Review: ‘After Earth,’ Father and Son Share a Major Disappointment

Jaden Smith flies solo on a dangerous mission on a dangerous planet called Earth. Continue reading Review: ‘After Earth,’ Father and Son Share a Major Disappointment

Review: The Last Airbender

“We want to minimize their bender sources!”

There is a priceless moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when a crowd parts to reveal a swordsman who whips out his scimitar and performs an intricate display of handiwork, promising a difficult battle for the film’s hero.  Tired from a long, bad day, he simply pulls out his pistol and shoots the swordsman from several feet away.  Problem solved.  One wonders why no one in The Last Airbender, where certain characters have the mystical ability to “bend” elemental properties (air, water, earth or fire), just runs up and bludgeons the threatening “bender” before they can complete their obligatory (and similarly time-consuming) martial-arts-meets-tai-chi-style dance move.  It would have made the story, which already feels strangely truncated, much more brief and satisfying.  Clumsily filmed and acted, and filled with uninspiring special effects filtered through an unnecessary and woefully underutilized 3-D process (that was tacked on for the sake of box office dollars), The Last Airbender is a thudding failure. Continue reading “Review: The Last Airbender”