SRP $39.99 1.85:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 WARNER BROS.
Lady in the Water DVD Cover Art

M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, "LADY IN THE WATER", marks his first film at WARNER BROS. There's been a lot written about this move, as all of his previous films were made at Disney. But, if one is to accept his version of things, the studio just wasn't exactly gung-ho with his original "unfinished" concept of "LADY IN THE WATER", although they allegedly came around when it was too late.  All this proves is that DISNEY, in this one instance, knew crap when they saw it. "LADY IN THE WATER" deserves to be on the "TOP TEN WORST FILMS" list of 2006. It's hard to readily identify an even worse film in the past "two" years! Well, maybe "STEALTH", but that's splitting hairs. 

Shyamalan has proven he can write and direct. "THE SIXTH SENSE" deserves all the praise it received, and the special edition which included deleted scenes, further demonstrated his first instinct wasn't always right. Good things take time, so it's really disconcerting to find how completely unoriginal and predictable "LADY IN THE WATER" is! But, worse, it's BORING!!!  Unfortunately as likeable as Shyamalan appears to be(great on Howard Stern), his claims that critics of this latest film only want to see him fail, echoes the ridiculous exclamations Spike Lee made when "DO THE RIGHT THING" failed to win the top award at the Cannes Film Festival.  However, "DO THE RIGHT THING", overrated or not, at least had some moments of creative flair and was unquestionably original. "LADY IN THE WATER" stinks!

Supposedly inspired by a bedtime story the writer/director told his children, one must ponder could he be guilty of child abuse! It feels like absolute torture to sit through this film!

Paul Giamatti stars as the maintenance man at a semi-rundown apartment complex, with a mysterious secret revolving around the family he tragically lost. Don't worry, it's slowly, very slowly revealed as to what happened.  He begins to notice strange movements in the pool and finally a "young lady" emerges from the pool, seeking refuge and his help in protecting the magical world she's come from. 

WARNER BROS. has provided HD-DVD, Blu-ray and dvd releases of this film.

The HD-DVD version is a combo-pack, offering the standard dvd on one side and the HD-DVD on the other. The HD-DVD version offers a 1080p/VC-1 transfer with 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  It's a close resemblance to the dull theatrical look Shyamalan gave the film.  For whatever reason, scene after scene, indoors or outside, has a dull look to it. Colors are restrained, lacking any sense of richness and the image is consistently soft.  Detail is noticeably improved upon over the dvd however.  Still, this transfer lacks the depth found in the majority of WB HD-DVD released thus far.  The WARNER BROS. Blu-ray transfer is indistinguishable from the HD-DVD.  Both are 1080p/VC-1 with 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Both have the same problems with softness and grain, and both closely represent the mediocre theatrical image.

WARNER BROS. has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for the HD-DVD.  Unfortunately, this is not an aggressive or mix.  Surrounds are used with some impact during a few scenes, but most of the film's mix is subdued.  In comparison to the Dolby Digital EX 6.1Surround mix, the TrueHd mix offers better dynamic range. However, that 6th speaker integration found in the "EX" mix offers more lively surround effects. 

WARNER BROS. has only provided a Dolby Digital EX 6.1 mix for the Blu-ray. While it's disappointing to find WB not including TrueHD on any of their Blu-ray releases so far, the EX 6.1 mix offers better overall surround sound than the HD-DVD TrueHd 5.1 mix.

WARNER BROS. has included a lengthy 6-part documentary(dull), gag reel and alternate scenes.