Sunday, September 5, 2010

WTF!?- Last Airbender Casting

This is kind of old news, but I wanted to reserve judgement until I actually saw the actual material. I'm sure most of you have heard about this abomination of a movie The Last Airbender based off the of Nickelodeon cartoon show Avatar: The Last Airbender. What makes it terrible? Oh, just about everything. The script, the cast, the pacing, the characters, the director, but I'm not here to give a full review of the movie, for I only do that with movies I think are good. I wanted to address this whole race controversy that surrounded the film. As you probably know, the movie casted all Caucasian people to play the heros in the film and the only ethnic people portrayed the villains. Okay, that wasn't really the part I thought was racist. Here's my two cents on the problem with the casting.

I know this movie came out awhile ago so this post is a but late, but I didn't want to pay full price to see it so I waited for it to come out at my local cheap-y theater. Tickets are only $4 for night shows (I remember back in day when that was price for matinee tickets! Now its friggin' $18.50 for 3-D!)! I've never fallen asleep in a movie theater before but I was desperately trying to during this film. They should make it illegal for people to have to sit through this sort of torture! Besides from being a terrible movie all around, I couldn't get past the fact of how badly this movie was spitting in the face of Asian culture. What I loved about the cartoon series was it's great use to Asian culture in it's art design, characters, and spiritual influence in the story line. When I saw the original T.V. show, I interpreted the four nations to be the following ethnicities: Water is Inuit, Earth is Japanese/Korean, Fire is Chinese, and Air is Tibetan. Well, apparently Americans don't like to watch non-white protagonists and darkening a white person's hair makes them ethnic. The characters Katara and Sokka, who are part of the water tribe, couldn't have looked any more white. They did a piss poor attempt at making them ethnic looking- a slight tan and a bit darkening of the hair. Their grandmother, the ancient wise woman of the tribe, looked more like she was Dutch or something and had a slight British accent (?????). The entire Southern Water Tribe looked more like a European village. How does this movie expect to be taken seriously!?

The main character Aang, who is suppose to be a young Tibetan monk, appeared all around American and couldn't act if his life depended on it. Why did they pick this kid? I'm sure there are plenty of Asian kids who can act better AND have better martial art skills. The entire Northern Air Temple was consisted of white monks and Monk Gyatso (kind of a Dalai Lama of sorts) was Black or part Black. And lastly, the entire Fire Nation has become entirely South East Asian/Indian. This movie is a complete culture clash. We get a nation full of Indians wearing ancient Chinese amour, writing in Chinese, and living in a Chinese villages. Oh and did I mention some of them were speaking with British accents? Makes absolutely no sense!! Well there is an Indian character later in the catroon series, The Guru; I wouldn't be surprised if they were looking to cast a Mexican to play him. Are we back in the dark days when John Wayne would play any character who was non-white? People over at Paramount must either be either ignorant or stupid. I'm going with stupid. Do movie producers actually believe American audiences can't stand to see non-white actors? Well apprently cause just look at Prince of Persia. What about Slumdog Millionaire?? Or the fact that Will Smith is Hollywoods highest paid actor? Besides the fact that these actors don't match the originals ethnicity wise, they also drained them to a complete void of personality. They were bland, detached, and had absolutely no humor or charisma in them- which is one thing that made the original characters so great. I'm curious to see who they were planning to get to play Toph in the second installment. Probably Megan Fox.

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