The Happening (2008) - Special Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Mystery
Fox || R - 90 minutes - $39.99 || October 7, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-10-14


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer(s): M. Night Shyamalan (written by)
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo


Theatrical Release Date: June 13, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Trivia Track (BD Exclusive)
  • Forces Unseen (BD Exclusive)
  • Train Shooting (BD Exclusive)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Hard Cut
  • Visions of The Happening
  • A Day for Night
  • "I Hear a Whisper"
  • Gag Reel
  • D-Box Motion Codes
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS MA 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean

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.::THE FILM::.

M. Night steps it up to a whole new level of failure with The Happening - a film that is about... killer plants. Like Little Shop of Horrors, right? NO! We don't really even get to see how vicious those ficus bushes or the maple trees truly are... sigh.

So what is this mess of a film about? Well, the film opens up as we see a young woman in a park who decides to kill herself with a metal chopstick for no apparent reason. Then we are brought to a construction site where workers are just jumping off the building for, again, no apparent reasons. Mass suicides? Well, we soon get introduced to Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) a high school science teacher who has some sort of fascination with bees. After making a few sly comments to a fifteen year old boy on his looks, the school gets evacuated as we soon come to find out terrorists have unleashed some sort of chemical bomb that is infecting people and causing them to hurt themselves all over the North East part of America.

Marky Mark, I mean Elliot, quickly races home to grab his beautiful wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel) and pick up his friend and former co-worker Julion (John Leguizamo) and his daughter Jess along the way. Since they really don't know what causes the problem at the moment they decide the best course of action would be to board a crowded train heading away from the problem (makes sense, right?). Well, eventually the train stops in a small town and forces everyone out where they are supposed to fend for themselves. What happens next... is just frightening. The group quickly meets up with a couple who are convinced its plants that are causing all the deaths. Apparently they feel threatened and since they can't grow legs and walk away they are deciding to kill people in large groups because they feel "threatened". Yes, this is the plot of the film and what happens in the next hour or so is just painful to watch.

Let's talk about a few things here. First, the acting is incredibly wooden. It appears as if each actor is just reading off a cue card and making it as dull as possible. People are dying left and right and here we have Marky Mark giving a blank stare at them with some odd words of wisdom as to why itís happening. Second, whatís with the expressions? Look - I think Zooey Deschanel is gorgeous - beautiful eyes, face and a great body. But you could make a drinking game at how many times we have to get a close up of her face just blankly staring into the nothing. A really lame "dramatic" effect M. Night is trying to put across.

Third, and probably the worst, is the actual villain of the film is plants. Yeah, I was not making that up. Too many times we are forced to sit through what feels like minutes of watching the tree bustle in the wind or the grass moving ever so slightly. The characters, which is anywhere from the core group of three or four to fifty, running away from wind. C'mon. This was a hyped up film being M. Nights first "R" rating and we get the characters running away from the scary glass clippings?

While most M. Night films typically have a "twist" at the end... this one does not. It ends rather abruptly with no payoff and we are left wondering "That's it?!Ē Man was I pissed... what a crock. Easily one of M. Nights worst films and for once, he does not appear in it.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are presented in HD.

Trivia Track (Profile 1.1/2.0 Only) - Yet another attempt to get me to watch the film again (fool me once shame on you...) is the included Trivia track which offers delicious tidbits of information as well as some random video throughout the film. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Forces Unseen & Train Shooting - Two very short featurettes that are very much shippable. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Deleted Scenes (with intros by M. Night) - A really lame set of four deleted/alternate scenes that didn't make the final cut. Thank you M. Night, Thank you.

The Hard Cut - Want to know why M. Night went R rated with this flick? This feature will tell you why.

Visions of The Happening - A poorly done Making of feature that gives us very little insight into the film but instead takes time for some of the cast and crew to discuss how awesome the film is.

A Day for Night - A bit more of a one on one with M. Night as he does a day's worth of work.

Digital Copy - A second disc is included if you wish to watch this film on your iPod. But you don't.

Also included is a short four minute featurette title "I Hear You Whisper" about the old lady at the end of the film, a Gag Reel (yes, a real one not the film) and D-Box Motion Codes.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The Happening is presented in 1.85:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc. For such a poor movie, the picture quality is excellent. Nearly all of the film takes place outside so we often get to glance at some very lush greenery or tons of close ups of the actors faces. Everything looks very nice and itís a real shame the movie suck so bad.

Fox has included an English DTS MA Track (as well as standard Dolby Digital in English, French and Spanish). Once again another fine track by Fox - dialog is crystal clear and I have no issue with fluctuating volume. Bass was very tight and my rear speakers were pretty much filled with something the entire film. Good job, Fox.



.::OVERALL::.

The Happening is a failure on every level. There is no suspense, no horror, and no reason to watch this ever again. While the Blu-ray sports some terrific picture and audio, whatís the point is the movie stinks?