The arrow on the kid’s head represents the direction of Shyamalan’s career.
I liked The Sixth Sense. Others did, too — it brought in $294 million at the U.S. box office (it had a $55 million budget). I liked the idea of Unbreakable, and I liked Samuel L. Jackson, but the movie lacked a certain something. It cost $75 million and made $95 million.
The first time I saw Signs I was a little disappointed, but now I enjoy it. It has some genuinely scary parts and Joaquin Phoenix does a great job. It had a good return at the box office, bringing in $228 million (it cost $72 million to make).
Shyamalan’s next three films were a drag.
The Village didn’t hold any surprises, and it was downright embarrassing to watch Adrien Brody prancing around like an idiot. At least it made a little money, $114 million for a cost of $72 million. Lady in the Water was also a snore, and it only brought in about half of what it cost to make ($42 million for a budget of $75 million — ouch!). And The Happening, well, it wasn’t much of one. It had a much smaller budget ($48 million), but it only brought in $65 million, and half of that was the opening weekend.
Maybe the L.A. Times is wrong about The Last Airbender being uninspired. Maybe it’s a great movie. I’ll probably never find out. I don’t need to see a dumbed down M. Night Shyamalan movie.
My colleague, Mr. Holznagel, especially hates the name The Last Airbender. He writes:
“Some other titles I would have preferred: The Last Mystical Horsepile or The Last CGI Adventure Until the Next One.”
He goes on: “Or, oh, whatever. I don’t even know why I get worked up about it. It’s not like the ‘Great Quest starring a youngster that kids can identify with’ is a new thing in storytelling. I guess I could get equally worked up that Puss In Boots is derivative of Jack and the Beanstalk. I don’t object to a rip-off, which is a standard form of commerce, but I do object to being told that Bac-O-Bits are filet mignon.”
I think he meant to say, “don’t give me Bac-O-Bits and tell me it’s raining.”