Saturday, April 24, 2010

M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender gets a final trailer (and why 3D might actually be a good thing this time).

Now that's more like it... After a useless teaser last July, a compelling but brief Super Bowl spot, and a confusing and flat first trailer earlier this year, Paramount has finally cut something that feels like a summer contender. Granted, I'm a bit biased as I desperately want Shyamalan to knock this out of the park and re-establish himself, but I won't pretend that I was impressed with the listless first trailer. This final preview has somewhat restored my confidence in this do-or-die project. The trailer lays out the general narrative in a clear and comprehensible fashion, every major character gets a few highlight moments, and the visuals look absolutely dynamite. I love that the action beats are all shot in wide shots and edited with long and fluid takes.

Yes, in general I roll my eyes when I hear that the latest genre picture is going to be 'going 3D', but the I can't imagine that a visual perfectionist like M. Night Shyamalan would allow his film to be converted if he wasn't happy with the test results. For the moment, I'm going to be optimistic and presume that the 3D conversion is a sign of confidence over the wildly colorful spectacle on display and not a way to compensate with quality issues (Clash of the Titans, The Green Hornet). Point being, the images on display in this latest trailer are just the kind of thing I'd actually want to see in 3D. As always, we'll see...

Scott Mendelson

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