The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

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


Grade the movie...

  1. Excellent

  2. Above Average

  3. Average

  4. Below Average

  5. Poor

  1. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 11, 2008
    San Francisco, CA
    Well, I for one don't think WW should be played by a mind-bogglingly boring actress, though I admit I haven't seen her in anything beyond Firefly/the Matrix sequels... :p
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Gina Torres, boring? Does not compute...
  3. NuFan

    NuFan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 20, 2010
    Was going tomorrow since there's no school, but sister said it's awful.
  4. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

    May 15, 2002
    Let me start by saying that before seeing the movie, I had not seen the tv series.

    A co-worker is a huge fan of the series, and has been talking about it a lot lately. My boss and I have been having great fun reading negative reviews and sending her (co-worker) the funniest ones. One review that stands out said that in one scene, Dev Patel looks straight into the camera and "without words, begs the audience to forget he was ever in this movie."

    After reading universally negative reviews, I had to go. I was hoping for a clusterfuck of 2012 proportions.

    I didn't get it.

    While it was a bit disjointed, and time seemed to have no meaning (they go from continent to continent in a few minutes? Um, ok then), it was just a few shades away from being a really decent movie.

    Aang was believable as a child who had the world placed upon his shoulders, only to freak out and run away. I don't know how much of his fighting was the actor and how much was a stunt guy, but he came across as a very talented martial artist.

    Zuko came across as a whiny crybaby. Oh, poor me, daddy kicked me out for speaking. When he shows just the tiniest bit of spirit, protecting Aang, it seemed like there was something there worth redeeming. Hopefully if there is a sequel, that can be referenced again, and he'll fight against these fire people.

    What was the point of Sokka? Don't get me wrong, the actor was drool-worthy, and he's never looked hotter, but what was the point of his character? He serves as a sort of protector to his sister ... and so what? He falls in love with this princess girl he's known for three seconds, and it's like they're the loves of each others' lives. In a movie where time has no meaning, that is saying something. It's a very underdeveloped character, and needed at least another rewrite on the script.

    The Uncle didn't seem to have any spirit in him until almost the very end, when he started kicking butt. I had a suspicion, later confirmed, that he was the fire king's brother (all we knew was that he was the prince's uncle .... could have just as easily been the queen's brother ... speaking of, why wasn't there a queen? I don't remember anyone addressing that). He seems to have the ability to make fire from himself instead of taking existing fire, and appears to be much more powerful of a "bender" than anyone around him. So why is he just a general, and not the king?

    Yue has no point to her. She's in the movie for about 10 minutes, but is a throwaway character designed for only one reason, to be there to give away her life. Sadly, because she has so little screen time, it seems that the writer decided to not create an actual character. There's zero substance. Also, wtf was with her hair in her introduction. Seriously, the whole audience roared with laughter ... from behind, she looks like a human-sized penis. Somebody had to have realized that on the set!

    Like I said, it's not the clusterfuck I had been expecting, and was a lot better than I had been expecting, based on the reviews I had read.

    Because of this, and still being curious about the series, I went to Netflix and watched the first episode of the series via streaming. It is surprisingly good. And almost the whole first episode is right there in the movie. A few changes here and there (Aang ran off in the movie, but was in the middle of a fight in the series), but close enough. Since the whole thing is on sale at walmart and amazon, I might just go pick up the first season.

    I give the movie a solid B.
  5. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    This was my biggest fear. In the show, Sokka is hilarious comic relief. It seems like a waste to have him not fulfill that role in the film.

    Indeed, why isn't he the king? I don't remember if this is explained in Season 1 or 2, but it has to do with him losing his son in the war. The previous Firelord made the call to make his brother the new Firelord instead of the uncle.

    This is a shame. She was a major love interest for Sokka and her death in the show was tragic.

    It's definitely worth watching.:techman:
  6. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Mar 4, 2004
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    Without going into details (if you're going to check out of the show), those are both plot points in the second season of the show.
  7. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 18, 2003
    The Digital Garden
    That may work in the cartoon but lets be real, his mother was murdered, his father is has gone to war and during part of season 1 of the show, his sister and him were under the suspicion he might be dead. In the show he's the sole young male provider for his village. The whole world he lives in is being so torn apart by war, even someone as young as he is has to fight for his freedom and that of his tribe. His whole way of life is being wiped out.

    What's to joke about?
  8. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    It's simply the nature of his character. A person can have a tragic past and still have a sense of humor.
  9. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

    Feb 24, 2005
    The destruction of Sokka was probably the most film's most egregious mistake, for me. Sokka was far and away my favorite character in the cartoon. Sure, he started out as just the goofy, sarcastic comic relief, but by the series' end he'd matured into a leader and a true warrior, while still maintaining his sense of humor. There's still time to salvage Sokka in the movies, but it's going to take a lot of work and a much more talented writer.

    And see, that's the thing about this movie. It really wasn't all that great, but there are a couple bits here and there that could have been great. I'd like to see Books Two and Three be translated to film, but not by Shyamalan. Take him off of the sequels and let someone else write and direct them, and maybe we'll get lucky and the sequels will redeem the trilogy.

    Yeah, probably not. :p But I can hope!
  10. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Commodore Commodore

    Jun 14, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    And that explains it!
  11. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Jun 9, 2001
    Mr. Adventure
    I was wondering what someone who hadn't seen the series first would think.

    In the series, comic relief...

    You wouldn't know it though from all your points though I tend to focus on the negative when I review as well.
  12. Rii

    Rii Rear Admiral

    Jul 22, 2008
    Sure. I think it's fair to say that in most cases ethnicity isn't a significant factor in a character's makeup. I just don't want to give away the principle to the majority. :lol:

    I hope you had to look at least some of that up. :lol:

    But again, as a viewer, that's not the kind of diversity that interests me. I don't care where the actors come from, but where the characters come from. Obviously the actor needs to be able to portray all aspects of the character to the audience convincingly, and certainly using an actor whose background matches that of the character in various respects (sex, of course, being one quality for which this is almost universally done) is one of the better ways of ensuring that; but it's not always feasible, nor necessary.

    I should've been clearer that I wasn't referring to The Last Airbender there, rather my sympathy for the kinds of concerns that have been raised about it; which, as you say, appear to be largely unfounded in this case. Only reason I'm in this thread is as someone who's maintained an interest in Shyamalan's work up till now. It's difficult to see how he can recover from this point.

    My interest in the series has been piqued somewhat by these threads, though. I might give it a shot when I run out of other stuff to watch.
  13. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2008
    So - when a caucasian actor wants a job portraying a character of different ethnicity, he can't have that job.
    But, if a non-caucasian actor wants a job portraying a caucasian character, he is more than entitled to that job.

    Christopher, this IS a double standard.
    It may be founded on the desire to give every ethnicity an equal chance; this doesn't change the fact that it is a double standard - a non-caucasian actor can have a certain type of job (play caucasian characters), while a caucasian actor can't have the same type of job (play non-caucasian characters) because he's white - and other caucasian actors (strangers) have jobs (which changes nothing for him).

    Ironically, Christopher, what you're advocating is racial discrimination.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  14. TheBrew

    TheBrew Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 19, 2001
    Fox Lady
    I was surprised that they showed movies under bridges.
  15. Tulin

    Tulin Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 2, 2003
    With the most wonderful man in the world!
    Didn't you know......only white people can be racist.


    But thank you. Good to know there is one more sane, sensibly thinking person here. Ironically, this kind of affirmative action is actually discriminatory to the ethnicity being "aided". It assumes they are helpless and need a "hand up".
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    No, it's a straw man. You're dishonestly twisting my words to make them sound ridiculous, rather than fairly and intelligently engaging with my point. I never said anything as stupidly absolutist as "can't have." That is an outright lie on your part. I'm saying that actors of any ethnicity should be free to compete for any part that isn't unambiguously defined as a certain ethnicity. I'm saying that the system should not be set up in such a way that favors white actors over nonwhite actors.
  17. firehawk12

    firehawk12 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2002
    EXILE + ATTON = GUUUUUUSH!!!! (pic by aimo)
    All you have to do is quote the original casting sheets, which say something like "looking for white or any other ethnicity" for each of the characters.
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Actually that wasn't the original casting sheet. It was a flyer put out by a subsidiary agency that did casting in one specific location. The original casting documents said "All ethnicities."
  19. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2008
    Your previous posts beg to differ:
    "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."
    "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."

    You did not say "I'm saying that actors of any ethnicity should be free to compete for any part that isn't unambiguously defined as a certain ethnicity."

    You contested that "approving of casting nonwhites in traditionally white roles but protesting the casting of whites in nonwhite roles." is a double standard, Christopher.
    And you were wrong - you see, it IS A DOUBLE STANDARD, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION.
  20. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

    Oct 15, 2008
    Stompin' on Tokyo
    Please forgive me if this has been asked before. Would someone who doesn't know the source material still enjoy this movie?