I’m So Bored I Am Hoping For M Night’s Come To Jesus Moment
M. Night Shymalan needs to be stopped. I’m biased, though, because I like him. He’s an earnest fellow, obviously pours his heart into his projects, and he both films in and reps the Philadelphia area. I thoroughly enjoyed The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, his first major directorial offerings. I even appreciated The Village to a certain extent, despite the hokey nature of the ‘villain’ in the movie.
However, Lady in the Water and The Happening were so tragically poor that they should’ve destroyed Mr. Shymalan’s career. Beyond horrible writing combined with lame story afflicted both, but at least Lady in the Water had Paul Giamatti as the lead. The Happening was a farce, except the director didn’t know it. Lawnmowers are alive!!! AHHH!!!
This brings me to The Last Airbender. Sigh. It was a fun anime cartoon for both children and adults and certainly could’ve make the jump to the big screen. However, it’s currently being destroyed by critics, and let me let the living legend Roger Ebert lay out why:
As “The Last Airbender” bores and alienates its audiences, consider the opportunities missed here. (1) This material should have become an A-list animated film. (2) It was a blunder jumping aboard the 3D bandwagon with phony 3D retro-fitted to a 2D film. (3) If it had to be live action, better special effects artists should have been found. It’s not as if films like “2012” and “Knowing” didn’t contain “real life” illusions as spectacular as anything called for in “The Last Airbender.”
I close with the hope that the title proves prophetic.
Shymalan must be stopped. He obviously can write a good story; take his first couple efforts. So what’s gone wrong? He needs someone to pick up his small frame and shake the shit out of him until he says ‘OK!’ and agrees to direct something which he doesn’t also write. He also needs to have someone with which to collaborate, someone to bounce good ideas off and to nix horrendous ones. Finally, LISTEN TO YOUR CRITICS! Yes, an artist should do what he feels is correct, but when something is so roundly shat upon, one must reflect and look inward. I’m one of his biggest fans, someone genuinely rooting for him and trying to love his movies, and even I can’t defend his last three movies. Sadness overcomes me.
Plus, what’s with all the white people in The Last Airbender? Can’t he give an (Asian) brother a break?!