The Who2 Blog

The L.A. Times Goes Meh on ‘Airbender’

As you can see from their subheadline, the Los Angeles Times wasn’t very excited about the new fantasy thriller from film director M. Night Shyamalan.

The arrow on the kid’s head represents the direction of Shyamalan’s career.


I liked The Sixth Sense. Others did, too — it brought in $294 million at the U.S. box office (it had a $55 million budget). I liked the idea of Unbreakable, and I liked Samuel L. Jackson, but the movie lacked a certain something. It cost $75 million and made $95 million.

The first time I saw Signs I was a little disappointed, but now I enjoy it. It has some genuinely scary parts and Joaquin Phoenix does a great job. It had a good return at the box office, bringing in $228 million (it cost $72 million to make).

Shyamalan’s next three films were a drag.

The Village didn’t hold any surprises, and it was downright embarrassing to watch Adrien Brody prancing around like an idiot. At least it made a little money, $114 million for a cost of $72 million. Lady in the Water was also a snore, and it only brought in about half of what it cost to make ($42 million for a budget of $75 million — ouch!). And The Happening, well, it wasn’t much of one. It had a much smaller budget ($48 million), but it only brought in $65 million, and half of that was the opening weekend.

Maybe the L.A. Times is wrong about The Last Airbender being uninspired. Maybe it’s a great movie. I’ll probably never find out. I don’t need to see a dumbed down M. Night Shyamalan movie.

My colleague, Mr. Holznagel, especially hates the name The Last Airbender. He writes:

“Some other titles I would have preferred: The Last Mystical Horsepile or The Last CGI Adventure Until the Next One.”

He goes on: “Or, oh, whatever.  I don’t even know why I get worked up about it.  It’s not like the ‘Great Quest starring a youngster that kids can identify with’ is a new thing in storytelling.  I guess I could get equally worked up that Puss In Boots is derivative of Jack and the Beanstalk. I don’t object to a rip-off, which is a standard form of commerce, but I do object to being told that Bac-O-Bits are filet mignon.”

I think he meant to say, “don’t give me Bac-O-Bits and tell me it’s raining.”

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