VIDEO: The Last Airbender (2010)

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Joey brings us the first installment in a special series called Crossing the Line, where he examines live action movies based on cartoons. First up is M. Night Shyamalan’s take on the popular Nicktoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. Here’s the twist: It sucks!

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  • Ooglechev

    One problem with your review, you say “firelords” plural, those that can bend fire are called firebenders, and a Firelord is the ruler of the fire nation, there is only one Firelord at any given time.

    • Tedzey71

      Good call! I may have also called Iroh “commander,” but it’s something I should have checked up on before shooting :P

  • Steven Pryor

    Not only were Zuko’s makeup and hair a joke, but they got the character completely wrong. In the show, Zuko did want to capture the Avatar, but the way his father treated him was his motivation! He was conflicted and sympathetic! This abomination is just a scowling claptrap! He’s turned into a flame-tossing version of Sasuke from Naruto!

  • Jeff Bradford

    Yo Joey! Your stuff is good. I like your take on some of these cartoons/films, and you’re pretty damn funny when you want to be. However, I was kind of looking forward to you diving into the Batman Franchise some more, and I’ve noticed your videos are a little short. But other than that, roll with it man. Great job :D

    • Tedzey71

      Thanks, friend! I tend to keep ’em short partly because I’d get bored after 15 minutes of talking about the same thing (I blame the internet for shortening my attention span :-0). I do have two other reviews of batman material and might bring back “The Batman Chronicles” later this year!

  • Mike

    You seem to know quite a lot about the history of animation Joey. I’d like to raise a question that I’ve wondering about for years. Why is that filmmakers (for the most part) can’t seem to let animated series just STAY animated for movie adaptations? I feel certain stories just seem better suited to animation because of the high levels of whimsey and wackiness or because they place in fantasical worlds. I never watched The Last Airbender series, but from what of seen and heard it’s looks like a perfect example of the later.

    Also you’d think adapting animation for the big screen would be more cost efficent since you don’t have build actual sets. Nor do you need to find actors who actually looks like the character, only the voice work needs to be appropriate.

    I’ve often thought of doing a video review on this topic myself and make comparisions of live action movie adaptation of cartoons with animated adaptation. What are you’re thoughts on the matter?

    • Tedzey71

      It’s a good question! My theory is that it depends on the filmmaker’s experience in animation, or there ability to want to participate in the process. Wes Anderson, Zack Snyder and George Miller are making the transition mostly because it’s becoming easier for live action filmmakers to know what’s going on. Shyamalayan doesn’t strike me as the guy who will be willing to adapt The Last Airbender as an animated feature only because he’s been accustomed to working with actors on a set rather than a sound recording room (and other reasons, this was just one example). For costs, it’s the studio and the producer’s call and they most likely have made all the precautions when they decide whose directing and how much he’s willing to spend.

      I personally want to spend more time with live action adaptions for the same reason it interests you. I think some things get lost in translation when you take a story that was built on PURELY symbolism. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert (far from it!!!!!!!!!), I just stay posted on the latest news, read alot of books, and watch alot of movies! The last part is my favorite BTW ;)

      • The Crazy Fish

        I’ll try to answer this question with a story. Don’t worry, I’ll be brief.

        It took my brother up until just recently to actually watch Avatar: The Last Airbender. We always told him that it was right up his alley: he’s a big fan of Kung Fu movies, he doesn’t dislike cartoons (one of his favorite shows of all time is Courage The Cowardly Dog) and he has said he loves works of fiction that have richly detailed settings. All of those things pretty much describe A:TLA.

        Even so, it took forever for myself and my friends to convince him to watch. When he finally did he told us that he was amazed the show was good. The fact that it was animated led him to believe it was basically going to be Spongebob Squarepants, but with a plot.

        I think that about sums up why people feel the need to adapt animated adventures into live action, at least stateside. In the U.S. the prevailing belief is that animation is only worthwhile as disposable nonsense for children, but if you want to be serious at all you need live action.

  • Goblinsoldier

    My Lord,
    What has happened to this site? The written reviews were so much better than the crap that is being given as video. A few are great, the rest, like this, are a waste of time. Does the Agony Booth have no standards left?

    SGT Tony Conigliaro

    • Thebat63021

      I agree with the Sgt. The quality of this site has gone down the latrine. These stupid videos started with Novelli, and the rest of the gang just uses his stupid shtick.

      • Tedzey71

        I always thought I was using Spill.com and the Nostalgia Critic’s Schtick to begin with. That’s a new one, Bats!

  • Goblinsoldier

    What will it take to make you go away? This is a bad movie site. Bad cartoons, are they bad cartoons? Who gives a damn? This site used to talk about quality movies like Mitchell and Manos; The Hands of Fate. Yep, that crap is still more interesting than your cartoons.

    • Tad Whatever

      I know who needs to go away and it’s not Joey. I really enjoyed this video, and I hope Cartoon Palooza sticks around for a long time.

      • Tedzey71

        Thanks Tad :)

    • Tedzey71

      Nothing. I’m sticking around for a while… just for you! ;)

      • Goblin1001

        Please note that Goblinsoldier’s opinions are his own, and do not reflect those of all goblins.

    • The Crazy Fish

      Wait, did he just say that Mitchell and Manos are quality movies?

      • Tedzey71

        I think he was referring to Mitchell and Manos as movies that were bad enough to get a quality bashing. Coincidentally, I do own Mitchell… hmmm….

  • Goblin1001

    Two things strike me about all the reviews I’ve seen of this film: First and foremost is the universal LOATHING it inspires, and second, I’ve never seen a review by anyone who was an acknowledged fan of the series.

    As an acknowledged fan of the series, myself– Well, I didn’t bother seeing the movie, partly because M. Night Shamalamadingdong is a hack, and partly because there was no point to me in seeing a weird, compressed Reader’s Digest version of about 30 hours of material squeezed into 2 hours.

    • Tedzey71

      Well, I take your word and assume your another Goblin. ;)

      As far as Avatar goes, the movie coming out wasn’t compared to the hype for “The Dark Knight” or “Spider-Man 3” mostly because it didn’t seem necessary. Making the review was done when legitimately seeing it in on my library shelf thinking “How bad could it be?” With low expectations, It was just an unecessary film that didn’t leave me clawing my eyes out. However… the same could not be said for Vampires Sucks (or anything from the Schlock line of Seltzer-berg “comedies.”).

      • tj

        TLA is 1000000000 times worse than Vampires Suck.

        • I guess it’s preference. I’d rather waste my time stuck with a contrived hero’s journey that tries to fit elements from the TV show versus 5,000,000 references made to seem funny and relavent.

    • The Crazy Fish

      I’m a fan of the show and I wrote a review of the movie: http://knightlyreviews.blogspot.com/2012/03/movie-review-shyamalans-last-airbender.html

  • Ooglechev

    I have something to say. Agony booth used to do written reviews and while I do enjoy videos I kinds miss reading those 10 page long reviews/recaps that this site once did, I actually found this site looking for a review on Eragon and I found Arya’s 13 page recape of it, but as I enjoy this site immensely I could never stop using it for something as trivial as the type of media I have cynicism and sarcasm shoveled into my brain with.