M Night Shyamalan

The marketing for After Earth featured plenty of eye-popping scenes, but one of the most curious aspects of the campaign had to do with what the studio chose not to show: director M. Night Shyamalan‘s name. No doubt that was thanks to his declining cachet in the pop culture landscape. Fairly or not, he’s gone from rising star to laughingstock over the past fifteen years.

But that wasn’t Shyamalan’s first time flying under the radar. Diehard fans may know that The Sixth Sense wasn’t the only movie Shyamalan had out in 1999 — he had written the script for Stuart Little, which hit the same year. Even fewer probably realize that he was also behind one of the most popular teen romcoms of all time. Hit the jump to find out which one.

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After Earth Smiths

A Will Smith movie without charisma is like an M. Night Shyamalan movie without a twist. It sounds interesting or different going in, but this one ultimately doesn’t deliver.

Much as Shyamalan made his career on surprise twists, Smith made himself the biggest star in the world by focusing his talent and charm. Over his last few movies, the director has begun to move away from the “twist” hallmark, and with the pair’s first collaboration, After Earth, Smith also forgoes his calling card. The actor’s undeniable charm and screen presence have been completely excised from his portrayal of a cold, fearless military leader. Without that personality to fall back on Smith’s character becomes a personification of the movie: far from captivating and only somewhat watchable.

After Earth begins with a promising story idea — Smith’s character is on a life or death mission with his son – but ends up hollow and disjointed, with questionable choices made all around. It’s a good nugget of a premise that never feels truly developed. Read More »

Between the final seasons of Dexter and Breaking Bad and the premiere of CBS’ Under the Dome, this summer is shaping up to be an exciting one for TV viewers. After the jump:

  • George R.R. Martin teases new characters for Game of Thrones Season 4
  • Melissa Leo boards M. Night Shyamalan‘s Wayward Pines
  • Tracy Morgan and Jenna Elfman find new jobs
  • Amazon makes some decisions about its new series
  • Comedy Central renews Inside Amy Schumer
  • Neil Patrick Harris will host the Emmys again
  • Vince Gilligan chats about the potential Saul Goodman spinoff
  • See new pics from CBS’ Stephen King thriller Under the Dome
  • Meet Dr. Evelyn Vogel in the new Dexter promo

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unbreakable-1

Long before Batman began, The Dark Knight rose or The Avengers assembled, M. Night Shyamalan made Unbreakable. The year was 2000 and, hot on the heels of The Sixth Sense, Hollywood sold the film as just another thriller. It wasn’t until the film began with stats about comic books that we realized the film was a superhero movie. Hollywood hid the film’s true nature from audiences because, 13 years ago, superhero movies weren’t seen as particularly lucrative. Oh, how times have changed.

Though the film didn’t reach the financial heights of Shyamalan’s previous effort, Unbreakable has aged quite nicely as a preamble to the gritty super superhero movies we’re bombarded with today. In the decade plus since its release, the writer/director has continued to say he wants to make a sequel and with the release of his latest film, After Earth, he says he’s “getting closer.” Read a few quotes below. Read More »

After Earth Web 5

M. Night Shyamalan‘s new film and potential comeback After Earth has been moved up one week from June 7 to May 31. It’s a good move on Columbia’s part, as the Will Smith movie can very likely dominate that late May weekend, which is otherwise occupied by Now You See Me and The Purge.

After Earth has Smith and his son Jaden Smith playing a father/son duo who crash land on Earth long after humanity has fled the planet. In the race to signal for rescue, the two men face ferocious Earth-grown dangers and an alien creature that dogs his steps.

After the break, we’ve got info on two more potential Will Smith films. Read More »

Once upon a time, when M. Night Shyamalan was making a movie, his name was promoted above the title. Then he did The Happening and The Last Airbender. For his latest release, After Earth, his name is barely visible with a microscope. Which is probably a good thing when the film has one of, if not the biggest movie stars in the planet and his increasingly famous son along for the ride.

Will Smith and Jaden Smith are prominently on display in the latest poster for After Earth, Sony’s sci-fi action film out June 7. Also given a big spot are the trees and clouds of Earth, which the film suggests are now out to kill all humans. Check it out below. Read More »

The first trailer for M. Night Shyamalan‘s After Earth was a pretty tightly controlled thing, showing characters played by Will and Jaden Smith stranded on Earth in a future that has seen evolution turn decidedly against humans.

This second trailer gives more context to the story, showing a bit of what the two guys were doing before crashing on Earth, an establishing the fact that there is conflict between father and son just as well as between the humans and everything else on Earth. It also gives us some hint of what they hope to to in order to escape the planet that originally gave birth to humanity.

Because it is a Shyamalan film I have been conditioned to assume that there’s something here that we’re not seeing, but so far this looks like his most promising film in some time. That’s enough for now. Check out the new footage below. Read More »

M. Night Shyamalan‘s stock as a director has steadily declined since his breakout The Sixth Sense, but with some luck After Earth could be the film to turn that trend around. For one thing, it’s tough to go lower than the 6% RT score he got for The Last Airbender. For another, the marketing materials so far look genuinely striking, with a rich, detailed universe for the leads (Will Smith and Jaden Smith) to play in.

Now a second trailer is just around the corner, and to whet audience appetites Columbia Pictures has just revealed two new stills. Check them out and get the info on the trailer after the jump.

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