sharpasfire: (I'll send him cheesy movies)
[personal profile] sharpasfire
[Disclaimer goes here: While I think The Last Airbender was an awful movie that people should absolutely boycott, I bear no personal ill-will to the actors, execs, or M. Night Shyamalan other than hoping they never make a sequel. This is a parody.]

It has come to my attention that a re-telling of the Avatar's journey to the North Pole has been made into a movie here. These "movies" work the same way the Ember Island Players sought to make a play of the same subject, only shorter and arguably more factually correct. I say "arguably" since I have not seen it myself, so I must rely to the biased accounts of the Avatar's party and what I remembered of their performances as a child. Mostly, it was that the characters needed to be killed with quicker expediency so they do not deliver long speeches in their death throes. However, I was curious to see what insight might be found from comparing this to the reports I read before my father dispatched me. There is something to be said for knowing the lies your enemies tell.

In short, it was a wasted effort. Proving why I hate the theater and would prefer to read history scrolls, where the errors are legitimate propaganda instead of "creative license." Megalomaniacs are best suited for conquering the world, not the arts.

To start, the director thought to create an "ironic" effect by casting the Fire Nation entirely by people who look as if they belong in the Earth Kingdom or Water Tribes. There was not one golden eyed person with a topknot amongst them. I assume it's because no self-resepecting Fire Nation citizen, colonist or otherwise, would agree to take part in this farce. And I have no idea why he thought to cast the the Avatar and his sycophants as he did, except to assume that their paler skin and constant wide eyed and confused expressions were helpful in demonstrating the terror at having to face the forces of the Fire Lord. Sokka in particular looked like his soul had already been thoroughly crushed beforehand and all that was left was a dead expression and slack-jawed passivity. However, I felt no satisfaction in seeing the deadened performance because it didn't change or grow more desperate as time went on.

The other issue I cannot even begin to comprehend in its stupidity is the decision that firebenders cannot generate their own fire. Maybe the reason is because, given the level of ability in the rest of the characters, such a handicap would be the only way they could conceive why we haven't taken over everything and destroyed the resistance already. Even with limited means the Fire Nation here is clearly in control of most of the world. Yet this is a hollow acknowledgment. Our greatness is not due to the fact that we are ingenious and clearly the superior nation to rule, but it is attributed to our machines and the fact that the rest of these people are so stupid they need constant supervision in order to not accidentally kill themselves. Or purposely, because there would be more honor in removing such a blight on the world than allowing the possibility of letting such idiocy breed.

The story, and I am being generous calling it that, doesn't even begin with the Avatar. There is a long speech of spirits and the four nations in an attempt at moralizing, which is wholly unnecessary and just sounds tediously self-righteous. Not surprising since the narrator is Katara. This is followed by nonsensical lettering with poor demonstrations of each bending technique. It seems the director is also illiterate, because none of the words resembled anything approaching our language. Inability to copy the simplest of words was warning enough, however I had decided to see this through and pressed on.

It starts in the South Pole, with Katara's voice prattling on and on about how horrible their lives are. She calls her brother Soak-ka, which is likely a change since her waterbending is so rudimentary that all it's good for is drenching him. They are wandering under the pretense of hunting and discover something beneath the ice. Sokka uses his bent stick to hit it and then is surprised when it rises, thinking it's a Fire Nation trick. Because we obviously have nothing better to do than leave traps in the frozen wasteland, it's not as if we're busy conquering the world. He also tells Katara to step away from it but has no problem going back to investigate after she is blasted away from the thing. Clearly the reason we have not bothered to further decimate the Southern Water Tribe is that they are perfectly capable of it on their own.

They reveal the Avatar and his bison, and proceed to ask inane questions like "how did you get there?" followed up by even more inane "how did you get in the ice?" This is actually the only purpose Katara continues to serve throughout the entire movie. She could be played by a parrot-monkey at this rate, and I'm sure it's just as formidable in its fighting skills. Its voice would be less wheedling as well.

In the midst of these pleasantries, a Fire Nation ship conveniently notices this light display. I had to stop the film because watching "Zuko" for the first time was so ridiculous I couldn't hear anything from laughing so hard. Poor Zuzu is still impotent and banished, but his famous scar looks like he cut himself shaving and then slept on candle wax to try and cover it up. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if that's what he did. He must be desperate for something to distract from all his other shortcomings and his perpetual pouting.

Zuko is as intimidating as a wet mop when he announces he wants all the elderly brought to him. Since he's never been one for indirectness, I assume he simply forgot he was searching for the Avatar and was trying to pick up women for Uncle. Explaining to your hostages what you want only works if you're specific. Luckily, someone decides that Aang is bald and flap-jowl enough to count, where Zuko whisks him off to his ship and has an unwashed transient (apparently it's Uncle Fatso, I'm very far from being surprised) is brought in to prove he is the Avatar. Because being the last airbender is not enough to suggest it, but this part I can forgive since I always knew my brother was slow.

They conduct a test to determine whether or not he is the Avatar. Each element reacts to him without any prompting, which neither makes sense nor compelling tension. If bending is an extension of our wills then simply not making it react would be easy enough, but I had already forgotten everyone here is an idiot. After "succeeding" in the tests, he decides to make his escape. Since they did not see fit to chain him or restrain him in any way except for telling him to sit in a corner, it is an easy path from the interrogation room to the deck. Zuko even has a chance to catch up, only to waste it telling him he has no where to run as Aang is holding out his glider. He then watches without even throwing a parting shot as the Avatar slips out of his grip, as he did with every other opportunity in his life.

I had never thought that anyone would surpass my brother in his own shortsighted foolishness, since he has set the bar so low for failure. How distressing to realize the one to do it would be a theatrical exaggeration of himself. If I could feel pity for him it would be in this moment. Thankfully, I never have and don't intend to start.

Without making use of Sokka's "tracking" skills, the Water Tribe barbarians and their flying rug meet up with the flying boy by chance. Aang seems a step ahead of the game as he realizes "the Fire Nation is up to something" after eluding capture and having a test conducted to prove he is the Avatar. I could blame the air deprivation of being trapped for a hundred years for his mental processing but why start with excuses now. The other two politely decline to mention what they had been whining about at the start. Most likely because Katara had been going off on another moralistic rant during their trip and overexerted herself. She says nothing else except questions she has yet to ask outside of her narration and repeat what her brother says. See. Parrot-monkey.

Apparently the Avatar's power is not in mastering all four elements but "changing people's hearts." It sounds so disgustingly naive I might have to take it as sincere. The only time a war is one in people's hearts is if you inflict enough damage on it that the organ ceases to work. It is a very efficient method of dealing with people, but sadly not what they mean.

They go out helping the poor downtrodden Earth Kingdom people, who really should be grateful the Fire Nation hasn't wiped them out in an act of mercy. To compare to real circumstances, I have heard reports of revolts staged by the Avatar; however, these were all minor earthbender prisons and none of the facts sounded anything like the movie's version of events. Here, a cowardly brat is running from Fire Nation soldiers--or at least thugs wearing their armor, as they are so disorganized they couldn't pass the first year of military academy. He runs behind the Avatar's group for help, and they are all quickly taken to prison without a fight. Not from clever strategy or baiting, no. Simply that Aang is uninterested in doing anything and Katara's attempt at waterbending froze her brother. She's not even useless now, but a liability.

This is where I became firmly convinced there must be some level of satire involved. The earthbender prison is simply the area of a village cut off from the rest of the houses. It is surrounded by earth. In fact, the other walls are made of naturally occurring mountains and not iron. Only a handful of guards are posted with giant metal cauldrons of fire standing around easily kicked over if someone decided to try, or even bump into it by accident. And I would be more concerned with the latter more than anything. The guards don't even worry about earthbenders tripping over the things, probably bitterly complaining that babysitting two year olds would take more effort than this. I know for a fact Mai's brother was more troublesome.

Oh, but it does not stop being ridiculous there. Once inside, the Avatar has to remind the earthbenders that they can move dirt! Apparently one changes hearts by reminding people of very obvious observable facts. Only when these pathetic, spineless fools are promised protection under the Avatar do they bother throwing rocks around. It takes six of them in simultaneous movement to have one stone float by slowly to a waiting soldier, who was apparently standing by and listening to the Avatar's speech of revolt with little care. It's not as if the rebellion was very compelling. I've seen better choreography and special effects in those stupid dance shows Ty Lee always bothers with. Even that foreign land of "Bollywood" had more coordination. In fact, in the time it spent most of the rebels to perform a bending move I had already calculated twenty ways to incapacitate them and four ways to torture them slowly for wasting my time.

This paltry attempt is the start of their so-called rebellion and they only speak about the subsequent dance offs or whatever you call them. Hardly disappointing, as there's nothing to learn in strategy or even realistic conflict by these displays. So instead I will discuss how this film has butchered the departed Commander Zhao.

Poor Zhao's only interest seems to be dropping hints to my father that he can read because has gone to a mysterious library. Honestly, every time he shows up he's going on about this library as if it's the only thing he's done in his entire career. It's pathetic, since Zhao was an ambitious captain, but here he is reduced to a heel who can offer my father nothing else but mysterious scrolls and tattling over my brother's idiotic attempts at restoring his honor. And all the information would have been best conveyed by messenger hawk and not personal meetings. Dad would have banished anyone from his presence if they kept interrupting him with such trivialities, especially to leave a posted position behind just to announce that once again his son is a bumbling idiot. There was a reason he was exiled and his face was burned, he wanted Zuko out of his sight. Although it is easy to forget since scar or motivation both are hardly noticeable here.

Speaking of dear Zuzu, his parts are strangely the closest I can imagine to being accurate. I assume this means the play's source must have been him or someone from his ragtag crew, which explains so much about the rest of the story sympathizing with his ineptitude and making it seem like Dad cared enough to listen to what he was doing in exile. I bet it was Uncle, since he gave himself the ability to "burn fire from his own chi" as if that's something worth recognizing. I could have performed his ultimate technique when I was four. Oh, and I did love the part where he explains to a random child that Dad would have let me fight him. I suspect if that were the case Zuko would have been exiled for peeing himself in the Agni Kai arena. Another aside, pronouncing it as an Agni Key makes it sound like everyone is some swampbender, this writer is clearly an uncultured hack.

So, after taking a few public, if not unprofessionally petty swipes at Zuko's status (honestly Zhao, I've seen more subtlety from girls at the Academy, we had finesse at back-handed conversation) Zhao comes upon the brilliant ideas to lay traps for the Avatar. Of course, they don't mention the disadvantages of this. Such as how we had no way of determining where he would appear so devoting that amount of firepower--or, more accurately, torchholding stand ins--would spread us thin. However, the Avatar seemed single minded in his interests and so narrowing it down to the Air Temples seemed to work. Perhaps because Aang needed to remind himself that he was an airbender and air surrounded him in order to not choke on his own inability to breathe.

Having captured the Avatar at the temple, Zhao delivers a lackluster speech that I've forgotten by now. There was a disappointing absence of gloating (a wonderful perk of always being the winner). It's just as well since the "mysterious" Blue Spirit, or at least a giant tumbleweed with a blue painted face, shows up to free Aang from his chains. They try to escape and have an agonizingly slow fight surrounded by firebenders who don't use the fire surrounding them until three minutes into the conflict. The Avatar even manages to escape on the training poles. You know, the ones soldiers are required to run across as part of their morning drills. I didn't see the remainder of the fight because I was too busy rolling my eyes at this display. But once Zhao has them cornered the Blue Spirit puts his sword at the Avatar's throat, an obvious bluff on killing him which seems counterproductive since he spent so much time trying to save him. It's only after looking at his face for a long moment that Zhao recognizes he's Zuko. I can't imagine how that worked, as he wasn't one for subtlety and we never received suspicion of my brother's connection to that petty thief. Although, since Zuzu's the type for lame theatrics, I would have suspected it sooner if the Blue Spirit was worth my notice.

Even our illustrious Yu Yuan Archers are shafted in this movie, as Zhao orders one of them to fire on their retreat and they shoot a single arrow at them. One would be more than enough to incapacitate an enemy, however when Aang is still moving around enough to take off the Blue Spirit mask, react with a slow dawning realization (his awareness of the outside world does not improve), and skip around in a circle to generate a covering fog, it is insulting given the reloading time for a skilled archer is eight seconds on average to simply fire another arrow at his head and end this suffering once and for all. Actually, in that time it could have been possible to fire twenty three arrows, six long spears, a group of five or more to throw fire across the bridge, and possibly load up a fire catapult and smash them into paste. This movie is so boring I had to keep finding some necessary diversion.

It continues on its tedious journey, where everyone keeps repeating the same tired old issues they have. Zuko is a pathetic loser. Uncle wishes Zuko would focus on girls instead of the elderly and twelve year old boys. Katara is useless. Sokka is useless and his warrior mullet is even uglier than usual. Zhao shows the most initiative by explaining Zuko's traitorous behavior and then trying to blow up his ship, which is the one true account of the whole mess. Of course, the movie tried to make it sound like Dad wanted Zhao to leave Zuko alone to his traitorous folly. This decision was most likely to make Zhao's attempts look like an act of disloyalty, but it just makes everyone sound indecisive and wrong. You can tell because this Fire Lord Ozai actually questions whether or not Zuko would succeed in capturing the Avatar, as if he had faith in him.

It was a nice moment as it allowed me my second laugh in this dull and insipid play.

I don't think I should bother explaining the siege of the North Pole. To waste words on description would be giving it more attention than it's worth. I will say that Aang's reaction to a Fire Nation armada by demanding a place to meditate seems to suit the bizarre situation. Of course being faced with an overwhelming superior force the first thing you do is run away and take deep cleansing breaths. If there was a nearby patch of sand for him to stick his head in he might have taken that route as well.

Apparently the Northern Water Tribe is not accurately constructed as well. Instead of a chiefdom it has a princess who is not actually a leader but a figurehead to serve as "inspiration." She spends the entire time asking stupid questions and doing nothing. If I strove to find something positive to say about her princess duties it would be that she has erect posture. Otherwise she is only meant to serve as some barbaric sacrifice to fish. I really can't comment on the stupidity of killing a fish as a moon spirit, only that it must come from some deeply delusional place brought on by head trauma and cactus juice. Even Zhao seems unconvinced of the motivation, simultaneously saying it's a childish superstition and a necessary obstacle to overcome in order to take our place as gods. It resulted in the only emotional reaction I had for that movie--a craving for stir fried ahi.

The film ends with the Avatar calling up a wall of water, which could easily destroy the Fire Nation navy except he doesn't since the Avatar "isn't supposed to cause harm." Considering the decimation of the North Pole invasion was our major reason for halting the invasion I can't see how that logic would follow. But then the reports cited a giant koi monster so I will just have to believe the northern climate makes people go crazy. After he finishes he has everyone kneeling before him as part of some ritual and he is meant to bow back as part of his "acceptance." This is given far more significance than is necessary, especially since that is the finishing shot of the movie. I assume it is meant to signify the soul crushing defeat and humility they feel at allowing the audience to witness this travesty and all are begging for my forgiveness.

Yes, it is absolutely the final shot of the movie and there is nothing left after that. Not even credits. And there was no pretense of writing a second one. I would make sure of that because, so help me, if he tries I will hunt him down, dimensional differences or not. I will even accept an alliance with that dirty earthbender to ensure this is stopped immediately.

So, to summarize. I learned nothing from this film that I had not already discerned from my own travels. Such as my brother likes to play dress up and get hit by sharp objects. The rest of the information flips between outright ridiculous and simply inane. It was a complete waste of time. And while this movie is not quite "an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented," it is not refined enough to be truly torturous, which is an inventive and entertaining profession. Everything about this is tedious and mind-numbing, and I would think it useful enough to present as an option between repeated viewings and brainwashing by my Dai Li agents.

Hmm, maybe there's a use for this movie after all.

Date: 2010-07-12 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-07-12 07:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-07-12 07:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-07-12 07:56 am (UTC)
lluvia: Simon&Boota ‡ Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann ‡ Gainax (Sobold~)
From: [personal profile] lluvia
i love you so much

sooooo much

Date: 2010-07-12 08:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As long as it's more than Zuko!--I mean.

No, I sort of mean that. But I'm glad you found it entertaining. It makes all the pain of watching it feel worth it. Slightly.

Date: 2010-07-12 08:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

MOSTLY I AM AWED BY THE BRAVENESS SHOWN IN WILLINGLY WATCHING THAT THING. But the fruits of your valiant effort are absolutely wonderful, so. ;;d

Date: 2010-07-12 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

But we watched it together on IRC and had a nice bonding moment of crying over how terrible it was, and since the Gaang's opinions ( are generally well voiced in fandom.

Butt ♥♥♥

Date: 2010-07-12 08:02 am (UTC)
virtuallyroyalty: (a winner is you)
From: [personal profile] virtuallyroyalty
This is amazing ♥!!

...e-erect posture.

Date: 2010-07-12 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well she wasn't using her head

...that way.

Date: 2010-07-12 08:06 am (UTC)
virtuallyroyalty: (dialogue tree)
From: [personal profile] virtuallyroyalty
Oh my

Date: 2010-07-12 12:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] are wonderful omg.

Date: 2010-07-12 12:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...honey you are my favorite

Date: 2010-07-12 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is truly the greatest test of poor decisions I've made so far. It made me long for Spider-Man 3.

Date: 2010-07-12 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How are you so amazing ♥♥♥♥♥

Date: 2010-07-12 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I pretend to be Azula on the internet, surely some of the amazing has to seep through.


Date: 2010-07-12 05:30 pm (UTC)
iseeyouflaming: Icon made by <lj site="" user="achtung_baby">! &hearts; (I HAVE SEDUCED YOU Y/Y/MFY)
From: [personal profile] iseeyouflaming

Date: 2010-07-12 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-07-12 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-07-12 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
this is the most amazing thing ever. BEST REVIEW YET.

Date: 2010-07-13 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-07-21 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I am so glad I went to catch up on the Network. You have made an otherwise dreary day so much better. ♥

Date: 2010-07-21 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad I could brighten up your day! ♥

Date: 2010-12-12 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-12-13 09:29 am (UTC)
the_ex_in_xp: (Drama club's tears will be real today!)
From: [personal profile] the_ex_in_xp
The pain and suffering tasted like candy! Thank you!

Date: 2010-12-14 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Icon love too. :D
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