Escape to the Movies: The Last Airbender

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

The Last Airbender

This week MovieBob reviews M. Night Shyamalan's vision of the popular Nickelodeon franchise, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Watch Video

Tidy might I say...
But I'll wait until it's on rent.

I liked The Village...A lot, actually. Even the ending.

Adored Signs, Unbreakable, and Sixth Sense.

But hated Lady. And The Happening.

I'll go see this. I liked more of his work than I hated, at least.

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

Which... I haven't seen yet.

*ducks incoming arrows of flame*

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,

I don't watch many of these videos but I thought it was a great and helpful review. The movie seems like a rental at best. Ten minutes of cool doesn't warrant 20 bucks.

Sadly, I never got around to watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. The T.V series I mean. The show came out around the time where my parents decided to stop paying for Cable T.V and thus I missed it. I'm not sure if this will be a good thing or a bad thing when going in to see this movie. In one hand, I don't know the characters, the story or the mythos behind the series and I may be confused by it all. In the other hand, I've not watched the series and I've not really been hyped up about it so I doubt I could get let down by the movie if it doesn't perfectly translate the shows plot on to the big screen.

I have enjoyed Shyamalans first three movies and Unbreakable is high on my top ten list, perfectly deconstructing the super hero genre by playing it so plausibly straight. Even Signs had me shitting in my pants when I first watched it as I missed a lot of the hype and I didn't know all that much about the aliens... I didn't even think they'd appear in the movie and that the film would try and pass it all off as an elaborate hoaks.

Sadly Sixth Sense didn't have the same impact on me. I didn't watch it when it first came out, I picked it up much later. By the time I'd picked it up, the movie had been parodied to the point where the ending meant nothing to me and I couldn't enjoy the movie. Though the film is still good on it's own merit and it's not fair for me to take points away because of the reaction of the media.

I think I'll check Airbender out and see how it goes. Could do with having another trip to the cinema... I'll drag my cousin with me again.

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,

That a Distressed Watcher reference I sense?.

I'm slightly more optimistic about seeing this now.

I actually quite liked this movie. I'm not sure if my experience would be different were I at all familiar with the animated series, but I worked out one simple way to ensure your enjoyment:

Whether you know the backstory, liked the animated series or not, just don't take the movie too seriously. Bob spoke the truth, it's well made and looks and sounds awesome. If you go see just go with an open mind and have some fun!

khaimera:
I don't watch many of these videos but I thought it was a great and helpful review. The movie seems like a rental at best. Ten minutes of cool doesn't warrant 20 bucks.

Holy hell it costs a lot for you to go see a movie. I typically have to shell out seven to eight bucks (matinee price) tops.

Never saw Unbreakable, but The Sixth Sense and Signs were good. After The Village, I quit watching hit movies...

I have to say, it's a lot better than Twilight Eclipse. I loved the Nickelodean cartoon series but I guess this movie qualifies as a small pass.

Mr. Shyamalan is kinda like the great John Hughes. Both were great successful with their movies and midway, they piss their potential away.

By the way, I believe that Mr. Shyamalan will also create the Last Airbender series much like the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

well now i have no clue if I want to see this movie now... :/

At first I really didn't want to see it, but after this i am not so sure...

Hey, a double-dose of MovieBob!
I'll be honest, I never watched the series this movie is known for, so I was shocked when I saw the trailer and it looked decent. But, if it's just too slow to start, then I guess I won't see the movie adaptation.
But The Daily Show's Aasiv Manvi does a good job in a serious role? Wow... you're right, who'd have thunk it?

Oooh man.

The animated series was a total surprise to me. I'm a bit older than the intended audience but when some friends of mine insisted, I gave it a shot and was surprised by how exceptional it was--especially for a kids series (where most kids' shows just suck).

So while I didn't want to get my hopes up, I was hoping M. Night Shamalamadingdong would come back with something workable.

I would still like to see it but I know it'll be a bit salty.

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!

Zeromaeus:

khaimera:
I don't watch many of these videos but I thought it was a great and helpful review. The movie seems like a rental at best. Ten minutes of cool doesn't warrant 20 bucks.

Holy hell it costs a lot for you to go see a movie. I typically have to shell out seven to eight bucks (matinee price) tops.

It so does. I'd have to take the wife, so that another ticket. Then so it can be called a date so that she doesn't get upset and say "we never go out and do anything" we have to go at night. Nine dollars a ticket plus a soda, way too expensive.

PS. when she complains, I just suggest playing more video games, works half of the time :P

Onyx Oblivion:
I liked The Village...A lot, actually. Even the ending.

You're not the only one. I really enjoyed that movie.

This review seems right one with what I was thinking about the movie would be like.
Pretty, entertaining action scenes, disappointment in the plot and narrative.

And you know what? For me: Those movies have a place.
Ong Bak: Thai Warrior, for example, is a terrible film.
The acting is awful, the story completely unbelievable, and the character's growth is that of an after-school special in summer-time. Just bad. However, the action sequences and stunts make it all up, and they are only half the movie. I own the film, and watch it form time to time. It's not even close to my top 100 list of favourite films, but it has a place in my DVD collection. I can see this movie being the same.

Hmm I say fuck this I'm going to see Toy Story 3 or Inception! (when it comes out.)

It probably should be noted that it's not worthing bothering with 3D, it was shoehorned in like Clash of the Titans.

Wait? Aasif Mandvi? Part of The Daily Show cast plays the villain here?
Well, that alone makes it quite interesting.
Entertaining review, as always.

I saw this movie yesterday, and I thought there was soooo much more wrong with it than just what he mentions. The script was TERRIBLE! and the acting was probably the worst I've seen in a movie recently! Yes, it was pretty and I thought the story was interesting, but its just hard to watch bad actors spouting worse lines. Painful to watch and thats all I have to say.

JourneyThroughHell:
Wait? Aasif Mandvi? Part of The Daily Show cast plays the villain here?
Well, that alone makes it quite interesting.
Entertaining review, as always.

He's actually one of the better actors in the movie.

Huh, here I was expecting him to rip it to shreds considering all the other bad reviews this movie has gotten. Well, I may as well give it a shot. I'm a huge fan of the show and MovieBob hasn't steered me wrong so far. After all, I saw Spice because of his review and I'm glad I did.

khaimera:

Zeromaeus:

khaimera:
I don't watch many of these videos but I thought it was a great and helpful review. The movie seems like a rental at best. Ten minutes of cool doesn't warrant 20 bucks.

Holy hell it costs a lot for you to go see a movie. I typically have to shell out seven to eight bucks (matinee price) tops.

It so does. I'd have to take the wife, so that another ticket. Then so it can be called a date so that she doesn't get upset and say "we never go out and do anything" we have to go at night. Nine dollars a ticket plus a soda, way too expensive.

PS. when she complains, I just suggest playing more video games, works half of the time :P

People have learned that I'm terrible company when at the theater (thousand-yard stare kind of bad company) so I usually am not obligated to take anyone 'cuz they don't like going with me.

Not to mention I usually sneak in a Coke from the Sheetz next door.

I take it that you have not watched Avatar The Last Airbender, MovieBob? You seem to qualify it as a series that was meant solely to distract bored kids, and while it certainly serves that purpose, it is much better series than you seem to give it credit for. I would go so far as to say that it is the best American cartoon series since Batman: The Animated Series, and perhaps the best cartoon series of the oughts decade.

It was not merely a cotton-candy-for-the-brain series meant for children, but a series meant for any audience: children and adults, boys and girls, men and women. If you have not seen it, I would encourage you to watch at least a few episodes. With its great pacing, superb storytelling, memorable and sympathetic characters, and excellent plot development, it is one of those rare series that works to please all audiences, and somehow succeeds to a spectacular degree.

The reason other critics have been so harsh with this film is because many went into the movie having seen the series. As a result, they were angered by how badly Shyamalan butchered the source material, especially when he had everything laid out for him on a silver platter. Anyway, I again encourage you to catch a few episodes of Avatar the last Airbender, if you have not already. At least then you can understand where the brutal backlash against this film is coming from.

Well...at least it's watchable, I probably wouldn't have noticed the exposition if I hadn't watched your review, but at least now I know that it isn't completely awful.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to wait until it's out on DVD. :(

Wow. I thought he would have teared this movie a new asshole. I understand his comments about how "in a perfect world" we would judge this by its merits alone, but I don't agree with them. If you're going to try to make a movie adaptation of a series, the movie should try to follow the mythology and rules that the series gives you. For example, in the movie Firebenders can't make fire on their own under normal conditions. But in the original series, they can. The series' version makes more sense due to the origins of firebending,

, and it makes for more interesting fights. This is a character driven story, and the characters should be people. In the movie, they seemed to be plot devices. Also, possibly the most annoying thing in that entire movie, PLEASE PRONOUNCE CHARACTERS' NAMES CORRECTLY. Seriously, they pronounced Aang as "Awng", Sokka as "Sooka", Iroh as "Eerow" and the word Avatar as "Awvatar".

I'm surprised this review didn't mention the casting controversy over this movie. The whole breakdown is at Racebending.com, but in summary: despite having a world clearly based on Asian culture, and main characters who were either Asian or Inuit (or, if you want to get technical, their fantasy equivalents), Shyamalan cast three white kids as the main heroes. All of the PoC were relegated to background characters, save for Zuko (Dev Patel) who, depending on your reading, is either The Dark-Skinned Villain or The Misguided Colored Person Who Is Redeemed By The Good White Heroes. Basically, it was all the problems of the "whitewashed" casting of Prince of Persia, only drilled up to 11 and with ten times the extra baggage. I'd be interested to see what MovieBob's reaction to all of this is, and whether that changes his attitude about the movie (ie decreasing the amount of good will towards it)

I had very low expectations of this movie, so maybe it'll be a pleasant surprise if I watch it and it doesn't totally suck.

Eh, I'll just rent it some time when it's out on DVD.

I always thought this would be a bad movie. I've been burned to many times by Holywood when it comes to adaptions of things I love (Eragon, Transformers, Dragonball)

But you've got my hopes up that it might not be as terrible as some of the others.

Say, Bob, how would you compare Last Airbender to Dune (1984) which had a similar problem of too much stuff condensed into too little time?

My take on M. Night Shayamalan's career is that he never should have made a mainstream hit. His work, including Sixth Sense, all seems to require the audience to look at things from a particular angle or else it will look paper thin. This really is not for a wide audience. He would have been better off making smaller movies for a smaller audience that can 'get' his work. But, Sixth Sense was a hit for a number of reasons I won't go into here. It was, of all his films, the only one where it was easy for the mainstream audience to look at it right. This was probably a once in a career sort of occurrence. To bad it happened early in his career so that people were waiting for lightning to strike twice and it never did. Had Sixth Sense come much later, it would be like a old hand finally gets a bit of mainstream respect after paying his dues. But as it is, he comes off like a one-hit wonder.

I'll also say that adaptations are probably the worst sort of movie to make. I wouldn't want to have to deal with all the fans of the original show whining about me cutting out their favorite character on the internet. Even though if I tried to put everything from the show in the movie, it would wind up like Last Airbender.

Hm I'm surprised Movie Bob didn't bash it.

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. :)

"Giving it a shot" is definitely something I'm going to do. I can definitely understand the problems involved with the "too much plot" when you're taking all those episodes from the show and condensing them like that. Perhaps they should've made the movie longer so they could spread the exposition out a little bit? Ah well, I'll find out when I go see it. It should, at the very least, be enjoyable for fans of the original.

 Pages 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