‘Last Airbender’s’ One Positive Quote: Joblo.com?

The critics have not been kind to Paramount’s “The Last Airbender.” Just take a quick glance at Metacritic.com or  Rottentomatoes.com to see precisely how unkind they have been.

Fair enough. Not every movie is meant for critics, perhaps especially one adapted from a Nickelodeon series.

So I was a little surprised to see a positive quote ad for the movie — calling it “A Powerful, Action-Packed, Exciting Family Film” — until I scrolled down to the source.

Joblo.com?

No offense to the site (which I have never heard of before) or the studio’s marketing team, but if that’s the only positive quote you can find — and based on a survey of the reviews, that’s pretty close to the truth — then why bother at all?

I’d also recommend taking a look at Joe Morgenstern’s takedown of the movie in the Wall Street Journal, which veers from a discussion of “Airbender’s” lack of merit to a brutal but accurate look contemplating how director M. Night Shyamalan’s career could have gone so astray after the promise of “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable.” Like all Morgenstern’s reviews, it’s worth a read, but this one is harsher — and more insightful — than most.

Update: The “Airbender” ad in Saturday’s paper does feature a few more quotes from the usual suspects who tend to like everything. But for the record, I went to Joblo.com — and for a second, I was afraid my work computer was going to block it — and still couldn’t find the quote that was featured in the ad. In fact, the site’s featured review of the movie calls it “astonishingly bad.”

Second update: In response to Mr. ‘blo’s comment below….

Wow, you were quoted in review ads of “MacGruber?” You must be
soooooo proud! That kind of reinforces my point — studios quoting
relatively obscure sources when they can’t find praise from better-known
critics.

However, I was somewhat unfair inasmuch as the review quote for “Last
Airbender” was attributed to a freelancer, as noted above, which
reflects more on Paramount playing fast and loose than the site. So my
apologies for that, and my best to you and the wife, Josephineblo

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  1. Straw_Dog says:

    I just stumbled across this article and had to through in my two cents. I have been visiting joblo for years and its an excellent site full of honest movie reporting. The site, however, does seem to lack arrogant douchebags unlike variety with this Lowry idiot. I would not have resorted to asinine comments on an internet article if not for the childish smugness of your ridiculous update. Grow up you fool.

  2. Dan says:

    I’ve been visiting joblo.com pretty much daily for most of a decade now. Roger Ebert has referenced the site before.
    I don’t visit Variety very often because it’s sort of annoying with all the goofy lingo. But I’m thinking this columnist isn’t very internet-savvy.

  3. Timothy Hopkins says:

    Hello, Mr Lowry and Variety.com
    My name is Timothy Hopkins, I am 23 years old, I live in Los Angeles, and I LOVE MOVIES. For the past five years I have been a JoBlo regular, they have a constant stream of movie news and commentary that is unparalleled anywhere, print or screen (and lets face it, the former is dying). I am the new generation Mr Lowry, the Information Generation, and JoBlo.com is one of it’s leading voices in film fandom. In this article you sound like a spoiled brat crying from his high tower. Soon you will all be “slumming it” here online, but if this is how Variety is to make the transition, I fear there will be no one waiting for you.

  4. Dbldn11 says:

    This will be my third time posting this. Not sure if the internet is eating this or if someone at Variety is deleting this. Nevertheless, did this writer not remember the time that Variety pulled a negative review because a producer was paying them for positive press? http://gawker.com/5485988/director-threatens-to-sue-variety-over-oscar-shakedown-scheme
    Stick to TV dude.

  5. DBL says:

    Didn’t Variety get busted pulling negative reviews because an advertiser had bought good press from them? I guess that goes right in line with a reporter who doesn’t do his research opening his trap. Or maybe TV guys should focus on TV and let the real writers discuss film.

  6. BliNg says:

    Been on Joblo.com for a couple years now, check in on it everyday…This is my first and last time ever coming to this site.
    You are seriously pathetic Brianetta Lowry (<---HAHA I'm cool, see what I did there?!?!?). How the hell are you still employed here? You should be serving me food at McDonald's and asking if I want fries with that, goof!

  7. James Oster says:

    As the person who actually gave the quote to Paramount, I found the article rather amusing. I stand by the quote, although I certainly didn’t find the film perfect, I had fun as did the young ones in the audience. Would you like to attack a bunch of children also Mr. Lowry? Maybe call them stupid or whatever “clever” little insult you have? I wouldn’t put it past you.
    I applaud JoBlo for his articulate response back to you. He runs a very prominent site that, as he mentioned, has as much traffic as Variety.com. It truly is one of the best sites on the web. And his was an educated and researched response. But Lowry’s update was absolutely beyond childish. Maybe in his defense, he was having a bad day, or just maybe, he is simply an old man in a young man’s world. Either way, JoBlo proved once again to be a class act!

  8. Adam says:

    I am shocked that Variety would allow one of it’s writers to act so petty and unprofessional. Shame on you, Mr. Lowry.

  9. lowry fan says:

    Having read this article, and seen a picture of Mr. Lowry, I can only imagine he needs a hug. I really don’t know what else could have caused him to be so petty and unprofessional other than the fact that he isn’t loved in life. Unless, perhaps, he’s Variety’s lame version of Howard Stern, in which case you have a lot of work to do. Either way, you’re pov on this was lame, but those updates tell me you’re quite possibly stupid.

  10. alreadythere says:

    People still read Variety? Wouldn’t have even known if not for the JoBlo link. The same people still reading Variety must be the same people who thought this was going to be a killer summer box-office wise, as in people that are out of touch. :)

  11. Kay says:

    Well that was embarrassing.
    There’s no point in going over Berge’s credentials once again…suffice to say JoBlo.com is one of THE most popular and influential movie sites on the net.
    But I have to ask if “Josephineblo” really was the best you could come up with? I’d like to think that you were attempting to be silly and facetious but I think I’m giving you waaaaaay too much credit.
    You look like a blueberry!

  12. Bjax24 says:

    When you think about it JoBlo and variety aren’t too different. Other than the fact that JoBlo has competent human beings writing for them, they are quite similar.

  13. echoesof2morrow says:

    I visit joblo.com EVERYDAY!! Its the only movie source I trust and the only reviews I read. I cannot believe someone who claims to be a movie fan has never heard of joblo. It’s insane. And I honestly wish joblo had’ve let loose on this guy. All us joblo fans know he could rip him a new one!

  14. Mandy says:

    “Wow, you were quoted in review ads of “MacGruber?” You must be soooooo proud!”
    This quote from the above article sums up the entire article for me. Is something really worth reading if the word “so” is written with 6 o’s? Very unprofessional, Variety.

  15. Michael says:

    I wouldn’t get involved in this were in not for Mr. Lowry’s disgustingly smug update.
    JoBlo.com is one of the most popular movie news sites on the Internet. I’ve been visiting it nearly every day since 1999.
    I find it extremely hard to believe that someone writing for Variety.com has never heard of it before.
    Guillermo del Toro and Steven Spielberg have stated in interviews that they’re fans of the site. Seth Rogen has it set as his homepage.
    This entire article is shameful and should be taken down. It makes Variety seem like a joke. Well, you know, even more of a joke than it already is.

  16. JoeIII says:

    Brian Lowry/Variety, if you have never even heard of the site JoBlo.com, then in all seriousness what business do you have writing anything about film?! Especially when mentioning A REVIEW SITE? JoBlo.com is one of the most comprehensive movie news and review sites around. I know over 40 people (just in my circle) that makes JoBlo a daily stop for their internet paroozing. I don’t always agree with their reviews, but then again who cares. Movies are measured on individual enjoyment, so why would i give my full opinion to someone who is not me? I enjoy reviews mainly to get a grasp on whether o not I should drop 12-15$ on a movie.
    I’d take reviews/news from JoBlo over Variety any day. There is more feeling, personality, and honesty in a JoBlo movie review than there ever is in a Variety review.
    Variety, you are dead to me. FAIL.

  17. tom cruise says:

    Hey Mr. Lowry,
    I love kicking douchebags in the balls, and you sir are a douchebag. Look forward to meeting you.

  18. Josephineblo? Seriously?
    Is Variety paying attention to this? This guy needs to lose his job.
    Brian Lowry, you are a hack. Joblo himself takes the time to defend his (very successful) website and you spit all over him. It’s been his legacy for twelve years. Uncouth, my friend.
    I hope to God that Variety fires you for such poor reporting and immature behavior on one of their official blogs.
    Allow me to throw my hat in the ring for your position, Mr. Lowry, I also watch TV. I think I just hit all of the qualifications for your job.
    http://justinpdrew.blogspot.com/

  19. john says:

    JoBlo.com is a modern site for the people while a rag like Variety is so far out of date that its opinions no longer matter

  20. Arvindh says:

    Ha! I have never seen someone get owned as many times as THIS. Incredible. Lowry, dude, you should have seriously kept your emotions in check before making that MacGruber statement. I mean c’mon, the only place I’d expect to see a comeback as childish as that would be on a cheapass forum / blog of some sort. This is Variety, man, structure your damn sentences with maturity. Mr.Blo’s site is much more laid-back than Variety and the use of “words” are commonplace in certain article pieces, but even he had a classy, matured explanation in his first post. It’s called class, my friend, and having the integrity as a professional website owner. Owned, owned, owned!

  21. Well, after reading this article and the subsequent updates from Mr. Lowry, it shocks me that the Chief TV Critic would respond so immaturely. JoBlo.com is a very well known online publication that, as mentioned by JoBlo himself here, has been quoted by numerous ads and received positive feedback from such Hollywood figures as Seth Rogen and Cameron Crowe. Besides the previously mentioned ones, I’ve noticed they have also been quoted in ads for THE INFORMANT and KICK-ASS.
    You would have saved yourself by realizing the mistake you made. But the idea to reply back by saying in essence, sarcastically “Wow, MacGruber..” is just plain dumb and childish. I’d expect more from someone who writes for Variety. I guess I know not to trust this writer ever for his film views (or any media views for the matter).

  22. Matt McHenry says:

    Thanks, Mr. Lowry, I’ll make sure to never trust Variety as a trusted source. Granted I never did before but you just ruined your own reputation by slamming other sites. This is something that young kids do when they feel threatened by someone who they see as better than themselves.
    I’ve been a member and a regular visitor of Joblo.com for the past 3 years. Great writing, in-depth interviews and the latest information regarding the movie industry. You, sir, are a tool and a useless one at that.

  23. Shaggy says:

    why is Variety allowing this guy to be a douche? And JoBlo owned him more than once..jus sayin’

  24. Mark Mullins says:

    I visit Joblo.com 5 days a week and thousands of others do as well, and I’m pretty you got f*cking OWNED hahahaha That’s hilarious, and yes you seem to be an arrogant prick :)

  25. David O. says:

    Mr Lowry, Paramount, in quoting JoBlo.com, did the smart thing from a marketing standpoint. They quoted a well known youth-oriented website. Exactly the kind of website that film’s target audience trusts.
    Had they quoted the Wall Street Journal, it would have appealed to a crowd unlikely to see that kind of film to begin with. Smart work from Paramount’s marketing team.
    REALLY bad work and analysis from you Mr. Lowry.
    Love Variety though.

  26. Tj Fowlere says:

    Well I’ve heard of JoBlo.com way before I ever heard of you.

  27. Ahegele says:

    Mr. Lowry,
    I think it would be beneficial for a film journalist to immerse themselves or at the very least research the venue modern film aficionado’s use to discuss, critique and inform themselves with cinema- the internet. JoBlo.com is a highly popular film website, one of the most popular film websites. Your tepid article over Paramount’s use of “relatively obscure” publications in advertisement tells me that as a cinematic journalist you haven’t the first idea of what dictates obscure publication.
    Though I do think it was big of you to apologize. No… My mistake. I would have thought it was big of you to apologize until you took it upon yourself to rag on the MacGruber snippet in the most childish way possible. Here’s another bit of free advise- if you want to put down other publications (that you seem so fit to call inferior) you may want to phrase it in such a way that represents your self adorned journalistic integrity.

  28. Phemur says:

    Hmm, that was a hell of a takedown. To be fair to Mr. Lowry, though, if he has to “do his homework” to find out what your site is, that kind of proves his point about it being obscure.
    That said, I wish all the best of luck to joblo.com, though I can’t imagine myself ever visiting it, if nothing else based on the name alone.

  29. Joblo says:

    Mr. Lowry said:
    >>That kind of reinforces my point — studios quoting relatively obscure sources when they can’t find praise from better-known critics.
    Sigh.
    So JoBlo.com is STILL an “obscure source”, according to you, even though we get as many visitors on our site (which I founded in my parent’s garage, btw), than VARIETY.COM does — a multi-million dollar conglomerate that’s been around since 1905?!? (you see what I did there…some homework… ;)
    Way to prove your point!
    Not to mention that your point doesn’t even make sense since MACGRUBER actually received TONS of great reviews, besides our own (again, a 2-second search on Rotten Tomatoes, would have provided you with this page: http://beta.rottentomatoes.com/m/macGruber/).
    So it turns out the studio didn’t use an “obscure source” in that case, but just the opposite, a well-known source that the film’s target market frequents quite a bit.
    Seriously man, you are the CHIEF TV CRITIC on Variety? You sound like a high school newspaper reporter…DO SOME HOMEWORK!!! ;)

  30. Joblo says:

    Mr. Lowry said:
    >>That kind of reinforces my point — studios quoting relatively obscure sources when they can’t find praise from better-known critics.
    Sigh.
    So JoBlo.com is STILL an “obscure source”, according to you, even though we get as many visitors on our site (which I founded in my parent’s garage, btw), than VARIETY.COM does — a multi-million dollar conglomerate that’s been around since 1905?!? (you see what I did there…some homework… ;)
    Way to prove your point!
    Not to mention that your point doesn’t even make sense since MACGRUBER actually received TONS of great reviews, besides our own (again, a 2-second search on Rotten Tomatoes, would have provided you with this page: http://beta.rottentomatoes.com/m/macGruber/).
    So it turns out the studio didn’t use an “obscure source” in that case, but just the opposite, a well-known source that the film’s target market frequents quite a bit.
    Seriously man, you are the CHIEF TV CRITIC on Variety? You sound like a high school newspaper reporter…DO SOME HOMEWORK!!! ;)

  31. jeo4 says:

    “You just reinforced that you’re a lazy journalist. Maybe you should go back to PRINT, my friend. You seem a little lost in this ‘online world’… ;)”
    Hahaha…owned again. Checking the facts would help. I expected more from Variety…but I guess not.

  32. Joblo says:

    Mr. Lowry said…
    >>Wow, you were quoted in review ads of “MacGruber?” You must be soooooo proud!
    Wow, and you write for VARIETY??? What maturity. You take another “easy potshot” and choose the 1 film that wasn’t received well by audiences, instead of mentioning CYRUS, BAD LIEUTENANT, MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS and those are just the ones from this year.
    You just reinforced that you’re a lazy journalist. Maybe you should go back to PRINT, my friend. You seem a little lost in this “online world”… ;)

  33. chris says:

    I like the column, but I think it’s a little late. When “Fast and Furious” (the 4th installment) hit DVD, they had a quote on the cover: “The Best of the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise!” from a local TV News anchor at WSFL, CWTV, Miami, FL. Which, to be fair to Mr. Blo, is a way less credible source than his website.

  34. Arvindhraj says:

    That right there is what I call maximum ownage, folks! Way to go Mr.Blo! And by the way, I visit JoBlo on a daily basis…it is my number one source for movie news and anyone who visits the site on a regular basis knows that it’s witty, has good writers, and truly portrays a sheer passion for all things movie-related. The people who work behind the scenes of the site are very serious about their work and deliver the latest news and even have a sort-of Facebook for movie fans, called MovieFanCentral. Now if that doesn’t garner them a spot on top of the list of best movie fansites out there, I don’t know what does.

  35. ThunderBunny says:

    Haha. You got OWNED by JoBlo himself. Served, son.

  36. Joblo says:

    Dear Mr. Lowry:
    Most writers actually do “research” before writing articles, especially when they’re writing about something outside of their field (I see you’re a TV critic), but just so you know, JoBlo.com was founded in 1998 and remains one of the top movie fansites around the world, attracting over 100,000 unique visitors a day (same as Variety.com, btw) and receiving praise from such greats as Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and others, as well as from publications such as Entertainment Weekly, TIME magazine and even Variety, which declared us “One of the most influential figures on the Web” a few years ago.
    A simple GOOGLE search would have confirmed any of that.
    As for your “quote” dilemma, again there is a simple solution, which you may have known about had you simply emailed/called us for a quick Q&A (that’s usually the “professional” thing to do).
    The quote being used in THE LAST AIRBENDER TV spots attributed to us, is from our freelance correspondent in L.A., but not our official review, which you linked to in your article (our critic gave the film a 1/10). As you might know, studios will sometimes ask freelancers for their “quotes” immediately after seeing a movie.
    BTW, we’ve been quoted in many other films TV spots of late, including CYRUS, MACGRUBER, BAD LIEUTENANT, MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS and others, so the next time you intend on writing an article about a movie website, it might pay to do about 3 minutes worth of homework before taking cheap shots at a site.

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