Roger Ebert ed il NYT stroncano il nuovo Shyamalan

C’era una volta un regista americano di origini indiane e di belle speranze:  con un debutto molto sopravvalutato, ma non disprezzabile era stato candidato agli oscar e dopo un secondo piccolo film sui supereroi, sembrava aver ereditato lo scettro del cinema fantastico da Spielberg e soci.

Quel regista si chiama(va) M.Night Shyamalan. Tutto quello che ha diretto dopo Il sesto senso e Unbreakable è totalmente insensato, marginale, prevedibile e, per di più, ha rappresentato a cinema il pensiero neo-con di Bush e dei suoi falchi. 

Con l’ultimo The Last Airbender, tratto da un manga, e costato la bellezza di 160 milioni di dollari, solo per la produzione, avrebbe dovuto ritornare ai fasti delle origini. O almeno era quello che speravano alla Paramount.

Roger Ebert assegna al film mezza stelletta e lo stronca senza pietà:

“The Last Airbender” is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here. It puts a nail in the coffin of low-rent 3D, but it will need a lot more coffins than that.

Come molti film post Avatar è stato gonfiato in 3D in fretta e furia per cercare di raggranellare qualche dollaro in più sfruttando malamente la moda… ma la conversione pare sia addirittura peggiore di quella di Scontro fra Titani.

Let’s start with the 3D, which was added as an afterthought to a 2D movie. Not only is it unexploited, unnecessary and hardly noticeable, but it’s a disaster even if you like 3D. M. Night Shyamalan‘s retrofit produces the drabbest, darkest, dingiest movie of any sort I’ve seen in years. You know something is wrong when the screen is filled with flames that have the vibrancy of faded Polaroids. It’s a known fact that 3D causes a measurable decrease in perceived brightness, but “Airbender” looks like it was filmed with a dirty sheet over the lens.

Neppure gli effetti speciali lasciano il segno. Anzi…

Since “Airbender” involves the human manipulation of the forces of air, earth, water and fire, there is hardly an event that can be rendered plausibly in live action. That said, its special effects are atrocious. The first time the waterbender Katara summons a globe of water, which then splashes (offscreen) on her brother Sokka, he doesn’t even get wet.  Firebenders’ flames don’t seem to really burn, and so on.

Anche la scelta di far interpretare i tre protagonisti da tre attori bianchi e non asiatici, come nell’originale è stata pessima:

After the miscalculation of making the movie as live action, there remained the challenge of casting it. Shyamalan has failed. His first inexplicable mistake was to change the races of the leading characters; on television Aang was clearly Asian, and so were Katara and Sokka, with perhaps Mongolian and Inuit genes. Here they’re all whites. This casting makes no sense because (1) It’s a distraction for fans of the hugely popular TV series, and (2) all three actors are pretty bad. I don’t say they’re untalented, I say they’ve been poorly served by  Shyamalan and the script.

…I close with the hope that the title proves prophetic.

Sulla stessa lunghezza d’onda il New York Times e l’intera stampa americana:

“The Last Airbender”? Let’s hope so, though there is a scene at the very end that gestures toward a sequel. After 94 minutes — was that all? I could have sworn it was days — of muddy 3-D imagery and muddled storytelling, the idea that this is just the first “Last Airbender” seems either delusionally optimistic or downright cruel. An astute industry analyst of my acquaintance, who is 9 and an admirer of the Nickelodeon animated series on which the movie is based, offered a two-word diagnosis of its commercial prospects on the way out of the theater: “They’re screwed.”

A.O.Scott è chiarissimo:

The movie is so dim and fuzzy that you might mistake your disposable 3-D glasses for someone else’s prescription shades. And Mr. Shyamalan’s fondness for shallow-focus techniques, with a figure in the foreground presented with sharp clarity against a blurred background, is completely out of place in the deep-focus world of modern 3-D. The format also has no place for one of this director’s major gifts, which is his ability to use the implications of what is off camera to create a mood of intrigue and suspense.At his best — and even in the best parts of his weaker movies, like “The Village” or “Signs” — Mr. Shyamalan is a master of the unseen, but 3-D, almost by definition, has no use for what the viewer can’t see. So the best way to watch “The Last Airbender” is probably with your eyes closed.

E poi non dite che non vi avevamo avvertito…

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