M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby papalazeru on Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:45 pm

Oh god, now the zoner reviews have started to come in, I'm feeling a little bit sick.

I was hoping it was M Night rage but now I'm starting to believe. Noooooo!
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Lord Voldemoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:49 pm

minstrel wrote:
Lord Voldemoo wrote:uh oh!
i kinda liked it


Then give us a full review! We need to know where all the critics went wrong. Or, at least, how MNS cleverly constructed his film to appeal to the bovine demographic.


Yeah, sorry about that, I was pretty sleepy last night when I got home, but I'll elaborate. But it's not going to be much solace for those still inexplicably holding out hope for the film.

First, let me say that it's tough to disagree with anything Robo or Macready has said. Their points on the direction, writing, editing, etc were all pretty dead on. For someone who seemingly enjoys the concept of destiny so much, M. Night doesn't seem to have a clue as to what his is supposed to be (more on that in a sec).

Secondly let me say this: I'm not really an M. Night hater. I loved the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I really liked Signs. I even kinda liked The Happening (gasp!) in parts. Just so you guys have a frame of reference.I think he has a good mind, but he's not applying it correctly (see more below)

People have elaborated on the short comings. And they are all correct. The acting is pretty weak. This is owing, I think, more to M. Night's direction than the actors. It's like M. Night went to the George Lucas school of wooden acting. I've noticed this in all of his films, from Sixth Sense on up...it's just that sometimes the story overwhelms the inability to direct actors. And like Lucas, the bells and whistles of the film haven't been sufficient to overcome this weakness for some time (and don't here). The editing is incredibly rushed. The characters bounce from one geographic region of the world to another in moments. There is no journey. I get that you don't want to show 2 hours of them flying on the big mystical dog/beaver/whatever creature but you can still convey a sense of time passing that isn't apparent here. It's just set piece to set piece to set piece. It felt a bit like Fellowship of the Ring to me in that regard (and this is the last time I'll compare this movie to LOTR, trust me, and I LOVE LOTR, but in the theatrical cut of Fellowship it felt extremely rushed to me). I get Robo's comment about it feeling like a cliff's notes version of the story. There's tons of exposition, but it's of the truly explanatory variety, not anything that would cause the audience to connect with and understand the CHARACTERS.

And yet, I found my movie-watching experience enjoyable. Why? Well I was thinking about it a bit this morning. I think I really kinda fell in love with the story. Not the writing, mind you, but the story. The overall premise, arc and concepts. It's not completely original, but it's a nice combination of the comfortably familiar hero arc in a new universe.

Which brings us to the key point: I never watched the show. If there are comics, I've never read them. I knew NOTHING about this going in. So I had nothing to compare this adaptation to within the same universe. But I really dug the ideas, if not the execution. So I'm going to now check out the show, and learn more about this world. So, if for no other reason, I'm thankful to the film for that. I wanted to make this point to those of you in the same boat that I am. So you don't necessarily have to go through an hour and 45 minutes of M. Night mediocrity to figure it out like I did. If you want to check out the film and be a little pissed off, be my guest, but my advice would be to maybe check out the show instead, if you are like me and don't mind animation.

So film and execution = blah. Story = cool!

Last point regarding M. Night's destiny. There is no question to me at this point that M. Night is this generation's George Lucas. All of the comparisons are correct. They have largely the same strengths, largely the same weaknesses. They both are excellent "BIG IDEA" guys who recognize the greatness of others and are able to conceptualize those great themes in a different context. Lucas and M. Night need to start a studio together. As heads of the studio, all they would do is say "here is a neat idea and a 5 page treatment as to how to possibly apply it to the big screen...here's 150 million...go." They would then STAY COMPLETELY THE FUCK OUT OF THE SCRIPT WRITING AND FILMING PROCESS. If they got some talent working for them, there is no question in my mind it would be the greatest studio in the history of the universe.

Unfortunately it will never happen, because they both have egos the size of a mack truck.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby bastard_robo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:16 pm

Lord Voldemoo wrote:
minstrel wrote:
Lord Voldemoo wrote:uh oh!
i kinda liked it


Then give us a full review! We need to know where all the critics went wrong. Or, at least, how MNS cleverly constructed his film to appeal to the bovine demographic.


Yeah, sorry about that, I was pretty sleepy last night when I got home, but I'll elaborate. But it's not going to be much solace for those still inexplicably holding out hope for the film.

First, let me say that it's tough to disagree with anything Robo or Macready has said. Their points on the direction, writing, editing, etc were all pretty dead on. For someone who seemingly enjoys the concept of destiny so much, M. Night doesn't seem to have a clue as to what his is supposed to be (more on that in a sec).

Secondly let me say this: I'm not really an M. Night hater. I loved the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I really liked Signs. I even kinda liked The Happening (gasp!) in parts. Just so you guys have a frame of reference.I think he has a good mind, but he's not applying it correctly (see more below)

People have elaborated on the short comings. And they are all correct. The acting is pretty weak. This is owing, I think, more to M. Night's direction than the actors. It's like M. Night went to the George Lucas school of wooden acting. I've noticed this in all of his films, from Sixth Sense on up...it's just that sometimes the story overwhelms the inability to direct actors. And like Lucas, the bells and whistles of the film haven't been sufficient to overcome this weakness for some time (and don't here). The editing is incredibly rushed. The characters bounce from one geographic region of the world to another in moments. There is no journey. I get that you don't want to show 2 hours of them flying on the big mystical dog/beaver/whatever creature but you can still convey a sense of time passing that isn't apparent here. It's just set piece to set piece to set piece. It felt a bit like Fellowship of the Ring to me in that regard (and this is the last time I'll compare this movie to LOTR, trust me, and I LOVE LOTR, but in the theatrical cut of Fellowship it felt extremely rushed to me). I get Robo's comment about it feeling like a cliff's notes version of the story. There's tons of exposition, but it's of the truly explanatory variety, not anything that would cause the audience to connect with and understand the CHARACTERS.

And yet, I found my movie-watching experience enjoyable. Why? Well I was thinking about it a bit this morning. I think I really kinda fell in love with the story. Not the writing, mind you, but the story. The overall premise, arc and concepts. It's not completely original, but it's a nice combination of the comfortably familiar hero arc in a new universe.

Which brings us to the key point: I never watched the show. If there are comics, I've never read them. I knew NOTHING about this going in. So I had nothing to compare this adaptation to within the same universe. But I really dug the ideas, if not the execution. So I'm going to now check out the show, and learn more about this world. So, if for no other reason, I'm thankful to the film for that. I wanted to make this point to those of you in the same boat that I am. So you don't necessarily have to go through an hour and 45 minutes of M. Night mediocrity to figure it out like I did. If you want to check out the film and be a little pissed off, be my guest, but my advice would be to maybe check out the show instead, if you are like me and don't mind animation.

So film and execution = blah. Story = cool!

Last point regarding M. Night's destiny. There is no question to me at this point that M. Night is this generation's George Lucas. All of the comparisons are correct. They have largely the same strengths, largely the same weaknesses. They both are excellent "BIG IDEA" guys who recognize the greatness of others and are able to conceptualize those great themes in a different context. Lucas and M. Night need to start a studio together. As heads of the studio, all they would do is say "here is a neat idea and a 5 page treatment as to how to possibly apply it to the big screen...here's 150 million...go." They would then STAY COMPLETELY THE FUCK OUT OF THE SCRIPT WRITING AND FILMING PROCESS. If they got some talent working for them, there is no question in my mind it would be the greatest studio in the history of the universe.

Unfortunately it will never happen, because they both have egos the size of a mack truck.


If you loved the story, it's %100 times better in every way in teh first season of the ainmated series. I highly recommend Netflixing it
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby papalazeru on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:17 pm

bastard_robo wrote:If you loved the story, it's %100 times better in every way in teh first season of the ainmated series. I highly recommend Netflixing it


Just the first season? All of it goddamit!!!

Good through line in the story and they all grow up.
Papa: The musical!

Padders: "Not very classy! Not very classy at all!"
So Sorry "I'll give you a word to describe it: classless."
Cptn Kirks 2pay: ".....utterly unclassy....."
DennisMM: "...Decidedly unclassy..."
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Al Shut on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:27 pm

Lord Voldemoo wrote: So I'm going to now check out the show, and learn more about this world. So, if for no other reason, I'm thankful to the film for that. I wanted to make this point to those of you in the same boat that I am. So you don't necessarily have to go through an hour and 45 minutes of M. Night mediocrity to figure it out like I did. If you want to check out the film and be a little pissed off, be my guest, but my advice would be to maybe check out the show instead, if you are like me and don't mind animation.


You could have skipped the movie too and just listen to all the people saying the show is on the better side of awesome. They are quite a few.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby MacCready on Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:02 pm

bastard_robo wrote:If you loved the story, it's %100 times better in every way in teh first season of the ainmated series. I highly recommend Netflixing it


The series is gold....gods damned gold. Listen to Robo & Papa - check out the series, then compare it to The Last Shitbender ( sorry, I can't give that up). Then you'll get the anger and frustration of people who fell in love with those characters and that great, arcing story line. Was it perfect? Pointless question.
Was it wonderful? Hells yeah.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:16 pm

Well, the film appears poised to become a success. It grossed 16 million both Thursday and Friday for a two day haul of $33 million opposite the new twilight film. Should end up over $80 million over the holiday weekend.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Al Shut on Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:42 am

I also bothered to have a look at the Roger Ebert review ( I have no idea why)

The story takes place in the future, after Man has devastated the planet and survives in the form of beings with magical powers allowing them to influence earth, water and fire.


Is that a moronic change of epic proportions or is the movie so bad that one inevitably makes shit up along the way?
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby minstrel on Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:28 am

Ebert has been known to misunderstand backstories of films before, when those films are adapted from other media. I suppose he does the best he can, given that he hasn't read every novel or seen every TV show or played every video game. But he could do his research a bit more thoroughly, I think.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Al Shut on Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:14 pm

Probably he wanted to watch Nausicaa instead really bad.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby bastard_robo on Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:56 pm

Al Shut wrote:Probably he wanted to watch Nausicaa instead really bad.


I did to
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby minstrel on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:32 pm

This is not the kind of headline M. Night wants to see.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby MacCready on Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:59 am

Fair, accurate and overly kind.
MNS is in desperate need of having his Galactic Ego deflated. Airbender was going to be the next Matrix? The next Star Wars? Oi.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Peven on Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:27 am

you know, i don't give critics credence when they shit on a movie that i think is decent or when they rave over a piece of crap, they are for the most part a bunch of little parasitic trolls who are only movie critics because they weren't good enough to get their own writing produced, so i sure as hell am not going to give them any sort of credit or credence for going overboard in calling out a weak movie. they let movies worse than this pass all the time without excoriating them this way. fuck reviewers, fuck them up their pretentious put-on no-talent asses.....
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby bastard_robo on Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:14 am

Calling something like this the WORT\EST MOVIE OF ALL TIME is a stretch, there are FAR, FAR worse films out there than the Last Airbender. Most disappointing movie though, yeah, probably.. the possibility of what could of been to what we got is astronomical.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby MacCready on Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:19 pm

bastard_robo wrote:Calling something like this the WORT\EST MOVIE OF ALL TIME is a stretch, there are FAR, FAR worse films out there than the Last Airbender. Most disappointing movie though, yeah, probably.. the possibility of what could of been to what we got is astronomical.


All true. It WOULD be more accurate to state that it's one of the most disappointing misfires ever, because when one considers what we COULD have got, and the dribble piss that ran in the theatres, it's difficult to escape the conclusion that MNS's work, as HL Mencken once said, "could be greatly improved by a whiff of the Chicago stock-yards..."
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:07 pm

Hmm...

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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Ribbons on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:01 pm

King Of Nowhere wrote:Hmm...

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"Hmm..." what? What is it!

Believe the hype: this movie is just as bad as you've heard. Well, maybe a little less, but not much. It picks up in the middle a little bit, but the beginning and the end are both awful.

Although contrary to popular belief, I don't think this adaptation should have been foolproof by any means. The mythology is incredibly dense and the story and dialogue tend to lean to the goofy side, not to mention how expensive it would be to capture most of the action on film. It's just that those are all things you can get away with easily on a cartoon series and don't really lend themselves well to a 90-minute live-action movie. And of course you need the most talented support staff you can find on a production of this magnitude, but Shyamalan doesn't like working with people who disagree with him so that narrows the field a little bit.

So I didn't really feel that disappointed or upset. The one thing that took me by surprise was how awful the acting was, since Night has been known for getting good performances out of children throughout the ups and downs of his career. And the winner of WORST acting would have to be Jackson Rathbone (some guy from Twilight), who is barely even a child in the first place. He plays Sokka, the simple goofball in the cartoon, as an overly intense creeper who doesn't seem to know how to blink, and for some reason looks like he's quivering with rage every time he has a line. Maybe that's what Rathbone calls "the smolder," I don't know. But he was truly awful. Even good actors (Cliff Curtis, Shaun Toub) didn't manage to get out of this thing completely unscathed, though, so if I were him I wouldn't take it too personally. It's just an ill-conceived venture that shouldn't have existed in the first place, so I'm not that concerned with how it did or didn't turn out. I guess I'm just wondering if we're ever going to see a good film from Shyamalan again. He directed two of my favorite movies of the last 15 years, and ever since then it's like each time out he gets exponentially worse.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Al Shut on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:08 pm

Ribbons wrote:"Hmm..." what? What is it!



Cracks me up a bit that nobody bothered to ask for nearly two years.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby BuckyO'harre on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:37 pm

Al Shut wrote:
Ribbons wrote:"Hmm..." what? What is it!



Cracks me up a bit that nobody bothered to ask for nearly two years.



I assumed he was puzzled by that dog's red rocket in the middle of the frame.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Al Shut on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:43 pm

I didn't notice that at all

Your mind is a gutter.
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby Ribbons on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:52 pm

I don't see a dog OR a red rocket, you liars!
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Re: M. Night's THE LAST AIRBENDER

Postby bastard_robo on Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:52 am

Al Shut wrote:
Ribbons wrote:"Hmm..." what? What is it!



Cracks me up a bit that nobody bothered to ask for nearly two years.



That's because no one wanted to get the form of Herpes that this film causes...
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