movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

QUIRKS: Based on a cartoon: Avatar: The Last Airbender. We watched this in 2006 and rated it 5/5 stars. One of the best serialized cartoon stories we’ve ever watched.

PEOPLE: Written & Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village, Signs, Unbreakable, Lady In The Water). Aang is played by a new kid (Noah Ringer), and I’m not convinced that he’s the right or best kid for the job. Katara is played a relatively new kid too. Sokka is Jackson Rathbone (Jasper from Twilight 3:Eclipse, Donnie Darko 2). It was a bit of a weird decision having Uncle Iroh played by Shaun Toub (Yinsen in Iron Man 1), as he’s much younger-looking than the cartoon character. I’m also not 100% on Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) as Prince Zuko. Fire Lord Ozai was played by Cliff Curtis (Push, Sunshine, The Fountain, Three Kings). Princess Yue was played by Seychelle Gabriel who, strangely, was in 3 episodes of Weeds. Dee Bradley Baker voices Appa and Momo, just like in the cartoon.

PLOT SUMMARY: A Buddhist supernatural fantasy world war :) To quote TwoBeans, “This is Buddhist as fuck!”

VISUALS: Unfortunately, we did not get to see this in 3-D. It would have kicked some ass, because the battles and scenes and effects are quite epic. Of course, this was post-production 3-D, not shot-with-3-D-cameras 3-D. But post-production 3-D can be quite awesome: Just watch Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D to see what I mean. They converted it sooo many years later…

Anyway, as fun as the cartoon was, this movie allowed us to see the same concepts fleshed out as special effects that probably cost more than the entire original cartoon series cost. And that… is kick-ass.

POLITICS: I can’t believe there’s a bunch of people whining about race issues, calling Shyamalan a racist, etc etc. People are way too fucking sensitive. Blah blah. It’s tiring. Go home. This is like people whining that Goku wasn’t Asian in the Dragon Ball movie. But Goku wasn’t even from Earth–the idiots! And this planet doesn’t really seem to be Earth either, does it?

GOOD STUFF: An epic storyline. Extremely faithful to the cartoon. We basically cover Season 1 of 3 of the cartoon. That was 22 episodes. The original screenplay was 7 hours before editing. Too bad they couldn’t shoot 7 hours. I’d love to see this as a 6 movie story rather than a 3 movie story. They’d be able to cover so much more.


1) The actor for Aang, I think, perhaps, could have been better. I don’t know if he’s a perfect fit. Maybe this will become clearer when the rest of the triology comes out. They picked up in part because he was a blackbelt, and thus was pre-qualified for the movie’s martial arts.

2) Not the movie’s fault, but our fault: We thought this was not a trilogy, but a single movie. So the entire time, the pacing kept messing with my head. I thought they weren’t covering the story fast enough, and was hung up thinking about that. Turns out it’s a trilogy, so the pacing for the movie was JUST FINE. Silly us, letting our own misconception hamper the enjoyment of the movie.

3) Fucking whiners whining about this movie. Enough with the hate already. SHUT THE FUCK UP. This movie is rated soooo low, and almost every thread on IMDB is about how much people hate it so much. This tends to happen with any adaptation – low ratings. I don’t understand snobby fanboyism. I’m a rabid fanboy, so I understand rabid fanboyism. You could adapt Avatar:The Last Airbender using 10 different directors — and I’d probably love all 10 movies, provided they each had a huge budget and flashy effects that looked better than the cartoon. But the snobby fanboy? They hate this movie because races were changed. They hate this movie because “the cartoon was better”. And the rest of the general public? The ones who didn’t watch the cartoon? THEY JUST DON’T GET IT. A 103-minute movie based on a 462-minute season is going to move at a fast pace and cover a lot of different story aspects. And it might not make as much sense to someone who hasn’t watched the cartoon. This is the fate of someone watching a remake without watching the original. It’s similar to why I didn’t enjoy Watchmen as much as I wanted to — because I wasn’t familiar with the source material. But I still didn’t hate it. I think there’s just a lot of people who enjoy hating movies.

CONCLUSION: Despite the fact that it seems most people watch movies just to hate on them, this was actually an awesome movie. After being huge fans of the original cartoon (5/5 stars), it was so great to finally see the same story in the flesh! They better do the other 2 movies, damnit! There’s no point in this existing if they don’t do the other 2 movies; it would be like having a Fellowship Of The Ring movie, but no Two Towers movie (I’m looking at you, Rankin-Bass).

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10.
TwoBeans: Netflix: 5/5 stars.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 4.5/10?!?!?!?!?! Clearly, the army of haters have gamed the system on IMDB once again. The Netflix rating is not tilted so badly, at 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.8/5 stars–it’s right that we liked this better than average).


MOVIE QUOTE: “There are reasons each of us are born. we have to find those reasons.”

water bear totally looks like appa
see more Celeb Look-A-LikesMood: hungry. full.
Music: Danzig – Dying Seraph