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old (2021)

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6/10: Dafter than the Dharma initiative...
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Dafter than the Dharma initiative. "Old" is the latest from the gloriously inconsistent writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. Will this be great Shyamalan (à la "The Sixth Sense") or dire Shyamalan (à la "The Last Airbender")? The answer, in my view, is somewhere in the middle. It's a curate's egg of a movie.Positives: The premise feels very familiar (desert island beach; time slips; weird things happening.... "Lost" anyone?). But as a shell for a big-screen adventure it kept me well-engaged.Shyamalan and his "Glass" cinematographer Mike Gioulakis use some novel techniques to portray the ageing effects. The angles used feel quite Hitchcockian at times. Shyamalan supports this with the sound design, which makes this a REALLY good movie to watch in a cinema with good surround sound. Often the camera will be spinning showing nothing but ocean or rocks, with the character's conversation rotating behind you in the cinema. It's really quite effective...

1/10: interesting concept, but terrible execution...
Saturday, July 24, 2021

interesting concept, but terrible execution I started out really hopeful for this movie. When I watched the trailer, the concept was what brought me back to the cinema. But my god, this movie did anything but deliver. I felt the concept was too out of reach and too ambitious for M. Shyamalan.The script writing was the most horrendous and unbearable bit, I never before had to fight the urge to leave the theater twenty minutes into a movie. The dialogue was just so CRINGE. So cringe that it actually elicited a physical reaction. My body, unable to decide between its fight or flight response from the mixture of disappointment and anger at how bad the movie was, sat paralyzed in the cold, dark theater, unwillingly ready to be violated by the screen in front of it.There felt like too many "fake deep" lines (Maddox's monologue before finding Jarin) or empty strings of words that really failed when...

6/10: Entertaining, but not Outstanding Shamaylan...
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Entertaining, but not Outstanding Shamaylan seems to be one of those directors whose films make money despite the fact that the critics don't seem to be all that impressed with them. Okay, he has had one massive flop, which happened to be The Last Airbender, but other than that he seems to continue to churn out films, and those films continue to make money. The other thing is that he seems to be one of those directors that has a lot more control over his films, and yeah, there are a few of them that fall into that category.I won't say that this film has a twist though, and when people do use the word twist in the film it is put in quotes. It's sort of more of a reveal, and I have to admit that it is pretty difficult to go one better than the 'Bruce Willis is a ghost' twist that pretty much...

2/10: As in, "I'm getting...
Thursday, September 23, 2021

As in, "I'm getting too old for this..." There was a time that people wanted to give M. Night Shyamalan the title of our generation's Rod Serling, but as time goes on, his films have gone from Twilight Zone to Outer Limits to Tales from the Darkside in quality and now, they hover somewhere around stories that even shows like Monsters would say, "Well, that seems pretty bad." Actually, I really like Monsters and feel bad associating that show with Shyamalan's output. Maybe a better example would be to imagine if Night Gallery was only the Jack Laird comedy bits and The Sixth Sense with none of Serling's contributions.To be even more honest, I feel bad dunking on Old and the works of Shyamalan, which get worse with each release and his hamfisted attempts at being a modern William Castle, like when he got SyFy to air a documentary that claimed that he died as...

8/10: "Ah, but I was so...
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

"Ah, but I was so much older then,I'm younger than that now." Discussing with a friend over the phone about meeting up and catching up,we decided over the weekend to hang out and go to the cinema. Checking the listings,we were surprised to find a new M. Night Shyamalan title had just been released. Only seeing the poster before going in,we got set to experience the good old days.View on the film:Taking place in one location for 90% of the runtime, co-star/writer/directing auteur M. Night Shyamalan reunites with John Dies At The End (2012-also reviewed) cinematographer Mike Gioulakis for their third team-up, which continues to expand on Shyamalan's distinctive stylisation of placing the audience in the middle of an unfolding supernatural event, via superb, long take sweeping panning shots scanning across the beach.Shyamalan uses the sweeping shots to wonderfully draw the impression that when the characters...

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