Wednesday, July 21, 2010

John C. Wright Likes The Last Airbender

John C. Wright, who I refer to too many times on this blog, is a literary genius.  More than once I have thought to review one or more of his novels here, and every time I have floundered.  I feel like I'd have to, I dunno, read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica before I could do one of his densely-packed novels any justice.

Although I've luvved everything I've read of Wright, including novels, short stories, and his blog, I've discovered over time that he and I have almost exactly the opposite opinions on movies.  I thought Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban was the only watchable Harry Potter movie.  Wright couldn't stand it.  I thrilled to Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, which I highly approve because it makes the skinny guy with the big nose look studly (see any of my profile pictures for the reason I approve of that).  Wright, again, couldn't stand it.  He loved Lady in the Water.  I, to say the least, didn't.  Of course, Wright is a genius, so I expect him to have unusual opinions and unique reasons for holding those opinions.  On the other hand, my opinions of movies, if anyone has noticed, tend to go pretty much with the mainstream.  That's not by design.

So I was only mildly surprised to discover that Wright is highly approving of The Last Airbender.  He has a fine review up, which I highly recommend both because Wright wrote it and because it gives a second opinion.  At least one paragraph in there might possibly be in response to something I said in my own review.

P.S.  Also, he points out one thing that's worth saying, and writes a great defense of it:  all the accusations of racism against M. Night Shyamalan are dumb.  In fact, with its dizzyingly diverse cast, all the racebaiters chose exactly the wrong movie to racebait.

P.P.S.  And the racebaiters have skin color myopia.  Yes, the Water Tribe people in the cartoon have dark skin, but they also have bright blue eyes--a combination not usually found in the real world--and they're tall and thin like anime characters, whereas real-world Eskimos are generally short and stocky because it's a better stature for conserving body heat.  And, broadly speaking, people living near the poles have lighter skin while people living near the equator have darker skin because lighter skin absorbs Vitamin D more quickly and darker skin prevents sunburn, so making the Water Tribers white and the Fire Nation people dark in the movie actually makes sense, perhaps even better sense than what was in the cartoon, since Eskimos have somewhat dark skin because their ancestors emigrated from a warmer clime, whereas in the world of the cartoon, the national divisions were set down by God or the cosmos or something and nobody emigrates.  The claims of racism are so indescribably stupid that I've despaired of describing how stupid they are every time I've tried.
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