What Happened To The Great M. Night Shyamalan?
by Alex Billington
April 22, 2008
Is it just me or does everyone hate him? Over this past weekend at the New York Comic Con, and almost everywhere I go, I always talk with people about the upcoming summer and what they're looking forward to the most. One movie that seems to always get left out - The Happening. If I had to take a guess right now, I'd say it'll be one of the biggest flops alongside of The Love Guru and What Happens in Vegas this summer (but all that could change). Although The Happening isn't high up on my own list, it's discouraging to find that M. Night Shyamalan, whom I greatly appreciate as a filmmaker, has seemingly lost everything that made him great. Am I wrong? What happen to M. Night Shyamalan?
One of the biggest reasons for the lack of buzz is that general public has been culivating an increased hatred for his films, starting with Unbreakable in 2000. Then The Village really kicked the bucket and he followed that up with another mediocre fantasy romp with Lady in the Water. Screw what everyone else thinks, I'll stand my ground - I love M. Night Shyamalan and all of his films. The Village is still my personal favorite, with Unbreakable coming in a close second, and Signs, although it still scares the shit out of me, in a definite third. I don't care if you saw the end coming "a mile away", he's still a phenomenal filmmaker who has an incredibly unique vision. And that's why I'm still holding out hope for The Happening - I really think it could be pretty damn good.
Has all of this disdain for Shyamalan built up so much resistance that the buzz on The Happening is almost nonexistent, despite a fairly good first trailer? Have all of you forgotten how talented he really is or does The Happening genuinely look like another pretentious creation from a wanna-be James Cameron? And here's the kicker - I know a lot of people have read the script and know the ending to The Happening. Can they not look past the story and still go see the movie for its entertainment and filmmaking values?
I said it before and I'll say it again, not only is Shyamalan a great writer, but he brings so much more to the table as a director, too. His cast is always strong (Samuel Jackson and Bryce Dallas Howard stand out the most in my mind), his cinematography always vivid, his dialogue always poignant, and his ideas always well-executed. I've actually heard great things about The Happening already, including that the thrills get ramped up a lot more than what we've seen in the trailer. Harry over at AICN even originally said after reading the script that "this has the potential to be the best film M Night has made." With that kind of enthusiasm I'm not sure why there's no buzz on this and why it's potentially going to be such a huge flop. Yet again I ask - what happened to the great M. Night Shyamalan of the past?
Reader Feedback - 71 Comments
i think he is still a good movie maker, he is just being over shadowed by some of the biggest and most anticipated movies, Iron man, hell boy 2, Batman, etc. I still like him and will see the happening, but i am not drooling over it like some of these other blockbusters.
taurinh on Apr 22, 2008
The Happening is my number 2 movie to see this summer... behind only The Dark Knight. I love M. Night and I will stand by him until the end of days. I think the trailer for this looks fan-freaking-tastic. People just think too much about his movies. Don't go into it trying to find the twist... just sit back and let it all play out. Don't scrutinize the trailer trying to figure the twist out. I think that if The Happening gets good word of mouth, then it could really do well at the box office...but if critics bash it like they did Lady in the Water, then it is a lost cause. I can't wait for The Happening!
Jeff Warner on Apr 22, 2008
I think your looking at the wrong audiences for an answer... I too think he is very talented and has that magic touch that just creates worlds that have an essence of magic and intrigue.. I love all his films par the village (sorry - just didn't think much of it).. and I am looing forward to the happening a lot!! My top 3 favs are: 1. Signs (the intensity and the character development are amazing) 2. Lady in the Water - this was Shyamalan back at what he does best - love it!! 3. Sixth Sense - although I dont re-watch this one as much.
nha on Apr 22, 2008
jeff warner for the win people need to stfu and just watch the movies and stop making them jeopardy tournament of champions events. its entertainment not a competition. its easily a top 5 movie this summer and this summer is going to be one of the best this decade
Jont on Apr 22, 2008
He had me at Signs (the birthday party footage still gives me the heeby-jeebies) but lost me at The Village and Lady in the Water. It just seems like the films are becoming more like vanity projects. I will consider The Happening, and unlike most, I am receptive to being won over.
Nathan on Apr 22, 2008
He was never great. The pretty cool movie he had was sixth sense and unbreakable. thats it!!! and even those were ewwwwwwwwww
REAL6 on Apr 22, 2008
I'll take counterpoint. I would argue nothing happened to the "Great M. Night Shyamalan" because he never existed in the first place. There's the Hack M. Night Shyamalan that caught a lucky break on The Sixth Sense, and then went on to write a direct nothing but crap, and is now exposed for the poor director he is after chance after chance. His movies are flat and uninspiring, and his characterization is amateurish at best. What you call magical worlds, I call vanity projects with poor planning and poor cinematography. Just look at that fake documentary stunt he pulled. Vanity. I'd go so far as to say his writing is some of the worst on the books (whether or not he steals his ideas in the first place I won't go into). He has exactly one story to tell, and it always ends in the same twist ending. He's incapable of thinking or working outside his tiny box. If he could, he wouldn't feel the need to both write and direct his films. Signs is a good example, watching the trailer was like looking at Chateaubriand in a menu, and then being brought out chop steak.
Michael on Apr 22, 2008
It seems to me that M. Night Shymalan has been desperately trying to repeat the success that he had with "The Sixth Sense". Although he did pull it off with "Signs", thanks to Mel Gibson in 2002, his follow-ups have been inferior attempts to ride that wave of success. Both, "The Village" and especially, "Lady In The Lake", left audiences terribly dissatisfied. "The Happening" appears to be in the vein of "Signs" and "Unbreakable" and although it looks interesting, it's biggest challenge won't be whether it's good or not---it's that it will be released the same day as, "The Incredible Hulk"......and we know how quickly this movie's anticipation continues to build up.
Spider on Apr 22, 2008
I love M. Night's work to date and am truly looking forward to seeing The Happening. I think that Mark Wahlberg is going to actually do well in this film and was a great casting choice for this film. I think that his movies all have gigantic WOW moments where you are thinking to yourself, did that really happen. I have multiple favorite lists of films that I am looking forward to. This is at the top of my list of thrillers.
Napier's News on Apr 22, 2008
I respect Night as much as any other director right now - it takes incredible talent to write and direct your own films, and he does it with the best of them in my opinion. It's a shame that (arguably) his best film came before some other really great films, because The Sixth Sense is hard to live up to. Personally, I thought The Village came the closest to recapturing that original glory, and I didn't much care for Lady in the Water, though it wasn't as bad as people say. You're definitely right about the casting, Alex - I'm looking forward to The Happening and waiting for what Night does with actors like Wahlberg and Zoey Deschanel.
Ben on Apr 22, 2008
I personally cannot wait for his next movie. I'm a huge fan... I love his filming styles, and i love the stories. It's not a matter of whether or not someone can guess the ending... it's how we get there that matters. Although, I am kind of annoyed that he keeps inserting more and more of himself into the movies. That does seem pretentious.
Frank on Apr 22, 2008
I've always used M. Night as a classic example of over-hype. I -loved- "Sixth Sense". I thought it was engaging and interesting and, best of all DIFFERENT. The amount of hype he received from that movie, though, was just over the top. How could he possibly follow it up and maintain expectations? When every single review would gush that much more about him, about what a great director he was, about how his movie was one of the best ever made, how they should teach it in school, all schools, not just film school. It should be mandatory watching for -everyone-. M. Night should be president, no, scratch that...Emperor! He should be worshiped as a god! Then "Unbreakable" came out and the world weeped. How could our emperor, our god, come out with "Unbreakable"? We expected a movie to put the Koran, the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita and "Citizen Kane" to shame. What we got was something that was merely a fascinating look into what would a blue collar superhero really look like? How dare he. I think he's been fighting this horrific cycle ever since. I keep thinking that maybe the next movie will win him back his reputation or finally prove to me that I'm just a moron to continue to love his movies and each movie comes out, and I continue to enjoy them and people continue to hate him.
Todd on Apr 22, 2008
NOTHING has happened to him!!!! He is my favorite Director, he goes out of his way to make a film by adding much more than most do. By adding color for emphasis and crazy unconventional camera shots and angles. For example the Lady in the Water's opening shot had the camera in the cupboard with Paul Giamatti, a tennant, and his 7 daughters all in the shot. The ONLY reason The Village didn't do so well was non-Night fans were expecting a gory Horror film from the poor advertising, so they all walked away from the great film with unfulfilled expectations. The Happening is third on my list to see underneath The Dark Knight and Iron Man. I agree with someone else, I believe this question is directed to the wrong crowd, I believe most avid movie fans love M. Night.
Mark R on Apr 22, 2008
My personal view is the same as some others have put it. Anyone that liked his moves (Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs) were kind of left with a bad taste after The Village (somewhat watchable) & Lady In The Water (hardly watchable). All it takes is a director, no matter how good he is, to make a few bad movies in a row to get everyone all down about seeing anything esle. If Judd Apatow did the same thing fro two or three movies in a row, we'd all be saying the same thing about him. Its just a bad luck streak (or a bad production streak) and that doesn't mean The Happening or the next one or the next one after that will be better or worse
JT on Apr 22, 2008
Michael #7 you couldnt have said it better. His movies remind me of movies hollywood try to make from Asia. you know how they have that fake feel. thats how they feel!!!
REAL6 on Apr 22, 2008
Alex, on Sunday, I went back to the IGN Theater in the morning. Before they began the day's presentations, they played a bunch of the trailers that were previewed on Saturday, PLUS they threw in THE HAPPENING. The audience cheered like crazy for The Dark Knight, Wanted, and The Incredible Hulk. Well, not so much when The Happening finished. People barely clapped, and it was all awkward. I'm not excited for The Happening, unfortunately. I loved The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. But while I really enjoyed Signs, Lady in the Water, and The Village, I have to say that I was highly dissatsified with the endings of those films -- NOT because they were predictable or anything like that, but because I felt like M. Night was trying so hard to replicate the Sixth Sense "twist ending" that he misses the mark all the time. M. Night is an awesome filmmaker and everything you said about his talent is true. I think maybe there's lack of buzz because when Lady in the Water was coming out, it was hailed as M. Night's "last chance for a hit." And it wasn't a hit, so maybe that's why. Maybe there's also people like me that are just done with his attempts at "the big reveal" endings and just want to see a well-made film.
Eve on Apr 22, 2008
I can't stand the guy. He's an arrogant, self-indulgent hack whose every film gets lazier and worse than the last. Lady in the Water stands as one of the very worst movies I've seen in my entire life. It was so godawful, I think my eyes were bleeding. Each film, the guy has the hutzpah to give himself a bigger and bigger role - until this last one, where he was a main character! I hated Signs - why the f*ck would an alien species so violently allergic to water come to a planet that's 70% WATER? Consider - Unbreakable, what's Willis' weakness? Water. The next film, what's the aliens' weakness? Water. I encourage someone to read the script for The Sixth Sense and compare it with a script for one of his newer films - they read like completely different writers - The Sixth Sense being one of the best scripts I've ever read. That's because when he was writing T6S, he knew he was going to have to impress people. He wrote, I think, 7 drafts? But after that film's success, he got arrogant and lazy. When I watched the trailer for The Happening, I groaned. It looks terrible - it looks like M. Night has managed to wrench a bad performance out of a really strong actor like Wahlberg. I probably won't even see it.
John on Apr 22, 2008
His movies are really interesting until you finish watching them. He makes disposable films. Good or bad, you only need to watch then once.
NotyomommasCat on Apr 22, 2008
I love Shyamalan's films. My favorites are Signs, The Village and Lady in the Water. Sure, perhaps you can see the endings coming. But people should not automatically look at his films for the ending. People should start looking at how the film builds itself up towards the ending. Sure, the ending needs to be a good one, but the execution of the entire plot is also relevant. I think all of his films have done well in terms of story-telling, and people need to recognize that. He's a good filmmaker. The Happening is on my Top 10 list for movies to see this summer.
Dan Geer on Apr 22, 2008
I've always been a big fan of Shyamalan, and I go against the grain with most of the people I know who loved to start hating him because of the "twists", or the continuing lack of focus on them. I think nha (comment#2) was right when he said that it's a different audience. I think that those that prefer the art of film-making and the beauty of story telling like Shyamalan and haven't taken to hating his work, whereas those after entertainment, big bangs and big finales are seriously disappointed. Mark R (comment#14) is spot on about the marketing for that film, it was definitely not what the film delivered, and I liked the Village, just not compared to the marketing of it. Todd (comment#13) hits my personal opinion spot on though, he's been pushed into this corner by himself, studios and the general audience of demanding a twist to every film, something he's not been delivering as strongly as the first. In fact I think he's been trying to pull away from that until with Lady in the Water he deliberately went the other way. I respect that, and I like his films more because I'm not concentrating on that need for a big final twist.
Richard Brunton (Filmstalker) on Apr 22, 2008
Tow of his biggest problems: He became over-confident and he HAS to be in every one of his movies. Not Hitchhock-like either, he's always so blatantly there. It's his cockyness that's ruined his work.
Ben R on Apr 22, 2008
Let me first preface by saying that I’m an MNS fan. The only movie I didn’t care for really was Lady in the Water. Beyond that I enjoyed each film for what they are. However, if I were to peg a reason for the lost sense of love for him it would have to be that his characters lack distinction between films. His stories are original but the flavor is still the same. Try this analogy. A music group hits one out of the park and sells a million records. Their second album comes out and it has the same lyrical quality as the first but the music, the harmonies and melodies remain unchanged. People still like it because it’s their favorite band but everyone agrees it’s not as good as the first. M. Night has not really stretched himself in my opinion. In fact I think he has taken on projects like The Last Airbender to do just that. The characters will need to be developed completely different than his other films. His current writing style will not work for that project.
Brian Boonstra on Apr 22, 2008
I would have to agree that a lot of folks all of a sudden hate him. With that said, I don't care about him personally at all, I just enjoy his movies. For me its like tom Cruise, the guy is a freaking basket case, moron, however you want to put it. If he can entertain me in a movie though, I can get past it. Would I support his movie financially, probably not, but if someone rented it for us to watch, I would watch it. I am looking forward to The Happening, although it may be rental material.
Atomic Popcorn on Apr 22, 2008
In response to #22 (Ben R) - He has not become over-confident. In the book, The Man Who Heard Voices (or How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career for a Fairy Tale), M. Night talks about the struggles he overcame to actually get Lady in the Water made. He struggled with the decision to cast himself in that role. There were a lot of obstacles to get this movie made and after he was turned down time after time, he wasn't feeling great about it but went with it anyways and thankfully Warner Brothers saw something in it, but thats after they asked him to rewrite many things. I agree with #13 (Todd) and #21 (Richard Brunton) in the sense that he has a lot of pressure to perform. The studios wouldn't look at him unless his film had a twist, and Lady in the Water didn't so they turned him away. It's the viewers loss for not giving his films a fair chance. Don't assume anything with his films, just watch it for what it is and quit picking every little thing apart... I could do the exact same thing for any other director...
Jeff Warner on Apr 22, 2008
I still love Shyamalan and all of his films. The Village and Unbreakable are my favorite, second, Signs and the rest whatever....he is brilliant..because of him i started to watch hitchcock movies...I met him couple of years ago in nyc...we started to talk about movies and how much I loved his films...he told me check out all hitchcock stuff...so I bought 10 movie bundle or whatever...anwyay....one of the scrupulous connotation that I hear all the time from people is that ....he tends to piss people off ...with his ending and ....they all go into thinking that it's some sort crazy slasher bloody movie with ....but dumb people are unable to understand the messages and the bigger picture....anwyay....
scar on Apr 22, 2008
Talk about movies wich aren't getting a lot of attention,what about Stephen Chow's "Cj7"??
Zerge on Apr 22, 2008
Ooops it's already released!? My bad!
Zerge on Apr 22, 2008
I'll preface this by stating I'm a BIG Shyamalan fan. "Signs" and "The Sixth Sense" are on my top list of all time. BUT I believe he's gotten either lazy or self-indulgent. Like someone mentioned above, he worked his ass off to get T6S green lit. After that, he really didn't have to impress anyone, because he already did, and in Hollywood, you're as good as your last picture. Then came "Unbreakable" and "The Village" and "The Lady In The Water". Uh oh. Now the blessing above has become a curse, and he's laboring under that now, as well. He needs to move away from Hollywood, fire any and all "yes men" and rediscover what made T6S so wonderful. As a novelist, I am predisposed to agree with the adage "If it ain't on the paper, it ain't gonna be on the screen." He needs to write more, collaborate more (isolate himself less), work with less budgets and rediscover the wonder of screenwriting, directing and filmmaking in general. I hope he's done that with "The Happening". - Bill Creator of the Denton Ward and Monty Crocetti mystery series
William Mize on Apr 22, 2008
"The Sixth Sense" was awesome, some genuinely creepy moments though there was a faint whiff of M Night ego about it, "Unbreakable" was pretty cool though that whiff got stronger but he had obviously dissapeared right up his own arse by "Signs" which was the last M Night film I was prepared to sit through on account of it being total shit. I was actually mad that I had wasted about 2 hours of my life watching it!!, Its like Mel Gibson is acting in another more worthy film. "Swing away"?!!! WTF. How he continues to get money to make what LOOK like beautifully filmed movies and quality casts is beyond me. I only had to read the synopsis for "Lady in the Water" to know that it was going to be a steaming turd of a movie. Just my opinion mind........
mark fletcher on Apr 22, 2008
I'm not a hardcore MNS fan, but I do admire portions of his work. Sixth Sense was good, Unbreakable was my favorite, I barely remember Signs, I DESPISED The Village and I really liked Lady in the Water for what it was. Mark R, I didn't hate The Village because it wasn't gory enough. I hated it because they tell you EXACTLY what's going on with the creatures and then they proceed to pretend they didn't show you that five minutes later. My intelligence was insulted and I never forgave the film for that. Add in the fake documentary he made and I had written him off completely. As much as I really enjoyed Lady in the Water as the fairy tale it was meant to be, casting himself was the single worst decision made in that movie. I rolled with every other choice he made in that movie just fine except that. Would it really have been that difficult for him to find another amazing character actor like he got for every other part in the movie? Whether he meant for it to look this way or not, he gave himself the part with the third most lines and he played a man who writes the most important piece of literature that the world will ever know. How else was I supposed to take that except as arrogance? Even after that, I'm still looking forward to The Happening. I'm hoping that he can actually put something together that's a solid film. I'm rooting for the guy and hope he turns it around. The only hope I've been given is by my good friend Barry who reminded me that the last time MNS had an embarrassing flop on the levels of Lady in the Water was when he did Wide Awake. After that, he locked himself away and came out with The Sixth Sense.
SG Dave on Apr 22, 2008
I didn't overly rate The Village and haven't seen Lady in the Water but I was hooked after seeing the trailer for The Happening. It looks to offer one of the things missing from I am Legend. Namely who it all goes to sh*t. For me there is more power in conveying everything going wrong and slowly breaking down than just saying 'it's all gone'.
Payne by name on Apr 22, 2008
I really wanna see the happening too, I dont like to watch for the gimicks i love watching for the emotions and tense thrills that he manages to produce. I loved 6th sense, just unique and great acting, unbreakable was cool its like a real life superhero, signs was just full of anticipation of what was gonna happen next. The Villiage was OK, i liked it alot probably just because Bryce Dallas Howard was phenomenal, otherwise it was mediocre. Now we come to Lady in the Water, I just didn't get anything at all from this movie, no thrills, no want to know what was gonna happen, I didn't believe it and I just wanted to leave because i thought it was such crap. I'm willing to give him more shots at good films, but I just hated this movie, and I guess people in general felt like his movies were on the decline. I think if he sticks with the thrills and quit worrying about gimmicks like putting himself in the movies, hes be ok, in fact I think the happening looks outstanding.
Richard on Apr 22, 2008
i absolutely love his movies, i have to agree that everything about his moives are perfect. they are not over the top nor does the majority of the public like them but i for one cant wait to see the happening. I never saw lady in the water, i will have to rent that soon.
Loren on Apr 22, 2008
I think the huge number of films that are so highly anticipated is just overshadowing everything that doesn't have the same sort of production going on. Normally there will be several 'normal' films and a few of these big budget popcorn movies every summer. This year there's got to be what... 10 or 11 of these HUGE movies. It's ridiculous. I'm gonna end up spending a small fortune over the summer and into the Fall just to see them all. I want to see The Happening as well, it's just not the sort of movie that I think people are going to hype up until it's release is a bit closer. We still have a month and some change before that one gets released... after some of these other May releases finally open, the studio will probably start pushing that one.
Squiggly_P on Apr 22, 2008
We share the same order of preference for his films! I absolutely loved the Village, but so many people rag on it! I knew before I saw it Lady in the Water would be awful, and it was. I'd rather not think of it, actually.. The Happening looks promising, but only time will tell.
Traveler on Apr 22, 2008
I've been a fan of Shyamalan from the beginning. I remember the surprise of The Sixth Sense, and unlike most viewers wasn't disappointed with Unbreakable. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed that movie even more so. Then came Signs and I really enjoyed the thrill of it. It was scary and I loved being a part of the audience energy and being freaked out by classic horror. The Village was also pretty good, even though I saw the direction that it ultimately led to. I still enjoyed it for what it offered. After that I have to admit that I wasn't too thrilled with The Lady in the Water. It didn't hold up well, and really could've been flushed out better. What ultimately killed it for me was how Shyamalan made himself a pivotal character to the story. I don't care for him making prolonged appearances in his movie. I preferred his subdued roles in Unbreakable and The Village. If there is one thing that I truly do appreciate from Shyamalan is his ability to bring the best out of his actors. There have been incredible performances in each of his movies and that can't be denied.
Josh on Apr 22, 2008
I think his only flop really that I didn't like was LADY IN THE WATER which was one of the worst things I ever had to sit through. FYI: What Happens in Vegas... will be HUGE! Ashton Kutcher+Cameron Diaz+Queen Latifah=$100M+
Ryan on Apr 22, 2008
What exactly happened to M. Night that you had to create this news post? He's still a talented and creative director that you're going to go to the movies and see his work in action, no matter how much you'll complain about a certain movie that he makes, you'll still go and see it at the theatres. Some will hate his movies because they might be too "fruity" for their own taste, but most will love them.
nemes1s on Apr 22, 2008
FYI - What Happens in Vegas... will NOT be huge... there has been virtually no marketing for it and it comes out in only a few weeks. And I'm hoping that most people will go to Speed Racer or Iron man again.
Jeff Warner on Apr 22, 2008
Mr. Shyamalan's problem is that he rocked the boat with " Lady in The Water". Warner Brother's Committee decided to buy critics who are Movie Industry Hacks. These Hacks are paid to give bad reviews to any movie or director who does not allow The Committee to take control of their artistic creation and make it into a commercial success. This happened and will continue to happen to Irag War films that may hurt their relationship with The Bush Administration. The Bush Administration did it with the press before and during the Irag War. The Progressive Media and even Conservative Media like The Magazine, The American Conservative, did not cave in to his Threats to cut them out of their circle of friends. The New York Times has recently found it's balls and is now writing the truth about the war. I lived through The McCarthy Witch hunts and Burnings in The 1950's. However, The Bush Administration under Carl Rove has done a much better job. We are not a Democracy! We are a country that is run by Large Corporations , Political Parties that own their careers to these Corporations and A Military Establishment who depends on The Large Corporations for lucrative jobs after they retire. The Main Media Outlets including The Movie Industry belong to these same corporations. In closing ;I like to Amend President Eisenhower's warning during his farewell address to the following, " Beware The Military Industrial Complex and The Politicians and Mainstream Media are owned by them.
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Apr 22, 2008
to #18; What about War of the Worlds?
Ruby on Apr 22, 2008
Jeff-There is marketing for VEGAS on every website and TV break imaginable! On FOX and F/X the ads are running 24/7!
Ryan on Apr 22, 2008
I personally still like Shyamalan. "Lady in the Water" is one of my favorite films. He comments on the originality of films and story making in that movie really blatantly and makes a film that is totally different than anything else out. The movie is like a child's story with a new twist on it. I think the problem with Shyamalan now is how his movies are being sold to the public. They are being listed as horror films or suspense movies when they are anything but. When people went to go see "The Village" (myself included), they were looking for a horror film. Turns out that movie wasn't a horror film at all. It commented more on society and control. I was disappointed that the movie wasn't a horror film, but loved it better for what the type of movie it was. If his films were advertised for what they are I think audiences wouldn't be so critical of him and his films would begin to get the praise they deserve. Honestly, he did lose me with "Unbreakable" and "Sign," but "The Village" and "Lady in the Water" were excellent films. I'm there for "The Happening." I do also get that "The Happening" isn't getting as much advertisements or notice as other films are. But I agree that there are other big time summer movies that are taking that spotlight. If this movie were to come out at any other time than the summer I think it may get more attention.
kdr on Apr 22, 2008
M. Night ceased to be an innovative storyteller and began to be a gimmick when he hung his entire career on using the exact same plot device in every single movie: the twist ending. That's why no one cares. Audiences aren't stupid and most can see the twist coming a mile away, which ruins the movie. Why watch a movie when you know you're going to end up disappointed? M.N.S. needs to take a break from his own hype, make a few movies that don't depend on the twist, and then come back and surprise us again with a good one.
Peter on Apr 22, 2008
@ #41... dude... 1) what the hell does this have to do with Iraq. 2) Why the hell are you spelling it "IraG?". Stop trying to pretend you know anything about the situation, you don't even know how to spell the name of the god damn country.
Squiggly_P on Apr 22, 2008
I've always greatly appreciated and admired M. Night Shyamalan. His movies have never disappointed me, even though I did see the ending to The Village coming from miles away. I still loved it. Haven't had the chance to see Lady in the Water yet, but have damned myself for not seeing it in theater. "The Happening" is on my list of must sees for the summer, and it looks to be damned good. Especially sense after he's done with The Happening he's going in for "Avatar: The Last Airbender" don't hate me cuz I like Aang!
Garrett.king on Apr 22, 2008
I want some of what #41's smoking.
John on Apr 22, 2008
I think the answer is simple: In our culture, teens are extremely fickle and what goes up must come down. That is the whole problem with marketing to them and trying to appealing to them, which is a portait Shyamalan fits to the frame. The Sixth Sense was immensely popular amoung teens. You wanna know why? Because it was fucking great! Every movie since then has been just as entertaining as well as mentally stimulating (Lady in the Water might have been a mistake, but it was a good effort. If you watch it again you can kind of see where he was going for -- something like an Altman-Rear Window-Sci Fi). There is definately a trend with our popular culture (something is unknown, something is discovered, something becomes a phenomenon, something becomes unpoplular, something becomes hated and if you like it you are a faggot). It happens with almost everything that has been created to appeal to teens, having more to do with popular opinion than quality. Shyamalan's movies are definately quality films and dont deserve this. Whenever I hear someone say they hate Shyamalan's movies, I get really bizarre responses that usually end up in nitpicking, not really any reason to genuinely hate something. I think Shyamalan realizes this trend and is deciding to express his ideas to a less retarded group by making The Happening R-Rated and I hope he keeps it up even if it does mean a small gross. I cant wait for The Happening.
Vega Bro on Apr 22, 2008
I don't think you're original when you keep ending your movies like the last one you made. I get frustrated when everyone's like "I was totally blown away by the ending". I'm thinking, "what!" He did the same thing last time. I can be too much of a critic sometimes and not watch movies for what they are...entertainment.
wm on Apr 22, 2008
Oh yeah, I wish people would stop comparing him to Hitchcock. I think you have to earn that comparison.
wm on Apr 22, 2008
i don't know what everyone else has said cause there's freaken 51 comments before me...but for this movie, i'd watch it just cause Zooey Deschanel is playing a big role in it(if i'm not mistaken =/). but that aside, from the original trailer that was leaked earlier i really feel it will be a great movie, better than signs. personally i kind of thought less of m. night after watching the village. but after watching that trailer, i felt shyamalan could be making a come back and i hope he does with this. although the final trailer that was released in theaters doesn't make the movie look as great as the orginal trailer, it still looked good. i'll be going to see this movie and i hope everyone else will give it a chance.
craziemutant on Apr 23, 2008
#29 was right on the money. I know it's rude to criticize the creative process, but these are simply pointers for someone who is genuinely talented. After all the topic has to do with what happened to him, and as a person who enjoys movies and appreciates good work, I would like to add two more cents. I think it's obvious that he thinks his movies are about the ending, it's almost as if he thinks of the ending first and he writes around it. I'm not saying that there's something wrong with that, but you can't rely on a twist to make a good movie. And that's where the cockiness I think comes in, because I get a sense of "I got it in the bag" and "trust me, the ending is great" attitude as you sit through the "set up". And while I'm sure most people that watch his movies don't realize that he's also acting in them, there's something way too vain about that. At least it doesn't look like he'll be acting in The Happening, but I get a feeling he'll creep in there somewhere, in fact I want to go see it just so I can spot him and do a Nelson Muntz' "Ha Ha" at the screen. And trust me, it bugs me when Eastwood does it, or Mel and especially Spike Lee, but as I said, it's just my humble opinion. There has to be an amount of over-confidence to be in the movie business, but you can't let it affect your work. Save it for the black tie party.
Ben R on Apr 23, 2008
he is still one of the best and the happening will be a great movie!
zondron on Apr 23, 2008
Well, it's nice to see that there are so many M Night supporters here. Can we put all this "he's lost it" "he sucks now" stuff to bed? No...I suppose we can't. I have enjoyed ALL of his movies thus far...even LADY IN THE WATER. At least he TRIES to do something different than 90% of all the other major study releases. I'll definitely seen THE HAPPENING and am proud of it.
Christopher on Apr 23, 2008
Shyamalan was a one-hit wonder; he blew his load with The Sixth Sense and that was that.
avoidz on Apr 24, 2008
@#46 You must be both dumb and Blind. I never spelled Irag wrong. Read my post again dude. I think two tours in Irag with Marine's Charlie Company, 1St Battalion, 5Th Regiment and working in The Defense Intelligence Department gives me some credibility. You are a wealthy brat that would never volunteer to go to Irag or Afghanistan. Go get high and stop insulting people that you don't even know dude.
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Apr 24, 2008
@#48 Another pothead! You and #41 should join something other then Crack Houses. There's not any military branch that would except you.
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Apr 24, 2008
#57 & #41, how can working with the the "defense intelligence department", or any other department, give you credability when it comes to the few inappropriate rants about a film director's decline in popularity? Granted, there are a million more important topics to discuss, like the economy, the price of gas, or even IRAQ (Q not G (We are writing in English after all)), but this is simply a collection of opinions from the people who enjoy movie-making. I think it's safe to say that the majority of the people who visit this site would utilize a different critiria than most of the movie watching audience when deciding on where to spend, what has become equivalent to the price of sneakers, on a good film. Basically that's what this discussion boils down to, not the dark forces manipulating the media. M. Night and you may want to think that his slow descent to oblivion is all part of an evil plan by the Bush admisnistration (hey, haven't you noticed, they never accomplish what they plan!), but he should be so lucky. He has creatively plateaud on his own. If you were writing all of this in a Tom Cruise discussion, on why he remians popular and continues to make movies, I might buy it. But Iraq would still be spelled with a Q and not a G. (Sorry)
Ben R on Apr 26, 2008
I can't believe that you actually deleted my comment. So you are part of the establishment tool What ever happened to " Freedom of Speech". We are getting waxed to protect your right to speak your mind. However; you only allow comments that are acceptable to The enemies of The Constitution. I'm a Conservative who believes that The Constitution and The Geneva Convention Rules are sacred. Go ahead and report me to the fascists. I will be waiting for them with my Idiot stick. May YOU LIVE FOREVER!
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Apr 29, 2008
My apology! I did not see my comment and thought the worse. God Bless You and your Website. Marsalama!(Go in Peace).
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on Apr 29, 2008
I don't think that anything has happened to M. Night Shyamalan. It's just that not a whole lot of people understand the whole story lines of his "flops." I think "The Village" is a great example of religion, in that stories are often times used to make people frightened(I'm not saying that any of the stories in the bible are lies.) It's also kind of based on a true story in that there are communities that are isolated from the rest of the world and none of those people know about any of us. It's also a metaphor for the lack of innocence in the world, because the community's built around innocence and love, and not a whole lot of us have that. And so there's a lot of truth in "The Village," even though the movie is disguised as a horror film. That's why I liked it. As far as "Lady in the Water" goes, I think that it's a great example of how we all have a place in the world. How we're all discouraged about ourselves; how we think that we don't have a place and why the hell are we here on earth in the first place? So, I like how it talks about how we're all an important piece of the world. Also, "Lady in the Water" is a metaphor for how ignorant of others we've become; how war and greed can effect us, and how we're so focused on our wants that we don't stop to listen to our friends, who could be our guides. So like "The Village," "Lady in the Water" has a lot of truth in it, and it's just dressed up as a fairy tale. I know this is all a lot, but this is all why I think M. Night Shyamalan will never lose his touch: because of his ability to tell the truth through his movies.
Jordan Paree on May 2, 2008
i love mns but i think his movie's success is directly proportional to the size of his role in the movie. i appreciate the hitchcock aesthetic, but keep it hitchcock-sized (brief cameo)
MC on May 7, 2008
I was right ; you deleted my response to to #59'S personal attack. I take my apology back. I will respond to #59'S personal attack again. You can delete it again and I will keep coming back to defend my Honor. As I said before; we call Al Qaeda Terrorist by various names. These names in Iragis and/or Iraqis, Ali Babas, Hajis,Johnny Jihads, and other derogatory names. We do not use them when referring to the victims of The Insurgents. We have been fighting Mookie's (Muqtada Sadr) militias and have suffered heavy casualties. Some of our casualties resulted from trying to prevent killing friendlies who are being used as human shields. As a member of a two men scout sniper team; I was waxed when we entered a building to use it to kill a sniper that had waxed 3 of our men. Because the length of our idiot sticks, we use our sidearms to clear a house. The house was assumed empty because we were not receiving fire from the building. Unfortunately, for us the intel was BOGINT! The building had friendlies. As we were leaving the building; one of the friendlies pulled out his Ak47 and shielded himself with a child. I hesitated because of the kid and was waxed. My spotter killed the unfriendly friendly without hitting the kid. So I'm home after what seemed like a life time of hospitalization and rehab. His burst shattered my spine cord and the back of my brain. Since I could not return to combat; I was given a job at Defense Department's Intelligence Department. While in the department; I was privy to Black OPS that included destroying the credibility of actors, producers, directors and other members of the movie industry that produced films that were considered anti-Iraqi or anti-Afghanistan wars. Redacted and other movies were on our hit list. I just wanted to enlight your fans that any movie that rocks the boat can be targeted. P.S. If I offended any one's sensibilities ; it was not intentional. e.g. Christians in Action is our slang for The Central Intelligence Agency and our ethnic slurs are not just used for Arabs. Marines use ethnic slurs for each other and use profanity all the time. Peace. Ivan. I hope this will get us back to comments about movies.
Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr. on May 7, 2008
You Guys in the Hollywood are jealous of my brother Indian....
Lorenz on Jun 13, 2008
Check your grammar.
Mark Bueller on Jun 15, 2008
He was a one trick poney.
Bruce Marshall on Dec 17, 2008
I think The Village is representative of everything wrong with M. Night Shyamalan. People started to seek out the twist because he got too stuck in routine. And then, when the twist came along, you wish it didn't. His films existed in his own little enclosed world but when you examine them with any outside logic they fall apart.
SlashBeast on Oct 4, 2009
There was a strong and increasingly mannered feeling of a too coercive sensibility that forestalled dramatic discovery in his work.
Glass on Jul 10, 2010
Shyamalan's films started to become so rigidly formulaic that they progressively became more and more illogical. The main problem is that he'd create worlds that were enclosed and hermetic to the point that they'd crack if external logic (or common sense) was applied to them. The twists are so illogical and require so much suspension of disbelief that they collapse the film. He proceeded to milk his own formula to it's limit. By the time The Village's premise was revealed, people immediately called the twist (and were proven correct).
1-7 on Jul 10, 2010
An uncomfortable pattern was emerging. M. Night was making fragile, sealed-off movies that fell apart when exposed to outside logic (or common sense). The twists in both Unbreakable and Signs sound like rejected Twilight Zone episodes. SPOILERS Think about it: a fragile comic book collector believes that his mission in life is to discover a real superhero, so he starts killing huge batches of people in airplane crashes and train wrecks in the hope that there will be a miraculous survivor? Signs is even flimsier: an ultra-advanced, intelligent alien species that is killed by interaction with H2O decides to hastily invade a planet that is composed of 75% water? Don’t even get me started on The Village.
Prototype on Jul 10, 2010
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