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When heading to the theater, I normally restrict my knowledge of the movie I’m about to see to a) its title and b) where it’s playing. Even then, I get the theater wrong about once a year. I don’t like reading other reviews beforehand; I don’t even like having a general idea of what other people thought of it. I want my reaction to be as uninfluenced as possible. There are downsides to this–it’s much easier to over- or underrate something when your only perspective is the one from inside your own bug-riddled head–but I think it’s also much easier to see things about a movie the consensus overlooked, whether for good or bad.

The Last Airbender released on a Wednesday, meaning by the time I saw it Friday, my consciousness had been permeated by a general understanding it sucked things man was never meant to suck. As the credits opened, my approach was “Okay, let’s see if this is really as bad as everyone says.”

“Nope,” I thought after the first ten or fifteen minutes, “this is all right.” Another ten minutes after that, I thought “Oh, right. This does blow.” The blowitude increased steadily from there until I expected the whole audience to be whisked away to go help a scarecrow find his brain and a lion find his courage.

Two good things came of the experience: I finally watched The Sixth Sense, the only one of The Last Airbender director M. Night Shyamalan’s movies I hadn’t seen, oddly enough. It was pretty good, but after what we’ve all seen of Shyamalan since then, its flaws are probably a lot more obvious than they were at the time.

I’ve also started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, the cartoon the movie was derived from. It’s not knocking my socks off yet, but I’m liking it pretty well, and I’m excited to see how it develops its supposedly epic story.

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I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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