Now perhaps I'm a little bias when it comes to my movie forte. I do catch myself enjoying an abundance of movies that have been labeled 'bad' both by critics and viewers but I still see a lot of them as 'not that bad'. Maybe it's my 90s kid syndrome. You know, how bad a lot of those movies were but to anyone raised in the time it came out, it's the best. It's that way with a lot of 80s movies too.
Like when you sit and you watch old 80s slasher films and you realize how poor the quality is, both film wise and script wise. But the only ones that view it as shit are the late bloomers who haven't seen it til now. All of us that were raised on it, those movies created our love for the film industry.
For example, I've heard from countless people about how much of a classic the movie Legend with Tom Cruise is but I have never seen it. I tried watching it with my girlfriend once and I fell asleep. I couldn't bare it. She said I was crazy but it really is a generational gap.
But to no avail, a movie can never withstand that gap just as no movie can out run the critics or the internet for that matter. Movies like Troll 2 and Batman & Robin, forever labeled as abominations to the industry.
And among all of that, we still get at least a dozen gems that make for great movies. I mean certain movies could be considered gems to most while others view it as vile. That's all opinionated. We can all say that we follow certain directors, actors, or writers and we'd have a lot of similarities, whether it was for liking or disliking a film.
What I want to get into now is why a director/writer like M. Night Shyamalan gets so much shit for his movies.
I get it. He hasn't made crazy blockbusters or Oscar worthy movies but some of his films are really not that bad. If you take yourself out of your own mindset and look at a movie for it's potential and not for it's ability to win awards than maybe you'll realize that you're your own worse enemy.
I mean, seriously, is every movie meant to win an Oscar? Of course not. I don't see movies like Super Troopers or The Conjuring getting picked for many Oscar nominations but that doesn't make them bad movies. And yes, they've won other awards in various categorized award ceremonies but the question isn't about their credibility as a film, it's about the standards a movie is apparently held up to in this day and age.
It seems like every movie needs to the The Revenant or The Godfather or any other highly awarded and nominated movie out there. To me, that's just not fair. There are so many good films out there that if you just gave a chance you would see it. But because of ratings and reviews, these movies fall short. Maybe we're just built to block these things out and there's no way around it.
Truthfully, I don't believe that. I wrote an article just the other night about movies on Netflix with bad ratings that are totally worth watching (check it out here) and shortly after that I sat through a recent horror movie that I was very interest in seeing that was extremely entertaining. It wasn't until after the movie when I saw the directors name and was shocked to see it was none other than the Night man himself. That movie was The Visit.
This movie was so good that we watched it twice. I can't explain the amount of faith I have in Shyamalan after this film. This was truly his redemption card. After this film and seeing his apparent 'Report card' it shocks me about how many films he's made that catch such fire. After some research, I learned that it wasn't just his films but he has made some poor choices in the industry. From his NBC hoax to the possible lawsuits from movies like The Village, it doesn't shock me that he gets a bad rep but I truly feel like this hype train of hate is a bit biased to the idea of hating the guy.
Let's go through his counts one by one.
The Sixth Sense: pretty much put him on the map and got him noticed. This movie was so good that no one could deny that Shyamalan had the talent to be a good director and writer.
Stuart Little: I've never seen it and I didn't know this until I did a quick Google search but he was one of the writers for this movie as well.
Unbreakable: his attempt at a realistic perspective of a normal guy believing he's a superhero based on some freak scenarios. Granted, not the best attempt but all in all I enjoyed it. Not the greatest film in the world I know.
Signs: say what you will but I have a huge soft spot for this movie. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 74% and I think it's well worth it. I don't know what it is but this film just draws me in. I love it.
The Village: greatest movie on the list? Not a chance. Did well with ratings? Not so much. Good story? I think so. I feel like it had a lot of potential too but he didn't execute it quite well. Plus with the whole lawsuit thing like I mentioned before, probably didn't help with it's reception.
Lady in the Water: Ok. I know. This is where you might hate me. Like A LOT. But I really do like this movie. I think it has something to do with the dialogue. I love movies that go into a lot of story telling and explaining the universe the film exists in like Inception or The Hateful Eight. Not comparing the credibility of the films mentioned, just saying that perhaps it's my soft spot for good dialogue that makes me like a movie sometimes.
The Happening: I've noticed M. Night does this a lot. He takes this real life science and tries to twist it into good storytelling. I won't lie, he failed here. I can't defend this one.
The Last Airbender: get ready to hate me again.
I know. This wasn't everything the Avatar fans wanted but here's what it's like from my perspective: I had never watched a single episode of The Avatar up until recently. I watched this movie because it looked good and I'm an M. Night fan. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this movie. Now, as of last year, I have watched all of the Avatar series. I binged on it for about a mouth. I'm talking The Last Airbender & Korra with days. I loved every second of both stories. So now, I get it. This wasn't up to par with what the fans would've wanted. But truthfully, it was pretty damn close. I think my only issue with it might've been how you meet the Fire Lord so soon. I mean, you don't see this guys face until volume 4 in the show and right off the bat is you meet him. And he wasn't that sadistic as the show lead him to be. But in all honesty, for the chance at a live action Avatar movie, this film really did come as far and get as accurately close to the show as possible. Maybe someone else will try but if not, this is what we got.
Devil: not the greatest horror movie in the world with definitely not the best twist to it. Yeah. I can't defend this one either.
After Earth: Great concept. I just don't like Jaden Smith. There I said it.
The Visit: this film is like pulling the fifth piece of Exodia while holding the other four and your life is at 100 points (yes, a Yu-Gi-Oh reference). To me, if you haven't watched this movie yet and you've hated M. Night, this will make you love him again. It's just so creepy and a very well rounded film. All in all, this gives me faith the M. Night will continue to make grand slams more than he makes flops.
I really don't know what else I can say about the man. He has a lot of talent but even the most talented of men can't always create masterpieces. And what would be considered a masterpiece to some isn't always looked at the same as others. I hope you take that into consideration the next time you watch any film. As always, all feedback is welcome.