lonespark: Toph in Dai Li uniform (Toph)
The movie The Last Airbender is different from AtLA the series in many ways. I'm a bit sympathetic to the general idea of changes. Feature films have to be different from TV series, live action has to be different from cartoons, etc. But when you are cutting or changing you should have good reasons, and those cuts and changes send messages about what you think the valuable parts of the source material are.

Here are some things that do not seem to be valued by the people who made TLA:

Female characters
Bright colors
Dialogue that is good
Fat characters
Bending that looks cool or impressive
People of color who do not need some white kids to save them
Dialogue that is not the worst dialogue in any film I can remember seeing
An Avatar State that actually conveys power and danger
Showing anything that could instead be described through an Exposition Dump of horrible dialogue

Grrr argh I don't even.

This movie is really dark. The only part I remember that seemed to have much light or color in it was when the avatar boy is remembering his childhood in the monastary. And for that to stand out as vibrant and peaceful and fun (but still kind of...dim) is awesome, but everything else is so grim and grimy and drained of color...why?

They pronounce the characters' names differently...why? (It's kind of good, though, because you can be like "Sokka wouldn't do that. But "Soak-a" totally would." "Iroh is a awesome fat guy, but his cousin "Eeeroh" looks different.")

There are some pretty cool bending effects. Firebenders (except super-awesome ones?) seem to need to have fire to do stuff, and that makes a certain amount of sense.

Aasif Manvi appears to be having fun trying to destroy the moon, so that's cool, I suppose. Also, TLA Ozai/Zhao FTW.

To be continued. Brought to you by insomnia and dialogue like "We have to show them we believe in our beliefs just as much as they believe in theirs."
lonespark: Suki in Kyoshi Warrior garb with two fans (Suki)
My kids borrowed the film The Last Airbender from the library and watched it. I know I did this to myself by watching it, but at least it was mostly free? Anyway, ha, I share with you my pain and rage.

I am having a hard time deciding whether to rant first about the HORRIBLE RACE ISSUES or the OVERALL TERRIBLENESS of the movie. I think I will go with terribleness, because it seems to me that the whitewashing bullshit just goes hand in hand with a fundamental misunderstanding of, and disrespect for, the source material.

(Is it always this way with whitewashing? I feel like it is, but maybe there are counter-examples?

I'm thinking about fantasy worlds like Earthsea or The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, where there are pale-skinned people in the story, so by whitewashing you are/would be not only sending the message that people of color are not allowed to be protagonists and heroes; you might also be planting the suspicion, in the minds of people familiar with the source material, that the whitewashed characters are actually Kargish/Arameri/etc.

But anyway, that doesn't really apply to AtLA world.)


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