Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bend Over


And now as a service to you, the moviegoing public, Deus Ex Malcontent is pleased to provide a few select excerpts from various reviews of the new M. Night Shyamalan masterpiece, The Last Airbender.

Please, you enjoy:

"Not since Kyle MacLachlan's whispered voice-overs about the worm and the spice and the worm IS the spice in Dune has a fantasy franchise tripped all over itself trying, simply, to please a fan base while creating a new one."

-- Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune

"With (his) formula having reached the point of diminishing returns several movies ago -- certainly by the ludicrous "Lady in the Water," if not all the way back to "Unbreakable" -- Shyamalan has now sought therapy for his addiction, in the form of making the most thoroughly predictable story you can imagine... the results are clunky even by his recent standards.

-- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon

"The Last Airbender is like a Care Bears movie that got waylaid in the fourth dimension. It’s insufferably silly."

-- Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor

"Please, Hollywood, if there's to be another Airbender movie, hand the job to some efficient hack, and not to a once mesmerizing artist who's lost his way."

-- Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

"M. Night Shyamalan's big-screen live-action version of the popular Nickelodeon animated TV series constitutes a form of Chinese water torture."

-- Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal

"MacGruber and Jonah Hex can relax. This is without doubt the summer's movie nadir, the grossest waste of somebody's money to create (and people to view) that we'll endure."

-- Steve Persall, The St. Petersburg Times

"If you thought it was bad when writer-director M. Night Shyamalan was channeling Rod Serling, wait till you see him try to be George Lucas."

-- Joe Neumaier, The New York Daily News

"This is bad filmmaking and bad storytelling. It also sounds what should be the death knell to M. Night Shyamalan's career."

-- James Berardinelli, Reelviews

"From the opening moments, you know you are fucking doomed."

-- Brian Prisco, Pajiba

And my personal favorite:

"The current national priorities should be as follows: reduce carbon emissions and stop funding the films of M. Night Shyamalan."

-- Cliff Doerksen, The Chicago Reader

Rotten Tomatoes: The Last Airbender: 8%



And lest we forget where my love affair with M. Night first started -- at what point I first looked into those big, brown eyes and thought, "Jesus, what a raging douche.":

DXM: Welcome To My M. Nightmare/6.12.08

12 comments:

byroniceye said...

I liked Charlie's summation over at io9.com: Hero's-Journey bukkake.

Eric said...

I have never understood the popular/critical love affair with this hack.

The Sixth Sense was a movie where if you guessed the "twist" during the first fifteen minutes, the rest of the movie was a tedious, crashing, awful bore. Unbreakable is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, thanks in part to a priceless scene where Bruce Willis loses a fistfight with a pool cover, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant to be a comedy. I have to admit I never saw any of Shymalan's films after that--but Sense and Unbreakable were the only two to get good reviews, so what does that tell you?

So I'm a little put off by the critics seeming surprised that a crappy director has made what is apparently a crappy movie, or that they're putting this down to being part of some kind of "streak" when, as far as I'm concerned, the "streak" is MNS' entire oeuvre. When Robot Chicken turned random appearances of a Shymalan doll exclaiming "What a tweeeest!" into a running gag it was probably the first time I'd seen anyone in the mass culture get it right.

The guy's a hack. An utter fucking hack.

I mean, by comparison take The Usual Suspects for a second: even when you know the tweeeest it's still a fucking incredible movie that works as a heist caper built around Gabriel Byrne's charisma and Kevin Spacey's devious performance. And a lot of it is the fact that Bryan Singer actually knows how to make a good movie, as opposed to a mediocre or even bad movie that's betting everything on the audience getting wowed in the third act by a tweeeeest that Rod Serling would've passed up unless he just had a deadline he wasn't going to make otherwise. ("Wait--I've got to write fifteen more Twilight Zone scripts by Tuesday to make the production schedule?!? Fuck it, call Dick Matheson and Chuck Beaumont and tell 'em they owe me five teleplays each while I grind out some crap about a dead guy who doesn't know he's dead... speaking of which, call those French guys who did the 'Owl Creek Bridge' short and tell 'em we're buying the broadcast rights from 'em.")

Sorry: am I on a rant? Yes I am. Because I fucking hate M. Night Shymalan. The man is a bloody hack and his career should have ended ten years ago, and almost all the critics who are pounding Airbender now probably ought to shut up because it's at least partly their fault Unbreakable wasn't a straight-to-SciFi's-Saturday-Night-Movie release instead of a fucking feature. If they'd noticed how inept a filmmaker he was in the mid '90s maybe MNS would be drinking Sterno in a gutter already, the fucker.

VOTAR said...

This is a shame, because I really wanted to see this movie, and I really wanted to like it. Its source material is rather clever for a kid's animated show.

Oh well.

doc said...

"The Last Airbender" is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.

-Ebewrt

Busayo said...

As far as I'm concerned, there's already an Airbender movie. It was made up of the last four episodes of the AMAZING cartoon series. If only one good thing comes from this, it's that people will look up the original series and enjoy it.

As for the racefail involved in the casting choice of this movie, this article pretty much sums up why it's such an issue:

http://splinterend.tumblr.com/post/749364670/facepainting

Chez said...

I know I already gave out the award a few days ago, but maybe I can make a distinction between e-mail and posted response -- because, Eric, man, you so need to get Comment of the Week.

Anonymous said...

in 20 years he becomes Ed Wood Jr.

Anon said...

What a twist! *long sigh*

I'm a closet fan of the cartoon series, and despite M. Night. promises to the fans and co-creators of the show, he done nothing but harm to our beloved show.

I watched a clip of the anti-hero/villian Zuko and female lead Katara fighting and there's no emotion. There's no passion.
M. Night took two of the most complicated characters of the story who put all of their strength and feelings into what they do and gave them the personality of driftwood.

I just hope no studio green lights the two sequels that were planned out of Seasons 2 and 3 of the show.

At least Harry Potter 7 is still coming.

Becky said...

My personal favorite from Pajiba... "In fact, Shyamalan went out of his way to suck any and all life out of the original material, like a Twihard horking feathers as she chews through her Cullenpillow."

Given the absolute brilliance of the Last Airbender series and what Shyamalan did with it, I'm hoping and praying that this is the end for him.

kanye said...

Jesus Eric,

It's almost as if you couldn't decide whether to use a scalpel or a baseball bat, so you just went ahead and used both.

That was beautiful, Man. Definitely linky-viral worthy.

Jester said...

"This negativity just makes me stronger, man. We are beloved in Belgium! We will not retreat! This band is unstoppable!"
-- M Night, or Cliff Poncier in Singles, I can't remember which.

Le Penseur said...

This is not M. Night's fault. It is the fault of the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It has been evident for years that he's a hack; they should never have let him anywhere near a project that they wanted to succeed. Maybe they're pulling a Bialystock or something.