Night Must Fall, or at Least Trip Lightly

wacky mcavoy

DATELINE:  Shyamalan’s Latest

Producers continue to give M. Night Shyamalan money to make movies of his choice, despite commercial and critical disparaging words.

The latest is called Split, about a man (if you can call him that in a supernatural thriller) with 24 personalities.  That’s a personality disorder with capital letters. It is about as overwrought as hyperbole can make it.

Shyamalan wrote this as well as directed. In terms of his writing, this film obviously came together after he saw William Wyler’s The Collector from 1965. That film is about a disturbed young man who kidnaps a beautiful girl and keeps her prisoner in hopes of making her fall in love with him.

This time, the man with the identity disorder kidnaps three women and keeps them prisoner in an elaborate underground prison. At least the John Fowler story of The Collector explained how he won the lottery which financed his mad caprices.

That’s not enough here. Shyamalan adds a touch of Hannibal Lecter and Psycho to the mix. That should pile-on adequately.

Don’t misjudge: this film has a rather wild performance by James McAvoy who limns about six personalities. He is highly watchable. Betty Buckley plays his therapist who is a classic enabler.

Shyamalan has all his usual Hitchcockian pretenses at hand: he makes a cameo again, sets all his films in Philadelphia, and loves to hear echoes of other movies. If you think this is his best since Sixth Sense, he will agree with you—as the sequel is already on the books, Mr. Glass.

Indeed, Bruce Willis makes a cameo at the end to promote the sequel. Nothing like trying to microwave your stew to guarantee an audience smells the aroma.

The film reaches the outer limits by the end credits, trying to sell us that psychosis is actually a means to reach the supernatural. Our grandmother used to say, “Balderdash,” and it still fits.


Yikes! The Ghost of Deflategate Returns

DATELINE: Oh, the Horror!Featured image

Like a bad movie sequel, Deflategate has risen from the dead again and is now ready to reap its zombie plot on another football season. We haven’t seen such horror since Abbot and Costello met Frankenstein.

In an act of solidarity that might make weaker men vomit, the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to speed up the appeal process to suspend Tom Brady.

You might say the players’ union and Brady must be fairly confident that they will prevail to enter into an agreement with the Devil-may-care Goodell contingent.

Of course, all this may be a plot to guarantee more media coverage for yet another off-season. You can’t beat football zombies running through the NBA, MLB, and NHL seasons.

NFL officials all insist that 2015 and the playoffs in 2016, for Super Bowl 50, are sacrosanct. There will be no stopping Brady from appearing. They claim to want to have the matter over in time for the summer camp of 2016.

Perhaps Brady will be retired at that point. In all likelihood, he will be gearing up for another run at the Super Bowl.

The ostensible reason for the appeal speeding up is to settle the matter once and for all time about the authority of the NFL in matters of discipline.

And, you thought it was just to guarantee another shot at punishing Tom.

So, the Ghost of Deflategate will continue to haunt us for the foreseeable future. Everyone gags at the mention of the term, but don’t let that stop Roger Goodell from finding a balm for his bruised ego.