July 1, 2010 |
For years, movie effects wizards have been on a quest for photo-real digital fire. The team at Industrial Light & Magic believes it has found it with its work on M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender," which arrives in theaters Thursday. "There's so many movies that have done digital fire and not done it all that well," said Craig Hammack, associate visual effects supervisor on the movie. "Usually, it's almost believable but you still really have that feeling that it's fake and it pulls you right out of the moment.
July 1, 2010 |
If ever a film was born under a bad sign, "The Last Airbender" is it. As the blues lyric goes, if it didn't have bad luck, it wouldn't have any kind of luck at all. Not only does this live-action feature written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan have to weather comparisons with the hugely popular (and DVD-available) animated TV series that inspired it, it lost the first word of its title — "Avatar" — when a certain other film used it first. Then "The Last Airbender" irritated fans by changing its trio of heroes from Asian to white and weathered the inevitable suspicion that goes with both a late conversion to 3-D and a studio decision to keep the film away from journalists and critics until close to the last minute.
June 25, 2010 |
The ultimate auteur is going for the Happy Meal. M. Night Shyamalan, the director who became a prodigal Hollywood success with his haunting stories of the supernatural before stumbling badly with his last two pictures, hopes to stage a comeback with a movie involving two giants of the consumer experience: Nickelodeon and McDonald's. Shyamalan's latest film, "The Last Airbender," which opens July 1, marks a sharp departure for the filmmaker, whose 1999 blockbuster "The Sixth Sense" shot the 29-year-old director to fame and fortune.
May 2, 2010 |
Reporting from Philadelphia By now, the movie industry has plenty of practice weathering the complaints of fans who object to the inevitable departures that accompany the adaptation of a pre-existing property to a big-screen franchise. But the concerns that surfaced as M. Night Shyamalan went into production on "The Last Airbender" were more serious than the usual nitpicking. Amid the kvetching about the shape and size of the facial scar sported by the film's chief villain were accusations that Shyamalan had whitewashed the story, which was influenced by Asian art and mythology, by casting Caucasian actors in many leading roles.
June 16, 2008 |
"The Incredible Hulk," the action movie about a man whose temper transforms him into a green beast, was the top film at U.S. and Canadian theaters this weekend with sales of $54.5 million. The movie topped director M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening," a thriller starring Mark Wahlberg that opened in third place with $30.5 million, box-office tracker Media by Numbers said Sunday. "Hulk," distributed by General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures, is the second movie this year produced by Marvel Entertainment Inc. to have a first-place opening.
June 15, 2008 |
In THE special-effects world, you've got your flashy, big-explosion guys, and then there's Steve Cremin. Although he's worked on some pretty high-profile movies -- "Jarhead," "There Will Be Blood," and mostly recently, M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening" -- the 51-year-old effects coordinator isn't looking to overwhelm audiences. "I make sure that I don't upstage anything with the effects," he says. "I'm not obtrusive."