December 24, 2012

A Diss For Shyamalan

In a recent interview for coverage on Django Unchained, Samuel Jackson had quite the words for The Others director M. Night Shyamalan, and boy was it juicy.

We all know M. Night Shyamalan for creating those seriously annoying and emotionally robbing plot twists at the very last minute of films like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Most regular movie attending buffs recognize a trend with Shyamalan and regard him as a disappointing storyteller. Most of the content that we see him depict in his movies seem to be another attempt to jerk at the audience’s perception rather than to actually entertain.

Is this Shyamalan’s way of proving his superiority over other people? Sam Jackson seems to think so, and his words aren’t soft at all as he describes Shyamalan in somewhat of a cross tone. In the interview he insists that Shyamalan made plans to make three more Unbreakable films, but never followed through.

Jackson went on to compare Quentin Tarentino and Shyamalan’s style of film by claiming that Tarentino makes a movie because he generally wants to see it happen, whereas Shyamalan would more than likely create a film so he can challenge his audience. This is an interesting standpoint on a filmmaker’s choice of work ethic, and I’m not saying that because I think Samuel L. Jackson is God.

It’s interesting because we often wonder when our favorite films will get the sequels they deserve, only to be disappointed by the conquest of an entirely different movie.

One of my favorite film directors is Barry Sonnenfield, the guy behind all three Men in Black films. Apart from making science fiction fun, and at the same time philosophical, Sonnenfield continues to inject that certain bit of spice into the Men in Black series that just can’t be beat by most other science fiction films. You always see the fun and hilarity in Men in Black, no matter who’s dead or in what brutal manner they’ve been killed.

At the same time you always feel that the film is trying to speak to your mind by challenging your intellect. Agent K has a special attraction to the stars – an attraction so magnetic that it outlines his feelings towards humanity. He feels that when he looks up at the stars, he gets a feeling that he knows more about outer space than he does Earth. This is a reflection of humanity’s dependence on their need to venture and conquer what they do not understand.

Themes like this are what always make Sonnenfield fun, and Men in Black engaging. Sonnenfield is one of those directors that you simply can’t help but respect. Tarentino takes the cake as the most obnoxiously pleasant film director in today’s age. He’s quite excited about every film he makes, and with good reason, because every one that we see happens to be fun and completely over the top. Does it matter if they’re emotionally engaging? Of course not! They’re fun.

Let’s hope Jackson can keep his mouth closed for the time being so that Shyamalan can rise out of his hole of superiority and actually attempt to make movies fun.

Image Credit: Debby Wong /

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