Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

MASSAWYRM calls THE LAST AIRBENDER a crapbending mess

Hola all. Massawyrm here. If you were to ask me at the beginning of the week which film I would watch twice if forced to at gunpoint, the notion of choosing a TWILIGHT film over an M. Night Shyamalan translation of a beloved animation series would have been the laughable one at the bottom of the list. I fully went into this week believing that even if M. Night failed, he wouldn’t have failed so miserably as to make ECLIPSE look like the better choice. But that’s exactly what he did. This is a catastrophic failure – a film that has sparked furious debate between critics as to whether this is the worst movie of the year or only the worst of the summer. Me? I’ve seen worse this year. But not much worse. The principle crime here is that the film is just boring. Truly, unspeakably boring. While there are a myriad of things wrong here – both for fan and neophyte alike to be bothered by – its chief problem is that Shyamalan weaves a nearly two hour tale that completely and utterly fails to spark the slightest bit of your interest. The characters are hollow, the story mostly incomprehensible, and all of the film’s flavor is in its set decoration which ranges from stunningly beautiful to cheap and prefabricated, with very little in-between. Many of our younger readers there – ranging between 12 and 17 years old – have for several years harassed me for not having watched the original show. And much like I was with FIREFLY before it, I was hesitant, because it looked too much like a number of other properties the fanbase loved that I simply didn’t connect with. But after much browbeating, my wife and I sat down to take in the series and found ourselves blown away. It started a bit slow – a bit kiddish as I had initially feared, it being written for 7-12 year olds and all – but within a few episodes we were hooked. And by the time the second season began, we were madly in love. The source material is brilliant. It is something our geek generation has thus far mostly ignored, which needs to be rectified. It is everything we love about fantasy and Eastern mysticism, written by and for American geeks…and their kids. It has all the character depth and sweeping storylines of LotR, crafted perfectly into a single, continuous, fully realized storyline, spread over three distinct seasons. One need only watch the Kurosawa/Leone inspired Samurai-western episode (Season 2, Episode 7) to understand what this series is capable of and where it’s going. (It’s fairly stand alone, give a try on Netflix – best 23 minutes of your day today, I promise.) Fans love this series with all their heart – and rightly so. It is their Robotech, a series written with adults in mind, but marketed to kids. And the fans are going to be howling mad at this film. Shyamalan gets everything but the look of it wrong. EVERYTHING. Not a single personality translates from the show to the film. Ang the Avatar is a 12 year old boy. Sure, he has the weight of humanity on his shoulders and a burden far too great for any one man to bear, but he’s still a kid. He has fun. He smiles and laughs. In fact in the early parts of the series, he refuses to take his responsibility seriously and instead spans the world, chasing exotic monsters to ride (against their will.) He’s the inventor of an air-sphere moped technique that he loves to scoot around on. He is a joyful boy given a job he’s not ready for – and the show is entirely about watching that boy slowly begin to understand what it is to be a man and what he needs to sacrifice to save his fellow man from destruction from the wrath of the Fire Lord. M. Night thinks instead that Ang is a mirthless, scared little boy with his mouth agape at the world around him, lacking emotion apart from fear. He has no joy, there is nothing aloof about him – in fact, M. Night never mentions one of the most important points of Ang’s storyline: that he is hopelessly in love with his travelling companion Kitara. Kitara is equally as bland. Soka is more of an angry, awkward teenage boy than the comic relief of the group. Even the villains are off base. Iro is more councilor and less brilliant Zen master. Zuko is more whiny than he is bitter and angry. And Aasif Mondvi as Commander Jao is simply ridiculous and not at all menacing. Worst of all, Cliff Curtis (a wonderful, underappreciated actor) gets the thankless role of playing the Fire Lord himself…who appears on screen repeatedly. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, that would be like readapting STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE and writing several scenes of Vader conferring with the Emperor to speed up exposition, while simultaneously casting the Daily Show’s John Oliver as Darth Vader. Fans’ heads will explode at the 20 different things wrong with each of these scenes (before they even begin wondering how the hell this guy is travelling from one side of the globe to the other on a steamship in a matter of hours.) While I am with most of my fellow critics - both fan or unacquainted with the series – in hating this film, I am a bit upset with a number of critics taking aim at the actors in this film. While I’m not in love with all the acting choices here, the piss-poor performances are equally dismal across the board, and it is *not* the actor’s faults. They give the same, hollow, dead-eyed, thousand yard stare that M. Night Shyamalan elicits from all of his actors. In THE SIXTH SENSE and UNBREAKABLE we thought it was brilliant. But comparing Osment’s turn in SIXTH SENSE to the performance of Ang here, you find the very same elements and acting tricks. They are identical. It isn’t the cast who fails this film, it is Shyamalan’s complete inability to direct actors outside of his very narrow type of film. These kids never had a chance put under the direction of this guy and they seem to be bearing the brunt on the performance front. But I am with those in agreeing that casting a comedian as the film’s foil was a bad choice. Jao needed someone like a Ken Watanabe or a, ahem, Cliff Curtis; someone who can evoke a genuine menace. Finally, M. Night pulled a full on Zack Snyder and decided that he had a better idea for the ending of the film and radically changed what happens, but more importantly what it all means. The end of season 1 is a crazed, clusterfuck of awesomeness that will drop your jaw and make you beg to see it in live action 3-D. Shyamalan neuters that ending entirely, rewriting both it and Ang’s progression as a character. It’ll piss you off if you’ve seen the show, because you know just how crazy awesome it was supposed to be and you can also suspect that this means M. Night has very different plans for Ang’s character arc than is, you know, in the fucking show. The one thing that THE LAST AIRBENDER gets right at all is the look of the world. The costumes, sets and characters are all beautifully realized. It’s almost as if Shyamalan watched the show with the volume off. I say almost, because the film is the show – that is if you took many of the most unimportant parts of the show and jammed them together into a loose storyline. Series one of the show (encapsulated here) is 20 episodes of 23 minute shows – roughly 7 and a half hours, with a number of filler episodes, gags and stories that didn’t need to be told to complete the story. This could have easily been done as a three hour epic that didn’t need to change a single thing about the series and would have kicked some serious ass. Instead it is a less-than-two-hour highlight reel, directed as if it were the High School play version of the show. Worthless, mind numbing and a complete mess from minute one, this is a film best avoided based upon a show that you owe it to yourself as a geek to sit down and enjoy. The seasons are being rereleased on DVD in nice boxed sets and are available to stream on Netflix right this very minute. Do yourself a favor and watch those while skipping this.
Until next time friends, Massawyrm
Got something for the Wyrm? Mail it here.

Or follow my further zany adventures on Twitter.


Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • July 1, 2010, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Well this is a surprise

    by BP_drills_america_a_new_asshole

  • July 1, 2010, 10:08 a.m. CST

    The new Ed Wood

    by Those_arent_pillows

    ...as someone so aptly put it on the other Shamalamadingdong TB

  • July 1, 2010, 10:08 a.m. CST

    M. Night Shitmanyfilms

    by Cloaker Cobra

    is one of the purest examples of the starving artist theory. The hungry early work of many artists usually is of so much higher quality because it was before the hookers and cocaine and the ongoing press machine feeding beast of the internet. The only way for Night to save his career; get away from all special effects, all twists and turn scripts, and all A list stars. He needs to strip himself down artistically and go raw. Go find a contemporary writing partner ala Lawrence Kasdan circa 1980 and align the narrative with his technique. Do not appear in any of your future films ever. Consider Alfred Hitchcock; the man directed suspense unlike any other, but his best films he was savvy enough to stay away from writing. The core talent is still there for Night, it is just buried under 8+ years of self-induced, ego enabled scar tissue.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Sounds Good .

    by Papa Lazaru

  • July 1, 2010, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Oh, and stop rambling about the show. Massa

    by BP_drills_america_a_new_asshole

    I don't want to know about the fucking show. Review the film on its own terms why don't you.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:12 a.m. CST

    So Massa...

    by UltimaRex

    Which movies are worse? Not that I'm going to see them, just point and laugh stuff.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:13 a.m. CST

    RIP MKS Career

    by Bash_Branigan

    Not sure why I mourn the passing of his career. I think because it showed so much potential. But you watch those early interviews and you realize just how self-deluded he is. The shame here is that the studio thought taking a guy who can't get his writing act together and marrying him to a product that's considered great would get him back on track, instead it layed the product low. Now we'll have to look to the inevitable reboot in 5 years.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:15 a.m. CST

    What Went Wrong?

    by Dave I

    I really liked Sixth Sense, thought Unbreakable worked very well, Signs was to me VERY good but seemed to be not quite as good as a friend of mine had hyped it up to be. From there it's been downhill (for me, others' trajectories of M. Night's career may differ). I am not sure if it is entirely the writing though. Who wrote his earlier movies? As for this, was it just the dialogue? He has the source material, so was it just the translation from source-to-film or something else? <p><p>This is too bad. He obviously has talent as he had three very solid movies in a row. I'll still cling to the belief he CAN do it. I'm just waiting for the right project and maybe the right circumstances/partners/something to recapture the earlier magic. <p><p>-Cheers

  • July 1, 2010, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Nothing I didn't predict...

    by Powerring

    M Knight Shamalamadingdong purely sucks. 1 good movie in a huge shitpile. No shock. A twist would have been if it was good.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Great review, Massa.

    by Stifler's Mom

    As usual, a clear persuasive argument presented. Now bring on Harry's review, "Yeah, it sucked, but it's The Last Airbender, and that being said, it made me smile like a little girl, giggle giggle giggle!"

  • July 1, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Kitara is KATARA!!!!!!

    by Metalheadfan2500

    Love the review, but you mispelled ALL THE CHARACTERS Ang = Aang Soka = Sokka Kitara =Katara and so on, I expected more from you

  • July 1, 2010, 10:23 a.m. CST

    I see dead people...

    by XxL3THALxX

    and they look like M.Nights career

  • July 1, 2010, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I hope this isn't a shock to anyone.

    by jesuschrist

    MNS has sucked since Sixth Sense. And that includes "Unwatchable". Sorry, 'unbreakable'.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Coulda made 150 more episodes instead

    by glenn_the_frog

    Nice that he manages to fail when he has designs, scripts, storyboards, choreography and 5 years of production team work that he could have run with from the show. <p> Each episode of the show cost 1 million to make. So roughly 3 million for an hour. Imagine if they'd had the show's creators make a 2 hour movie... with a budget of 12-15 mill. Double or triple what the show had, while still having all the same talent involved. <p> Sure it'd be a retread of the show with movie quality animation... but... it'd have been awesome and also cost 10 times less to make. (Just think, they could have made FIFTEEN animated Avatar films for the budget of this movie... or 150 episodes! That's the saddest part!

  • July 1, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    You don't like "Firefly"!??!?! FUCK YOU!!!

    by Holeman

    No, just kidding, but seriously, what's up with that? Anyway thanks for confirming Capone's review I will stay at home and do what you're supposed to do on July 4th weekend and blow something up. There's this old car I've had my on for a couple of weeks that's gonna look real good on fire. Plus, I'll be depriving the homeless of a place to sleep! I'm so fucking American I piss in the colors of the flag.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    I Disagree BP_drills_america_a_new_asshole

    by Dave I

    First, Massa DOES discuss how he feels about the movie on its own merits (it blows). Granted, most of it was relative to the quality vs. the show, but he still made it clear the movie was terrible regardless. <p><p>Second, it IS worth mentioning how the movie relates to its source and how the changes came across (they blew as well). Fans of the source material for ANY movie are going to be curious how the reimagining (or whatever) holds up vs. the original. I like knowing about the movie on its own AND compared to the source material. And there are other reviews (even on this site) that give the review of the movie without discussing the show. <p><p>-Cheers

  • July 1, 2010, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Shymalan is the new Uwe Boll

    by SterilizedForYourBenefit

  • July 1, 2010, 10:27 a.m. CST

    So we're still doing the "Shamalamadingdong" thing?

    by jabbayoda

    First it was stupid as hell, then it was overused to the point of ironically funny, then it was stupid as hell again. I guess it's back?

  • July 1, 2010, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Well holy moly craphole

    by FeralAngel

    Damn it, I HATE it when some film-maker dicks around with a perfectly good story. When he warps it to fit his "vision". That is the work of an egotist. A true film-maker, when presented with a much-loved story, makes his style serve the story, not the other way around. Well, crap, I'm bummed, but I will see this. Just have to see how badly Shamalama fucked this up. On a brighter note, there is a rumor that Nick is going to be producing more Airbender...hopefully animated (it had better be, damn it), and I hope so. I wanna know what happened to Zuko's mother, at the very least. As for Airbender...for god's sake, can some film-maker have a little faith in the audience and give this wonderful story a fully-2D-animated treatment? I wish Miyazaki had taken an interest in Airbender. Crap, it could be awesome...

  • July 1, 2010, 10:31 a.m. CST

    First Capone now Massa...

    by Lemure_v2

    Come on guys, ENOUGH with the vague, on-the-fence reviews. Did you like it or not?

  • July 1, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Why worry? At least M. Night's career...

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    ...is now over. He' be directing Bollywood porn next, if anything. (2 hour musical number then GASP! the male lead KISSES the female lead...ON THE MOUTH!!!! Call out the angry, screaming mobs that Middle Easterners and Asians seem to do so well!)

  • July 1, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Turn out the lights, the party's over for MNS

    by Sonny_Williams

    Any studio that would hand M. Night more than twenty bucks at this point deserves the pile of shit he'll deliver. And it breaks my fucking heart. I totally loved THE SIXTH SENSE, had not one quibble with it. But in retrospect, every film since then has been less and less satisfying. THE HAPPENING was the first thing I ever saw that prompted the "I want that 2 hours of my life back" response. Won't make that mistake here.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    What else did you fuckers expect?

    by Nerdgasm

    I mean really? Given the track record you can't really be surprised right?

  • July 1, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Wow. Had no idea til just now . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . how bad the reviews are for this. 10% at Rotten Tomatoes. I'm still a little suspicious. Seems like its time for critics to bash M.Night no matter what he puts out and I've never seen the TV show. Is it POSSIBLE I could like this? And I absolutely hated his last 2 flicks w/ a passion.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    MASSA, HOW COME NONE OF AICN'S REVIEWS

    by BringingSexyBack

    are included at RT? Just wondering.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    BUT THE TWIST...

    by BlaGyver

    Is that it's actually a POKEMON MOVIE (dramatic synth tone...)

  • July 1, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    They even mispronounce Aang!

    by D.Vader

    Whatup with THAT?!?

  • July 1, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    If only Harry had lived to see The Last Bender...

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Wait; he did?<p>"Mesa loved it!"

  • July 1, 2010, 10:37 a.m. CST

    I would love to agree about M. Night's career, Bash...

    by Peter Franks

    but after the unwatchable 'write every scene the morning they shot it' mess that was Lady in the Water, the guy was STILL given the funds to make The Happening...and big surprise, look how that turned out. This talentless hack obviously made a deal with the devil. How else can you explain it?

  • July 1, 2010, 10:37 a.m. CST

    I love Cliff Curtis

    by D.Vader

    Sorry to hear his role kinda sucks. And they gave him short hair? Not the regal long flowing opulent locks the Fire Lord deserves? What up with THAT?!

  • July 1, 2010, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Someone spoil the movie ending for me

    by D.Vader

    I know how Season 1 ends in the cartoon, with the large battle and Aang's powers. Has that been changed?

  • July 1, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    M. Night ALSO pulls a Zach Snyder with...

    by D.Vader

    ... stealing the same camera shot from 300, with the slow motion-speed up tracking left to right shot as the hero fights off attackers. I'm surprised you didn't mention that Massa; I thought for sure that's where you were going when you mentioned Snyder's name.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Should this be renamed AVATA - RRGHH!! ??

    by marineboy

    Cursed from the beginning, having to use a sh*tty alternate title. Not sure why this happened as the anime had been broadcast as Avatar way before Cameron's effort was born.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:44 a.m. CST

    D.Vader

    by BlaGyver

    See above post.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST

    How about we all save money and not see these pieces of crap

    by canvasseamonkey

  • July 1, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST

    5% on Rotten Tomatoes...

    by Marshal_Lannes

    How in the hell can a professionally produced film that is actually released score 5 fucking percent? It boggles the mind...

  • July 1, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Marshall_Lannes

    by BlaGyver

    Ask the guys that made Jonah Hex, they pulled off a 0%, which I found appropriate seeing as how it was competing with a 100% release.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    So it's worth seeing then?

    by Quake II

    Kidding. The trailer looked kinda wicked. Amazing how they can make a movie this bad actually look cool in a preview. But I guess that's what trailer people get paid to do. M Night peaked with Sixth Sense & Unbreakable I guess. I did like Signs too. WORST. SUMMER MOVIE SEASON. EVER!!!!!

  • July 1, 2010, 10:49 a.m. CST

    marineboy - wrong

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Cameron wrote Avatar in 1995, copyrighted to the WGA, and many of us followed that project from the mid-90's on its protracted journey to the screen - WAY before the faux-Avatar: The Last Bender Down the U-Bend was a twinkle in the eye of its creators. That's why Cameron had legal rights to the name, and Shammylangadingongmerillyonhigh...doesn't.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Time for the jilted fanboys and AICN reviewers alike...

    by HoboCode

    to retroactively call all of Night's film's shit...becasue of 2 poor outings. Fuck and you.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Yeah I still want to bash synder's head in for throwing

    by UltraTron

    away the movie at the end for no fucking reason- blaaaaaaaaaaaand. No shocking genetic super mutant psyonic alien teleporting into town? Why not? It's like so great until the end. It's the orgasm of the book and he blue-balled us. Zack- go back and film the end proper and release the Ultra edition. Right now you've got a love conquers all Brazil scenario going on with that thing.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:52 a.m. CST

    go see fucking Knight and Day

    by antonphd

    it's not the best movie ever made but it's still a lot of fun

  • July 1, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Good review

    by moviemaniac-7

    But if it grosses 300+ million world wide nobody cares...

  • July 1, 2010, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Dammit this is bad news.

    by Mr Gorilla

    M Night was a really interesting film-maker. I love UNBREAKABLE. SIGNS is amazingly entertaining. And I even have time for THE VILLAGE - it was a great little parable for our times. I thought it was unfairly lambasted. So; it's a darn shame when a talented director turns out rubbish. M Night used to do entertaining blockbusters, made in a nicely old-fashioned way (emphasis on the performances, no quick cutting, loads left to the imagination). Dude - get your mojo back. Dammit, Frank Marshall produced this - I thought it HAD to be good.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:59 a.m. CST

    I like the Village

    by D.Vader

    The music is hauntingly beautiful. And I do like the story. I too thought it as a parable for our times, Mr Gorilla.

  • July 1, 2010, 11 a.m. CST

    Spot on

    by GroolDemon

    I think this pretty much hits the nail on the head. Nuff said.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Also Massa, refer to director by surname ONLY

    by BP_drills_america_a_new_asshole

    You alternated between calling him M Night and Shyamalan. I realize its a bit of an extra effort having to type S-H-Y-A-M-A-L-A-N each time, but its more professional. When you see a reviews for a Michael Bay movie, you don't see the reviewer alternate between "Michael" and "Bay". Although "Douchebag" would be the most apt.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    What happened to Shyamalan?

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    After a few early, stylish, almost auteur like films (I still think "Unbreakable" is brilliant) and attaining the title of "next Speilberg", Shyamalan went completely off the tracks. Starting with "The Village", every next film was worse than the last one until his output had almost become a running joke. He's obviously a very smart guy. What happened? I've never been interested in "The Last Airbender" based on the trailers, but I assumed that when he left his auteur school of film making behind and became a director for hire to adapt someone else's work, he would at least prove to be a journeyman film maker. What the hell happened? Anybody?

  • July 1, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    No passion, Reluctant Austinite... I guess

    by D.Vader

    That's my explanation for the supposed failure of this movie. He has no connection to the story and thus no passion for it. He just wants a commercial hit. Doesn't explain his past failures, though. All I can say is he got wrapped up in himself and his ego (Lady in the Water) and wanted a hit after that. He thought The Happening would be it, but it wasn't.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Downhill since The Village

    by Volstaff

    I still don't get how people praised that film. I thought at the time they were giving him a free pass because Sixth sense was so great ( and it was). The village really pissed me off though once I figured out where they were going with the story ( and he kinda telegraphed "the twist" pretty early on). But folks predictions about his career are way the hell off. people have a history in Hollywood of failing up. I bet his next desperate grab at former glory will be a sequel to Sixth Sense or maybe even Unbreakable.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST

    by JohanMacguff

    This is a stinker, make no doubts.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:16 a.m. CST

    The Reluctant Austinite

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Shyamalan bought his own hype, and truly believed he was the reincarnation of Spielberg. A damn shame, as up until The Village (which I really enjoyed) he was making well-put together, interesting films. Lady in the Water was a complete ego trip though (with beautiful cinematography) and The Happening was a complete howler. <p> Interesting to see where he goes from here. But the knives are out for him in Hollywood, thats for sure, ever since the book about his behaviour on Lady in the Water was published. Hollywood loves to see a director with a massive ego fail.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Damn.

    by Bodacious_Crumb

    I guess nobody will be throwing any money towards MNS for a Unbreakable sequel anytime soon.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:17 a.m. CST

    AIRBENDER do to the cartoon what LXG did to comics.

    by Squashua

    LXG was a non-adaptation. This movie will get NO ONE to want to watch the cartoon. *THAT* is the tragedy here.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Now they can relaunch the series in 2 years...

    by yomomma

    I wonder if that is going to become a new strategy. Release a pile-of-shit adaptation of a beloved property, rake in the dough from the suckers, then relaunch again in a few years with a better movie and rake in more dough. The Hulk paradigm.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:21 a.m. CST

    The actors absolutely deserve some of the blame.

    by thedarklinglord

    It should be part of an actor's job to create their character, to make them come alive, and to have the balls to disagree with the director when they feel the director is pushing for a characterization that is all wrong. Like Harrison Ford standing up to Lucas. And, sure, the leads are mostly children, but if they actually expect to go anywhere in the industry they need to recognize shit directing (by way of them being forced to deliver shit acting) and develop the backbone to challenge the director. So, no, the actors don't get a free pass. Either they're totally fucking clueless about how piss-poor their acting is or they were willing accomplices to this cinematic shitfest, either one making them deserving of harsh criticism.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Airbender Cartoon == Firefly Television

    by Squashua

    That is the comparison, and Massa got it.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:23 a.m. CST

    "...hollow, dead-eyed, thousand yard stare..."

    by OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWW

    I used to always say that M. Night's movies look like each scene was only one take, M. Night approved, and production continued. Now I'm starting to believe that each scene may have been don't ad nauseum with infinitely too many takes where M. Night kept on interrupting the actors, telling them to dumb down their performances. The actors would resist at first, but after a couple dozen takes, they finally bend to his will.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:24 a.m. CST

    How do you bend air?

    by darthsynn

    Forget the movie. I want someone to explain that. It sounds complicated.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Reboot M.Night Shyamalan's career

    by Amazing Maurice

    With Nathan Fillion.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Unfortunate

    by bubcus

    I loved M Night's first two films (Sixth Sense and Signs) but haven't connected with him since. By the sounds of it, M Night Shyamalan needs to be locked in a comedy club for a few weeks to rebuild a sense of humor and planted in a nice garden somewhere to start writing a happy, cheerful, energetic script. <BR><BR>I want to see this guy succeed but he really has to get that dark, gloomy cloud off his head.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:33 a.m. CST

    thedarklinglord, that's hilarious

    by BP_drills_america_a_new_asshole

    The children should stand up to the director? The children should recognize piss poor direction? LMAO. The child actors are just grateful they have a gig and they don't want to PISS OFF the director, period. Can you imagine a 12 year old saying to an A list director "I don't think you're directing me properly". It doesn't happen my friend.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night

    by CornNut007

    The 6% fresh rating on RT isn't wrong. The film is almost unwatchable. An epic failure in character relationships and a discernible plot. I hope M Night got a really big paycheck for this, because he's not going to be working again anytime soon.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    I've been hearing that the kyoshi warriors...

    by Porco Drunko

    have been cut/aren't included in the film. Can anyone confirm/deny this, That might in part explain some of the choppyness of the flow of the movie I've been hearing about, as Suki was shown on the films website initially (or at least a female with a fan that looked just like the character). However no sign of the character on the site and no mention in any reviews i've read suggest she's been cut.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    DIRECTOR FAIL

    by ItsinAxum

    This confirms for me that M. Night has a genius ability to conceptualize. It is his execution that fails so drastically. Directors, even when working from their own written scripts, need the talent to assimilate their talents to the property while retaining that which makes them unique as a director. Look at Spielberg. From SHINDLER’S LIST to JURASSIC PARK, each film is distinctly Spielberg, and yet he constructs the film around his hallmark talents that define one of his films. M.Night does the opposite. He conforms the property to his distinct tells. It worked in his first film. But that formula repeated for other projects doesn’t. A giveaway is his title billing. Look at the subtlety of “A Steven Spielber Film” compared to the bombastic “M.NIGHT SHYAMALAN FILM.” In the end, he is a one trick pony, only capable of inspiring Lucus-esque flat performances and scene direction, which enhance THE SIXTH SENSE, but ultimately cripple works that require broader depth. He was the wrong choice from the word Greenlit.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I knew he'd drain out the joy

    by BizarroJerry

    Like I said in another review, my biggest fear about M. Night directing this was that he wouldn't portray the fun, sense of wonder and great sense of humor of the show. And now, with this review telling my Aang is no fun, it turns out I was right all along. And I really wish I had been wrong. If they've taken out the joy, they've gutted the series. Oh, and considering a major part of the plot is Aang pining for Katara, that being removed is idiotic.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm, but is it worse than the Dragonball movie?

    by Stabby

  • July 1, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Well, that's a shyame.

    by schadenfreudian

    (See what i did there?) <br> Not having any knowledge of the series, I had no expectations about this movie. Now I know I should skip the movie and hit the source material. Thanks, Massa.

  • July 1, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Hey, Bubcus, his first two films

    by schadenfreudian

    Were Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:08 p.m. CST

    The Last Air Biscuit: Droppings Too.

    by Fa Fa Fooey

    Just sayin

  • July 1, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Next up Evangelion

    by Jay_Lenos_Ugly_Wife

    Shia LeBeouf as Shinji, Lohan as Asuka, Samuel L Jackson as Gendo, the whole plot turned into a standard monster movie.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:16 p.m. CST

    "beg to see it in live action"

    by Thrillhouse77

    I don't beg to see this stuff in live action. There's a reason it was a cartoon first. We don't really need this stuff to get juggfuckled by being turned Live Action. Same with video games. Not sure why anyone wants video game movies, when playing the video game to advance the story is the main draw. It's just stupid. <p> Comic Book movies are a little different, because that's a static medium. But you aren't going to improve upon the experience that an ANIMATED show gives you or that a video game gives you. At least not when comparing the versions of the property side-by-side. It's a stupid idea. Like Ebert said, the effects were animated and gorgeous in the cartoon...of COURSE they are going to look stupid on film. And that's only one minor slice of the problem pie that is this fucking travesty.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:26 p.m. CST

    The WATCHMEN film ending was GOOD

    by 3D-Man

    Except for Laurie saying the "Nothing ever ends" line instead of Dr. Manhattan,I dare say I enjoyed it even more than the graphic novel's ending.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Someone ***please*** tell me why???

    by badmojojojo

    Does this guy keep getting millions of $$$ to make crappy movies??? Seriously, WTF?!?

  • July 1, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST

    I'm Really Glad......

    by D o o d

    That this film truly shows how bad a director Shayamalan is. I'm tired of people sticking up for him because they loved Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. As good as those movies were, they do not justify the crap he's made since then!<p>Maybe now the studios will stop funding this idiot and maybe he'll go back and learn what made his two earlier works so great!

  • July 1, 2010, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Stick a fork in it...he's DONE

    by blue meanie

    M Night got freaking lucky with Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, because everything else since then has been a exploding diarrhea crapfest. Bollywood is calling and I can almost smell the curry...

  • July 1, 2010, 12:35 p.m. CST

    I can't believe it

    by thommcg

    Shyamalan makes bad movie. Wasn't expecting that...

  • July 1, 2010, 12:37 p.m. CST

    But what of the fish punching?

    by thommcg

  • July 1, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST

    "The source material is brilliant"

    by Chadley BeBay

    Do you guys even THINK before you write these things? That show is NOT brilliant...its like a shit version of Dragon Ball, which is shit itself.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST

    The next thing M. Night will be directing

    by Stabby

    is a Twinkie truck backing up into his 7-Eleven. "You want cookie-cookie?!"

  • July 1, 2010, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Fucking brilliant review

    by CartoonFanboy

    Finally, someone who knows the source material and can tell others exactly how bad M Night fucked this up. Thank you Massa, now I can skip this movie without wondering where it all went wrong.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Porco Drunko

    by T-RACE

    In The Last Airbender Revealed episode on t.v. the director said that he did cut the kyoshi warriors. I'm not sure how that is going to effect Suki as she is still listed in the cast and if they do make this into a trilogy as they planned (which given the reviews may not happen) I'm not sure how else M. Knight plans to introduce someone who is later to be kind of an important character. Also, fuck the mispronunciation of character's names. Why? Just... why?

  • July 1, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    I'm pretty good at crapbending too

    by SilentGunman

    But sometimes it comes apart and I always have to wash my hands afterwards.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:46 p.m. CST

    badmojo

    by Stabby

    The only thing I can think is that his movies at least break even on DVD. And they still believe his name alone puts asses in seats. If he were losing studios money he would not continue to get these huge budgets. Obviously, the tide is turning as this is his first non-original film. So, they no longer trust him to tell his own stories. And after this I don't see him anywhere near a bid budget again.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Actually Chadley BeBay the show is nothing like Dragonball

    by CartoonFanboy

    Stop talking out of your repeatedly raped ass. You don't know the source material, seeing 30 seconds while your boyfriend is turning your asshole inside out doesn't tell you everything you need to know about this show. True, the word brilliant is a bit strong but know nothing fucks like you need to stop making retarded comparisons.

  • July 1, 2010, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Nailed it, Wyrm.

    by TheMarineBiologist

    Been a huge fan of this series for a very long time and I do say that 'Zuko Alone' is one of my absolute favorite episodes.<p> This movie just... hurt. Anytime someone said "the Uhvatar," I simply yelled at the screen "the... what?"<p> The Super Plot Exposition Dragon Spirit was insulting, the Pussy Wave was a joke, Zhao being drowned ON SCREEN by NAMELESS WATERBENDERS was terrifyingly wrong.<p> The surprise twist ending with Azula was the only good part of that film. Everything else sucked and I am pretty sure everyone else in the theater agreed. As much as it pains me to say, this film was DOA and should be swiftly swept under the rug.

  • July 1, 2010, 1:06 p.m. CST

    MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE CHILDREN WHOSE HOPES WERE SHATTERED

    by BringingSexyBack

  • July 1, 2010, 1:08 p.m. CST

    last airbender = american nausicaa

    by kaijuturtle

    in tv serial form

  • July 1, 2010, 1:10 p.m. CST

    HE's done.

    by Super Rabbi

  • July 1, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Shyamalan = Michael Jackson

    by bigfatdumpydick

    Shymalan made The Sixth Sense MJ made Thriller Shymalan gets paid millions for shit MJ gets not guilty verdict Get it?

  • July 1, 2010, 1:19 p.m. CST

    The Happening made $163 Mil (WW) on a $50 Mil Budget....

    by Mr. Profit

    So he isn't "Over" as long as people keep going to the movies. This movie will still do well, even if it is shit, because its the only new option this weekend and you can only see Toy Story 3 but so many times. <p>Also like someone stated above, they made a shit movie look good with a slick trailer. You are going to get the people who will still go because they don't believe critics because the trailer looks good. <p>I have no interest in seeing this. But man, they really fucked up in calling him the new Spielberg... It obviously is NOT the case. <P>Stop writing your movies Manoj and just stick to directing them. Because if you are going to keep churning in mediocre shit, you might as well work at Platinum Dunes as their in-house director...

  • July 1, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    I can never predict...

    by MarionRavenwood

    Which of his movies I will like and which I will hate. I liked, "The Sixth Sense" but hated, "Unbreakable". I actually really liked, "The Village" and also, "Lady in the Water", but didn't even bother with the plant apocalypse. I don't think I'll bother with this one either, but the interesting thing to me about his movies so far is how drastically different the reactions are from everyone who has seen them.

  • July 1, 2010, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter/Last Airbender

    by holidill

    I find it funny that people are upset that it was not adapted straight from the souce material. Since when is anything, even the Harry Potter films have been butchered, same with super-hero movies. I am a huge proponent of straight up adaptations but that just does not happen in the US Film industry and I just find it funny everyone is pissed that it is not a direct adaptation. Everyone knows we will never get a straight up adaptation on anything and that pisses me off.

  • July 1, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Ok, now I've changed my mind

    by MapMan

    I was clamoring for a sequel to Unbreakable and while I would like to see these characters again on the big screen - I don't want MNS anywhere near it.

  • July 1, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    I actually wanted M Night to really do his "own thing"

    by Porco Drunko

    with the last airbender franchise. Absolutely rip the plot and structure apart and reconstruct it into a series of movies, not a hideously truncated version of the tv series. <p>I knew from pretty early on that you could never do every piece of character development, characterisation, sub-plot, multiple story-arcs etc from the series in 3 movies. Everything would end up lacking the weight that can only come from having long periods to develop your characters. Also I already have the perfect version of avatar: TLA sitting on my shelf at home, what I don't have however is a retelling of that story with a visionary directors behind the camera adding his own interpretation to the material. Bring on the changes because the closer it stays to the original material the worse it would be. Sadly what we've ended up with is a director whose ego overtook his talent a few films ago who loves the source material just enough that he won't change enough to make it work on the big screen but who has a huge enough ego that anything he does change he'll consider brilliant.<p>

  • July 1, 2010, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm is the best writer on here

    by Rupee88

    I don't always agree with him

  • July 1, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm

    by Rupee88

    Was trying to say that I don't always agree with him, but I usually do and at least he makes sense when I don't. But he really delves into what makes this film so bad which was probably difficult with it sound like a huge train wreck.

  • July 1, 2010, 2:09 p.m. CST

    So is there fish punching in the movie or not?

    by Derrida77

    I NEED TO KNOW!

  • July 1, 2010, 2:18 p.m. CST

    REALLY? IT SUCKS WHAT A SHOCK!!

    by RPLocke

  • July 1, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Didn't he proclaim this bomb to be his 'Star Wars'

    by AzulTool

    I remember reading that somewhere. HeHe, Star Wars...This doesn't even sound as good as Ice Pirates.

  • July 1, 2010, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Fish Punching is Out

    by TheMarineBiologist

    He stabbed the fish in this version of the film.

  • July 1, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST

    @ AzuTool

    by OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWW

    Ice Pirates was awesome.

  • July 1, 2010, 2:38 p.m. CST

    TheMarineBiologist

    by thommcg

    That's disappointing :( Fish punching was all this film had going for it.

  • July 1, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    MOTHER FUCKER FUCKIN FUCK

    by CAPTAIN_AMERICAS_COCK_SHAPED_HELMET

    SHAMALAMADING DONG YOU FUCKIN DONG SUCKING IDIOT. THIS SUMMER HAS SUCKED MANY DONGS REPEATEDLY. NOW THIS. INCEPTION BETTER BE GOOD FOR FUCKS SAKES

  • July 1, 2010, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Everything is shit compared to Avatar's GREATNESS

    by secure214

    I am patiently waiting for TRON...

  • July 1, 2010, 3:14 p.m. CST

    You want Cookie-Cookie?!

    by Stabby

    Come on! Have Cookie-Cookie!

  • July 1, 2010, 3:25 p.m. CST

    The Last Slurpeeblender

    by Stabby

    M Night's next job.

  • July 1, 2010, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Shyamalan makes Cameron look like Kubrick

    by Derrida77

    By the way thanks Marinebiologist for the info, I share thommmcg's sentiment, the fish punching was the only thing that appealed to me about this whole project

  • July 1, 2010, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Nice job, Massa. You're the best on AICN by FAR.

    by ricarleite2

    One: Now I am very curious about the animated series. I've never seen it because I always thought it was kid-oriented crap with some anime style animation just because it's popular nowadays, but I guess I was wrong. I'll TRY to watch it. TWO: if the damn thing is so good and popular, why not do an animated feature film? Hand 50 million to the guys involved with the show and they'll deliver something good. And people who has not seen the show might see the animated film - I mean, why would people see the LIVE ACTION version anyway? THREE: Having M Night on the director seat for this film was a mistake because the producers believed no one would see it unless there was something else to sell it. An A-grade bankable star could not be arranged, so the necxt best thing was a gimmick director. There are very few out there, and the cheapest and more desperated one right now is M Night. This movie has proved the man has gone banana-ape-shit bonkers now, and should really move to something smaller, or just go away with the little dignity he has left. Perhaps just writting screenplays culd work out for him, or being a producer... Anywhoo... THANKS Massa, and congratulations on a job VERY WELL done.

  • July 1, 2010, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Nobody gets it -- IT"S SUPPOSED TO BE A COMEDY

    by CptBruno

    http://io9.com/5576076/m-night-shyamalan-finally-made-a-comedy

  • July 1, 2010, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Night even screws up using someone elses material

    by Cosmik

    Starts out brilliant, each film gets a little worse. I tapped out after Lady in the Water. I just can't bring myself to waste the time watching The Happening. I had hope for this though. It was like somebody in the studio was taking pity and handing him an already established property to adapt to film, a gift project he couldn't screw up and let him have a win to help his near dead career get back on track. And he still makes a bad movie.

  • July 1, 2010, 3:44 p.m. CST

    This is shaping up...

    by windomearle39

    To be a pretty lean year for good films. Hopefully there will be a nice suprise and sonething unknown comes out of the blue somewhere down the line. Fingers crossed.

  • July 1, 2010, 3:50 p.m. CST

    TOY STORY IS THE ONLY GOOD MOVIE THIS YEAR

    by CAPTAIN_AMERICAS_COCK_SHAPED_HELMET

    THATS MY TOP 10. TOY STORY. THATS IT

  • July 1, 2010, 3:53 p.m. CST

    It's at 7% on Rotten Tomatoes!

    by Reckoner

    CRAPTACULAR!

  • July 1, 2010, 3:56 p.m. CST

    "why not do an animated feature film?"

    by Alientoast

    They've done direct to DVD animated films for Last Airbender. As for why no theater: Sadly, 2D animation doesn't have the pull it used to. Even things like Princess and the Frog from Disney lack the pull of your standard Dreamworks/Pixar 3D flick. It's safer for them to stick to direct-to-DVD.

  • July 1, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    SHYMALAMADINGDONG

    by Reckoner

  • July 1, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    please stop giving night money to embarrass himself.

    by RedHorseVector

  • July 1, 2010, 4:35 p.m. CST

    This year in film hasn't sucked....

    by BlaGyver

    Just this summer. I mean, really, look at what's come out the rest of the year. Shutter Island, Kick-Ass, Dr, Parnassus (technically '09, but it got wide release in January), Hot Tub Time Machine, The Losers (which was a TON of fun, sue me), Iron Man 2, Get Him To The Greek, plenty of others. There's just nothing good coming out in what's usually the prime months for good movies. The only two movies that came out during the summer movie season that I was really excited for were Toy Story 3 and Inception (hasn't come out yet, but you get my point). Then later this year we've got Scott Pilgrim, The Expendables, Dinner for Schmucks, The Other Guys, Tron, and some others. I'm certainly bummed the summer has been such a flop, but to say that the year as a whole has sucked is pure hyperbole.

  • July 1, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    in defense of Aasif Mandvi

    by oisin5199

    he's not just a comedian. He's played mostly dramatic roles in his career and some comic roles. It's only his Daily Show gig that has him doing mostly comic stuff. Sounds like it was your expectations around him that threw you off.

  • July 1, 2010, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Mad dissapointing

    by Phategod2

    I'm no airbender fan but I thought this would be the bosst MS's. career needed.

  • July 1, 2010, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Zack Snyder "radically changed what happens"?

    by JacksonSchitt

    By which you mean, "the exact same thing happened, just in a different way," right?

  • July 1, 2010, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Zack Snyder's ending is better.

    by JackSlater4

  • July 1, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Cameron IS the Kubrick of genre cinema

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    and the David Lean, too.<P>Save us from these crappy blockbusters, Jim. Where the fuck are you when we need you? At the bottom of the ocean again for another 12 years?

  • July 1, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    il say it one mor time

    by pauduro

    DONT GIVE THIS ASSSSHOLE MORE JOVES The sixth sense was a FLUX i was asleep for the hole pissing movie this guy is just crapppppppp JUST STOP

  • July 1, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    il say it one more time

    by pauduro

    DONT GIVE THIS ASSSSHOLE MORE JOVES The sixth sense was a FLUX i was asleep for the hole pissing movie this guy is just crapppppppp JUST STOP

  • July 1, 2010, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Next summer is even more garbage

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Pirates 4; second rate superheroes like Thor, Green Lantern and Capt. Amerca; unnecessary Planet of the Apes remake; Frakkin Smurfs; Trannyformers 3; and another cunting X Men movie - cinema is absolutely fucking dead. Stick a fork in it; it's done.

  • July 1, 2010, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Hobocode

    by I_Sharted

    Only two bad films? Are you fucking kidding? His last four films have been shit starting with The Village. He's a hack and you're a pathetic fanboy.

  • July 1, 2010, 5:58 p.m. CST

    I'm A Little Surprised

    by Cobbio

    At how horrible this film seems to have turned out. I've never liked M. Night as a director, but I thought if he was given a script and property that wasn't his, it might push him in a better direction.<p> Guess I was wrong.<p> He really is just a bad director.

  • July 1, 2010, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Let's be honest, he has 2 good movies.

    by JackSlater4

    The 6th Sense is awesome, Signs is good but strattled the lines of awful, Unbreakable crossed those lines and should have been a harbinger of movies to come to you all.<P> Haven't seen Airbender yet, probably will rent it, so not sure.

  • July 1, 2010, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Really though, his next movie should be like a

    by JackSlater4

    Steel Magnolias. I believe he could nail something like that.

  • July 1, 2010, 6:54 p.m. CST

    next summer sounds great

    by CAPTAIN_AMERICAS_COCK_SHAPED_HELMET

    as long as Trannyformers is more like the first one and not sucktacular like part 2

  • July 1, 2010, 6:56 p.m. CST

    I think he should just stick to darker/dramatic material that fi

    by CAPTAIN_AMERICAS_COCK_SHAPED_HELMET

    this movie was a terrible idea from the start. well I guess he wanted to prove he could handle something different, too bad he failed.

  • July 1, 2010, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Dissapointed to see such harsh reaction towards it

    by Marksman91

    And Massawyrm confirms my fears, even the fans hate it. Some people are saying that the Harry Potter films butchered the source material, but that's not really the case. I myself having read all 7 books, I've still enjoyed all the films, and they all got at least better story-wise and in terms of performances. All actors in it did a great job, and the dialogue didn't sound cliché or melodramatic. They're still very well-done films. They all at least still had a coherent story and good character development. This one, on the other hand, doesn't sound like that at all. Such a shame, because the trailers really made it look cool. Especially if you were a fan of the show, you'd find the previews really awesome. I think it's better if I just skip this one and go watch Toy Story 3 again (Now THAT movie, I loved)

  • July 1, 2010, 7:20 p.m. CST

    "principle crime"???

    by No Respectable Gentleman

    It's "principal" -- just to be pedantic.

  • July 1, 2010, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm, you hit the nail right on the HEAD

    by NivekJ

    I was sitting down watching this movie go through the whole first season on fast forward. Offscreen exposition, introduction of do-nothing characters. <p>I had to go out of my way, well out of my way, to attend a 2-D showing. Every place near me was either 3-D or Eclipse. <p>I love this show, and the show remains. But what was the point of all this besides a money grab? This was a gimme, a no-brainer. The kids are going to take so much crap for this movie. The photography and set design gone to waste. <p>Sigh. 2010 really sucks. Revenge of the Writer's Strike, I suppose.

  • July 1, 2010, 8:02 p.m. CST

    M. Night SHAMalan

    by Chief Joseph

    You've got to give M. Night credit; he actually raped childhoods of actual children with this one.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Airbender Review (SPOILERS)

    by TheGleas

    I watched the series front to back for the first time about a month ago in about 3 days and was pleasantly surprised how deep and engaging it was. I have to admit that I wasn't even interested in the series until I saw the trailer for the movie. I had the day off today and a free AMC pass, so I wasn't too worried about wasting any money on a movie that had horrible reviews everywhere I looked. That said, I still wanted to see for myself and therefore went to the AMC Roseville in the Twin Cities areas this afternoon. After about 4 horrible trailers for crap like the new Jack Black movie and another dry-gagging event staring Emma Thompson and some British kids chasing pigs, the movie started with the ever changing Paramount logo adapting whatever theme the movie carries. I really liked how the intro was straight from the cartoon with the 4 different tribes displaying their abilities with Katara voice overs. The crawl gave us a quick overview of the 100 year war and the state of the four nations. The movie literally starts with about 1 min. of Katara and Sokka on the ice where they find Ang which quickly results in his arrival. I was pretty pissed that the characters had no introduction, but I had seen the series so I had expectations and had assumptions of what to expect. For those of you who've seen the series, you would expect Katara and Sokka to at least slightly resemble their animated counterparts. The whole "race" issue that has been beat to death didn't bug me at all. I actually felt that other than Zuko's uncle, most of the major characters looked pretty true to form... especially Ang and Sokka. That said, the personalities just weren't there. All the reviews you are reading about no character development are dead on. There is no way to get attached to any of the characters minus a few. I really wanted Sokka to be a reflection of his animated self but he's stiff and stern the entire 15 minutes of screen time he gets. Katara and Ang really have no real relationship in the film and you wonder how someone would just leave to chase a kid after knowing them for 10 min. Speaking of Ang, he looks the part, but he doesn't act it. I think he smiles in flashbacks only and in "real time" he's moping around. The never get into the significance of the "avatar state" at all in the movie. You'd think someone would ask a kid why his head and eyes glow. None of the other benders "glow" so you'd think Katara and Sokka would at least be somewhat curious about why this was occurring... it made sense in the series, and it was a huse part of the trilogy, so maybe Shyamalan's waiting for the next movie... if it ever gets made. I actually really enjoyed the Zuko/Uncle relationship and feel that they pulled off their relationship with a bang. Zuko's adaption to the big screen was probably the best in the movie. I can see them not going with the Goro look that he sports in the cartoon, but they did justice to the scar nicely even though in the promos it's hardly noticeable. Uncle didn't look anything like the animated character, but his personality was there. I dug the actor choice here... really. He's a bad-ass as you come to find out later in the film. Gen. Zao was o.k. we was a douche just like in the cartoon, but in the movie they kill him, which is still making me scratch my head. There really was no need for him to get the axe. They even pull the deal where he's been beaten, told he's all alone and then some randos come in a kill him to nail the point home... it was lame. In a nutshell, the character development really, really, really sucked. Bad. Storyline wise I've read that the film is just a bunch of important mashed scenes from the cartoon... which is absolutely correct. Picture yourself sitting at home with your remote skipping through the filler and that's essentially what the movie is. The problem was that they skipped too much. This movie needed to be AT LEAST another hour to really do it any justice. I honestly think book 1 couldn't be told in 90 min., which is the big reason it sucked so bad. Like other Shyamalan movies, the acting is stiff and forced, especially Ang and Katara. You really need to see it to really understand it, but looking at Marky-Mark from the happening is idea I'm trying to stress, but actually worse. I'm still pissed about Sokka... just wanted to restate that. The cinematography was great as Shyamalan pulled off the look of the series with flying colors. I have to admit though that the bending CGI was spotty at times and I was hoping for a little more. When and if you see the movie, you'll know what I mean. Appa and Momo were just "there" and were way underused, but they did look good. Now that I think about it, I don't even think that they named Momo... he was just a "lemur-bat" that popped out of nowhere. Back to the point, without seeing the series the movie is a mess as far as story goes. I obviously knew what the hell was going on since I've seen the series, but from the point of a new viewer I would be lost and pissed as hell. This movie is a long montage within a montage plainly put. The trio of heroes bounce from point to point every 5 minutes for about 20 min. of the movie with overlay text letting you know where they are. It's so rushed that you are constantly trying to figure out what time frame this is happening in. They reference things like, "I'll be back in a day," or "where have you been for 4 days?" but it seems like Katara and Sokka meet Ang and are fighting the Fire Nation and the Northern Water City in under a week’s time. The Fire Lord played by Cliff Curtis is actually alright. He seems like a menacing dick in the movie, so that's cool I guess... even though we never meet him until book 3 in the series, but whatever. They do actually stay pretty true to the story of the series though. Everything that is essentially in there is from the series and they did a good job about not changing things like most Hollywood adaptions do. The moon and ocean spirit are still fish and one of them die and the white haired chick dies. Sokka cries and is a wreck even though I don't understand why since he just met this chick who he had the hots for. I know that it's implied that they "get to know each other" but the problem is we don't see any of it. Ever. The film makers are doing a lot of a "just go with it" approach during this movie, so be ready for it. I really wanted Ang to turn into the water fish-thing at the end, but he didn't. He just stands on top of the barrier wall and creates a huge tsunami and hangs it over all the fire ships and they turn tail and run. End of conflict. Katara never gets anointed Ang's water bending teacher and doesn't have the showdown with the old water bender teacher from the North which really pissed me off since that relationship is key in book 2. While they really kept what they put in true to form, they left way too much out like I stated earlier. It makes the story weak and lackluster. You never give a shit about anyone because, A. you don't really know them, and B. they leave out a lot of the little details that made the series so great. I really wanted to like this, I really did. I wanted Ang to be spunky and fun, use his "air-ball thing," and hit on Katara. I wanted Sokka to crack jokes, be a punch line other than off screen, which happens twice, and be more present, and while this may be me being picky, I wanted the bending to be cooler. I wanted these guys, especially Ang, to be Jedi-like when bending. I seemed like it took them a minute of pulling of a ritual mating dance to build a bending move. It was slow and unimpressive most of the time, and when you see it, you'll know what I mean. Overall, the movie sucks pretty bad and I'll be really surprised if any sequels are made. The really hacked this one and while I'm glad I saw it, I won't ever need to see it again. The series is where it's at. Well, at least it wasn't as bad as Battlefield Earth. The Gleas P.S. - "Signs" is a bomb-ass movie.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Airbender Review (SPOILERS)

    by TheGleas

    I watched the series front to back for the first time about a month ago in about 3 days and was pleasantly surprised how deep and engaging it was. I have to admit that I wasn't even interested in the series until I saw the trailer for the movie. I had the day off today and a free AMC pass, so I wasn't too worried about wasting any money on a movie that had horrible reviews everywhere I looked. That said, I still wanted to see for myself and therefore went to the AMC Roseville in the Twin Cities areas this afternoon. After about 4 horrible trailers for crap like the new Jack Black movie and another dry-gagging event staring Emma Thompson and some British kids chasing pigs, the movie started with the ever changing Paramount logo adapting whatever theme the movie carries. I really liked how the intro was straight from the cartoon with the 4 different tribes displaying their abilities with Katara voice overs. The crawl gave us a quick overview of the 100 year war and the state of the four nations. The movie literally starts with about 1 min. of Katara and Sokka on the ice where they find Ang which quickly results in his arrival. I was pretty pissed that the characters had no introduction, but I had seen the series so I had expectations and had assumptions of what to expect. For those of you who've seen the series, you would expect Katara and Sokka to at least slightly resemble their animated counterparts. The whole "race" issue that has been beat to death didn't bug me at all. I actually felt that other than Zuko's uncle, most of the major characters looked pretty true to form... especially Ang and Sokka. That said, the personalities just weren't there. All the reviews you are reading about no character development are dead on. There is no way to get attached to any of the characters minus a few. I really wanted Sokka to be a reflection of his animated self but he's stiff and stern the entire 15 minutes of screen time he gets. Katara and Ang really have no real relationship in the film and you wonder how someone would just leave to chase a kid after knowing them for 10 min. Speaking of Ang, he looks the part, but he doesn't act it. I think he smiles in flashbacks only and in "real time" he's moping around. The never get into the significance of the "avatar state" at all in the movie. You'd think someone would ask a kid why his head and eyes glow. None of the other benders "glow" so you'd think Katara and Sokka would at least be somewhat curious about why this was occurring... it made sense in the series, and it was a huse part of the trilogy, so maybe Shyamalan's waiting for the next movie... if it ever gets made. I actually really enjoyed the Zuko/Uncle relationship and feel that they pulled off their relationship with a bang. Zuko's adaption to the big screen was probably the best in the movie. I can see them not going with the Goro look that he sports in the cartoon, but they did justice to the scar nicely even though in the promos it's hardly noticeable. Uncle didn't look anything like the animated character, but his personality was there. I dug the actor choice here... really. He's a bad-ass as you come to find out later in the film. Gen. Zao was o.k. we was a douche just like in the cartoon, but in the movie they kill him, which is still making me scratch my head. There really was no need for him to get the axe. They even pull the deal where he's been beaten, told he's all alone and then some randos come in a kill him to nail the point home... it was lame. In a nutshell, the character development really, really, really sucked. Bad. Storyline wise I've read that the film is just a bunch of important mashed scenes from the cartoon... which is absolutely correct. Picture yourself sitting at home with your remote skipping through the filler and that's essentially what the movie is. The problem was that they skipped too much. This movie needed to be AT LEAST another hour to really do it any justice. I honestly think book 1 couldn't be told in 90 min., which is the big reason it sucked so bad. Like other Shyamalan movies, the acting is stiff and forced, especially Ang and Katara. You really need to see it to really understand it, but looking at Marky-Mark from the happening is idea I'm trying to stress, but actually worse. I'm still pissed about Sokka... just wanted to restate that. The cinematography was great as Shyamalan pulled off the look of the series with flying colors. I have to admit though that the bending CGI was spotty at times and I was hoping for a little more. When and if you see the movie, you'll know what I mean. Appa and Momo were just "there" and were way underused, but they did look good. Now that I think about it, I don't even think that they named Momo... he was just a "lemur-bat" that popped out of nowhere. Back to the point, without seeing the series the movie is a mess as far as story goes. I obviously knew what the hell was going on since I've seen the series, but from the point of a new viewer I would be lost and pissed as hell. This movie is a long montage within a montage plainly put. The trio of heroes bounce from point to point every 5 minutes for about 20 min. of the movie with overlay text letting you know where they are. It's so rushed that you are constantly trying to figure out what time frame this is happening in. They reference things like, "I'll be back in a day," or "where have you been for 4 days?" but it seems like Katara and Sokka meet Ang and are fighting the Fire Nation and the Northern Water City in under a week’s time. The Fire Lord played by Cliff Curtis is actually alright. He seems like a menacing dick in the movie, so that's cool I guess... even though we never meet him until book 3 in the series, but whatever. They do actually stay pretty true to the story of the series though. Everything that is essentially in there is from the series and they did a good job about not changing things like most Hollywood adaptions do. The moon and ocean spirit are still fish and one of them die and the white haired chick dies. Sokka cries and is a wreck even though I don't understand why since he just met this chick who he had the hots for. I know that it's implied that they "get to know each other" but the problem is we don't see any of it. Ever. The film makers are doing a lot of a "just go with it" approach during this movie, so be ready for it. I really wanted Ang to turn into the water fish-thing at the end, but he didn't. He just stands on top of the barrier wall and creates a huge tsunami and hangs it over all the fire ships and they turn tail and run. End of conflict. Katara never gets anointed Ang's water bending teacher and doesn't have the showdown with the old water bender teacher from the North which really pissed me off since that relationship is key in book 2. While they really kept what they put in true to form, they left way too much out like I stated earlier. It makes the story weak and lackluster. You never give a shit about anyone because, A. you don't really know them, and B. they leave out a lot of the little details that made the series so great. I really wanted to like this, I really did. I wanted Ang to be spunky and fun, use his "air-ball thing," and hit on Katara. I wanted Sokka to crack jokes, be a punch line other than off screen, which happens twice, and be more present, and while this may be me being picky, I wanted the bending to be cooler. I wanted these guys, especially Ang, to be Jedi-like when bending. I seemed like it took them a minute of pulling of a ritual mating dance to build a bending move. It was slow and unimpressive most of the time, and when you see it, you'll know what I mean. Overall, the movie sucks pretty bad and I'll be really surprised if any sequels are made. The really hacked this one and while I'm glad I saw it, I won't ever need to see it again. The series is where it's at. Well, at least it wasn't as bad as Battlefield Earth. The Gleas P.S. - "Signs" is a bomb-ass movie.

  • July 1, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Airbender Review (SPOILERS)

    by TheGleas

    I watched the series front to back for the first time about a month ago in about 3 days and was pleasantly surprised how deep and engaging it was. I have to admit that I wasn't even interested in the series until I saw the trailer for the movie. I had the day off today and a free AMC pass, so I wasn't too worried about wasting any money on a movie that had horrible reviews everywhere I looked. That said, I still wanted to see for myself and therefore went to the AMC Roseville in the Twin Cities areas this afternoon. After about 4 horrible trailers for crap like the new Jack Black movie and another dry-gagging event staring Emma Thompson and some British kids chasing pigs, the movie started with the ever changing Paramount logo adapting whatever theme the movie carries. I really liked how the intro was straight from the cartoon with the 4 different tribes displaying their abilities with Katara voice overs. The crawl gave us a quick overview of the 100 year war and the state of the four nations. The movie literally starts with about 1 min. of Katara and Sokka on the ice where they find Ang which quickly results in his arrival. I was pretty pissed that the characters had no introduction, but I had seen the series so I had expectations and had assumptions of what to expect. For those of you who've seen the series, you would expect Katara and Sokka to at least slightly resemble their animated counterparts. The whole "race" issue that has been beat to death didn't bug me at all. I actually felt that other than Zuko's uncle, most of the major characters looked pretty true to form... especially Ang and Sokka. That said, the personalities just weren't there. All the reviews you are reading about no character development are dead on. There is no way to get attached to any of the characters minus a few. I really wanted Sokka to be a reflection of his animated self but he's stiff and stern the entire 15 minutes of screen time he gets. Katara and Ang really have no real relationship in the film and you wonder how someone would just leave to chase a kid after knowing them for 10 min. Speaking of Ang, he looks the part, but he doesn't act it. I think he smiles in flashbacks only and in "real time" he's moping around. The never get into the significance of the "avatar state" at all in the movie. You'd think someone would ask a kid why his head and eyes glow. None of the other benders "glow" so you'd think Katara and Sokka would at least be somewhat curious about why this was occurring... it made sense in the series, and it was a huse part of the trilogy, so maybe Shyamalan's waiting for the next movie... if it ever gets made. I actually really enjoyed the Zuko/Uncle relationship and feel that they pulled off their relationship with a bang. Zuko's adaption to the big screen was probably the best in the movie. I can see them not going with the Goro look that he sports in the cartoon, but they did justice to the scar nicely even though in the promos it's hardly noticeable. Uncle didn't look anything like the animated character, but his personality was there. I dug the actor choice here... really. He's a bad-ass as you come to find out later in the film. Gen. Zao was o.k. we was a douche just like in the cartoon, but in the movie they kill him, which is still making me scratch my head. There really was no need for him to get the axe. They even pull the deal where he's been beaten, told he's all alone and then some randos come in a kill him to nail the point home... it was lame. In a nutshell, the character development really, really, really sucked. Bad. Storyline wise I've read that the film is just a bunch of important mashed scenes from the cartoon... which is absolutely correct. Picture yourself sitting at home with your remote skipping through the filler and that's essentially what the movie is. The problem was that they skipped too much. This movie needed to be AT LEAST another hour to really do it any justice. I honestly think book 1 couldn't be told in 90 min., which is the big reason it sucked so bad. Like other Shyamalan movies, the acting is stiff and forced, especially Ang and Katara. You really need to see it to really understand it, but looking at Marky-Mark from the happening is idea I'm trying to stress, but actually worse. I'm still pissed about Sokka... just wanted to restate that. The cinematography was great as Shyamalan pulled off the look of the series with flying colors. I have to admit though that the bending CGI was spotty at times and I was hoping for a little more. When and if you see the movie, you'll know what I mean. Appa and Momo were just "there" and were way underused, but they did look good. Now that I think about it, I don't even think that they named Momo... he was just a "lemur-bat" that popped out of nowhere. Back to the point, without seeing the series the movie is a mess as far as story goes. I obviously knew what the hell was going on since I've seen the series, but from the point of a new viewer I would be lost and pissed as hell. This movie is a long montage within a montage plainly put. The trio of heroes bounce from point to point every 5 minutes for about 20 min. of the movie with overlay text letting you know where they are. It's so rushed that you are constantly trying to figure out what time frame this is happening in. They reference things like, "I'll be back in a day," or "where have you been for 4 days?" but it seems like Katara and Sokka meet Ang and are fighting the Fire Nation and the Northern Water City in under a week’s time. The Fire Lord played by Cliff Curtis is actually alright. He seems like a menacing dick in the movie, so that's cool I guess... even though we never meet him until book 3 in the series, but whatever. They do actually stay pretty true to the story of the series though. Everything that is essentially in there is from the series and they did a good job about not changing things like most Hollywood adaptions do. The moon and ocean spirit are still fish and one of them die and the white haired chick dies. Sokka cries and is a wreck even though I don't understand why since he just met this chick who he had the hots for. I know that it's implied that they "get to know each other" but the problem is we don't see any of it. Ever. The film makers are doing a lot of a "just go with it" approach during this movie, so be ready for it. I really wanted Ang to turn into the water fish-thing at the end, but he didn't. He just stands on top of the barrier wall and creates a huge tsunami and hangs it over all the fire ships and they turn tail and run. End of conflict. Katara never gets anointed Ang's water bending teacher and doesn't have the showdown with the old water bender teacher from the North which really pissed me off since that relationship is key in book 2. While they really kept what they put in true to form, they left way too much out like I stated earlier. It makes the story weak and lackluster. You never give a shit about anyone because, A. you don't really know them, and B. they leave out a lot of the little details that made the series so great. I really wanted to like this, I really did. I wanted Ang to be spunky and fun, use his "air-ball thing," and hit on Katara. I wanted Sokka to crack jokes, be a punch line other than off screen, which happens twice, and be more present, and while this may be me being picky, I wanted the bending to be cooler. I wanted these guys, especially Ang, to be Jedi-like when bending. I seemed like it took them a minute of pulling of a ritual mating dance to build a bending move. It was slow and unimpressive most of the time, and when you see it, you'll know what I mean. Overall, the movie sucks pretty bad and I'll be really surprised if any sequels are made. The really hacked this one and while I'm glad I saw it, I won't ever need to see it again. The series is where it's at. Well, at least it wasn't as bad as Battlefield Earth. The Gleas P.S. - "Signs" is a bomb-ass movie.

  • July 2, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Don't you all understand? THAT WAS THE TWIST! :D

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Popular epic animated series translated into live-action snorefest. M. Night's a GENIUS! :)

  • July 2, 2010, 12:31 a.m. CST

    And TheGleas...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    No one's going to read your 5000-word treatise on the movie, unless you put some paragraph breaks in there.<p>Try using < p > (minus the spaces) when you want to start a new paragraph. Thanks. :)

  • July 2, 2010, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Every movie this fucker makes

    by Rectal Blowout

    is shittier then the one prior.

  • July 2, 2010, 3:32 a.m. CST

    The twist: the cunt STILL gets to shoot a 100-million dollar mov

    by JackPumpkinhead

    You'll see. Why does that happen, I wonder? In the 80s or 90s, if you sank a single project - not to mention a franchise - you were gone. Just ask Fred Dekker. But with this shithead, he only gets bigger projects the more he destroys. It's like he's a corrupt judge or a dirty FBI agent - they just keep promoting him the more dirt is uncovered...

  • July 2, 2010, 4:21 a.m. CST

    the problem with Netflix streaming

    by The_Crimson_King

    is that it looks like shit, all pixelated as hell, it didn't use to be like that though, anyone know how to fix that?

  • July 2, 2010, 12:11 p.m. CST

    to The Gleas thank you, Awesome review !!

    by paulyd30

    The one thing my son said when I told him they were making the movie from the cartoon was "I hope they make Ang and Saka funny like they did in the cartoon" In other words incorporate the humor of the series into the movie. Since M night f-nutts has no sense of humor, it sounds like he totally f-upped this movie that could have been Iron Man 1 funny and Good. This movei could have been so good with a decent director. To bad becuse the cartoon series is really special and should be seen by all. Also you need to take Capones place on this site for reviewing movies becuse his review sucked balls.He didnt even take the time to watch any of the source material what a douche bag.

  • July 2, 2010, 12:42 p.m. CST

    THe AICN title for this review should had been...

    by AsimovLives

    "MASSAWYRM BENDED FOR AIRBENDER AND CAME WITH A SORE ASS"

  • July 2, 2010, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Ever see the extra-features on the Unbreakable disc?

    by Darth Macchio

    There's an early movie made my M. (why do we call this guy "Night"? His fucking name is "M." just like in James Bond!)<p>Anyway....he's got one of those remote controlled trucks with a halloween mask strapped around it and it's moving along the floor like it's supposed to be a decapitated head moving of it's own volition.<p>Though I haven't and won't see this movie (not knowing the show I'm "meh" on it) I'm guess with all of the negative reaction that it's likely "M."'s first film might be a more well made and self-realized triumph of youth cinema.

  • July 6, 2010, 7:22 a.m. CST

    too bad no one answered my question

    by The_Crimson_King

    geuss I'll have to ask elsewhere

  • July 10, 2010, 1:15 a.m. CST

    A Clip From The Movie

    by Sidepocket

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwccNqklC_k Yes the entire movie is this bad, I've seen it for free and I want my money back. THAT'S HOW BAD IT IS! :(