On Netflix, I watched the New Release Switch. In 1999, M Night Shyamalan wrote and directed the memorable and well received Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis. He was 29yo. Since that time he has rolled out more clunkers than Chrysler rolled out K-cars. Among those include The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, and The Visit. It is amazing given the track record that people fund these projects. Michael Cimino does Oscar-winning The Deer Hunter and then Heavens Gate and can’t get another movie made (save Year of the Dragon). M Night also likes to put himself into his movies in roles. He adds nothing to these roles. Alfred Hitchcock and Stan Lee like cameos, but they aren’t really speaking parts. But this is all beside the point.
The movie itself belongs to James McAvoy. He gives a performance where he plays someone with multiple personality disorder. The story begins with a kidnapping (a random spot where three young women are taken from a mall parking lot in their Dad’s car) and they wake up isolated in a random place. Betty Buckley (yes of Eight is Enough fame and the musical Cats) is a researcher and psychologist who is trying to show multiple personality people as being evolved and better. Things happen. There is an ongoing question about who is in charge of the body of the McAvoy character. And he can switch brilliantly from a young adolescent boy, to a proper older woman to various other male characters. It’s worth a viewing for this performance. Now this character is getting involved with other movies to come (notably Glass). This combines a few M Night characters into a new film. Funny, I don’t need to see it.
I also spent some time to watch Sicario: Day of the Soldado. This is an ill-conceived sequel to the original Sicario. The original was an interesting story about the feds and others working to take revenge on the drug cartels. Emily Blunt was in it (and missing from this sequel) and also starring Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Brolin and Del Toro play the same characters who this time want to break up the human smuggling that was and is going on. They live on the fringes and try to exact change in an imperfect world. This sequel never captures the energy, nor the story of the first. Not even the cinematography was as good. I can’t recommend this film.
Finally I started watching Season 1 of True Detective on HBO. This stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in a good, well written crime drama set in Louisiana. The writing is crisp and raw and real. It’s worth checking out.