Cinepub


Review: The Last Airbender by Jamie

Some spoilers for the cartoon and the movie are ahead. Not really that much though.

Also if you’re a child who has somehow stumbled upon this review to find out about what is, to be fair, a film aimed at children, you might want to look elsewhere. Things might get curse wordy.

I had never watched ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ until this past weekend managing to get through all three series in about three days. The reason was so that I could properly compare the series to the M. Night Shyamalan ‘The Last Airbender’ which is based on said series. What did I think of the series? Well, I fucking loved it. There is so much greatness within a show that it would be impossible to explain just how awesome it is and why in this opening paragraph. Let’s just say that if you haven’t seen it, you should watch it at your next possible opportunity.

But no, this review isn’t about the show. It’s about the movie. Let’s start of with some of the good things. Well, the special effects were pretty good and the settings did look like the places that were in the show, so yeah, that was OK. Also the costumes seemed pretty accurate too. Still if I had one complaint with the special effects it’s that the elements being bended didn’t seem to flow as well with the people doing the bending as they did in the show.

Well, that’s pretty much the good stuff out of the way, now onto the rest of the film. The show had spirit, heart and an engaging story. The movie has none of these things. Seriously, it’s like they got a bunch of cosplayers together and got them to play out short vignettes of things that sort of happened in the cartoon. Cosplayers that weren’t particularly good actors. Scenes skip by as characters move from place to place with no journey in between with just the occasional bit of narration to fill us in with things that happened in the cartoon that they just didn’t have time to put into the film.

It’s almost like M. Night watched the series, noted down a few scenes he considered to be important, changed them slightly so they’d fit within an hour and a half and then ignored everything that came between those scenes which is a massive, massive shame because it’s in those journeying scenes between that you often got proper character development within the series. What I’m basically saying is that this is a film about an epic quest with most of the quest removed. You don’t even get the sense that Sokka and Katara have become friends with Aang. It just seems like they view him as a super weapon that they have to stop from getting into the wrong hands.

Whole plot points which become massively important later on in the story are excised completely such as the Kyoshi warriors and the city of Omashu. Of course the characters involved in those parts of the story are lucky that they’ve been left out because, fucking hell, the characters that have been left in are pretty much just cardboard cutouts of the characters from the show, their personalities barely recognisable or even apparent during most of the film.

Aang (pronounced rhyming with sung here rather than sang for… some reason) isn’t the goofy and plucky young boy who seems good natured despite what he has experienced and what he has to overcome. No, now he’s all dark and depressed and serious because… well everything has to be dark and serious these days, doesn’t it? Nothing can be fun anymore. Well you know what, M. Night? Some things work when you make them dark like Batman and some things don’t like Avatar: The Last Airbender! Aang is a likeable character because of his fun-loving nature and the occasional times when he did get upset only furthered to flesh out his character not become his defining character trait. Damn it. Fuck you M. Night. Fuck you.

And thanks to the protracted nature of the story, certain moments of character development go by and seem completely pointless. For example in this film when Kuzo dresses up as the Blue Spirit and recovers Aang from Zhao’s custody, it’s pretty much just a way to get the story from point A to point B because it didn’t seem like Kuzo had been pursuing them for any time at all. In the show it had emotional resonance because they actually share a moment in the forest after the rescue where Aang offers his would be kidnapper the opportunity for friendship. No, honestly, fuck you M. Night.

Oh and the dialogue! Fuck the dialogue. It’s pretty much all exposition. Literally, I don’t think there’s a line in here that isn’t just explaining something which could have just been shown. You could probably watch this without actually looking at the screen and still be able to tell what the basic gist of the story is because it’s all helpfully explained to you because hey, you’re a moron. A moron who needs everything spelled out for you because you’re too stupid to figure things out if actual plot points or character development is shown to you. They don’t even show Sokka falling in love with Princess Yuwe. It’s simply explained away in a piece of narration in which Katara explains that they have become “fast friends’. Fucking fuck you M. Night. Fuck!

As for the acting, well, it’s kinda hard to describe really. Even Dev Patel, playing Zuko, is pretty much wasted here. I honestly can’t blame the actors for their wooden performances here because I get the feeling that it suffers from the poor direction, poor writing and having to work with CGI that the Star Wars prequels suffered from. To be fair, Aasif Mandvi as general Zhao was probably the best actor on screen but even he was playing such a stock, cardboard cutout villain that it’s hard to get excited about it.

Gah! Thinking about this film is making me feel angry and just a little bit sickly. The worst part is if you’ve seen and enjoyed the series, then this film will piss you off. If you haven’t seen the show I don’t know if you’ll be able to figure out what’s going on at all. It’s a lose-lose situation. I would say that this will probably be the worst film of the year but we still have an outing from Friedberg and Seltzer to come in the form of Vampires Suck so yeah, it’s still up in the air at the moment. Fuck. I think I know how Dragonball fans felt when Dragonball Evolution came out.

At the end of the day there is just no fun in this film and that’s the biggest crime of all. The show managed to take these children characters and put them in dangerous situations with serious consequences but it always managed to be fun. This is just a soulless interpretation of the source material and it sucks hard. I’ll end with a quote from episode 17 of the third series. The characters have just left a play which has been based on their adventures. It applies pretty damn well to this film adaptation of their journey as well…

Zuko: That… Wasn’t a good play.
Aang: I’ll say.
Katara: No kidding.
Suki: Horrible.
Toph: You said it.
Sokka: But the effects were decent.
Aang: Fucking fuck you to hell, M. Night. Fuck you to hell.

OK, that last line wasn’t in the episode but I think you gt the idea. The Last Air Bender get’s a half a pint out of five. Laterz.



Catchin’ Up With Fred by Jamie
I’ve been in a bit of an odd mood lately compounded by money troubles, sleeping troubles and this oppressive heat. I’ve been trying to write a review of the original Karate Kid for the past week or so now and have found it incredibly difficult for some reason which has done nothing to improve my mood. So what can I possibly do to counter-act this terrible, stymied feeling? Well I can always check in with the internet’s most baffling celebrity, Fred. It is worth mentioning that Fred’s YouTube channel has now been set-up like a TV show featuring different seasons and numbered episodes. This infuriates me.
First some background. Fred Figglehorn was created by “actor” Lucas Cruikshank. I use quotation marks around the word actor there because if all it takes to be an actor is filming yourself acting like a retard, raise the pitch on the audio and post it to YouTube then everyone can be a fucking actor even Shia LaBoeuf.

Anyway the main premise is that Fred is a mentally-impaired six year old with a dysfunctional home life who goes on adventures and such. I assume he’s supposed to be mentally impaired. I see nothing to suggest otherwise. Fred’s voice is pitched higher and the videos sped up slightly in order to make Fred seem more like a six year old which seems odd because I’ve never seen or heard a six year old who looks and sounds like a chipmunk on a coke binge. I think the main point I’m trying to get across here is that Fred is the most terrible blight the internet has unleashed upon the world and I cannot understand why people seem to love him. Let’s look at the stats.

As of June 2010, the Fred channel has received over 85 million channel views, over 496 million video views since its launch, and over 1.7 million channel subscribers, it is listed as the number two all-time most subscribed YouTube channel. If all of that doesn’t make you want to vomit with terror then you’ve clearly never seen a Fred video. Oh internet, what happened to you? You used to be so fun with your video-game based web-comics and porn featuring things I could never get a woman to do in real life. We used to be best buds, you used to be cool man.

Ok folks, prepare yourself for the latest video in the terrifyingly annoying Fred saga, ‘Fred Goes Reporting’…

Hmmm, seems a little less frantic than the usual bullshit Fred sprays all over the internet but it was still fairly damn annoying. Remember folks, this is season 4. Four seasons of Fred screeching, yelling and just generally asking to be stabbed over and over again until his crimson juices flow…. I’m sorry, I got distracted. I have to admit though, I did laugh at this one for a second or so. The bit where he was rubbing the microphone over the cops face was kinda funny.

But still, look at the guy. He’s not an actor. Anyone can do what he does in these videos and I really hope the other people in this video were “actors” as well because no one needs to experience this asshole in real life, especially that cop. In fact the only reason I’m assuming that cop wasn’t real is because Fred wasn’t lying on the floor covered in nightstick wounds after the first two lines of that interview.

Also distressing is the request at the end requesting comments about people who remind you of Fred. I can assure Mr. Cruishank that anyone who reminds me of Fred died by my hands a long, long time ago and should we ever meet in real life you’ll likely meet a similar fate! Ok, maybe not but I probably wouldn’t talk to you and I certainly wouldn’t buy you a beer.

Anyway, onto the future. Fred: The Movie  <sigh> will air on Nickelodeon in August… which is actually a relief as it was originally going to get a theatrical release. Can you imagine an hour and a half of that cunt’s voice playing through fucking cinema speakers? Ugh, I just threw up in my own ears somehow.

Anyway, this has just been a short little thing to try and get me writing again and since I write better when I’m pissed off, I figured Fred would be a perfect subject… Probably not, actually, because there isn’t that much substance to it when you get down to it but I just enjoy hating on the guy so just give me this one and we’ll move on to whatever comes down the pipeline next, Ok? Good. So I’ll see you in August for my review of Fred: The Movie. Laterz.



Catchin' Up With Fred by Jamie
I’ve been in a bit of an odd mood lately compounded by money troubles, sleeping troubles and this oppressive heat. I’ve been trying to write a review of the original Karate Kid for the past week or so now and have found it incredibly difficult for some reason which has done nothing to improve my mood. So what can I possibly do to counter-act this terrible, stymied feeling? Well I can always check in with the internet’s most baffling celebrity, Fred. It is worth mentioning that Fred’s YouTube channel has now been set-up like a TV show featuring different seasons and numbered episodes. This infuriates me.
First some background. Fred Figglehorn was created by “actor” Lucas Cruikshank. I use quotation marks around the word actor there because if all it takes to be an actor is filming yourself acting like a retard, raise the pitch on the audio and post it to YouTube then everyone can be a fucking actor even Shia LaBoeuf.

Anyway the main premise is that Fred is a mentally-impaired six year old with a dysfunctional home life who goes on adventures and such. I assume he’s supposed to be mentally impaired. I see nothing to suggest otherwise. Fred’s voice is pitched higher and the videos sped up slightly in order to make Fred seem more like a six year old which seems odd because I’ve never seen or heard a six year old who looks and sounds like a chipmunk on a coke binge. I think the main point I’m trying to get across here is that Fred is the most terrible blight the internet has unleashed upon the world and I cannot understand why people seem to love him. Let’s look at the stats.

As of June 2010, the Fred channel has received over 85 million channel views, over 496 million video views since its launch, and over 1.7 million channel subscribers, it is listed as the number two all-time most subscribed YouTube channel. If all of that doesn’t make you want to vomit with terror then you’ve clearly never seen a Fred video. Oh internet, what happened to you? You used to be so fun with your video-game based web-comics and porn featuring things I could never get a woman to do in real life. We used to be best buds, you used to be cool man.

Ok folks, prepare yourself for the latest video in the terrifyingly annoying Fred saga, ‘Fred Goes Reporting’…

Hmmm, seems a little less frantic than the usual bullshit Fred sprays all over the internet but it was still fairly damn annoying. Remember folks, this is season 4. Four seasons of Fred screeching, yelling and just generally asking to be stabbed over and over again until his crimson juices flow…. I’m sorry, I got distracted. I have to admit though, I did laugh at this one for a second or so. The bit where he was rubbing the microphone over the cops face was kinda funny.

But still, look at the guy. He’s not an actor. Anyone can do what he does in these videos and I really hope the other people in this video were “actors” as well because no one needs to experience this asshole in real life, especially that cop. In fact the only reason I’m assuming that cop wasn’t real is because Fred wasn’t lying on the floor covered in nightstick wounds after the first two lines of that interview.

Also distressing is the request at the end requesting comments about people who remind you of Fred. I can assure Mr. Cruishank that anyone who reminds me of Fred died by my hands a long, long time ago and should we ever meet in real life you’ll likely meet a similar fate! Ok, maybe not but I probably wouldn’t talk to you and I certainly wouldn’t buy you a beer.

Anyway, onto the future. Fred: The Movie  <sigh> will air on Nickelodeon in August… which is actually a relief as it was originally going to get a theatrical release. Can you imagine an hour and a half of that cunt’s voice playing through fucking cinema speakers? Ugh, I just threw up in my own ears somehow.

Anyway, this has just been a short little thing to try and get me writing again and since I write better when I’m pissed off, I figured Fred would be a perfect subject… Probably not, actually, because there isn’t that much substance to it when you get down to it but I just enjoy hating on the guy so just give me this one and we’ll move on to whatever comes down the pipeline next, Ok? Good. So I’ll see you in August for my review of Fred: The Movie. Laterz.




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