Escape to the Movies: The Last Airbender

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEXT
 

"It's a hell of a lot better than Eclipse."

. . .

Way to raise the bar there MovieBob.

I still want to watch the movie, it looks visually interesting at least. Though if the narrative really is all about explaining things. Then I'm afraid I might find myself bored, speaking as a person who already has a grasp of the concepts therein. I'll still watch it, I just hope that it does keep me entertained.

crypt-creature:

Even that racebending.com site has nothing to confirm that the creators meant for their characters to be of a certain race. In fact, they specifically mention wanting to ask them what they thought about the whole situation when the creators were out signing autographs, but didn't.

No, they didn't, because they respected the focus of the event. Somebody else asked.

Benton spoke with Mike and Bryan briefly. He commended them for the accuracy and diligent research that obviously went into the cartoon and asked about how they felt about the controversy surrounding the feature. If I recall correctly, Bryan responded that if it had been his film, things might have been done differently, but that since it was not his movie, he didn't have any control or say in how the movie got made.

http://www.racebending.com/v3/featured/racebending-com-staffers-meet-avatar-the-last-airbender-creators-at-signing/

This is obviously a dodge with a talking point. His thoughts could be any number of things. However,

The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender have said nothing publicly about the casting other than Bryan Konietzko's declaration on his MySpace, where he wrote: "I have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CASTING WHATSOEVER for the feature film." Other people who have worked on the show, including a director, artists, and cultural consultants, have publicly expressed disappointment about the casting.

http://www.racebending.com/v3/faq/#tla

If that sounds like an approving remark to anybody, whoever you are, you need to get out more.

crypt-creature:

So cite multiple sources that say specifically what the races of these characters are supposed to be, and I don't mean what cultures their world was influenced by (which is all that has been said, influenced) because I can promise you, race was never mentioned in that influence.

One staff member has confirmed that Aang was based on a Chinese-American, specifically, his son.

Sifu confirms that the character of Aang was modeled after his Chinese-American son.

Now I'm hearing people are so surprised that a Caucasian kid was cast as the Asian lead? SHOCKING NEWS!! Kinda like the Kung Fu TV Series when David Carradine beat out Bruce Lee for the lead. I mean goodness we all know David Carradine was by far superior in the martial arts compared to Bruce Lee, go figure.
- Sifu Kisu, martial arts consultant, Avatar: The Last Airbender

Others have confirmed that more characters were based on actual Asian people. Note that in both excerpts, the sources of inspiration have not been MIXED RACE people, as you falsely asserted, but Asians as far as the information reveals:

Dao Le, Animatic Editor of the Avatar: The Last Airbender original animated series, speaks out:

It's been a huge disappointment to hear about the casting for Avatar's live-action movie. The show was heavily influenced by Asian culture, some of the characters were even modeled after Asian members of the crew.

But now, with the pre-dominantly white cast, it feels like all the Asian/Eastern influences, origins, what have you, were just a backdrop for these characters.

[...] I always believed they were Asian, or even mixed Asian. And that belief added a little extra pride in working on such a great show. The appreciation Mike & Bryan had for Asian culture, the interest it generated in the fans, gave me greater appreciation for my own culture."
-Dao Le, Animatic Editor for Avatar: The Last Airbender

More:

Racebending.com comes into the possession of a few pages from the Avatar: The Last Airbender's "Intellectual Property Bible," the guiding document members of the animated series' production used to create the show. The Bible reiterates that the world of Avatar was always intended to be representative of the cultures of the Pacific Rim.

This is an ancient, fantastical Asian environment, primarily Chinese."
- The A:TLA IP Bible

http://www.racebending.com/v3/background/the-last-airbender-timeline/

crypt-creature:

Like the specifics that are listed with the art and other cultural influences, show me multiple sites that have information that says what race these characters are supposed to be, that were confirmed to have been spoken by the creators.

You rightly distinguish between race and ethnicity, but why? It clearly doesn't help your argument. Race is determined by physiology, and part of that physiology is skin color and facial features. Katara and Sokka are both dark brown (along with their relatives, and all Water Tribe members), and no painful rhetorical contortion will change that.

You seem bent on justifying an obviously Asian world in which the only powerful, meaningful protagonists are white people. This is ridiculous. Lord of the Rings is a clearly European world, which is why Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee were cast as venerable white men instead of, say, Indian counterparts. That would have made absolutely no sense. There is a good reason why no person of color is among the central cast in LOTR.

Even going by the argument that skin color should be of no consequence, the movie violates its own principle. For some reason, only the characters of importance in the Water Tribe village are white. EVERYONE ELSE IS BROWN, and not only that, but cast from Greenland - where Inuits compose much of the population. This is insulting.

Bottom line: it is redundant to point out that Caucasians have the right to their own white-cast fantasy movie. Nobody gives them any grief for this. It would just be nice if certain myopic people didn't see fit to invade an Asian fantasy movie that should be cast with ASIAN people.

As fair as the review was, I can't possibly see it myself. The cast just seems much to unfit for the characters their modeling after. Namely Aang. In the show, he's a young, energetic and optimistic kid who can get serious when needs be. But movie Aang just looks very, VERY pissy, and his voice is just an ear-sore to me. As for Katara and Sokka, their faces aren't that nice either. And further, I never quite liked Shyamalans movies. They never quite appealed to me. So those two together, plus my pessimism about the show to movie transition is always a fail (In my mind), makes me really against seeing it.

I am currently re-watching the series and it seems like every episode is very important to the plot and I wonder how they can get this across in this movie? This movie wont come out in cinemas til september here (unless they "straight-to-DVD" it) and I'm kinda looking forward but go in understanding that its not going to be the same (which in a way is good, if it was EXACTLY the same as the series then whats the point in seeing it?)

As a huge fan of the show, I feel compelled to give the movie a shot. But persistently negative reviews, both from critics and users who saw the show and the film, disappoint me severely :-(

The show was actually pretty good, as far as kiddie anime goes, and I very rarely see a movie I don't like at least a bit, but this was hands down the worst movie I've seen in YEARS. I agree about the dialogue, EVERY word was explaining something, but he forgot to mention the terrible casting. From the second the kid opened his mouth I knew it would be terrible. An I love the daily show, but comeon, he should not be a villain, or in the movie at all.

Terrible dialogue, terrible acting, terrible movie.

I highly doubt this will be enjoyable beyond superficial. First off the movie shouldn't have to explain everything so damn much and treat the audience so stupidly when the show was never like that. But then again I have to go see it first to really judge it. Just that the rotten tomatoes score is pretty fucking scary right now with only 10% and I don't want to waste my good money on a crappy adaptation of a grand story that is on par with Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, and Star Wars episode IV through VI

Sinclose:
As a huge fan of the show, I feel compelled to give the movie a shot. But persistently negative reviews, both from critics and users who saw the show and the film, disappoint me severely :-(

I'm in the same boat right now. Oh well I learned my lesson from the first transformers movie. I know me being a fan of the show won't help movies like this anymore. I'll wait for dvd. Maybe it'll be a director's cut and extended.

This is probably the most positive review that I have seen for this movie. I also thought that The Village and The Happening were great movies, but lady in the water was not good.

As much as I'd love for the film to at least engage me with spectacle, the fan in me is too afraid of the rage that could and probably would ensue upon viewing it. I'm far too emotionally invested in the series to see this, especially with even the trailers and promos spurring feelings in me not unlike watching a puppy being kicked.

Yes, even brief glimpses of this film hurt me.

Riven Armor:

No, they didn't, because they respected the focus of the event. Somebody else asked.

And what was the response? I haven't seen or read anything about one.
I'd be more than curious to, though.

Riven Armor:

If that sounds like an approving remark to anybody, whoever you are, you need to get out more.

It doesn't sound approving, but that is not the point.
Approval of a movies cast doesn't clarify what the races are supposed to be, or what they are limited to.

Riven Armor:

One staff member has confirmed that Aang was based on a Chinese-American, specifically, his son.

Based on personality or looks, or both? I read that information before hand and again, it's not 100% clear. That is my over all point with the cartoon and the 'facts' people are trying to put with it. I'm not going to quote what you have below, because again I read all of those quotes and information before, and yes it says that a lot of characters were based on asian or mixed asian people (the latter would be a mixed race).
Culture and influence was still thrown around in all those quotes, but never confirmed as to what degree those influences ran.

And once again, that does not confirm what the creators meant for their characters to represent (if it was one type of race, a variation of mixed races, what have you). All it proves is that there were indeed characters based off real life individuals who happened to be mixed, but not what races could or would be in their world.

Riven Armor:

Racebending.com comes into the possession of a few pages from the Avatar: The Last Airbender's "Intellectual Property Bible," the guiding document members of the animated series' production used to create the show. The Bible reiterates that the world of Avatar was always intended to be representative of the cultures of the Pacific Rim.

This is an ancient, fantastical Asian environment, primarily Chinese."
- The A:TLA IP Bible

The IPB does not say the races of the characters or the Airbender universe, and again just the influence (yes, I did read it and paid attention to the highlighted bits).
Even the above IPB quote just proves that chinese is one of many that could be in the show, but not what else.
Besides, the part of your post that I highlighted still doesn't specify race.

That'd be like saying so-and-so show is intended to be representative of the American or British cultures. That doesn't mean all the characters have to be white, or mixed with them.
Assuming so is.. well, a bit racist.

Riven Armor:

You rightly distinguish between race and ethnicity, but why? It clearly doesn't help your argument. Race is determined by physiology, and part of that physiology is skin color and facial features. Katara and Sokka are both dark brown (along with their relatives, and all Water Tribe members), and no painful rhetorical contortion will change that.

But that doesn't mean that those people have to be inuit. They could be a mixture of any type of race with dark(er) or even lighter skin, African or Indian (Native American), Spanish or Middle Eastern, Egyptian, Indian, etc.
Even the lighter toned characters could have any number of those mixtures.
Just because they have darker or lighter skin does not limit what they could be. A lot of their facial features do not depict any one particular race, and multiple characters (both light skin and dark) have ambiguous features where they could literally be any race with light or dark skin.
Some characters have more pronounced features, but that still doesn't mean that they couldn't be a mixture of races.
Though to some people, portraying characters with certain facial features or skin colors that are 'stereotypical' is seen as racist (at times in a bad way).

I also distinguished between race and ethnicity, because the racebending site used the word to affirm specifically that the races of the characters were asian. However, no where in their long list of quotes and information does anyone confirm what ethnicity or race the characters are supposed to be (the word is never used by anyone but that site). Influenced yes, but even that is not a true clarification.

Riven Armor:

You seem bent on justifying an obviously Asian world in which the only powerful, meaningful protagonists are white people. This is ridiculous.

Now you are just being truly insulting, as I have never mentioned that they had to be mixed with 'whitey' in order to be in the show or be a meaningful protagonist. In fact I never really said if I liked or disagreed with the casting of the movie.

I'm bent on clarifying that 'inspiration' does not mean that something is 100% of that inspiration, especially when certain parts haven't truly been clarified.

You seem bent on trying to say that no one could be a mix of races, even though some characters are based on people who are mixed. Only people of 'pure' color can exist.

See what I did there?

Riven Armor:

Lord of the Rings is a clearly European world, which is why Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee were cast as venerable white men instead of, say, Indian counterparts. That would have made absolutely no sense. There is a good reason why no person of color is among the central cast in LOTR.

And thankfully for Airbender, it seems that any race or color is a possibility.
I found LOtR to be insulting in that respect.

Riven Armor:

Even going by the argument that skin color should be of no consequence, the movie violates its own principle. For some reason, only the characters of importance in the Water Tribe village are white. EVERYONE ELSE IS BROWN, and not only that, but cast from Greenland - where Inuits compose much of the population. This is insulting.

They're not really 'brown', just darker skinned.
And yes, that was highly annoying and I wish they hadn't done that. Which is why part of me wished that a live action movie had never been done, as it would allow people to believe in their impression of the Airbender world instead of people freaking out about racism and which races and sides are being correctly represented from the show.
I don't think that is what the creators wanted people to focus on, and instead enjoy the images and introduction to cultures that most people don't get to appreciate to often.

Riven Armor:

Bottom line: it is redundant to point out that Caucasians have the right to their own white-cast fantasy movie. Nobody gives them any grief for this.

I don't believe either of us are saying that they have that right, but I'm also not sure you're understanding that I think any race is a possibility in that show.
I'm not arguing for the movie either, just asserting that anything could have been possible.

Riven Armor:

It would just be nice if certain myopic people didn't see fit to invade an Asian fantasy movie that should be cast with ASIAN people.

I'd say 'should have a large Asian cast', as I still think the movie should have had numerous types of people depicted, as I believe the cartoon could/does have as well.
A lot of it is still open to interpretation.

You do realize with that last sentence, you're being a little myopic yourself?

after this review, i was going to go see the last airbender.

but then i found out you actually liked avatar, and have now decided your opinion is shit, as you fell for the ham fisted, black and white, white man guilt trip bullshit that was avatar.

Riven Armor:
It would just be nice if certain myopic people didn't see fit to invade an Asian fantasy movie that should be cast with ASIAN people.

THIS IS AN AMERICAN CARTOON MADE BY TWO WHITE GUYS

GET OVER YOURSELF, YOU WEEABOO BASTARD

I have to say that the guy who played Sokka REAKED! And the girl they got to play Katara could have done better to convey the emotional contact between her character and Aang.

I do agree with some of the more ANGRY fans who say that they should have called him Aang because every time they called him Oong I felt like I was getting smacked in the ear, thus destroying the fantasy.

The only major problem I had with the film (and I've said this before) was the pacing.

When you take 13 1/2 hours of really dramatic content and condense it down to 1 1/2 hours...
Let's just say that this film could have easily been a 3 hour long.
The content cutting reminded me of the outrage LOTT fans had over the loss of Tom Bombadil.

Other than that... I enjoyed it and recommend it to fantasy fans everywhere (especially if they have A.D.D.)

And as for Aasif Mandvi... He should have his name changed to AWESOME Mandvi 'cause that's what he was in this film, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

crypt-creature:

Riven Armor:

No, they didn't, because they respected the focus of the event. Somebody else asked.

And what was the response? I haven't seen or read anything about one.
I'd be more than curious to, though.

The response was quoted above.

Benton spoke with Mike and Bryan briefly. He commended them for the accuracy and diligent research that obviously went into the cartoon and asked about how they felt about the controversy surrounding the feature. If I recall correctly, Bryan responded that if it had been his film, things might have been done differently, but that since it was not his movie, he didn't have any control or say in how the movie got made.

http://www.racebending.com/v3/featured/racebending-com-staffers-meet-avatar-the-last-airbender-creators-at-signing/

This is a dodge which really doesn't say anything.

crypt-creature:

Riven Armor:

If that sounds like an approving remark to anybody, whoever you are, you need to get out more.

It doesn't sound approving, but that is not the point.
Approval of a movies cast doesn't clarify what the races are supposed to be, or what they are limited to.

He made this statement after the outrage from the casting erupted. The simplest explanation was that he was referring to the characters' races, as it goes along with other staff members' thoughts on the subject.

crypt-creature:

Riven Armor:

One staff member has confirmed that Aang was based on a Chinese-American, specifically, his son.

Based on personality or looks, or both? I read that information before hand and again, it's not 100% clear. That is my over all point with the cartoon and the 'facts' people are trying to put with it. I'm not going to quote what you have below, because again I read all of those quotes and information before, and yes it says that a lot of characters were based on asian or mixed asian people (the latter would be a mixed race).
Culture and influence was still thrown around in all those quotes, but never confirmed as to what degree those influences ran.

And once again, that does not confirm what the creators meant for their character to represent (if it was one type of race, a variation of mixed races, what have you). All it proves is that there were indeed characters based off real life individuals, but not what races could or would be in their world.

1) Where do you find support for the assertion that some characters were based on mixed-race people? It is common for pure Asians to hyphenate their race with "American."

2) Supposing a cast member was based on a mixed race person, why would this be important? Wrt race in the US, the one-drop rule (hybrid child =/= Caucasian) predominates. Obama is a prime example of this.

3) The issue is not personality. None of the quotes said anything about that. The issue is looks - specifically, a Caucasian actor instead of an Asian actor. "Culture" is irrelevant to the resentment that several staff members have expressed. Why else does Sifu Kisu compare the casting to the replacement of Bruce Lee (a Chinese actor) with David Carradine (a Caucasian actor)? Keep in mind these are Avatar staff members.

Then again, I shouldn't say culture is not relevant because the deal is that the movie borrows everything from Asia except for actual Asians.

crypt-creature:

Riven Armor:

Besides, the part of your post that I highlighted still doesn't specify race.
That'd be like saying so-and-so show is intended to be representative of the American or British cultures. That doesn't mean all the characters have to be white, or mixed with them.
Assuming so is.. well, a bit racist.

Riven Armor:

You rightly distinguish between race and ethnicity, but why? It clearly doesn't help your argument. Race is determined by physiology, and part of that physiology is skin color and facial features. Katara and Sokka are both dark brown (along with their relatives, and all Water Tribe members), and no painful rhetorical contortion will change that.

But that doesn't mean that those people have to be inuit. They could be a mixture of any type of race with dark(er) or lighter skin, African or Indian (Native American), Spanish or Middle Eastern, Egyptian, Indian, etc [...] Though to some people, portraying characters with certain facial features or skin colors that are 'stereotypical' is seen as racist (at times in a bad way).

First, Water Tribe clothes, hairstyles, tools, and homes are all Inuit based. What else to call them but Inuits?

Second, whatever you may think of their race, their skin is dark.

I think I see where you are coming from in that inauthentic actors are often used to play other races. That Middle Eastern chick in 24 Season 6 was Hispanic. But it matters that she actually looks somewhat Arabic.

crypt-creature:
I also distinguished between race and ethnicity, because the racebending site used the word to affirm specifically that the races of the characters were asian. However, no where in their long list of quotes and information does anyone confirm what ethnicity or race the characters are supposed to be (the word is never used by anyone but that site). Influenced yes, but even that is not a true clarification.

When a character is based on an Asian person, that character is meant to be Asian. Certainly the quotes from the staff members show that this was their intention. Otherwise, when they explained themselves, they would have talked about something else than well-known instances of whitewashing.

crypt-creature:

Riven Armor:

You seem bent on justifying an obviously Asian world in which the only powerful, meaningful protagonists are white people. This is ridiculous.

Now you are just being truly insulting, as I have never mentioned that they had to be mixed with 'whitey' in order to be in the show or be a meaningful protagonist. In fact I never really said if I liked or disagreed with the casting of the movie.

Well, you have been arguing to justify the casting decisions. Let's look at the good guys:

Aang - Caucasian
Katara - Caucasian
Sokka - Caucasian
Gram-Gram - Caucasian

These are all the central protagonists. (Fire Nation characters are antagonists in the first film) And you are justifying the decision to cast them in this way, so what I said is correct. Now, there is a difference between saying that and saying that you were asserting the Caucasian race should be a litmus test for the casting.

I'm bent on clarifying that 'inspiration' does not mean that something is 100% of that inspiration, especially when certain parts haven't truly been clarified.

You seem bent on trying to say that no one could be a mix of races, even though some characters are based on people who are mixed. Only people of 'pure' color can exist.

See what I did there?

That's hilarious. I am actually a mixed Asian, so I wouldn't be trying to disprove my own existence. Yet if someone from Avatar based a character on me, they would be using as a base a person perceived as Asian. (Nobody ever confuses me with a Caucasian). Again, mixed race does not really enter into this discussion.

Nobody is demanding that pure Asians have to be used in casting. I only called you out on that because you asserted, still without proof, that the basis for the characters was mixed. I and others who are upset about this would just like the casting to be actors and actresses who looked at least somewhat like the characters they are supposed to represent!

crypt-creature:
And thankfully for Airbender, it seems that any race or color is a possibility.
I found LOtR to be insulting in that respect.

Good luck finding a non-colored person in the Water Tribe depictions in the show.

crypt-creature:

Riven Armor:

Even going by the argument that skin color should be of no consequence, the movie violates its own principle. For some reason, only the characters of importance in the Water Tribe village are white. EVERYONE ELSE IS BROWN, and not only that, but cast from Greenland - where Inuits compose much of the population. This is insulting.

They're not really 'brown', just darker skinned.

Brown is a common synonym for that.

crypt-creature:

Riven Armor:

Bottom line: it is redundant to point out that Caucasians have the right to their own white-cast fantasy movie. Nobody gives them any grief for this.

[snip]

I don't believe either of us are saying that they have that right

I believe they do, actually. Sometimes that's the way it is. Gandalf is not Indian or Chinese or African.

crypt-creature:
but I'm also not sure you're understanding that I think any race is a possibility in that show.
I'm not arguing for the movie either, just asserting that anything could have been possible.

Any race is not a possibility because all races do not have the same skin color.

I understand that you are advocating a color-blind perspective. However, if the casting was truly color blind then the director would have called for any ethnicity, not "Caucasian and any other ethnicity." There would have been persons of color among the protagonists and not just in the background. And staff members would not have been waving the bloody shirt of the infamous Bruce Lee/David Carradine debacle.

Riven Armor:

The response was quoted above.

Benton spoke with Mike and Bryan briefly. He commended them for the accuracy and diligent research that obviously went into the cartoon and asked about how they felt about the controversy surrounding the feature. If I recall correctly, Bryan responded that if it had been his film, things might have been done differently, but that since it was not his movie, he didn't have any control or say in how the movie got made.

I've read that before, but it still doesn't put the argument to rest.
More or less, I'm arguing whether they would have gone with just a strictly Asian cast or would they have considered other ethnicities for the part, even if they didn't look asian or inuit.
I still don't believe that means Asians and Inuits are the only races possible in the show.

Riven Armor:

He made this statement after the outrage from the casting erupted. The simplest explanation was that he was referring to the characters' races, as it goes along with other staff members' thoughts on the subject.

Agreed, but I still wonder what he objects to. Would have made all the Indians Asian instead, or would he/they have had multiple races?

Riven Armor:

1) Where do you find support for the assertion that some characters were based on mixed-race people? It is common for pure Asians to hyphenate their race with "American."

2) Supposing a cast member was based on a mixed race person, why would this be important? Wrt race in the US, the one-drop rule (hybrid child =/= Caucasian) predominates. Obama is a prime example of this.

3) The issue is not personality. None of the quotes said anything about that. The issue is looks - specifically, a Caucasian actor instead of an Asian actor. "Culture" is irrelevant to the resentment that several staff members have expressed. Why else does Sifu Kisu compare the casting to the replacement of Bruce Lee (a Chinese actor) with David Carradine (a Caucasian actor)? Keep in mind these are Avatar staff members.

Then again, I shouldn't say culture is not relevant because the deal is that the movie borrows everything from Asia except for actual Asians.

1) Now I see where we are having a problem, I am trying to discern if they are saying Asian-American as in genetics or just place of birth n(one of the quotes have been helpful with that). I've seen that hyphenation used in both instances, so here I'm not sure in which way they are trying to use it.

2) Cast as in movie, or cast is in cartoon? Could you clarify please? Also, your last sentence reads a bit oddly (Wrt?).

3) Now here is something that makes me wonder, if this is all based on looks what if there was a superb actor who was not Asian or Causasian, yet could pass in looks, would this still be an issue (I have met/known people who were not of Asian or Caucasian decent, yet had very striking similarities)? Do they have to be Asian, or if they look similar enough would that appease some people?

Riven Armor:

First, Water Tribe clothes, hairstyles, tools, and homes are all Inuit based. What else to call them but Inuits?

Second, whatever you may think of their race, their skin is dark.

I think I see where you are coming from in that inauthentic actors are often used to play other races. That Middle Eastern chick in 24 Season 6 was Hispanic. But it matters that she actually looks somewhat Arabic.

Call them water tribes? Why do they need to be called Inuits, can they not be their own type on people in the Airbender world?
I don't see a problem with that, and was happy to leave it ambiguous as I was watching the show. People really only seem to be causing a fuss now because it has been adapted to a live action movie (in some instances rightly so, but some are just going overboard with it).

Yes, their skin is dark, but so are a handful of other types of people.
No, I did not like the fact Caucasians were casted to play those characters.

Riven Armor:

When a character is based on an Asian person, that character is meant to be Asian. Certainly the quotes from the staff members show that this was their intention. Otherwise, when they explained themselves, they would have talked about something else than well-known instances of whitewashing.

Then would it be appropriate to say that, as far as we know, Aang is the only character confirmed to be Asian?

Riven Armor:

Well, you have been arguing to justify the casting decisions. Let's look at the good guys:

Aang - Caucasian
Katara - Caucasian
Sokka - Caucasian
Gram-Gram - Caucasian

These are all the central protagonists. (Fire Nation characters are antagonists in the first film) And you are justifying the decision to cast them in this way, so what I said is correct. Now, there is a difference between saying that and saying that you were asserting the Caucasian race should be a litmus test for the casting.

I'm not trying to justify them at all, again just that I think the characters could have been portrayed by multiple types of people, and that we don't know what types of people could truly exist in that world.
I apologize if you think I'm for or trying to justify this casting decision. Though honestly, I don't see a problem in having Indian individuals being a part of the fire nation (I thought it was neat, but do wish they had included Asians and other people as well).

Riven Armor:
That's hilarious. I am actually a mixed Asian, so I wouldn't be trying to disprove my own existence. Yet if someone from Avatar based a character on me, they would be using as a base a person perceived as Asian. (Nobody ever confuses me with a Caucasian). Again, mixed race does not really enter into this discussion.

Nobody is demanding that pure Asians have to be used in casting. I only called you out on that because you asserted, still without proof, that the basis for the characters was mixed. I and others who are upset about this would just like the casting to be actors and actresses who looked at least somewhat like the characters they are supposed to represent!

Indeed, but that is not the case for everyone. As it is, not everyone makes a character exactly like the person they are basing them off of.

Again, I am still trying to discern if they mean Asian-American by blood or geographical birth. I still haven't been able to tell which they really mean, I only bring mixed race (by blood) and defend it because if Aang is mixed in that sense then other races (basically those I've listed but others I've left out as well) are possible.

I don't disagree with you on having the characters look like the people they are trying to represent, I just don't agree with the people who are saying it has to be all Asians and that it cannot include other types of darker (or lighter, whichever) skinned people as well.

Riven Armor:

Good luck finding a non-colored person in the Water Tribe depictions in the show.

There are varying skin tones in the water tribe, do they need to be ghost white in order to be a non-colored person?

http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Northern_Water_Tribe
Scroll down to the last picture there, some of them could be non-colored as many vary in tone (look at their hands, many different tones).

Riven Armor:

Brown is a common synonym for that.

I know, oddly it's one that seems odd to me.

Riven Armor:

I believe they do, actually. Sometimes that's the way it is. Gandalf is not Indian or Chinese or African.

Oh poo, I thought you were saying that in terms of the Airbender movie, not as a general statement.

Riven Armor:

Any race is not a possibility because all races do not have the same skin color.

I understand that you are advocating a color-blind perspective. However, if the casting was truly color blind then the director would have called for any ethnicity, not "Caucasian and any other ethnicity." There would have been persons of color among the protagonists and not just in the background. And staff members would not have been waving the bloody shirt of the infamous Bruce Lee/David Carradine debacle.

Ah, but in the link I gave you with the Water tribe, it does show multiple types of skin tones which could indicate that yes, any race is possible. I can't find decent shots for the Earth, Fire or Air nations, but the ones I did find also had a variety of tones present in the characters (I just couldn't tell if they were shadows, lighting, or indeed tones. They were pretty small images, but they looked to be. I can post a link if you wish).

I'm still not trying to say that the casting wasn't being color blind, just that it very well should have been.
To be fair, Aang had very ambiguous characteristics. Though it should have just called for any ethnicity, and not been specific.
I still think the actor for Aang looked pretty good, though a shame he's Caucasian, otherwise it might have taken some of the heat off.

Though, eventually Zuko will be a protagonist. Doesn't help much though.

EDIT: Good lord this is getting long. Could you please respond by Message if you wish to continue this discussion?

It's probably already been said (I dont have time to read all 300+ relies to find out) but why the HELL is almost everyones' names mispronounced? 'Ang' was mispronounced as 'Ong', 'Saka' was mispronounced as 'Soka' to name just a few. For christ sake! they even mispronounced the word 'avatar' as 'ah-vatar'!
I really-really enjoyed Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon series, and I think most ppl could watch it and enjoy it as well. I knew going into the movie that there was NO way the entire thing could have been done even half-proper because of the time-lines involved in the cartoon series. I was already willing to FORGIVE Shyamalan for that. Why did he have to ruin everything else?
Names were mispronounced; characters' personalities where blatantly re-wrote; parts of the mythos was warpped (Firebenders needing fire near them to bend); all this completely changed what ATLAB used to be.
Sure, making the movie more dark and brooding to lure in older audiences might have been what M. Night was after. but fuck him and his dog too. I had the feeling that he didnt even watch the cartoon sereies.

crypt-creature:

EDIT: Good lord this is getting long. Could you please respond by Message if you wish to continue this discussion?

It is getting pretty long, so I'll say a little bit more and if we want to discuss the smaller points we can.

crypt-creature:
1) Now I see where we are having a problem, I am trying to discern if they are saying Asian-American as in genetics or just place of birth n(one of the quotes have been helpful with that). I've seen that hyphenation used in both instances, so here I'm not sure in which way they are trying to use it.

The vast majority of the time someone calls themselves a Chinese-American, Korean-American, etc, or the word pops up in sociology, it means a person of [insert race] descent who is an American citizen. It has nothing to do with whether they are mixed or not.

crypt-creature:
I apologize if you think I'm for or trying to justify this casting decision. Though honestly, I don't see a problem in having Indian individuals being a part of the fire nation (I thought it was neat, but do wish they had included Asians and other people as well).

Well then you're in the same boat as me. I'm more upset about it because this is just the latest in a long line of discriminatory incidents wrt (with respect to) Asians in Hollywood. This is a pattern, not an anomaly. Outside of kung fu movies, Asian leading men/women are endangered species.

crypt-creature:
More or less, I'm arguing whether they would have gone with just a strictly Asian cast or would they have considered other ethnicities for the part, even if they didn't look asian or inuit.

Given the respect they have demonstrated for Asian culture, the presence of several Asian Americans on their staff, and the fact that they went out of their way to solicit the advice of an Asian American activist group, I think it's a pretty safe bet that they would cast most of the characters as Asian. Not all, probably.

crypt-creature:
Ah, but in the link I gave you with the Water tribe, it does show multiple types of skin tones which could indicate that yes, any race is possible.

This is one of those cases where the exception proves the rule. Having watched through the show, pretty much all Water Tribe members are varying shades of brown. Princess Yue is lighter than Katara and Sokka, yes, but that's still not any race.

In season 3 Katara and Sokka were able to pass themselves off as Fire Nation, though, which means that anomalies aren't uncommon enough to raise suspicion. So I partly agree with you. Just as the US is majority Caucasian, so each Avatar nation has a racial majority.

To those of you wondering if this movie is better if you haven't seen the show, I think it makes it even worse. The narrative in this movie is piss poor. I went with three other people, only one of which that knew the show as well as I do. Even we were confused by how things were presented, and the other guys said they just gave up trying to follow the plot about halfway through.

And Bob, how can you not mention the terrible writing and the even worse acting? The countless plot holes and inconsistincies that even I was able to notice right off the bat? (I normally don't notice such things unless they're pointed out to me) Iagree on some things. I liked the action, the effects were decent enough, and I liked the music. But everything else about this movie is a complete disaster. Awful writing, awful acting, a story that's almost impossible to follow, boring and lifeless characters, etc, etc.

Such wasted potential. This could have been the start of a Lord of the Rings quality trilogy.

Riven Armor:
water tribe isnt asian, im a "racebender", and a moron, etc.

...you do realize that pacific islanders ARE NOT asian, right? because they arent from asia...they are from the pacific islands
same goes for american indians, yupik and inuits

so basically, all your ranting about the water tribe has gotten you only further past the line of obvious stupidity. living in conditions where your body increases its melanin to cope with sun exposure is NOT ground for starting up a racist argument over supposedly racist acts from an actual asian director

i live in the sub tropics, and my family is (mostly) irish (which, in terms of heredity means brown hair and white skin) guess what? IVE GOT BLACK HAIR AND BROWN SKIN

you are retarded, and you need to shut the hell up right now, because you dont know what you are talking about, you racist punk.

hcig:

Riven Armor:
water tribe isnt asian, im a "racebender", and a moron, etc.

...you do realize that pacific islanders ARE NOT asian, right? because they arent from asia...they are from the pacific islands
same goes for indians, yupik and inuits

so basically, all your ranting about the water tribe has gotten you only further past the line of obvious stupidity. living in conditions where your body increases its melanin to cope with sun exposure is NOT ground for starting up a racist argument over supposedly racist acts from an actual asian director

i live in the sub tropics, and my family is (mostly) irish (which, in terms of heredity means brown hair and white skin) guess what? IVE GOT BLACK HAIR AND BROWN SKIN

you are retarded, and you need to shut the hell up right now, because you dont know what you are talking about, you racist punk.

You are correct that Pacific Islanders are not Asian, which was a big mistake on my part. I knew better and slouched into it.

But otherwise you are wrong.

To everyone argueing about race issues: Who gives a damn?

Let me give you a brief run down of things... This is made by a director who desperately wants to be in the limelight in HOLLYWOOD. HOLLYWOOD, and MAINSTREAM movies like to sell to a certain demographic of people. While you can argue all day that its wrong, HOLLYWOOD WHITEWASHES FILMS.

As for the ZOMG big deal being made over this... its a childrens cartoon, taking place in a fictional world. Thats pretty much a creative "go ahead and cast whoever the hell you want". If your complaining about the skin color of actor beings off in a movie where people can literally manipulate elements with their mind, you're insane. Its not like their making a Samurai movie with an entirely black cast (or Tom Cruise).

As long as they have the fighting down, the story down, etc. WHO CARES IF THEY DONT LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THEIR CARTOON COUNTERPARTS? They picked the people who they thought would do the best for their given roles. Did they whitewash? Probably. But argueing about in on the Escapist wont make Hollywood stop the practice. Seriously.

If you care THAT much about it, petition the studio that published the film. Protest the company and director. And stop nit-picking. In a movie adaption of ANYTHING, they wont get all the details down, specially when your taking almost 500 minutes worth of content and shoving it into, what, 90 minutes? The movie staff has a budget they have to keep within; they cant spend MONTHS searching inuit actors for the Water Tribe (that takes money to do). You can argue about how un-authentic it is, but at the end of the day its easier to grab a handful of good actors who dont exactly fit the racial profile then to wait for one to magically appear. Especially when the race doesnt play a part in the plot, or matter at all (fictional world; they could have been midgets for all I care).

Back to the actual review: Movie Bob is 90% spot on with my opinions, which means Ill have to give this movie a go ahead. I appreciate movies that can't quite hit the mark for what they're trying to achieve.

Batsamaritan:

knight of zendikar:

Batsamaritan:
dunno really, i always kind of thought the tv series was americans desperately trying to recreate the style of anime but with enough western sensibilities that the din't have to edit the shit out of the material, so the whole thing ended up coming across as a sub par naruto style show.

but i may check the film out, as i'm not nearly as offended by the casting as some.

Your comparing of avatar to a sub par naruto is honnestly insulting. Yeah it went to reacreate the japanese anime style and it did. In fact it did, it honnestly did it better than alot of jappanese anime. It had very deep characters who actualy had arcs and changed. It had a well paced narative that had many points that were amazing. And it never presented a character in one dimension, especialy Zuko who is probably one of the deepest characters ive ever seen in a cartoon series.

you see firstly, I never felt american animation ever needed to recreate japanese style animation as America has plenty of talented animators whose style i liked... besides for pure enjoyment the early loony tunes (espescially anything chuck jones did) pisses over a lot of modern animation through sheer quality, check out the facial expressions alone in any early road runner cartoon and you'll see what I mean..
I gave avatar a try, I really did, and i'll probably give it another go after reading your response but i'm sorry TO ME (as in my own opinion!) it came across as cartoon network trying to make it's own anime series with all the style of the japanese serials, but without the need to edit it down to satisfy western moral sensibility's.

as for the whole character arc, deep characters thing... the japanese had this in their series for years, I was watching anime 15 years ago that did characters better than avatar, which while i'm sure was reasonable in quality (the bunch of episodes I saw didn't seem bad in that respect) it did not impress me much in any other aspect....

Sorry but I care not if my opininon is insulting, but I do not regard avatar as anything special whatsoever... give invader Zimm or samurai jack a try, animation I really did like.. or better yet check out ghost in the shell if you like plot and character developmen as it leaves most other stuff eating dirt.

I understand what you said about the style of the show. I agree americans already have enough interesting animation designs that we don't need to borrow any. We should do more Invader Zim like shows that use interesting designs from popular comic books. However I don't really think it fair that you're comparing plot and character development to something like Ghost in the Shell. That's kinda like saying Little Mermaid was shit because it didn't have as good a story or characters as Shawshank Redemption or Les Mis. They weren't made for the same general audience and most of the dialogue in ghost in the shell would put younger children to sleep. Well, at least until they see a robot or something.

Anyway, I agree japan has done as good or better many times before but hey, the series creators were fan of anime and wanted to see if they try to make a show at least matching the quality of some. In that respect I think they did a fairly good job. Although like you I'd like to see mature stories told more in western style. For example I would love to see a movie made of the Sandman or The Husk (or maybe it's just Husk I can't remember), or at the very least create another great show for all ages like animaniacs.

Yes I'm a fan. Obviously disappointing but during the movie. "Yea it looks good, like polished shit. But I'm not going to eat it." The bending was slow, when the gang was in the Earth Kingdom 'prison' and I use the term lightly. I saw maybe 6-7 guys stomp on the ground in unison and on tiny rock fly by the screen. What the flying fuck is going on? Did I mention the bending was slow? Not to mention the finally to it was a complete waste of money. Spoiler alert: The fire nation is scared of a wave that took... 2 minutes to make.

"Anyway, I agree japan has done as good or better many times before but hey, the series creators were fan of anime and wanted to see if they try to make a show at least matching the quality of some. In that respect I think they did a fairly good job. Although like you I'd like to see mature stories told more in western style. For example I would love to see a movie made of the Sandman or The Husk (or maybe it's just Husk I can't remember), or at the very least create another great show for all ages like animaniacs."

I just saw this after I posted. I'm studying in animation and the kings that are still on top is Disney. End of story, thats where it definitely got its foot in the door. Like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Someone, the idea was taken and Disney created Mickey Mouse. Something that can be taken can also be made into their own. Yes Avatar resembles Japanese Animation, but even then they made their own style to it and actually gave it a decent run *awards*. So by no means is it bad, its exceptional. Is it mature? Yes, yes it is. And I agree Zuko is one of the most developed characters in the entire series. He's the one most relatable. Woo ranting is fun

This movie is bad guys, trust me. However, it's definitely in the "it's so bad it's hilarious." I'd recommend seeing it, as long as you plan on laughing through the whole thing instead of taking it seriously...and don't bother paying for 3D, it's pointless in this film.

craftyandy:
I highly doubt this will be enjoyable beyond superficial. First off the movie shouldn't have to explain everything so damn much and treat the audience so stupidly when the show was never like that. But then again I have to go see it first to really judge it. Just that the rotten tomatoes score is pretty fucking scary right now with only 10% and I don't want to waste my good money on a crappy adaptation of a grand story that is on par with Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, and Star Wars episode IV through VI

I think the thought was since each season is called a "Book" it could be handled it like Lord of The Rings not realizing that unlike many anime Airbender did NOT start out as a manga and there was very little "filler" as is common with many such adaptations. As a result the character go infodump on the audience so they have an idea of WHAT is going on.

After watching the film myself...

I whole heartedly agree with the following statement.

"Wow, this makes Dragonball Evolution look like a masterpiece."

I had seen it a little bit ago and while I do have to agree with what the review said, I do have to say that I liked it overall. I do like the movie and while I do have to say that I was a bit tired of being told things I already knew and a lot of it just seems to not had been needed for the movie here.

Now I don't think this is all bad though I hate to think that this might be the only part if this don't do well. I have a feeling that the second (and third if they get that far) will be a huge improvement since things are for the most part have gotten all the back story down (even if it took too much of the movie to do it). It's kind of like how Spiderman 2 was better then the first because it didn't have to spend have the movie getting Peter to Spiderman.

I do admit that I did find the 'more accurate' names grating, but who thought that the word Avatar needed more then one ways to say it (or maybe it was accents, but the guy dictating the opening should have been able to say it right). Last I checked that's a rather modern word so I can't see it needing to have a bunch of ways to say it.

Well, time will tell, time will tell.

Its better than Eclipse? Hell a turd flung at a wall is better than eclipse. But as for this movie, im a fan of the animated series, so im going to go see it.

So I just skipped to the end of the comment so sorry if this has been brought up before or has no bearing to the current discussion.

I saw the movie. Yes the sets, costumes and props were great, yes the bending looked cool (if a little slower to use than in the show). But this movie sucked. I've seen the series and I like it, I went with my roommate who has never seen the series and we both agree this movie was horrible.

I didn't mind the changes to the story but the changes in the characters (They seemed flat with none of the personality of the original show) really annoyed me. Me roommate actually walked out of the movie he thought the acting was so bad.

But there are two sides to every coin. When the credits started rolling and I let out a sigh of relief its was over. Other people in the theater stood up, clapped and cheered the movie like it was the greatest thing they ever saw.

So maybe I'm prejudice against the movie but I will go see the sequel if they release it.

It's apparantly offical. The movie is a total failure.

Uber Waddles:
To everyone argueing about race issues: Who gives a damn?

Let me give you a brief run down of things... This is made by a director who desperately wants to be in the limelight in HOLLYWOOD. HOLLYWOOD, and MAINSTREAM movies like to sell to a certain demographic of people. While you can argue all day that its wrong, HOLLYWOOD WHITEWASHES FILMS.

And you're pretty much cool with it? Seriously, why post this? We already know.

I am very disappointed in This movie. It came from such as great series......

The Acting was terrible, I thought they specially wanted these actors because they played their roles so greatly. I don't mind their race as long as they are good actors.

The fact that they've done so much to change the movie from its original inspiration bothers me.

1) New pronunciations for the main characters names...
-M Night Shamylan felt the need to correct the fans by pronouncing names differently from how people already recognized them. Even if it was technically correct, it was not good taste.

2) Removing of some of the original Asian influence.
-One of the main characters (Iroh) now drinks Coffee instead of tea.......
This really bothered me because Tea has deep roots in many asian cultures, and has much symbolism behind it.
For this main character (Iroh) to drink Tea, it symbolizes his Patience, soothing personality, humbleness, peacefulness, etc. For the director to change that just feels like disregard for its importance....
I was also bothered when they removed the Asian characters from the logo because that's how I came to recognize it. When I saw the Live action poster, I thought to myself, WHATS thIS? lol

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7a/Avatar-TLAlogo.jpg

But *sighs* its too late to change anything now.

I am going to be honest with you friend. Yea, there was plenty of interesting and good moments but being at all a fan of the original nickelodeon hit would conclude this movie a definite fail. The appearance wasn't half bad by no means but the chosen actors were the first strike and the plot/story resulted in the 2nd and 3rd strike. In my personal opinion, I would say that the appearance isn't enough to redeem the failing half of this movie. It's close to passing in my book but sadly I'm going to have to leave it on the fail as yea it
s better then Eclipse, But stand alone, not so much.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here