I’m Back

Hey Internet!

I still exist.  And I’m here because I’m starting a new project.

Have you ever seen Brad Neely’s brilliant “Wizard People, Dear Reader?”  If not, check out a piece of it here:

The Cribbage Match

Basically, I want to do the same thing.  Create an alternate audio track.  During Stampede, to avoid the heat, we sat in the basement a lot, and we watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And I want to change all the words.  I just need to do a few things.

1. Script a very long movie

2. Synch up the timing with the action on the screen

3. Buy the audio equipment to produce the script

4. Figure out how to work the audio equipment.

5. Record my super long script.

6. Produce it

7. Distribute it

8. Repeat 2 times.

So let’s see how this goes…

 

Published in: on July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

The Last Airbender

The Last Airbender

 I was so excited for The Last Airbender, based on the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender.  It was something I wanted to see live action so badly, because the story and writing in the original were so great, and to see the special effects based on that animation would be incredible.

Then I found out this douche bag was the director

M Night Gofuckyourself

 M. Night Shyamalan used to be cool.  I mean, Sixth Sense was great, Unbreakable was cool, but the more we got to know him and his style, the worse he got.  The Happening was absolute shit, as he’d gone too far into his own wierd world of mopey, misunderstood protagonists who are the only ones who know some vital truth that everyone else just needs to get.

The Last Airbender is the first movie he has directed that he didn’t write.  Well, I feel he didn’t write it. Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko wrote the original cartoon, which he adapted.  It would have been fair for M to take the screenwriter credit, but his ego got in the way and took it all.  He did say it was “based” on their series, but that’s like saying Taco Bell is based on Mexican food. 

Actually, that works pretty well.  Technically, everything about it should be Mexican food, but really, it’s kind of shit in the shape of Mexican food.

After seeing The Last Airbender, I owe Michael Bay an apology.  I’m sorry I said all those mean things about you missing the point when you adapted Transformers, Michael.  Maybe you focused a little too much on the humans, instead of the robots.  Maybe it was hard to tell who was fighting who.  Maybe there were major plot-holes.  But when I said you entirely missed the point, I was wrong.  I didn’t know what entirely missing the point was.

I am comfortable with the fact that when you adapt something to a new medium, it changes.  You have to choose to cut out some things.  Harry Potter sometimes misses the coolest things from the books, but it’s okay, because they get the point across.  Lord of the Rings knew exactly what to leave out, and I find the movies to be tighter than the novels.  Dexter, as a TV series, changes major plot points, and I actually love it, because the basis of the characters, and the ideas and themes are the same.

But not with The Last Airbender.  Let’s get the good things I need to say out of the way.  The casting was good, and I feel that M. Night Shyamalan’s choice to change the ethnicities from how they were drawn in the cartoon was fine, especially because he introduced more minorities than the show had, and had a wider range of actors than having strict ethnic requirements for people from fictional nations would have allowed.  The special effects were cool, even if the bending styles weren’t as unique as they were on the show, and you had to wait for the CG to tell you what style Aang was using. 

Now, it hit the major story points from the Book of Water, but that’s really not enough.  Avatar: The Last Airbender, was character driven, with the plot supporting the changes in people.  Shyamalan’s screenplay was more worried about “This happened, and then this happened, and then this happened” than how people changed and learned and grew.

He also changed the names of several characters.  Mostly the ones he ruined.  They are, as follows:

Aang

Aang is the central character, the Avatar and the Last Airbender.  In the cartoon, his name is pronounced so that it rhymes with boomerang or tang.  In the movie, for some reason it rhymes with gong or tong.  If it was a book that was adapted, it would be one thing but there’s three seasons of the show establishing the pronunciation.  But maybe it was supposed to be Ong in the movie, and he was someone different.

I mean, look at that picture.  See how the cartoon is smiling?  That’s because Aang’s journey is that of a happy, joyful pacifist who needs to stop a war in a world that has been solving its problems with violence for one hundred years.  Ong, from the movie, spends the whole time deciding if he can mourn his lost people.  He never laughs, never tells jokes, and never has fun.  It’s not the actors fault.  The kid who played Ong was amazing.  He played the role as written, and directed, and did an incredible job of the stunts.

It’s M. Night Shyamalan who decided to take out Aang’s soul and murder him on the big screen.

Then there’s:

Sokka

In the cartoon, his name rhymes with Chewbacca, or someone missing the ‘r’ on the end of soccer.  In the movie, it’s more like Soakka, like a super-soakka water gun.  Sokka was the indomitable human spirit, able to keep going and overcome adversity through perseverance, planning, and adaptation.  In one episode, the characters are without food, and he tires to trap something.  He ends up trapped himself, and starts praying to the universe.  He offers to give up meat.  Then he offers to give up sarcasm.  “That’s all I’ve got!” he cries to the heavens.  “I’m meat and sarcasm guy!” 

If you took all that away, he’d be Soakka.  Soakka has no motivation.  He just … goes on, sad about the world.  Instead of someone doing their best in a difficult situation, and looking after those around him, he’s … he’s a whiny bitch.  Again, I don’t blame the actor, because Soakka is Mel Gibson in Signs, or Bruce Willis in Unbreakable or Sixth Sense.  Soakka is a guy trapped in a shitty situation, and he just whines his way through it.

Finally there’s

Uncle Iroh

In the cartoon, Iroh rhymes with pyro.  In the film, it rhymes with Nero or Hero, so I’ll spell it Ero.  The animated version is a retired general who has lost his taste for war, and enjoys the simple pleasures in life, from tea, to games, to simple jokes, and makes the most out of every second.  Ero, meanwhile, has lost his taste for war and picked up looking sad in the background to fill his time.  Again, the actor nails what Shyamalan obviously wrote for the role, but seriously…

He took all the joy, and all the humour out, and made sure he didn’t miss any of the big fights.  The actors were good, visually it was good, but it’s hard to watch Shyamalan so completely miss the point.  This was like the first time you watched Phantom Menace, and were expecting Star Wars.  Dolph Lungren was a better He-Man.  Michael Bay’s Optimus Prime didn’t lose his compassion and become a murder bot.

Honestly, it’s so painful to watch Shyamalan rip the souls out of happy, worthwhile characters so that he can paint them with the sadness he feels every day when he walks up and realizes he peaked at Six Sense and will die alone and then I’ll shit on his grave like he did on Avatar: The Last Airbender.