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The Last Airbender (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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So, last Friday I ended up renting the movie and watching it. I then started watching the series online (check Hulu, though it might not be up any more), and managed see all 61 episodes of the series over the course of four days. This has put me in the unique position of being able to review this movie BOTH as someone who doesn't know anything about the anime series, AND as someone who is (now) a fan of the anime series.
First, as someone who knew nothing about the show:
In a nutshell, I found the movie to be dull, annoying, annoyingly stupid, and pointless. I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters. For a fantasy world, complete with magical powers and diverse peoples, a hundred year war, and an adventurous quest to avert the apocalypse, the story was amazingly boring. AND it managed to be simple and confusing at the same time, which is an achievement I didn't know was possible. It's simple, in that it's a standard good guy vs. bad guy storyline, and complicated in that how this world works isn't explained very well and random stuff keeps happening with no explanation.Read more ›
1. The names of key characters were changed: This wasn't a big deal in comparison to everything else, but it gave viewers Shyamalan's focus right in the beginning. Shyamalan wanted to make the movie his own and was willing to spend time to make changes on already perfect aspects of the show instead of focusing on ways that he could have better adapted the show to the big screen. Changes in movie adaptations are necessary, yet Shyamalan diverged to far from the show.
2. Eliminated the personalities of side characters. i.e. Sokka had only two very poor jokes in the movie despite being comedic relief in the TV show, Iroh was no longer heavyset and easygoing in day-to-day life.
3. Alienated the personalities of key characters: Aang was no longer a happy kid. Did he ever smile in the entire movie?
4. Destroyed key movie moments: In the Blue Spirit scene, Shyamalan did an excellent job until the end. Aang saved Zuko by pulling him into the forest. Then Shyamalan should Aang stare at him and leave. In the TV series, on the other hand, there was meaningful dialogue in which Aang questioned the purpose of their fighting and even asserted that they could have been friends without the war. The moment created serious reflection in both characters and was crucial to their development in the TV series. Shyamalan passed on the great half a minute opportunity.
5. Lack of Kyoshi Warriors: It is understandable in a movie, but the Kyoshi Warriors are important in later seasons. Furthermore, they demonstrate great examples of feminism. This balance was crucial in the TV series; the Kyoshi Warriors showed women can perform better in typically male roles.
6.Read more ›
He wanted to see it in 3D, so I thought, sure, might as well. The 3D cost 4 extra bucks, but after the movie was over, I felt totally ripped off. The movie previews that came before the actual Airbender movie itself had more 3D in them than the danged movie! There were a few moments where the 3D effects popped out, but overall, if you watch this in 2D, you're not really missing out on anything here.
I don't know what M. Night Shymalan was thinking when he directed this. Now, it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to get all of the cool stuff in Season 1 into this movie, but what the people responsible for this atrocity did was disgraceful. There was so much cut out. Many beloved characters - the Kyoshian Warriors, Jet, Bato, Jeong Jeong, Haru, Avatar Roku, King Bumi, Madame Wu, the pirates, the list goes on... none of them made a single appearance. Many things were simply smushed together - for example, Haru's village and the Kyoshi Village have apparently been mushed together as one - but there's no Haru or Kyoshian Warriors (the only thing we see is a old stone statue of Avatar Kyoshi) All the cutting out of vital elements of the story was really unneccessary as this movie was barely one and a half hours. Titanic was twice that long, and this movie could have done at least two hours easy. Why such a short film? Only God knows why. Maybe M. Night or the producers got bored and decided to just cut out as much as he thought he could get away with.
Of course, you CAN'T fit twenty episodes into one movie. We all know that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I score this at three stars just for the subject matter. Avatar The Last Airbender is one of the greatest modern epic fantasy stories. Read morePublished 1 day ago by RoboGriffey
Fantastically empowering movie for kids! Imagination, creativity, role play, empowerment -- great role modeling. (Parents enjoyed it too!)Published 1 day ago by The Moglet Ranch
We had to wait for this film to load approximately 8x. We finally turned it off and tried to pick it back up the next morning, only to find ourselves waiting on loading 3 more... Read morePublished 2 days ago by gypsy andrews
Even as a drinking game, this was a waste of four dollars. Seriously, rewatch the series instead. Or watch a Jackie Chan movie if you really need something live action. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Kaelas17
Yeah, it got pretty bad reviews from the pro movie critics panned it, but I lived the animated series and I LIKED this movie. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Kindle Customer
If you never seen the show then maybe it won't seem bad. If you are like me and love the show and manga then this is just out right horrible. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Kevin