REVIEW: Glass [2019]

Why are we the only ones? It began nineteen years ago with a tale about emotional and physical duress—byproducts of tortured lives being led by purportedly “great” men too defeated to reach their full potential until circumstances reveal the power possessed within. M. Night Shyamalan was playing with the notion of superheroes walking the thin line between reality and fantasy. He sought to show how quick humanity is to explain away the impossible as quite ordinary, reducing those leaning upon the former into victims of delusion. Through Unbreakable‘s David Dunn…

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REVIEW: Unbreakable [2000]

I had a bad dream. I didn’t watch The Sixth Sense when it was in theaters and therefore never had much of an affinity for it due to knowing the twist before eventually sitting down. I’m not therefore certain why I was excited to check out his follow-up Unbreakable. It could have been friends wanting to go or simply that it was “the” movie to see that weekend in November. All I do remember is my confusion when the opening screen of text arrived with statistics about comic books. I…

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REVIEW: Split [2017]

“In the sun we find our purpose” It doesn’t get better than The Village where M. Night Shyamalan is concerned. That film was a perfect confluence of his screenwriting and directing capabilities, a tale of love and protection through drastic measures as metaphor for the struggles of parenthood steeped in heavy emotion and guilt without regret. A marketing campaign billing it “horror” ruined any chance for success with audiences unwilling to look past the auteur’s penchant for twists. Its target demographic is perhaps still unaware of how much they’d enjoy…

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REVIEW: The Visit [2015]

“Swerve” It’s no secret that M. Night Shyamalan needed a winner after a string of box office and commercial failures. Firmly in the minority saying The Village and Lady in the Water are his two best—the former is one of my all-time favorites—my idea of his failings doesn’t necessarily coincide with the movie-going public, but I was relishing the thought of seeing what the embattled artist could do with a stripped-down, found footage horror. With reviews seemingly positive and financials proving lucrative at ten times the budget and counting, it…

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REVIEW: 思い出のマーニー [Omoide no Mânî] [When Marnie Was There] [2014]

“I wish for a normal life everyday” If Studio Ghibli ends up closing shop as announced, we can be glad their final film is a winner with the heart and soul we’ve come to love from Hayao Miyazaki and the team. I’m surely in the minority, but I’d even say Hiromasa Yonebayaski‘s When Marnie Was There is better than last year’s Oscar nominee The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. While bringing the aesthetic back to the studio’s customary style a la Spirited Away does remove some of the awe Isao…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2013: Super Sequel Summer with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. One of these years Alamo Drafthouse has to organize some crazy Mondo Tees sponsored summer where every big tent pole release receives a unique artistic interpretation on paper. They get…

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INTERVIEW: Nacho Vigalondo, writer/director of Extraterrestrial

After finding great international success with his debut feature film Timecrimes in 2007, writer/director Nacho Vigalondo performed a bit of a 180 for his sophomore effort. Coming to the Toronto International Film Festival last year with a romantic comedy set to the backdrop of an alien invasion, his Extraterrestrial showed he would not be pigeonholed to dark thrillers with twists a la M. Night Shyamalan. It’s a move that showed his versatility and creative story-telling approach—two things that must have appealed to Hollywood with him now attached to direct an…

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REVIEW: The Cabin in the Woods [2012]

“He has the husband bulge” After reading all the Twitter hoopla and angry comments about spoilers, I thought The Cabin in the Woods was going to have some amazing, unforeseen twist to do more than just bend genres like we all knew it would. I made sure to avoid all reviews and news, retaining my fresh, untainted mind that yearned to be excited, perplexed, and possibly even confused. And then the opening scene rendered any ideas of being kept in the dark moot as Sitterson (Richard Jenkins), Hadley (Bradley Whitford),…

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REVIEW: Κυνόδοντας [Dogtooth] [2009]

“Soon your mother will give birth to two children and a dog” Sometimes a film comes along that disarms you by its originality while completely disturbing you to the point where watching again may be too much to handle. The Greek Κυνόδοντας [Dogtooth] is just such a work. Co-writers Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos—who also directs—take us into the isolated world of a nameless family forsaking society for its own experimental existence. Beginning with a look at the three children living inside a fenced in estate whose borders hold dangers…

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REVIEW: Devil [2010]

“We are the audience for a reason” It all starts with a suicide—a death to allow easy passage of the Devil to the real world, giving him human form to make those he’s about to collect suffer a public, horrific demise. The first of a planned series in suspense horror called the Night Chronicles, M. Night Shyamalan plays on his bedtime story concept of Lady in the Water, crafting a tale of man’s capacity for evil and the weight of guilt standing in the way of accepting the consequences for…

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REVIEW: The Last Airbender [2010]

“You stand alone; that was always your weakness” Ok, The Happening was a piece of crap. There’s no denying this fact, so get on with your lives and forget Marky Mark ever attempted to be a science teacher. Many think that wasn’t M. Night Shyamalan’s first misstep, though, people have fallen away from his work since The Village—a movie I am proud to call one of my all-time favorite cinematic artworks of style, tone, and emotion. Perhaps audiences got spoiled and pigeonholed the man into a spot he could never…

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