The Last Airbender

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First pics of Aang and Zuko in "Last Airbender"

Post by Dan » May 29th, 2009, 2:14 am

Paramount Pictures recently released three photos with a first look of Aang and Zuko in M. Night Shyamalan's live-action adaption of "Avatar: The Last Airbender". Aang is being played by newcomer Noah Ringer and Zuko is played by "Slumdog Millionaire" star Dev Patel. Release date for the film is slated for July 2, 2010.

Photos courtesy of /Film (pronounced Slash Film)

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Post by Rodney » May 29th, 2009, 11:16 am

Not bad. It looks good, but am I the only one afraid this will be campy? I hope they play it seriously, but with the right amount of humor that is in the series. I don't want an Aang that is too serious.

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Post by eddievalient » May 29th, 2009, 12:44 pm

I'm afraid I was never able to follow the series due to never knowing its regular timeslot, but I liked what I saw when I did catch an episode here and there, so I'd definitely see the movie.
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Post by Rodney » May 29th, 2009, 4:33 pm

The show is definitely worth watching. It's available to rent or buy if you're interested.

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The Last Airbender

Post by eddievalient » July 14th, 2010, 10:43 am

I'm surprised this film doesn't have a thread yet. I saw it last night and enjoyed it greatly. However, it occurred to me about 20 minutes in that Shyamalan didn't write a live action movie. He wrote an animated movie and then filmed it in live action. The distinction is that dialogue and plotting that would be perfectly fine in a cartoon might seem a bit off in live action and I think that that's the reason some people don't like it. If the film had been animated instead of live action, I think the critics might have been a little kinder because the different mediums have different expectations.

Before I saw the film, I had heard complaints that they mispronounce the characters' names. I'll tell you now that they don't. They simply use the Japanese pronunciation and this was suggested to them by a linguist. To be honest, it's been so long since I've watched the show (and I only ever saw a few episodes to begin with) that when I read about it online, I thought that's how you were supposed to pronounce the names anyway. So if I ever go back and watch the series, their pronunciations are what's going to sound wrong to me.

Anyhoo, if you like epic fantasy, this is a solid offering and I'd reccomend it highly. I give the film four stars out of five.
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Re: The Last Airbender

Post by Dacey » July 14th, 2010, 5:43 pm

Shyamalan took a perfectly great TV show, robbed the characters of their personalities, removed almost all the humor, made the dialogue stiff, and generally made a film that, let's face it, could've been 1,000,000 tims better.

The biggest compliment I can give the film is the look. It looked great. The visual effects and some of the action were also impressive, but the execution of a few of those scenes could've been severely improved, if that makes.

There were moments that could've been moving that Shyamalan just ruined with his script. When a character was dying, someone actually said the line, "I'll miss you...more than you know." No one talks like that. Not in real life. Not even in movies.

If you watch the first four episodes of the cartoon (I've only just started after seeing the movie), they have far more entertainment value than Shyamalan's film. If Shyamalan had kept in touch with fun of the series while still remembering to make it "epic," he could've made a truly great franchise starter. Instead, he's almost certainly killed the possibility of sequels.

I don't hate the man, and love many of his films (heck, I even kinda liked "Lady in the Water"). But "The Happening" was a sign that he was in the need for a serious ego check. And "The Last Airbender" makes that even more clear. Shymalan thinks he's God's gift to cinema, and if people don't like his films, he just brushes it off with something like "I'm an artist." Guess what? An "artist" isn't given $150 million by a studio to make something that only he and he alone is going to really enjoy.

I didn't hate the film, even if it sounds like I did. It wasn't nearly as bad as some critics have said it is. Having said that, it was still very...frustrating.
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Post by eddievalient » July 14th, 2010, 8:23 pm

After an ending like that, they'd BETTER make the other two parts. Yes, the whole series is on dvd, but it would really suck if people who saw the movie first had to shell out $60 minimum to find out how the story ends.
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Re: The Last Airbender

Post by EricJ » July 14th, 2010, 10:24 pm

Dacey wrote:Shyamalan took a perfectly great TV show, robbed the characters of their personalities, removed almost all the humor, made the dialogue stiff, and generally made a film that, let's face it, could've been 1,000,000 tims better.
I don't hate the man, and love many of his films (heck, I even kinda liked "Lady in the Water"). But "The Happening" was a sign that he was in the need for a serious ego check. And "The Last Airbender" makes that even more clear. Shymalan thinks he's God's gift to cinema, and if people don't like his films, he just brushes it off with something like "I'm an artist." Guess what? An "artist" isn't given $150 million by a studio to make something that only he and he alone is going to really enjoy.
That's really the issue: HE clearly was a fan of the series (ie., probably had watched it with his kids, liked the faux-Anime For Dummies style and plot, and thought "Hey, get me, I'm finding the value in a kids' cable show, it must be a work of genius!"), and when Paramount wanted to extend Nickelodeon's marketing, thought he was the Chosen One to do it--
Which is nice, when a Peter Jackson thinks he's the "only one" to do LOTR, or Raimi with Spiderman or Favreau with Iron Man...But Shyamalan's base style is so thoroughly unacquainted with anything required for anime, action-cartoon or kids' movies (at least, he's lost what he had since "Stuart Little"), it's like watching Ridley Scott develop a fascination with Go, Diego!--He may think he's the One to do it, but it would help to seek a second opinion and consider other directors.

(And if he has become a realistic-spooky-atmosphere one-trick-pony after "Signs" and "Unbreakable", at least "Happening" was his One Trick, which I actually sort of enjoyed.)

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Re: The Last Airbender

Post by Ben » July 15th, 2010, 7:56 am

Dacey wrote:...let's face it, could've been 1,000,000 tims better.
I'm REALLY sorry to pick you on this, but it just made me laugh. I've seen many films that could have been many tims better. Some films just don't have enough tims in them, I totally agree.

So, Avatar...oops, sorry, The Last Airbender sounds like it Charlie And The Chocolate Factorys quite a bit. ;)

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Re: The Last Airbender

Post by EricJ » July 15th, 2010, 12:58 pm

Ben wrote:So, Avatar...oops, sorry, The Last Airbender sounds like it Charlie And The Chocolate Factorys quite a bit. ;)
No, no, NO--You're just not getting the hang of this expression, are you? :P
It would Chocolate Factory only if MNS had gone around in interviews saying that "the cable series was just aiming for kids, but my version was more faithful!" and then did some loopy improvisation while trying to stick in homages to his isolated favorite bits.

As I understand it, MNS in fact did some solemnly faithful version of the series, just that "solemn" was the problem.
(And yes, we know, you were going for the "Tims" pun, but fortunately, that wasn't what was wrong with it.)

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Re: The Last Airbender

Post by Dacey » July 15th, 2010, 6:49 pm

I'm REALLY sorry to pick you on this, but it just made me laugh. I've seen many films that could have been many tims better. Some films just don't have enough tims in them, I totally agree.
LOL! I hadn't even realized that I had done that. ;)

And Eric, for what it's worth, I'd take "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" over "The Last Airbender" anyday.
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Post by Ben » July 16th, 2010, 6:33 am

Yeah, Eric is the one that hasn't caught the gist of what it means to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (hey, I coined that, I can use it any way I want!).

It's not about what's IN the movie (get over yourself, Burton-boy), it's whether it was worth making as a companion/successor/improvement on an original source. That's the definition, and from the sounds of it, The Last Airbender Charlie And The Chocolate Factorys throughout.

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Post by eddievalient » July 17th, 2010, 12:09 am

Here's something that occured to me: People complain that they mispronounced the names, but if you think about it, the fact that they used Japanese pronunciation for Japanese names means that the film actually got it right and it's the ORIGINAL SHOW that's been wrong the entire time! Ha! If the fans can't understand that, then they're just stubborn.
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Post by eddievalient » July 17th, 2010, 12:20 am

One more interesting thing: In the Box Office Mojo viewer's poll, The Last Airbender currently has 310 A grades and only 161 Fs, so apparently I'm not the only one who likes it. Nice to know.
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Re: The Last Airbender

Post by Riv » July 18th, 2010, 2:07 am

I think what's so annoying about the pronunciation is the fact that the character names had been different for sixty episodes of the show: why change it? It would be like pronouncing Igor in the Young Frankenstein musical "ee-gore" rather than "eye-gore" - more 'correct', but disconcerting for the fanbase:P

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