M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Miana Kenobi, Dec 10, 2008.

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  1. Darth_Fred Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2004
    star 5
    While I understand that this is a kid's movie and is not going to appeal to me for that reason, the story pulled out the most kid friendly aspects of the show. The humor, the fun, and anything else kid related was pulled out and replaced with angst-ish stuff.

    That said, it wasn't as bad as some of the reviews are sounding. It's a summer kid blockbuster, after all. Have some realistic expectations.
  2. Jek_Windu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2003
    star 4

    You're right, it is a kid's movie. So is Toy Story 3. No matter the genre or the intended audience, there is no excuse for lacking the basic elements of fiction. I have read Harry Potter fanfiction that has a better grasp on those fundamentals than this movie did.


    I completely agree about the bending actions- way too overdone. It really hurts the portrayal of Aang and Katara as high-level waterbenders when they can barely move three drops. Oh, wait, I just mean Aang, since Katara is little more than an ascended extra and an exposition monkey.

    There are seven monologues in this movie. Seven- and they constitute 90% of Katara's screentime.
  3. Darth-Vassago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2004
    star 5
    M. =/= Pixar.

    Pixar is in the business of making extremely charming, heart warming and sometimes dramatic movies. Shymalan used to be able to put together a good movie, but it's clear he's little more than a one-trick-pony. Well, two trick because 6th Sense was as enjoyable as Unbreakable.

  4. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I liked the SanFrancisco Examiner's comments: "After 10 years of making bad movies, M______ has stepped up to making a horrible movie."

    Personally, I thought 6th Sense was highly over-rated. It came out about the same time as Stir of Echoes, which was far, far better. The only thing 6th had going for it was the kid who was a better actor than anyone else in the cast.
    As for Unbreakable, I thought it was pretty stupid, being not well thought out and with a very shallow premiss, and poor acting.

    Don't know why M. Night Shalamala-bing-bong ever got so much praise/interest. Seems to me to have been totally undeserved and without actual merrit.
    Guess everyone liked the name? Some sort of "edgy" "Independant" "fresh" "outsider" type marketing bollucks?
  5. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    OK, so I went to see it for myself, and I'm looking at it from 2 different perspectives. First perspective is that I tried to look at it as though I'd never seen the series. In that respect, it was an OK movie. Not great, but not sucktastic either. The pacing was choppy, Zhao was not menacing at all, and Sohka ;) was extremely stiff. However the action scenes were pretty neat and the effects were cool. So if all I knew was that it was an adaptation of a kids' show, I'd shrug and say "typical."

    Knowing what I know of the series, I wanna grab my boxed set of the series, find M. Night Shymalan, and beat him senseless with it!!

    First off...
    [image=http://i.ytimg.com/vi/SPMKQLLpyeM/2.jpg]

    They ruined Sokka!. Gutted. Him. Utterly! His character was symptomatic of a giant flaw, namely that all humor was sucked out of it. What made the characters so great was that they were able to maintain their levity despite all their trials.

    I can see why they omitted a few things, like combining the coal mine/prison with Kyoshi island. However, this brings me to another gripe: Senseless omissions. All it would've taken was a teensy bit more of the nigh-endless exposition dialog, and the prisoners could've been in a metal prison. Also, just two words -TWO WORDS- of exposition would've gone a loooong way in one case. I'll add the two words to the relevant line: "The Fire Nation hasn't been able to conquer the bigger cities like Ba Sing Se and Omashu."

    And the Avatar can't have a family? Wait..wut? I guess that gets rid of an important part of Zuko's story [face_plain] Also, I'm over the whole "racebending" papooky, and thought it was pretty cool that not only were the Air Nomads multi-ethnic, but that Monk Gyatso was Black :D However, Gyatso was relatively young, so either Shyamalan's gonna dispense with the Avatar Roku backstory, or it's going to be needlessly modified.

    Three years until Sozin's Comet? Wait...wut?

    OTOH, I have the least grievance with Eero, I mean Iroh ;)
  6. Darth-Vassago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2004
    star 5
    Most people enjoyed his first couple outings into movies, and both were respectable and enjoyable. All of the above was pretty much pure opinion, so it's not right or wrong.
  7. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8

    Quoted for Truth.


    I'm getting the feeling that M. Night was just in way over his head. But if that's the case, that's when the logical thing to do is pull in people to help you. Not sure how to condense an entire season into 1 film? Call in the guys who do it for Harry Potter to help you make a condense but still LOGICAL plot.
  8. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    [image=http://images.dailyradar.com/media/uploads/cine/story_preview/2009/07/14/first_look_at_sokka_and_katara_in_the_last_airbend.jpg]
    Serious Sokka

    [image=http://images.dailyradar.com/media/uploads/cine/story_preview/2009/07/14/first_look_at_sokka_and_katara_in_the_last_airbend.jpg]
    Amused Sokka

    [image=http://images.dailyradar.com/media/uploads/cine/story_preview/2009/07/14/first_look_at_sokka_and_katara_in_the_last_airbend.jpg]
    Concerned Sokka

    [image=http://images.dailyradar.com/media/uploads/cine/story_preview/2009/07/14/first_look_at_sokka_and_katara_in_the_last_airbend.jpg]
    Frightened Sokka

    [image=http://images.dailyradar.com/media/uploads/cine/story_preview/2009/07/14/first_look_at_sokka_and_katara_in_the_last_airbend.jpg]
    Sokka in Love

    [image=http://images.dailyradar.com/media/uploads/cine/story_preview/2009/07/14/first_look_at_sokka_and_katara_in_the_last_airbend.jpg]
    Sad Sokka

    [image=http://images.dailyradar.com/media/uploads/cine/story_preview/2009/07/14/first_look_at_sokka_and_katara_in_the_last_airbend.jpg]
    Jubilant Sokka
  9. Shinar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    I totally agree. The TV show was technically for kids but that didn't stop it from attracting a widespread audience! M. Night stated he wanted this to be the new Star Wars and that says to me he wasn't just aiming for kiddies.

    Since the movie made $40 million at the box office this weekend I'm hoping Nick realizes the rest of the trilogy could be saved. Put somebody else in charge of the next movie and they could see the sequel do significantly better than the first one.
  10. Jek_Windu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2003
    star 4
    I just don't think there is anything salvagable from this thing. Like Hulk before it, there are just too many problems with keeping the same cast, design, etc for sequels to work. Unlike Hulk, I don't see a way to go straight into Book 2 with just a vague summary of what came before.

    They're going to have to reboot the movie franchise from scratch like Batman, Spider-man, and Fantastic Four. New writer (I fully agree that veterans from the Harry Potter adaptation would be most welcome), new director (Alfonso Cuaron is arguably the best Harry Potter director, he could do wonders with the Gaang), and an entirely new cast.
  11. Darth-Vassago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2004
    star 5
    It's no secret Shyamalan lost much of the charm and wit that attracted even adults to the show, but he's not the director everyone once thought him to be.

    Also, comparing this to a Pixar film, any Pixar film is like apples to oranges. Pixar doesn't make kids movies; they make amazing movies for all ages.

    M. is in no way anything like Pixar, nor are most movie makers.
  12. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    It's amazing, with the ongoing success of Harry Potter, and the almost universal love for the Star Wars OT, not to mention the complaints about the humor of the PT, even an inanimate garden gnome would understand that humor is the key to making the fantasy more palatable.

    Why do modern filmmakers think that the only way for the audience to accept fantasy is to drench it in blue filtered, moodily lit seriousness? WHO WANTS THAT?!?
  13. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Well, it's a FACT that it's my Opinion. ;)
    Like so many other movie and related phenomenon, MNS seems to be a triumph of hype over substance.
  14. Chipster92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2008
    star 1
    Well, I finally saw the movie(I managed to get a free ticket), and I have to say, I am SOOO glad I didn't have to pay for that!! One of the most disappointing movie experiences I've ever had in recent years. As a longtime fan of the original animated series, I felt a little insulted. I WANTED to like this movie, I thought the trailers made it look fantastic! I was totally excited for this movie. While it's not exactly "The Worst Movie Ever Made", like some have been claiming, it's still pretty terrible. The only things that keep it from being a complete waste are the beautiful sets and costumes, ILM's Visual Effects, James Newton Howard's incredible music score, and the inventive cinematography. I quite liked the "one-shot take" action sequences that were in the film, it was quite refreshing to see a summer movie that didn't rely on quick-cut editing or the "shaky cam" technique for it's action scenes. However, the good points end there.

    The writing (dialogue-wise),was atrocious. It was completely stilted and awkward and without any subtlety at all. All of the characters basically explained what they were going to do out loud before they actually did it. It almost reminded me of the dialogue from one of those old badly dubbed kung fu movies. I kid you not, one line of dialogue was literally like this: "WE WILL WAIT TO ESCAPE UNTIL EVERYONE'S FINISHED FIGHTING EVERYONE". Um, WHAT!?

    Also, It was like every other word out of the characters' mouths was Exposition. There was no time for any character development like there was in the series, because the only stuff we got here was FLIPPIN' EXPOSITION! It was a classic case of M. Night Shyamalan not following that age-old rule of film, "SHOW, DON'T TELL". I don't know where Shyamalan got the idea that he absolutely HAD to write the script for the movie himself, but he shouldn't have. He is NOT a good writer. He's a good director, but writing is not his forte("The Happening" anyone?) He could have easily gotten the creators/writers from the TV series to write the screenplay. It would have been WAAAY better. Also, one thing that got on my nerves a little, were the unecessary repronunciations of certain character names. For example, Aang was changed to Ong, Sokka was changed to Sohku, and Iroh was changed to Eeroh. There seemed to be no reason whatsover for this change.

    The pacing was also completely off as well. Everything seemed to happen too quickly and there wasn't anytime to slow down and enjoy anything before it jumped to the next location. In fact, the entire middle of the film is made up of Montages with Katara narrating over the top of them, chronicling their journey to the Northern Water Tribe. Things just felt too packed in, not enough time for the film to breath, and just too much story to tell and not enough space to tell it in(the short 103 minute runtime didn't help AT ALL).

    The acting wasn't much better. A lot of fault was with the writing, so it didn't matter who they cast, even the best actors in the world coudn't have done anything with this stuff.

    Dev Patel(who played Zuko) and Shaun Toub(who played Iroh) were the best actors in the film, and that's not saying much. I felt they both enbodied their characters well enough, even though they were hampered by the less than stellar dialogue. Even though Iroh wasn't as portly as he was in the show, he still showed the same wise, helpful personality. Zuko was also the same angry, semi-whiny teenager that he was in the series, even though his burn scar(which is a HUGE part of his character) is barely noticable.

    Noah Ringer was a decent choice to play Aang, at least when it comes to his martial arts skills, but he didn't act like the character from the series at all. In the show, Aang was a playful, mischievious, fun-loving guy, but at the same time he could be a cool, powerful badass when he neeeded to be. In the movie, Aang was 100% serious all the time, which made for a boring character.

    Sokka had all of the humor sucked out of him, whereas in the series he was the main source of comic relief.
  15. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
  16. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Writing, Acting, Directing.
    Good, Average, Poor.

    One good can make up for one poor.
    Nothing can save a movie when 2 are poor.

    Sounds like this was a case of Poor Writing, Poor or Average Directing, and Average Acting.
    Result: What people saw, which by all accounts I've read, sucked.
  17. Chipster92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2008
    star 1
    OH GOD, M.NIGHT IS PLANNING A SEQUEL!!! The Horror.... The Horror!



    'Last Airbender 2' Will Be 'Darker Says M. Night!
    « on: Jul 06, 2010 06:33 pm »

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1643066/20100706/story.jhtml

    If a $53.3 million holiday weekend proves successful enough to keep M. Night Shyamalan around for a "Last Airbender" sequel, he knows what he wants to do ? and he wants to do it darkly. Asked about his intentions going forward, the "Sixth Sense" and "Signs" director confirmed that he has much of "The Last Airbender 2" already mapped out.

    "I do," Shyamalan told MTV News. "The third is more ambiguous, but the second one, I've written a draft that I'm really happy with and is darker and richer, and it has a wonderful antagonist in it in Azula, who's kind of like our only real, pure antagonist in the series, so I'm excited about that."

    His description of the story implies that Summer Bishil's character from the film currently in theaters has plenty left to do onscreen as Aang (Noah Ringer) continues his fight against the Fire Nation.

    As far as what the story will be about and which characters could enter or exit the cast, those decisions may have to wait for Paramount's decision on the franchise's fate. If things proceed, Shyamalan has already shared a few details that could play into his intentions. The elite female Kyoshi Warriors, for instance, will likely play a larger role.

    "I probably won't show the Kyoshi Warriors because I want to save them for the second movie, because I'm going to have to introduce them all over again," he said while explaining what would and would not show up in the "Last Airbender" DVD and Blu-Ray's deleted scenes.

    The characters were initially included in the first film, but circumstances and editing decisions eventually moved them out of the spotlight.

    "We shot [the scene] and [the Kyoshi Warriors] were amazing, and we spent an unbelievable amount of time choreographing them," he said. "And they just distracted from the movie, because the movie wasn't about them."

    Given that he became much more comfortable with filming in 3-D during his first "Airbender," another round of 3-D filming with the same crew would make sense unless Hollywood's affection for the evolving medium changes overnight.

    In the meantime, Shyamalan sounds like he's ready to go if and when an "Airbender" sequel gets the go-ahead.




    If they decide to go ahead with this, the studio needs to throw out M. Night's script and hire the creators/writers from the show to do this. Shyamalan has shown that he knows nothing about(or he's forgotten about) good storytelling, good writing, and good pacing. He's lost whatever mojo he had before(I was starting to suspect that after he made "The Village"). "Book 2: Earth" had the most complicated and plot-driven storyline out of all three seasons of the TV series, and if Shyamalan gets his hands on this, I feel he's gonna screw it up worse than the first movie. Season Two was in my opinion, the BEST season of the show. The political intrigue and the Orwellian-style conspriracies during the Ba Sing Se arc were surprising to see in an animated series on Nickelodeon. This was also the season where Zuko(who was easily the most complex character in the show) got the majority of his character development. It also introduced Toph, who I consider to be one of the best female animated characters of all time! I swear, If I hear Toph's name pronounced as "Toaf"(like loaf), I'm gonna punch someone!!! This better be a HUGE improvement over the first film, Shyamalan, or else you're gonna have a lot of pissed off fans to answer to!


  18. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Im still hung up on the mispronunciations! The man watched the show with his kids he heard the names what the hell is wrong with him?
  19. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    [image=http://www.angryzenmaster.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/avatarfacepalm.jpg] [image=http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv227/avasnark/tc-00003-1.png] [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v713/WigginsTheBurninator/facepalm.jpg]
  20. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Here's my big issue with M. Night: "If you clearly have no problem re-casting the roles as white people, and you have a character who in the cartoons was played by [image=http://ichbinmrdarcy.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/jason-isaacs.jpg][image=http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/dynamic/imgs/080801/Jason-Isaacs-Potter_l.jpg][image=http://i7.tinypic.com/4ftlqp3.jpg]
    THIS FREAKIN' GUY,

    How in the world did you end up casting the role with someone whose most famous villainous role to date was firing Spider-Man from a pizzeria?"
  21. Chipster92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2008
    star 1
    I know! Zhao was AWESOME in the show, and Jason Isaacs did a brilliant job voicing him. The guy they cast to play Zhao in the movie (Aasif Mandvi) was not convincing as a villian at all! NO ONE would be scared of him. He acted more like a cowardly, douchebag prick who was TRYING to be evil, and wouldn't stand a chance in a real fight instead of the strong, confident, powerful bad guy he was in the series. On top of that , he was hammy as hell! I know Zhao in the show was a little over the top at times, but My God, I haven't seen such cheesy overacting since Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy in "Batman & Robin". I swear there was so much unintentional comedy in this film, it was ridiculous. From the stupid "Dance-bending", to the weird battle cry of the Water Tribe soldiers(AHUOOOOOO!! what is this, "300"?), it was almost worth it to see the movie just to laugh at it. ALMOST.
  22. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I got my friend to start watching the cartoon with me. 5 episodes in so far...
  23. XCell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    I probably won't see it until it's out on DVD. I'm curious what the two original creators think of the film.. Even if it sucks, at least there's the 'Legend of Korra' series to look forward to.
  24. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
  25. Shinar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Mike and Bryan were not happy with the movie.

    I'm shocked M. Night thinks he's going to get to do the sequel. The dude is delusional.
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