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 Posting a reply to post #80859

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80859 No.80859
In this review I assume that you are familiar with Avatar: The Last Airbender and that you don't mind being spoiled on an adaptation of that same work.

Aasif Mandvi's Zhao gets the movie's best lines and he generally does an admirable job with the material he's been given. Zuko is played by Dev Patel, and it's interesting to see how he manages a generally presentable performance when faced with direction cues that began and ended with "Use your outdoor voice." Shaun Toub convinced me that in a movie where Iroh is written as Iroh, he would have been an acceptable choice.

This is the extent of my praise for the film.

The only clear theme that presents itself in this film is that women are useless. The Last Airbender both starts and ends with this premise. The film opens with Katara drenching Sokka with water as she experiments with waterbending. This is also the start to the series, but where the two differ is that Movie Katara only once demonstrates any greater amount of proficiency. It's Sokka, not Katara, who begins the process of thawing out Aang, and in fact Katara's entire character arc was removed from the film. Rather than slowly mastering waterbending, she starts the series with no ability, jeopardizes her brother and Aang in the end of the first act, practices with Pakku without having to prove herself, loses to Zuko in less than a minute, and then later encases Zuko in ice when his back is turned and he's in the middle of a fight with Aang.

Yue is introduced in narration. While Yue and Sokka exchange weird stares, Katara tells us in voiceover that they quickly became friends. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your romance plot. When it comes time for Yue to sacrifice herself to bring back the moon spirit, she is not the one to make this decision. Instead, Iroh says "You can give your life back to the moon spirit." Instead of being the tragic sacrifice a leader makes for her people, Yue is demoted to sacrificial virgin as Iroh tells her "Kill yourself or we all die." In short, no woman in this movie makes a decision that is in any way consequential to the plot.

Suki, asskicker and important figure in Sokka's life, doesn't make an appearance and doesn't rate a mention. Kiyoshi is only touched upon when yet another old person shows up to deliver yet another page of exposition. "She liked games," he said. This makes Kiyoshi the most developed female character in the film.

Stepping away from the weird misogynist overtones, Iroh goes from "old badass" to "decrepit whiner." Rather than engaging in a pitched battle with Zhao to defend the moon spirit as he did in the series, Iroh simply stands by and says "Hey, don't do that." At no point in the film does he ever really stand up for Zuko, instead standing by and saying nothing when Zhao insults Zuko's honor and indirectly accuses Iroh of killing his own son through incompetence. It's a testament to Shaun Toub's performance that his Iroh still comes across as a halfway likable guy.

I didn't personally count Sokka's lines, but I would be genuinely surprised if he got more than twenty lines of dialogue. At one point in the movie, Yue tells a joke. This only merits mention because Yue tells exactly one joke more than Sokka in this movie. Movie Sokka has no definable personality traits, and if not for the fact that I could describe his performance as being like that of an Attack of the Clones-era Hayden Christensen I would say the character was a complete non entity.

One particular complaint I have with this film, and some will call it a fanboy nitpick, is what was left in the movie and what was taken away. The pirates were completely excised from the script, as were penguin sledding, King Bumi, Jun, the inventors at the Northern Air Temple, Koh the Face Stealer, Jeong Jeong, Suki, and character development. What was the one thing that stayed? Haru. Fucking Haru. You might remember Haru from one of the several filler episodes in which he accomplished nothing and said nothing of importance, or

There's more that could be said about this movie. I could, for example, point out that the color balance was set so that everything in the world of The Last Airbender is either orange or teal, the night sky included. I could mention the completely unnecessary changes to character names. Ozai's death and Aang's Avatar State are each handled in a way so anticlimactic that you would not believe my description of either event unless you have already seen the movie. The film makes clear that the real twist in The Sixth Sense was that Haley Joel Osment was some sort of diabolical fluke, and in reality M. Night Shyamalan is to casting and directing child actors as George Lucas is to casting and directing child actors. Entire pages could be dedicated to how each of these events in some way diminished my enjoyment of the film, but the truth is, after seeing this movie I'm just exhausted and depressed.

I paid six dollars and seventy-five cents to see The Last Airbender. I do not consider this wasted money. By paying to see this movie, I have contributed money to the Get Nickelodeon To Greenlight More Stuff In The Franchise Fund, a noble cause if ever there was one. If you want to support this cause, by a ticket or ten, but for god's sake don't even think of sitting in the theater.

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The original screenplay, if filmed in its entirety, would have made a very long, very boring but marginally more watchable film. In order to make his runtime, he basically cut out a bunch of scenes entirely and stripped the rest down to their bare bones without doing very much rewriting at all. Which meant he lost all the character development (such as it was...ugh) but the clunky exposition stayed just as clunky, because he didn't rework that dialog to condense it....he just took whole sentences out.

Some things that were cut:

- A terrible scene with a hack fortune teller on the movie version of Kyoshi Island, whom Aang goes to see to help figure out what he should do, pre-Spirit Dragon Encounter. This was one of Shyamalan's attempts at "humor." It involves the fortune teller saying things along the lines of, "There's a man who's important to you....his eyes are...brown? No? Green? Blue, maybe? Help me out here, kid."

- Sokka's one explicit contribution to the plot: the idea to make posters and hang them up in the villages. (We still see the posters but no explanation of them)

- Suki and the Kyoshi warriors stalking the gaang for a while, then revealing themselves after Aang's taken off for the Western Air temple and Sokka and Katara are attacked by a bunch of Scary Black-Armored Fire Nation Dudes. Sokka and Katara cling to each other, say "I love you!" and then are rescued by the Kyoshi Warriors. Suki woodenly explains how she's heard a great warrior has been going around making awesome posters and starting a rebellion. Sokka explains that the posters were totally his idea. After Aang returns from the NAT, The Kyoshi Warriors decide to shadow him and his friends for a while longer and help keep them safe while they travel toward the NWT.

- A lot of gigantic infodumps by the Spirit Dragon, mostly about Sozin's Comet

- A nonsensical version of Katara losing her necklace, in which Aang finds the necklace on Blue Spirit Zuko but we never have a sense of when precisely Katara lost it in the first place.

Stuff that wasn't in the script (maybe added in reshoots?)

- The scene with "grandmother" was rewritten to include more exposition and less heart.

- All of those voiceovers, particularly Katara's. In the original script, the only Katara voiceover was the opening narration. I suspect the rest was added after test screening audiences couldn't understand what was going on.

- The scene at the end with Ozai and Azula

A lot of other stuff was changed I'm sure but that's what I can remember off-hand.

Whoa... that's a really bad editing job. Anywhere we can see the original screenplay?

Oh, and I just remembered an annoying thing I forgot: every now and then supposedly important or intense conversations have HUGE close-ups of the actor's faces, lingering so long on them that they become uncomfortable. Anyone else feel this?


Nothing ever states that more time will end up fixing the pace of a film, it is obviously the fault of the writing. A terrible writer who sucks with pacing, like M. Night, an extra hour and you'll still have an hour more of the same convoluted plot that plagued the film. Sure some things will get fleshed out more, but instead more things will be crammed into space.

Still the general problem of the movie is the pacing and jerking around the camera did, as well as how just depressing the film was.

> in which Aang finds the necklace on Blue Spirit Zuko

Well, thank god they cut that. The Zutarians would have gone nuts, moreso than they already are over the oasis scene.

In the spirit of adaptations gone wrong, I'm reminded of an interview done by Greg Rucka awhile back. In it he discusses the movie adaptation of his comic "Whiteout."

>Why do you think comics are such a hot source for movies in Hollywood now, and does anything about that trend worry you?

>I have to say that after this experience, everything they say about Hollywood is true, both the good and the bad. The comics trend makes perfect sense: Both are visual mediums, and comics have a devoted fan base that will turn out for a movie. But they are also very different.

>There are a lot of things I can do in a comic that can't be done in a movie. There are parts of Whiteout that if you put them in the movie would just be a character staring into space with lots and lots of voice-over – not really what you're looking for in an action thriller. The movie is, and has to be, its own experience. Anybody going into Whiteout the movie expecting Whiteout the comic deserves to be disappointed.

Here's a guy who gets what a lot of Hollywood directors don't. When filming an adaptation, directors approach the problem with the attitude that there's only two solutions: either create you're own story (remember LXG?) or strictly adhere to the plot from which the characters are derived.

The former of course, is absurd and disruptive. It doesn't give the fans what they want. The public outcry overwhelms. However, directors must understand that the latter has its pitfalls as well. A movie, with its own sense of timing, cannot follow the myriad of plot points presented over the course of a 20 episode season. Do that and you'll end up with a movie that is on par with watching WoW fetch quests; it's boring and lacks character.

Easily, what TLA needed most of all was a single overarching plot with characterization that was shown to the audience, not told; problems that should have been easily spotted from the very first storyboards and script reviews.

By the by, did anyone ever say that Northern Water Tribe master was Pakku? I only heard them refer to him as "the master."


Disregard what imdb says, I'm asking if he was actually referred to as Pakku in the movie.

I honestly can't remember ever hearing the name.


Yeah, I was specifically listening for the names of Haru and Pakku and didn't hear either of them. Leads me to think their entire story arcs were scrapped.

Too bad I didn't pay attention during the credits to see if they were named :/

Also, no Jet made me kind of die a little.

>By paying to see this movie, I have contributed money to the Get Nickelodeon To Greenlight More Stuff In The Franchise Fund
The only true reason as to why I'd support this movie.
...And I probably will. Both my sisters and my girlfriend are stoked for this film. I pretend to be, too. It's so heartbreaking. My seven year old sister is in love with the show.

...And she wants more to be made...


I should ask if you remember that another show is on the way, right? And that there's plenty of current-show merch that you could buy if you so wish, the artbook and the DVD being the best bet, but there's also the little books like the Lost Scrolls or other things.

Yeah, I know. But we aren't really ones for merch. The one thing we all always do is go to the movies.

I have to second this. If you're going to support the Avatar franchise, do it by supporting the original show, and not the movie.

I'm planning on buying the season 1 collectors box set this weekend and picking up the art book if I can find it. I refuse to pay for the movie.


Avatar is one of Nickelodeon's most popular animated shows of all time. Film adaptations are just the icing on the cake when it comes work in other mediums-- notice how Batman continued to be one of DC's best-known and most popular characters despite the near universal panning of Batman & Robin. There are far different factors and criteria taken into account when considering the success (and, in this case, continued production) of comics/novels/televisions shows that the success of the film adaptation simply won't factor into. Even if The Last Airbender crashes and burns, Nick will happily sign off on whatever the series' creators propose, because THEY'RE the ones that handed Nick a ratings coup.

It helps if you think of film adaptations as big, shiny commercials for the original work, because that's exactly what they are.


I'm not sure how well it generalizes between the public moviegoers and fans of the show, but Airbender is getting at least 3/5 stars from a lot of sites like imdb and BOM from registered users.

Can you ask them what they like about it specifically? I went to see it with some friends who were also big fans of the show and both of them love it. One said it was perfect.

I don't know about perfect, but she says it managed to stay true to the story while also changing up the presentation.

Also, we all loved Zhao's end in the movie. Visually and thematically.

Keep on fighting the good fight, Ninja

I didn't see the movie yet (waiting for camrip), but I already thought it would work better as six movies. The first movie would climax with the plot of the Winter Solstice 2 parter, the third would climax with The Desert, and the fifth would climax with Day of Black Sun. The rest would end at the obvious points.

You could get away with relatively minor edits and have a ton more room for characterization, humor, and action. The tough part would be linking it together, but really, that's just a matter of how you transition between episodes.

I'm actually working on a script pretty much just to test this premise; adapting the first 8 episodes instead of a whole season.

>I didn't see the movie yet (waiting for camrip)

> but I already thought it would work better as six movies.
The actors would age a fuckload, though.


The entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy took eight years from start to finish. Did Peter Jackson film all three simultaneously, or was that just for the second and third films? Would filming three or four movies at the same time honestly staved off the dread spectre of puberty long enough?

The LotR movies were all filmed at the same time. None of the stars were in danger of suddenly puberting into hairy baritones during production though. They just wanted to keep it all consistent.

>Also, we all loved Zhao's end in the movie. Visually and thematically.
Explain this. Explain how being drowned by four nameless waterbending grunts is more fitting for Admiral Zhao than pridefully rejecting the aid of an enemy and being dragged off by a vengeful embodiment of the ocean itself.

When i went to buy my ticket the guy was laughing. I had to see this disaster for myself he completely ignored the source and made his own fanfiction.

They drowned him onscreen.

Fucking hardcore man.

But how is that a more fitting death for the character? The original death played off of Zhao's character traits: he refused to let Zuko help him, which reflected both his pride and his disdain for the prince, and he was carried off by La itself as punishment for trying to place himself above the spirits. The closest you can get to that with the movie version is, "He thought he was invincible, but it only took four waterbenders to kill him." Maybe the drowning scene was cool on its own, but that doesn't make it thematically appropriate for the character.

Here's something I wasn't fully paying attention to in the film, and was wondering about. Did the film use contacts at all to try to give the characters eye color that matched their nation? Because I just remember a close-up of Katara where she seemed to have greenish eyes.


Only one with contacts I remember is Yue. When the moon spirit died, Iroh's eyes turned red? Does that count?


No. Despite the eye color argument being a big one among defenders of the cast, Gabrielle was the only one who used contacts. Peltz and Rathbone have green eyes, Ringer and most everybody else have brown.

The movie is so bad that not even pirates want to bother with uploading it.


I was actually scouring Demonoid for it; can't say I was completely surprised when it wasn't there

On that note, if someone's planning to livestream it, please post a link here.

I've been keeping my eyes open too, but no luck. I expect that we'll get some sometime after the 8th, when it's released in Russia.

from imdb:

>My friend saw this the other night and there was a kid behind him that kept asking to leave mid-way during the movie. The parent kept telling him that since he picked the movie he had to stay lol. The kid complained that it wasn't anything like the show. My friend said it was the funniest thing.

Poor kid. Probably was so psyched to see the film by the commercials only to be forced to sit through this pile of shit ;_;

>Avatar is one of Nickelodeon's most popular animated shows of all time.

True, but it wasn't popular with little kids in the way Nick wants shows to be popular (which is to say, like Spongebob.)

Nick never really knew what to do with Avatar; it's a goddamn miracle the show got all three seasons. There was immediately talk of what to do for a followup, but Nick faffed around for so long that many of the people who were involved with the original series had to leave to take other jobs, and can't come back to the Avatar project because they don't trust Nick not to fuck it up.

Also, note that head writer Aaron Ehasz is not part of the new project, and wasn't given any story credit for the movie, despite the film using (badly, but still using) a BUNCH of his ideas.

I am sure Legend of Korra (or whatever it winds up being called) will be pretty, and I'm sure it will be fun, but without the writing staff that helped make Avatar great on board the project, I'm keeping my expectations moderate as far as the characters and story go.

I remain convinced that Nickelodeon does not know how to handle a show that is popular in the way Avatar is popular (e.g., across a broad swatch of ages.)

>True, but it wasn't popular with little kids

Poor phrasing on my part. I meant, "wasn't only popular with little kids in the way Nick hopes for shows to be popular."

By not producing merch for the older audiences that loved Avatar <em>even more</em> than the little kids did, Nick missed out on millions. I mean, c'mon, how many of us would have bought some badass Avatar shirts from Hot Topic? Fuck yeah. And that's just off the top of my head.

Now we have some cool t-shirts for the movie, but I can't wear them, because I don't want anybody to think I liked or support it.

> head writer Aaron Ehasz is not part of the new project

Called it, Beast Machines to ATLA's Beast Wars.

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>Calling it
>The series hasn't even been officially announced yet
>My face when Anon jumps the gun

>another show is on the way
w-wait what


Just wait.

Okay, we all know it's a big steaming pile of crap, but is it appropriate for a six year old? Would a six year old find it entertaining?

I introduced my niece and nephew to the series (4 and 6 years old, respectively) and the older one wants to see the film.

Looking through some episodes of season two, IE Zuko Alone, I'm wondering whether or not I should've waited till they were older... >_>;

Hard to say. I don't want to just say "herp derp it's a crappy movie so don't take them", but from what I remember there was a lot of talking and not as much action as I expect a young kid would want. Though if they are fans of the show, maybe they'll enjoy seeing adaptations of the characters regardless.

As for appropriateness: at the very end of the film, Zhao is killed on-screen by a few Waterbenders who suspend him in a sphere of water and drown him. While it's partially obscured by the movement of the water, Zhao can be seen struggling and then becoming still. Whether you'd find this appropriate or not for viewers that age, I don't know, but I will admit I was a little surprised to see it and I thought I'd let you know.

Does anyone know at A) what Aaron Ehasz is up to now, and B) If a head writer has been hired?

Wow, and the movie is still PG?
I'll never undersand the american rating system.

Aaron was working on a pilot for a show of his own last I heard, but I'm not sure how that's going.

Mike and Bryan are writing miniseries by themselves unless something major has changed in the last month.

American Rating System:
a- Violence is O.K.
b- Sex is not O.K.

You can have an Antihero unload a zillion bullets in some poor bastard's chest full automatic, and it's fine, but fear thy Lord this Antihero guy is kissing his gf's boobs in the next scene, that's just sick and perverted!

Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm.
I guess we'll see what happens then. Thanks for the info.

American parents would rather their kids didn't see either of those but if they had to choose it would be the guy getting shot, but that's because people here are mostly ashamed of sex.


someone explained a way of thinking about it
I find it hard to believe my kid will rob a bank and shoot a guy with an ak47

much easier to believe she would get pregnant from some greasy slime ball statistically

Here's a Twitter play-by-play of the movie.

It all makes sense under evolutionary light, why most societies are OK with exposition of violence but are so restrictive of exposition of sex. Since most people are uneducated in evolution, it makes sense for us not to understand why societies condone or persecute certain behaviors.

Accidentally posted my review in the wrong thread.

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