Jul 1, 2010

So Glad I Don't Have To See*: The Last Airbender

"An astute industry analyst of my acquaintance, who is 9 and an admirer of the Nickelodeon animated series on which the movie is based, offered a two-word diagnosis of its commercial prospects on the way out of the theater: “They’re screwed.” — A. O. Scott's review of The Last Airbender, NYT
The name alone makes me laugh every time I hear it: Airbender. Why would anyone call a movie that? Especially a movie about a bald child. I'm relieved, though. The same way I'm relieved when a drunk hits bottom, or a child finally yanks that wobbly tooth. At last. The misery is over. So more delusion, no more false optimism, no more big-headedness, no more bluster, no more "I've-figured-out-Spielberg's-Secret". Finito.

And yet I couldn't disagree more with this:

Vulture: Have you read the reviews for The Last Airbender?
M. Night Shyamalan: No, I haven't.
Vulture: Well, are you aware of the reviews?
Shyamalan: No, actually.
Vulture: Well, for the most part, critics have not been kind. Are you just ignoring them? Will you read them this weekend? Have you just not had time?
Shyamalan: Are you saying that in general they didn't dig it?
Vulture: In general, no.
What is the point? Besides the thrill of being rude and the bragging rights that follow? Yuck. An appalling interaction.

*An occasional column about movies that me happy not to be a critic anymore, conceived partly in response to the complaint "but you haven't even
seen it." Exactly.


  1. The same way I'm relieved when a drunk hits bottom, or a child finally yanks that wobbly tooth.

  2. Why not hold writers and directors to account? If they sell a product, and give interviews designed to promote that product after it's been released, I think it's entirely fair to ask if some of the year's worst reviews can prompt any sort of self-reflection at all.

    Besides, any sympathy I might have for him vanished when, in that same article, he defended and talked up the by all accounts awful 3D conversion, which charges customers more for a demonstrably lesser experience.

  3. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

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