|M. NIGHT SHYAMALANBOB ODENKIRKGAYLE KINGSHYAMALANSXSW|
One of the most high-profile filmmakers associated with the streaming service Apple TV+ since its launch last November has been M. Night Shyamalan. Promotional images for Servant, which released its tense season finale on Friday, prominently featured the words, “From M. Night Shyamalan” over the title. Shyamalan directed the show’s pilot and serves as one of its executive producers, much like he did with Fox’s Wayward Pines.
The plot of Servant revolves around a suspicious nanny who enters the life of a Philadelphia couple. Here, as with Wayward Pines, Shyamalan has taken a step back from writing duties. Showrunner Tony Basgallop wrote all ten episodes of Servant’s first season. Yet there are aspects of the show that feel very much of a piece with Shyamalan’s overall body of work as a writer-director. It’s another atmospheric dip into psychological horror where the choice of setting, the familiar preoccupation with belief and delusion, a newer tendency toward exploitation tactics, and less salubrious aspects like accusations of plagiarism Servant is now the subject of a lawsuit all draw a line to previous moments in his career.
Spoilers for Servant follow.
In its first season, Servant also employed other filmmakers turned TV directors like Nimrod Antal Vacancy, Predators and John Dahl Rounders, Joy Ride. So it’s not as though Shyamalan is the only director responsible for bringing this show to life. However, Servant does feel like an appropriate offshoot of the Shyamalan brand. It’s a twisty thriller and the setting is Pennsylvania, where he grew up and where he has shot and set most of his films. Moreover, that Pennsylvania setting is extremely contained. The show rarely ventures outside a single townhouse, and even when it does, it’s usually just a short trip to the street outside where cars sit parallel-parked.
This is in line with the isolated farms, villages, apartment complexes, elevators, small towns, basements, and mental institutes that have served as the primary location in other Shyamalan projects. See: Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, Devil, Wayward Pines, The Visit, Split, and Glass. Basically, Shyamalan never met a contained setting he didn’t like. This is something I wrote about last year when I delved into the twists, the triumphs, and the turkeys of his career.
Even After Earth, a movie set on a planet devoid of human life, could be considered a mass-scale rendering of a contained setting. It’s a place where the real world doesn’t intrude on Shyamalogic. As a storyteller, Shyamalan does seem to prefer hermetic scenarios where he can exercise the utmost control, using his own loopy logic to create new natural laws where the normal rules of human behavior don’t necessarily apply.
In Servant, this manifests itself in the lack of...
Universal is making some more changes to its release date calendar due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While other studios are still hoping to release movies in late July despite the near future remaining unclear, the folks at Universal aren’t taking any chances – they’ve moved Nobody, their Bob Odenkirk action movie, until February of next year. Get the details on that below, and learn what’s happening with M. Night Shyamalan‘s new movie as well.
Nobody was originally set to open in theaters on August 14, 2020, but The Hollywood Reporter says Universal has bumped it back to February 26, 2021.
Odenkirk got his start writing comedy for Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Ben Stiller Show before beginning his acting career in full, eventually becoming even better-known in comedy circles for his work on the HBO sketch series Mr. Show. Years later, he was hired as a supporting player in Breaking Bad and would later headline AMC’s spin-off series Better Call Saul.
He’s never played the lead in a full-blown action movie before, but that’s about to change with Nobody, which is written by John Wick‘s Derek Kolstad and directed by Hardcore Henry helmer Ilya Naishuller. The actor plays the main role in the original film, described as “an overlooked suburban dad no one would look at twice. But when two thieves break into his house, the crime fires up unknown rage within him, sending him on a path that will uncover dark secrets he fought to leave behind.”
That John Wick connection is no joke: Odenkirk, who is also producing this film, trained with the team at 87Eleven, the action choreography studio which has worked on the Wick movies, Birds of Prey, Atomic Blonde, and many more. So we’re fully expecting to see him surprise everyone and kick some serious ass when that movie comes out – it’ll just be a while longer until that happens.
Meanwhile, Universal was planning to release an untitled thriller from director M. Night Shyamalan on Nobody‘s new February 21, 2021 release date, but that project has been removed from the calendar altogether. Details have been scarce about that one, other than it being described as an original “thriller” and Shyamalan comparing his approach to what he did with 2015’s The Visit.
“I’m loving this approach from The Visit on where they’re minimal, contained, I own them, we take big tonal risks and try to hit that note of absurd-but-grounded, that dark humor moment and deal with some complicated things and not necessarily take the audience where they’re comfortable, both during or even at the end,” he said in December. Either way, now it seems as if he’ll have some extra time to potentially refine his script even more...
TV host and rapper Snoop Dogg has issued a public apology to news interviewer Gayle King for his threatening to “come get you” for her Kobe Bryant questions to Lisa Leslie.
Allegedly prompted by a conversation with his mother, Snoop apologized today in a video on Instagram.
“Two wrongs don't make no right,” said Snoop“When you're wrong, you gotta fix it.”
“So with that being said, Gayle King, I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner based off of emotions, being mad at questions you asked ... so I would like to apologize to you publicly for the language that I used and calling you out of your name and just being disrespectful.”
Snoop Dogg said he felt the need to defend Bryant. King asked Leslie about the 2003 Colorado case in which Bryant faced rape charges, outraging those who felt the questions were inappropriate in light of the tragedy, which saw Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, killed in a helicopter crash in late January.
“A lot of people look up to me and they love me ... I want to let them know that anytime you mess up, it's okay to fix it, it's okay to man up and say that you're wrong.”
“I apologize. Hopefully we can sit down and talk privately. Have a good day,” he concluded.
Snoop Dogg originally called King a “funky, dog-haired bitch” His threat to “come get you” was later walked back, and he indicated that he wanted no harm to come to her.
The SXSW Film Festival may have been cancelled, but our coverage will go on with reviews of films and TV shows made available to our critics.
There’s this weird in-between time when you’ve put in the work for a thing but the work for said thing hasn’t paid off just yet. That feeling manages to be one of the most nagging, frustrating sensations on the spectrum of nagging and frustrating sensations. It’s the time of doubt, confusion, fear, a whole gamut of questions that all ultimately end in “did I waste all of my time and make a terrible mistake?”
That’s exactly where Jamie Coral Amiga finds herself at the beginning of Georgia Oakley’s pilot of for the new series Bored, which is currently looking for a home and will hopefully find one.
Thankfully, Jamie’s got a best friend. Eve Nicole Hartley serves as Jamie’s polar opposite – at least as far as we can tell in the pilot. Where the former is driven and close to the vest, the ladder’s freewheeling and ready to live her life to the fullest. Eve’s not getting wrapped up in goals or relationship labels! The two friends are living in a 2017 London in the middle of Brexit. Folks their age are drinking, partying, and doing their best to forget the mess that’s going down around them.
But sometimes we manage to bring the mess home in our strongest efforts to escape it.
After partying a touch too hard, the ladies wake up to the realization that they’ve slept together. No big deal for Eve! She spends the majority of the episode ready to jump the soonest available candidate get it, girl. Jamie, on the other hand, finds herself pretty stressed about the ordeal. The questions going forward will be whether or not the girls’ friendship can survive their one-night stand. Because who doesn’t want complicated emotional issues while the world around them crumbles?
All in all, Bored presented with an effective pilot. The viewer immediately gets a solid sense of who our protagonists are, and what they stand for. Their world is fittingly small. Despite living in a politically tumultuous London, each of the ladies is selfish in their own way. They find themselves wrapped up in their own troubles despite the larger picture, so it makes perfect sense that we find ourselves in all of two locations in this first episodeboth of which are used incredibly well.
Equally as important as its effectiveness is whether or not the darn thing manages to be entertaining. I’m here reporting live from quarantine that I had a giggle or two! Both Eve and Jamie are relatable in their own way, and the dry wit serves the series well. There’s a bathroom scene that somehow managed to be both completely farfetched and perfectly believable at the same time.
I imagine we’ll see plenty of awkward moments, difficult conversations,...