Last Airbender: Worst film of 2010… so far?

As pointed out by numerous sites including Slashfilm.com M. Night Shamalan’s latest film THE LAST AIRBENDER is the worst reviewed film of 2010 so far.  So much for a comeback from the suspense director in a new genre.

When I first heard that Shamalan was going to adapt the anime series into a film I thought he was producing, it’s not “his kind of film” I thought to direct. After thinking about it I could see this being his way to ‘come back’ from his last few films that many felt were a disaster.  I guess I was wrong.

The first nail in the coffin I saw coming was the news that it was suddenly going to be in 3D. Since it wasn’t shot that way it meant only one thing: Post Production Conversion.  This failed misriblely with the remake of Clash of the Titans (although it being a badly made film didn’t help it either – If you haven’t read the VERY interesting article about how that film got ruined, check out the article at CHUD.COM – The Version of Clash Of The Titans You Didn’t See) and most people didn’t have high hopes for this conversion either.

On RottenTomatoes this morning the film stood at a devistating 9% positive reviews out of 98 reviews with little hope of that number going up.

The choice quotes have to be:

“…constitutes a form of Chinese water torture in which tin-ear line-readings take the place of drips.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“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

and of course:

“The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.” – Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

and the postive reviews seem to run either in the realm of “I want to see my name/website in print since I’ll be one of the only rave reviews” or a few back-handed ‘good’ reviews like this:

“He hasn’t mastered the craft yet, but M. Night Shyamalan may be on to something with this action-movie thing.” -Scott Bowles  USA Today

The sad part is that in interviews Shyamalan is still talking about the two sequels he’s going to make.

The other sad thing is that the year is far from over and there’s plenty of room for Hollywood to release an even bigger bomb. Can you say “Green Hornet”?

[UPDATE] : The US box office numbers came out monday night for the 4 day holiday weekend and to my amazement, the film made about 53 million dollars showing in 3,169 theatres.  I might have to take back my snarky comment about sequels in the works but the bottom line is that I’ve seen reported around that the film had a budget of 150 million dollars and I’ll bet big money the film’s take next weekend is 20-30% of this weekend’s.  We’ll see.

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