Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FILM: Star Wars 3D (News)

The Official Star Wars website posted today on Lucasfilm Ltd.'s announcement that the live-action Star Wars film saga will be converted into 3D.

Like the re-release that happened in the late nineties with the original trilogy due to the theater experience having changed, now with the emergence of 3D movies and over a decade after the start of the prequel trilogy it has come time for a new generation of fans (those currently enjoying the Clone Wars animated series on Cartoon Network) to experience the phenomenon that is Star Wars in theaters and for everyone the new experience of 3D visualization. The process will start with Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace scheduled to be released theatrically sometime in 2012.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Star Wars themed picspam.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Supergirl #56 (Review)

Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal
Cover by Amy Reeder & Richard Friend

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

This was one of those rare weeks where several titles stood out and wowed me when I read them, making it hard to choose one over them all. So it was even a surprise to me when I decided that Supergirl #56 was my favorite issue this week, considering how uneven I have felt about the title and all of the Superman Family books these days.

The creative team of writer Sterling Gates and artist Jamal Igle have been on the title for nearly two years now and are just starting to give the book an identity now that the Superman events are over. Gates is a relatively new writer on the comic book scene and I worried that some of my dissatisfaction with the title was due to the writer and not just the New Krypton events but this story arc is starting to soothe my fears about Gates' shaping of Supergirl.

I will be honest when I heard that Bizarro Supergirl was making her debut I was preparing for another story consisting of Supergirl's reputation getting dragged through the mud with the help of Cat Grant's biased reporting and Supergirl making mistakes and being 'sorry' about what she has done. Thankfully after the story zigged that way it then zagged away with this issue. Seeing Kara's concern for Bizarro Supergirl and wanting to do the right thing and return her to Bizarro World to make up for her mistakes during New Krypton and the familial bonding she sees between the Bizarros and the parallel she makes to herself and Superman was wonderful to read.

I have been critical of Jamal Igle's art on Supergirl in the past but that was before I had the chance to see his art elsewhere. It was then that I realized that it was not his pencils that I did not like but a combination of the inking and coloring of the Supergirl book. This issue did not have any of the problems I usually have with the art and instead it contributed to the fun feel of the story, something I hope continues in the title.

And of course I could not forget to mention the lovely cover by Amy Reeder. I have been a fan of her art since I first saw it in the pages of Madame Xanadu and with that title coming to an end I am happy to see her get work within the main DC Universe books. Her style is perfect for Supergirl and I know she will be doing work on the upcoming Batwoman series but I also hope she gets a chance to fill-in for Igle every now and then on the interiors of Supergirl.

Hopefully this issue is an example of things to come with Supergirl now that the World of Krypton mess that had plagued the Superman books for the last two years is firmly in the rear view mirror. The humor and fun in this issue reminded me slightly of reading the Powergirl book during Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray's run.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Supergirl themed picspam.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FILM: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Trailer Breakdown (Commentary)

This past Wednesday, the newest trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was released and I thought I would go ahead and try to point out some of what the trailer shows and what part of the story it is from. Spoilers ahead. Enjoy!

0:11 - Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour talking to the press. Has to be early in the film. Given that the last film opened up at the Ministry, I would not be opposed for this to be one of the opening scenes.

0:15 - The White Tomb. One of many things ignored in the adaptation of the book it was introduced that will be presented in these final two films.

0:24 - Shell Cottage. The way that shot of Ron is, I can imagine this being part of the end montage of Part 1, where perhaps the situation everyone is represented with this ending shot and presumably Hermione and Harry are just off picture about to be seen.

0:28 - Godric's Hollow Cemetery. Harry and Hermione by the Potter's headstone, they will have seen the Peverell stone either before or after and I really hope that the film includes the statue of the Potters with baby!Harry.

0:35 - Mirror shard. Like the White Tomb, will be introduced in this film instead. I expect them to skip the whole Sirius plotline of it and instead will be something found at Grimmauld Place and perhaps Harry breaks it in frustation that Dumbledore's dead then sees a flash of something.

0:45 - The approach to Malfoy Manor, probably the start of the film much like the start of the book. Followed by the meeting with Voldemort. I imagine that the hanging Muggle Studies teacher will not make it into the film.

0:48 - The Ministry with Scrimgeour's replacement (and Voldemort puppet) Pius Thicknesse laying down the new ways of Wizard life.

0:54 - Nagini. With an actual actress cast for Bathilda Bagshot, I wonder how that scene will go down in Godric's Hollow. That bite at the screen, would make a perfect way to go from the opening scene of the film to the title screen.

1:00 - Harry, Ron and Hermione Apparating into the city after the Weasley wedding is attacked.

1:05 - The Seven Potters scene. Looks like it's going to be hilarious.

1:08 -
The wedding at the Burrow. Nice to see that the fiery explosions from the Half-Blood Prince movie didn't take long for the Weasleys to recover from. Love the layout of the property that can be seen clearly, even the pond.

1:11 - Shacklebolt's Patronus. I don't know how i feel about it, I wish the animal was more distinct than what appears to be a glowing ball.

1:16 - Looks like Harry is going after Ginny before Remus stops him and reminds him that HE is the one the Death Eaters are after so he must go now.

1:19 - Harry and Hagrid on the motorbike just after the seven potters scene.

1:21 - Harry, Hermione and Ron being chased in the forest. This is one moment that I've had a hard time placing, I am guessing that those are the snatchers chasing them.

1:25 - Harry, Hermione and Ron at Grimmauld Place. I assume the whirling smoke is becoming the protection Dumbledore left there.

1:27 - Ginny and Harry either at the Burrow, Tonks home or Shell Cottage. I imagine that they will be adding her character to certain moments to give her more screen time.

1:28 - Thestrals being chased by Voldemort. From the Seven Potters scene.

1:37 - Dobby. Most likely the Malfoy Manor scene.

1:43 - Bill and Fleur on a thestral.

1:45 - Harry, Hermione and Ron escaping from the Ministry. From when they polyjuice in to get Slytherin's locket which Umbridge has.

1:49 - Death Eaters converge on the Lovegood home. When Luna's dad sells out the trio to try to save his daughter.

1:53 - "Help me." The trio has just arrived at Shell Cottage after being saved from Malfoy Manor and Dobby is dying.

1:57 - Ron swinging the Sword of Gryffindor down on the apparition that emerged from the Horcrux.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Harry Potter themed picspam.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

COMIC: Introducing Chloe Sullivan (Commentary)

Comic book reading Smallville fans have been clamoring for years for DC Comics to find a way for the TV series' beloved original character, Chloe Sullivan, to become immortalized in the pages of the Superman comics the show was based off of. This year that wish will finally come true as Chloe makes her DC Universe comic debut in Action Comics #893 out next week on September 29th. TV Guide has a first look.

Chloe will be part of the Jimmy Olsen-centric back-up feature in Action Comics issues written by Nick Spencer and drawn by R.B. Silva. To fit her into a universe she was never a part of before Smallville created her ten years ago, her character's continuity has been tweaked from the show's universe and readers can only assume we will be given clarity to the extent of the changes in the issues over time.

I, for one have been supportive of the idea of bringing Chloe Sullivan to the DCU proper but I would have been just as acceptable of her staying only on the Smallville show because her friendship and support of Clark has been a big part of what the show is about. To bring her into the DCU as the exact same character and with the history of Smallville would be nearly impossible because in the decades of Superman comics continuity, that role of Clark's best friend and supporter during his formative years in issues of Superboy was filled by Pete Ross and Lana Lang.

Retcons or Retroactive continuity, are prevalent in the world of comic books and could be done in this case but the Superman mythos is so old and well known that there is a careful balance that needs to be used when the story needs to be tweaked to fit the new circumstances around the character. This was done partially in the recent Superman: Secret Origin six issue mini-series by Geoff Johns where in one of the early issues when the story was still in Clark's boyhood days of Smallville, Pete Ross had a cast on his arm and there was a partially hidden signature of "Chloe S". It wasn't blatant but fans of Chloe and Smallville would recognize what it was, a nod to the character.

The problem with introducing Chloe Sullivan, a character vital to Clark's maturity from teen hero to adult savior, into the Superman universe is that in the comics Clark has been beyond his Smallville days for decades. Most writers find it difficult to write Superman, and outside of the recent development of the last few years his supporting cast gets little to no focus in the stories. To now add a character that was a close friend to Clark would make no sense given that Jimmy Olsen has had the 'Superman's Best Friend' role since forever ago and Lois Lane, who is Superman's wife, barely gets any panel pages of her own.

So I can understand the need to tweak Chloe to have her character make sense in the modern DCU. But there is importance to stay true to her character and it looks like writer Nick Spencer is attempting to do just that, saying in the TV Guide interview that "[Chloe] is a very successful and dedicated reporter and a major player in Metropolis." It's great to see that DC agrees with my thinking that the Daily Planet has room for more than one Lane/Sullivan reporter at the same time, I only wish Smallville had felt the same way.

My only problem with the Chloe integration is that the feeling I get is that she will be much closer to Jimmy Olsen than Clark Kent. The latter would probably be high reaching and impossible to make sense but if done well would still be satisfactory to everyone. I'm hoping at the very least Chloe will eventually get integrated with the rest of the Daily Planet staff and will have cameos/scenes where she interacts with Clark, Lois, Ron, Cat, Jimmy and Perry at the Planet.

Now that Chloe in the comics is shortly about to become reality, my idea of introducing her will never come to be but I thought I would share it here anyway. My idea had Chloe still living in Smallville, much like Pete Ross currently is, and that perhaps some accident had happened during Clark's Superboy years to Chloe that kept her from continuing on with her Daily Planet dreams and Clark felt guilty about it and avoided her thinking she blamed him. Lois and her keep in touch, and Chloe ended up as a Smallville High counselor and advisor for the Torch.

Then with the upcoming Superboy title I would have her be a main part of the supporting cast as Conner's mentor/confidant as he has his adventures in Smallville and she with mutual experience with Clark and Lex would be another perspective on Conner's struggles with his roots. And she would be a nice visitor/friendly face for Martha Kent now that Jonathan is gone ... again.

Either way, I look forward to Chloe's Action Comics debut and I hope her character is treated with the respect she deserves so that fans of Smallville and Chloe will check it out and not be disappointed.

NOTE: For those of you that are not on Android for your mobile consumption, I hear that DC Comics' Comixology iPhone/iPad app is currently offering the first ten page Jimmy Olsen backup story (with Chloe's debut) for free in their store.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Titans themed picspam.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Tiny Titans #32 (Review)

Written by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani
Art by Art Baltazar
Cover by Art Baltazar

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Tiny Titans is a consistent favorite read of mine every month and in a week with no clear runaway comic it felt like the perfect time for the series to get its time in the spotlight. Co-writer Art Baltazar is probably best known before Tiny Titans for his creater-owned comics like Patrick the Wolf Boy and besides Tiny Titans is also co-writing another of DC's kid friendly titles, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! with his Tiny Titans co-writer Franco Aureliani.

Every issue is a collection of short stories that can either be connected under a central theme of the issue or stand on their own. At times the stories will introduce classic DC characters to the Tiny Titans universe or have some fun calamity happen to the already gigantic cast of the comic. In this issue, Kalibak makes his introduction into the series as the kid of Lunch Lady Darkseid.

The art of Tiny Titans and the cover are all done by the skillful Art Baltazar. His style is so visually appealing and a perfect compliment to the friendly fun of Tiny Titans. Every character and animal in the book are transformed into near cartoon like appearances that help immerse the reader more into the world of Tiny Titans. The Titans go to Sidekick City Elementary School where Slade (Deathstroke) is the Principal, and Darkseid is the lunch lady.

I do not think there is any stopping the wonderful momentum this series has and I look forward to many more issues to read. If you have not read Tiny Titans before, I suggest giving it a shot because you will immediately fall in love with its fun spirit. I can not wait to see what DC storyline will be next to be interpreted into the style of Tiny Titans.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Titans themed picspam.

Friday, September 17, 2010

FILM: Voice Cast of All Star Superman (News)

THR's Heat Vision blog announced the cast of actors lending their voice to the next animated film by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video emanating from the story lines in DC Comics pages.

In All Star Superman, the Man of Steel will be played by James Denton ("Desperate Housewives"), Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") is Lois Lane, and Anthony LaPaglia ("Without a Trace") is Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor.

DC Entertainment continues its trend of casting new voices to play their signature characters like Superman that tend to be featured in multiple films. Adapted from the twelve issue mini-series written by Grant Morrison ("Batman and Robin") and drawn by Frank Quitely ("Batman and Robin") it will be interesting to see what the film keeps from the comic book which basically tells the 'final adventure' of Superman when he finds out that he is dying.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Superman themed picspam.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

GAMING: Batman Vengeance PS2 (Review)

Batman Vengeance
2001 - Ubisoft
Released on PlayStation 2 on October 16, 2001

Being a nearly decade old game the control mechanics are a bit tricky at times and I'm sure my nearly as old game controller doesn't help the situation at all. Multiple times I would find the obstacle of jumping and gliding to be as difficult as playing the boss level of a game with how many times I would have to repeat the step without dying. It was easily the most agonizing part of the game. Jumping.

Another tricky aspect to the controls was the button pressing needed to shift from the main third-person perspective to first-person when it comes to a part of the game where you need to shoot/aim at something. It is especially distressing when being attacked and the inevitable panicking trying to get back to first-person to fight back in close combat.

Batman Vengeance a single-player game where you play as Batman, although on select levels you will get direction from non-playable characters like Alfred Pennyworth and Batgirl. There are nineteen playable levels that vary between third-person levels with Batman traveling through rooftops and warehouses, and flying and driving levels where Batman is the Batmobile or Batwing traveling through the streets and skies of Gotham.

The game style is modeled after the highly popular Batman: The Animated Series TV show of the nineties. There are over forty minutes of cinematics included in the game and several actors from the animated series lend their voice to Batman Vengeance including Kevin Conroy ("Batman: The Animated Series") as Batman, Mark Hamill ("Star Wars") as the Joker, Arleen Sorkin ("Batman: The Animated Series") as Harley Quinn and Tara Strong ("The Fairly OddParents") as Batgirl. Bringing the show presentation to the game, the nineteen levels are broken into six 'episodes' that cover the different story arcs in the game and each have their own title screen much like the TV show episode title screens.

The story of the game is also in the style of the animated series, in fact the game's original story line was written in collaboration between Warner Brothers and DC Comics from the blueprints of The New Batman Adventures. The game opens up with Batman hot on the trail of the Joker only for the villain to fall to his apparent demise at the end of their confrontation. Commissioner Gordon is attacked and Batman is framed for the attack and it is up the Caped Crusader to find the true mastermind of the attack and he willingly finds himself mixed up with the likes of Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.

Outside of the frustrating jumping mechanic that plagued my gameplay experience, Batman Vengeance is an entertaining game. It gives you a solid twenty hours worth of gameplay and any Batman fan should at least give the game a try (I would have said rent but it is rare to catch any old generation games available for rent these days so you may have to dig around to find a copy of this game). Any fan of the animated series in particular will thoroughly enjoy the adventure in this game.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Batman themed picspam.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Batman #703 (Review)

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Cliff Richards
Cover by Tony Daniel

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

A wide range of appealing books were available this week. Many big franchise titles had issues come out (New Avengers, Thor, Green Lantern, Invincible Iron Man) along with several critically acclaimed upstart titles (Batman and Robin, Batgirl, Thor: the Mighty Avenger) but it was an old reliable that surged to the top of the stack, Batman #703.

This issue is the start of "Bruce Wayne - The Road Home" Batman event that is kicked off by Red Robin writer Fabian Nicieza. The event will consist of eight self-contained but interconnected one-shots throughout the Bat Family books, including three written by Nicieza himself. Nicieza has done well with Red Robin since taking the reigns after Christopher Yost's first year and his prior experience to writing Dick Grayson in Nightwing shows in this issue.

The plot moves in two directions during the issue's story. The 'A' story deals with Batman and Robin trying to capture a thief who's escape skills remind Dick of a criminal known as the Getaway Genius that Batman and Robin dealt with back when he was Robin. The parallel between the encounters and the importance of family comes out strong in the pages, showing Dick mentor Damian much like Bruce did to Dick back in the day.

The 'B' story reignites the lingering plotline of Vicki Vale's quest to prove that she knows who the Bat Family is, and that Tim's dramatic staged shooting had not put her off the scent. My interest in Vicki Vale's increasing inclusion in Bat stories over the last few years has grown and knowing DC's vision of how comic relationships work will keep Catwoman from going back to a minor character in someone else's book, I can't wait to see Bruce and Vicki mix things up again.

Semi-regular Batman artist/writer Tony Daniel drew the cover which leaves the book with the appearance of the style fans have become accustomed to seeing with Batman over the last few years. The interiors by Cliff Richards are different (but not a bad thing) and with the coloring the style takes a middle ground somewhere between Daniel's art and Cliff Chiang's. At times the art almost takes a Greg Land direction in how lifelike the faces drawn are.

This looks to be a one time collaboration for this creative team on this book, the next issue brings back the return of Tony Daniel as writer and artist. I've not been that excited about the 'Return of Bruce Wayne' having dropped that mini-series halfway through it's run, but I must say if his return treats the supporting characters as well as they were handled in this issue then I might just have to admit that there is room for Bruce Wayne. I for one, hope that is true.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Batman themed picspam.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

TVonDVD: Avatar the Last Airbender Book 1 (Review)

Avatar the Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection
2005 (2006) - Nickelodeon
Released on DVD on September 19, 2006

# of Discs: 6
Runtime: 489 minutes

The world of Avatar the Last Airbender is made up of four nations (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) that currently is in a time of unbalanced distress. For the last one hundred years, the Avatar - spiritual master of the elements - has been missing and the Fire Nation has taken advantage of that fact. The Fire Nation wants to rule the world and twelve year-old Airbender Aang stands in their way. Along with Northern Water Tribe members Katara and Sokka, a flying lemur named Momo and Aang's flying bison Appa, Aang must travel the world seeking the knowledge needed to become the Avatar he was destined to be.

Each character grows as the season goes on and has moments that will touch watchers. Highlights include learning more about Aang's life one century ago like when they travel to the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu and the current king happens to have been one of Aang's friends. There is also the time they reach Kyoshi Island where the warriors are a group of highly trained females. Sokka especially finds their time there as eye-opening and connects with one of the warriors. Katara has several moments herself, like when she helps the imprisoned Earthbending Tribe break free from the metal sea fortress prison of the Fire Nation or when they reach the Northern Water Tribe where the Waterbending master they meet there initially refuses to train her.

Like any smart DVD set, the Complete Book 1 Collection has an entire bonus disc where most of the extra content is held. Most of the other discs have at least one short extra behind-the-scenes special not counting the audio commentaries. The bonus disc is where the extras go more in-depth and there are interviews with the cast and creators as well as a look at how Avatar is made at the Sound Studios and the Korean Animation Studios.

Fans of animation, adventure and fantasy will fall in love with this series but other shouldn't be afraid to try the show. The first season of Avatar the Last Airbender is the perfect place to jump on the fantasy genre; it is hard to find a bad episode in the entire season. You will be entertained and hopefully continue on with the rest of the series.

Look to buy the Avatar the Last Airbender Book 1 DVD set over at Amazon for only $31.49.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

SPORTS: NFL 2010 Predictions (Commentary)

It's the start of the NFL season and what better occasion to have Geek Plate's first sports entry with my predictions for the 2010 NFL season. First, team projections:

AFC East: New York Jets 12-4
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals 12-4
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts - 13-3
AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs - 10-6
Wildcards: New England Patriots - 11-5, Houston Texans - 11-5

Wild Card Round: Texans over Chiefs, Jets over Patriots
Divisional Round: Texans over Colts, Bengals over Jets
AFC Championship: Bengals over Texans

NFC East: New York Giants - 11-5
NFC North: Green Bay Packers - 14-2
NFC South: New Orleans Saints 12-4
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers 10-6
Wildcards: Carolina Panthers 11-5, Dallas Cowboys - 10-6

Wild Card Round: 49ers over Panthers, Giants over Cowboys
Divisional Round: Packers over 49ers, Saints over Giants
NFC Championship: Packers over Saints

Superbowl XLV: Packers over Bengals

And now some individual award projections:

MVP: Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees (Saints)
Defensive Player of the Year: Patrick Willis (49ers)
Coach of the Year: Todd Haley (Chiefs)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #2 (Review)

Written by Cary Bates
Art by Renato Arlem
Cover by Felipe Massafera

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $4.99

It was a small week for books to catch my eye but with the next issue of Avengers: The Children's Crusade being one of those books it would take a comic of high quality to challenge for the right to be at the top of my stack and Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #2 did just that. Writer Cary Bates is a longtime comic book scribe who just recently returned to the medium after over a decade-long absence. He is no stranger to the Superman mythos having written Superman stories in the sixties, seventies and eighties, and was a great choice to write this Elseworlds mini-series.

This issue jumps ahead in time for the House of El and shows Clark as a teen and an adult, the mischievous El Twins as older kids playing with fire and getting burned and the developing tension between Clark and Jor-El as the latter continues to see Lex as his successor. The classic red and blue suit makes its debut and Clark and Lois find themselves drawn to each other in this universe as well.

Felipe Massafera's cover draws attention immediately to the book and his style is reminiscent of Alex Ross. The interiors by Renato Arlem are a different style but give the comic a classic feel to it. Teen Clark has a resemblance to Smallville's Tom Welling, as well as Teen Lex could be seen as Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum with hair. There were nods to the history of the DCU in this new universe with Lara having dinner with the Waynes, and the creation of an anti-El cult by the name of Doomsday.

There is one last issue in this mini-series and that gives me hope that there will not be enough time for doom to hit this universe. If there is one thing I have learned is that when there is a character like Superman with years upon years of history and different versions of it told, that trends develop and most half to do with him being the last of his kind. Now that the regular DC universe has seemed to head in the direction of having a family around him maybe that will make this universe of Els safe as well. One thing readers can all rely on is that the final issue will probably bring Lex to the forefront as a villain, and I predict he will betray Jor-El and Superman will have to save the day finally gaining his father's praise. If there is a happy ending in store for this mini-series.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

FILM: Running Away with The Last Airbender (Review)

Fans of the highly successful Nickelodeon animated series, Avatar: the Last Airbender have been eagerly anticipating the show's translation to a live-action film but with embattled director, M. Night Shyamalan ("The Happening") behind the wheel, would "The Last Airbender" meet expectations?

The film covers the entire first season of the animated series, otherwise known as Book 1: Water. The story centers around a young boy named Aang (Noah Ringer), who is the last member of a tribe of monks known as Airbenders who have the ability to manipulate the air around them. He is found by the brother-sister duo of Sokka (Jackson Rathbone) and Katara (Nicola Peltz), two members of the Southern Water Tribe and together they go on a worldwide journey to find Aang the teachers he needs to become the Avatar he's meant to be and bring peace to a world corrupted by the evil Fire Nation.

Casting characters with a large fanbase can be tricky and there was plenty of controversy stirred up with "The Last Airbender". Noah Ringer fits the description of young Aang, but the portrayal comes up short. The lively, fun-loving character from the animated series is non-existent in the film, instead Aang is shown as quiet, moody and a boy afraid to face his role as the Avatar. Nicola Peltz fits Katara to a T. She overcomes the poor dialogue with the perfect attitude full of animated gestures that are synonymous with the character.

Jackson Rathbone does his best to fit the older brother role of Sokka but seems about ten years too old for the character. Maybe this was done by the studios to lessen the idea of three youths traveling the world on their own and making one into a more clear guide/protector role. Dev Patel plays Prince Zuko, the exiled son of the Fire Nation Lord who is obsessed with finding the Avatar to regain his father's approval. Unfortunately Patel's portrayal leaves Zuko as more of a weakened, morose son than the aggressive irritant Zuko is in the animated series.

For a film based on a successful TV series, fans would expect the look and feel of the film to match the quality of the show but M. Night Shyamalan focus was more on location shoots than the special effects and it showed in the film. Some of the decisions regarding the location of a scene seemed questionable, like having the Earth Tribe rebellion happen inside the village with Earth all around them instead of a Fire Nation Prison Barge surrounded by water which would have made more sense of the tribe submitting to the Fire Nation.

The worst perpetrator for the dismal performance of the movie is the director himself, M. Night Shyamalan. While fans can understand that the animated series set a high bar for the film to try to reach, the fact that the film is nearly unwatchable is pretty hard to believe. The film ended in a way to leave it open for the possibility of sequels to cover the other seasons of the series but the lack of fan support may make that nothing more than a pipe dream. Maybe in five or ten years the creators can look to give a live-action film another try, and bring with it the fun and energy that made the show so entertaining and was noticeably missing from the flailing film.

If you are a fan of the show, watching "The Last Airbender" will only have you comparing it to the TV series and becoming puzzled by how poorly it was made. If you are not familiar with the animated series I would recommend staying clear of this film because you probably would not be able to finish it. Instead, track down the sets of the animated series and give them a watch because you will not be disappointed.