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View Poll Results: Grade the movie...
Excellent 1 2.70%
Above Average 7 18.92%
Average 7 18.92%
Below Average 7 18.92%
Poor 15 40.54%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 1 2010, 02:45 PM   #241
Christopher
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

intrinsical wrote: View Post
To given an example, I'll use Zuko. From the perspective of a new viewer who has never seen the cartoon, Zuko's obviously the bad guy who arrests Aang in one early scene. Suddenly a few scenes later he's the Blue Spirit rescuing Aang. I have seen the cartoon so I understand why Zuko is freeing Aang, but what about the new viewer? The movie just did not do a good job of connecting the dots to form a smooth flowing story.
Exactly my point. The desire to do a "faithful" rehash of a 400-minute story in a 100-minute form led to it being so compressed that it was all events, no characterization or meaning. By being faithful to the structure, it lost the substance.

I mean, really, did the movie need the Blue Spirit at all? That episode was basically about Zuko's struggle with Zhao -- he wasn't "freeing" Aang but taking him away from Zhao so that he could claim the glory of the Avatar's capture and win back his father's approval. But Zuko's competition with Zhao is an ongoing thread throughout the story, coming to a head in the Siege of the North, so it wasn't necessary to include that specific vignette in order to convey it in the story. The events could've been streamlined, Zuko's defiance of Zhao coming in the Siege of the North, all part of the same climax.

A truly "faithful" adaptation is faithful to the characters, attitude, tone, and ideas of a tale, even if things like the plot structure or the characters' appearance are altered. I think audiences and studios today are too obsessed with "fidelity" to the superficial forms and thus they miss the point of how adaptations are supposed to work. Adaptation is about change. It's about doing things differently to make them work in a different medium, a different format.
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Old September 1 2010, 11:42 PM   #242
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

I think the point of including the Blue Spirit was to show that Zuko wasn't totally evil and would be redeemed in future stories. But yeah, they crammed way too much into way too little runtime.
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Old September 2 2010, 12:22 AM   #243
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Mr Light wrote: View Post
I think the point of including the Blue Spirit was to show that Zuko wasn't totally evil and would be redeemed in future stories.
Which is missing the point, because as I said, Zuko didn't liberate Aang from Zhao's clutches to help Aang, he did it to capture Aang for himself so that he'd get the credit instead of Zhao. The thing that should be used to show that Zuko isn't all bad is the flashback to the war council where he protests Ozai's plan to sacrifice Fire Nation soldiers and is punished for it in the Agni Kai.
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Old September 2 2010, 02:28 AM   #244
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Mr Light wrote: View Post
I think the point of including the Blue Spirit was to show that Zuko wasn't totally evil and would be redeemed in future stories. But yeah, they crammed way too much into way too little runtime.
Yes, I think M. Night might have been trying to do some foreshadowing but as disjointed as the film was, who knows what his ideas for anything was.
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Old September 2 2010, 02:37 AM   #245
darthraidr
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

the film suffered from trying to adhere too closely to the source material.

it would be like making a TNG movie that focused on season 1 and only using scenes from season 1. you can add a voice over to explain what happens in between, and make a few modifications to some fundamental workings of the universe (say the enterprise could split in two on a moments notice and there are no families on board).

you could make a TNG movie like that, but boy is it going to be rough.

that is what the last airbender was. he lifted scenes almost word for word from about 4 episodes. the viewer learns how the scenes are linked together via voice over. it's not how to do it.

definitely narrow the focus...
* water tribe, fire nation only. you can mention the earth kingdom, but dont deal with them. i'd even limit Aang discovering what happened to the Air Nomads. save it for the 2 or 3rd movie.
* Cut the Blue Spirit, cut Zhao (or significantly reduce his presence, as he clutters the film) too many villians and Aang gets captured too many times (i think every time he was captured in the first season made it on screen in the movie... works when you have 17 other episodes where he isnt caught)
* focus on the relationships between the two warring groups. focus on Aang, Soka and Katara being friends and training. focus on Zuko and Iroh's search for the avatar, and Zuko's motivation for him.

i'm sure a good film could be made of the first season. i wouldn't worry about upsetting fans by dropping some elements. chances are the die hards will find any reason to complain no matter what (some people are genuinely upset that the cabbage guy wasn't in the film... of all the trivial things to worry or complain about...)
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Old September 2 2010, 02:55 AM   #246
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

I don't think the issue IMO was adhering to the source material but rather it was completely disjointed. When they find Ang, Kartara say's he's sick and they need to get him back to the village. The next scene is him up and well, you don't even know how or who nursed him back to health. One minute they're in Katara & Sokka's home, the next scene they're in a field of green grass and trees. One scene is Zuko with Iroh, the next he's on Zhao's ship as the Blue Spirit. You have no idea the time frame of when all of this is taking place.
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Old September 2 2010, 03:40 AM   #247
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

darthraidr wrote: View Post
(some people are genuinely upset that the cabbage guy wasn't in the film... of all the trivial things to worry or complain about...)
I think when people complain loudly or despairingly about the absence of a running joke, it's safe to assume they are also making a joke.
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Old September 2 2010, 04:08 AM   #248
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

darthraidr wrote: View Post
(some people are genuinely upset that the cabbage guy wasn't in the film... of all the trivial things to worry or complain about...)
MY HOMAGES!
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Old September 2 2010, 04:09 AM   #249
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

^
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Old September 2 2010, 04:38 AM   #250
darthraidr
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Christopher wrote: View Post
darthraidr wrote: View Post
(some people are genuinely upset that the cabbage guy wasn't in the film... of all the trivial things to worry or complain about...)
I think when people complain loudly or despairingly about the absence of a running joke, it's safe to assume they are also making a joke.
maybe... but seeing how entitled and rabid fans can get on the internet it's hard to tell what a joke is and isnt.

adding the cabbage guy, like having the characters be the "right" race, wouldnt change how bad the movie ended up being.
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Old September 2 2010, 08:05 AM   #251
Kestrel
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Christopher wrote: View Post
Mr Light wrote: View Post
I think the point of including the Blue Spirit was to show that Zuko wasn't totally evil and would be redeemed in future stories.
Which is missing the point, because as I said, Zuko didn't liberate Aang from Zhao's clutches to help Aang, he did it to capture Aang for himself so that he'd get the credit instead of Zhao. The thing that should be used to show that Zuko isn't all bad is the flashback to the war council where he protests Ozai's plan to sacrifice Fire Nation soldiers and is punished for it in the Agni Kai.
Well, in fairness, the Blue Spirit did foreshadow Zuko's possible heel-face turn as the episode went on and Zuko was clearly conflicted. But like you say, it's the sort of nuance that doesn't work for a throwaway scene.
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Old September 6 2010, 12:52 PM   #252
Mr Light
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Holy crap! I was just perusing Box Office Mojo...

Airbender has made
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $131,137,000 51.8% + Foreign: $122,201,514 48.2% = Worldwide: $253,338,514
Maybe we'll be getting a sequel after all!
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Old September 6 2010, 03:52 PM   #253
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Holy crap! I was just perusing Box Office Mojo...

Airbender has made
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $131,137,000 51.8% + Foreign: $122,201,514 48.2% = Worldwide: $253,338,514
Maybe we'll be getting a sequel after all!
Yet the film still has a long way to go before it becomes profitable. I think if a sequel is green lit, it's budget will be much, much lower than the originals.
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Old September 6 2010, 04:31 PM   #254
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

The movie was awful though.....m.night shyamalan should stick to his horror mystery movies and steer clear of big budget sci-fi!!!!
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Old September 6 2010, 04:46 PM   #255
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

When you try to stick too much into a movie, say from a book or series of books, you can't cram it all into a two hour movie. The Fellowship of the Ring is about the only
movie I've seen that comes close. They shoulda broke the first movie into two parts,
woulda been better story telling wise.
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