Monday, July 17, 2006

M. Night Shyamalan Headed For A Fall

Everyone seems to agree director M. Night Shyamalan is egotistical (so are half the directors in Hollwyood, of course, so this isn't news). But the bad buzz surrounding the confusing "Lady in the Water" keeps building. Is it a mermaid movie? (No.) Is it a horror movie? (Not really, but sort of.) The reviews from Variety and Hollywood Reporter are bad. And the NY Post says this could mean the collapse of his career.

Relax. However "LITW" does, Shyamalan will be fine. If Disney execs were smart to pass on this project and Warner Bros. execs prove stupid for picking it up, I'll wager now that the exec who says yes to his NEXT project will look smartest of all. Shyamalan is a name-brand director with an extremely strong track record of movies that left critics cold but packed 'em in. The Sixth Sense -- $293 mil. Unbreakable -- $95. Signs -- $227. The Village -- $114. (And you can more than double those grosses for their worldwide take.) Even if "LITW" dips closer to the $100 mil than $200 mil mark, he is clearly a director with a solid commercial touch.


Reel Fanatic said...

I have to say I haven't really liked any of M. Night's movies since Unbreakrable, and this one just looks like pure, unfiltered crap ... I think you're right, though .. he will survive to try again many more times

Michael in New York said...

I haven't liked any of his movies wholly -- ever. But I do think he's a pretty distinctive filmmaker and is good at creating a mood and a tension, has a great eye for framing. I didn't like The Village but I thought there were moments -- like the bell ringing in the middle of the field or in Signs when the baby monitor started repeating strange noises -- that create a real sense of menace and unease. So I don't like his movies but I keep defending him as not without talent.