Everything is complicated or not

"For more than most films, Airbender is made for a 10-and-younger audience and a 10-and-younger audience alone...Airbender, whether intentionally or not, is pegged almost exclusively to a small-fry state of mind."
---Kenneth Turan


Here they go again...

It is a curious phenomenon, but there seems to be an uncommon consistency to it:
The Last Airbender has not even begun showing yet and already M. Night Shyamalan haters are all bent out of shape about it (pun intended).

They have been at it for months!

And it's like that any time the man releases a new movie.
In this line of business, negative attention is better than no attention at all, I suppose, and M. Night Shyamalan is in good company: witness the critics' vitriolic reviews of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. There are directors like that who leave no one indifferent.

What to say?

I think Scott Adams has it right:
"You've probably noticed that opinion pollsters go out of their way to include as many morons as possible in surveys ... I think it's dangerous to inform morons about what their fellow morons are thinking. It only reinforces their opinions. And the one thing worse than a moron with an opinion is lots of them."
Case in point:

In other words: Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. (Has anyone here ever watched the Academy Awards or gotten involved in politics lately?)


  1. Shyamalan recently spoke with via telephone about the film, which stars newcomer Noah Ringer and "Slumdog Millionaire's" Dev Patel.

    Yes, he has very strong opinions about some of the manufactured controversy around the film:

    Q: Members of the press have been getting a lot of e-mails from the Racebending group, an online community of "Last Airbender" fans who have expressed their concerns about the lack of Asian actors in the film. What is your response to that?

    A: They're misguided.

    Q: Okay —

    A: They're aware I'm Asian, right?

    Q: I would think so.

    A: And that Dev's Asian, and (actor) Assif (Mandvi)'s Asian, and everybody's, I mean — it's incredible to think that there's a correct Asian here. They don't own this series. They don't own all these cultures. The word avatar is a Sanskrit word. So it's all cultures that are put together. There's no correct background here. They should ask: Why does Noah Ringer look like a duplicate — a duplicate — of the cartoon guy? Why? He's a dupe.

    Anime is based on ambiguous facial features. It's meant to be interpretive. It's meant to be inclusive of all races, and you can see yourself in all these character. ... The irony that they would label this with anything but the greatest pride, that the movie poster has Noah and Dev on it and my name on it. I don't know what else to do.

    Q: Does it offend you that they're defining Asian in what you perceive as a limited way when you consider yourself Asian?

    A: I think it's convenient for their argument. Their issue isn't with me. Their issue is with the artists who invented anime. The story of "The Last Airbender" is an ambiguous story. These cultures are not defined. There is no Inuit woman who looks like (the character) Kitara. That's not the reality of things. That's not the way they're drawn. Talk to the people who drew them. ... I'm actually doing a very culturally diverse movie. In fact, I believe it's the most culturally diverse tent pole movie ever made.

  2. (o_O)


    Noah Ringer the kid featured in the role of the title character looks to me like he is at least part Asian. I saw the movie just today and I think he makes a perfect Aang. But what do I know? Must be the ten-year-old in me speaking (^o^)

    The story goes that for years, Noah Ringer went by the nickname "Avatar" because he looked so much like the lead in the Nickelodeon cartoon.

    Incidentally, not that it matters, but neither Michael Dante DiMartino nor Bryan Konietzkoof, the creators of the Avatar series, are Asian.

  3. He seems like a good kid:

    Q: You found Noah Ringer, who plays Aang, the Last Airbender, via a casting call. What spoke to you about him?

    A: My secret to all casting, and specifically kids, is cast good human beings. ... I'm not casting a chameleon who can become a million different things. I just want them to be them. And I want them to put themselves in these circumstances but I want their humanity to come out.

    This kid is just a good human being. And literally I would give him my life, I think so much of him. And his parents, who are just amazing. That's who you want there. He's a homeschooled kid and he's very pure, incredibly dedicated and thoughtful and loyal. ... We wouldn't want a kid pretending to do that, we want a kid who is that.