Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Last Airbender: The Largest Conspiracy Since the Moon Landing

About two weeks ago I made a post on my personal website about how I didn't think "The Last Airbender" could possibly be as bad as the critics were saying. I compiled a list of movies with better ratings on Rotten Tomatoes' freshness meter. A list of movies that critics were more likely to agree are better than M. Night Shyamalan's latest flick. I said that it is hard for me to comprehend that a movie could be worse than "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," which happens to be my absolute zero when it comes to movies. It is impossible for movies to go any lower and everything is freezes by the time it gets there. Transformers 2 is flawed on so many fundamental levels, I find it unwatchable. I talk about it a lot, but it's one of the few times I am not exaggerating or joking around. I really loath that movie.

But this isn't a write up for Transformers, it's a write up for The Last Airbender. Like I explained, I didn't think there was any way this movie could be as bad as people said. I saw the movie today and I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong... but this is not one of those times. Was Airbender a great movie? No. Was it a wretched demon of a film that will eat your soul and then defecate in your now empty husk of a body? Not even close.

I'm not sure what movie all these critics were watching, but it wasn't the same one I saw today. I have heard rumbling for years that M. Night isn't very good at making friends. He has quite a few people that tell stories of not having a good experience with him either on the set or in an interview. That's fine. Sometimes assholes make good artist. It's a fact that has been time tested. But you can't blackball a decent movie just because you don't like the guy that made it. Especially when there have been a lot of movies that have came out recently that are worse than Airbender. This seems to me a clear cut case of "critics be hatin'." Don't take my word on it, in fact, don't take anyone's word on it. Check it out sometime and decide for yourself.

In my opinion The Last Airbender is a decent movie. The plot makes sense, the acting was at least passable most the time, the special effects had some cool moments and it was overall not hard on the eyes. There were some times when the acting fell flat or was slightly hammed up, but it didn't ruin the movie for me. The dialog wasn't artistic, but got the point across. The plot moved forward and there was never any question why characters were doing what they were doing. There was never a point where you asked yourself "Why did the Decepticons need to kidnap Sam's parents and take them to the desert?" ARGH! NO! NO MORE TRANSFORMERS!!!!

Anyways, this movie isn't going to change how we look at the cinema and the only reason people might study it in years to come is to learn about how the bias of critics can completely slag an otherwise mediocre film. I personally enjoyed it and am sad that I might not get to see how this story unfolds on the big screen.

Now, I think it's safe to say I am not the intended audience for this film. This movie is targeted towards a younger audience. My showing wasn't packed, but there were a lot more people there than I thought would be. There were quite a few younger pre-teen kids there. What did they think of the movie? Well, a couple of them were mimicking the tai-chi like moves the characters did when "bending" the elements. They really seemed to enjoy it even if Roger Ebert didn't.

Lastly, the race issue. Get over it. There were people that flipped out when a tongue in cheek campaign was started to get a black comedian casted as Peter Parker. These people were of the strong feeling that Peter Parker couldn't be black simply because he was never black before. There were many, myself included, that called those people racist. Maybe not conciously, but they were racist all the same. My answer remains the same. If you think these characters, that from totally fictional lands can only be played by actors of a certain race, you're a racist. There is quite a deal of racial diversity through out the cast and people from common regions seem to share heritage. That's enough for me.

Frankly, to my eyes, Aang doesn't even look "Asian" as some people have said. His attire does look to be influenced by some Asian cultures, but he actually looks pretty Caucasian to me. Also, he can't be Asian because there is no Asia in this fictional world.

Anyways, I give the movie a 3 out of 5. If there's nothing else to watch, you might enjoy this. If you're under the age of 15, you might really enjoy it.

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