Saturday, July 24, 2010

Eric Bird Movie Review: The Last Airbender


Who's In It: A couple kids, the Slumdog Millionaire guy and some character actors. And I'm sure M. Night Shyalakalikimaka does a cameo somewhere, but I didn't notice.

What It's About: Couple kids find another kid in a snow globe who turns out to be Neo from the Matrix. Hilarity ensues.

What I Was Expecting: I'd read a couple of the reviews saying how bad it was. That's USUALLY a pretty good sign that I'll go in with really low expectations and wind up loving the movie.

What I Got: A true test of my moviegoing stamina. It was REALLY hard not to walk out. M. Night Shyamalan is getting brutalized for what he did to the Avatar series (Not related to the James Cameron film). In my opinion, it's not really deserved this time. The person responsible is the moron who hired him for the job. I've seen the Lord of the Rings movies. Does that make me qualified to direct The Hobbit? Nope. And that's the problem here. It's simply not the movie Shyamalan knows how to direct. He has an idea of how this kind of film should be done, but doesn't know how to do it well. It's like having A-Rod come in to pitch in the bottom of the 9th. Just because he's a baseball player, doesn't mean he knows how to do everything. Shyamalan is at his best in dark, moody films. To put it more simply, there's a reason Alfred Hitchcock never made a musical. Being a great director doesn't mean you can direct every genre well. Shyamalan, one, has no feel for the material and, two, doesn't know how to direct films on a large scale. The Wachowski Brothers would have been perfect. M. Night Shyamalan was simply out of his comfort zone. If I didn't like the story itself, I would have given it an F.

Grade: D

Oscar Potential: Zero.

Five Random Thoughts:

1. The child actors in this movie make Jake Lloyd (Anakin in Phantom Menace) look like freaking Daniel Day Lewis. There were times where it felt like I was watching an elementary school play.

2.They squeezed 20 episodes of material into 100 minutes. That's a LOT of source material thrown into the garbage.

3. Has Shyamalan even seen the Avatar series? This movie is WAY too darkly lit. In fact, most everything in this film is wrong. The score is inappropriate in a lot of places. The pacing is all wrong. The effects are just okay. The dialogue is so clunky it hurts to listen to. The cinematography is terrible. Just a good story very badly made.

4. They need to not let Shyamalan anywhere near part 2.

5. I wonder if there's a McDonald's near here. I'm craving an Angus Burger. (P.S. It was delicious.)

Trailer Park:

Legend of the Guardians: I trust Zack Snyder's filmmaking instincts. I believe he'll win an Oscar someday. This must be a hell of a story to want to follow Watchmen with, but if you need to come on camera and EXPLAIN why I should like your movie in your trailer, it's not a good sign.

Nanny McPhee Returns: I always feel a twinge of guilt bashing a movie trailer that isn't intended to entice me to see it in the first place. But wow, this looks dumb.

Sorcerer's Apprentice: At first, I was wondering why they are showing a trailer to a movie that's already bombed. It doesn't look half bad. Maybe it's to try and open people's minds a little.
Gulliver's Travels: This is an ODD trailer. It sets itself up like it's going to be one kind of movie and then it turns out to be something else. Hopefully, the title gives you an idea of what that something else is. It's Jack Black being Jack Black in a land of little people. I don't think the original novel was a comedy.
Rango: This has been Johnny Depp's pet project for a long time. An animated film about a lizard in the desert. Looks pretty creative. Can't wait to see more.
Mega Mind: I love this trailer, even though I've seen it several times. This one is going to be great.

No comments: