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 The Last Airbender Movie

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Casey Jewels

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PostSubject: The Last Airbender Movie   Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:41 pm

A place for dicussion about it, and what you guys thought.




Here's a review for it I wrote this morning:

I went to my first midnight showing last night. And now I'm writing my first movie review.


I've never seen any of M. Night Shyamalan's movies, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard he was directing it. I was somewhat nervous, but then I read an interview he had done about how he was a big fan of the show and had seen it and all that, so then I relaxed some about it. Turns out, I had every right to be worried.

Things I disliked:
1. They pronounced some of the names wrong. Everyone in the movie theater who had seen the show flinched whenever Aang's name was said. Iroh's name was also fowled up, and Sokka was said weird some of the time. In the opening sequence, Avatar was mispronounced.

2. The movie was very choppy, especially towards the beginning. They just moved from one place to the other, and had where they were show up on the bottom of the screen (such as 'Southern Earth Kingdom'), instead of just extending the scene or some other such thing to tell where they are.

3. There was about zero character growth. We got a little bit with Aang, a smidge with Sokka, and that was about it. One can argue that Iroh had some character growth, but for those that know Iroh's story, there was no character growth. The characters just weren't really explored at all.

4. Just about no new characters were introduced once the beginning stuff was done. No Haru, no Jet, no Suki, no Kyoshi Warriors, no Teo, no pirates, no Aunt Wu, no King Bumi. None of that was there. There were a few spots when they were in the Earth Kingdom that something would come up, such as an oppressed Earth Kingdom town where they weren't allowed to bend, where I thought for sure a character would make an appearance (such as Haru, in that case), but it didn't happen.

5. The North Pole lost much of its culture. Yue wasn't engaged, and spent weeks with Sokka. There was no fight between Katara and Master Pakku (which I was really looking forward to). She was immediately accepted to train with him.

6. The whole thing was way too serious, especially Aang. Book 1 was fun, and light-heartened. The movie did no feel that way, and Aang never laughed, and rarely cracked a smile. Along those same lines, Aang kept saying over and over that he ran away, which bugged me a lot because he doesn't like admitting that in the show.

7. Momo was kept, but he'd just randomly show up and then disappear again. M. Night Shyamalan didn't even try to give him a purpose.

8. I knew this beforehand and I'm still kind of torn on it, but... the firebending. I'm still undecided on how I feel about them needing a source. All of the other benders need a source for their bending, but at the same time their source is harder to remove. Just snuff out the flames a firebender is drawing from, and that's that. I think I like firebending the best when they can do it themselves.

9. The clothing. Some of it was good, but I didn't like how the Fire Nation looked at all.

10. Was that Zhao showing up talking to the Fire Lord again and again? If so, how does that work? It would take weeks to travel there, and weeks to get back on the trail of the Avatar.

11. Zuko's look bothered me a little, as well as the Fire Lord's.

12. No Pai Sho, no Lotus tile. I know that it isn't very important, especially in Book 1, but it introduces the concept of the Lotus.

And... that's all I can think of, off the top of my head.


Now, for the things that I liked:

1. The special effects were awesome. The bending looked cool, as did Appa. Momo was cool as well, but not as.

2. Iroh could bend fire without a source! That was wicked sweet, because if anybody would be able to do that, it would be Iroh.

3. The chi thing with the Fire Nation was cool. While they couldn't bend with it, they could heat themselves up.

4. Yue looked perfect for the part. To a lesser degree, I think that Sokka, Katara, and Aang did too.

5. I liked the Earth Kingdom clothing. It fit them well.

6. The opening sequence (while it could have been better) was similar to the show's opening, which was cool.

7. There were some parts that made me laugh, as well as everyone else in the audience.

8. Iroh mentioned tea! It was only once, but it was there.

9. I loved the fight scenes, when it came to bending. They were awesome, and made me love waterbending even more.


Overall, I'd give this movie a 6/10.

Though the special effects were amazing, it felt like a low-budget movie. I expected more from M. Night Shyamalan, especially since this isn't his first movie. Once they got to the North Pole, the movie flowed better, but I felt like it really missed the mark.

I know nothing about directing or any of that, but I could have done a better job with making it flow, as well as fixing the dialogue, and I would have gone deeper into the characters (as well as made some brief appearances of others. I also would have made sure the names were pronounced right.

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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:54 pm

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I saw the special that came on Nick yesterday The Last Airbender: Revealed.

M. Night said that he changed the pronunciation of some of the names to a more eastern pronunciation, to honor the source. Yeah, because you couldn't have honored the source by casting some characters differently. Not that I have a problem with the casting, I believe that they'll do a decent job with what they have.

Then he said he specifically had the firebenders need a source, and only highly skilled benders like Iroh could produce their own fire.

And he said they actually shot a lot of the Kyoshi Warriors, but in the end cut them because they were taking over the film or something, which I thought was ridiculous. If he didn't want them to have a big role, he could've done something to have them stay out of the movie, maybe even followed the plot of the episode they were in.

I don't mind tampering, but at least make it plausible.

Well, Casey Jewels, your score gives me some hope. Maybe it won't be the best we could get, but it doesn't sound like it's the movie equivalent of the Hidenburg.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:10 pm

^mstm I heart you. Just because I thought you would bash the movie like some others. Sorry!!! -_-;

Some of the reviews on ASN were pretty mean, but I can understand them. They were disappointed it wasn't all we made it to be, but like Katara, I have hope that the second movie will be better.

I see the movie tonight so I can't wait.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:20 pm

I think that once it gets to the North Pole, it gets better.

Frankly, it reminds me of the Twilight movie, because (for those that like it) there's good parts and stuff you love about it, but at the same time it could have been a lot better. And New Moon was a lot better than Twilight, so hopefully the sequel for Airbender will be much better.

@manysidestome
I hadn't heard about that bit about the pronunciations, but I think that it was a bad choice on his part. Whenever a story is retold, the narrator of the story is going to give it his own style, but I think that Shyamalan went overboard with doing that. It was still Avatar, which is why it's hard for me not to completely hate the movie, but he changed so much of it that it didn't feel the same as the show.

I hope that we get a new director (that, or Shyamaln learned a lot from how not to make an action/adventure movie and does a better job with the second), and that the second is much better than the first.

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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:12 am

So I saw it and I liked it. It wasn't the greatest movie and it could have been better, but it still was pretty decent. I'd see it again if I could. XD And yeah the BS still kicked butt! XD
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:55 pm

Well, the film had all the problems any movie adaptation has, plus not so great dialogue and whatnot, but it was a decent film. I mean, it'd be easier to name all the similarities rather than the differences, but the overall story was the same, the action was good, the effects good. I have to look at it as a different version of the story, because it mostly is, but that doesn't make it bad. I probably wouldn't see it again in theaters, mainly because ticket prices are a lot, but it was good. 3D wasn't worth it though.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:10 pm

Just came back from seeing The Last Airbender. It was a decent movie, but it could have been a lot better, in my opinion. The pacing and transitions were bad, some of the dialouge was weird, and the story itself was poorly written. It has a lot of good points, but the bad ones overshadow them.

THE GOOD:

Whoever was playing Iroh was PERFECT! I absolutely loved the guy. If Iroh ever became a real live person, it'd be that guy. He nailed the part, in my opinion. Dev Patal, was it? The guy who played Zuko was also pretty good. There were some bad moments, but he was otherwise pretty good. Katara and Sokka were 'ok', but it didn't really feel (to me) that they were important to the story. But I chalk that up to bad writing. The girl playing Yue looked the part, but didn't feel all that important. Again, bad writing. Noah Ringer did pretty good as Aang as well. The special effects were also really good, in my opinion. And the Blue Spirit looked AWESOME! They got that part right, at least.

THE BAD:

As I said before, the pacing and transitions were terrible. The story itself was decent, but it could have been a LOT better. Some more explanation was needed for certain parts, too, and certain scenes either needed to be done differently or needed to be longer. The guy playing Zhao was competent, but I felt he could have done a better job. And whoever was playing Ozai....didn't look all that threatening. When I picture Ozai, I defintely do not picture such a wimpy looking guy. And NO KOIZILLA!!! I was very disappointed with that.

As was said before, the name changes were annoying, but I learned to ignore them. Cutting out Bumi, the Kyoshi Warriors, Roku, Jet, and some others were all bad mistakes the director made, in my opinion. And, of course, the movie was WAY too short. It should have been at least 2 hours and a half, in my opinion. Oh, and Appa and Momo barely had any screen time, too.

And that's pretty much my opinion on the whole thing. If they do make a sequel, many improvements will have to be made. I don't have much of an opinion of Azula, since we saw little of her. She looked good, but if a sequel is made, I sure do hope she pulls off the part.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:26 am

Magus1108 wrote:

As was said before, the name changes were annoying, but I learned to ignore them. Cutting out Bumi, the Kyoshi Warriors, Roku, Jet, and some others were all bad mistakes the director made, in my opinion. And, of course, the movie was WAY too short. It should have been at least 2 hours and a half, in my opinion. Oh, and Appa and Momo barely had any screen time, too.

And that's pretty much my opinion on the whole thing. If they do make a sequel, many improvements will have to be made. I don't have much of an opinion of Azula, since we saw little of her. She looked good, but if a sequel is made, I sure do hope she pulls off the part.

I agree with all the reviews here so far, but the bold up there in particular I agree with a whole lot. I think if they would have given it at LEAST 45 minutes more, there might have been more time to bring in the characters and other plot points that were cut out. TLA just didn't live up to the attention it got, and especially not to the series, but that's to be expected. I just wish it would have covered more of the Book 1 we know and love.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:26 pm

I have yet to see the movie, and some of the criticisms do sound a bit disappointing, but most of them share a common theme. "It wasn't there. And while I too was hoping for an awesome fan service movie that covered it all, it's just impossible to do. You can't fit an entire season of TV in one movie. I don't know the length, but assuming that it's two hours long, there's another five hours of the season left, maybe six. And it seems like they hit all the hard plot points. (Except Bumi. Bumi was important. In fact Bumi is the center of the plot at the start of the second season.) When it comes down to it, you need to watch this movie with fresh eyes. Pretend like you haven't watched the show. You might enjoy the movie.

I'm a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series. Me and my friends went to see the movie, and only one of my other friends had read the books. So we watched the movie, and I was appalled at how inaccurate to the books it was. (We sort of spent the whole time making a sort of abridged version of the movie, in which Percy was a klepto collecting marbles that let him cheat at marbles so he could be the marble king.) When the movie was over I was going on about how inaccurate it was, when everybody else was going on about how much they enjoyed it. The movie wasn't marketed to fans, so just try and take it as it is.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:44 pm

Hey people. I'm new to this site, but wanted to give my opinion of The Last Airbender...I was pretty disappointed in it to be honest. They could've done pretty well with it. The name pronunciations were sorta annoying, but the director had said he wanted them to be pronounced the real Asian way. I was also sorta upset about the ending when Aang was supposed to team up with the ocean spirit. I think that if it hadn't been a TV series that i was a big fan of, i would've liked it more. But since it was based on a series, i was disappointed. so yeahh...hahaa.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:16 am

After some thinking, I've pretty much run myself into a wall with The Last Airbender. It doesn't seem to matter that the film itself wasn't terrible, that it had moments that were good, I can't deny that this isn't what the film adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender should have been. I haven't changed my opinion of it at all, but I just can't justify its existence.

I can't blame anyone who hates the film, and do think the people who loved it probably have a case of denial, or incredibly low expectations, or have never seen a movie before, but it was at the very least not a bad time waster. And that bugs the heck out of me, this should have been LOTR big or Harry Potter big.

Oh well, it's been over a month since its release, nothing else to say that anyone else hasn't already said better.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender Movie   Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:45 am

^Henh. Seems like your Avatard pride has taken over alotta your openmindedness MSTM. =D

Yeah, I agree with what everyone said here pretty much. There are some personal taste differences (like with the clothing. I thought they were alright. I kind of didn't notice'em too much, so that's either me being ignorant or it was good enough to blend in well.)

I think the fact that I saw the Nick Special Behind the Scenes thing really helped me. I knew about the name changes, and was kind of okay with them. In that, M. Night only mentioned Aang's name change, and said that there were only some minor changes, but Iroh being "Ee-roh" and Sokka being "So-ka" kind of surprised me...well, actually I half-joked about it before it was actually said, but I was surprised that I was right...

I. Since everyone can agree with the usual pacing/dialogue/humor/time things (I was surprised that the movie wasn't longer), I'll just state my disappointment on NO KOIZILLA!!! (I was REALLY looking forward to that live action. The big massive almost Tsunami looks cool, but personally I feel like there was a passive "Violence is not the answer" moral-theme to the movie sometimes.)

II. Also, while the bending did look cool, alot ASNers didn't like how the motions blended with the elements moving too much. I think mostly with the waterbending. Example: Instead of the water following the arms there would be a wushu form followed by an effect.

This looked cool for some parts, like when Aang made this giant twister making it raise higher and higher by doing this spin kick twist thing, but with the Earth Kingdom Prison thing (Which wasn't even metal...that's another problem all together with how M Night did that. I couldn't really buy their hoplessness with the Earth being right there...), there was a scene with about 7-10 earthbenders doing a form simultaenously looking like a cheerleader squad or some kind of super sentai power rangers group, and all that happened was one tiny-decent size rock slowly moving across the screen. I can't even remember if it hit anything it was so pathetic! When I first saw that, I felt like something really epic was gonna happen, but it was just kinda ruined...

Anyways, I in no way really really hate this movie like a lot of Avatards, but of course it has nothing on the original show. I'm not too good at ratings, but I do have hope that M. Night will do better in the future. The name thing probably won't change, but character development, dialogue (I really didn't notice, but a lot of people said it was bland, unemotional, and awful), and the length might!

Oh, and the Blue Spirit just can't be messed up. =D The changes to that scene did make it pretty interesting. Even though there weren't really any Yu Yan archers, it was still pretty cool. =) (I saw the movie in 3D too...the 3D effects were clear in the beginning, but I kinda lost it at the end. Coulda been my eyes adjusting though?)
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