the basement and while Merrill did indeed screw that up, too, and didn't leave a way to block it, they manage to find a large piece of farm equipment and block the door}

GRAHAM: All right. Good. This is good. We're just chilling in the basement; no worries.

BO: What happens when they figure out how to use the other side of the hammer to remove all the nails holding the boards in place? We just pretty much die, right?

GRAHAM: Pssshh, noooo - we'll just - we'll - I mean, they won't - we can - yeah, we'll probably die.

BO: I blame the water.

{They are trading campfire stories when suddenly a new noise is heard, but this time, MUCH CLOSER. RUN. Graham and Merrill start looking around the room, like maybe an alien has been there for the last twenty minutes but didn't want to attack till it finished Jenga or something, and Morgan goes over to some sort of... basement... grate. I don't know what it is; watch it and figure it out if it bothers you. And then call me and tell me because I kind of want to know.

Anyway, Morgan is backed up against the grate when suddenly AN ALIEN HAND REACHES AROUND AND GRABS HIS NECK AHH AHHH AHHHH AHHHH.}

ALIUM: Did I leave my cell phone in here?


MERRILL: No! Bad alien! Baaaad alien! You're not allowed in the house!

{They manage to beat the alien off, but remember Morgan's asthma? How could you NOT? Turns out being strangled will make your body think you can't breathe, and Morgan starts to have an asthma attack.}

MORGAN: *isn't breathing much*

GRAHAM: Here, son, sit in my lap and listen to my heartbeat. It's awesome, especially compared to the crap one you've got going on. You're so weak.

BO: Is it morning yet?

GRAHAM: No, dummy; we've only been in this basement for like thirty minutes, tops. It would be a grievous and moronic error in continuity for the film makers to just jump to morning without giving us any kind of indication that time has pas - oh, look, it is morning.

RADIO IN THE CORNER: Good news, people: the invaders have left. We gathered a bunch of kids with water balloons and Super Soakers and let them go to town, and the aliens didn't really care for that so they're gone!!! Celebrate! Party! Be free! PS They left their wounded behind; careful in the streets. Dance like you just can't stop!

GRAHAM: FINALLY. Come on; let's go upstairs and bury our other dog. You, too, mouthbreather.

{They return to the first floor and Graham leaves Morgan, who still isn't so much with the regular breathing, on the couch in the living room. Graham is about to go get medicine for him when he sees a reflection in the TV. It's less human than he would have hoped for. It is, indeed, the ALIUM FROM BEFORE THAT WAS AT THE MYSTERIOUS MAN'S HOUSE.}

ALIUM: Hey, jerk. Remember when you cut off my fingers and left me to die in the pantry? I got out.

GRAHAM: Yeah, I see that. Well... bygones?

ALIUM: Nope. Tell you what I will do, though - I'll breathe some toxic alien gas into your boy's face and leave him to die and you can see how you like it.

GRAHAM: Awww, don't be like that. Why don't we sit down? I'll get my brother and we can all chat for a while. Merrrrilllllll!

MERRILL: What? *sees alien* Aw, crap.

GRAHAM: Buddy, could you grab your baseball bat from the corner there and *cough* swing away *cough* and join us?

MERRILL: What? I didn't get that one part.

GRAHAM: I just asked you to join us and *cough* get your bat and swing away at the alien *cough* have some tea.

MERRILL: Okay, I'm sorry - you're kind of mumbling. One more time?


MERRILL: Wow, I am so sorry - I'm just not catching it.


MERRILL: Ohhhhhhhh, haha, I see. Sure.

{He grabs the baseball bat and swings away at the alien, but the alien ducks, so Merrill hits a bunch of Bo's leftover water glasses, still half-full because she's crazy, remember?}

ALIUM: HEY. OUCH. What do you think you're doing? You think these water glasses are going to AHHH AHH IT BURNS AHHH MY CORNEAS AHHH AH AHHHH AH AH MY EPIDERMIS *sizzle*.

MERRILL: Huh. Anticlimactic.

MORGAN: Still dying over here, people.

GRAHAM: Oh, shoot, I forgot: he got gassed. But you know what... maybe his asthma attack from before saved him. Maybe that's why he had so many health problems and why my other kid leaves water everywhere. Maybe they're not just freaks - it was all to save us from the invasion. I UNDERSTAND NOW!

MERRILL: You think? It seems a little far-fetched.

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: No, he's right.

GRAHAM: Sweet. Well, I guess I can go back to church now.

MORGAN: I'm fine, by the way. Thanks. And your five-year-old is probably around here somewhere; you might want to check on her and make sure any other lingering aliens didn't kidnap her.

GRAHAM: Just think - now the town will stop whispering about me. And I can go back to wearing my clerical robes! I've missed those.

MERRILL: We all have, Graham. We all have.

MORGAN: Seriously - have we seen Bo? She might need some parental attention.

MERRILL: Oh, and you can start doing Taco Tuesday with the congregation again! I loved Taco Tuesday!!

GRAHAM! Me, too! And remember Frito Fridays? Mmm...


MERRILL: In fact, I could use a taco right now. Why don't you go get those robes and we'll head into town?

GRAHAM: Sounds amazing! Brb.

MORGAN: ...guys?

The end. Shalom.

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