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7 items from 2005


Shyamalan: Day-and-date 'life or death to me'

28 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

ORLANDO -- Director M. Night Shyamalan threw down the gauntlet Thursday night at ShowEast, appearing at the exhibitors convention to speak out against shrinking theatrical windows and rejecting the notion of simultaneous day-and-date releases of new films in theaters and on home video, cable and video-on-demand. In an interview before his speech, Shyamalan said he planned to ask theater owners at ShowEast's Final Night Banquet and Award Ceremony "for zero tolerance on this -- to say, 'If you're gonna release a movie in another medium, then you're not going to get into our theaters' -- because at the end of the day, they hold all the cards." Speaking from his Philadelphia-area office shortly before leaving for Orlando, the director said: "I'm going to stop making movies if they end the cinema experience. If there's a last film that's released only theatrically, it'll have my name on it. This is life or death to me." »

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Shyamalan: Day-and-date 'life or death to me'

28 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

ORLANDO -- Director M. Night Shyamalan threw down the gauntlet Thursday night at ShowEast, appearing at the exhibitors convention to speak out against shrinking theatrical windows and rejecting the notion of simultaneous day-and-date releases of new films in theaters and on home video, cable and video-on-demand. In an interview before his speech, Shyamalan said he planned to ask theater owners at ShowEast's Final Night Banquet and Award Ceremony "for zero tolerance on this -- to say, 'If you're gonna release a movie in another medium, then you're not going to get into our theaters' -- because at the end of the day, they hold all the cards." Speaking from his Philadelphia-area office shortly before leaving for Orlando, the director said: "I'm going to stop making movies if they end the cinema experience. If there's a last film that's released only theatrically, it'll have my name on it. This is life or death to me." »

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Shyamalan takes 'Lady' to Warners

25 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

M. Night Shyamalan will write and direct his next film, the fantasy thriller Lady in the Water, for Warner Bros. Pictures. Blinding Edge Pictures will produce, with Sam Mercer and Shyamalan serving as producers. Water centers on the superintendent of an apartment building who finds a sea nymph swimming in the pool. The film will be shot in Philadelphia, where Shyamalan has made all of his movies. Casting is under way, and production is set to begin in August for a July 21, 2006, release. »

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Shyamalan takes 'Lady' to Warner Bros. Pictures

24 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

M. Night Shyamalan will write and direct his next film, the fantasy thriller Lady in the Water, for Warner Bros. Pictures. Blinding Edge Pictures will produce, with Sam Mercer and Shyamalan serving as producers. Water centers on the superintendent of an apartment building who finds a rare type of sea nymph swimming in the apartment pool. »

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Shyamalan takes 'Lady' to Warners

24 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

M. Night Shyamalan will write and direct his next film, the fantasy thriller Lady in the Water, for Warner Bros. Pictures. Blinding Edge Pictures will produce, with Sam Mercer and Shyamalan serving as producers. Water centers on the superintendent of an apartment building who finds a rare type of sea nymph swimming in the apartment pool. The film will be shot in Philadelphia, where Shyamalan has made all of his movies. Casting is under way, and production is set to begin in August for a July 21, 2006, release. »

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Hide and Seek

23 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

There are twist endings and there are twist endings -- and then there is the logic-strangling, complete cheat of a reveal that takes place in the final 10 minutes of Hide and Seek.

It's so absolutely preposterous that it stops the film cold and draws a collective "Aw c'mon!" from viewers wondering if maybe they should take back some of that ill will that greeted M. Night Shyamalan's surprise turn of events in The Village.

Until that moment, the film, directed by John Polson from a first screenplay by Ari Schlossberg, functions as a serviceable if relentlessly derivative psychological thriller, with the presence of Robert De Niro and young Dakota Fanning helping to distract from its cobbled-together feel.

But while audiences love to be scared, they're not so fond of being messed with, and though the genre's die-hard faithful might initially come out, come out, wherever they are, damaging word-of-mouth will likely hasten the trek from the screen to the video racks.

Having put his slow boil to effective use dealing with all those Fockers, De Niro plays it much closer to the vest as David Callaway, a recently widowed psychologist whose daughter Emily (Fanning in a spooky role to match her spooky talent) has been traumatized by the violent death of her mother (a briefly seen Amy Irving).

Contending that a change of scenery will do her a world of good, David and Emily trade in the Big Apple for a rambling old house in rural Upstate New York, with results that prove to be anything but therapeutic.

As a series of increasingly horrific events unfold, with Emily placing the blame on her new and presumed imaginary friend Charlie, David is forced to face the possibility that there's a more tangible, malevolent presence lurking in the dimly lit domicile.

That is, until a destructive force appears to have gotten into writer Schlossberg's word processor and caused it to spew out that ragingly illogical plot shocker.

In hindsight, the writing's actually on the wall long before that moment, thanks to a story line that's crammed with more red herrings than a sardine can, with a setup that smells equally fishy.

De Niro and the always impressive Fanning, whose hair has been dyed an unmistakable shade of troubled-child black, are able to keep it all sufficiently aloft up to that point of no return, as is the capable supporting cast which includes Elisabeth Shue as a sympathetic neighbor, Famke Janssen as De Niro's professional protege and Dylan Baker as a sheriff who proves to be too nosy for his own good.

Australian director Polson (Swimfan) maintains a reasonably taut grip on the initial bumps in the night with assistance from cinematographer Dariusz Wolski ("Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl") and production designer Steven Jordan, who lend the sleepy rural neighborhood the necessary undercurrent of creepiness.

Hide and Seek

20th Century Fox

Josephson Entertainment

Credits:

Director: John Polson

Screenwriter: Ari Schlossberg

Producer: Barry Josephson

Executive producer: Joe Caracciolo Jr.

Director of photography: Dariusz Wolski

Production designer: Steven Jordan

Editor: Jeffrey Ford

Costume designer: Aude Bronson-Howard

Music: John Ottman

Cast:

David Callaway: Robert De Niro

Emily Callaway: Dakota Fanning

Katherine: Famke Janssen

Elizabeth Young: Elizabeth Shue

Alison Callaway: Amy Irving

Sheriff Hafferty: Dylan Baker

Laura: Melissa Leo

MPAA rating R

Running time -- 114 minutes »

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Buena Vista stages a comeback

4 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The Walt Disney Co. spent the first half of the year as embattled as the defenders of The Alamo. But fortunately for the company's Buena Vista distribution arm, the ending of its story proved more upbeat. For even as Disney CEO Michael Eisner was surrendering his chairmanship and promising to step down in 2006, the company's film division turned a corner in August with the release of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. And thanks to The Incredibles and National Treasure, it picked up steam and ended the year with more than $1 billion in domestic grosses. "Well, it ended better than it started," says Nina Jacobson, president of the Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group. "We hit the skids for a while, but we've been digging our way out since 'The Village.' " Jacobson says that success and failure are cyclical in the movie business. "When things were going very well in '03, I knew it wouldn't last, and when things were going horribly in the first half of '04, I knew it wouldn't last. And when they're going better right now, who knows what's going to happen next?" »

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7 items from 2005


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