We check out 10 movie directors who have had their fair share of hits and misses.
The man with a penchant for on-screen mayhem and explosions may be having a bad run with the Transformers franchise (just give it up already), but Bay didn’t do so bad in his earlier years. Who can forget the epic 90s tear-jerker, Armageddon, and the intriguing The Island that followed? Those were pretty good and made decent box office money. Bay should revisit his roots and stop thinking about milking the money off audiences with yet another Transformers sequel.
M. Night Shyamalan
Once labelled as one of Hollywood’s upcoming movie directors, M. Night Shyamalan has since been relegated to the back seat. It’s hard to believe that the man who caught everyone’s attention with The Sixth Sense 15 years ago would experience a downward spiral with stinkers such as The Last Airbender and After Earth. Nonetheless, Shyamalan hasn’t given up on his job and is in the midst of filming The Visit, a low budget thriller that’s been shrouded in secrecy.
Dirty Harry has been directing a slew of movies since the ’70s, so there’s no doubt the octogenarian has an eye for a good storyline. But while the award-winning director made a star out of Hilary Swank with Million Dollar Baby and brought tears to our eyes in Gran Torino, he’s also responsible for mundane flicks – the most recent example being Hereafter. That aside, Eastwood will soon be releasing American Sniper, a biopic of the late Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL with over 150 confirmed kills in combat, and this one is touted to be good.
Hailed for his relentless work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and for bringing King Kong to live, Peter Jackson’s dedication to his craft is undeniable. Yet, he managed to fluff it up back in 2009 with The Lovely Bones, a middling film about a murdered girl who watches over her family and killer. Having mostly wrapped up work on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Jackson will be taking over directorial duties from Steven Spielberg for the sequel to The Adventures of Tintin. Those are big shoes to fill, but we think Jackson will do justice to the film.
One of Hollywood’s movie-making maestros, Steven Spielberg has enthralled audiences for years now. Whether it’s re-visiting historical moments in Saving Private Ryan and Lincoln, or painting a dark picture of the future in War of the Worlds and A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the ‘Berg certainly delivers most of the time. On the rare occasions that he doesn’t, Spielberg manages to release passable flicks, as seen in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a revival of the titular character last seen in 1989. He’ll be taking another stab at the Indiana Jones character; hopefully it turns out better this time round.
It’s hard to reconcile that the guy responsible for making badass movies like Desperado and Sin City is also the guy who brought us Spy Kids and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Rodriguez’s talent lies in making gritty, dark movies that explore the strange workings of the human mind, not child-friendly adventure films that border on absurdity. Rodriguez has no upcoming projects, but should producers decide to turn Sin City into a trilogy, they should know who to approach.
Englishman Ridley Scott made a name for himself by introducing the nightmarish xenomorph in Alien and exploring the boundaries of science fiction with Blade Runner. He’s also the brains behind a pretty good reenactment of the Battle of Mogadishu in Black Hawk Down, even having a hand in Russell Crowe’s shot to stardom with Gladiator. Sadly, his work on The Counselor was disappointing, despite the stellar cast that included Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender. He also left audiences with question marks by the end of Prometheus, a story that examines the xenomorphs’ origins. Scott’s next big release is Exodus: Gods and Kings, a retelling of the biblical story of Moses. With Christian Bale as its lead actor, this film should do just fine.
James Cameron took over directing duties from Ridley Scott for the sequel to Alien and did a rather impressive job. Cameron also took credit for giving Arnold Schwarzenegger the iconic role of the Terminator and made countless women lust after Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. More recently, he made 3-D films popular again with Avatar. But did you know that prior to all his accomplishments, Cameron was involved in Piranha Part Two: The Spawning, an unbelievably terrible movie that featured flying piranhas? We thank the heavens he improved leaps and bounds after that Razzie-worthy flick. So trusted is Cameron now, that the movie studios have green-lit three Avatar sequels.
Andy & Lana Wachowski
The Wachowski siblings (they used to be brothers until Larry went for a sex-change and became Lana) hit jackpot gold with The Matrix trilogy. Granted, parts two and three weren’t as good as the first installment, but the slow-motion effects made up for it and paved the way for other movie directors to incorporate such imagery in their own films. Sadly, the Wachowski siblings never came close to achieving that level of success again, with Speed Racer being above average and Cloud Atlas coming close. Their next box office release, Jupiter Ascending, stars Channing Tatum, and will certainly appeal to the female crowd. But will it appeal to the critics? We’re not sure.
Bryan Singer made waves with The Usual Suspects and brought the superhero genre to life with X-Men 1 and 2. Sadly, his meteoric rise soon fell flat thanks to later efforts such as Superman Returns and Jack the Giant Slayer. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Singer made a comeback with X-Men: Days of Future Past, cleverly reuniting the old cast and setting the stage for a spectacular superhero battle in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.