sherkahn: (Default)
sherkahn ([personal profile] sherkahn) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-06-29 04:38 pm

The Last Airbender: Rumble

I feel I owe an explanation for an earlier small rant, as I seem to have irritated a sore spot. And to keep things light, I offer this token of good will behind the cut. From Nickelodeon Magazine #9... as the movie approaches, I offer you a true treat from the Last Airbender universe.

*note - not my scans.

After hearing how Bumi retook the mountain top city of Omashu all by himself, Suki casually comments that he must be the greatest earthbender of all time... just as Toph was walking by. And you know how Toph feels about that title.

In the canyon just outside the camp, they begin their friendly duel.

The sparring gets more intense, disturbing the rest of the encamped Order of the White Lotus on the eve of their liberation of Ba Sing Se. In order to stop them from drawing unwanted attention, the Order must stop the fight. Easier said than done, and it takes all of them to rein in the two great Earthbenders.

Want. Rematch. Now.

Mod note: 3 pages of 10. 1/3 rule.

Now, about earlier...let me clarify my rant. Feel free to skip from here on in if you don't wish to read it.

Being of one of the "brown" tribe (and with one of those names that requires an apostrophe in an odd place and a "z" you do not pronounce) I dig where you are coming from.

My swipe was at the name of the director/writer, not the family and heritage that precede it. The talented M Night Shyamalan I have come to know directed the "6th Sense", "Unbreakable", and "Signs" (which I liked). After "The Village", something horribly changed, and his art took a serious turn for the worse. He took himself too seriously and forgot the golden rule of story-telling: "Keep it simple, stupid." Since then the refreshing director that had a new voice and vision is now gone, replaced by a hack who turns great "gold into straw".

If Shyamalan had remained in his own kitty litt- I mean sandbox, had he only tinkered around with his ideas, then I would keep my trap shut. It's an individual following his own vision. I can respect that. What he's done with the "Last Airbender" film for me borders on religious blasphemy. "Fanboy rage" would be another term, but it is well deserved. This is more than just disappointment and bitterness. This story holds a very dear spot in my heart, which is something to say for an older fan who's seen them come and go. This filmshould have been the next "Star Wars", open to all ages, with cultural significance on that level would be felt for generations to come. Instead, it's almost as bad as 1998's Godzilla. The hints of epic greatness were there, but it was for naught.

The Last Airbender film should have been introduction of older, living traditions and beliefs the Western world doesn't know or understand much, but would welcome to learn and respectfully integrate. A new introduction to mythologies and philosophies older than Rome to an eager new generation. Something that would show that even kids can make the world a better place by having it's lead character practice tolerance, understanding, the willingness to grow and not remain trapped by the scars of time, and the value of families in any form they come. Does the film show this? Nope.

Also, what Cameron's "Avatar" did for visual effects the "Last Airbender" should have done for contemporary adventure-storytelling with genuine heart, because the goods were right there. It sure looks pretty and has some astounding visuals, but nothing that makes the heart beat faster or get the spirit excited. Golden rule: Don't "fix it" or alter it if it's not broken, something the director forgot.

The casting issues have been done to death, so I won't go there. I just know a lot of talented people who could have filled the roles were left out as they should have been.

Instead... well, I will let you judge it for yourself. What I will do is return "the kindness done", and abuse the only thing M Night Shyamalan can trade on: his name. His talent ... it doesn't live inside the man anymore.

suggested tags
title: Avatar the Last Airbender
character: Toph Bei Fong, the Greatest Earthbender in the world.
character: King Bumi
character: Katara
character: Sokka
character: Suki
character: Prince Zuko
character: Uncle Iroh/Dragon of the West
character: Master Pakku
character: Master Piandao
character: Jeong Jeong
group: Order of the White Lotus

creator: Joshua Hamilton
creator: Johane Matte
espanolbot: (Default)

[personal profile] espanolbot 2010-06-30 01:26 am (UTC)(link)
From what I remember from an interview from some time ago, the reasoning behind the casting was that: the Northern Water Tribe were people of European descent,

The Southern were Inuit,

The Earth Kingdom was a mixture of people of East Asian and African descent,

The Fire Nation were Southern Asian/West Asian(?)

And the Air Nomads were a mix of the other groups as they moved around and intermarried a lot.

Which, although admittedly is more diverse than the original series, does seem like a lot of effort to go through to justify why they couldn't look a little harder for actors and actresses that actually fitted the roles better.
turtlefu: (Default)

[personal profile] turtlefu 2010-06-30 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
Except that doesn't really stand, because the two Southern Water Tribers are White, and the Northern ones are mostly White too.
ext_412781: (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-06-30 03:49 am (UTC)(link)
Except that those two characters grandmother was northern water tribe.

Not taking either side of the argument but just throwing that fact out there.
nothingbutcake: (Default)

[personal profile] nothingbutcake 2010-06-30 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
Which is true, but also, most of their ethnic background is Southern.

Also also, they had no idea that their maternal grandmother was from the North, which becomes silly if the Northern Water Tribespeople have such clearly different phenotypal markers.

[personal profile] nagaoka 2010-06-30 06:52 pm (UTC)(link)
From the advanced reviews of the movie it would seem that this either isn't the case or is never brought up. Even if it were true I doubt that'd account for them being white if they're still 3/4 southern water tribe.
shadowpsykie: Willow is bored (Bored now)

[personal profile] shadowpsykie 2010-06-30 02:43 am (UTC)(link)
personally im still going to see it, i still have faith in shamayalan's talent, and think this film has potential (the explanation of the air nomads makes sense to me)

he said he felt inspired to cast the actress who played Katara based on a similar feeling he had abour casting osment in 6th Sense, if that is the case, i am eager since Katara is one of my favorite characters.

i am of the belief that one should not judge anything, particularly art, without first watching, hearing, or eating it (the eating i mean food, i didnt like sushi, though i never tasted it, a friend forced me once and now i sleep with spicy tuna rolls under my bed nom nnom :3
star_of_airdrie: (Bindi)

[personal profile] star_of_airdrie 2010-06-30 04:17 am (UTC)(link)
I agree, I have to see it. I like M Night, he's a home town hero. The mostly unknown talent has worked before. Appa and MoMo look awesome in the trailers and that is worth the price of admission.

I think the series is wonderful, beyond almost anything in any other cartoon series: finite, internally consistant, no prisoners, no compromises.

But again, this is comic book forum and this is a title I am just to discover, as I am getting out to my LCS less and less (well getting out less in general).

But thanks for sharing the scans! More please!
Edited 2010-06-30 04:18 (UTC)
nothingbutcake: (Mystique)

[personal profile] nothingbutcake 2010-06-30 04:46 am (UTC)(link)
Well, a warning is that some of the fan reviews of the early screenings is that Katara's role is much diminished and she is much less of a strong female character.  Mmm, I am not going to give away anything, but some of her accomplishments in Book One are given to Aang instead, for example.
neuhallidae: (Default)

[personal profile] neuhallidae 2010-06-30 05:06 am (UTC)(link)
If the clip that's up of her fight with Zuko in the big battle scene are any indication, I'm not holding my breath for anything amazing. Never in my life would I have thought that one could make that fight, with all its awesome, boring. The parts of the fandom that compared the version from the live movie to a turn-based RPG were dead on.