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After Earth has been surprisingly divisive among reviewers and audiences, with opinions ranging from those who consider it a pleasantly entertaining bit of filmmaking from maligned director M. Night Shyamalan to those who have declared it in step with his recent string of duds and possibly the worst movie of 2013 so far. I understand both of these views to an extent. I found it to be something of an improvement over outright disasters like The Happening and Lady in the Water, in that I didn’t hate every single second of it. In fact, I found it to be mildly enjoyable, which surprised me coming from Shyamalan and the relatively untested starpower of Jaden Smith. There was a decent number of things in the film to admire.
The biggest obstacle for Shyamalan to my mind continues to be his inability to recognize things in his movie that are just awkward. »
- Darren Ruecker
It's almost impossible to think it now but at the turn of the millennium the hottest ticket in town was M Night Shyamalan. His chilling ghost story The Sixth Sense built around an "oh wow" third-act plot twist, scooped six Oscar nominations and delivered a massive $670 million box office payday. Success thrust Shyamalan to Christopher Nolan-like levels of adulation, but the years since have not been so kind. The wheels began to judder on the uneven The Village before a series of creative misfires with Lady in the Water, The Happening and the truly terrible Last Airbender derailed him completely. Even this month's After Earth (complete with Will Smith's A-list star power) is proving to be a less-than-prosperous outing for Hollywood's one-time golden boy.
We here at Digital Spy are more interested in celebrating Shyamalan's triumphs though, in particular his 2000 Sixth Sense follow-up Unbreakable - in our eyes his most accomplished movie. »
When The Sixth Sense was first released back in 1999, critics and audiences alike were almost unanimous in their admiration of the film. It’s smart ghost story and “that” twist ending had everyone on tenterhooks. Its writer and director, M.Night Shyamalan was a star, and soon enough everyone wanted a piece of him.
Following it up with arguably his best work, 2000’s Unbreakable that reteamed him with Sixth Sense star Bruce Willis, was a smart and thoughtful take on comic-book mythology and, indirectly, Superman. Another notable success followed with Signs, and the world was Shyamalan’s oyster. That was until 2004′s The Village started to make us wonder what path he was going down and then 2006’s The Lady In The Water, a film that was his first dud. Uneven, disjointed and dull, Lady was the first sign that The Shyamalan train was beginning to run out of gas. »
- Scott Davis
After several hits in a row, M Night Shyamalan's credibility has pretty vanished due to such disappointments as "Lady in the Water," "The Happening," "The Last Airbender" and "After Earth." And now that he's considering returning to the projects that made him a top director in Hollywood, like a sequel to "Unbreakable," Shyamalan also spoke about movies that he wrote before "The Sixth Sense." Most people don't know that he wrote "Stuart Little" because he was hired as a ghostwriter, a person who does the work but the credit goes to someone else. But there was another movie that he wrote that's rarely associated with him. "I ghost-wrote a movie the same year [as 'The Sixth Sense'], but I don't know if I want to tell you which movie I ghost-wrote," he laughed, then quickly stating: "I ghost-wrote the movie 'She's All That.'" For those who aren't familiar with the movie, "She's All That »
Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi epic Interstellar is already starting to amass quite an impressive cast with the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and Nolan mainstay, Michael Caine already signed up for the trip. Now another actor is on board the project, little known character actor Bill Irwin.
Irwin has played opposite Anne Hathaway before in Rachel Getting Married as well as roles in Hot Shots!, Lady In The Water, The Manchurian Candidate and in a recurring role as creepy serial killer Nate Haskell on CSI. He’s also a renowned stage actor having won a Tony Award as well. Like Inception before it, few details about the film is known as the Nolans keep a tight lid on it, however it revolves around a heroic group of explorers who travel through a wormhole and into another dimension. The film is written by Jonathan Nolan and produced »
- Esben Evans
On this week's episode of The Golden Briefcase, hosts Tim Buel and Jeremy Kirk go through their latest picks of the week, the newest in DVD & Blu-ray releases, new trailers for Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, Luc Besson's The Family and James Wan's Insidious: Chapter 2. and plenty more. The main topic of the night was a discussion on the many movies and the career of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, After Earth). The guys discuss his cinematic works and all the plot twists and where Shyamalan can go from here. Listen in! The Golden Briefcase is also broadcast Live on Wednesday nights starting ~7:30Pm Pst. You can listen in via our Ustream page or by visiting our own live page right here on Fs. The podcast is just as fun to listen »
- Tim Buel
The story follows a heroic group of explorers who travel through a wormhole and into another dimension. Details of Irwin's role are being kept under wraps. [Source: The Wrap]
Brown's work is inspired by Dante's Inferno, a work that Benigni has great familiarity with and has performed on several occasions. [Source: THR]
Dawn of »
- Garth Franklin
Details about Irwin's character are being heavily guarded by Nolan and his writing partner, brother Jonathan Nolan, according to The Wrap.
He most recently starred on the TNT show Monday Mornings. »
Few filmmakers have experienced the sort of unheralded rise and subsequent implosion that have marked the career of M. Night Shyamalan. His 1999 ghost story The Sixth Sense was a massive hit, and the follow-ups, Unbreakable and Signs, seemed to solidify him as an important voice in science fiction and suspense cinema.
But then, we saw The Village. And Lady In The Water. And everything else. From commanding a multi-million dollar deal just to write Signs, Shyamalan had become an almost instant has been; a whipping boy for critics and fans fed up with his bizarre twists and increasingly sloppy writing, not to mention his own not-so-private sense of self-importance. By the time The Last Airbender was met with scathing reviews, Shyamalan was essentially considered washed up. This summer’s After Earth downplayed his involvement in its advertisements as much as was humanly possible, apparently aware of his now toxic reputation. »
- David Braga
There are few directors I can think of that have experienced the dizzying highs and maddening lows as M. Night Shyamalan. His career has been a bizarre mish-mash of both masterpieces and pieces of garbage. It's tough to comprehend how someone capable of delivering such acclaimed films as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable could also deliver painful, almost unwatchable tripe like The Happening and The Last Airbender. As far as filmmakers go, M. Night might be the most disappointing filmmaker in the history of cinema.
I think my cinematic tastes line up with most people on the Shyamalan's filmography. My first exposure to his work was The Sixth Sense, a movie which quickly became a classic. The film was something of a surprise when it was »
- Flickering Myth
I haven't seen M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth," the reported $150 million sci-fi survival narrative starring Will Smith and his son Jaden that made just a fraction of that amount at the box office this weekend. I also didn't bother with Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender," his previous directing credit. After "The Happening," reports suggested that the filmmaker had lost the intrigue that made his work so attractive in the first place. I couldn't bring myself to confront the change. Even though "The Happening" and, god help us, "Lady in the Water" had their rampant absurdities, they were Shyamalan's absurdities: ideas that existed primarily to set in motion an array of frantic reactions and paranoia. His penchant for third act twists, though they became derided as clichés, reflected a genuine interest in showmanship that actively defied predictable Hollywood formulas. In "The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," "Signs" and even parts of "The Village, »
- Eric Kohn
Ever since Independence Day’s $50.2 million debut on July 4th weekend in 1996, Will Smith has been the undisputed king of the summer box office. He’s led films like Men In Black; Bad Boys II; I, Robot; and Hancock to massive grosses — both domestically and around the world.
But his latest effort, After Earth, landed with a major thud on opening weekend, grossing just $27 million (distributor Sony told outlets it was expecting $35 million before the weekend) and opening in third place with a tepid “B” CinemaScore. The $130 million M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi film, based on an original story idea by Will Smith himself, »
- Grady Smith
The day a new M. Night Shyamalan movie hits theaters might as well be labeled Critics’ Christmas. Ever since 2004′s The Village — and, even worse, 2006′s Lady in the Water — each successive film from the Academy Award-nominated writer/director has given writers a golden opportunity to one-up each other with jabs at Shyamalan’s oeuvre.
And even though it’s more of a Smith-Smith joint than a Shyamalan picture — notice the absence of the director’s name from all of the movie’s promotional material — After Earth has been no exception. So far, the film has earned a paltry score »
- Hillary Busis
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
It’s a bit hard to believe that it’s been eleven years since Signs, the last good (maybe even great) movie that M. Night Shyamalan made, was released. I have vivid memories of watching that film, especially the closing scenes, where Shyamalan used nothing more than shadows and creaking floorboards to create tension so thick that the entire audience held its breath, fearful and waiting, completely in the palm of his hand. Sitting in the theater watching After Earth, Shyamalan’s latest offering, it’s almost impossible to believe that the two films were made by the same filmmaker.
That’s not to say After Earth is a horrible film; rather, what it is is disposable, a decently digestible summer adventure that won’t offend anyone, but won’t amaze them either. There are exciting scenes bookended by misfired attempts at emotion and gravity, gorgeous »
- David Braga
It's not often M. Night Shyamalan is able to generate much excitement these days (that's what a run of Lady in the Water, The Happening and The Last Airbender will do for you), and while early reviews for the upcoming sci-fi After Earth are doing little to suggest his latest film will drag him out of his rut, the director has now teased the possibility of returning to the superhero genre for the long-rumoured sequel to Unbreakable. Speaking to MTV, Shyamalan has revealed that Unbreakable 2 is "on his agenda" and that "as long as it can be connected to something that I'm feeling right now then it'll work for me."
Released back in 2000, Unbreakable starred Bruce Willis as David Dunn, a security guard who discovers that he possesses super powers after coming out unscathed from a train wreck that claims the lives of all the other passengers. Tutored in his »
- Flickering Myth
Los Angeles -- It's a twist worthy of an M. Night Shyamalan film: Where is the prolific writer-director in the marketing of his latest work? "The Sixth Sense" filmmaker has seemingly been sidelined in the promotional efforts for "After Earth," his sci-fi film opening Friday starring Will and Jaden Smith as a father and son stranded on an untamed earth.
While Shyamalan's name is the first to pop up in the credits at the conclusion of the Sony Pictures film, it's been notably missing from trailers, TV commercials and marketing signage – a stark contrast to his previous films like "Unbreakable" and "Lady in the Water," which were prominently billed as being "from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan."
"Night is, without a doubt, a world-class filmmaker who we were thrilled to team up with on this project," said Jeff Blake, Sony's worldwide marketing and distribution chairman, in a statement. "Together, we decided »
At one point, M Night Shyamalan movies were a huge event. His name was usually written in bigger letters on the poster than the actual title of the film. But things have changed. After movies like "Lady in the Water," "The Happening" and "The Last Airbender," fans no longer expect anything good to come from Shyamalan. Now that his "After Earth" movie has hit theaters and is already being trashed by critics (12% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes), Shyamalan believes it's time to head back to what worked by making a sequel to "Unbreakable." "It's getting closer. I want it to happen," he told Collider. "Slowly I'm getting a story in my head that I feel like is able to tell what I.m feeling right now." "Unbreakable" Was released in 2000 and starred Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, who previously said that he would love to return for a sequel. The »
M. Night Shyamalan is the director of the new Will Smith movie, "After Earth." This is a fact that you might not be aware of, because Shyamalan is not a major aspect of the film's marketing campaign. It's a twist from how things were for the 42-year-old director in the aftermath of 1999's "The Sixth Sense," when Shyamalan's name alone was often enough to sell his movies. Following an impressive run of critical and financial successes ("The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," "Signs"), the waters have cooled a bit for Shyamalan over his last few movies ("The Lady in the Water," "The Happening," "The Last Airbender").
In person, Shyamalan is about as cordial as they come. When we met on Wednesday afternoon, he was wearing an Iron Man t-shirt; it made him seem approachable and endearing. So did this: Shyamalan was tipped off that May 29 was my birthday, so no matter how »
- Mike Ryan
Once upon a time, there was a director who made a film about a kid who saw dead people. I kind of despised this film at the time, and figured that nobody would fall for the silly farce. Alas, The Sixth Sense became something of a phenomenon, and established its auteur, one M. Night Shyamalan, as a maker of large scale, big event Hollywood films. His next work, Unbreakable, broke me, and I figured I'd never see another of his films again.I purposely missed out on Signs, and The Village, and The Lady in the Water, each film with progressively lower IMDb ratings, films that are almost farcically bad in terms of poor reputation. Still, each was advertised with the director's name emblazoned on the poster....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
In which we present 10 reasons why not to hate the director people love to hate on. The backlash against M. Night Shyamalan began early and has intensified as his career has progressed. And while, okay, he earned some of those bad vibes (see: Lady in the Water and its "narfs" and "scrunts" and giant eagle called the "Great Eatlon") it has gotten to the point where the director's strengths have all but disappeared from the conversation. But despite reported/rumored problems with ego and questionable scriptwriting, Shyamalan does have skills as a director that should not go unheralded. He may not be your favorite filmmaker, but he is more than talented enough to deserve another chance. Hopefully After Earth gives him the win he needs to gain...
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