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Anghus Houvouras picks his top five five directors whose output is getting progressively worse, and rates their chances of redemption...
Some filmmakers age like fine wine. Others ferment. Every filmmaker has an occasional miscue or a film that doesn't live up to expectations. But there are others who consistently work and yet seem to be spiraling down a slippery descent into mediocrity... or worse. Here's a list of the top five filmmakers who have seemed to have lost their way.
It feels like a lifetime since we've seen a Coppola film that is worth the two hour investment. At one point he was the riskiest, most daring filmmaker in the business. He took big risks and reaped big rewards. But then he started turning out junk that barely qualified as mediocre. It was right around the time he released the family friendly drama Jack with Robin Williams »
Just how good was M. Night Shyamalan’s early work? Certainly groundbreaking, when you consider the brave decisions in his writing and directing. From The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and even the underrated The Village to some extent, Shyamalan created a genre all of his own. Still, everything since has been, well, to put it simply – crap! He could have filmed a dog curling one out the pavement and it would have been more engrossing than Mark Wahlberg talking to plants in The Happening.
Hopefully, his Will Smith and son Jaden-led sci-fier After Earth will see him back on form with the story of a father and son who crash land on a decimated Earth, who then explore the planet that was evacuated by humans 1,000 years earlier. The recent trailer looked visually stunning, so fingers crossed the film on the whole, impresses come its release 7th June 2013.
Meanwhile, the movie »
- Craig Hunter
A grown up Jaden plays the lead in the futuristic film by the Signs and The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan. In the trailer, Will Smith narrates the journey his son must make in this strange planet which humans haven't inhabited for 1,000 years. After crash landing their spaceship, Cypher (Will) is hurt, and its up to his son Kitai to signal for help while escaping pre-historic looking animals and an alien creature that escaped from the spaceship.
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Michael C here. The staggering failure of M. Night Shyamalan’s post-Signs career does not need another chronicling here. Suffice it to say that to approach a new film of his with high expectations would require insane, borderline Little Orphan Annie levels of optimism.
Not that you would know from the trailer that After Earth is the latest M. Night Shyamalan opus since his name appears in the preview exactly zero times. Clearly the studio got word of the peals of laughter the Devil trailer received with its “From the Mind of M. Night Shyamalan” title card.
No this trailer is all about top world box office star Will Smith and his transparent mission to anoint son Jaden heir to his box office throne. Also there seems to be some stuff about crash landing on a strange and dangerous planet in the distant future that turns out to be… »
- Michael C.
"Do you know where we are?"
While not his debut movie, 1999's The Sixth Sense turned director M. Night Shyamalan into an instant sensation, with 2000's Unbreakable and 2002's Signs keeping audiences in anticipation of when the next Shyamalan "twist" movie would arrive next. However, 2006's Lady in the Water was a turning point, and not a good one, as audiences didn't take to the director's fairy tale story. Shyamalan followed with critical punching bags like 2008's The Happening (which still managed some box office success) and 2010's The Last Airbender (which didn't).
Luckily, everyone loves a good redemption story, and Shyamalan could be due for one with next year's After Earth. It doesn't hurt that Shyamalan has decided to join forces with Will Smith, an actor who has been on a hit streak longer than most, and Jaden Smith, who has become a movie star in his own right. »
- Ryan Gowland
Is there any sci-fi scenario in movies in which Earth has not been eradicated or irrevocably changed for the worst? We already had Tom Cruise gazing sadly around at a post-apocalyptic scenario in the Oblivion trailer and now we welcome Cruise’s brother in Xenu Will Smith to the party.
The trailer premiere of M. Night Shyamalan’s newest flick After Earth, starring Will Smith and son Jaden Smith, comes to us via The Film Stage and … my God, I do not care. I cannot even begin to explain how little this whole thing excites me. But here’s the plot, for what it’s worth:
One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
There was a time, I assure you, when word of a new M. Night Shyamalan film filled people with excitement. I’m still a lover of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs. However, those days are long gone and you wonder how the man still gets work. Teaming up with box-office sure thing Will Smith can’t possibly hurt, and he’s bringing along his son too. Not to mention putting on a new voice. Smith will play Cypher, a legendary pilot who becomes stranded on Earth a thousand years after humans left. Being injured, Cypher must trust his son Kitai (Jaden Smith), to go on a perilous journey.
There’s a lot that could work about this film. The bond between father and son could be played out very well, as could Kitai’s journey from boy to man. The CGI looks good and this is the first film »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
M. Night Shyamalan's second foray into sci-fi since Signs, After Earth stars Will and Jayden Smith as a father and son whose space ship crash lands on a future Earth (1,000 years into the future to be exact) that has been rendered un-inhabitable by an unnamed disaster. Shyamalan hasn't had a good run of it lately, with The Happening and The Last Airbender being beyond disappointing, but I am a big fan of the directors early work, Unbreakable especially, and this trailer looks promising, which echos his early films. Add to that the very talented Smith boys, and I'll be watching this one very closely. Released: June 7th 2013 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb...
Charlie Lyne writes for The Guardian about how found footage films are dominating cinema - and the functional problems with this...
"The central conceit of the found footage genre – fictional characters, be they priests, partygoers or palaeontologists, suddenly being struck by the inexplicable urge to immortalise the drama of their lives on film – can be a difficult one to sell to an audience, but that hasn't stopped film-makers in their hundreds trying their hands."
Read the full article here.
My own experience with found footage films dates back to The Blair Witch Project. Though I didn't see the film at the cinema, I recall buying the film on DVD and still, my friends and I were unsure whether it was a true story. As a keen camper in my younger years, I related to the woodland-walking, awkward-bags-on-back and within-tent discussions. I remember watching »
Usually when we get a movie with aliens visiting Earth, the focus tends to be on the aliens taking over the world or an entire city, like we’ve seen over and over again in films like Independence Day, Skyline, and Battle: Los Angeles. What we don’t get that often is a focus on one family and how it affects them, but that’s exactly what we get with the new thriller Dark Skies.
Today, thanks to First Showing, we have the first trailer for the film which gives you an idea of the creepy kind of atmosphere they’re going for.
The first comparison that most are likely to make is to another alien film that focused on a single family, Signs, a film that’s from back when M. Night Shyamalan used to make good movies. It does indeed look a little similar, though Dark Skies looks »
- Jeff Beck
When Joaquin Phoenix told Interview magazine last month that the Oscars are “total, utter bullsh-t,” he either ruined his chances of being nominated for his performance in The Master — or clinched it. The two-time Oscar nominee revisited his remarks in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, expressing his surprise that his comments made waves but also crediting the Academy for giving him the success that he has. “I haven’t been in a lot of movies that have made a lot of money,” he said. “And getting nominated for a movie has probably helped my career tremendously. But in »
- Jeff Labrecque
Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.
As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.
Special Mention: Gremlins
Directed by Joe Dante
Written by Chris Columbus
Gremlins gets a special mention because I’ve always considered it more of a comedy and a wholesome Christmas flick than an actual horror film. This tribute the 1950s matinee genre stands the test of time from a time when parents would take their children to family films that pushed the boundaries of the MPAA. Joe Dante is »
0:00-2:10 – Introduction; complaints about technical problems
2:10-12:45 – “Taken 2″ review
12:45-20:20 – “Frankenweenie” review
20:20-24:30 – “Hotel Transylvania” review, with a tangent about tall bikes
24:30-33:10 – “Pitch Perfect” review
33:10-40:20 – “V/H/S” review
40:20-41:25 – “American Scream” is playing tonight only in Portland, but watch for it elsewhere in the near future
41:25-48:55 – Qotw (what horror movie should they make a junior version of?)
48:55-52:15 – iTunes reviews, including a mean one
1:01:20-1:04:15 – Lunch sponsor: “The Ex and the Why,” a U.K. comedy made for 250 “pounds”!
1:04:15-1:05:50 – Wrap-up and goodbyes
Qotw: What true event from history that has not already been turned into a movie should be turned into a movie? »
- Jeff Bayer
Paul Thomas Anderson released the final trailer for The Master yesterday, revealing footage that didn’t make the final cut of his critically acclaimed film. The new scenes reaffirm Joaquin Phoenix’s character Freddie Quell’s erratic, unpredictable, and animalistic nature, while stressing Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character Lancaster Dodd’s charisma, charm, and perversion. Watch it below.
Spoiler Alert. Here’s what didn’t make the cut of the movie:
A longer version of Freddie’s psychiatric interview conducted before his discharge from the Navy, which provides more insight into his “violent episodes.” We learn that he “pulled a »
- Maane Khatchatourian
This week The Countdown explores life beyond planet earth with the best Alien Invasion movies. Watch how Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix deal with signs of Alien life, meanwhile, an entire alien nation battles Los Angeles. Donald Sutherland is on a mission to prevent more human bodies from being snatched, while Shia Labeouf is seeing cars transforming into a heavy metal invasion, and Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones always dress in black when they take on the aliens. As the clip above proves, not all aliens are cute as E.T.
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Link | Posted 9/27/2012 by reelz
The Countdown on Reelz | Signs »
- reelz staff
Dr. Stephen Strange is no stranger to comic lovers. Ruler of the mystics, enchantments, and all things magical, the character has been a fan favorite for some time now.
Let’s be honest here. Marvel Studios didn’t create their own branch to just produce movies to be thrown into The Avengers universe. Their plans are focused on those heroes, but they’re much bigger, too. Eventually, they’re going to start diving into solo films without having them tie into enormous pictures like The Avengers. I like to think Marvel Studios is here to stay, so here are six directors I think Marvel should give a chance with their premier magician.
Why He’d Be Great: When I think of Shyamalan, I don’t think of a bad director despite his last efforts on »
- Cameron Domino Carpenter
Today it’s exactly 10 years since the release of M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs in the UK. I remember seeing it for the first time and absolutely loving the film. I found the tension and fear to be well paced and it still creeps me the hell out today. But as the years went by I noticed a strange phenomenon whenever I mentioned Signs. Whenever I would bring up the film, those around me would become defensive scientists, attacking the film because the aliens appear to be killed by water. From friends to a University lecturer, the idea that aliens were killed by water seemed to be genuinely offensive. However, is it just me or are the aliens not even killed by water? Over the course of this article I hope to show how the aliens were not allergic to water, and how even if they were, it wouldn’t even matter. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Don't call it a comeback, he's been here for years. Joaquin Phoenix has been appearing on screen for nearly three decades, initially under the name Leaf, but really came to attention in 1995 in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For," a film that really put him on the map. And across the next decade and a bit, in everything from blockbusters "Gladiator" and "Signs" to his hugely impressive collaborations with James Gray on "The Yards," "We Own The Night" and "Two Lovers," Phoenix steadily revealed himself as one of the most talented and committed actors of his generation. And suddenly four years ago, he seemed, at a distance, to go off the rails -- appearing in public looking disheveled and disturbed, under sunglasses and a mountain-man beard, and announcing that he was retiring from acting for a career in rap. As it turns out, it was all an elaborate piece »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film The Master has already been earning glowing reviews from early screenings, and as it prepares for its world premiere the 69th Venice International Film Festival this coming Saturday, The Weinstein Company has released a final theatrical trailer via the IMDb, which is embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
The Master sees Anderson regular Philip Seymour Hoffman (Magnolia, Capote) leading the cast as Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic individual who launches his own faith-based organisation in the aftermath of World War II and attracts a young drifter Freddie Sutton (Joaquin Phoenix; Signs, Walk the Line) to be his right hand man. However, as the organisation starts to grow, Freddie comes to question both the belief system and his mentor.
Following on from last month's release of the first teaser poster and official trailer, anticipation is steadily increasing for the arrival of The Master, the latest offering from acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, and the upcoming film has just received a new theatrical poster which showcases its three main stars, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Magnolia, Capote), Joaquin Phoenix (Signs, Walk the Line) and Amy Adams (The Fighter, Man of Steel). Take a look...
According to the official synopsis, The Master sees Philip Seymour Hoffman as L. Ron Hubbard Lancaster Dodd, "a charismatic intellectual [who] launches a religious organisation following World War II and taps a young drifter (Phoenix) as his right-hand man. But as the faith begins to gain a fervent following, the onetime vagabond finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor."
The Master is due for release in North America on September 21st and is slated »
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