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.

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Twin Peaks, Trump Plains, & Celtics Lows

DATELINE:  LeBron James as Laura Palmer, Trump as D.B. Cooper

glowing orb

Chicken or egg? We can’t figure out if the Trump Administration has prepared us for the new series Twin Peaks, or whether Twin Peaks has prepared us for the continuing weirdness of the Trump presidency.

When we see President Trump putting his hands on a glowing orb, we know there is a conspiracy of billionaires to control the world. Of course, it is merely a futuristic ribbon-cutting scene from the most recent Star Wars movie. Either that, or it is opening a gateway to an alternate universe, like the plots of Twin Peaks.

By the same token, we feel as if watching the Cleveland Cavaliers with the Boston Celtics is like knitting by Madame Defarge while royalty is having their heads chopped off.

On Twin Peaks, agent DB Cooper has returned to the northwest after disappearing for 25 years. That David Lynch has such a sense of humor.  So far, McLachlan has not rubbed any glowing orbs, but has kissed dead Laura Palmer (Cheryl Lee).

On the Celtics, little Cousin IT (Isaiah Thomas) and AB (Avery Bradley) are from the same neck of the woods in Washington state which happens to be the setting for Twin Peaks. It could explain a lot about how the Celtics are playing like Laura Palmer’s body wrapped in plastic.

Even stranger, we were amazed to see Kyle McLachlan and Sheryl Lee looking just like they stepped out of a 1990s TV show.  It becomes even more amazing when David Lynch has to inject a phrase at the end of every episode of the show that the episode is dedicated to the memory of one of the cast members who is now dead. We mean really really dead dead, like the log lady Catherine Coulson and the FBI agent played by Miguel Ferrer.

As for the dead Celtics, they are merely playing in an alternate universe, sort of like Twin Peaks 25 years later. If there is a glowing orb in the NBA, they better start rubbing it now. Lebron is no Laura Palmer.

Clothes Unmake the Man; Edelman in Mufti

DATELINE: Living DangerouslyFeatured image

Julian Edelman continues to live with the middle name “Danger.” Halloween has brought JE11 to the dreaded Day of the Dead Ringer.

It is not his on field heroics that make him a daredevil. Oh, no, he is now flirting with the self-destructive flames that finally engulfed Wes Welker.

If this weekend’s drag costume is any indication, we are wishing he could go back to the thrilling days when he dressed up as a Nevada State Trooper in tight shorts as his Halloween impersonation. Mufti may suit Edelman, but his suit is a longshot this time.

This year Tom Brady may take two steps away from Edelman, and he may give the prized seat on the bench next to the star QB to Danny Amendola, whose insanity does not translate into poking a stick at Bill Belichick.

If someone wants to give Edelman a cache of old Welker tapes showing his various antagonisms of the Head Coach, this might be a blessing—or it may already be too late. Julian Edelman wishes he were Bill Belichick, and perhaps one day he will be a coach in the NFL. We do not think he will be coaching for Bill Belichick any time soon.

Dressed in drab gray like the notorious Hoodie Himself, Edelman has not only found the fashion gravitas to imitate his coach. He has used the Method actor’s technique to channel the personality into the cut-off sleeves and semi-attached headphone.

Perhaps imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or perhaps flattery is imitation’s sincerity.

Julian Edelman deserves an extra Snickers in his candy grab bag for this audacious twist. Those who are about to die will probably salute Julien Edelman—all others will run for the hills.