back to article Got a buck to send M Night Shyamalan to film school?

Those of you unfortunate enough to have spent money seeing The Last Airbender will doubtless be only too willing to blow one more dollar to send M Night Shyamalan back to film school. That's the aim of the splendidly-named M Night School campaign, which declares: "Certainly, there must be 150,000 of us film lovers out there …


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  1. Bob Foster
    Thumb Down

    No Surprise

    Felt this way about him when I saw "The village", have avoided anything he's made since

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: No Surprise

      I recommend The Happening - genuinely hilariously bad (after the quite chilling start which I could take halfway seriously). I laughed and laughed.

      The thing is that Shyamalan isn't technically a bad filmmaker at all - he just has terrible scripts, can't get good performances out of actors, and thinks he is a wondrous genius and so injects every scene with essence of PROFOUNDANDICONIC until the poor things collapse in on themselves.

      Sadly I doubt this campaign will humble him any, but sooner or later people will stop giving him money to make films.

      1. DuncanL

        "sooner or later people will stop giving him money to make films."

        Unfortunately, highly unlikely while he brings in the millions... even Happening and Airbender made big buckets of cash

        (See and more)

      2. jubtastic1

        Ahh, the happening...

        I almost walked out when Marky Mark, ambitiously cast as a science teacher, asks his class why the bees are disappearing. The students have a few stabs before Marky states "there's some things we'll just never know". EH? WTF! you're the science teacher FFS.

        Sadly the wife insisted we stayed till the end.

      3. Diane Miller


        "he just has terrible scripts" - so he's a bad writer.

        "can't get good performances out of actors" - so he's a bad director.

        "thinks he is a wondrous genius (etc)" - so he's a pompous ass.

        But apart from that, he's a good filmmaker?

      4. Anonymous Coward

        @Shyamalan isn't technically a bad filmmaker

        ' he just has terrible scripts, can't get good performances out of actors, and thinks he is a wondrous genius and so injects every scene with essence of PROFOUNDANDICONIC until the poor things collapse in on themselves'

        I'm no expert, but technically, that sounds like bad filmmaking to me.

        If you want a good night at the flix, the boys from brazil is the one for me

      5. Giles Jones Gold badge

        The Crappening

        I watched that a while ago. Totally rubbish, a big build up to the ending which was lame as hell. I'm sure he ripped off the ending from Shaun of the Dead, Three Months later indeed?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So who might that someone else be?

    Uwe Boll, maybe?

  3. HP Cynic


    I paid to see Sixth Sense which was a decent film though the "twist" was 100% obvious to me from the opening scene. In fact I spent the film thinking "well they are desperately trying to convince me he's not dead..."

    I paid to see Unbreakable which was average at best.

    I paid to see Signs which was just terrible.

    I paid to see The Village which was again obvious but had some interesting moments.

    The trend has been absolutely going downhill from the start and thankfully I've completely avoided his later films because the ads alone for those were near unwatchable.

    No, nobody will get another penny out of me in his name!!!

  4. Graham Jordan

    Michael Bay

    Hmmmm, I'd be more inclined to send Michael Bay. See with Shyamalan, it's obvious you're going to be dissapointed but at least it's his own creation, he's destroying his own work. Michael on the other hand gets good films but destroys them. God how I wanted to stand on his neck having watched Transformers 2. The problem is I knew it would be pants but felled compelled to watch it because there's cars that turn into robots man, ROBOTS!!!

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Never!

      I think Unbreakable is better than The Sixth Sense. That is what I think.

      1. Ian Yates


        I thought that until I tried to watch it a second time.

        Although, watching Sixth Sense a second time showed just how weak the pretending-he's-not-dead thing was.

        Signs was just dreadful.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          watching Sixth Sense a second time

          > watching Sixth Sense a second time showed just how weak the pretending-he's-not-dead thing was ..

          The scenes still work, the bits between Willis and 'Cole' and his mother ..

          1. Ian Yates


            It only works because of the "clever" cuts between scenes.

            From the top of my head, the one that stuck out was every time he goes to the basement door it cuts to him being in the basement until the very last attempt when he realises he's dead.


            Maybe it's just hindsight, but the film seemed far less clever the second time around. I think that's probably true with all MNS's "twists", though.

            1. Thomas 4

              At last, I have found my kindred spirits

              Other people that agree with me that The Sixth Sense was a dire film. I remember when the wretched thing came out in the cinema and everyone was saying "Oooo, what a clever plot twist". Now, umpteen dire films later, I can cheerfully point my finger and say that you only have yourselves to blame for encouraging him.

        2. alpine

          Crop circles one?

          Was 'Signs' the crop circle one?. On Sky movies last week. Hilariously bad, they even had kids in tinfoil helmets!!!

    2. Aaron Em

      I think I must be the only person left alive...

      ...who's completely willing to admit to being gobsmacked at the end of "The Sixth Sense", and doesn't go around blathering about how OMG THE TWIST WAS SOOOO OBVIOUS HOW COULD ANYONE HAVE BEEN SURPRISED.

      1. Cpt Blue Bear

        Dunno about the last one but...

        .. the plot "twist" was extremely obvious if you pay any attention to what is going on. I know people have been conditioned by Hollywood schlock to sit and watch passively and wait to be spoon fed, but I do wonder how anyone could miss the fact that the only character who reacts to him at all is the "I see dead people" kid? It was an interesting idea tragically overplayed.

    3. Jason Hall


      Only if you send them both on the same train. The one from Source Code should do.

      There are plenty of other directors that could tag along too... maybe Lucas and Cameron to name just two?

      1. stuartnz
        Thumb Up

        Cameron, PLEASE!

        A big YES to Cameron especially. "Titanic" is still safely on my anti-bucket list, and Avatar would have been so bad it was funny if it hadn't been so excruciatingly long. I'm ALMOST tempted to watch Airbender to see if it's bad as that nasty Navi nightmare.

      2. MancMike


        Surely you jest? Duncan Jones directed Moon, and Source code Was brilliant (granted, it should have ended at the freeze frame) but still, he does not need to go back to school.

  5. Aaron Em

    I'd love to be as incompetent as Shyamalan

    I mean, whatever your argument about the artistic merits, he'll never have to work another day in his life if he doesn't want to. That's certainly got an appeal all its own.

  6. Cameron Colley

    I thik I'm the only person who found The Last Airbender fun to watch.

    It sure beat the heck out of the other film named Avatar.

    Sixth Sense was OK, and Unbreakable was at least novel and quite fun. The Village was just dull and obvious and The Happening is a potential candidate for worst film ever "OMG IT'S THE TREES!!! THE TREES!!!!!" pretty much sums up that story.

    If anyone needs to go to film school I think it's Ridley Scott -- so that he can learn that cutting every half second during an action scene does not make it "fast-paced" it makes it impossible to watch and shit. Gladiator was ruined by the over use of quick cuts and stupid up-close camera angles which made the film claustrophobic and choppy.

    1. There's a bee in my bot net

      Laughing our arses off...

      My wife and I got the Last Airbender on Bluray to make up the numbers on a blockbuster rental deal so I didn't mind too much that it was awful. But we did laugh our arses off at various points throughout the film from the imortal "but then we discovered he was a bender" line to the random jump cuts and disjointed dialogue to the WTF just happen and why moments.

      Not actually enjoyable as a film but provides plenty of entertainment spotting all the ways it is bad in the same way Doomsday 2012 did (It's probably not the film you think it is, read the reviews )

    2. There's a bee in my bot net

      he'll never have to work another day in his life

      Let's hope so eh!

      1. Alien8n Silver badge

        To be fair...

        To be fair, if you've ever seen the cartoon series it's very clear that the film follows the cartoon, but unlike LOTR that chopped a few bits that you don't really miss unless you've read the books, TLAB chops vast amounts of essential plot out leaving the viewer wondering wtf?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Ridley Scott?

      His films as of late have been shite - but seriously, we're talking about the director of both Alien and Blade Runner. He had what it takes, I guess something just happened to him.

      1. Cameron Colley

        RE: Ridley Scott?

        I think Ridley Scott can only direct in the dark. Alien and Blade Runner were very atmospheric and the close-ups and cutting made them claustrophobic but the situation allowed for it. When you're filming an epic gladiatorial battle in a colosseum you surely want to create a feeling of awe and epic size, not a sense that they're fighting in a phone box against lions emerging from the ground in what has to be the worst piece of CGI since 100 Million BC.

        I think he's a one-trick pony -- though a bloody good one-trick pony.

        1. Bob Foster

          You're forgetting

          Ridley Scott also did the iconic Apple Mac - Big Brother launch ad which Apple hater or not was a very good ad for the time, oh and by the way there's the IT angle !

        2. mmiied


          but I found the filming of gladator made it feel more personal like you where there fighting in the ring with them so I liked it

        3. Anonymous Coward

          @Alien and Blade Runner

          = two trick pony.

          1. rciafardone
            Thumb Up

            I liked Gladiator, a lot.

            no more to add.

            3 tricks pony?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    If he declines...

    Couldn't the fund be used to hire a hitman instead?

    1. CaptainHook


      We could, but given our luck, there will be a twist in the plotline and the hitman will turn out to be from the future even though there was not indication of that at all when we hired him and even more shocking the hitman finds out he is direct descendent of Shyamalan and thus can not kill him without killing himself.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        direct descendent?

        No no no. That's not a problem - see the Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well" for an explanation (of sorts).

      2. Aaron Em

        Which is a perfectly suitable result...

        ...considering that grandfather plots are approximately the third most hackneyed cliche in all of science fiction.

        1. Diane Miller

          @Aaron Em

          >...the third most hackneyed cliche in all of science fiction.

          OK, I have to ask: what are the first two?

        2. Ammaross Danan


          "considering that grandfather plots are approximately the third most hackneyed cliche in all of science fiction."

          And the most misconstrued considering the alternate timeline theory to solve the grandfather paradox. Granted, time travel isn't called such by physicists, but "closed time-like loops"

          1. rciafardone

            Time travel (to the past) is BS.

            The fact that serious scientist have to come with the alternative universes theory to reconcile paradoxes shows it by it self.

            Think of it, Even if alternative universes were real, and the time travel was possible from the POV of the people on the original time line nothing had happened, the "time traveler" just disintegrated out of existence. It is a unfalsifiable hypothesis and therefore an invalid theory.

            Plus is the lousiest plot devise/deus ex machina ever thought about.

            GOD I HATE STAR TREK!!!!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Your idea

        I would like to buy the film rights.



        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Your idea

          I would like to steal it, then sue you for copyright infringement before turning it into a dire film



  8. Steve Gill


    Just maybe Hollywood will start to get the hint that we, the customers, aren't impressed by their favourite sons.

    1. LaeMing Bronze badge

      Sadly, no.

      Just maybe we, the customers, will start to get the hint that Hollywood doesn't give a rancid fart what we think of their favorite sons so long as enough of us keep coughing up the cash.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    The Sixth Sense

    Sixth Sense was good, it's surprising that the same writer/director could subsequently produce such rubbish, maybe somebody ghosted it for him :)

  10. The BigYin

    Is it just me...

    ...or does anyone else chuckle when the hear "The Last Air*bender*".

    Maybe I am just puerile and spend too much time on b3ta.

    1. CaptainHook

      The Wachowskis

      I think it similar to The Matrix. It was an accident that just happened to work but can't be recreated in subsequent films no matter how hard you try.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Don't get me started on The Matrix

        apart from Keanu Reeves (who *can* act - My Own Private Idaho), was it just me that thought the whole thing came across as mish-mash of unfinished Philip K Dick plots ?

        Great special effects yes. But please don't tell me it blew your mind.

        1. DZ-Jay


          What are you talking about? Philip K Dick plots are themselves a mish-mash of unfinished Philip K Dick plots.

          Oh, and by the way, The Matrix was great. Too bad they didn't make any sequels.


          1. Merchman


            Obligatory XKCD strip:

      2. LaeMing Bronze badge

        The Matrix

        was quite good, but would have been even better if Hollywood Inc. hadn't decided to dumb down several parts of the origional premise proposed by the W-bros.

  11. Tom 38 Silver badge

    I'm astonishingly puerile

    I quite liked it. With such magic lines like:

    "I could tell at once that you were a bender, and that you would realise your destiny."

    It's almost, but not quite, bad enough to be good. I'm hoping he gets another $150m to spend on a film, his quality trajectory will soon create the best worst movie ever.

    Off to watch Plan 9..

    1. Aaron Em

      I don't think he's got it in him

      He's far too mediocre to be the next Ed Wood.

  12. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Midnight Shamalamadingdong

    I don't get it. Shyamalan seems to be walking the traditional aspiring film maker path in reverse, each film just gets worse. It's not that he's a bad director, just that the films are. Perhaps it's a Hollywood in-joke we're not party to?

    Full marks to the editors who cut the trailer for the Happening on TV recently and made it look like an excellent and must see film. I'm just glad I noted who directed in the credits so wasn't surprised as it got increasingly banal.

    Shyamalan's main failing seems to be he's stuck in a rut, starting with the plot twist, then just using any tortuous crap to arrive at it; "So they wake up, it was all a dream. How did they get there..."

  13. Minophis
    Thumb Up

    Career advice from Psychic Bob

    Leo (23 JUL-22 AUG)

    Why not finally ruin the promise of your early directorial career by releasing what appears to be a big-budget remake of Mortal Kombat with the word 'Bender' in the title?,-with-psychic-bob-201008112995/

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Thank you

      Must say a thank you to Minophis for the link. I am now LMAO (please excuse crappy text speek) to The Daily Mash, a website I had never heard of before.

  14. No, I will not fix your computer

    Harsh... but fair?

    Although it's a bit funny, at the end of the day, everything he has done has made millions (sometimes hundreds of millions), not everybody can be Kubrick (which might be for the best, if you've ever seen Eyes Wide Shut), we need people like Shyamalan to do things differently (even badly) otherwise all films will end up the same.

    Personally, I think people criticize successful people because they think it elevates them, by all means say you don't like their work, but it's just an opinion, I'm not a Tom Cruise fan, but his success is undeniable (see the segway from Eyes Wide Shut there) just google "Rich Hall Tom Cruise" and you'll see how successful doing the same thing over and over again can be.

  15. Daegroth

    I Feel ambivalence

    about the M. Night thing, the problem is that his films are terrible, but the stories behind them are actually quite interesting. Like Unbreakable I thought was one of the best storylines ever as it was so original, and originality is something desperately missing from Hollywood these days. The same thing with Signs (I never rated 6th Sense that much anyway). The problem was that they were so poorly executed that the whole meaning of the message was lost by what tended to be a long drawn out over-indulgence in character reflection,

    1. Cameron Colley

      Don't know about anyone else.

      I criticise because it's fucking annoying.

      Take the example I used before of Ridley Scott's Gladiator -- that film would have been a great epic of our time if he just learned how to use something other than close-ups and quick cuts in action sequences.

      I view it as a bit like criticising a restaurant where the plate was cold or they overcooked the vegetables or, in Shayamalan's case burned the steak -- ruining something which had potential.

    2. A knight who until recently said "Ni!"

      If Tom Cruise is that successful

      Why is he traveling between sets on a segway?

  16. MJI Silver badge


    I actually liked Unbreakable. But the last film I saw was set around a swimming pool and was not very good.

    The Village was OK, Signs was OK, 6th Sense wasquite good.

    He is a good director but his recent films are to be avoided.

  17. Graham Bartlett


    Agree - Unbreakable is good. There are damn few films like that which will take it slow and work on the characters. Usually it's 5 minutes of "I'm a regular guy", 5 minutes of "wow, something happened", and then they're straight onto beating up the bloke on a flying skateboard/evil mutant/alien menace/giant robot. If the blowing-shit-up part is all you want, Michael Bay and Uwe Boll are fine. Unbreakable is not that sort of film.

    My fear is that they finally will do "Unbreakable 2" and it will suck as badly as everything MNS has touched since.

  18. wildmonkeyuk


    While we're at it, can we add Ewe Boll to that list please...

    All his stuff is worse than most the homemade clips on youtube (NO not that homemade!!!)

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Anyone remember the Orson Welles sketch ?

    I can't remember the show, but it had a sketch about Orson Welles, who lived his career backward, starting with "Citizen Kane" (still a classic IMHO) and ending up doing cheesey voiceovers ....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes! think it was

    Not the Nine O'clock News

    maybe ... from around that time anyway ...

    Made much of the Sherry adverts too IIRC

  21. Toshiro

    A mockery of intelligence

    I'd love to love Shyamalan, but his movies are a mockery of my so-called intelligence. Oooh, the alien is under your bed, ooooh! And what's even more annoying is the soap-box packaging of inane philosophies, and last but not least, how the volume suddenly goes up under you at the theater and startles you over something insignificant to the plot. So annoying and immature..

  22. Anonymous Coward

    "Midnight Shamalamadingdong"


  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see

    Alexei Sayle at somebody's front door asking,"Why do people keep giving M Night Shyamalan money to make films?"

    "He's making another one, you know!"

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...just me then

    I'm not afraid to admit it, perhaps it's not cool to do so. Then again, I don't spend half my day criticising MS, calling them M$, thinking Windows is sh*t, thinking IE is sh*t and that FF is the best thing since sliced bread.

    I liked 6th Sense (also guessed the twist pretty early on)

    I liked Unbreakable, good story, fairly well acted

    I liked Signs, good hidden meanings in there.

    I liked The Village (guessed the twist early as well)

    I liked The Lady In The Water (was expecting a twist, perhaps the twist was that there wasn't one)

    The Happening was okay, slightly dissapointed though

    The Last Airbender was okay

    So, am I alone in actually liking his films? I liked the stories beneath all of them, thought they were quite good actually.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Probably going to get flamed, but what the heck...

      I believe there was a conscious decision after The Villiage to drop the whole "twist" thing as it was getting stale and distracting from the films.

      IMO, this was definitely the case with The Village (which actually had at least TWO major twists). Personally, I felt that a lot of people got so concerned with the twists that - as with Signs - they tended to miss what the film was really about (in this case, trying to come to terms with grief).

    2. DZ-Jay


      You are not alone, apparently, for there was at least one more person in this forum responding in kind.

      I, on the other hand, think M. Night Shyamalan's movies are all crap, starting with "The 6th Sense." I guess the reason I was disappointed in that movie from the moment I exited the theater was because I had recently seen "The Others," by Alejandro Amenábar, and was aware of how a truly creepy ghost story with an OMG-THEY-WERE-DEAD-ALL-ALONG twist ending should be.

      Amenábar is the brains and soul behind other excellent films that have been so successful in the International circuit, they ended up been destroyed by Hollywood in American remakes. Such great honour has been bestowed on "Tesis" (which ended up as "8mm," ugh!); and "Abre Los Ojos" (which lead to the horrible, HORRIBLE, "Vanilla Sky").

      I guess I always thought "The 6th Sense" was Hollywood's version of Amenábar's "The Others," a fact that intuitively made perfect sense.


      1. Aldhibah


        I saw Devil, most recent Shymalan foray, a few weeks ago and while I will not claim it was an excellent film I did enjoy it. I was pretty standard supernatural horror and having the protagonist all trapped in an elevator served to heighten the tension for me. I also thought the decision to film the entire opening credit sequence upside down served to unbalance the viewer from the beginning.

      2. Oninoshiko

        Thanks, DZ-Jay -_-

        I had almost forgotten about 8mm, the only film I have ever seen that I was actually tempted to walk out of the theater. The only reason I didn't was I was hanging out with a friend... who I found out later was thinking about the same thing.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      There's nothing wrong in liking his movies.

      There a shelves full of newspapers designed for people like you. The Sun, Mirror, NoftW, etc.

      Don't be sad or feel guilty - not everyone can be of average intelligence can they?

    4. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: I'm not afraid to admit it, perhaps it's not cool to do so.

      But post as AC?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's You!

      "Then again, I don't spend half my day criticising MS, calling them M$, thinking Windows is sh*t, thinking IE is sh*t and that FF is the best thing since sliced bread."

      Are you the one who always complains about something like that just in case somebody is about to do it?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Uh, it's the other way around, surely?

    '...starting with "The 6th Sense." I guess the reason I was disappointed in that movie from the moment I exited the theater was because I had recently seen "The Others," by Alejandro Amenábar, and was aware of how a truly creepy ghost story with an OMG-THEY-WERE-DEAD-ALL-ALONG twist ending should be.'

    'The 6th Sense was made in 1999 - 2 years BEFORE Amenábar's "The Others"...

  26. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    M. Night Shalyaman??

    I mean, he hasn't done well since "Signs" (Which suffered from stupid aliens, but was otherwise a very good movie), but can't we think of someone worse? Guy Ritchie?? Uwe Boll?? Michael Bay?? (Brits don't get Robot Chicken, but Google "Robot Chicken Michael Bay Explosions" sometime for a good laugh at Michael's expense)

    At least M. Night's worst films remain interesting for the first 15-30 minutes. That's more than some directors can manage :)

  27. Morteus

    Can't put my finger on it ...

    ... but Shyamalan's movies are perplexing. The actual Premise for the movies is usualy sound, but they are realised in such a way that all the suspense and intrigue are somehow missing. It would be interesting (and considerably more entertaing) to see someone else do the same movies. I so wanted 'Signs' to be a good movie, but c'mon... Mel Gibson a disalusioned priest?

    Oh, and re: Ridley Scott. An excellent director who is just having a dodgy patch. Will be interesting to see what his return to the Alien series will produce. He's already expressed his feelings that the franchise has gone off the rails a bit and I take that as a good sign.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He redeemed himself

    ...with Devil. Most enjoyable.

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