The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Jul 1, 2010.

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Grade the movie...

  1. Excellent

    2.7%
  2. Above Average

    18.9%
  3. Average

    18.9%
  4. Below Average

    18.9%
  5. Poor

    40.5%
  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  2. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. darthraidr

    darthraidr Commodore Commodore

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    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...)
     
  6. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    MY HOMAGES! :scream:
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  10. darthraidr

    darthraidr Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  11. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    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!
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    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.
     
  14. conorg

    conorg Ensign Newbie

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    The movie was awful though.....m.night shyamalan should stick to his horror mystery movies and steer clear of big budget sci-fi!!!!
     
  15. Rulius

    Rulius Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  16. conorg

    conorg Ensign Newbie

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    disappointed
     
  17. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Not yet profitable when you factor in advertising, distribution and that some of that money goes to theaters.
     
  18. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Ah but what about the toy sales? ;)
     
  19. omgahitsbritt08

    omgahitsbritt08 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I haven't seen the anime series. But, I have seen the film. It was real good. I would definitely watch it again. My question is does the Avatar and Katara, get together at the end?
     
  20. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    If you really wanna know...
    they're doing a spin-off mini-series set a hundred years in the future and it stars the descendant of Aang and Katara
    .