Sorry, What to Watch took a turkey day break as last week was really light on new product worth mentioning. This week? Pretty much the same but we don’t want you to miss us too badly. Here’s five recent Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that may have caught your attention on new release shelves lately, ranked in the order we’d add them to our holiday wish list.
M. Night Shyamalan
CHICAGO – Oscar accolades are a godsend, but so are they an affliction. They’re the ultimate vote of respect from your industry, but then you’ve got to keep being as genius as they thought you were. In M. Night Shyamalan’s case, it’s all gone downhill since his 1999 smash-hit “The Sixth Sense,” which was nominated for six of these portly golden statues.
CHICAGO – The “sci” in M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi blockbuster “After Earth” clearly stands for Scientology and not science. There’s nothing remotely approaching honest science in this boring, preachy, horrendously made film that occasionally looks good but has nothing more worthwhile to say than a pamphlet trying to get you to convert to a cult.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “After Earth” starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith!
CHICAGO – M. Night Shyamalan’s career is a morbidly fascinating train wreck. Here’s a man who seduced the mainstream viewing public and film lovers alike with the wonderful psychological drama, “The Sixth Sense,” and the enticing mystery, “Unbreakable.” Both films garnered the director a legion of devoted fans eager to see what material he would tackle next.
CHICAGO – “The Last Airbender” was mercilessly-panned on its theatrical release and will likely pop up on a few “Worst of the Year” lists in the next few months. And yet, audiences didn’t seem to care too much, pushing the movie to nearly $320 million worldwide (although one wonders if it wouldn’t have made twice that were it actually good considering the fan base of the source material and prime summer release date).
CHICAGO – Being a hardcore fan of anthology series like “The Twilight Zone” and “Tales From the Crypt,” the simple set-up of “Devil,” the new horror film based on a story by and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, intrigued me — five people are stuck in an elevator and one turns out to be the devil. Sadly, the concept is the only interesting thing about this horribly-executed tale from the dull side of the genre.
CHICAGO – The choices that M. Night Shyamalan makes in the progress of his filmography have become as perplexing as his early mysteries. “The Last Airbender,” featuring Dev Patel from “Slumdog Millionaire,” is an adaptation of a previous animated series, and although aimed at kids in the end seems tentative and…aimless.
CHICAGO – The ancient martial arts get a workout with M. Night Shyamalan’s live action version of the anime “The Last Airbender.” Featuring Dev Patel – the contestant in the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” – and Aasif Mandvi of “The Daily Show,” Airbender uses special effects and action to tell its story.
CHICAGO – Paramount Pictures has just released the HD teaser trailer for the new M. Night Shyamalan film “The Last Airbender,” which stars Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, Cliff Curtis, Dev Patel (from the Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”), Noah Ringer, Jessica Andres, Seychelle Gabriel, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi and Keong Sim.
CHICAGO – Trying to understand the thought process of writer and director M. Night Shyamalan is akin to analyzing Jell-O. What keeps it wiggling and what binds it together?