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View Full Version : Since when did SHYAMALAN become a 'ONE-HIT WONDER'?


MJVmovieman
02-01-2009, 03:54 PM
Ok, so M. Night Shyamalan has had an interesting career thus far. Six director credits under his belt excluding "Wide Awake" which came before "The Sixth Sense." After his latest horrible film, the worst in his entire resume as of yet, "The Happening," all of a sudden he's being called by critics and audiences "A one-hit wonder."

Now I will agree that "The Happening" is one of the worst movies of 2008, and quite frankly I found it to be 'the' worst movie this past year, and also that "The Sixth Sense" is commercially and critically his most shining accomplishment. But why is everyone forgetting about "Unbreakable," his 2000 follow-up film that seemed to only disappoint because of what preceded it. It wasn't a shocking scare-fest, for sure, but more of a personal, quiet effort - frankly, one of the best takes on the overblown superhero genre that I have seen. And, at 67% FRESH on the Tomato-meter over at Rottentomatoes, with $95 million in the states and a global take of $248 million, it was quite the success.

Next, "Signs," an audience favorite in 2002, was a critical hit at 74% FRESH and made some top-ten lists for the year, went on to become a huge domestic box office cash-cow with $228 million, and $408 million worldwide.

Since then, his first three films have far outdone his most recent three. 2004's "The Village" was a misfire, but not terrible. It opened to a huge $50 million, and dropped quickly ending up with a decent $114 million and an international total of $256 million. Critics were mixed at 43%. Roger Ebert (whom gave SIGNS '4 stars out of 4') gave it 1 star, while Shyamalan's proponents Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine rooted for him yet by giving it 3 stars of 4, and Richard Roeper still called it "one of the best films of the year." Overall, audiences were displeased, including myself.

So onto "Lady in the Water." A tragic flop. $72 million take worldwide, only $42 million of it coming from the U.S. A dismal 24% ROTTEN from critics. 4 Razzie nominations (Worst Picture, Director, Supporting Actor for Shyamalan, himself, and Screenplay) and many worst-of-the-year lists struck back.

Now with "The Happening," audiences still put forth an unprecedented $30 million opening weekend, but it collapsed at $64 million in the states with 4 Razzie nominations (Worst Picture, Actor, Director, Screenplay) and 19% ROTTEN rating from critics, putting yet another nail in Shyamalan's coffin. That it made another $100 million overseas is irrelevant.

So after all this, I think Shyamalan has had 3 solid movies, with "The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," and "Signs"; 2 for sure, without "Unbreakable" for those not a fan. Regardless, he's done solid work, and his movies have, for the most part, succeeding financially and kept audiences giving him a chance because of his previous successes. So to now call him a 'one-hit-wonder' really seems unjustified. I lost some faith in him with "The Village" and "The Happening" especially, but I still think he has talent and really needs to take a break from writing his own material and start getting back on track.

Strike back your thoughts.

Tagia_Romero
02-01-2009, 03:59 PM
I feel he has a lot of talent, but I also feel he should not soley WRITE his films, because that seems to have been his trip-up point.

The Postmaster General
02-01-2009, 04:07 PM
Well, I think the term one hit wonder is synonymous for someone having a massive hit then not repeating their success. Like 80s bands that are considered one hit wonders, there are some of them that have that one massive song, then no other huge hits that everyone knows and loves -- but there may be bands here and there that are really good bands, but they became known as o.h.w. because of that smash. I can't think any great examples at the moment, maybe The Cardigans.... there are a few bands that I also can't think of who will refuse to play their 1-hit in concert.

I think it's the same thing with M. Night, and that The 6th Sense was his 1HW, and no doubt he's been far from repeating that success. I'm not going to say the rest of his movies have been solid, that's up for you to decide, but I will say that his marketing campaigns for his movies relies way too much on the success of 6th Sense. I think he needs to move away from the glory he had from that and just focus on his movies, and not on the marketability of his name brand. It would probably help him in not getting slighted so much by critics and fans who call him a 1HW.

Salieri
02-01-2009, 04:11 PM
I agree, and I don't even think The Village was bad. I think he just needs to stop writing his movies. And acting.

BlownCamaro
02-01-2009, 04:50 PM
I have no problem with his acting in his own movies. His movie he can do what he wants. Not like he is terrible, he just wants some screen time.

As far as one hit wonder, not even close. Morons who dont truly appreciate movies might consider him a one hit wonder. Unbreakable was better than Sixth Sense imo. Just like every other director/writer he has ups and downs but no way a one hit wonder.

sbunn10
02-01-2009, 05:45 PM
Yeah I don't see how he can be considered a one hit wonder.. the quality of his films has declined steadily, but they started at a very high point..

The Sixth Sense and Signs were great, IMO.. Unbreakable and the Village were good, and Lady in the Water was okay. The Happening sucked big time, but I haven't given up on the guy. He's made some excellent films.

LordSimen
02-01-2009, 05:50 PM
He's never been a one hit wonder. The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and Lady in the Water all rocked.

project 86
02-01-2009, 06:34 PM
its funny because he wrote and directed both sixth sense and unbreakable i just think he is declining badly

The Postmaster General
02-01-2009, 06:36 PM
People don't become known as 1 hit wonders because people don't like their movies, it's just a term used to describe someone who hasn't repeated earlier success. The quality of their work isn't what's being challenged by the term. I think everyone is being too defensive about this.

BlownCamaro
02-01-2009, 06:46 PM
Yea Bubba, maybe so. Still though he has been successful since his first, maybe not as successful but still he has had hits. I always took one hit wonder as just that, one good thing and then nothing else.

The Postmaster General
02-01-2009, 06:50 PM
Yea Bubba, maybe so. Still though he has been successful since his first, maybe not as successful but still he has had hits. I always took one hit wonder as just that, one good thing and then nothing else.


I think some people look at it that way, but in general, that's not really what it is --- There's a good music analogy I'm trying to make, but I can't off hand think of any bands who've gotten that monicker and are also awesome. Maybe Devo, where "Whip It' would be what gave them the 1HW status.

It's just another generic term that critics like to throw around. I'd never use it, except like in the context of this thread. VH1 had some show where they talked about 1HWs and a lot of the bands, I was like "What? They are awesome" -- after a while I just realized what they meant and that it wasn't really a critique about the band, but another one of these fake genres people come up with.

MJVmovieman
02-01-2009, 11:54 PM
Well in my opinion, "Signs" was just as big of a success as Sixth Sense, and is just as popular - maybe not getting Oscar nods for Best Picture and Director, but still just as impressive if we're talking repeated success.

ericdraven
02-02-2009, 12:37 AM
the dude felt that he could go the route of medicore after writing scripts like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable and Signs, then his ego came into play and he did The Villiage, Lady In The Water, and then The Happening. I mean the dude isn't a one hit wonder, but damn he's gotten so awful.

gayzilla
02-02-2009, 01:23 AM
I have never seen, heard, nor read of him referred to as a One Hit Wonder, could you provide an example of such, with a link to any examples

thanks

The Postmaster General
02-02-2009, 04:03 AM
Well in my opinion, "Signs" was just as big of a success as Sixth Sense, and is just as popular - maybe not getting Oscar nods for Best Picture and Director, but still just as impressive if we're talking repeated success.

Like I said though, critics and writers like to throw out words like that just for the sake of making their point. You can't really always take those things literally, especially if you are seeing it just as their opinion. I wouldn't think about it too much really. It's one of those situations that will always be beyond logic or explanation because it's generic term that will mean whatever the write is trying to use it for.



I have never seen, heard, nor read of him referred to as a One Hit Wonder, could you provide an example of such, with a link to any examples

thanks

Here you go. (http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=m.+night+shyamalan+one+hit+wonder)

bigred760
02-02-2009, 07:00 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't consider him a one-hit wonder . . . he's had several box office successes, The Sixth Sense obviously being his most successful. Signs and Unbreakable were either critical and/or financial successes as well. He's either in the downside to his career, or just in a slump.

poopontheshoes7
02-02-2009, 09:32 AM
Unbreakable is a flat out masterpeice. The Sixth Sense and Signs are both great as well.

I even liked The Village up until the end. I havent seen Lady In the Water yet.

But for sure, The Happening is a truly terrible flick. Beyond terrible, in fact.

gayzilla
02-02-2009, 09:50 AM
Anybody can do a google search, but seeing as YOU are the one trying to make a point, the onus is on you to provide atleast a quote or something. Without sending me to a google search with dozens of responses I don't care to read or skim through can you provide a quote with a link of a reputable source calling M. Night a one hit-wonder.

Seriously, the 4th link on your post leads back to this very thread, so I still don't see any reputable critics calling him a one hit wonder

adamjohnson
02-02-2009, 09:58 AM
Mark Whalberg ruined The Happening. Why does every line he speaks up-turn at the end. That stupid, whispery voice turning UP at the end every damn time is just annoying.

The worst acting I have ever seen.

BakeTheMooCow
02-02-2009, 10:45 AM
What are you talking about? You don't think this is good acting? The way he nods his head reminded me of Brando and De Niro:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCj-40see-I

Actually, I don't blame Marky Mark for ruining The Happening. He was terrible, but so was Zooey Deschanel and so was the writing and there was just no tension and the serious scenes were completely laughable. Just a SHIT film all around.

M. Night is not a bad director. Just a piss poor screenwriter and with a massive ego to go with it.

APzombie
02-02-2009, 12:39 PM
For me, Night is 3 for 6. Unbreakable is a masterpiece, Signs and The Sixth Sense are amazing. The Village is just ok, Lady in the Water and The Happening are terrible. I say 3 for six because i havent seen his Rosie film.

I don't think he is a one hit wonder at all, and i still look forward to everything he brings, even if i think he is getting a bit stale lately, i still hope to see him turn out a new masterpiece.

Monotreme
02-02-2009, 01:56 PM
I gotta agree: While I'm no Unbreakable fan, I don't think that it's a TOTALLY bad movie, and while Signs ruins itself by the time it ends, it's pretty good up until the final act. The Sixth Sense remains his best film, and while his last three were undeniable stinkers and he's definitely "lost his touch" I don't think he was a "one-hit wonder".

I also agree that Night's biggest problem is that he writes his own scripts. I remember I got really, really excited a few years ago when they announced that he would be directing the Life of Pi theatrical adaptation. One of the best novels I've ever read, it has 3 things going for it: 1. it's a subject close to Shyamalan's heart, namely his Indian heritage: 2. It's a project with very high visual potential, easily what Night's best at; and 3. It's a pre-written story that Night couldn't possibly fuck up because it's just so good. But then he pulled out, I think because he didn't want to become a "typecast" director because the book kind of has a twist ending, and made Lady in the Water instead. Thanks, Night, you douche!

Cop No. 633
02-03-2009, 06:35 AM
I also agree that Night's biggest problem is that he writes his own scripts. I remember I got really, really excited a few years ago when they announced that he would be directing the Life of Pi theatrical adaptation. One of the best novels I've ever read, it has 3 things going for it: 1. it's a subject close to Shyamalan's heart, namely his Indian heritage: 2. It's a project with very high visual potential, easily what Night's best at; and 3. It's a pre-written story that Night couldn't possibly fuck up because it's just so good. But then he pulled out, I think because he didn't want to become a "typecast" director because the book kind of has a twist ending, and made Lady in the Water instead. Thanks, Night, you douche!

Well now, hold on there Mister! Maybe Night saved the potential film by not making it. Just imagine the possibilities he could have chosen if he had made it. He might have taken the twist out just for the sake of not having one. He might have made the characters less complex because it's his trait to strip people down to the basic good/bad-black/white element that he never can shake. I think maybe you should thank him. :)

The Postmaster General
02-03-2009, 06:44 AM
Anybody can do a google search, but seeing as YOU are the one trying to make a point, the onus is on you to provide atleast a quote or something. Without sending me to a google search with dozens of responses I don't care to read or skim through can you provide a quote with a link of a reputable source calling M. Night a one hit-wonder.

Seriously, the 4th link on your post leads back to this very thread, so I still don't see any reputable critics calling him a one hit wonder

Um, actually it wasn't ME making points related to M. Night being called a one hit wonder. You are getting me confused with the thread starter, as well as the 15 or so other posters on here who haven't questioned whether he's been called that or not. Please remember, my point was that "one hit wonder" is a generic term no one should take to heart. If you want to bring up a burden of proof, I would say that would be upon you since no one else has questioned him being called a one hit wonder, and without looking, there's at least 20 responses in this thread, with you being the lone dissenting voice.

Seriously, I just thought that website was funny and thought it was a good chance to use it. I didn't mean to undermine your stance that no one has ever called M Night Shyamalan a one hit wonder. My bad. The next drink is on me. Peace.

Major Mojo
02-03-2009, 07:11 AM
2008 The Happening $64,506,874
2006 Lady in the Water $42,285,169
2004 The Village $114,197,520
2002 Signs $227,965,690
2000 Unbreakable $94,999,143
1999 The Sixth Sense $293,506,292
1998 Wide Awake $305,704


if box office numbers are a guide we can see there really has been a steady decline in his popularity and success..ie..hits.

Perhaps one hit wonder is a little too harsh, but it's not too far wrong either.

jaw2929
02-03-2009, 11:46 AM
I don't know, I love all of his films. The Happening was a fantastic concept, if it's execution was a bit off... Lady in the Water was fun, you have to suspend your disbelief for that one though, certainly.

The others were great too. One hit fucking wonder, my fuckin' hairy beanbag!

The Postmaster General
02-03-2009, 12:27 PM
SPOILERS FOR THE VILLAGE****

Trail_Blazer touched on something about M. Night I like and that is he has really good ideas. I haven't seen The Happening or Signs yet, but I liked 6th Sense and Unbreakable. The Village was pretty good with out the twist - I missed the start and watched the whole movie thinking it took place when it in modern times, which is what I thought from the adverts and the title for some reason made it clear it was modern times for me --- So the ending I was confused when all the music was suspenseful. It wasn't until walking out to the car that my wife explained to me it was supposed to be set in the past --- I just assumed it was one of the historic sites...

Lady in the Water was a bad movie, but one I watched twice. Once going, oh, no shit? Really? Then again to show my wife how bad it was. There's something good to be said about a movie like that though I like a lot of bad movies. Wicker Man (remake) for instance... I disagree that enjoying it has to do with a suspension of disbelief because my major problem with it was how M. Night was being all meta and referential. If that part hadn't been a major storyline - the idea of making a major theme in the movie being referential to M. Night as a writer, I would have liked it a lot better.

LordSimen
02-03-2009, 12:31 PM
Having one mega hit and a couple minor hits does not qualify for a one hit wonder. A one hit wonder is just that, they only hit once.

echo_bravo
02-03-2009, 05:16 PM
I agree, and I don't even think The Village was bad. I think he just needs to stop writing his movies. And acting.

Totally agreed. The Village was cool in my book.

SoCool
02-04-2009, 01:30 AM
It amazes me that people have the audacity to call Shymalan a bad director. Get serious, because the dude is insanely talented. Technically, his films are simply fantastic; from the cinematography to the sound editing, it's great work. However, I agree that he should collaborate on his scripts. I wouldn't want him to stay out of the process entirely, because all of his films have had interesting and original premises. Maybe not entirely original, but with so many people constantly complaining about this fucking remake or that fucking remake, it's disheartening to see a director with original ideas being shit on for not being able to fully realize their potential. He's lost his footing, but he's far from falling off.

The Postmaster General
02-04-2009, 01:53 AM
Having one mega hit and a couple minor hits does not qualify for a one hit wonder. A one hit wonder is just that, they only hit once.

I don't think anyone in the thread has disagreed with that. It's the people who are using the generic term that prompted the thread. We here at Joblo aren't generic.

ArtFactoryRadio
02-04-2009, 02:55 AM
I am of the minority category that doesn't think The Happening was all that bad. I think it had a fully mixed-bag of elements that were hit-or-miss.

I thought JoBlo's review of this movie hit the head on the nail for how I felt about it.

Are people more upset about this film simply because they had higher expectations? Is it getting this horrible backlash because they had high-apple-pie-in-the-sky hope for it, only to be so so let down? Because if that's the case, I can relate to that feeling.

Otherwise, in a year where Paris Hilton had another starring role, Paul Anderson continued his embarrassing career, Kate Hudson & Matthew McConaughey added another two hours to a future 40+ hour Silly Relationship Movie Marathon starring only them, and a movie called "Space Chimps" somehow got made... I just can't see The Happening REALLY being the worst of ALL of them.

Then again, I guarantee that even Space Chimps didn't have anything as silly as the Hot Dog Man.

hoojib127
02-04-2009, 07:46 AM
He's more of a one-trick pony than a one-hit wonder, if you ask me. :o

gayzilla
02-04-2009, 08:02 PM
Um, actually it wasn't ME making points related to M. Night being called a one hit wonder. You are getting me confused with the thread starter, as well as the 15 or so other posters on here who haven't questioned whether he's been called that or not. Please remember, my point was that "one hit wonder" is a generic term no one should take to heart. If you want to bring up a burden of proof, I would say that would be upon you since no one else has questioned him being called a one hit wonder, and without looking, there's at least 20 responses in this thread, with you being the lone dissenting voice.

Seriously, I just thought that website was funny and thought it was a good chance to use it. I didn't mean to undermine your stance that no one has ever called M Night Shyamalan a one hit wonder. My bad. The next drink is on me. Peace.

Your right, I did have you confused with the thread starter, sorry there. My point is that the point is kinda mute because I don't see anyone calling him that. I agree with the poster who said one-trick pony. Though I think he still has potential for more good films, and I really liked signs.

The Postmaster General
02-05-2009, 02:02 AM
Yeah, I know where you were coming from gayzilla, and actually it's funny because I agree with you, just for different reasons --- I think it's a moot point because it's just a generic term, and anyone who uses it probably doesn't need to be figured out. Then I just jumped on a chance to use that letmegooglethatforyou.com link because I think it's funny and like I said was itching for a chance to use it.

I actually saw The Happening the other night, and what I don't get is why people don't care more about science. Huh? I mean, we all aren't going to be this good looking forever.

mutant_gorilla
02-05-2009, 02:17 AM
I don't know. I find things I love in all of his movies. The Village was AMAZING the first time I watched it. It's just not...re-watchable. It loses all of its tension and creepiness. I actually loved Lady in the Water. It was something different, something odd, and I happened to enjoy it.

The Happening...Meh. My least favorite of his films, but to say I hated it, is a bit much. It was...Meh? Thats about it.

darknite125
02-10-2009, 11:50 PM
I loved Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs. I even enjoyed The Village. Lady in the Water was just too weird for me and The Happening was just awful.

Le_Big_Mac
02-11-2009, 08:51 PM
He's more of a one-trick pony than a one-hit wonder, if you ask me. :o

Agreed.

Scotch
02-12-2009, 03:20 PM
What are you talking about? You don't think this is good acting? The way he nods his head reminded me of Brando and De Niro:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCj-40see-I

Actually, I don't blame Marky Mark for ruining The Happening. He was terrible, but so was Zooey Deschanel and so was the writing and there was just no tension and the serious scenes were completely laughable. Just a SHIT film all around.

M. Night is not a bad director. Just a piss poor screenwriter and with a massive ego to go with it.


So I haven't created enough time in my life to waste watching this movie yet, but that clip from youtube probably explains it all. I cringed at it like the first time I saw the Exorcist and was scared out of my mind