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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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lucky you only paid 6 and change I paid 12.50 for this abomination It could of been something great if Shyamalan didn't tear the story apart and try to scotch tape it back together to make it all his own i feel like most of the movie was a montage.

another thing in this movie the only important thing about kyoshi is she apparently liked games... that was ridiculous. i feel like it was originally filmed as a 4 hour film and then cut and pasted together to fit a time schedule. there are no smooth transitions between scenes

Author, here. For some reason I keep thinking "Zhao" and typing "Ozai," and there's at least one spot where I didn't properly edit that out. The unfinished sentence I imagine most of you can fill in with generic Haru hate.


>It's Sokka, not Katara, who begins the process of thawing out Aang

He cracks the ice that raises the ice sphere Aang is within, but he quickly panics and flees. It's Katara who has balls, steals his boomerang, and frees Aang.

>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."

How is "you have the power to save a spirit that the world needs to survive" equivalent to "kill yourself or we all die?"

>Iroh simply stands by and says "Hey, don't do that."


>I didn't personally count Sokka's lines, but I would be genuinely surprised if he got more than twenty lines of dialogue

It's around 16 if I counted right.

>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

This I also agree with. I don't know if it was Rathbone or Shyamalan or both, but movie Sokka (confirmed for "Soakuh") was all work and no play and he was indeed very dull. With the exception of "it's trying to eat me" and the two times he uses his boomerang, I don't think he did much of anything lighthearted.


No one said the kid's name. I don't actually think it was Haru.

Also, am I the only one who saw the "dragon" and thought OH SHIT KOH FUCKING SHIT JUST GOT REAL at first?

>How is "you have the power to save a spirit that the world needs to survive" equivalent to "kill yourself or we all die?"

The point is she no longer made the initial decision, a man made it for her. One of the things that is so great about Avatar is the strong female characters. I loved that Yue sacrificed herself willingly for her people.

Wait, did they actually say "Haru?" I read he's just a similar 12 year old who got in trouble for throwing rocks at a dude's head. Who is then taken to a prison for Earthbenders situated in a rock quarry or something, where nobody was smart or daring enough to put a shitload of dirt in the single gigantic fire cauldron in the middle of the camp until Ringer pointed it out.


Anon, I love you.

I don't want to cry about this movie, as it isn't worth my salty fangirl tears. Thank you for making it a bit easier to laugh about it.


Did Iroh really make that decision for her, though? He presented her with the option, but she still made the choice.

The men at the scene actually tried to talk her out of it...

This is excellent, and I agree with you on all accounts. You've said what I would have said, but much better than I would have.

>He presented her with the option

exactly. It didn't become an option until he presented it. What was the point in making this change from the source material?


Don't know, didn't write it. If I may speculate, perhaps it was to demonstrate Iroh's allegiance to the spirits and balance rather than the Fire Nation? The option was always there, Iroh just was the one who first came to it?


It also creates a nifty plot hole. Iroh comes to this conclusion without ever being aware of Yue's connection to the moon spirit.


He senses the spirit of the Moon within her. He says it out loud, which leads to the proposition of her returning it.

In fairness, this is how it happened in the show also.

Although in the show, the whole world had gone grayscale except for Yue's still-blue eyes, so it was a little easier to tell she was special.

We warned you guys. We really did.

>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.

NO. If you want to support the SERIES instead of this pile of fail, buy the DVDs and the artbook and any other series merch you may come across.

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Oh sweet, someone else started the review thread. :)

I took a notebook with me to make reminders of certain things along the way, because I wanted to mention things that might not be in a lot of other reviews. Recognizing that this was always intended as an adaptation, I'll try not to be overly nitpicky or unfair -- or when I am, to at least demonstrate why it's important in a certain case or why "it's an adaptation" is no excuse for what was in the movie. Without further ado, here's my review! Spoilers: it's bad -- really

Just a little background on the rest of the audience seeing it: it was a matinee, with the demographics being mainly two groups: teens or young adults, majority female, often in fairly large groups; and parents taking kids aged about 7-12. I smiled a bit at one audience member in front of me, who mentioned "Aang and Katara" (in the right pronunciation) to her boyfriend and had about half a dozen ATLA pins on her purse. Obviously a fan of the show, and as it was beginning I had the weird sense that comes from having prophetic foreknowledge of a coming disaster while everyone around you is unaware.

So anyway, the movie started with silhouettes of people bending the four elements against a red background, obviously like the TV show, except instead it had the "faux Asian" writing instead -- and the flailing motions the people are making barely seem to correlate with the movement of their elements. I'll get back to this, but this is a big part of the problem with the film, and here's perhaps the first sign that this is not going to be a good experience.

Like the show's intro, we get Katara's voiceover filling in the backstory, but it really could have used a montage of related clips. Instead we get a few sentences of plain scrolling text that reminded me slightly of Star Wars. Maybe this was something they had to whip up at the eleventh hour? Also it's here we first hear "Ahvatar," and as you might imagine it made me wince a little when first hearing it (and, at risk of projecting too much, I think the audience may have done the same with each new pronunciation).

I've written before about this, but changing the pronunciations was really stupid, because it's what the characters say in the show that's definitive, not how it's transliterated in the credits. Taking the written names, and them repronouncing them via a completely new set of rules, is stupid; it's like having a movie about Mao Zedong using the older romanization Mao Tse-tung (which is supposed to be pronounced the same; the old romanization was idiotic) and pronouncing his name "Mao Tse-toong". There is some odd variation where it's pronounced "Avatar," "Ahvatar," and "Uhvatar" at different points in the film, which is weird. But there's only so much I should rant about this; onward!

Next is the whole SWT part, and we get to see Soak-a and Katara. Throughout the film, Katara just plain isn't good; she delivers her poor lines haltingly and blandly. Sokka wavers, I think; like everyone he's cursed with bad lines but at times he makes them work. At the beginning when Katara accidentally splashes water on him, he sounds like a realistic annoyed older brother, but when he's talking half to himself about the things he did to track a tiger seal they're hunting, it feels like he's reading from the script. Oh, and I don't know if it's just a side effect of the fur used in their costumes, but they look very cut-out, like a poor greenscreening job.

Anyway, within a couple minutes they find Aang and bring him back to the village. Aang's first lines, I noticed, really sounded like Aang, but then it gets iffy. A few people in the audience went "Aw, Appa!" at the first sight of the bison, but I think some of them might have nervously laughed later on when we see his weird human-like face. I thought this first part, with Aang not understanding he's been frozen so long and giving some slightly vague answers to Katara, worked very well and it's probably the best acting you'll see out of Noah. Then Zuko shows up, drags him on board, and Iroh presents this test to Aang, which he's given to all of Zuko's "potential Avatars": basically placing some water, fire, and earth in front of them and finding they react in an odd way around him. Of course then they know he's the Avatar, he moves to escape, etc etc.

The end of this scene is already a clip on Youtube, and you can see it's a bit boring in that there's no real fight on deck. And you start to really see the pacing problems in scenes, as Aang runs out on the ship's deck, Zuko chasing after him and then stopping, Aang doing a completely over-the-top flourish to open his glider. At this point Zuko says "You have nowhere to run!", and I can't help but feel how much better this part would have been if Aang had revealed the glider after, not before this line.

So Aang, Katara, and Sokka get on Appa and head off, and I think it's here that you start to taste the frustrating timeskips and Katara's narration, which aren't very well written either. There's also a glaring flub here: the narration about them approaching the Southern Air Temple has Katara mention the name Aang (or "Ong"), but in about the very next scene Katara's asking him what his name is. They find the field of Air Nomad bones, and Aang gets the dose of reality that turns him eternally-serious as he finds Gyatso's body. Here, and a few other times in the story, there are some flashbacks of Aang and Gyatso, and I think they're among my favorite parts; Gyatso's cast so well and there does feel to be a connection between him and his pupil. But after that nice scene we have Aang getting Avatar State Aangry, rising off the ground in a fake looking way, and snapping into our first look at the Spirit World. The Spirit World seems like it was rushed or half-assed; it's just a forest pathway with lanterns, a cave with a dragon spirit, and a weird Photoshop effect. The quality of the film seems off somehow, like these parts are on a home video. If they had made an interesting vista that brought to mind things like Journey to the West, it would have been far more interesting.


Zhao is, more or less, next to appear, and I really don't know how I feel about him. He's definitely not the Zhao from the show at all; he does have a certain Grima Wormtongue quality, and I noted at first that his voice seemed too high. But he does end up lending a different kind of delusion of grandeur throughout that's at the very least interesting. He's got some really lame lines and scenes, as I'll detail later, but a few turned out good, like allowing the banished Zuko to wear a Fire Nation uniform "as a child wearing a costume."

Then, we have the "generic Earth Kingdom adventure" based off Imprisoned, and it's just a mess. Out of nowhere Earthbending Boy runs to the Gaang, and hides behind them as some Fire Nation soldiers are pursuing him for bending some pebbles. Katara and Sokka refuse to give him up, which makes sense, but Sokka's delivery feels like a Rage Switch suddenly got turned on in a weird way. So Katara starts to bend and, since she's a bender too, they throw them all in the prison camp, which is a normal area completely full of dirt and earth.

This is a shame, partially because it removes the "clever solution" of bending using coal from the episode, and not being on a metal platform it makes the reasons they haven't fought back more flimsy. They do imply a fear of retribution against the village's non-benders if they fight back, but when Aang rallies the crowd with a bland speech about how "there's dirt all around you!", the prisoners act as if they had never considered this before, and they don't seem to care anymore that their escape will bring down the wrath of the Fire Nation on others. Who knows, maybe they needed the knowledge that the Avatar had returned to give them confidence that their rebellion would mean anything, I guess. But with the cool steampunk design of the Fire Nation ships, and considering the complete blandness about Fire Nation locations, this was a missed chance to create a neat, menacing, metal platform out at sea.

So this is the first extended action scene, when everyone fights the guards, and from the beginning it's obvious that this film can't do action. You'll notice time and time again that bending works by the characters wildly moving their arms around for several long seconds, and then a vaguely related thing will happen afterward. When a formation of half a dozen Earthbenders does this crazy move for what felt like ten seconds in order to hurl a medium-sized rock, it's just underwhelming. The parts when Sokka's knocking out soldiers with his boomerand are far more interesting. I'll talk more on this later, but I really want to emphasize that IMHO, more than the casting or weird changes or bad acting or short movie length, it's this that made the film unwatchable, because at this point you can't even enjoy it as a dumb action movie with cool bending scenes.

The guards are defeated, and in the words of Soaka, "we started a rebellion!" They head north, beating up random thugs at pit stops and hanging up homemade posters in faux-Asian writing that the Avatar has returned -- and I just have to nitpick about this for a second, because the writing on it looks like it was done with a quill instead of a brush, and in a "my first calligraphy book, with included pens!" sort of way. Somewhere around here they pick up the waterbending scroll as a gift from one of the villages they saved, and I guess it's Kyoshi Island because there's like 2 lines talking about this statue of Kyoshi. Yep, that's the extent of Kyoshi and her invisible Warriors.

At the Northern Air Temple part, it's mainly a bunch of confusion in squishing elements from several episodes together in something that doesn't make much sense. Aang is in the area near the NAT and is getting these visions that there's someone there who can help teach him -- or something like that, they went through that really fast and it wasn't until after the movie that I realized "wait, why did Aang go there anyway?" At this point I should probably mention that one of the overarching plot points of the film is Aang coming to terms with him running away from his responsibilities and accepting himself as the Avatar, and I think that's a wonderful idea to make overarching in a movie as opposed to the TV show, where the long season let him resolve his nature as the Avatar earlier. But it got muddy around this point and could have used more clarification.

So he goes to the NAT, and there's a guy! He's just some guy, who's glad to have seen Aang's return. He takes him into an inner room where all the Avatar statues are, and there's some exposition here that's actually not too bad dialogue-wise. And then surprise! a bunch of archers pop out from behind the statues and he's captured. And who was the guy? Just some guy, bribed by the Fire Nation, blaming the Avatar for leaving and thrusting him into a live of poverty and Fire Nation rule. I suppose the motivation can work, but I couldn't help but feel that his entire presence in the "trap" was unneeded:

Disgruntled EK guy: "Archers! Give me a sack of gold and I'll lead Aang into a room where you guys can be hiding!"
Archers: "But... why do we need you to lead him in? Wouldn't he just find the room when looking around? Or can't we just hide anywhere in the Temple and follow him? I mean, I think we're supposed to be the Yu Yan Archers so we're pretty good."
Disgruntled EK guy: "Oh... I guess you're right... but somehow my being here will make him have a vision that I'm here!"
Archers: "I guess that works, you're hired."


Aang gets captured and Zhao has a conversation with him similar to the one in the TV episode, and here I'd say Zhao's acting is pretty good. Then the Blue Spirit appears, frees Aang, and they have a battle with the soldiers. This fight would be a bit better since most of the combatants aren't using any flourish-filled bending, except for Aang (who has a neat scene in this sweet circular training room with sliding screens that would be great if only he didn't have to wave around forever before shooting a single gust). I say it would be better, because here we see just how inept and bumbling the Fire Nation soldiers are. They have to be throughout the movie since bending takes so long that they should be able to sneak in a cheap punch. But they really just turn into the Stormtroopers of the film.

Aang and the Blue Spirit escape and there's a scene with Zuko returning to consciousness in a forest like the episode. But it lost some of its power since Aang sees Zuko's face before he carrys him off, and he doesn't show the shock at being rescued by his enemy that the show had (Noah's emotions just aren't good here). There's no "we could have been friends" line here or any dialogue -- though a similar line happens around the finale in a way that just loses its power. And since Zuko needs a source to bend, there's no sudden attack that leaves Aang running off, confused and unsure. I think this scene shouldn't have been messed with, not because I'm an utter purist, but because it would have worked so well with the overarching plot of Aang's regret at running away -- and that if he hadn't, their nations might be at peace and the two of them might have been friends.

A quick aside at this point about animals. Appa and Momo are constantly "background" characters, only really there because they're in the show and they couldn't leave them out. I don't think it's until the Spirit Oasis that the name Momo is even mentioned at all. And, except for the Komodo Rhinos in the final battle, I don't think there are any other animals shown. If they had featured more fauna it would have done a lot to make the world seem less sterile and lifeless, not just because as a fan I want more hybrid animals.

The Gaang reach the Northern Water Tribe, which looks impressive and has fun design (I noticed a couple carvings of manatee-fish outside the Spirit Oasis gates). But once again Katara's narration is very silly. The extent of it is that they arrived in the NAT, met with its leaders and Princess Yue, and that Yue and Sokka "quickly became friends." The problem is that these exact things happen as she's narrating, making the narration superfluous. Though the "quickly became friends" line, combined with Sokka staring at Yue with a silly lovestruck expression drew a laugh from the audience, and I found it funny as well.

It's sometime around here that there's a conversation between Zhao and Ozai in his bland, characterless throne room, where Zhao says something like "I think your son may not only be a disgrace, but a traitor." Then there's a loooooong pause, and Ozai says something like "You mean to say that my son is what the soldiers are calling the Blue Spirit?" And then another loooooooong pause, and then Zhao says "...Yes." I'm really not sure what Shyamalan was going for here, if it was meant to be a dramatic moment or something that made Zhao sound silly about proposing such a "preposterous" idea. But regardless it's such an unintentionally hilarious part, and I can't wait for you all to see that clip on Youtube or something.

The Fire Nation invasion draws near, and Pakku places Yue under Sokka's protection, makes war plans, and trains Aang in Waterbending. There's nothing of Pakku's show personality in him at all, and he's just a guy with a beard telling Aang about how water is all about letting one's emotions flow. Even later, when he's fighting Fire Nation troops with water tentacles bursting out of the ice, it's so detached from his movements that you don't really care about him. Sokka and Yue have a few lines together, but again we see the pacing problems in that we don't see or experience enough of their relationship to make her death meaningful. Though there is a scene with them, where she talks about visiting Sokka in the SWT, and him replying that his Grandmother would harass her with lots of questions, that was pretty sweet. It was cheesy and was obviously just a vehicle for exposition about Yue's white hair and why she'll be able to resurrect the Moon Spirit later, but there was something about it I liked.

So here comes the Fire Nation, and I guess I should backtrack about what's been going on with Iroh and Zuko. There was a scene that's basically exposition for Zuko and why he's banished. Iroh basically suggests Zuko settle down and live a good life in this Earth Kingdom colony, and to demonstrate why that's not good enough, he calls over this boy sitting nearby and asks him what he knows about the Fire Lord's son. Of course, the boy talks about the banishment, and while it's an infodump, it's also a nicely touching scene that reminds the viewer of how Zuko's disgraced name feels to him. If they had just done a bit more to make the scene unique (something like "As long as that's what the world knows me fore, I'll keep hunting the Avatar."), it would have been a real gem of a scene.

Right after the Blue Spirit parts, Zuko returns to Iroh (getting a foot massage from an EK woman of all things) and goes aboard his ship, which, due to sabotage by Zhao, explodes due to a gas leak. I only wish there had been some more emotion or expression on Iroh's face at this point to reflect how he must feel that his sort of adopted son might have been killed. Iroh's performance is one of my favorites during most of the film, and he still displays the peaceful mellowness of his show counterpart, he shows a nice wisdom about spiritual things, he mentions and drinks tea several times, etc. He shows his caring for Zuko as Zuko's about to do his arctic-diving scene into the NWT like in the show,


OK, back to the invasion. We get some Helm's Deep shots right beforehand, and Pakku rallies his men with this "Oooooooo!" call, which I can understand was meant to be like a wolf's howl, it was just sudden and felt kind of weird. The Fire Nation breaks into the city with their machinery; some of it (like these cannons/blowtorches which seem to focus Firebending to cut holes in the walls) were neat, while others (like these retarded hand-held drills which soldiers used to emerge from the ground) were, well, retarded. Seriously, the Water Tribe men could have easily played some whack-a-mole as their foes were trying to crawl out.

And this is the problem with the fight scenes: combatants stand around too much not taking important shots. They have to, to make bending not be horrendously underpowered by the "casting time" needed to do any bending. See, I don't know if Shyamalan understands what made bending battles in the show so interesting: they were basically like martial arts fights, but with each move matching something elemental so it was like two people simultaneously "melee-fighting with some space between them" (I imagine that must have helped the show avoid higher violence ratings!). In contrast, the fights in the film are more like one person doing a crazy motion, then its effect happens, then the other person does a crazy effect, and that effect happens. The term that came to mind in the Katara/Zuko fight was "dance-off," because not only is there little connection between bender and element, there's little connection between bender and opposing bender. I would have been far more willing to forgive all the other flaws in the film if it had just gone with the original way of controlling bending; right now, the action scenes are just plain boring.

When Zuko defeats Katara and takes Aang (to a hidden part of the city instead of the polar wastelands), it's obvious how useless bending is in a "real fight," because when Aang regains consciousness (after receiving more helpful hints from the dragon spirit), they fight and it's, to my distaste, little more than a brawl. Constant physical contact, kicking, it just doesn't feel like the Aang we're used to.

So Zhao comes into the Spirit Oasis with Iroh and grabs the Ocean Spirit fish in a bag. I thought some of the dialogue here was good, or at least relatively good, though it may be more the performances of Zhao and Iroh which were, again, relatively better. The way Zhao was approaching killing the spirits felt more like an attempt to remove spiritualism from the world ("Now we are the Gods!") than ever meant in the show, but it was an interesting change that worked with this very different idea of Zhao. I was getting some "The Ring is mine!" vibes from the way Iroh was trying to convince Zhao not to do it.

But no, Zhao pulls a dagger and stabs the fish. And then here comes the most "wtf" shot in the movie. Iroh is filled with rage, and the camera does this weird zoom to his eye, and then back out again. You guys will have to see it on Youtube or a gif eventually, because it's perfect reaction image material, completely unintentionally hilarious. Then, in his ragebending, fire emerges from his hands in a brilliant display, and he points a flaming fist at Zhao -- and Zhao and his men run away. No fight, no fireballs, just an unmoving display of ability and the soldiers running away "oh no! he can bend fire without a source!" Could have been this great moment filled with determination, but it's held back very lamely.

And then at some point Yue goes into the water and gets the white sucked out of her hair, resurrecting the Moon Spirit and leaving her body behind. Not too much to remark on here. But Zhao's death I can remark on; basically after being left behind by Zuko and Iroh (after he tries to send a fireball at Zuko, which Iroh blocks), four random Waterbenders smash a bunch of water on him, levitating him in this sphere of water as, slowly and completely on-screen, he drowns. I suppose it's a way to remove Koizilla and still keep Aang from killing, but I was surprised that they would show it that graphically.

Now it's time for the climax regarding Aang. Fresh from his conversation with the dragon spirit, he knows what to do, and moves as fast as he can to the city wall, bending and freezing anyone in his path. I actually felt a little excited at this part; even though it's the weird "bouncy" movements we saw in an already-released clip, it all flowed better and seemed faster. Probably because he was legitimately in a hurry it didn't feel like he was flailing for no reason. Sadly this just makes me wonder what the action scenes would have been like if they had all been that smooth.

He gets on the wall and, as he's letting his emotions flow, accepting the mistakes he made in running away, he's finally able to unlock his true potential for Waterbending, lifting up this giant wave at the walls. And... he holds it there. The Firebenders all are freaking out, but there's no utter destruction of any vessels. What you see in the trailers is as far as it goes. Now, this is good on an intellectual level because even though there's no Koizilla, it's just a show of the Avatar's force and his hands aren't stained with any blood. But it does feel anticlimatic, and I couldn't help but wonder what would happen to the NWT once the Avatar leaves for the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation can just return with its intact fleet.

After he's saved the NWT and come down from the wall, all the Waterbenders bow, and all the Firebender prisoners begrudgingly. In the movie, this bowing thing is supposed to be this ceremony an Avatar does, where the people at the Air Temple bowed to him as if to ask him to be their Avatar, and he's supposed to bow back to accept that responsibility. At the Air Temple, he hadn't, and that was part of his guilt at not accepting the responsibility. I don't know how I feel about the bowing itself, but having a symbol of requesting and accepting the Avatar is a nice idea for the movie in theory. I mean, obviously they were going for this "Return of the King" thing here, but I don't know. So to show that he has accepted himself as the Avatar, when everyone (including Katara and Sokka) bow to him, he bows back. Well, it's this weird flailing martial arts move that he makes and then holds for several seconds, and then you go "oh, I guess that's a bow then." And then he just holds it and holds it with this weird look on his face. And then it cuts to black. A sort of weird ending.

And that's it! There's the ending scene of Azula accepting her father's mission, and she looks OK, though her devotion to her father is a bit overpowered by a crazy look in her smile that was excessive. And there are the credits, which had a nice style of the cast being "element-silhouettes" doing bending moves.

So, overall? I need to emphasize that, while I tried to be fair in explaining things and offering possible reasons for choices in the film, I did not find this to be a good movie. Iroh was pretty good (except for crazy eye-zoom), Zhao was very different but still made a nice villain, but Sokka, Aang, and Katara were all to varying degrees bad. I didn't mention all the changes that were made from the show, since we all know about a lot of them, but it was apparent that Shyamalan had a thing for changing things for no apparent reason at all. The writing was elementary and lifeless and it's a wonder that some of the actors were able to draw something good from it. The pacing was compressed and there was no character development outside of Aang's acceptance of himself as the Avatar; it's odd that the movie would seem to appeal to fans by being a slideshow of bits from the season that must have been incomprehensible to non-fans, and yet change so much that the fans would be expecting. But damning most of all for me was what the movie did to the way that bending combat worked, because it just made the action scenes terrible and made no significant part of the show truly redeemable. Right as the credits started rolling, there seemed to be a fast exodus by a fair portion of the audience, as if suddenly released from shackles that had bound them to the seats. And while there were like 6 and 7 year olds which were saying how cool it was, for the teenage and older crowd I didn't hear any positive murmurs, either negative, "meh," or "but the effects were decent" sorts of reactions, though I really couldn't make out much conversation. All in all it was just a little sad seeing so much potential, so many ways that things could have been good or enjoyable and it just not happening.

Phew! So there's my review. Other people post your reviews too! And if anyone has questions, ask them! I like to be the center of attention help answer questions about the movie so you don't have to see it yourself.


>NO. If you want to support the SERIES instead of this pile of fail, buy the DVDs and the artbook and any other series merch you may come across.

Pretty much this. I have zero intention of supporting this movie in any way shape or form, and hope it deservedly bombs which won't be a problem considering, it was panned by critics, bad word of mouth and competition.

What irks me the most is when you see some things in the preview like shots of Appa and Aang going into the Avatar state, one can imagine how great this movie could have been in the hands of a competent director and good writer. A damned shame really.

>When a formation of half a dozen Earthbenders does this crazy move for what felt like ten seconds in order to hurl a medium-sized rock, it's just underwhelming.

Oh my god, this bothered me so much


>There's the ending scene of Azula accepting her father's mission, and she looks OK, though her devotion to her father is a bit overpowered by a crazy look in her smile that was excessive.

This annoys me as well. We all knew Azula was fucked up in the head from the beginning, however it was subtle. She came off if anything as a cunning sociopath in the beginning and didn't go full psycho bitch until later on after Mai and Ty Lee turned on her. But from what i am reading here it seems like M Night will have her like that right off the bat. Judging by how he has handled the other characters i don't have high hopes for Azula.

Don't worry, this movie will not make enough money to warrant the making of the other two.

Maritova (and all other interested takers), do you think the movie would have been better if it ran for longer? Just an idea: what would you think if each book got multiple movies?

I'm not understanding all of the complaints to Sokka in this film. No, I'm not saying their werent complaints that are warranted, but he was still in quite a few situations comic relief. He was very serious but he still held quite a bit of sarcasm in his voice to quite a few things he said, and there were quite a few laughs to "Anyone can help now whenever they want (paraphrased, i know)".

There are really just 3 major complaints to this movie:

1) Pacing was terrible. Characters suddenly knew information that they shouldn't of at the moment, only knowing because they had to move everything forward already. Most every scene seemed to be expositions that furthered the plot and there were nothing else there to truly give us characters for everyone to actually give a darn about them.

Sokka was a serious sarcastic guy who was goofy but had sporadic screentime, girls complaints to be touched later but already mentioned in the Op, Iroh never got the chance to truly do something that was actually insightful or heroic until the end, Aang was never shown to the audience just how much the world weighed on him affected him, they just made him look like a weak boy, I'm surprised most people leaving the theater weren't complaining about how much a wimp he was.

2) DARK AND DEPRESSING! Outside of the fight involving the Blue Spirit, I don't think the tempo of the entire movie raised at ALL musically. I understand that they wanted an "agni kai"-esque familiarity for the whole Tsunami seen, but when the entire movie is like that, it just made it seem so blah and incosequential. Darkness everywhere, everyone truly was affected by the war because no one still has a soul, they're all just serious and sad outside of a few minutes for Aang and a few scattered minutes for Sokka.

3) Women are inconsequential. I know they're going to try to use the entire series to make katara become the best Waterbender out there, but way to castrate Ms. Women-rights "Holier than thou". Even someone who disliked AtLA Katara was annoyed with this Katara, and I can't blame it on the actress, because the shorts with her on Nick actually show her being someone who's charismatic. Yue practically is rushed into her dilemna, making Iroh look like "well shit.....oh hey wait, we can kill her and solve everything, cool......sorry dude, no white haired babies for you". The only woman who sort of made any characterization was Grandma, and she's needed only for the non-spirit benders to understand the plot.

Btw, I cringed so badly when they had the sound of giggles come out when they showed Azula for the fateful agni kai. WTF was up with that?

Honestly, I'm not sure. I don't want to give a knee-jerk reaction of "it was terrible, nothing could fix this mess." Certainly it would have helped a bit for the "big transitions" that had Katara narrating the timeskip, but it felt like the movie didn't even use the time it had very well (can't quite explain it, but the movie seemed to both rush through things and dawdle all the while).

Also given the acting and writing and "action," the movie felt like it was too long when I watched it today! :P

I'll have to think about this some more.


The problem is the writing, not the pacing. A ruthless writer-editor could get Book One down to a runtime of 103 minutes. Sacrifices would be made, but you'd be able to get a few character moments and generally communicate the journey from South Pole to North Pole in a way that would make most people happy. Look at the varied characterizations Toy Story managed in a runtime just over sixty minutes. Another twenty minutes would be nice, but not necessary.

The problem is who was holding the pen. In the third act, there's a scene with Zhao and Iroh in which the phrase "moon power" is used in three consecutive sentences. Page-long infodumps are communicated as naked exposition. There is no joy in this movie. There are maybe four jokes in the whole story, two of which are even kind of funny. Even as a fan of the series, parts of the plot left me confused about who was where and what their motivation was for the action they just took. I don't think an additional hour of shitty writing would have cured what ailed this script.

>Ozai's death

Er, what?

I agree about Sokka. The humor/sarcasm he had felt like it was still somewhat there, and it got some laughs out of the audience.

Oops! I made a mistake here -- I had completely forgotten that the Blue Spirit's reveal in the show was in fact before Aang carries Zuko away.


I'm a little bit of an idiot. I meant Zhao. Sorry.

What would be the point? If you're trying to break it up into more movies you might as well go back to the TV show format, and then you're looking at just doing live action A:tLA.

OP and Maritova have said most the points I would have. Unnecessary changes for seemingly no reason. I feel like with a different writer/director, the acting would have been better for the most part. Zuko and Iroh were alright. Aang and Sokka might have been better with different directing. IMHO, no hope for the actress playing Katara. SO BLAND.

We had the added unpleasant bonus of somebody sitting behind us who was constantly passing silent gas. I still have the stench in my nose.

I laughed once in this entire movie. That was at the end, when the NWT people are cheering at the sight of Aang's giant wave. One person is holding their spear with both hands, lifting it up and down in the air. It looks EXACTLY like the raider from Star Wars IV.

I'm really hoping Nickelodeon will abandon the thought of adapting into movies Books 2 & 3.

I'm sorry guys, but your money goes to Paramount's Fund For More Movie Merchandise.
Congratulations guys, Nick wanted to make easy money by selling ATLA to Paramount, and you've just demostrated it was a profitable idea.


Nick and Paramount are subsidiaries of the same company. Nick didn't need to "sell" anything to anything. It all, regrettably, goes in the same pot.

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.

File: 127825880510.jpg-(26.39KB, 400x400, derp_cat.jpg)
>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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