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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 July 3 2010, 07:03 PM   #76
CaptainCanada
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

EW predicts based on current numbers that TLA will make about $70 million by Sunday, which, given the terrible reviews, is a pretty decent sum. We'll see how it holds, because the word of mouth is pretty terrible, from what I've seen.

But, at a minimum, I don't think the studio will lose money on this, once foreign box office is tallied, etc.
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Old July 4 2010, 03:16 AM   #77
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Dennis wrote: View Post
Kelthaz wrote: View Post
Yeah, Ebert's definitely a bit on the insane side. I rarely pay any attention to his movie reviews.
Paying attention to Ebert has saved me an insane amount of money and time that would otherwise have been completely wasted on trash.
It's the opposite for me: reading Ebert has caused me to spend a not insignificant amount of time and money on films I otherwise would likely never have seen.


Christopher wrote:
So you're dead wrong to call it a double standard. It's the exact same standard -- the desire to see fair hiring practices -- applied to two different scenarios. Your mistake is in thinking it's about the characters. It's not, because characters aren't real and don't have to feed their families. It's about real human beings and their right to fair employment opportunities.
As a viewer I couldn't care less about the 'real world' behind the art; whether it be hiring practices, Polanski's checkered past, or Russel Crowe's penchant for hurling telephones. There's a time and place to be concerned about such things; and - again, as a viewer - in relation to any given artwork is not it.
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Old July 4 2010, 03:19 AM   #78
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Well, I'll end up seeing it because one of my friends wants me to go with him on Tuesday (he's buying, so how could I refuse?!). Hopefully I will enjoy it. I certainly want to enjoy it, but I want them to give the characters their due, because I absolutely love the source material and am hoping for an enjoyable film.
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Old July 4 2010, 04:20 AM   #79
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Rii wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote:
So you're dead wrong to call it a double standard. It's the exact same standard -- the desire to see fair hiring practices -- applied to two different scenarios. Your mistake is in thinking it's about the characters. It's not, because characters aren't real and don't have to feed their families. It's about real human beings and their right to fair employment opportunities.
As a viewer I couldn't care less about the 'real world' behind the art; whether it be hiring practices, Polanski's checkered past, or Russel Crowe's penchant for hurling telephones. There's a time and place to be concerned about such things; and - again, as a viewer - in relation to any given artwork is not it.
But the specific question being raised here was why there was allegedly a "double standard" approving of casting nonwhites in traditionally white roles but protesting the casting of whites in nonwhite roles. The answer to that specific question is that it's a hiring issue. What you're discussing here, your taste as a viewer, is a separate matter.

Although not entirely separate. If your priority is entertainment and enjoyment of the artwork, surely the talent and charisma of the performers should matter more than their complexion. And the more diversity there is in casting, the greater the pool of talent you have to draw on and the better the odds of getting a really superb performer, regardless of appearance.

And as for myself, I like diversity. I find it aesthetically preferable to uniformity. So for me, casting inclusively is about the art, in more ways than one.
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Old July 4 2010, 11:12 AM   #80
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Christopher wrote: View Post
Although not entirely separate. If your priority is entertainment and enjoyment of the artwork, surely the talent and charisma of the performers should matter more than their complexion. And the more diversity there is in casting, the greater the pool of talent you have to draw on and the better the odds of getting a really superb performer, regardless of appearance.

And as for myself, I like diversity. I find it aesthetically preferable to uniformity. So for me, casting inclusively is about the art, in more ways than one.
In the abstract, I agree: diversity in casting is a good thing and should be encouraged.

It's an easy statement to make. As a viewer, my relationship with the art form is not a coherent whole, but rather a series of distinct associations - individual films - grouped under the umbrella term 'cinema'. I can hardly avoid being aware of certain externalities, but they don't resonate with me except insofar as those externalities are relevant to individual films.

My notion of 'casting' is limited to questions of who's right for this film, or that film; and on that level I've no interest in diverse casting. If it should happen to arise that the film is a veritable rainbow of humanity, so be it; but my interest is in what works - on a creative level - for the specific film in question. I would vehemently oppose making a character with any creative reason at all to be a specific ethnicity a different one merely to satisfy some abstract standard of diversity.

As a practical matter there are enough characters whose ethnicity is simply irrelevant that this isn't a significant impediment to achieving a diverse casting base across the industry, but it does crop up in individual films. I would've liked to have seen Chekov made a woman to address the glaring gender imbalance on the bridge of the nuEnterprise; but only because the character is so much a cipher that one could do almost anything to him - besides making him other than Russian - without treading on toes. Making, say, Spock a woman is an entirely different proposition.

And without commenting on The Last Airbender specifically - because I know almost nothing about it - I find something distasteful about taking an existing work and scrubbing from it all evidence that it originated other than than from the Here and Now and Our Kinds of People; and so harbour a general suspicion of remakes in general, and remakes of foreign works in particular. An example which I've discussed on the board recently is the upcoming Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Despite the promising announcements of David Fincher as director and Daniel Craig as one of the lead actors, I remain very much concerned that they are going to fuck it up; if not deliberately then inadvertently by simply substituting America for Sweden, thus missing some of the underlying sociocultural currents that lend the tale its effectiveness.

I hope the above has served to clarify my position somewhat.

Last edited by Rii; July 4 2010 at 11:29 AM.
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Old July 4 2010, 12:51 PM   #81
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Rii wrote: View Post
My notion of 'casting' is limited to questions of who's right for this film, or that film; and on that level I've no interest in diverse casting. If it should happen to arise that the film is a veritable rainbow of humanity, so be it; but my interest is in what works - on a creative level - for the specific film in question. I would vehemently oppose making a character with any creative reason at all to be a specific ethnicity a different one merely to satisfy some abstract standard of diversity.
Well, sure. Casting, say, John Wayne as Genghis Khan would obviously be wrong. To offer a more hypothetical scenario, casting Laurence Fishburne as the founder of the Ku Klux Klan would be a non-starter.

But when we're talking about, say, the Kingpin or Nick Fury or Felix Leiter, the character isn't defined by a specific ethnicity.


As a practical matter there are enough characters whose ethnicity is simply irrelevant that this isn't a significant impediment to achieving a diverse casting base across the industry, but it does crop up in individual films. I would've liked to have seen Chekov made a woman to address the glaring gender imbalance on the bridge of the nuEnterprise; but only because the character is so much a cipher that one could do almost anything to him - besides making him other than Russian - without treading on toes. Making, say, Spock a woman is an entirely different proposition.
What I find interesting is that the new ST cast is a lot more international than the original. In TOS, the main seven cast members included two Canadians and five Americans, of whom three were the children or grandchildren of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, one was the child of Irish immigrants, one was Asian-American, and one was African-American. In the new cast, you have an Anglo-American, an Irish-Italian American, an Afro-Latin American of Caribbean parentage, a New Zealander of German parentage, an Englishman, a Korean immigrant to America, and a Russian Jewish immigrant to America.


And without commenting on The Last Airbender specifically - because I know almost nothing about it - I find something distasteful about taking an existing work and scrubbing from it all evidence that it originated other than than from the Here and Now and Our Kinds of People; and so harbour a general suspicion of remakes in general, and remakes of foreign works in particular.
Well, first off, the animated series was created by two white guys from the United States, one with an Italian name, one with a Polish name. Second, as I've pointed out many times now, the movie's cast is just as diverse as that of the animated series, if not more so; all the animated characters are various Asian or Native American types, but the movie has Indian, Iranian, Maori, Latina, Asian-American, African-American, and Caucasian actors. Nothing has been "scrubbed," just rearranged.

Also, if we're talking about actual actors as opposed to characters, the majority of the main "Asian" characters in the animated series were voiced by white actors. Of the core cast, only Dante Basco (Zuko), Mako (Iroh in season 1-2), and Jennie Kwan (Suki) were Asian, though there were various supporting roles played by other Asian actors such as Sab Shimono, Brian George, Takayo Fischer, etc., and the Earth King was played by Phil LaMarr, who's African-American.
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Old July 4 2010, 01:54 PM   #82
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Hal Duncan parses the issues: http://www.bscreview.com/2010/07/not...ost-airbender/
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Old July 4 2010, 03:05 PM   #83
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

you'd think the "racebending" complaints would stop now that the movie is out. no actor of any race could salvage the poor pacing, writing, directing and editing of that film.

i saw it yesterday, and though not the trainwreck i was expecting, it was bad. it felt like a fan edit of a live action version of the first season. the major events of season 1 are touched upon, and if you have seen the show you can place them in context. if you havent seen the show, i imagine you'd just be confused by what is going on.

some of the changes introduced, felt good. fire bending requires fire, fine, makes total sense and sets up iroh (and all really powerful firebenders) and the comet pretty well. the fact that the comet will show up in 3 years is a much better change. Yue entering the pool to die is better. and honestly it was nice to see some black people in the world.

its neat that mns decided to take lines and scenes directly from the series. but it's awful that he forgot you still need a central and cohesive narrative.
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Old July 4 2010, 04:10 PM   #84
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Theonethatis wrote: View Post
The whole fucking SWT were Inuit except for stupid Katara and Sokka and gran gran. I dont care if you switch the tribes ethnicity but damn that was blatant. However the whole NWT were russian. If your going to cast caucasian then why weren't the SWT Russian?
This at least makes a kernal of sense. Sokka and Katara's mother was NWT and fled south. So Katara and Sokka would be naturally paler than their neighbours.

Having Inuit in the south and Russians in the north isn't inherantly illogical, what race would you put in the South Pole, since no one lives there in the real world?

Having two races makes the bending spectrum culturally based instead of genetic, which was arguably implied in the tv show (and I believe I remember commentaries on the dvd's explaining this.)
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Old July 4 2010, 04:37 PM   #85
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
Anybody here see this movie having NEVER seen the cartoon?
Me.

Took my wife who is a huge fan of the series. She seemed to enjoy the film and I loathed it. There seemed to be a good idea in there somewhere but it didn't show itself on screen. The acting was wooden and the editing of the film was terrible.

Might take a look at the TV series to see how the story was suppose to be.
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Old July 4 2010, 06:37 PM   #86
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

BillJ wrote: View Post
M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
Anybody here see this movie having NEVER seen the cartoon?
Me.

Took my wife who is a huge fan of the series. She seemed to enjoy the film and I loathed it. There seemed to be a good idea in there somewhere but it didn't show itself on screen. The acting was wooden and the editing of the film was terrible.

Might take a look at the TV series to see how the story was suppose to be.
Thank you, sir. Yours is the first non-fan response I have come across that isn't "it sucked because it wasn't a literal translation frame for frame of what I love about the cartoon".

Nice to see there are non-biased ways to think it's a stinker.
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Old July 4 2010, 06:58 PM   #87
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
Thank you, sir. Yours is the first non-fan response I have come across that isn't "it sucked because it wasn't a literal translation frame for frame of what I love about the cartoon".
Then you haven't been reading the pro reviews. It seems pretty clear from them that lack of fidelity to the show is the least of this movie's problems.
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Old July 4 2010, 07:13 PM   #88
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Christopher wrote: View Post
And I've always been startled by the fierce resistance I've gotten from some posters here to my suggestion of Gina Torres for Wonder Woman.
Seems atypical for her being (allegedly) an Amazonian and such, but I could see it working. Perhaps a trifle obvious given her genre cred, but eh, obvious is good.

DarKush wrote: View Post
I haven't read the Thor boards but I can imagine somebody having issue with Idris Elba as Heimdall.
After watching him play Stringer Bell on The Wire, my main issue with Idris Elba as Heimdall now is he's possiby too good for this stuff. But hey, I won't begrudge an obviously talented man his money.

As observed, white guys still get the lead positions most times. Idris Elba might play a sidekick type role, but George Kirk himself in all his soap opera glory is going to be Thor.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, sure. Casting, say, John Wayne as Genghis Khan would obviously be wrong.
Awesome wrong. The Conqueror is one of my favourite bad movies of all time.
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Old July 4 2010, 07:56 PM   #89
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Kegg wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
And I've always been startled by the fierce resistance I've gotten from some posters here to my suggestion of Gina Torres for Wonder Woman.
Seems atypical for her being (allegedly) an Amazonian and such, but I could see it working.
First off, the Amazons of the DC Universe were assembled from women of all races, and there is at least one prominent ethnically African Amazon in the comics, Phillippus by name. Second, Diana was molded from clay and magically endowed with life by the gods, so conventional ideas of heredity are pretty much moot.

Perhaps a trifle obvious given her genre cred, but eh, obvious is good.
Gina Torres did do the voice of Wonder Woman's evil counterpart Superwoman in the recent Crisis on Two Earths movie. It was a reallllly sexy performance.


As observed, white guys still get the lead positions most times.
With exceptions such as Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Keanu Reeves, Vin Diesel, etc. And I'm debating whether to add Jackie Chan, since he tends to do only martial-arts roles.
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Old July 4 2010, 08:17 PM   #90
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Re: The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Christopher wrote: View Post
First off, the Amazons of the DC Universe were assembled from women of all races,
This is where the 'allegedly' comes in. I figured there'd be some tomfoolery that screwed over the concept, but damned if I'd know what.

With exceptions such as [...] Keanu Reeves
He passes though, no?

At any rate, I had no idea about him being biracial until I read about it on the internet, but I am a trifle thick about these things.
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