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Avatar the Last Airbender Movie 2010

Avatar the last airbender movie cast

Nicola Peltz  Katara

Noah Ringer  Aang

Jackson Rathbone  Sokka

Seychelle Gabriel  Princess Yue

Dev Patel  Zuko

Summer Bishil  Azula

Shaun Toub  Iroh

Aasif Mandvi  Admiral Zhao

Cliff Curtis  Firelord Ozai

Jessica Andres  Suki

Written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

Focus your dreams like a laser and they will become a laser

Avatar: The Last Airbender Movie tells the story of a young boy, an avatar, who has within him the power to control the four classical elements of Chinese philosophy – Air. Water. Fire. Earth. Originally a cartoon series on Netflix, the series created such a groundswell of enthusiasm and interest that Paramount Pictures decided to make it into a movie using live actors. The projected numbers looked good during the first few weeks at the box office, so Paramount has nothing to beef about. But fans of the original Netflix series went on a rampage, calling the film everything from a boondoggle to cinematic swill.

Avatar The Last Airbender Movie is likely to go down in the annals of cinema history, then, as a Titanic-class debacle. DVD sales and live streaming were initially strong, but that, too, has tapered off. Paramount’s only hope of really making a killing on the film is if it becomes a negative cult classic like Plan 9 From Outer Space. Let’s hope they’re not holding their breath for that to happen.

Bad movies pose many philosophical points of interest. What makes a movie bad? How do good directors and good actors/actresses manage to create a turkey? Why do studios insist on spending fortunes on making sequels and prequels to movies that, quite frankly, stink? And so on. In this particular case, Avatar The Last Airbender Movie may be said to have betrayed the basic core message of the Netflix cartoon series. Which is that all children have it within themselves to tap into strength and inspiration they may never have known they had. Some children feel this in their bones, and some are completely oblivious, or beaten down, and never realize the truth of it. To put it another way, in the language of a mainstream Christian religion, “I am a child of God.”

There is a narrative thread through both modern and ancient myth about the latent power of children. Their innocence is a conduit to a power that adults no longer possess, because they have ‘grown up.’ This is made blatantly clear in works like ‘Peter Pan’ or the story of the child Samuel in the Old Testament. 

In these stories and belief systems, when a child is trained to focus their attention, to reach deep within to find their true potential, they can literally move mountains. This wish fulfillment fantasy runs deep in Western civilization as well as in most others. Focus like a laser and become a laser. But that’s only for the children. Adults need to be doused with radioactive waves or ingest frothing beverages before they can perform any feats of fantastic strength.

We like to think that our children do indeed possess superpowers of some sort, as a hedge against growing up to becoming scrubbed out drudges like ourselves. The kids are all avatars of one sort or another, in the minds of parents. Some push their children to the brink of madness to discover and develop an avatar-ness. Others, more wiser, step back and let their kids develop as they will, intervening only when dangerous habits and practices threaten their normal development.

Avatar The Last Airbender Movie 2

Like Bigfoot, it’s nothing but a wishful legend. There were initial talks and hope that a second film would lift the curse laid on the first one by fans and critics. But then Netflix went ahead with a second season of their Avatar Airbender cartoon series, and that seems to have put the kibosh on another live action film. Plus Netflix has plans to make their own live action Avatar Airbender movie. It’s starting to get a bit confusing – there should be an algorithm to get this sorted out once and for all.

However . . . 

There are determined fans of the movie and of M. Night Shyamalan who insist that, like Dixie, the second movie shall rise again. These are the same people who keep the Flat Earth Society in funds and going strong.

 

Pursuing a fallacy to the edge of the cliff, and then continuing on over, is the mark of so many groups in our shambling day and age. Whether it’s contesting a legitimate election or crusading for a second movie when the original did a belly flop, the country seems filled with more and more wild-eyed delusional people bent on having their own fantasies foisted on others – no matter the cost.

This is why America, at least cinematic America, is at the crossroads. Bad movies make good money and good movies make bad money, and the only movies Hollywood wants to continue making are those featuring men in capes and women who glow in the dark. And audiences seem to go along with this revolting canoodle. 

We live in a comic book world

Yes, we live in a comic book world. Avatar: The Last Airbender Movie cost $150 million to make. That’s more than the entire yearly budget of some Third World countries. The Marvel Universe and the D.C. Multiverse have shanghaied our movies until the basics are forgotten and the magician’s concealed pockets and misdirection are credited with being the truth. If you want sane adult intellectual entertainment, you have to go to Broadway. No . . wait . . . their shows are either retreads or so far out that you have to bring your therapist with you. By the power of Greyskull! The only thing left is to check out a book from the library and go read in bed. But we can still take comfort in the fact that American movie theaters still make the best popcorn in the world.

Have you ever tasted movie popcorn in Great Britain? Styrofoam.

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