Look, I'm not a huge fan of this guy. And the rumor mill makes him seem kind of a dick and a huge ego maniac. However, he has made some amazing films. Sixth Sense is amazing. And Unbreakable is just as quiet and beautiful as you remember it.
Signs is a great popcorn flick.
The Village however, is where the turn happened. For every great directorial choice there was, an odd one followed it. And his "twist" ending became cliche. So, he stopped himself. And made a direct line of attack on the critics.
And we got "Lady in the Water." There was no subtly to this film. It was a direct line into M. Night's brain. And man, did we see the ego maniac. But, he has some points to make... in years when the big blockbusters were remakes, re-imaginings, comic books, children's books - there was hardly an original blockbuster to be seen... in fact, I could be wrong, but I think in the year that Lady in the Water came out (or it might of been The Village), it was the ONLY original tent pole film. And it might of been the only one that wasn't a sequel...
I give him credit for playing the studio system and being able to continue making films, his films - and not reduce to remakes.
Then The Happening. Yikes. I'm still chewing on that one. It wasn't good. But, then - it was... it was just - it was really odd. Especially the over acting... something that wasn't a trademark of his films... I just didn't get it.
And then, The Last Airbender.
My ex introduced me to this show. And it is amazing. One of the best TV shows, period. Not just a good kid's show, but an incredibly well plotted, well told, emotional, funny - fantastic show.
The movie - was just what any adaptation usually is.
A plot to plot, no character development adaptation.
See: Harry Potter 1 & 2, The Golden Compass, The 2 Naria flicks and most plain ol' adaptations. Now, once in a while you'll get A Dark Knight or Lord of the Rings but to be honest, Batman Begins isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Adaptations of amazing works are usually just a greatest hits album. You hit the fine points and you move on. You get to see The Whomping Willow. The Wardrobe. The big fight.
The Last Airbender was alright. Not amazing, but by no means terrible. It was just a paint by numbers adaptation. An average C rated film... Sure, there was a lot of humor removed from the film, something I think people missed but it's hard to get that animated humor from a cartoon on a live action screen.
However, there were some great moments, too.
This brings me to something I just don't understand... 8%?????
On Rotten Tomatoes. ARE YOU SERIOUS!? Did you guys see this film? I mean, I just don't get it. I'd understand 60. Or 50... There's nothing wrong with this film. Nothing new... it's not an 94% film like the Dark Knight. But it by no means deserves an 8%...
And this makes me believe people just are so cynical nowadays that they just go into a movie and decide before hand... how many people already believe Inception is the best film of the year... (I do). And how many people didn't see The Killers but know it's one of the worst?
I've learned a lesson here - and decided that I will reserve judgement until I've seen a movie.
This doesn't mean I'm going to see you The Killers, not to be confused with Stanley Kubrick's Killers which is amazing... but seriously, go in, get some popcorn and see one of the few good films this summer season... a SFX heavy mythic adventure in The Last Airbender.
Oh - and Knight and Day - is fun. The Tom Cruise hate is also old and tiresome.