maura @ 2:42 pm
So even after all that blaggy bluster about whitewashing, we went to see The Last Airbender. In the end we just couldn’t resist, plus it was a nice confluence of kid through teen through adult love of the show (we went with Jonathan’s aunt, uncle and teenage cousins). Of course it wasn’t as good as the TV show, but how could it be? But, you know, I so wanted it to be good that even though I’ve seen the bad reviews I couldn’t make myself entirely believe it wouldn’t be good.
I get that it’s hard to adapt a 20-episode TV show into a 2 hour movie, really I do. There’s lots of character development that needs to get shortened, and some stuff needs to be left out. But as someone said (can’t remember who) it was like M. Night Shyamalan had never actually *seen* the show. There didn’t seem to be any attempt at all to distinguish between the important and unimportant bits, and the movie felt kind of slapped together willy nilly. I can’t imagine how it would feel to someone who’d never watched the show before, but my guess is that they’d be completely lost.
That was the biggie. Two minor, nitpicky points:
1. For an expensive movie, the effects were just not all that special.
2. And for heavens sake, WHY did they change the pronunciation of several of the main characters’ names?! This isn’t like when you see a movie based on a book and think, “oh, I didn’t realize his name was pronounced like that.” This film is based on a TV show! With audio! So very annoying, and seemed like it was especially designed to get under the skin of hardcore fans.
That’s about all I have to say, but these funny/sad fan reviews are pretty hilarious, if you’re interested.
And in *good* movie news, last night Jonathan and I watched the Swedish version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Which was a GREAT example of how to take something very very long (600+ pages) and make it into a 2 hour(-ish) movie. I’ve read all 3 of the books so of course my brain filled in the missing bits and added story around the characters, so it was difficult for me to tell if the movie was hard to follow. The whole way through I kept asking Jonathan, who’s read none of the books, whether there was stuff that he didn’t understand or jumpiness or things that didn’t connect, but there wasn’t. Maybe M. Night should contact the screenwriter for some tips?
I don’t think I’ll want to see the American version of the movie, the Swedish version did a great job. But that doesn’t prevent me from having a pretty strong opinion about who should play Lisbeth: Natalie Portman (obvs!).