Nostalgia Critic Commentary - The Last Airbender

(107 votes, average 4.82 out of 5)
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  • starfall42
    Just a reminder - Korra resumes Friday. There's also a new preview.
  • AnImE-TriX  - Before Avatar there was.....
    avatar
    Hi Mr. Crittic I LOVE you for watching Avatar sorry I couldn't comment for all episodes like I wanted to but I Just got an account here. I was so glad you enjoyed it I knew you would since I know about you likes in Movies and such.I have been a fan since High school of yours, But there is still one show from Nicklelodion that i think you should whatch it's called "Invader Zim" other than "Avatar the Last Airbender" Zim is my other favoriet. I cant pick one over the other Zim is the best show of it's kind. It being a dark comedy. This show is so funny and memorable like it's characters. It has a huge cult following. It even has it's own con. But what sets this show apart is that it was cancelled it only ran for a season and a half yet ten years latter people still celebrate it share it and talk about it because it's so good and realatable it also sells well in Hot Topic. Anyway it's just a suggestion you have seen the best in serious cartoons that have action and good narative (Avatar) so now I just want to tell you if you would be interested on doing Zim. Oh I know it would be awesome. I think you might like it, it has beutiful and advanced animation for it's time, great sound track that fits perfectly with the show, and interesting visuals, anyway thanks for your reviews. I apretiate and love your commedy. I will always be expecting more till next review..:)
  • Elphaba645
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    Yes! Do the cabbage guy thing! Plus, Momo doesn't need a point. Momo rocks.
  • Mousy Voice  - Why firebenders need to be able to create fire.
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    I personally hated that the firebenders had to rely on an outside source of fire, and it's because of why it was done. Shyamalan thought that firebenders were too powerful because they can create fire at will and thus he thought it best to limit firebenders by forcing them to rely on outside sources of fire. This idea is bullshit for two reasons: One, it's clearly established in the show that each of the elements have their strengths and weaknesses. Firebenders can create fire at will, but the other elements can still one up that power through other means like how earthbenders can bend a wide variety of materials, or how waterbenders can change water into ice or steam, etc. The second reason why it's a dumb idea is because it gives the firebenders too big of a handicap because in order to fight, they would need to have an actively burning fire nearby at all times. All the opposing bender would need to do is just put out the fire with their element and the firebender is instantly powerless. Granted, none of the protagonists every consider this, but that just makes the whole thing even more asinine than it already is.
  • FireFlyan  - Re: Mousy Voice
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    I completely agree! The Avatar world is based on balance. When you handicap an element like that, how is it more even to the other elements? It's not, but then again, with how weak everyone was with their bending in this movie, maybe the firebenders really would have been too strong. :/
  • TragicGuineaPig
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    Not only that, but fire isn't really a substance like the other elements. It's energy in the form of heat. It actually makes sense that the firebender's power would come being able to generate heat energy without the need for the presence of fire.
  • Mauropteryx
    Yay, a commentary.

    The Daily Show guy is Aasiv Mandvi (and I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong).

    I think I would have been more ok with the "need to have a fire source" weakness if anybody used it. Instead every area has a multitude of torches around ready to use for any firebender.
  • batfan
    avatar
    I love how half of these this is defending the reboot. Loved the review. Great to have a commentary.
  • Dacilriel
    Yay, thank you for doing commentary for this episode!
  • WilsonT011
    Mark Wahlberg sucks

    His brother, Donnie, is a better overall acting. I bet Donnie would had been a better "Max Payne"
  • world_dancer
    Good commentary. And one of the things I thought was good about the review was how you made a rather important point about what made the movie bad at the end. That was the high point.

    In regards to making an Avatar movie, I think it could have been done as a series, but the first book should have been broken into 2 pieces. Make it a new book, call it "Air" and have it be a bit more meandering. Have it focus on Aang and his initial playfulness. Toss in Suki & Kyoshi, Bumi, Katara & the Waterbending training scroll (perhaps acquired from Jet in this case to condense the story), and end the first part with Ruku's temple. Gives all 3 of our protagonists something to do while working in the back story and showing Zuko fruitlessly pursuing.

    I'd then go with a second movie titled "Water" where you stick in Aang's initial attempts at Firebending/Katara healing, Batu of the Water Tribe testing Sokka, and spend at least 30 minutes on the Northern Water Tribe story (I always felt Sokka and the Princess could have used a bit more time for the romance). I know you're not as fond of the gendered jobs issue, and I'll admit it's an old trope, but if you set up Kyoshi warriors in the first movie, you can work on some parallels to the issue of gendered jobs and training. And also it gets you an awesome waterbending face off. End that movie where the series ends season one, and you should be good to go for season two/movie 3, Earth.

    Though even that may be too little space.

    Other that that, I'm surprised you dislike your Catwoman review in retrospect. I think you had to do something to make it different from the Nostalgia Chick's review, since she'd done it recently, and as I said then, your Catwomen were all enjoyable.
  • Darth_Chaos7  - Title Screen
    I just realized that the japanese in the title screen "???????" literally means "This movies sucks/blows" (even though though the verb's technically only used to mean 'smoking cigarettes xD).
  • Firelock
    avatar
    I think the aggravation some people feel towards the mispronunciation of the character names, comes from real life experiences. Growing up as a kid you want to make sure people pronounce your name the same way you do, and that often sticks with people throughout their lives. So when a characters name is mispronounced from what you know it's supposed to be, you automatically want to correct it.

    That or people just like to jump on the what-will-annoy-the- critics-band-wagon. I dunno.
  • Mysteic  - Pronouncing the Names
    avatar
    I can't speak for the entire Internet, but the reason the name thing bugs me is thus:

    While the animated shows had very Asian roots, the creators decided to distance themselves from that a little and leave the influence in the background. I can't say as to why, but one of the methods of do this was was to go with a more western pronunciation for everything.

    M. Night Shamaladingdong took it upon himself to say, "The original creators were wrong. The names should be pronounced this way." In most cases I would let this go, but the movie was just so terrible. All the things wrong with the movie, all the stuff they could have done, all the material left out, etc. BUT the names...those have to go. For me it became the icon of how shit that film was and how little respect ShamWowadingbat had for the material. When I heard people say the names the way the movie does, it was like pouring salt in a open wound.

    I think many of my fellow Avatar fans and Internet counterparts feel the same. The pronunciation of the names was just another way to distance the unbelievable animated show far far from the tragedy of that film. Its a way of saying "This is my version of the show and I refuse to acknowledge the movies existence."
  • DangerousLoki  - Actually....
    If you look at the names of the characters they are Chinese in origin. Chinese pronounciation is not like Japanese pronunciation of words and are actually closer to english pronuciation. The name Aang is Chinese, as is Iroh and all the names chosen with the exception of Sokka and Katara are very Chinese oriented where as Katara and Sokka both sound like names that might be used by Asian Tribes. Which fits with their more Innuit basis. So with the Chinese pronounciation, the show was completly right. It's the Rob (And probably Shaymalan as well) were focused on the "anime" style of the series and thinking of Japanese pronounciation. Of course, Aang is not a Japanese name, nor is Iroh or Sokka. The way the G, H, and K stand singular is the indication of this. Japanese Hiragana, the Kanji usually used to write names, does not allow this the only consonant that stands singular is the N. Just for the record.
  • Vismutti
    avatar
    It's unfortunate how fixed we are on written forms when the original form of language is spoken language. Even now for pretty much everyone who isn't hearing impaired, spoken language is the first they learn as children.

    The names of the characters are never once written with Western letters in the show (in-story) and still people fixate on the spelling.

    Besides, why would anybody bother to wonder about the pronunciation when it's RIGHT THERE IN THE SHOW. You hear them pronounce the names! What is so hard about that!?

    And seriously it still annoys me that Doug acts like it's his right to choose how to pronounce Mako's name. Names aren't like words, people. I don't care how you pronounce tomato, but if it's a person's NAME you should pronounce it RIGHT. It's just a basic form of respect. I understand if you don't know how to say it but he DOES know. There's no excuse. It's just disrespectful to go "I don't care how you pronounce your name, I wanna pronounce it like this." It's even stupider considering that the way he pronounces Mako sounds like Meiko which is a completely different Japanese name. If I didn't know who he was talking about, I'd be confused as hell.

    I wonder what Doug would think if someone decided that his name should totally be pronounced "dog" or something? Or something even more ridiculous.

    Actually, I think from now on I'll pronounce his name as if it was Finnish because I'm Finnish so I should totally be allowed to pronounce it like that, right? So it'll be Doh-oog from now on.
  • Bloodrealm
    Using a double consonant is a common practice in Romanization of Japanese to show that the emphasis is on the previous syllable, and putting a 'h' after an 'o' is sometimes used in Romanization to help stupid people realize it's a long 'o' sound (as opposed to a short 'o' or a long 'u' sound). Therefore, the first 'k' in Sokka and the 'h' in Iroh are not necessarily proof of them not being Japanese-rooted names.
  • Rider Dragon
    avatar
    Doug should hear what he said when Last Airbender came out. Where he thought reviewers were against him and that they didn't understand.
  • world_dancer
    Oh, and I forgot to add that the plaidepus bunny is awesome. And makes a great running gag for the current post-plot hole "critic" universe.
  • The Dark Avenger
    There is a new epic Legend of Korra Book 2 trailer that came out today. Boy does it look awesome. Can't wait for Friday.
  • HS199432
    avatar
    Hey, have you guys heard M. Night Shitonyourchild is making a live action Yu-Gi-Oh! film? Be very afraid.
  • eph1027
    please tell me you're lying
  • Hinatachan360
    avatar
    I...I just experienced physical recoil just reading your announcement. I already feel a horrible foreboding within!
  • Zeldatrek
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    That might be so crazy it just might work! As long as you consider most Yu-Gi-Oh episodes are exposition. But I'm sure M can still screw that up.
  • Rue_Ryuzaki2
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    My heart almost stopped from reading that. I think I'll need a defibrillator if he gets the green light to do it.
  • Mandalf The Beige
    Please do a Sibling Rivalry Review with Rob as well. I would love to see you guys together ripping this one apart.
  • minnie3434
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    I'm so glad to here Doug's views on this since he's the one who actually seen them
  • Rising Advent
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    "We need to prove to the Fire Nation that we believe in our beliefs as much as they believe in their beliefs."

    I'm surprised you didn't bring that up. I honestly thought that was worse than anything George Lucas ever wrote.
    And it's not like Lucas or Shyamalan have always made bad dialogue. Have you seen American Graffiti? It has some pretty good lines. "I will love this car till death do us part."
  • javi
    avatar
    I wonder if he will ever do vlogs on Doctor Who when he's done with season two of Legend of Korra?

    And about what Shyamalan said on Newsweek with Pokemon, he almost tried to make the world in this movie post apocalyptic. I first found that out from Miles Antwiler when both Spoony and his brother did their own vlog on this massive disaster and it made me wonder how that was even possible. Even Roger Ebert thought that this movie was set in a post apocalyptic future. This like how Richard Kelley, writer and director of Donnie Darko, tried to set the movie Holes into a post apocalyptic future and then was rejected by not following the original source material.

    29:00 - For crying out loud movie, love at first sight is only a figure of speech!

    29:20 - I have yet to see that version of Hamlet!
  • Autisticwriter
    I think Doug makes a valid point in the first few minutes of the commentary. Like how he brought back the Critic. I suspected there would be changes as I was watching The Review Must Go On. I also heard complains of Rachel and Malcolm being on his show. I think they are a great addition to the Nostalgia Critic’s reviews. I like the way how Doug takes his reviews to another level. Plus, you have to admit his editorials are amazing.

    I have to hand it to every reviewer on the site beside Doug. They take time out of their lives to produce well to wonderful episodes of their shows. I am grateful for it and I would understand if there is complications in their lives or if something goes wrong with their equipment. Like Lewis (A.K.A Linkara) said, there are other videos you could watch on the site. I am not sure if the Last Airbender should be reviewed on its own. I mean it was a movie based on the show. I would understand if it was Garfield or any other movie based on a comic book or a TV show or another media. Yet, I feel this movie is the exception in which you should reference the show.

    I expected this review to be big like he said. Also, glad he reviewed this movie in the eyes of a fan. I mean I was looking forward to this movie (I haven’t seen the movie all the way through and I don’t want to) and it was a giant let down. I couldn’t get past the first words it uttered. Well, people say where are the good shows that Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, or the Disney channel use to have. What people don’t realize is that there are still some good shows. They might be a little better or not as good as the older shows, but some have some potential.

    I saw the six people moving that small rock that has to go down as the best EPIC FAIL ever. Like I said in my fanfic, I still despise the episode Ember Island Players and I got to admit I still wonder what it would be like if Aang and everyone say the Last Airbender and I would like to believe Doug got the reaction just right.

    I just like every joke Doug could have used. As far as evolving goes, that is what makes the producers of Channel Awesome so Awesome, they use clips, sketches, crossover ideas to do a review instead of standing there just talking about the movie. Also PLATYPUS BUNNY. That sounds like a great idea for a pokemon.

    I enjoyed the commentary Doug and I can’t wait for the next episode.
  • MavenCree
    avatar
    One of the character development moments that they changed the most, pissed me off the most. The death of General Zhao. In the movie, Zuko walks away and he's drowned by 4 nameless waterbenders.

    In the show, he gets taken by the moon spirit wave. Zuko, despite the fact they'd just been fighting, reaches out and tries to save Zhao. Zhao initially reaches back, but then intentionally withdraws his hand. He chooses death rather than accept help from Zuko.

    This scene in the show says sooo much about BOTH of these men. The movie... nothing. Just killing the bad guy.
  • MavenCree
    avatar
    Convince Angry Joe to watch the show. He was livid at the movie and he hadn't even seen the show. He couldn't imagine the show being any good after the film.
  • Razria
    I find that funny that Doug ask if the creator's of the show intended the play episode (can not remember the number or title of the top of my head.)as one big joke. And after listening to the commentary from the creators on that episode. It was design to be a recap episode with the useing the usual flashbacks. Also, they themselves said that the last joke that Soka says, "Well at the special effects where good." at the end was a little jab at them moive. It seems that they knew it wasn't going to be good from the begining.

    Just thought it would be some good bit trivia for you.
  • Warp
    avatar
    I watched the movie before watching the review so that I could better understand the latter.

    While there were a lot of things that bothered me about the movie, the biggest one was that it was compressed beyond recognition. That strong feeling began almost from the very start and continued throughout the entire movie: The pacing felt extremely rushed, entire episodes and subplots from the series had been completely cut out, and even those that had been included were extremely compressed and cut. Many things that took an entire episode in the series were compressed to just a couple of minutes in the movie. I just couldn't help but feel everything been extremely rushed throughout the film.

    Now, of course I understand that you only have 90 minutes to film an entire season of the original series and things have to be cut. However, it's not like this hasn't been done before, and significantly better.

    TVtropes calls it "adaptation distillation", in other words, when you take enormous amounts of material and extract the most significant and important parts of it and create an excellent product that feels complete on its own and really captures the essence of the original. Needless to say, this movie failed at this completely and miserably.

    Also the obnoxious lack of "show, don't tell" also bothered me a lot. As the critic said, they explained and explained and explained, rather than showing. ("Show, don't tell" isn't a hard universal rule, of course, and there are excellent examples where telling is actually more powerful than showing. Needless to say, however, that this film was a perfect example where breaking that rule made the film just horrible.)
  • MarcTaker  - Doug, I don't care if it IS an "overused" joke...
    I've been making it since I first saw the movie. and I saw it on opening night, with my brothers. seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if that DID turn out to be the joke of "The Ember Island Players", that the writers of the show somehow predicted that abridging their show would turn out horribly. You still sold the joke far better than anyone else.
  • elm00
    the tom & jerry part almost made me piss myself
  • BackLash  - The Last Airbender Review was funny as hell...
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    but this was the actual review that express my opinion of the film. Thanks you for doing this commentary.
  • Vismutti
    avatar
    Okay the positive first: I really did love this review, I really did. Never mind any complaints I have. And I'm really, really glad you're doing a commentary on this because it does need one I think.

    But here's my bone to pick with you. It's kind of a small thing but it really annoyed me: The song was totally unnecessary. Aaand even if you do want to do the song to recap, at least only make it season one. There's no reason to spoil the two others: they have nothing to do with this movie. And what is the point of first telling those who haven't seen the show to skip and then explain the show... to people who have already seen the show? What the hell. Just explain the premise without spoilers! And you know people are going to think they don't want to watch the show and thus not skip and only afterwards decide that they actually would have liked to see the show after all. I know, that's their fault but as a fan of the show I don't want it ruined for anyone, whether it's their own fault or not...

    Again, explaining the general idea of the show is fine! But the spoilers are completely pointless!

    I agree about animation, though. I really wish western tv and movies used it more even for adults. Anime has sort of opened my eyes about it: you can do so much more with animation, after all. Especially for fantasy and sci-fi stuff. And maybe historical stuff too. Especially in TV that probably cuts down the expences and lets you do way more since you can put in all sorts of cool stuff without really increasing your budged too much (as far as I know anything about animation).

    I've gone on about this even in the comments of this site before but... I still think they should have made Harry Potter animated! The books are cartoony as hell! The characters are described in really exaggerated ways! Real life actors just can't replicate that, unless you find some really specific actors for the roles and that would seriously limit your options. Seriously, the books are practically MADE to be animated.

    I am really glad you mentioned how Shyamalan sucks all the "talent" out of actors. (Maybe more like "all the acting" maybe? Talent is more like a potential, after all. x)) Because you really, really can't blame the actors for shitty directors. The actors had nothing to work with. And I think Shyamalan must have even actually asked for the wooden performances. I think he LIKES them that way. Look at Noah Ringer behind the scenes and compare that to him in the movie: HE'S MUCH MORE LIKE AANG IN REAL LIFE THAN HE IS WHEN HE'S PLAYING THE CHARACTER! I don't know WHAT Shyamalan told him to suck out all the energy and fun out of him.

    I thought the caption correction was kinda funny. I knew it wasn't intentional but it worked for me. Especially since it was in that direction: as in, five guys only being able to move one rock they could more easily and with less energy just THROW is f...
  • Vismutti
    avatar
    I thought the caption correction was kinda funny. I knew it wasn't intentional but it worked for me. Especially since it was in that direction: as in, five guys only being able to move one rock they could more easily and with less energy just THROW is funny, it actually being six guys just makes it slightly more ridiculous.

    The Korra references were great!

    As someone who didn't like Signs either, yeah, Shyamalan is full of shit. As far as one can say that without personally knowing the guy. Sure, I believe he's taking his work seriously but that's about the only good thing I can say about him nowadays. It's been 13 years since Unbreakable, you do need to make more actually good movies to keep the respect. (Although I did actually like The Village.... If I actually bothered to rewatch that I might even call it a good movie. Maybe. It's been nine years, I can't remember it well enough and I was much younger and less critical at the time. (Not that being less critical about movies is always a bad thing: you do enjoy them more that way.))

    I really appreciate the analysis. I admit I kinda didn't even realize you'd started doing it more. But it really works. Just making fun of movies WOULD get old sooner or later, especially since you do it every week for years.

    Yeah, the Ember Island Players joke has been done but I didn't mind seeing it re-done. It's good enough to repeat a couple of times. Plus I kinda would have missed it if it wasn't there.
  • NicoleA
    Just want to say, Doug: after this review - one of the best you've ever done, seriously - I was inspired to start watching Avatar and ended up buying all three seasons on DVD. I'd caught a handful of episodes before (and I'd actually been watching Korra) and always meant to watch the whole series, and my roommate had raved about the show for a long time. But it was your praise of the show that finally pushed me to check it out and I'm so grateful for that.

    I love that this review was both a hilariously on-point takedown of this disaster of an adaptation but also a celebration of the original show. You hit just the right notes of nerd rage, bewilderment, and almost DELIGHT at how awful the movie is. :D And eventually a kind of acceptance - trying to adapt it at all was doomed from the start, and it doesn't take anything away from the series. A series I can't *wait* to get home and watch more of. :)
  • starfall42
    I think Mike and Bryan are genre-savvy enough to realize that a movie adaption was probably going to suck.

    Like someone else said, "Ember Island" was meant to be a recap episode before the finale, done in funny way. Sokka even says it's the time-wasting nonsense he's been missing. The show had been on over three years since the premiere.

    At least they weren't all sitting around the campfire saying, "Hey, remember that day we first met Aang?" (fade to clip)

    Note that their version was badly overacted, rather than the badly underacted version Shyamalan produced.
  • TheWelshPirate
    avatar
    Yet they still managed to have actress-Katara in the episode channel Nicole Peltz' way of sounding like she's on the verge of bursting in to tears throughout the entire movie.
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