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 The Last Airbender

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PostSubject: The Last Airbender   Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:52 pm

Okay, let's go ahead and address the elephant in the room right away:

Aang--it's pronounced with a long "A," not a short one.
Sokka--it's SOCK-a, not SOAK-a.
Iroh--EYE-row, not EE-row.

When your source material is a cartoon, there is no excuse for not getting the names of major characters right.

Alright, moving on. This was a fun movie, and I enjoyed watching it. Seeing some of the scenes from the cartoon done in live-action with those special effects was a treat. At the same time, it felt like the movie made a lot of mistakes in how it tried to reproduce the show. 20 episodes is a lot to try and condense into 94 minutes, and they didn't do the best job of pulling it off. The elements of a great adaptation are all there, but it just doesn't quite make it. It's still enjoyable; it's just not as good as it could have been.

Now, this is all from someone who has watched the cartoon. I'm curious about what new viewers think of the movie. So have any of you seen the movie without seeing the show? What did you think?
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:22 am

We discussed the possibility briefly in chat earlier, and after looking up the info, Shyamalan actually went with proper pronunciations rather than those pronunciations used in the show. That's where the disparity comes from.

I am of two frames of mind on this one. I believe that staying true to the source material in terms of pronunciation would have been beneficial when it comes to the fans of the show, but I also appreciate Shyamalan's attempt to stay true to at least some cultural/language aspects.

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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:27 am

I agree with you rs. I can also understand the changes in Pronunciation.

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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:20 pm

rainshadow wrote:
Shyamalan actually went with proper pronunciations rather than those pronunciations used in the show.
I disagree with the idea that the show pronunciations are "improper" for two reasons:

1. It is an American cartoon. It's not like it was made in Japan and originally used different pronunciations that the American actors later screwed up. Now if this was made for an audience that was likely to know the 'proper' pronunciation of 'Aang' then I could understand the idea of the show being 'wrong,' and I could possibly understand Shyamalan going back to the 'correct' pronunciation for newer audiences (though long-time fans would still find it incredibly distracting). But how many westerners are going to be bothered by the pronuncation of 'Aang'--unless they're comparing the movie to the show?

2. We're talking about Air Nomad, Water Tribe, and Fire Nation names here. The only "original" pronunciations we have to go on are what we're given in the show. Changing pronunciations in order to go back to the 'original' makes exactly as much sense as, say, changing how the Fire Nation bows (with one hand on top of another to look like a flame) since no real-world cultures bow like that.

Just to be clear, I'm not complaining simply because Shyamalan changed things. I actually liked some of his changes (Firebending works a bit differently now, and I think it's for the better). I'm complaining because if you're going to take me out of the moment every time you say those names (like in tense, dramatic moments when you want the audience totally engrossed in the plot, and when I'd like to be totally engrossed in the plot) then you need a better reason for it than just "I'm being multicultural"




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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:24 pm

I don't disagree with you at all; had I been a fan of the show it would bother me as well. "Proper" and "Improper" really aren't the... proper... words for this conversation either. There's also no comparing the English version of the cartoon to it's "original" dub as they are one and the same.

All this aside, while I did say I appreciate Shyamalan's effort in this department, I also think it's a huge risk and a potential backbreaker a movie franchise.

Look at Eragon... visually a very good movie but it stabbed itself in the back numerous times...

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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:37 pm

rainshadow wrote:

All this aside, while I did say I appreciate Shyamalan's effort in this department, I also think it's a huge risk and a potential backbreaker a movie franchise.
The real question now is, assuming Part II gets made, which pronunciation should they go with? Continue with what they did here in order to keep the films consistent (but continuing to inspire nerdrage all across the interwebs) or go back to the show pronunciation, leaving the movie fans in the same spot the show fans are in now (thus resulting in nerdrage all over the interwebs)?


DANG IT SHAMALAMALALAN! LOOK WHAT YOU DID!!!


...they didn't even show the air-scooter....


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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:59 pm

He has to stay consistent with what's already in play.

Although he really needed to do more research into "what the fans want"... Michael Bay made the same mistake with Transformers. Granted Transformers is a mega-hit and all sequels will be, as well, simply due to the nature of the franchise, but he COULD have had DAMN GOOD MOVIES to go along with his thrill-rides...

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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:24 pm

I actually saw this movie the other night and really enjoyed it. It was funny because a few grown men stood outside the theater and did "airbender moves" as they called them and were completely serious about them. Could the movie have been better? Yes. Was it still good according to me? Yes.
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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:49 pm

Saw it while in San Diego. I thought there were aspects that were lacking (mostly, in a situation like this, it would have been beneficial to focus more on the bonds formed by Aang, Katara, and Sokko during their journey; this at most got only a few glimpses as Shaymalan almost completely cut out the journeys between destinations).

This said, the action was excellent and the movie was fun.

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PostSubject: Re: The Last Airbender   Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:12 pm

I really enjoyed the movie. I would have liked to see more character development, but it was still fun.

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