Log in

No account? Create an account
A Sorta Fairytale
October 2013
Wed, Jun. 30th, 2010 04:30 pm
Linkblogging: Reasons NOT to spend money on The Last Airbender

I've been collecting posts the last couple of weeks on the racefail of The Last Airbender, in the hope of convincing friends not to spend money on this film. Here are a few:

From ssj10:

Two years ago, a group of my friends introduced me to Avatar: The Last Airbender, an animated television series by Nickelodeon that first aired in 2005...Here was a fantastical Asian world, full of well developed and delineated countries, each with a distinctive culture and a carefully developed mythology born from real world Asian traditions, art forms, myths and religions. Here was beautiful Hànzì adorning the walls of temples and restaurants. Here was the food I loved best from my childhood, eaten with chopsticks by the heroes of the show.

And here were the Heroes: Brave, noble, beautiful, strong, and Asian.

Please, read the whole post here. It is a heart-breakingly convincing appeal--perhaps the best I've seen--on why this film is so hurtful.

From nojojojo:

But in the case of film!TLA, its producers and director have ignored the fact that the characters’ race is fundamental to their development. Everyone in the cartoon!ATLA world was some flavor of Asian, and this racial context informs their relationships, their philosophies, their lifestyles, and all their choices. Specific, carefully-researched and thoughtfully-appropriated elements from dozens of distinct Asian cultures were used to depict the world’s diversity in a way that was nuanced and realistic. It mattered that Aang’s design and personality were inspired by Tibet’s Dalai Lama...To ignore all these distinctions and reduce them to a simplified mishmash erases many of the vital, fascinating details that made the characters of cartoon!ATLA feel so plausible and identifiable. Erase too many such details about these characters, and you don’t have the same characters anymore.

Read the whole post here.

And for a humorous take on the issue, check out this two-part video. The first part focuses on a similar outrage that occurred with the casting of the film 21, released in 2008. The second part relates that incident to The Last Airbender.

And if the desire not to support institutional racism isn't enough for you, the early reviews that are hitting the net today provide a few more reasons NOT to spend money on The Last Airbender:

Otherwise it’s a tossup as to which is worse: the script, which regularly grinds to a halt to Explain Everything until the movie curls up and dies; the shockingly dingy camerawork; or the execrable 3-D.

Tedious, overstuffed, visually flat (and even darker and blurrier in the 3D rush job than it presumably is in standard 2D), emotionally inert, filled with painfully expository dialogue and mostly poorly acted, it’s simply an all-around misfire.

ETA: Ebert also gives it a thorough smack-down.

ETA #2:: Click here for the latest Rotten Tomatoes rating. As I write this, it's at an astonishingly low 8%. [/edits]

Please, I urge you, do NOT spend money on a ticket to see this film! Or, if you feel you simply cannot go without seeing it in theaters, at least wait until after the third weekend or so, at which point the studio tends to get less of the box office revenue. And perhaps, as more reviews emerge in the meantime, it will become even more apparent that it's not worth the price of admission--and you can save your hard-earned money.

Why not drink some calming Jasmine tea and re-watch (or watch for the first time, if you haven't already!) the original animated series instead?



Orca キンバリー
Wed, Jun. 30th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)

Frankly, what it really should have been was animated--and a direct sequel to season 3, where we finally find out what the heck happened to Zuko's mom. Because if the rumors turn out to be true about "Legend of Korra", I will not be happy.

Wed, Jun. 30th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)

What rumors? All I've heard about Legend of Korra is that...well, basically that it's something Avatar-related that Mike and Brian are working on. What else have you heard?

And while I would have loved an animated sequel telling the tale of how Zuko reunites with his mom (and possibly addressing other loose ends--like whether or not Aang is able to somehow revive the art of airbending), I ALSO would have loved a well-done live action adaptation of the original series. (It's just that it was clear to me from the moment they announced the cast that this wasn't going to be it. *sigh*)

ReplyThread Parent
Orca キンバリー
Wed, Jun. 30th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)

There's been some talk of it on one of the communities here on LJ ... more than one report that they've heard that it's supposed to take place in the future, with Korra being the new Avatar or something akin to that. I'm hoping it's the "magical pony land" his mother has run off to, and not a new Avatar! lol

Heck, they could even do a made-for-tv movie to tie up the loose ends if they really do want to deviate from the current cast. And that's true .. Aang has to do something about that, because once the cycle comes back around to the airbenders it'll break. If he has kids, then one of them should by statistical explanation be an airbender, and therefore, one of his descendants should be the next Avatar.

... Unless that's who "Korra" is rumored to be.

ReplyThread Parent
Thu, Jul. 1st, 2010 10:10 am (UTC)

This is the song I'd like to sing to you:

That movie was horrid.

Thu, Jul. 1st, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)

"What to do? I wish I knew."

Well, for my part, I'm sorry it was so disappointing. I really wish that it had been done right--from the very beginning, of course. I think peachespig nailed it: the casting, apart from any ethical concerns, was a sign of how poorly the source material as a whole would be treated by the studio.

ReplyThread Parent