I’ve been a fan of M. Night Shyamalan a lot longer than most. He snuck onto the scene in the nineties with a pair of low budget independent movies (Praying with Anger and Wide Awake). But in 1999 he made The Sixth Sense and was instantly hailed as the next Hitchcock. Instead of another psychological thriller, as everyone anticipated, Shyamalan followed with Unbreakable, an understated, ultra-realistic, and altogether atypical take on the superhero origin movie. Although it went on to earn more than $100 million at the box office, many still considered it failure since it didn’t live up to the $300 million take of The Sixth Sense. Unbreakable shatters the mold created by previous comic book adaptations: there are no big budget effects or action sequences, no costumes or masks, and no secret identities. Nevertheless, it is every ounce a superhero movie, and easily claims a spot in my personal top ten.
The Spirit 2008
Finally getting around to watching our rental copy of Frank Miller’s The Spirit. It’s funny that I watch and write about all of these superhero movies, but as far as comic book artists and writers I don’t really know all that much. Although I suppose I know a heck of a lot more than the average person, I know exceedingly few compared to a comic book fan. I’m familiar with the name Frank Miller largely due to his work on Sin City with Robert Rodriguez, and then instead of Sin City 2 which seems to be in development hell as it was rumored to be worked on shortly after the release of the first movie and yet seven years after its release there’s still no word on it. Instead Frank Miller went on his own to create another movie very similar in style to Sin City, only it features a classic noir detective character called The Spirit.