the last airbender

Exploring: The Last Airbender

Review

I really enjoyed The Last Airbender, 9 out of 10.  It is a good distillation of 22 hours of show down to just under 2 hours of movie.

Great movie for fans of the show and those who like fun, adventure, action movies.  Those who hate it will do so because either they forgot how to have fun, they don't get the choices made based on the Eastern philosophy that permeates this project or because the avatar does not give into violence.

Concerning Racebending:  After watching The Last Airbender I can let the Racebending issue slide because there is so many other good socially redeeming aspects and lessons in it.

I like some of the changes made especially the ending.  The ending in the show bothered me because the Avatar gives into rage and anger killing many as he looses control.  This does bother him in the second season and was originally done as a subplot of the avatar learning how to fight back but with non violent resistance.  In the movie he does not lash out in rage but instead brilliantly faces his justified emotions and lets them pass through him sublimating them into something constructive and also demonstrating a full mastery and understanding of Waterbending.

There are several scenes depicted in the trailers that did not appear in the movie.  Some of those scenes are the Kyoshi Island warriors, the pirates, and Bumi.  At first this confused me then Eric pointed out that we may get a longer version for the directors cut with those scenes in it.

  • Appa and Momo are great
  • They changed the ending for the better
  • Did a goog job condensing 22 hours into 2
  • Katara was well acted Nicola Peltz did a good job of capturing her sadness with out making her Emo or Mopey
  • I love the foreshadowing of General Iroh The Dragon of the West

First Impressions

Theater:  I love the series that this movie is based on.  The movie trailers looks great.  Other then the race bending possible issues I’m really looking forward to watching this movie.

Trailers

more trailers

The Plot / Story:

Based on the first season of the show The Book of Water Avatar The Last Airbender.  Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara a waterbender, and her brother, Sokka, to restore balance to their war-torn world.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

  • Release Date:  JULY 1
  • Listed as:  action-adventure, fantasy, film
  • Studio:  Paramount Pictures
  • Director:  M. Night Shyamalan
  • Produced by:  M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Sam Mercer, scott Aversano
  • Written by:  M. Night Shyamalan,
  • Stars:  Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis

Other Posts

Racebending

Photos

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  • New High Resolution Photos: The Last Airbender (via /Film)

Theater or Renter: July 2010

Theater or Renter: July includes seven SF movies The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Last Airbender, Despicable Me, Predators, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Inception, and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.  Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Release Date: June 30

Listed as:  romantic-vampire

Studio:  Summit Entertainment

Director: David Slade

Produced by:  Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt

Written by:  Melissa Rosenberg

Stars:  Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard, Billy Burke, Xavier Samuel, Dakota Fanning

The Plot / Story: As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob — knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Not Interested:  The books bored me as did the first movie.  Why Twilight is Popular Video

The Last Airbender:

Release Date:  JULY 1

Listed as:  action-adventure, fantasy, film

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Director:  M. Night Shyamalan

Produced by:  M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Sam Mercer, scott Aversano

Written by:  M. Night Shyamalan,

Stars:  Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis

The Plot / Story: Based on the first season of the show The Book of Water Avatar The Last Airbender.  Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara a waterbender, and her brother, Sokka, to restore balance to their war-torn world.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Theater:  I love the series that this movie is based on.  The movie trailers looks great.  Other then the race bending possible issues I'm really looking forward to watching this movie.

Despicable Me:

Release Date:  JULY 9

Listed as:  Animated, fantasy

Studio:  Universal Studios

Director:  Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud  Co-Director: Sergio Pablos

Produced by:  John Cohen, Janet Healy, Chris Meledandri

Written by:  Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul

Stars:  Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Danny McBride, Miranda Cosgrove, Jack McBrayer, Mindy Kaling, Ken Jeong, Jemaine Clement, Julie Andrews, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher, Dave Foley, Philip Bolden

The Plot / Story: In a happy suburban neighborhood surrounded by white picket fences with flowering rose bushes sits a black house with a dead lawn. Unbeknownst to the neighbors, hidden beneath this home is a vast secret hideout. The protagonist, Gru, is the #2 villain who wants to accomplish an unthinkable task with the help of his large army of minions and various gadgets. He attempts this while trying to outsmart his arch-rival, #1 super villain, Vector. He thinks he's found the perfect scheme when he decides to do the impossible: steal the moon itself. However, he meets three super small orphan girls who want him to become their dad. The world's greatest villain has just met his greatest challenge.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Renter:  At first I was excited about this Despicable Me but the trailers got old fast.  There are also several yellow flags with this project that make me cautious about watching this film.  Steve Carell is funny I really like him in the office but I have not cared for his other projects, universal studios animation project which tend to be ok and the incessant need to use 3d as a gimmick to force me into watching it in the theater and I can wait.

Predators:

Release Date:  JULY 9

Listed as:  science fiction, action, horror

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Director:  Nimród Antal

Produced by:  Robert Rodriguez, John Davis, Elizabeth Avellan

Written by:  Michael Finch, Alex Litvak

Stars:  Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali,

The Plot / Story: Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet… as prey. With the exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold-blooded killers mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members human “predators” that are now being systemically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien Predators.  (Wikipedia) (official site)

Theater:  I'm an old school fan of the Predator movies Exploring: Predators Trailer not so much of a fan of all the recent attempts at reboots.  That said this one looks descent they kept the jungle feel.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice:

Release Date:  July 16

Listed as:  Sorcery, Fantasy, Adventure , Comedy film

Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures

Director:  Jon Turteltaub

Produced by:  Jerry Bruckheimer

Written by:  Screenplay: Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, Matt Lopez  Screen story: Matt Lopez, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal  Poem: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Stars:  Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina

The Plot / Story: A live-action re-imagining of the Mickey Mouse Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment in Disney’s Fantasia.  An average college student is reluctantly recruited to work for a sorcerer, who gives him a crash course in magic to prepare him for a battle against the forces of darkness in modern Manhattan.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Not Interested:  This project spits on the memory of Walt Disney.  He loved Fantasia, cherished it as his greatest achievement of merging music and visuals.  To turn part of it into a simple movie with cheep tricks and borrowed plot line from other contemporary movies is a horrible thing and I want no part of it.

Inception:

Release Date:  JULY 16th

Listed as:  sci-fi, action, thriller

Studio:  Warner Bros. Pictures

Director:  Christopher Nolan

Produced by:  Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas

Written by:  Christopher Nolan

Stars:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine

The Plot / Story: Dom Cobb  is a skilled thief in the art of "extraction," stealing secrets from deep within the unconscious mind during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him valuable in corporate espionage. In one last job, he must cause an "inception" – instead of stealing an idea, he must plant one. Christopher Nolan, the director of the movie, was quoted as saying "We don't do magic. Everything in Inception has a basis in reality, except for the technology".  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Not Interested:  Premise is weak, the trailer boring and worst yet Christopher Nolan is all over this project.  He is a big red flag in any project.

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore:

Release Date:  JULY 30

Listed as: Family, Fantasy

Studio:  Warner Bros. Pictures

Director:  Brad Peyton

Produced by:  Polly Cohen, Andrew Lazar, Greg Michael, Brent O'Connor

Written by:   Ron J. Friedman, Steve Bencich, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra

Stars:  Chris O’Donnell, Jack McBrayer, Fred Armisen, Paul Rodriguez, Christina Applegate, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, James Marsden, Bette Midler, Nick Nolte, Joe Pantoliano, Katt Williams

The Plot / Story: Kitty Galore, a hairless Sphynx cat, grows tired of dogs and her own cat friends. So, she decides to take over the world. Diggs, a police dog, and his mentor, Butch, are selected by the Dogs HQ spy force to stop her. The cats join forces with with the dogs and get additional support from the birds to block Galore's scheme. Galore, meanwhile, has the help of the mice and hires the devious cat and antagonist from the first film, Mr. Tinkles.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Theater / Renter:  this is probably a renter for me but as previously confessed in My Dirty Secret Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore I'm a sucker for this movie.  The first in the series was really entertaining and funny.  Based on the trailers and promotional materials it looks like the second one has not lost that flavor.


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Race Bending Missing The Point

A lot of discussion has stirred over M. Night Shyamalan's casting for the up coming movie The Last Airbender.  SCI FI Wire came out recently with posts for both the YES position and the No position.  I applaud them for putting forth conversation on both sides and would love to spend several posts refuting points of issue in those posts but we must keep perspective.

The Conversation to this point has boiled down to this:

  • Shyamalan cast white-skinned heroes and brown-skinned villains for the movie based on a show which has distinct ethnicity in its characters except for the Avatar.
  • He claims that his casting was color blind and those actors & actresses were the best that showed up for the role.

The main arguments have hit a point of impasse until we watch the movie and see how the acting pans out.  If the acting is brilliant then maybe it was just an unfortunate set of events that caused the casting to be the way it is.  That helps with most of the arguments except it still does not deal with a particular problem that fandom is very much against.

The Real Beef

Speculative Fiction for all of its progressive thinking tends to fall short when it comes to cultural sensitivity especially on the topics of race, gender, and homosexuality.  This sensitivity is best described by Gene Roddenberry.

Humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day they begin not just to tolorate but to take a special delight in difference in ideas and differences in life forms.

We tried to say that the worst possible thing that could happen to all of us is for the future to somehow presses us into a common mold where we begin to act talk think and look alike.

If we can not learn to actually enjoy those small differences, take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind on this planet then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that's almost certainly out there.

Avatar The Last Airbender is an incredibly culturally progressive SF show.  Instead of going for characters with no particular cultural background they featured many specific cultures.  It celebrated the cultures even of the Fire Nation demonstrating an amazing level of cultural sensitivity.  The movie's casting erases that entire level of the show.

Blind casting in this case is an attempt to press all of us into a common mold, wiping away those cultural diversities that should be celebrated.

Inaction is still a choice just as harmful as action.  A lack of cultural diversity is still distilling a society down to one common race.  We need to embrace the cultural diversity and celebrate it.  Avatar the Last Airbender is a brilliant example of how you can have villians of a particular race and still celebrate their cultural diversity.

As for me I will watch the film and hopefully find the performances brilliant to distract me from the show's lost opportunity.  Maybe by the second movie M. Night Shyamalan will be able to put back in the celebration of different cultures.

For more read:

THE LAST AIRBENDER 3rd Movie Trailer Rocks!

After watching the third trailer for The Last Airbender I'm now stoked to see the movie.  Watch the trailer above.

The trailer shows Firebending, Waterbending, Airbending, and Earthbending and it looks good.  They also feature some amazing creatures.

  • Appa:  Ang's air bison is shown flying though not up close.  Getting the fur to look right will be the biggest challenge for the air bison.
  • Avatar Roku's Dragon:  This is awesome because they will put the dragon in and we will get to hopefully see Avatar Roku as well.
  • The Blue Spirit:  I loved this character in the show.  It adds so much depth and complexity to the story line I'm proud to see that they have included it in.

There is an uncontrollable urge to put in the first disc for season one of Avatar The  Last Airbender.  That is what I was waiting for from the Last Airbender trailer.

I want to see the movie now but must wait for July 2nd 2010.  In the interim vigilance.

If you have not watched the series... Shame!  Have hope though there is still time and it is worth it.

Get your copy here:

The Last Airbender: Super Bowl TV Spot

The new Super Bowl TV spot is up for The Last Airbender.  It looks good.  I like that they feature all four kinds of bending so we get a chance to see a glimpse of how it looks in the movie.

I'm still concerned about the story line.  The animated show did such an amazing job with the story, setting elements and characters that leaves this movie big shoes to fill.  On the plus side if pulled off well it could introduce many more into the wonderfully inspiring world of Avatar The Last Airbender.

The Last Airbender hits theaters July 2nd 2010.

Racebending in The Last Avatar: Removing the Excuses

avatar: the last airbenderAs a fan of the series, 'disappointment' is a definite and deep understatement! I mean for Hollywood to do this is nothing short of a shameful big F**K UP! I agree with Eric about Speculative or Fantasy Fiction writing. I'm a fan of fiction both science and fantasy and you can't help but notice that the vast majority -- I'm talking close to 100%-- of fantasy worlds or planets inhabited by humans have people entirely if not predominantly white and have societies based on European culture!! The ONLY exception I could think of is the Earthsea novels by Ursula le Guin, but even then once her books get translated into movies (the Scifi channel), most of the leading roles are white!! Part of what made the series so popular was the uniqueness of having a fantasy world that is populated by NON-white people for a change and whose culture was NOT European based or influence!! And for Paramount to screw this up with white leads is as ridiculous as it is insulting!!

Racist Apologetics

By the way, I am sickened by the same racist apologist comments I've come across the net about this situation! Here are the three most common ones:

1. "It's a fantasy world, with no 'Asian' continent or people; why not have some racial diversity..."

2. "Wouldn't be unfair to whites to have all the lead roles go to Asians?"... (I laughed at this second excuse when I first heard it, but after a while of hearing over and over again these white idiots apparently were serious!!)

3. "The characters don't look white in the cartoon; look at their eyes"

It's a fantasy world

As for excuse # 1, I pretty much answered that above-- when it comes to fictional stories and how all of them are populated by white characters especially in leading or starring roles. I mean in J.R.R. Tokien's 'Lord of the Rings' series it was never stated that the peoples or characters were 'white' but what else were they suppose to be in a story based on Norse mythology?!! I mean you never saw New Line Cinema try to find "racially diverse" people even for the extras (save for the 'Arab-like' enemies) let alone leading roles, all of which were expected to non other than white!!

Would it be unfair to whites for all the lead roles go to Asians?

2. Is a no-brainer for anyone who has the most basic knowledge of Asians in the film industry. Even in movies and shows centered on or based on Asians the lead almost ALWAYS goes to whites! From David Carradine in Kung-Fu to the most recent movie '21' whose starring roles were based on Asian Americans but were still portrayed by whites, while meanwhile having Asian actors play their sidekicks!! So don't me about "unfair"!!

Look at their eyes

3. While the series is NOT anime, it was inspired by anime and manga/ Korean manwa drawing styles where the eyes are drawn large for convience of conveying emotional expression alot easier! As for eye color, the only reason why the characters Sokka and Katara have blue eyes is because they descend from water benders!! In the Avatar world, bright eye color is a sign of element bending-- air benders have gray eyes, earth benders have green eyes, fire benders have yellow eyes, and water benders have blue eyes. It is NOT a "caucasian" trait as they are NOT caucasian. And of course "the eyes" are the ONLY thing these white idiots like to focus on because EVERYTHING else about them is obviously Asian!!

I know that such racist white people are in the minority but apparently it's whites like these that continue to perpetuate this kind of bullsh*t in Hollywood!

Last Airbender Trilogy Troubles

avatar: the last airbenderNot a good omen for Last Airbender Trilogy.

"Night will finish this movie, then the script and then we’ll prepare for the next one. I think it’ll probably happen over six years."  Said producer Frank Marshall

I love Avatar: The Last Airbender the story, characters, and setting are all just amazing. I was really excited about a movie version of the show, unfortunately that excitement is being replaced with concerns.

The latest concern is over the child actors growing up too much before the entire story is told.  The entire story line takes place over approximately a one year period.  This does not give much time for the children to grow up, which would happen over the 6 years it is now expecting them to take to film the three movies.  I'm worried we will get an amazing first movie (a plus) but that the other ones will look progressively weird or require recasting to keep the characters at their respective heights.

I'm not going to give up on this project yet and have hope that they have a production break through or no growth spurts in order to finish the project.  After all the glory of movie magic is the ability to make people appear like something completely different from their real life selves.

Get your copy of Avatar The Last Airbender here from Amazon.

(via  /Film)

The Last Airbender Teaser Trailer

I have been one of the voices in the Racebending debate around the new The Last Airbender, but this new teaser looks good but not great.

My first complaint is that the martial arts do not look as natural as I would like for Aang.  Secondly is the voice over.

They make the movie sound like it will be a Star Wars meets Harry Potter film, and while that is a good thing to bring a broader audience to The Last Airbender, I only hope that does not mean they have rewritten the story to fit into that mold.

Other than that, it looks good.  I cannot wait to see more.

(via /Film)

M Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender Ang and Zuko

Airbender-Ang-Live

Some early pictures are out for M Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender live action movie based on the amazing animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender.  Ang played by Noah Ringer is shown above while Prince Zuko played by Dev Patel is shown below.

Airbender-Zuko-Live

I wish the arrow on Angs head was more visiable.  The look of the arrow is something that could be easily adjusted in editing and in post production.

I also wonder why Zuko does not have his scar.  It's possible that this photo is set in the time line before he receives the burn scar.  It is also possible that the scar effect will be added digitally in editing though that theroy seems unlikely because of the costs and challange level it would add to the movie over doing it in makeup.

Early pictures are nice to have but they are not always representational of the final product.  My mind goes to Dragonball Z movie where the earliy pictures looked bad but in the movie they looked great...  and so I have hope.

Knowing that Dev Patel has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do gives me hope for watching live action Prince Zuko who's animated counterpart relied on his martial arts abilities in combat as much as his firebending.

Get your Avatar: The Last Airbender fix here from Amazon

(via /Film)

Racism in The Last Airbender Casting and Margaret Cho

avatar: the last airbenderActivist/Comedian Margaret Cho posted a set of emails from her fans about the casting of M. Night Shyamalan's film version of Avatar: The Last Airbender. She frames the problem very well:

I am never surprised when Hollywood takes a story with Asian characters and casts white people instead of Asians. This is so typical and happens with such frequency! I always thought that in order to make our presence known in entertainment, we should be writing, bringing our dreams and realities to the cinema, but now even telling our own stories isn’t even enough.

Why is it better to have white actors play the roles of Asians? I don’t understand. Because it sells more tickets? I am not white and I have had no trouble selling tickets. Maybe the powers that be should ask me what to do. I would tell them. “The Last Airbender” is the last straw to a lot of people (Margaret Cho Blog):

We were initially excited about the movie, and the idea of a trilogy, but were given pause when we saw the cast.

Avatar: The Last Airbender casting characterss avatar: the last airbender casting actors

It is hard to understand what M. Night Shyamalan was thinking when he cast this movie.

I have said for a long time that Speculative Fiction is one of the most racist film genres.  It is not uncommon for white actors to be cast in the role of other ethnicity.  It is hard to get an SF movie cast if the main character is non-white (take Green Lantern for example).

My Experience

All of my books have non-white leads, and my latest book, Shine Like Thunder has a Gay Persian as the main character.

I have received a frightening amount of hate mail and personal confrontations about the ethnicity of the characters from white readers.

You would think SF readers would be more open minded.

Why would M. Night Shyamalan do this?

To me, that is the big question.

I think the casting was intentional.  They believe the film will attract a larger audience with a white cast of heros and a brown cast of villains than it would if they followed the example of the series.

This is all about money.  Hollywood consistently underestimates the intelligence of the American people, and almost always aims for the lowest common denominator.  This is less a sign of racism on the part of Hollywood as it is an sign of Hollywood's belief about how racist the American people are.

I would love to hear your opinions about this.

If you are interested in getting involved with the movement to effect the casting, check out:

Sozin's Comet is Here!

Avatar The Last Airbender Book 3 Vol 4 The final disc for Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 3 Fire, Vol. 4 is now available on DVD!  It has the concluding 6 episodes to the amazingly awesome Avatar show.  This show is a testament to great writing.  Although it is a cartoon and children can enjoy is on that level it also contains so much substance that an adult could enjoy the experience of watching this show.  It also contains valuable life lessons that is shown through the story but does not become preachy. Get Avatar - The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 3 Collection

Chapter 16: The Southern Raiders  Avatar: The Last Airbender - Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season 3 - The Southern Raiders

Chapter 17: The Ember Island Players Avatar: The Last Airbender - Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season 3 - The Ember Island Players

Sozin's Comet: it is released through iTunes as one episode like a movie! Avatar: The Last Airbender - Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season 3 - Sozin's Comet

Chapter 18: Sozin's Comet Part 1: The Phoenix King - "Team Avatar"

Chapter 19: Sozin's Comet Part 2: The Old Masters -

Chapter 20: Sozin's Comet Part 3: Into the Inferno -

Chapter 21: Sozin's Comet Part 4: Avatar Aang -

The whole series is just amazing and well worth owning. The story line is so compelling I find myself watching it over and over again. Read our reviews of Avatar here.  Get caught up with the whole series!

Get Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection

Get Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 2 Collection

Get Avatar - The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 3 Collection (available Sept 16 2008)

The southern Raiders Get Raided

Watched Avatar - The Last Airbender Chapter 16 of Book three: The southern Raiders and I never cease to be amazed by this show.  I got my copy through Avatar: The Last Airbender - Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season 3 - The Southern Raiders. In this episode they finally fill in the details on what happened to Katara's Mother.  Sokka is hilarious in this episode I love watching his expressions and his sense of humor.  I would love to see them do a special short "The adventures of Sokka and Momo."  I really enjoyed getting to see Katara in action and at her scariest.

The Southern Raiders tackles a very important question is revenge good?  This is the main drive of the episode and Katara has to make the choice.  The did a great job showing how ugly and corrupting revenge is and how it takes a stronger person to forgive.  The end made my skin crawl with just one question...

Get caught up with the whole series!

Get Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection

Get Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 2 Collection

Get Avatar - The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 3 Collection (available Sept 16 2008)

Avatar: From Ice to Kyoshi

Avatar book 1 Soon we will know if Aang will defeat the Fire Lord or fall, so I felt that I should make it the first series I would examine in depth. Since it first premiered on February 21, 2005 on Nickelodeon, Avatar: The Last Airbender has been the the only true fantasy show on television.  An original fantasy series that does not fall victim to any of the well worn cliches of fantasy fiction or animated television, the show is a brilliant mix of humor and drama with deep character back stories that bring the setting and the characters alive in an entertaining and enriching way.

avatarbook1disc1 The series begins with sister and brother  Katara and Sokka out in a boat fishing.  Katara looses her temper and shatters an iceberg to find a frozen pearl containing the Avatar.

The symbolism of the chosen one rising from the ocean encased in a blue gem is reminiscent of origin of many of the great gods and heroes of mythology.  Aang, who is a trickster hero, is immediately  a source of humor and concern.

The various bender nations are living examples of the elements they are connected to.  The air nomads ride their whims like the air follows the wind.  The water tribes all trust their feeling, while the fire nation are driven by their passions.

Magic is integral  to the setting, and is not only introduced well, but also dictates the technology and manner of living within the various nations.

Starting with "The Avatar Returns," they establish the principle that violence is not the solution to every problem.  Aang uses every tool at his disposal not to fight.

When we see the avatar state for the first time, its power is truly awe inspiring, but at the same time we see the toll it takes on Aang.  It is not something he can turn off and on, and the cost for tapping into it is great.

None of the kids are masters of their bending. Their vulnerability is clear.

In "The Southern Air Temple," we meet the formidable Commander Zhao.  He establishes the treat that the fire nation posses to the world, as well as Prince Zuko's position among his own.

To enter the air temple, Aang must use his airbending to blow a steady current of air through a labyrinthine series of tubes to blow three horns.  Through this simple scene we see the other side of the airbenders.  The power of air is not only carefree but controlled and steady.  The balance of these two sides of the art are at play in Aang and represent his most basic dilemma.  Then when exposed to the horror of what happened to his people, the third element is revealed, that of indiscriminate destruction.  The sheer power of the air to destroy everything around it.

On Kyoshi Island, Aang learns the hard way that there are consequences for his actions.  Even though he is still a child, his birthright forces adult concerns upon him.  If only he had been more mature or if he would have listened to Katara, the calamity that ensues could have been prevented.

The series begins strongly and only continues to weave tighter stories as if pulls you deeper and deeper into its world.


Avatar: The Last Airbender is available at Avatar: The Last Airbender - Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season 1 and Amazon.

M. Night Shyamalan Unveils "The Last Airbender"

Avatar book 1 M. Night Shyamalan unveiled some information pertaining his newest project a film version of the Nickelodeon show Avatar The Last Airbender. I'm very excited about this movie. The show is amazing: well written, well drawn, containing compelling content & messages. Shyamalan is planning the first movie release for July 2, 2010 with two more to follow. A Trilogy! I'm guessing movie 1 Water, movie 2 Earth, movie 3 Fire.

Most of the $250 million budget is slated to be spent on CGI special effects. This is cool and gives me hope that they will take time to make the bending abilities look really nice. The series of hand-drawn landscapes that were presented have a more traditional appearance rather then the TV series anime style.

Reviewing Avatar the Last Airbender Book 3 Fire, Vol. 3

Get your copy of Avatar the Last Airbender Book Three: Fire, Volume 3 here Review of: Avatar the Last Airbender Book 3 Fire, Vol. 3 Overall Rating: 10 A+

Wow, this series just keeps getting better and better. We pick up right where we left off at with the second half of the two part episode The Day of Black Sun. The story continues to follow Aang and his friends as they try to restore balance to the world. We learn a lot more about the characters back story, motivations and more about Firebending. The plot twists are both surprising yet make complete sense being driven by the story, character growth, and personal character motivations.

This series keeps getting better and better. The amount of story depths is impressive. They continue to build on the main plot while weaving in subplots all the way back to the beginning. I also really enjoy the level of detail shown to the choices made in the earlier episodes and how those choices are impacting the story now.

The character depth runs as deep as the story depth. Every character has the feel of a full back story with their own personal motivations that reaches beyond the story but is still woven seamlessly into the story. They also show such character growth but in an organic manner where the characters just don't grow to achieve a new level of skill but they grow in maturity learning what it is to act honorably and with integrity. The characters also learn how to make good decisions and how to make hard choices.

Avatar_the_last_airbender_Book_Three_Fire_Volume_4 There is one more disc to complete the season Book Three: Fire, Volume 4. This disc will contain 6 more episodes in it and is rumored to conclude the series. I can't wait for the July 29th release date!

***** Spoiler Alert ********

Book 3 Fire, Vol. 3 contains five chapters in it.

  • The Day of Black Sun Part 2: The Eclipse
  • The Western Air Temple
  • The Firebending Masters
  • The Boiling Rock, Part 1
  • The Boiling Rock, Part 2

The Day of Black Sun Part 2: The Eclipse picks up in the middle of the invasion of the Fire Nation Capital. Aang, Sokka & Toph go in search for the Fire Lord who has moved into hiding in anticipation of the eclipse. This episode was thrilling full of plot twists. I was on the edge of my seat when Zuko faces his father and finally makes the right choice.

The Western Air Temple. In this episode Aang and his small group flees to the Western Air Temple after being defeated in the Fire Nation Capital. Zuko follows closely behind them but this time in hopes of making peace with Aang and becoming his firebending instructor. Man I jumped when Mr. Boom Boom showed up. I really enjoyed watching Zuko struggle with doing the right thing and getting to see his characters development. I really wonder what Uncle Iroh is up to.

The Firebending Masters. Zuko starts his first firebending lesson with Aang but finds himself unable to firebend. This episode was awesome. We get to learn more about how Toph became such a great earthbender by learning from the source. We get to learn even more about the setting and firebending. I always figured Uncle Iroh's title Dragon of the West was from his military days and was blown away when I learned it's actual significance. Dragons!! That's all I have to say, Wow!

The Boiling Rock, Part 1. Sokka and Zuko leave for a "fishing trip" in actuality they take off to the maximum security fire nation prison in hopes to free Sokka's father and to help him restore his honor. His father was not there but he does find Suki and I was so relived to see that Azula did not kill her, I was really worried she did.

The Boiling Rock, Part 2. Sokka's father has just arrived on the boiling rock and now Sokka must come up with a new escape plan fast before he is discovered. This episode is packed full of surprises. I really doubted if Zuko would be able to leave Mai behind the tension was well done. I love that all of the surprises made sense after the fact when I thought about the character's personal motivations yet they still made me jump. The cliffhanger at the end is pure genius and has left me chomping at the bit to see the next disc.

Avatar the Last Airbender Book Three: Fire, Volume 4 has six episodes in it.

  • The Southern Raiders
  • The Ember Island Players
  • Sozin's Comet, Part 1
  • Sozin's Comet, Part 2
  • Sozin's Comet, Part 3
  • Sozin's Comet, Part 4

What is uncle Iroh up too? I know he has to be up to something and I can't wait till we get to see his return.

Get you copy of Volume 3 from Amazon here and order you copy of Volume 4

Avatar- The End is Near!

Avatar the Last Airbender- Book 3 Sad but expected news has come out of New York Comic Con:

The first question from the audience revealed that there is no "Air" book, and that the entire series was always designed to be a trilogy. They also stated that the Avatar world is still ripe for exploration, and that even though the story is ending, there are still tales that the two want to tell in the Avatar world. As a result, there may be some questions left unanswered (such as some information about Uncle Iroh's past), but that they're not done with the world yet (Toon Zone).

It is upsetting to think that this amazing series will soon be over. I am a bit confused by some of the stories that I have seen about the upcoming episodes.

Some reports say that there are only 4 new episodes coming. If that is true. Book 3 would be the shorts of the 3 seasons. There have been 10 episodes so far. Season 1 had 20, season 2 had 16. Since the series is supposed to return on April 30 and will run to July, the idea that they would stretch 4 episodes over that time seems to be a little thin. Not to mention, how are they going to tie up the Zuko amd Iroh storylines in such a short time.

I cannot wait for the show to come back, and I cannot wait to see what happens after the fall of the Fire Lord.

A Match Made In Heaven Shyamalan + Airbender

OMG, I can not wait to see this! I love Avatar The Last Airbender.

It is a must see show, and if you are thinking 'but this is a kids show' than you my dear sir or mam are missing out on a lot of quality content in life. Yes this show is designed for a young audience but the story is more developed than many adult shows, the themes and topics it covers are adult. No, not pornographic.. but themes like family, war, and what it means to be a chosen one. If you have not seen this show it is a must!

link to buy your copy of Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 link to buy your copy of Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 2 Collection get your copy of Avatar the Last Airbender - Book 3

Amazon Unbox or Avatar: The Last Airbender

Now, to find out a live action is being done by the brilliant and talented M. Night Shyamalan makes me even more excited. I love his way of putting together a project.

This should be an absolutely amazing movie with this amazing and compelling story coupling it with M. Night Shyamalan's vision and style.

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies will release M. Night Shyamalan's live-action big-screen adaptation of the popular animated TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender on July 2, 2010, Variety reported. The studio has dropped Avatar from the title of the action-adventure movie so as to avoid confusion with James Cameron's 3-D epic Avatar, which 20th Century Fox opens Dec. 18, 2009.

via Scifi Wire

Avatar - "The Day of the Black Sun"

It is hard for me to review this episode without spoiling the end, so, as always, I will err on the side of caution and not go into much detail about the episode. "The Day of the Black Sun" is a two part episode where the long awaited eclipse finally darkens the land, stealing the fire benders ability to do their bending.

The episode starts with the gathering of the forces of the earth kingdom and water tribes, including all of the soldiers and characters that we have met over the past several years, with the exception of Jet, who was lost last season. Several of Jets freedom fighters are involved, carrying on Jet's vision.

Early on, as everyone sets up for the invasion, Aang shaves his head as the others don their amazingly well styles black with white trimmed uniforms. It was good to see Aang reclaim his air nomad heritage, and even more thrilling to see him fly again.

What sets Avatar apart from most fantasy stories, is that all of the technology used by the invaders is thoroughly integrated with each tribe's bending. It is rare to see any series that takes full advantage of this magical and fantasy elements. The water tribes' ships are powered by water benders. The earth kingdom's tanks are powered by earth bending.

While I was not surprised by the outcome of the battle, it still gave me cold chills. The futures of Iroh and Zuko are up in the air, everyone's plans are stretched to their limit. The biggest surprise was the revelation about what happened to Zuko's mother.

A great mid-season spectacular. I am itching for the next episode. What is going to happen at the western air temple... I have to know.