Friday, October 26, 2012

Film Friday: The Village (2004)

I wanted to like The Village so much. After The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and even Signs, M. Night Shyamalan had won me over, even if his films weren’t as well received by the public as they should have been. But The Village never worked. It started well, but it fell apart quickly and it just kept getting worse.

** heavy spoiler alert **
The Plot
The Village is an odd story about a group of people who live in a village surrounded by a vast forest. The film appears to take place in the 1880s or in a world where humanity has been reduced to the technological and cultural level of the 1880s. Indeed, these people have no modern machinery, no cars, no electricity and no modern medicine. They also dress like Mennonite farmers and they talk like caricatures of the 1880s. The story centers around Ivy Elizabeth Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard), who can best be described as Tom Sawyer in a dress. Ivy is the daughter of the village leader Edward Walker (William Hurt), and she is blind.
As the story begins, we are told that the forest is controlled by evil creatures the villagers call “Those We Do Not Speak Of.” These creatures wear red cloaks and look something like wild boars. And apparently, there is some truce which involves the villagers staying out of the forest so the monsters won’t raid the village. But then there is an attack. In the meantime, a love story has arisen between Ivy and Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix). Lucius wants to brave the forest to get medicine from some nearby town to stop children from dying from common illnesses. The village elders forbid this. But then Lucius gets stabbed by Noah Percy (Adrien Brody), a retarded man. He is dying. So the elders decide to let Ivy venture to the town to get medicine to save him. That’s when the “big” secret gets revealed.
The Problems
Like I said, I wanted to like this film a lot. And the beginning of the film has a neat vibe to it that does present you with an interesting world that pulls you into the story, even if the dialog feels oddly stilted. Soon, however, the plot falls off the rails. And the reason it does this is because Shyamalan couldn’t decide what he really wanted to make. Did he want a horror movie? A romance? A tale of evil? A psychological thriller? Yeah, sort of.

The ultimate problem with The Village is that Shyamalan never picks a single genre which will drive the film. Instead, the film meanders between genres. By failing to pick a dominant genre, Shyamalan ends up creating a film which dabbles in several genres but never does any of them effectively. For example, the idea of the creatures in the woods is truly terrifying. And when they first appear, you really do get the makings of a heck of a horror movie. But that idea resolves itself without ever delivering a real bang. The romance between Ivy and Lucius starts well enough as well. You like both characters and you see how their relationship will ultimately prove to be satisfying once they overcome the obstacles in their path. This is a classic romantic premise and you feel like you are on your way to an exceptional romance. But that never goes anywhere either.

Both of these storylines basically stop when Lucius gets stabbed. At that point, a new storyline begins which asks whether or not the people who created the village have done something truly evil to the kids who are stuck in the village. But frustratingly, the film never delves into that either. It sets it up and it spends a few minutes batting the idea back and forth, but before this issue can be explored to any degree, the film shifts to Ivy walking through the woods to save Lucius.

This is a storytelling disaster. At each phase, you are presented with a story that you instinctively know has been very well setup and could be a great story – a horror film, a romance, and psychological thriller/tale of evil. But each time, right after the setup, the film cuts off that storyline and starts a new one. Thus, you get a horror film which becomes a romance before it unleashes any horror, and the romance becomes a psychological thriller before it give you any romantic payoff, and the psychological thriller morphs into “blind girl walking through the woods” before the issues are even fully established. This is highly frustrating.
For one thing, this wastes all the investment in the horror and romance storylines because they prove meaningless to the story. For another, the blind girl walking through the woods is the weakest storyline, so focusing on that is a huge mistake. Moreover, if anything in this film could be called a common theme, it is the storyline questioning whether or not the adults have been justified in their deceptions. That is the only storyline that really is relevant in each part of the film. BUT, once their deception is revealed, i.e. right when you expect the payoff to this story, the film shifts to blind girl walks through the woods, and all the questions that were raised by the actions of the adults get dropped, if they even got asked. This is like watching the first two thirds of a Twilight Zone only to have the last third be replaced by something from another drama. It’s completely unsatisfying.

Further, this structure undermines the big twist Shyamalan drops at the end. When the blind girl makes it through the forest, we suddenly learn the BIG secret about the adults. This secret is meant to shock the audience and to cast everything the audience has seen in a new light. But because this relates to the storyline which was already dropped by the time the secret is revealed, it lacks punch. A twist simply won’t work when it doesn’t relate to the story that is on people’s minds at the moment, and when this twist arises, the only thing the audience is left with is “girl walking through the woods.” Each of the other stories ended by that point.
Mixing genres is one of the hardest things to do in storytelling. Unless you really are an expert in both genres and you are a talented enough storyteller to bring those two storylines together seamlessly, then what you end up with is a story that is neither fish nor fowl and satisfies no one. Shyamalan’s problem is in the mixing. Indeed, his problem isn’t that he couldn’t have told a horror story, a romance, or a psychological thriller. Clearly he could, as each of these started quite promisingly. But rather than weave them together to create one overall film, he just runs them in series and cuts them off when he needs to start the next one. Thus, you end up with three partial stories and one complete story, none of which satisfy. Had Shyamalan actually brought them all together, The Village might have been his best film. Instead, it was just another Shyamalan film that didn’t live up to the hype.

54 comments:

shawn said...

My biggest problem with the film is that I correctly guessed the ending based off of watching the trailer alone.

I liked many aspects of the film, (the acting, a nice erie sense of dread) but was really hoping that the horror/supernatural elements would turn out to be real.

In the end, I would give it a weak recommendation.

tryanmax said...

Still better than The Happening.

ScottDS said...

Still better than The Happening.

What? No! :-)

Like shawn above, I pretty much had the twist figured out before I saw the film. I think by this time, Shyamalan was his own worst enemy and people went to the film expecting a twist, which might be the worst possible scenario. It's not really a surprise if you're expecting one, and some folks spend the whole movie looking for clues that they can't sit back and enjoy the story on its own merits.

The music and camerawork were excellent and actors like Brendan Gleeson and William Hurt make everything better. Other than that, I honestly don't remember much else.

This might be the last Shyamalan movie that I could recommend though. Lady in the Water had some interesting ideas (and great music, camerawork, etc.) but at times it felt like they were making it up as they went along, not to mention Shyamalan cast himself as someone who was destined to change the world. Really?! :-)

And then there was The Happening. It was on FX the other night - you might need to review it because there is an interesting discussion to be had there. I still think the original idea is a sound one but better suited to a Twilight Zone episode than full-length film that not even Zoe Deschanel's big beautiful eyes can save. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, I avoided the trailers because I've come to realize that they give too much away. So I went in cold on this one. And for me, the problem was that by the time the twist came around, I just didn't care.

There are a lot of things I really like about this film, but they all fall apart before it's over and that's really the problem. This was story failure.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Isn't that the truth. I've tried to watch The Happening three times now and I just find it utterly horrible in all aspects.

tryanmax said...

Sorry to be the OT guy today. You just really hit on the head exactly what is wrong with The Village. I've only seen it once, in the theater, and by the time the BIG reveal came, I was all like, "Lame!" Since then, I've seen it on TV and have had no urge to watch it again.

Here's a thought: most people would agree that The Village has a stellar cast, yet I don't care to re-watch this movie. Conversely, I will watch anything staring Jason Statham a hundred times.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, He definitely had become his own worst enemy at this point because of the twist thing. He would have been better off doing something completely different before coming back to something like this. But I think this film was doomed because the story just doesn't hold together.

Everything about The Happening was horrid, right down to the intensely wooden Zoe Deschanel. I can't think of a single moment of that film which didn't make me just shake my head. The premise? Ok, I could see that. But nothing about the execution worked except for the one image of the construction workers jumping. Other than that, it was bad acting, bad story, ridiculous dialog, nonsensical plot points, and just all around badness.

I don't know what happened to Shyamalan, but he went from home runs to strikeouts.

As for Lady in the Water, I really dislike that one. I think the film is miscast and the camera work stinks. Moreover, the story is beyond weak. That's another one I just have no desire to ever watch again.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think the difference is that The Village is difficult to watch because it's so serious about itself that it requires you to pay close attention to get anything out of it. In other words, it's a dense film even if it's ultimately got a shallow idea. By comparison, Statham films are easy to watch because you don't really need to pay attention.

Then you add the fact that The Village never pays off, i.e. that it feels frustrating to watch. Why do you want to watch something that only gives you parts of stories?

All of that adds up to make a film which feels like a waste of time but which will demand a lot of your time to watch.

ellenB said...

Like some of the others, I really like a lot of the parts of this film. I thought it was beautifully shot. I love the actors. It had a great feel. The horror started great and the romance worked for me. But halfway through the film it all just fell apart and I think you identify why.

ellenB said...

Other that The Sixth Sense, who is everyone's favorite M. Night film? I like Signs.

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, There is a lot to like here, it just doesn't add up to an enjoyable viewing experience and that's the problem. Sometimes you can enjoy movies that don't work just because they have good parts, but this movie doesn't give you that feeling.

I would agree with Signs as my second favorite.

Alex said...

Very disappointing film, and I'm with you Andrew; I liked Mr. Shyamalan's first three films. Like shawn, I called the "twist" about 20 minutes into the movie.

To answer Ellen B, I'd still say that Unbreakable was my other favorite M. Night Shyamalan film. The only other one I've seen is Lady in the Water, which I thought was pretty weak, despite a good cast. Everything just felt so awkward and stiff, and the story was really, really dumb.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Alex. I was very disappointed in this one, especially because I could see its potential everywhere.

That's a good way to describe Lady In The Water, it was just dumb. It felt like they thought they were doing something profound but the story itself really just never had anything interesting in it.

Unbreakable was quite good.

Individualist said...

The problem I had with the movie was not the mixing of the story lines which may or may not have worked.

** spoiler alert **

It was the eventual premise of how it was set up. The idea was that the lie became reality after the death. No one would ever venture out of the woods. This would have been a cool ironic end but the set up was silly.

They dressed like Mennonites but were anti-capitalist hippies (some of them) and were creating this world on land set up and owned by him. No one would ever remember this and the trust or whatever would keep the land pristine.

But who was doing to pay the property taxes. Someone had to maintain it. The back story was too convoluted for me to ever accept the story line even if it was mixed together right. So I don't know...

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Speaking as a lawyer, I agree. The whole premise struck me as legally impossible since someone would need to pay the taxes and handle the inheritance and that means periodic contact with the outside world. So the secret couldn't be kept very long.

But even moreso, what they've done here is basically kidnapping and yet the film ignores that. They are in effect, a cult who have tricked and brainwashed their kids and yet the film pretends that's ok because they are sorry for not being more truthful. That always struck me as a glaring defect with the ending when the director overlooks something so heinous just to pretend the rest of their story has a happy ending.

T-Rav said...

It's a watchable film but not an engrossing one. That's how I've generally felt about this movie.

The twist is an interesting one, but I felt that by the time it was revealed, you could sort of see it coming. It just didn't seem all that shocking to me--though that could be the "dropped storyline" thing you mentioned.

Patriot said...

I was living in Bucks County PA when "Signs" was filmed, so I have a special bond with that Shyamaln film.

A true story....when the movie started, everyone in the theater clapped and cheered when "Bucks County Pennsylvania" was projected as the first scene.

It really is a great area of the country.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I agree, it's not that the film wasn't watchable, it just wasn't enjoyable. And I completely agree about the twist. In and of itself, that should have been a real shock... but it wasn't. And I think it wasn't because it was obvious by that point that something like this was coming and I think you also stopped caring because the film stopped caring about that plot line by that point.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I have driven through the region, but never lived there and I can say that it certainly is incredibly beautiful.

I enjoyed Signs a lot and I think it was unfairly maligned by the critics. It's a well-shot, well-acted and intelligent film with a neat storyline that keeps your interest upon repeat viewing.

ScottDS said...

I only saw Signs once and, while it's a perfectly good film, it's the damn ending that gets me.

SPOILERS

So aliens land on Earth, a planet consisting of 75% water, yet their weakness... is water? Not to mention the wife's dying last words coming in handy just at the right time. I suppose there's a certain poetry in it, and Gibson sells the hell out of it, but by then I could see the story wheels turning.

At least in Unbreakable, I could kinda buy Sam Jackson as the cause of all those disasters. Anyone crazy enough to fancy himself a "supervillain" in need of a hero obviously has no problem killing innocent people.

PikeBishop said...

Scott, I'm with you on Signs and would like to add my little nit pick.

Spoilers:

You mean to tell me that, clergy man or not, they didn't have a few shotguns or hunting rifles to deal with the odd wolf or fox, on that farm? C'mon!

And that led to them just retreating and retreating in the basement, cowering in fear. If that were my children I would have sharp objects and bludgeons in my hands at all time/

tryanmax said...

Unbreakable is actually my favorite Shyamalan film, even more than Sixth Sense. I can't even rank the rest because all of them feel very strained.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott,

Spoilers

The ending to Signs is a little too tightly wrapped up with everything coming together -- the last words, the baseball bat, the glasses of water everywhere, the asthma. It is too much and the writer should be chastised for it. BUT, it still worked for me because the whole story had a sort of fairy tale quality to it, which let me forgive issues like that.

AndrewPrice said...

Pikebishop, That does seem unlikely, especially for country folk.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I like the first three a lot and then they feel "strained" to me as well. It feels like he did so well at first that he decided he needed to swing for a home run each time thereafter, and he's overreaching time and again.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Andrew, I concur with you outstanding review.
It's just not satisfying and, in the end, a real bummer, like the writer and director just quit trying.

I got the impression Shyamalan was trying to be too smart for his own good.
The first half was good before everything fell apart, and the rest was a mess.

Definitely not a film I wanna waste time rewatching. I'd much rather waste my time watching a Godzilla film (hey, Godzilla is high art, man! Godzilla rocks! And he has personality which redeems the crappy stories and cheap FX).

I liked Signs and Unbreakable as well. Speaking of Gibson, I saw Get The Gringo recently (a straight to DVD release) and I was impressed!

Mel Gibson is a cad when he's drunk but he's still a spectacular actor and director (he didn't direct Get the Gringo).

And let me state the obvious: Mexican prisons are farked up! In every way imaginable!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ben!

I do wonder if he wasn't trying to be too smart. I wonder if he thought that each part ratcheted up the tension/interest enough that people would happily leave the prior segment because the new story pulled them in. And then when the big reveal occurs, the viewer is supposed be totally shocked because they had gotten into each of the prior parts and this changes the complexion of everything?

In any event, it doesn't work and I think the flaw is rather obvious in hindsight. I'm just not sure why it wasn't more obvious in advance?

Gibson definitely has talent. I guess the question is how badly his reputation has been harmed?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I'm guessing his reputation was hurt pretty bad since the film went straight to DVD.

However, I do believe he still has a significant fan base if he manages to not get into anymore embarassing situations and stays off the booze.

I admire that Jodie Foster and Robert Downey have the courage to stick up for him and tell folks he's really an okay guy when he's not drinking.

I hope he continues to stay sober and put out solid performances and films. And continues to get the help he needs, since alcoholism is a high maintenance condition to have.

The stars, directors, etc. that have disowned him strike me as very hypocritical since many of them embrace actors (and a certain director) who have behaved far worse than Gibson has (and they were sober).

No need to list all of them, we know who they are.

tryanmax said...

I just remembered, Shyamalan also wrote & directed The Last Airbender which I thought was pretty good. Definitely not the same type of film as his other work, which I think was his biggest problem.

Anthony said...

My second favorite Shaymalan movie is Unbreakadble. I loved the scene where the guy's kid pointed the gun at him and had to be 'talked down'.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I haven't seen that one, but I know it was mercilessly ridiculed.

I think the best thing he could do at this point, actually, is to do some films that are totally unlike what he's done before.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, At this point, I have no way to judge the effect on his popularity. Given the things other Hollywood stars do without getting rejected by the public, I doubt he hurt himself too much. But it's hard to tell. He had a LOT of goodwill for a very long time and he's probably lost that. But I'm not sure that he actually crossed over into being disliked.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think Unbreakable is full of great moments. I love the scene where he and his son are sharing the newspaper without his wife realizing it.

Anthony said...

I think Gibson's problem is the public. His movies since his meltdowns have been flops. People have done worse and the public has gotten past it, but Michael Richards still has a lot of free time on his hands.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, That could well be. The problem, however, is that the films he's done since his screw ups have all be strange films. If he did another Lethal Weapon type blockbuster and failed, then I would agree. But it's hard for me to judge since none of the films he's done really seems to have much public appeal. I'm not saying that you're wrong, I'm just saying that I find it hard to reach any conclusions. But the evidence does point to you being right.

T-Rav said...

I think part of the problem with Gibson was that he was still taking flak over the alleged anti-Semitism in Passion of the Christ when that famous arrest incident occurred, which seemed to really double down on the charge that he was a Jew-hater. That kind of double whammy is what made it stick in the public mind; and as has been pointed out, his subsequent conduct, and the way it dredged up past offenses, just made it worse.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, True. He had very bad timing, combined with repeat offenses, combined with a history suddenly appearing. All of that is hard to shake off because it forms the pattern that makes it impossible to excuse the one incident as just a drunken rant.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Aye, thae drunken anti-Semitism was the worst thing.
From all accounts, Gibson, when sober is not anti-Semitic at all.
I think the problem is, while growing up Gibson heard a lot of anti-Semitism from hiis father and that stuck in his sub-concious.

Getting drunk releases that stuff but it's not necessarily an indication the drunk person endorses or believes that conciously.

It's like easy going people who get increasingly aggressive when their drunk. That's not what they would ever do while sober.

I had a great Aunt that was the nicest lady in the world when she was sober but when she drank she was a vile jerk.

If Gibson is really anti-Semitic there should be some indication of it when he's sober.
I didn't think The Passion was anti-Semitic. He even toned down the beatings and whippings Christ received, but he did go farther in the realism dept. than any other director before him.

I'm not excusing Gibson's behavior, and I do think he should pay the consequences and be accountable, which is what he has been doing from what I have seen.

As for his films bombing, I concur, Andrew. They have been quite different from his past films.
However, I'm not aware that they are bad.

But I have only seen Apocalypto and Get The Gringo so I cannot say how good his other films are.

Apocalypto was very good, but I think the foreign language turned a lot of people off.

Get the Gringo is closer to what he has done in the past but Gibson didn't direct that one.

The only other film he directed was The Beaver, but I haven't seen that one yet.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I don't know if his films are any good or not, as I haven't watched them. What I really meant was that the films he's done have not been the type of films that garner mass public appeal. So that's a possible reason they have failed, because they aren't like the things he did before which drew audiences in. So for me at least, it's hard to tell if the problem is that he's lost audiences or if he's chosen films that don't attract audiences. It could be either... or both. I tend to think that he's lost his audience, but I can't say that for certain at this point.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Oh, I agree Andrew.
His films haven't been popular fare. Other than The Passion Of The Christ and most of that audience is Christians which, incidently, is the most ignored audience there is among Hollywood's elite.

But nothing since has been popular among most folks.
I do think if Get the Gringo was marketted (I never heard of it until I saw it on Netflix) then we would've seen for sure if Gibson has lost his audience, but since it wasn't it's difficult to say for sure.

Robert Downey had a similar problem for awhile when he was in trouble for drugs and, ironically, it was Gibson that helped him make a comeback.

But folks seem to be more forgiving of drug use than perceived (and possibly real, I don't know) anti-Semiticism or racism.
Time (and Gibson's behavior) will tell.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, If I remember correctly, Get the Gringo was intentionally sent directly to video/pay-per-view. I'm not sure if they couldn't find a normal distributor or what, but they claimed they did that because they thought it was an opportunity to sell directly to the public.

On drugs v. antisemitism, I think it's human nature to forgive over time, but the amount of time depends on the offense and on how it's handled. Gibson didn't handle it well and then he got hit with a series of scandals related to a divorce that made it all worse. My guess is that he will do a comeback film somewhere in 5-10 years and then all will be forgiven.

Tennessee Jed said...

have had a bunch of guests in for the weekend and didn't get to spend much time online. This was not one of his best films to be sure, but I liked it because it was filmed a few miles from my home in Pennsylvania before I moved to Tennessee. I love the score, (great violin) and freely admit I was getting off on seeing some of my neighbors properties so my take on this film was not objective, and my enjoyment was undoubtedly not based on traditional way I judge films.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, It was absolutely a beautiful location, and it was an interesting score. It's too bad the rest didn't work for me.

Anthony said...

I agree much of Gibson's recent work (especially that puppet movie) has been pretty strange, but Edge of Darkness (a Man on Fire/Taken type revenge fantasy) is the type of movie that Gibson fans used to flock to.

Moving back to Shaymalan he just reminds me that the line between idiot and genius can be a fine one..

obiwan2009 said...

If there's anything I have to say about Shylaman's movies well, I would award say that perhaps the absolute worst is The Last Airbender, for the fact that it essentially compresses a huge amount of a TV anime series into about an hour and a half, and it's exclusive to a degree, in the fact that it would require you to actually see the anime series to have a clue as to what's going on.

Second, I would say that of Shylaman's films I did like, Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and signs immediately come to my mind. I am a little busy getting ready for work, storm bracing, and possible time without power next week so I would like to give my usual Gold, Silver, and Bronze for it, but nature asks for some more research, so I've got a little trip. Funny enough though, it is to Pennsylvania, so perhaps I might find a "village" out there.

Anyways, Happy Halloween! And Have some Sweet Reviews!

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Well said... the line between genius and idiot is a fine one. I sometimes wonder if he didn't set himself up to fail by doing so spectacularly well with Sixth Sense, but in the end, I don't tend to believe that. I think his failure was in trying to recreate that movie over and over rather than just doing more movies.

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan, I haven't seen Last Airbender, but it was absolutely panned by everyone when it came out. And if your description is right, then I can see why.

Best of luck with the storm!

tryanmax said...

I must disagree with obiwan about The Last Airbender. I have never seen the cartoon show and have less than zero interest in Anime as a genre. (Which isn't to say I haven't seen some enjoyable anime, but only because it stands as some other genre.)

In spite of my ignorance of all things Avatar, I found the film accessible and easy-to-follow. The underlying concepts aren't terribly difficult to grasp: there are four "tribes" or something that each have mystical control over one of four natural elements. The kid is the one who can do all four, so he's the hero. Now, off you go on a movie.

If there was any criticism to be had, I would say that it does pack a lot into a small space, but it's not terribly damaging. I was honestly unaware that the critics had panned the film until Andrew mentioned it. I'm not saying it's fabulous, but it is a sturdy action/effects film with some replay value.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've never seen it so I can't comment to how good or bad it is. But the critics HATED it. This is from the Wikipedia:

The Last Airbender received extremely negative reviews, from critics, fans of the cartoon and even viewers of the film who were unfamiliar with the series. Based on 175 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 6% "Rotten" approval rating from critics, with an average score of 2.8/10 and the critical consensus stating: "Despite flashy special effects, The Last Airbender squanders the potential of its popular source material on an incomprehensible plot, laughable dialogue, and a joyless sense of detachment."

tryanmax said...

Wow, I find that astonishing. It also strains credulity considering fans of the series are constantly petitioning Shyamalan to complete the trilogy. As to the plot, it couldn't be more rote. (See my previous comment.)

I wonder how much of the reaction came from expecting a "Shyamalan-style" film and getting a straight action film instead? Either that, or audiences are so used to being spoon-fed, which I think this one does a nice job of avoiding. I may have to re-watch it now just to make sure I wasn't crazy or on drugs the first time I saw it.

AndrewPrice said...

As you have seen, in my experience, critics are often very wrong. And when a herd mentality kicks in, it gets worse. And Shyamalan had become someone the critics love to hate by that point, so it's possible this is all personal/political. I just haven't seen the film so I can't say anything about it.

Anthony said...

A lot of fans of the tv series despised the movie. I don't follow the tv series religiously, but all of the episodes I have seen are character based. There are some spectacular fights but its not about the fights,

Ben L. Kemer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
obiwan2009 said...

Well, there's probably enough time for one last comment tonight. I will say that I disagreed with the Rotten Tomatoes rating for Last Airbender. While I don't consider it to be the greatest of Shylaman's films, I would at least say that it scored above a 30% for me in terms of entertainment, yes the plot was compressed heavily, but at least occasionally, from moment to moment, the interest revived from the occasional plot scenes regarding the Avatar.

Anthony, The Last Airbender was pretty compressed compared to the tv series, which I mostly watched with my girlfriend anyways as part of our date night. I did enjoy the film at points, but it did seem to suffer the problem that I have found with many recent comic/anime films, which is plot compression. Nonetheless, I would still call it a decent conversion of anime to live action, some conversions I have known haven't exactly caught the entertainment to the extent that this one has, honestly, while it isn't my favorite of the Shylaman films, I would honestly ask some anime fans out there to tell me how bad of a conversion it would be if one so much as remembers how Fist of the North Star got converted to live action in '95. I would say that Last Airbender was a better conversion than Fist of the North Star was.

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