Wednesday, October 10, 2007

M. Night Shyamalan

It's funny how life works. Since we moved to the Greater Philly area, we've suddenly found ourselves watching the movies of Manoj Night Shyamalan.

Born in India and raised in Philadelphia, Shyamalan has quite an impressive movie resume. In addition to The Sixth Sense, which most people know, he has a slew of other excellent movies.

For example, a few weeks ago, we watched The Lady in the Water, which is basically about a mermaid ("undine," in the pagan lexicon). Very well done.

Then we watched Unbreakable, which stars Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. It is about comic book super heroes.

My students want to watch Signs for Halloween (I let them pick any movie and that's what they picked). I haven't seen it yet, but it stars Mel Gibson and it's about crop circles.

He also wrote and directed The Village, starring John Hurt. I thought it was very good, as well.

So, if you're at your local Movie Stop and you're not sure what to get, check out one of the films by M. Night Shyamalan. He writes tight scripts and certainly attracts big-name acting talent.




Ralph said...

I've definitely read mixed reviews (mostly bad, I'd say) on M. Night's work. What do you think would be a good starting point for me?



DrD said...

The Sixth Sense won Best Original Screenplay in 2000. It's considered his best film.

I also found a favorable review of Unbreakable at:

I know a lot of people come down on him for his particular stylistic pattern of having a "twist" at the ending, but Alfred Hitchcock did the same thing quite often.

For example, Psycho is considered a work of genius and it has a "twist" ending. Hitch wasn't above it.

I like Shymalan for tight writing, great "moods," and mythic/supernatural facets. In this age of shitty scripts with massive holes and way too many special effects, I like it when a guy returns to the basics of a good script, good acting, and good mood.

Besides, as far as critics go, I've always believed it's more difficult to like something than it is to hate it. Hating is as simple as wiping your ass with the script; enjoying something requires you to appreciate the details. Just my two cents...

It also seems that the various big-name actors like his work. Man, I'd consider it a feather in my cap if Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Giamatti, and William Hurt all wanted to be in my movies...are you kidding me????

And these critics---who have never made a successful film in their lives---say that Shymalan has no talent. Wow. I disagree.

Give The Sixth Sense a shot and let me know what you think.


Ralph said...

Sounds like some good Halloween action.