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July 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Most reviewers were clearly bent out of shape by the goings-on in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie, The Last Airbender, based on the Nickelodeon cartoon series. “Mr. Shyamalan’s attempt to conjure a realm of myth and adventure out of special effects and long expository speeches might serve as a textbook chapter on How to Do It Wrong,” writes A.O. Scott in the New York Times. Roger Ebert’s review in the Chicago Sun-Times is no less scathing. He writes that the movie “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.” Ebert has voiced his dissatisfaction with 3D movies in the past, but he lays into the studio for its efforts to convert what was originally 2D into 3D. “Airbender looks like it was filmed with a dirty sheet over the lens,” he growls. Comments Ty Burr in the Boston Globe: “The process is to genuine 3-D — the kind you see in Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon — what colorization is to color: A ghoulish simulation.” But Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune remarks that the film would be “barely functional in 2 — or even 1” dimension. Carrie Rickey sums up in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Loved the look of the film, hated the 3-D, thought some of the performances clunky and felt that way about the dialogue, too.”

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