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I hate M. Night Ramalamadingdong!

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Those who know me probably know my disdain for one-trick-pony filmmaker M. Night Ramalamadingdong. But for those who want some insight into just how cuckoo-for-cocopuffs this guy is I present an article from the L.A. Times about his new book. Someone should do a film about what a psycho-nutjob this guy is but I'm afraid it would just further feed his ego. "Wannnhhhh...", he cries "people just don't understand me but DAMN THEM how dare they criticize me." I mean look a-hole... Mel Gibson at least had the balls to put up his own money for his vanity projects... don't piss on about some studio giving you $60-70 because you buy into your own hype.

I'm quoting the entire text of this article here so you don't have to sign up at latimes.com:

Shyamalan Book Tells of Breakup With Disney
By Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
June 23, 2006

A new chapter has just been written in Hollywood about the never-ending tension between "the talent" and "the suits."

It can be found in a soon-to-be-published tell-all book that offers something very rare, indeed: a candid recounting, complete with tears and recriminations, of a messy divorce between a movie studio and one of the world's most famous writer-directors.

In "The Man Who Heard Voices: Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale," the 35-year-old filmmaker whose name has become synonymous with spooky suspense thrillers crucifies the top executives at the company he long had considered his artistic home since his 1999 surprise hit "The Sixth Sense": Walt Disney Studios.

Penned by Sports Illustrated writer Michael Bamberger with Shyamalan's blessing and extensive participation, the 278-page book hits stores July 20. That's one day before the theatrical premiere of Shyamalan's new movie, "Lady in the Water," which is at the center of the dispute that led him to part ways with Disney.

The $70-million movie, a scary fantasy that stars Paul Giamatti as an apartment building superintendent who rescues a sea nymph he finds in his swimming pool, was ultimately financed by Warner Bros.

But arguably as shocking as the movie itself is the way Shyamalan, in the book, disses his former studio. As galleys circulate around town, that more than anything else has people musing about just how fragile relationships between artists and executives can be.

Disney production President Nina Jacobson gets the worst drubbing.

Jacobson and Shyamalan enjoyed a close, albeit sometimes combative, relationship. Over six years, she shepherded his four Disney films including "Unbreakable," "Signs" and "The Village." On what would have been their fifth collaboration, their bond so eroded that the two didn't speak for more than a year.

At a disastrous dinner in Philadelphia last year, Jacobson delivered a frank critique of the "Lady in the Water" script. When she told him that she and her boss, studio Chairman Dick Cook, didn't "get" the idea, Shyamalan was heartbroken. Things got only worse when she lambasted his inclusion of a mauling of a film critic in the story line and told Shyamalan his decision to cast himself as a visionary writer out to change the world bordered on self-serving.

But Shyamalan gets his revenge on Jacobson in the book, in which he says he had felt for some time that he "had witnessed the decay of her creative vision right before his own wide-open eyes. She didn't want iconoclastic directors. She wanted directors who made money."

Bamberger readily acknowledges that the book is told from Shyamalan's point of view.

"It's not intended to be balanced," Bamberger said of the book, based on a year he spent shadowing Shyamalan. "It's a Night-centric view of how Night works."

If that's all it was, of course, there wouldn't be so many bruised feelings at Disney, whose executives the book maligns as drones who lack creative vision.

Of Disney's three top executives, Jacobson, Cook and marketing head Oren Aviv, the book says, "They had morphed into one, the embodiment of the company they worked for. And that company … no longer valued individualism … no longer valued fighters."

Nevertheless, the book says Shyamalan was haunted by them.

"Sometimes Night would close his eyes and see little oval black and white head shots of Nina Jacobson and Oren Aviv and Dick Cook floating around in his head, unwanted houseguests that would not leave," Bamberger writes. "The Disney people had gotten deep inside his head, interfering with the good work the voices were supposed to do — and it would be hell to get them out."

In an interview, Bamberger said that in that section — like in several others — he was channeling Shyamalan's deepest convictions, even though the book usually does not quote the writer-director directly.

"Night really let me get inside his head," Bamberger said. "He told me what he was thinking, and I wrote it."

Shyamalan was vacationing in France and did not respond to questions sent via e-mail. His publicist, Leslee Dart, said her client "totally supports the book," and the book's publisher, William Shinker of Gotham Books, said Shyamalan had agreed to help promote the nonfiction account.

Were it not for Bamberger's book, the Disney-Shyamalan split might have been viewed as just another beat amid the constant churn of Hollywood relationships. Everyone knows that highly accomplished artists are often as deeply insecure as they are brilliant. It can be a challenge for executives to pacify the creative folks, while pleasing the bean counters.

"There is an elusive balance that all parties strive for between art and commerce," said Warner Bros. President Alan Horn, who was Shyamalan's first call after the breakup with Disney. With "Lady in the Water," which is being launched with a $70-million marketing campaign, Horn said, "We're trying to support a film that has unique artistic expression and at the same time make money."

Paramount Pictures President Gail Berman, whose studio recently decided to postpone production of "Ripley's Believe It or Not," starring Jim Carrey, over budgetary concerns, agreed.

"We all walk the line of devotion to the artist and fiscal responsibility," she said. "Sometimes this is the trickiest part of the job."

But, whereas Carrey and director Tim Burton are continuing to work out their script issues with Paramount, Shyamalan didn't give Disney that option. As the book says, Shyamalan felt that when executives criticized his "Lady in the Water" script "they were rejecting him." So he walked.

Disney's executives are not the only ones who are ripped in the book. Miramax Films co-founder Harvey Weinstein is described as "famously tyrannical" and is portrayed as ruthlessly recutting Shyamalan's 1998 indie film "Wide Awake."

"Why is he doing this?" Shyamalan is quoted asking one of Weinstein's lieutenants.

"Because you're not an A-list director," the unnamed aide answers.

"But could I be?" Shyamalan asks. Then, Bamberger takes us into Shyamalan's head as he imagines Weinstein's answer: "Night heard Harvey screaming in the silence: 'You're not, and you never will be.' The movie bombed, as it had to. It had been made in bad faith."

That, in essence, is the reason Shyamalan — who today is not only A-list, but is such a known quantity that his name alone sells a movie — gives for his refusal to continue his relationship with Disney.

The book's most revealing scene is the tense dinner of Feb. 15, 2005, and its aftermath — referred to by Shyamalan's colleagues as "The Valentine's Day Massacre."

The setting was a fancy Philadelphia restaurant, Lacroix, not far from the farmhouse where Shyamalan, his wife and two daughters live. But from the start, the book says, the dinner seemed doomed. The tables were too close together, and "Night felt that other diners could hear their conversation."

Seated next to Shyamalan, Jacobson aired her problems with the script. Criticisms "came spewing out of her without a filter," Bamberger writes.

"You said it was funny; I didn't laugh," the book quotes her as saying. "You're going to let a critic get attacked? They'll kill you for that … Your part's too big; you'll get killed again … What's with the names? Scrunt? Narf? Tartutic? Not working … Don't get it … Not buying it. Not getting it. Not working."

Her words went over like spoiled fish. "She went on and on and on," the book says. "Night was waiting for her to say she didn't like the font" his assistant had printed the script in.

After way too many courses, Disney executives walked Shyamalan and his agent to the elevator, and Cook asked to speak to the director alone.

"Just make the movie for us," Cook said, hoping to keep Disney's most important director in the fold. "We'll give you $60 million and say, 'Do what you want with it.' We won't touch it. We'll see you at the premiere."

Shyamalan said he couldn't do that. He couldn't work with those who doubted him. As Cook and his team left the hotel, Shyamalan broke down and cried.

"He was crying because he liked them as people and he knew he would not see them again, not as his partners," the author writes. "He was crying because he was scared … He was crying because he knew they could be right."

Shyamalan wasn't the only one crying. Jacobson has confided to colleagues that when she returned to her hotel room at the Four Seasons that night, she broke down.

She and Shyamalan would not talk again until March of this year. At the director's request, the two met for breakfast at the posh Hotel Bel-Air.

By then, Bamberger writes, Shyamalan had realized that "it wasn't Nina's fault that she didn't 'get' the original 'Lady' script, it was Night's fault."

Despite that late-in-the-book mea culpa, associates of Jacobson say that reading the tell-all was painful for her. She declined to comment on the book and on Shyamalan himself. But she acknowledged the inherent difficulties of the "patron-artist" relationship.

"Not seeing eye to eye on a particular piece of material doesn't have to be the end of a relationship," Jacobson said. "It may not always be easy to have an honest exchange. But in order to have a Hollywood relationship more closely approximate a real relationship, you have to have a genuine back and forth of the good and the bad."

She added: "Different people have different ideas about respect. For us, being honest is the greatest show of respect for a filmmaker."
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He's really no more crazy than some other "Hollywood visionaries". I'm amazed that Oliver Stone can still get movies greenlit with some of the shite he's made.

Princess Leia: I happen to like nice men.
Han Solo: I'm a nice man.

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M Night has done some bad movies recently, but were those worse than the prequels? He is not such a great writter, he's no Charlie Kaufman, and he seems to be stuck with the whole "plot twist" thing, which is really not necessary - but kind of expected from his audiences. However he is a very good director, and I admire his work. I don't understand why all this hate against him.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering
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What I disagree with is that, even after they put down the film idea, Disney still says, "Here, we'll give you $60 million anyway, and you can make this movie however you want!" But he still breaks away because he can't work for those who doubt him?! They believe enough to give him $60 million and creative control! I don't like to stand up for Lucas, but he's a good example here for once. Nobody believed in Star Wars except for Alan Ladd, Jr., but Lucas didn't go, "Um, excuse me. If the board of directors doesn't believe in this movie, I'm just not going to make it. Take that!" They would have been like, "Okay, good. We didn't want to do it in the first place!" Prima donna...

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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I, personally, have enjoyed all his films to a large extent.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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I loved The Sixth Sense.

Unbreakable was tolerable as was Signs.

The Village was horrible and the most predictable ending ever from Night.

And I've heard absolutely nothing about Lady in the Water. But, if the downward trend is any indication, I hold little to no hope for it.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
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Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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Originally posted by: Bossk

And I've heard absolutely nothing about Lady in the Water. But, if the downward trend is any indication, I hold little to no hope for it.


I at least got a good audience laugh from the trailer- I was at the opening of 'Goblet of Fire' and the theater played the first 'LITW' preview... after the obligatory "from the mind of M. Night blahblahblah" bit they got to the scene where the camera is under water in the pool and the star is looking down... and I yelled out in the theater "I see WET people!" and many people in the crowded house bust a gut.
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Is this a personal thing against him? I just don't understand why this crusade against him! Because I've seen so many directors work the way he does, and he is a good director, he is a mediocre writter with a few good scripts, and a fairly good director. I mean, if you want to criticise a director for the way he deals with the studio and his movies, why not talk about Uwe Boll, that TERRIBLE director who makes bad films on the porpouse to flop due to a loophole in Germany's laws?? Why not McG? Why not Jon Peters?
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering
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Oh, I know PLENTY of people who trash Uwe Boll, myself included. What's that "loophole in Germany's laws" you mentioned?

http://i.imgur.com/7N84TM8.jpg

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Sure ric there ARE plenty of bad directors out there. And I never said he was a bad director (mediocre at best) just that he was a one-trick pony. It just infuriates me the levels to which he has to shove his personal-side on the public... I've known such people in real life and its usually a sign that they realize that if they left their work to stand on its own people would quickly cease to care about them.

M. Night, prior to his last film, had a 'controversial' documentary(fake) made about himself to be aired on SciFi networkwhich served to take the spotlight away from the film itself. And now just prior to his NEXT film we have to hear about his 'woe is me' life in Hollywood... except all the points in the article I quoted above that the studio execs brought up are mainly valid! And why should any studio put up the money if they don't think they'll turn a profit- it IS a business after all and like I said I'm sure he has enough money to finance it himself. Though he probably has his invested in the M. Night Memorial Museum of Film History which, as you exit the museum itself, drops you into a large bucket of poo- a 'surprise ending'! But I digress...

As far as Boll as a director yes of course he's shit but that is purely the studios fault for letting him direct films at all. I don't remember any whiny 'tell-all' books from him or interviews in which he claims to be Orson Welles reincarnated (as M. has basically done about Hitchcock).
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The difference between Night and all those others is that no one expects "greatness" from those others. It is expected from Night. And, to be honest with you, he hasn't lived up to it. Maybe he is a decent director. Maybe he has some nice directing tricks up his sleeve. But if the script ain't there, I don't think he should get the credit some people think he deserves. I believe a truly good director should be able to take a mediocre script and work wonders with it. Night hasn't even done that with his last three films (admittedly Signs was quite enjoyable until you actually see the damn aliens; then it was all downhill). And Night has no one to blame but himself since he does hyphenate as his own writer.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
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Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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M Night did some terrific directing jobs. Sixth Sense worked because he was able to hold the whole mystery of the film in a subtle way, and got a brilliant acting out of Haley Joel Osment, who is a great actor but can't go beyond "cute" unless the project he is doing is good (see Pass it Foward, AI to see what I mean). Unbreakable was well directed because he had this awful, awful script, almost nonsensical, and turned into an enjoyable film. Signs is absolutely brilliant, the way he makes the existence of aliens ambiguous through the film - the scene in the basement is brilliantly directed. And then he just loses himself in a forced conclusion envolving bad CGI and "coincidences". The Village is his worse film, VERY predictable, but still, quite enjoyable. It's not boring. It has good dialogue, and good acting (except when he's on camera). I tend to enjoy his films, and I do intend to see his next one.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering
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I will agree with everything you said about The Sixth Sense, save for the idea that Pay It Forward was a good film (I'm sorry, but that movie came across as the biggest piece of self-righteous crap I've ever seen. Just my opinion, of course). Unbreakable did nothing for me. And, yes, anytime the aliens were not visibly appearing in Signs (except in silhouette or at a great distance; I hated the living room scene and the TV news footage) was pretty good. So I guess I can't really badmouth that one too much. I don't think there was a single bit about The Village that I really liked at all. Well, maybe Bryce Dallas Howard; she played blind very convincingly.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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No, no, no, it was an example of a BAD film.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering
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LOL. greencapt, you're killing me. I hope I never piss you off.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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i say this aobut m night.

sixth sense i personally didnt like ti that much, i found it mostly boring, but as a movie, it was very well made.

unbreakable, looked good i never saw it though

signs, hmm now this is probably one of the weirdest movies i have ever seen. It had one of the best first 45 mins i have ever seen in my life, there was so much rising tension and what not, it was incredible. the first 45 mins was followed but the worst peice of shit i have ever seen in my life. i can find better things in my toliet after i have taking a shit then that last half of this movie.

village, never saw it heard it was bad.

and this new one, it doesnt look good at all, it seems to be a much ado about nothing movie. we shall see though.
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Originally posted by: MeBeJedi
LOL. greencapt, you're killing me. I hope I never piss you off.


C'mon MBJ... you could never do that! Well, I suppose if you did something atrocious like taking a classic film.. maybe 'Star Wars' and fan-editing in a bunch of CGI or changing the whole nature of characters with shoddy effects inserts or the like... then THAT might piss me off!

As for 'Sixth Sense', aside from the 'surprise' ending its actually a very plodding and sometimes downright boring film. I'm one of those people who *gasp* figured it out in the first five minutes ('gee,' I thought 'Bruce Willis' character just took a generally fatal chest shot... and then suddenly its a year later or whatever with NO mention of it whatsoever.. and we know the kid sees dead people' Hmm) and I spent the rest of the film *hoping* the director would prove me wrong with something more clever than a poor Twilight Zone ending and clever ad campaign. "Don't reveal the secret ending to your friends folks because we need all the ticket sales we can get!" Hell I admire 'The Blair Witch Project' more because of the way the duped the public into wanted... needing... to see such a piece of shit film as it was. Both are examples of the ultimate 'water-cooler' moment movies... you have to see them because *everybody* is talking about them. Sigh. But digression aside 'Sixth Sense', from a cinematography point of view, was indeed a *clever* movie with passable acting jobs. 'Bruce... act, like, you know... dead but not dead.' 'Haley (what did your parents have sex the last time the comet came around?) act like scared and stuff but quiet. You know?

George Lucas: "Faster. More Intense."
M. Night: "Slower. More Intense."

I had a one-word review of 'Unbreakable' (and this from a comic book geek).... 'Unwatchable'.
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I absolutely love M.Night, my favorite, actually one of my favorite of all-time movies is "UNBREAKABLE". It all is a matter of taste, I think he is a visionary and directing genius.

Nothing about fanediting is easy.

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Hey greencapt, I'm not sure if it was a typo or what, but his name is actually M. Night Shyamalan, not M. Night Ramalamadingdong. I just thought I'd let you know, since you seemed a bit confused.

Also:
one-trick-pony filmmaker
You do realize that this pretty much describes, like, 90% of all filmmakers ever. There's a reason why people say every artist has only one masterpiece.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not really a Shyamalan fan. I just think you're ridiculously overreacting. Like others in the thread have said, there are SEVERAL directors out there who are far worse than Shyamalan. Like, at the very least, Shyamalan's stuff stands above the average ROMANTIC COMEDY or VIN DIESEL ACTION MOVIE or something else equally as stupid. Most his stuff is, regardless of whether or not you liked it, above average. I don't even see how someone could argue that they're not.

M. Night, prior to his last film, had a 'controversial' documentary(fake) made about himself to be aired on SciFi networkwhich served to take the spotlight away from the film itself. And now just prior to his NEXT film we have to hear about his 'woe is me' life in Hollywood...

I doubt that the documentary and book are meant to take the spotlight away from the film. I actually get quite a different impression. They're meant to make more people interested in the film. They're publicity stunts.

it IS a business after all
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Originally posted by: Nanner Split
Oh, I know PLENTY of people who trash Uwe Boll, myself included. What's that "loophole in Germany's laws" you mentioned?


It's now been closed IIRC, but it allowed people who made movies in Germany to have a big tax write-off or some such and thus make more money on the write off than they lost on the flop. So it's the true-life Producers or something (I may have some of the details wrong as i'm not a German tax lawyer) . Interestingly, Boll was one of the few who was actually using it in the way that was intented. The rest of the time, an American company would make a movie and then "sell" it to a German company and then take advatage of the tax thing. It's been a popular thing to say to explain how Boll continues to find funding with so many flops under his belt.

Personally, I didn't think Alone in the Dark was that bad, but I did watch Doogal right before it, which was so bad, my soul was being sucked out of my forehead.
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"one-trick-pony filmmaker"

"You do realize that this pretty much describes, like, 90% of all filmmakers ever."


As much as I like M. Knight's films, I will say that it's kinda...i dunno...disappointing to know that I have to wait until the end of the film for everything to click into place (assuming I haven't figured it out already). Not that I don't like his twists, but the wait for the twist has become predictable, if that makes any sense. One of the reasons I really liked The Village was that there was so much going on in terms of character development and cinematography, that I was distracted from the "how is this going to end" mindset. I'm also a big fan of all the main characters in that film, so that certainly helped.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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Originally posted by: MeBeJedi

As much as I like M. Knight's films, I will say that it's kinda...i dunno...disappointing to know that I have to wait until the end of the film for everything to click into place (assuming I haven't figured it out already). Not that I don't like his twists, but the wait for the twist has become predictable, if that makes any sense.
Oh no, don't get me wrong. I completely agree. My point was simply that once a filmmaker has found a formula that works, they continue to use it, and it's almost never as good the second time as it was the first. That was what I meant by that statement.

Originally posted by: MeBeJedi

One of the reasons I really liked The Village was that there was so much going on in terms of character development and cinematography, that I was distracted from the "how is this going to end" mindset. I'm also a big fan of all the main characters in that film, so that certainly helped.

I agree with this too. The characters and cinematography and strong underlining messages all put his movies above the average mainstream American movie. This isn't even looking at it from a subjective view point, it's from an academic view point. Regardless of if you were entertained by his movies (I personally didn't enjoy Signs or The Village), they're still better than most the other crap put out there by Hollywood.
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M. Knight, the one-trick pony vs. Uwe Boll, the no-trick mule.

There's a Celebrity Death Match I'd pay for on pay-per-view. I wonder if there would be a twist ending. And if we'd see it coming.
I am fluent in over six million forms of procrastination.
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I've said it once, and I'll say it again, I LOVED Unbreakable.

Unbreakable, Sin City, and V for Vendetta are my favourite comic book movies ever, and the former isn't even based on a real comic book...
MTFBWY. Always.

http://www.myspace.com/red_ajax
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"I wonder if there would be a twist ending. And if we'd see it coming."

LOL!

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>