Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Review: (Avatar:) The Last Airbender

OK, so I took my crew to see "The Last Airbender" today. The film has been the subject of a lot of poor reviews. I am not sure these people understand what it takes to condense around ten hours of story into less than two hours for a movie. I have generally given up on the ability of professional movie reviewers to have a clue about what the movie going public wants. But I won't let this post turn into a rant against critics. The film seems to be doing fairly well at the box office since it opened, pulling in an estimated almost $33 million in its first two days, according to Box Office Mojo. I know the theater we were in--a Saturday matinee at 12:50 p.m.--was packed with children and their parents.

Another blogger, Kevin Lam, wrote prior to seeing the film what he thought should be included as the basic theme of the movie, boiled down from the full first season of the show. I think the filmmakers did a pretty good job of distilling the story to the essentials that Kevin recommended, though they didn't quite do what he wanted in highlighting a potential romance between Aang and Katara. That may occur over the next two films, the two actors seem a bit young for it.

Comments have been about the acting, the writing, and the direction. Well, basically everything about the movie somebody has an issue with. Oh well, I did not see it in 3D, so I can't speak to that, though I have determined 3D to be pretty much useless in the movies I have seen this year in that format. It adds absolutely nothing to the story and very little to the WOW factor of the special effects. We're paying a bunch of extra cash for a waste of time, IMHO. One thing that was inexplicable was the altered pronunciation of several names, including the title character, Aang. Given that the show had been on for several years, I am surprised at this, even if the names are possibly more properly pronounced in the the presumably Asian cultures from which they originated.

The Last Airbender was actually a pretty good film. Not great, but good. The girls saw all the plot compression/omission. But considering this was an abridgement of an entire season of the TV show, I thought it flowed pretty well. Don't expect Shakespeare or even "The Dark Knight." It's not that rich. But it is a decent bit of Saturday Matinee fluff. Looking forward to the sequel.


  1. It's strange, but I have no desire to see this movie. Probably because I was never familiar with the TV shows. But I'm also pretty picky with CGI-heavy movies these days. Special effects can carry movies to commercial success, regardless of how mediocre everything else is (*cough* Transformers 2 *cough), which usually translates to huge numbers at the box office but dismal reviews.

    It's this disparity that I actually find helpful when it comes to finding out what to expect, not the actual content or rating of the review itself (which always ends up being so predictable).

  2. Ja If you haven't had any interest in the show, then the movie might not appeal. OTOH, I liked Transformers 2 OK. It wasn't as good as the first, and neither would be in my top 50. But they were fun to watch.