Okay this video is a bit old but the lovely folks at io9 posted it yesterday and since I just started watching Avatar: The Legend Of Korra, it reawakened all my The Last Airbender trauma. I am astounded by Shyamalan’s ability to defend what was, in my opinion, one of the most egregious on-screen atrocities in recent memory. I’m not over-stating. The source material is that good and Shyamalan’s effort that egregiously bad. In this interview, M. Night claims “I’ve always had a European sensibility to my movies so that pacing is, like a little bit off for them and it feels a little bit stilted and they need more electricity.” To be fair. That’s rather diplomatic. He could have said that the American audience is comprised of a bunch of slack-jawed, drooling idiots who need their brains zapped by the cattle prod of “splodey boom” action every few minutes or they’ll get too bored. Come for the delusions, stay for the endearingly racist Japanese accent.
Did you like the part where Shyamalan claimed the reason his films are so unapproachably “European” is because “Hitchcock and Kurosawa and Stanley Kubrick these are my teachers.” You know, Stanley Kubrick, that famous European. Now I’m not trying to re-write history. I drank deeply of the Shyamalan kool-aid when Sixth Sense came out. (Saw it three times in the theaters.) I’d still argue that Mischa Barton Vomiting is one of the scariest moments in film history. I’m a fan of Unbreakable, a staunch defender of the problematic Signs and am even moved by some scenes The Village. But I’m inclined to give a lot of the credit there to Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard and some well-placed mist because, boy howdy, is The Village dumb.
But things just got worse from there, didn’t they? To the point where when I saw the trailer for 2010’s Devil in the theater, the whole crowd erupted in a chorus of hiss-boo-laughter at the “Story By M. Night Shyamalan” credit. So, yeah, when the guy gets asked in an interview “what’s up with the bad reviews,” he is, of course, going to defend himself. I get that. And making a bad movie or two? That could happen to anyone. But bungling something so good as the Avatar series? That’s unforgivable. This is one of the richest, most delightful stories in recent television memory. Forget that it’s a cartoon. It’s really that good. And Korra? Oh Korra is the best. It’s the second coming of Buffy The Vampire Slayer I’ve been waiting for. The new season premieres tomorrow night on Nickelodeon, and I can’t recommend it enough.
In the meantime, never forget what Shyamalan has done. Nor that he’s threatening us with an Airbender sequel. His sins are many. These are but a few.
Because It Was The Trees…Oh God…The Trees
Narfs? Narfs?! NARFS!?!
Crimes Against Adrien Brody
All Of This. Just. All Of It.