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Opinionated Guide to The Last Airbender
Introduction
Now, I didn't see this movie in the cinemas. My brother did. Then after it came out on DVD, he decided to rent it out and force me to watch through it in revenge for making him watch Dragonball Evolution (Coincidentally, I got horribly sick after that viewing. How fitting). By the end of the movie, I was a shattered wreck, only left with the desire to fuck the pain away.

This movie was worse than Dragonball Evolution. The thing was, DE was dead on arrival. Everyone knew the kind of ungodly bomb it would be. It was a horrible idea with horrible pre-release footage and images. We knew what we were getting, and it fulfilled that. It was a cliched, brainless piece of crap that had none of the good elements from the original series. But in many ways, it was So Bad Its Good in a few places.

The Last Airbender actually showed potential. When I saw the first trailer, learned that M.Night actually was a fan of the show, and Mike and Brian were helping out, I was optimistic. I thought that while it was a bit redundant, and could very easily go wrong, the people behind it made me feel like it had a chance, that it could be pulled off to become decent. I kept up that feeling until I saw that it had gotten an even lower rating on Rotten Tomatoes than Dragonball. My hopes for the movie sank, but it wasn't until I saw it for myself that I finally took in how horrifically bad this was. It is the worst movie I have ever watched.
Emperordaein
^ I would say that it's better done than Dragonball Evolution, but that may be why some people see it as worse. It had less excuse to be bad at all.
ManwiththePlan

BioSafety
The Boy in the Iceberg
Hope you will cover how crappy the bending looks in the film compared to the show. You've also skipped nice chances to mock the special effects. Like when Katara cgi-bends a ball of water that keeps dripping but never shrinks or loses mass.
Ghilz
Oh, trust me: the bending will get it's due. I'm just saving it for the proper time.
Korval
Korval: "Oh yeah, I'm sure there are plenty of Inuits with blue eyes."

In the cartoon, the benders have eye colors related to the element they bend. It has nothing to do with the ethnicity they're based on. Katara's eyes are blue in the cartoon because the color blue is associated with water.

It really doesn't matter, though, because if you have time to put all those fake tattoos on Noah Ringer, how hard can it be to put some blue contact lenses on a couple of Inuits?
205.204.248.70
And he cant even say that because as Gene Yang (noted Chinese-American nerd icon) noted, the casting cure specifically asked for (and I quote) z"Caucasian or any other ethnicnity." Although that may be Hollywood's fault and not Shamalan's, as you said his argument falls apart because THE MOVIE FALLS APART!
JusticeMan

BioSafety
The Southern Air Temple
Aasif as the Big Bad is hands down one of the more enjoyable things about this crappy movie. Just the comedically dick-ish way he plays his "serious" scenes cracks me up.
ManwiththePlan
It's a fun game to insert Daily Show-isms in his dialogue, or of those talking to him.

"We now cut to Senior Fire Nation Dinner Correspondent, Aasif Mandvi."

"We let him wear a uniform. Like a child. Back to you, John."
Ghilz
I never got over how damn lazy the spirit world looks. Instead of being this mystical, supernatural place, it looks like somewhere in a Chinese Garden (As in, those public attraction types that are basically pseudo national parks) with a Blue Filter. Yeah. Seeing some real mysticism and phenomena there. The Sydney Chinese Garden Light Show I went to was more spiritual than this crap! And that consisted of an hour long walk through echoing bell chimes flanked by crappy modern art on the sides! (I realise I will never be able to let you comprehend the sheer lameness of the The Sydney Chinese Garden Light Show) Of course it barely gets shown at all, so I don't think they wanted to waste money on that.....

Anyway, next up is The First Great Last Airbender Meme of 2010!
Emperordaein
You know, given it all, i actually enjoyed this, it serves as Exposition with purpose (Zhao being a total dick hole) showed Zuko as royally angry, Iroh as the voice of reason, and even had a cool one-liner I'd like to have seen int he show, it encapsulated a lot of the Fire Nation dichotomy into a cohesive whole, as in it actually ADAPTED.
JusticeMan
u chat shit
82.19.16.158
how are these retarded bastards here saying this film is crap, its not, its shit! all of u lot are such whores!
82.19.16.158
Imprisoned
Yeah, this is why I'd gladly take episodes with Katara always being right and getting her way over this moment of the movie any day. And no, I did not like Aang stealing Katara's moment. It only furthered the Chickification of her character.
ManwiththePlan
After another failed attempt by the firebenders to attack, we see six earthbenders doing some synchronized movements. One would expect something awesome to come from that. It doesn't. Indeed, nothing comes of this. Was there a special effect that was cut? Instead, we see one guy in the foreground levitate a stone and hurl it into a soldier's gut.

The generally seen interpretation of that scene is that the 6 guys were necessary to raise a single stone the size of a potato, and the other dude provided the horizontal momentum to throw it.

Dunno if it says something better that it takes 7 earthbenders to throw a potato-sized rock at one enemy. Pretty sure 7 guys could've more easily and swiftly just swarmed and pummelled the guard to death.

Another fun thing about this scene you did not cover: When Aang gives his speech, the guards are clearly just staring at him. But they don't DO ANYTHING, about the kind inciting a riot and a break out. Also to make things worst, not only did the earthbenders never think of using their powers to break out, but they outnumber the guards almost 3 to 1!
Ghilz
You know the Mark Watc hes has an intersting take on Imprisoned, teh idea of teh entrapmente being more than just physcialk but "psycholgical," ergo how in teh original series, how `some coal and a speach wasnte nought o maically make it all go away. as a Black Man (god I hate saying that) I can see teh parrseel.s The differnce? Like everything int his moves it's idead, wheil differnt, arnet inhelry bad it's just that its SO HORRIBLYT EXECUTED!!!!!!!
JusticeMan
You know the Mark Watches LB has an interesting take on Imprisoned, the idea of the entrapment being more than just physical but "psychological," ergo how in the original series, how `some coal and a speech wasnít enough to magically make it all go away. As a Black Man (god I hate saying that) I can see the parallel. Perhaps the quarry was meant to demonstrate just how ingrained the conditioning was, that even sounded by the earth they were still hobbled. The difference? Like everything in this moves its ideas, while different, arenít inherently bad it's just that itís SO HORRIBLY EXECUTED!!!!!!! So much of this film could be fixed with a basic rewrite or hell some minor editing by Bryke. (Well, it wouldnít help the god awful actors)
JusticeMan
The 1st post was an accidental post (hit the wrong key). Oh and the cinematography or this scene was TERRIBLE, as Rufftoon so stated in her comic. And stretching out the whole "I'm the Avatar" "secret" is the most idiotic thing ever. In the series it a lasted for a piece of an ep and even then people knew it was weird prolonging some nonsense "is he the avatar" mystery when IT'S IN TEH GODDAMN TITLE is the most idiotic thing ever. Especially because it makes the characters seem like idiots for not knowing.
JusticeMan
The Waterbending Scroll
Apparently, M Night saw bending as pumping up an air cannon, with all those dance movements charging it up, as opposed to being based on actual martial arts. Which is just RETARDED, and M Night never makes any kind of effort to convey this in the film, or weave it into the plot, like having the motions be described as such during any of the training scenes. It does solidify your Street Fighter comment. With that logic, the Bending in the show is more like Super Smash Bros matches.
Emperordaein
The real problem with Ozai isn't showing his face; it's that, having introduced him this early (which I would actually agree is a good change for a three-film adaptation), they don't give him anything to do. He spends the whole film lounging around his house and having information brought to him, exactly like Galbatorix from Eragon. And that's really not a comparison you want to invite.
Eegah
^ Yeah, I'm only thankful that Cliff Curtis gave a better performance than John Malkovich did as Galbatorix because script-wise, he's exactly the same character.
ManwiththePlan
Well Agni Kai is actually from some weird Japanese Indian fusion Byke did so parsing it as Agni Ki Duel makes sense (again all these changes would go done so much smoother if the film didnt suck.) I actually liked how they incorporated the source cultures into the narrative more. Case in point how this films fucks up ideas that could work. Like The Firebending limitation. As you kick ass ideas showed it could've been done RIGHT but it was handled worse than a lubed virgin at a catholic monastary.. But yeah, fuck this movie.
JusticeMan
The Blue Spirit
I'm reminded of Shyamalan's presentation of his childhood ghost movie on the Sixth Sense DVD, where he says watching the scene will explain the lack of effects in The Sixth Sense, because he's so bad at them. He really does have a surprising lack of ego in those early clips, compared to what he's like now.
Eegah
Aasif actually asks, "What is this?"IT'S FOG, YOU ASSCLOWN!

I laughed out loud at this. Like I said, Aasif provides the best comedy in this movie.
ManwiththePlan
It should also be mentioned that the guy who played the Judas Monk was none other than Grampa "Prepare to eat DIRT!" Gohan from Dragon Ball Evolution himself. It's as if that guy's an omen that the film's a crappy adaptation.
ManwiththePlan
Note that the Yu Yan Archers in the series knew where Aang was because he'd already been spotted by a Fire Nation observation post earlier in the episode. The soldiers in the observation post then sounded an alarm. So the archers had some idea of where to look, as opposed to sitting around in an abandoned temple hoping that the Avatar would just stumble in through random chance.
205.204.248.70
The Waterbending Master
Wow. That hair is... not exactly subtle. Scrolling down on that was a serious "What the...?!" moment for me, without having read the accompanying text.
FreezairForALimitedTime
I don't think Iroh mentioning tea once in this film counts as Flanderization. That'd be like calling his line about Jasmine Tea in his first scene that.

I always did wonder why Yue's "belief" line got all the attention when Aasif said it first.

Then he tells Caligula to kill the spirits.

You mean Caligula tells AASIF to kill the spirits, right?
ManwiththePlan
The Siege of the North
Stay tuned for the conclusion and closing thoughts.
Korval
Season 2 improved the situation subtly by making Aang extremely clingy. But this was not particularly evident in season 1.

There's an entire episode dedicated to this. It's called Bato of the Water Tribe. Ya know, the one where Aang lies coz he didn't want to risk Katara and Sokka leaving? Okay, it wasn't great, but "not particularly" doesn't really cover when they had a whole episode dedicated to it.
Ghilz
Korval: "Someone was paid to write this line. A human being gave another human being money to put their fingers to a keyboard and produce that sequence of letters and words as a line for actors to read in a film that other human beings were expected to watch for enjoyment."

M. Night Shyamalan was writer, director and executive producer. He paid himself to write that slop. So, basically, he was accountable to no one.
205.204.248.70
Conclusion
Neat idea. I like having Katara know some waterbending at the start— the show could build it up and take its time, but a movie only has so much space. Katara could then take the initiative to teach Aang some waterbending before they get to the Northern Water Tribe, helping explain his quick mastery of waterbending for the next film.

The idea to throw a sucker-punch opening for the fans is good, too. It's easier to accept the necessary changes inherent in an adaptation if we know right at the beginning things will be different, as opposed to watching and thinking, "Why did they change that? Why did they move that earlier? Why did they cut that?" Also, if you're a fan of the show, it's something new to see— you're basically on level ground with the non-fans, since you don't know what's going to happen next. Of course, some fans would be upset no matter what, but I think most would be willing to accept a movie that follows the spirit of the show, and not just the plot.
Ronka87
Wow, I did NOT see that final verdict coming. I agree with it. It's been my feelings on the film since I first saw it. It's a crappily made movie but not the absolutely, horrendously, unwatchably horrible movie that most critics make it out to be.
ManwiththePlan
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