Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the movies...
I think i should begin by telling you that, ever since 'sex and the city 2' i've been somewhat obsessed with rottentomatoes.com. What they do is take all the reviews from across the country and separate them into those that are good and bad for any particular film you can think of. If a movie gets 60% or more positive reviews, it's called fresh. If not? It's a rotten tomato.
I've found it to be pretty accurate, although there are some movies i couldn't stand that have been at 80-something % and other films that i've loved that have hovered around 40. But, generally speaking, it's not all that bad a barometer.
Now, 30-something percent? That's really bad. 20-percent is like going to a malevolent dentist. 'sex and the city 2'? Before i went to see it, i think it was around 14%. And i couldn't believe it. "How could such a great tv show go so horribly wrong???"
And then, of course, i saw the thing, and wondered who those 14% deaf dumb and blind people actually were. Or WERE they actual people, or maybe just random zoo monkeys pulling some sort of lever for a local news program?
"Let's see what movie Mr. Bungles would like to see this weekend...??? OH! He wants to see Miss Carrie Bradshaw!!! Isn't that something? Hahaha! Wellllll, i'm sure Mr. Bungles would love to catch that movie if he wasn't too busy eating his own filth! Okay, let's take a look at the weekend forecast..."
'Jonah Hex' got a similar rating on rotten tomatoes, so, yeah, i know i should have learned my lesson, but, honestly? Curiosity got the better of me. "Could it really be as bad as SATC2???" And... i think it almost was, but... i dunno, something about it just made me wonder-- seriously wonder-- if i wasn't just misinterpreting the whole thing.
I mean, it was so jumbled and had me so mind-numbingly confused that, at about the 40 minute mark, i got to thinking that maybe scientists will look at it 1,000 years from now and declare it as a misunderstood work of brilliance. Really, i was sitting there, thinking, "this is so perplexing that... maybe it's just over my head? Maybe it's over ALL our heads? Maybe we're just not that sophisticated, in 2010, to ...get it???"
And, y'know, probably not.
I mean, i'm pretty sure it's crap, but, eh... who knows?
So, anyway, it was this same type of situation that led me to buy a ticket for 'the last airbender' yesterday.
The Last Airbender...
(are you ready for this???)...
Now THAT'S a rotten tomato.
And i thought, "c'mon, man, no way! Can a movie really be THAT bad?!?!?!"
...In a word, "Ohmyholyshityes!"
This movie was so bad that --and i'm not even kidding about this-- the screaming baby that someone brought with them into the theater was actually a welcomed distraction.
Dev Patel, star of the Academy Award winning 'slumdog millionaire' was one of the bad guys. And he proved to us that he was one of the bad guys by SHOUTING HIS EVERY OTHER LINE AT THE TOP OF HIS VERY CAPABLE LUNGS!!! And, y'know, dude, i'm sorry, but after the first 17 times? We get it. You're bitter, and angry, you have daddy issues, and you've got a hole in your heart, okay, OKAY! Tone it down, son.
I fully expect to see extra scenes in the dvd special edition where Dev Patel is screaming for no reason in otherwise mundane circumstances. Like, he'll be hanging out at a diner with his uncle and he'll just wail on the waitress out of nowhere, "I WANT ANOTHER ROOT BEER FLOAT!!! AND I WANT IT IMMEDIATELY!!!!!! ROOOOOOWWWWWWWRRRRRR!!!!!"
And then he'll set fire to something after doing a kung fu move that he found in the Ralph Macchio training montage from 'the karate kid 2'.
I have to move on now to a subject that is dear to my heart. and that is hating child actors.
You'd think, because of my day job, i wouldn't be so hard on them, but you'd be crazily mistaken. They're the worst. Exceptions include (but are not limited to) jodie foster, natalie portman, and m. night shaymalan's own, haley joel osmet.
This kid from 'the last airbender'? The dude who played Aang? Didn't quite make the list.
I can only assume m. night found him on some sort of deserted island somewhere and said, "Kid! I'm gonna make you a STAR! Wanna be the lead actor in my new movie???" And then the kid said, "but... i don't know what acting is! I've never SEEN a movie!"
And then, as a joke, m. night gave him a dvd player and a copy of 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' and said, "just look at Jake Lloyd! Do whatever he does. That kid's a bloody genius!"
And then, a few weeks later, the cameras started rolling, and, as soon as he said action, m. night realized that he never told the kid he was joking about Jake Lloyd, and was too embarrassed to go back and do anything about it.
So then, pretty much every actor on set followed this kid's lead, thinking, "oh, well, i guess we must be doing something somewhat avant-garde." "Like Jonah Hex...?" "Cool! A thousand years from now, people will freaking worship us!"
But it's not completely fair to lay the blame of this turd-flick on the acting when the script was so wretched. Remember that sequel to 'the matrix' (i refuse to look up which one it was, but i'm kinda/sorta sure it was the second one), where it felt like half of it was taken up by odd-looking, but smartly-dressed old people talking about the meaning of existence and, i don't know what else, but --they kept on throwing out big words like, "heretofore" and stuff like that so they would sound like they were really smart?
Yeah, that sums up the last airbender nicely, i think. They had some moderately cool special effects and then it was (approximately) 17 hours of "blahblahblahblah dragon" and "blahblahblahblah heretofore the earth beneath your feet blahblah" and "blahdiddyblahblahblahblah bending water blahblahblah."
You give that kinda dialogue to Laurence O'Freaking-livier, then maybe y'got yourself a movie. Give it to a bunch of kids who can't act? You're just asking for trouble.
And, probably a coupla' sequels.
But i won't be in line for the second airbender. I would rather have Dev Patel shouting "AANG!!! AANG!!!!!! AAAAAAANNNGGG!!!" into my ears for two hours. While getting my wisdom teeth pulled.
The five things i fell in love with today...
1) Toy Story 3. Beautiful, brilliant movie. I want to work at Pixar someday.
2) Found a GREAT new band the other day, thanks to Paste magazine: Sleigh Bells, from Brooklyn, NY. Seriously blew my mind. Check 'em out.
3) The thought that maybe i wont have to learn how to draw to work at Pixar someday...
4) The new album by The Roots. Best thing they've ever done, which is saying a lot!
5) I was trying to think of who in their right minds would possibly enjoy the type of hippie bullcrap that was 'the last airbender' and then i remembered this guy... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQSNhk5ICTI
song of the night...
"pinball wizard" by the who
movie of the night...
"in the loop" --just watched it this afternoon. Great to see good writing again!