Lady in the Water—Warner Brothers

Video: 2
Audio: 4
Extras: 3

On the surface, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest appears to tell a bedtime story concerning a creature called a narf that lives in a pool and how she affects the lives of those in the apartment building around her. But, underneath it all, I saw a story about how a director can surround himself with people afraid to say no to him. The ego shines far beyond the story, I’m afraid to say.

The 1.85:1 anamorphic image doesn’t look particularly good. The colors are lush, but they look a bit blurred and out of focus. I like to think it was intentional. The sound design—available in Dolby EX—is the best part. Shyamalan proves that, when he falters with the story, he at least hasn’t lost his sense of craft. The effects and especially the music sound fantastic.

The extras include a six-part documentary called “Reflections of Lady in the Water.” It chronicles Shyamalan’s journey to present his unaltered vision on the screen, with nary a negative in sight. However, I did learn that what I originally thought was poor CGI turned out to be animatronic puppets, which made me question a lot about my viewing habits. There’s also a gag reel that is not particularly funny and a featurette on the original bedtime story that inspired all of this. Curiously, there’s nothing on Shyamalan’s controversy with Disney, apparently the only people who did say no.

Lady in the Water is not a terrible film, but it’s tragically misguided and not really worth watching.