Escape to the Movies: The Last Airbender

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I can't say I'm surprised at all, but it is a shame to see my prediction come true, lol, it has a 23 on Metacritic, you should get an award for scoring that low.

The cartoon series was a guilty pleasure of mine, I really enjoyed it (well, most of it)

Oh M. Night... I loved Unbreakable and the Sixth Sense, and I'm not exaggerating when I say "Signs" was possibly the best movie-seeing experience to ever happen to me. The way he built up the tension in that movie was a bit too good.

The happening was really bad, though, and I thought "the village" was decent. Never saw lady in the water, never plan on it.

I guess I could see this. Maybe I'll find a few friends with open minds to drag along to see it. Maybe not.

aww that's so SAD, i had really high hopes for this one. :-/

I'll still see this movie, but regardless,
I LIKED "The Village," it was an interesting film, great actors, good twist plot, and over all well done!

the only reason people didn't like The Village is because they expected some odd horror style movie, but it's a dark drama. shame

anyways, back to movie, still want to see it. unfortunate that it's so discombogulated.

Pretty much saw that coming.
Despite being a bit above the target audience as far as age is concerned, I loved the Nickelodeon-series. Not only was it one of the few series were they actually picked decent voice-actors for the German version (all of you who witnessed the 4kids-dub of One Piece? Yeah, we get stuff like that on a regular basis, I really, really liked the narrative to a degree where I wondered "who the hell fleshs out characters for a FSK 12-series to that degree?" I mean, how many series produced after 2000 had villains with a motivation deeper than "he always dreamt of being an asshole once he grew up"?

Anyway, this very reluctant recommendation is far more than I would have expected to be honest. One reason is exactly the point of too less time for too much content. I mean if you compare how long it took for us to even see Ozai's face in the series for the first time and in the movie they already have the northpole-battle the conent must'Ve been pretty meshed together.

Another thing, and this is actually a question to you, Bob (or anyone who saw the movie and is able to formulate coherent sentences), is the coloring. Yeah, I admit it, something as petty as the colors made me very sceptical. I mean, the series was extremely colorful, even the spartanic fire nation-battleships where lighted up with a full, bright red.
But everything I saw from the movie so far is dark. And I mean DARK. It's like someone took every texture of the series and crushed a few lights for every panel. Changing my position in front of my screen while watching a trailer from 'The last airbender' actually made it occasionally impossible for me to recognize ANYTHING.
And since I'm not a member of the "Yeah, dark is grown up and cool, bright colors are for little babies and don't exist in reality"-faction who bathe in ash-trays every morning because they can't stand the color of their skin, I wondered if this shift of tone wouldn't destroy the atmosphere or at least affect the experience of watching "The last airbender". At least if you watched and liked the series.

Another Escape to the Movies? Excellent! Needed something to get that bad Eclipse taste out of your mouth eh?

I've not seen the series beyond a few glaces, but my sister has various times, and is highly skeptical of this movie. Looks good enough to me though, definately a useful review. I'll most likely get more enjoyment out of it than her since I don't have any expectations for the adaptation of source material.

It's like people who see a movie after reading the book, or people playing a game then playing its less well-received sequel; sometimes working in reverse stops you from getting let down in the long run.

You know, I really enjoy the show. It was exciting with nice action scenes and deep and interesting characters. It's a rarity that a show aimed, primarily, at kids will grab my attention like Avatar did.

But you know what pissed me off most about this review? About a minute into it when Bob said the movie was only 90 minutes long. FUCK. THAT. NOISE. God damn it, you have millions upon millions of dollars at your disposal and you can't even make a proper 2 hour movie with all the shit that went on in Avatar? I can make a movie that's a hour and a half long, and I'm just some idiot radio major. 90 minutes is too damn short for a major Hollywood motion picture. Twilight's plot and characters have no depth but even that shit was two fucking hours. Are the attentions spans of the primary audience that fucking short these days?

I'm gonna have to pass on this one, lest the hand of fate intervene. Based on what I've heard, it's downright awful.

meganmeave:
That's too bad. The trailers looked so awesome, I kind of wanted this to be good.

Though, I think Shyamalan's career tanked with Signs tbh. I mean,

The aliens can be defeated by deadly piss and saliva!

Send in the drunks!

OT: Shame, granted I kind of expected this to happen. Maybe if they split it up for multiple movies it could have worked.

The Great JT:
I'm gonna have to pass on this one, lest the hand of fate intervene. Based on what I've heard, it's downright awful.

Same here, I really wanted to have high hopes for it myself because the series was actually pretty kick ass. It's a shame because this godawful movie might scare off people who were thinking about giving the series a view sometime. Can someone please explain to me how they managed to cock this up so badly?

Ok so lets hope he extended directors cut will but all the filler in they left out...... but anyway they should have just tried to compress the first 10-15 eps into a film then do the next set as another film if they get enough funds...... a shame its not great but it dose look good enough!

I didn't watch the series so I'll probably give this a miss until it's out on TV.

Not that I mind, but there was no mention of the casting "white-wash" with the movie? I though MovieBob might mention that.

Interesting XD

Intresting...I wasnt expecting that at all. Ill have to take a look at sometime now

Bob, care to respond on the recent controversy on how the film has a mostly white cast and the only Asian actor is playing the villain?

As I've stated before, this is the Starship Troopers clause: when a movie is based off a story with a mostly ethnic cast of characters, the director opts to have white actors play their roles. Just like how in Heinlein's novel Johnny was Filipino but Verhoeven opted to have him cast as a white character with vaguely Aryan features (blond, blue-eyed: I have a habit of using that with people with those features, sorry.)

As a Mexican-American, I sympathize with how the protesters are making a very valid point in how we minorities are misrepresented in the many mediums we know and love: film, video games, comics, etc. On the other hand, as a realist: I realize that this is nothing but a shallow cash grab by producers and not so much the director in getting a wide audience to watch said film (IE: white people). So in this case, it's not so much Shyamalan's fault as much as it is Paramount's fault.

Just my $0.02

Bob is trying too hard to be nice to this film: "It's better that Twilight"? Honestly. I love Asif Manvi but he was Totally Mis-cast in this film. If they're really intending to make a franchise out of this, then they could have withheld half the exposition, put the main plot elements in the opening monologue, and the rest was completely unnecessary.

I don't think this should have been made into a film. A live action series could have worked soooo much better

BlueInkAlchemist:
Interesting! This might end up on my Netflix queue after the animated series.

Which... I haven't seen yet.

*ducks incoming arrows of flame*

No flame arrows but you will be VERY grateful that you watched the series first.

Wow, what the hell. He went way too easy on this movie. Maybe I'm overreacting because I was a fan of the tv series but this film was god awful. The fight scenes were terrible, the bending which normally is portrayed as dance like and fluid was instead this long series of hand gestures that did not sync up with the movement of the element in question, which instead makes it look like the characters are casting spells. This was just another one of those films whose selling points were CGI and 3D. And when its not showing off that crap it makes a half assed attempt to throw in plot and character development, both of which it failed at. Also if your going to make a live action version of a popular cartoon, don't change the damn names of the characters. His name was Aang not Ohng, Sokka not Soakah, and Iroh not EEROH!!

WHUAHAHAHAHA Shymalan has always been a terrible director. He started out okay with The Sixth Sense (even though the ending didn't make any sense what so ever) but ever since then ... This comes as no big surprise that the one thing to flop humongously is the plot.

More or less what i expected to hear.
Still, looking forward to it.

SilentHunter7:

Felis Leo:
I would go so far as to say that it is the best American cartoon series since Batman: The Animated Series.

No offense to Batman, but IMO that should read the best American cartoon series since Samurai Jack. :)

If Samurai Jack was before Batman, I agree. SJ, while unfinished, was like... epic and stuff. Although he never caught Aku...

Still, I've got to catch up on Airbender as I have yet to see a single episode (yay, no cartoons like that in Poland till they started running Tsunami, by then I felt too old for cartoons).

Also, Shyala...Shama.. Shyamalan directed Signs? Cool movie, watched it with my cousin and we were both scared when the alien finally attacked. And she's like... 6 years older than me.

I've been really torn about seeing this, having loved the show. Every time I see a trailer, I'm really excited about the effects, but then they pan to characters. Casting destroys it for me.

The review helps a little, nice to know it's somewhat decent, but I still don't know if I can watch this.

...actually, I'm intrigued again. Frankly, the condensation of the entire first season of the cartoon into the movie was the one thing I pretty much expected to flop. Perhaps not to the apparent extent, but I wanted to be realistic.

Frankly, I already know what's happening in the story, so much like the Unlimited Blade Works movie, as long as it looks good I'll go see it.

...besides, I actually agree that the change to firebending and the apparent arrival time of the comet makes more sense in the movie...

This review reads out as some one who really, REALLY, wants to like this movie, but professionally can't lie about what he saw.

meganmeave:
That's too bad. The trailers looked so awesome, I kind of wanted this to be good.

Though, I think Shyamalan's career tanked with Signs tbh. I mean,

Seriously, this. Movie started out pretty well, but...


Also, Lady in the Water was absurd and had an incoherent storyline. I saw the Sixth Sense when I was young, so I was a bit scared by it, so I don't really know how good it was. But after LITW and Signs, I decided no more Shama-llama.

This review is the perfect reason why I don't listen to anything this dude has to say.

I never watched the cartoon since it was on nickelodeon and I swore off that network when they started airing crap, which was pretty much back in the mid 90s, but all the trailers I've seen I want to go see this movie. I have pretty high expectations of it. I like the lore behind it, and premise is interesting, but that's about all I have, which is a lot of room to be disappointed.

wildcard9:
Bob, care to respond on the recent controversy on how the film has a mostly white cast and the only Asian actor is playing the villain?

As I've stated before, this is the Starship Troopers clause: when a movie is based off a story with a mostly ethnic cast of characters, the director opts to have white actors play their roles. Just like how in Heinlein's novel Johnny was Filipino but Verhoeven opted to have him cast as a white character with vaguely Aryan features (blond, blue-eyed: I have a habit of using that with people with those features, sorry.)

As a Mexican-American, I sympathize with how the protesters are making a very valid point in how we minorities are misrepresented in the many mediums we know and love: film, video games, comics, etc. On the other hand, as a realist: I realize that this is nothing but a shallow cash grab by producers and not so much the director in getting a wide audience to watch said film (IE: white people). So in this case, it's not so much Shyamalan's fault as much as it is Paramount's fault.

Just my $0.02

Really? We're playing the race-card?

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.

Hmmm...I can see you decided not to jump on the "hey lets utterly crucify Night's career" bandwagon like just about every critic I've heard has.....+2 to MovieBob.

=)

Although I think you're still being way too nice, and you know Night's career is now over...right?

=/

Interesting conclusion... maybe its worth seeing, just so they have money to improve on the next one? :P

I did not like Unbreakable. Not in the slightest. You do NOT cast Samuel L. Jackson as a cripple. You just don't do it.

To anybody that actually watched the series, I think the movie lost a lot of value due to one major point:

They pronounced the characters names freaking wrong.

Can't say I exactly had high hopes for it when I heard it was coming out. I've never watched the series so I'm not exactly a "fan", nor do I think the M. Night is essentially brilliant as a director.

I suppose, if anything, this could be a chance for me to be on "the other side of the fence" for once where I'm a non-fan sitting in an audience of fans and see how my perception of the movie differs from theirs, but other than that, I'll remain skeptical.

Hubilub:
I'm confused now...

I was going to see it because it seemed like shit and Ebert gave it half a star, but now I might go see it because there's a chance that it might entertain me...

I can't make up my mind! See it because I want to rag on it or see it because I want to enjoy it...

THE ONLY WAY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION IS TO GO SEE IT!

Don't, ever trust Ebert!
I mean he gave a lousy score to Kick-ass(1 star out of 5), and please tell me while looking me straight in the eye that Kick-ass is just a "1 star out of 5 movie"!
I mean that film isn't even mediocre(imo, and a lot of other people's), it's fantastic.
Go see it, but keep in mind that to experience the full movie you need to see the cartoon(that's still on my to do list)

I watched it, and I am a fan of the show.

As Bob said, it is a well made movie. It is a beautiful movie.

The way they portrayed the Spirit world was amazing.

I have no problem with "the lack of Asians" because this isn't an Asian work. Having the different nations represented by different actual Nationalities is a really good idea.

The Water Tribes are white and have a culture based on knightship and chivalry.

The Earth Kingdom are Asian seeing as Ba Sing Sa is practically build like Beijing.

The Fire Nation are Middle Eastern, a region we know as a giant desert would be the perfect place for Fire.

The Air Nomads have no distinct culture, because Nomads also have no distinct culture.

I have no problem with Fire Nation needing a source of Fire to bend, and that I think it makes a lot of sense to show how powerful Iroh is. When you see it you'll know.

Some of the characters (Zuko, Iroh, Zaoh) were really done well [wait, the actors who did a good job are Indian? smooth Mr. Shyamalan])
Other characters (Katara, Aang, Gran Gran) weren't amazing, but they weren't bad.

[here's where my complaints begin]
BUT a few characters just didn't jive well (Sokka [though he did have moments. a very few moments where it felt like he was Sokka], Fire Lord Ozai [I didn't know he was the fire lord until they said he was, and even then it was hard to believe])

Another thing is that it just took so long for them to do anything.

before anyone could bend their element it would take what felt like a 30 second dance. That wasn't how bending worked and in a movie trying to save as much time as it could they really shouldn't have done that. Bending in the show is an extension of yourself. Your energy flows through you and effects your element. You don't need to summon this power if your element is around.

And they were trying to do too much in the alloted time. a lot of the scenes weren't necessary, and the scenes that were felt really rushed. some of the dialog was taken right from the show, but it felt like it was peppered fanservice (remember when this character said this? Well here's this character saying this.)

all of the good unfortunately is drowned out by the amount of boring going on.

its hard to say what I want without giving anything away.

[EDIT]

AWDMANOUT:
To anybody that actually watched the series, I think the movie lost a lot of value due to one major point:

They pronounced the characters names freaking wrong.

When I saw Michael Dante DiMartino's and Bryan Konietzko's names I was crushed because it was like they didn't care how the names were pronounced.

Alright then...I'm gonna watch it.

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