BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Last Airbender
M. Night's latest hits home video...
Be sure to enter The Last Airbender DVD Giveaway today for your chance to win this DVD as well as the first DVD in the animated series!
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M. Night Shyamalan has been one of the best and worst film writers/directors of the last decade. Beginning with 1999's The Sixth Sense, 2000's Unbreakable and 2002's Signs, Shyamalan was on his way to becoming one of the most critically-acclaimed filmmakers in recent history. However, beginning with 2004's The Village and less-than-stellar fan and critic response, Shyamalan's career began to careen off course...
Now, Shyamalan's latest effort to impress both critics and fans alike has hit home video in The Last Airbender. Based on Nickelodeon's popular animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, which ran from 2005 - 2008, this film is set in a mystical world broken into four nations - the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Air Nomads, and the Fire Nation - and follows the adventures of the titular character Aang, who controls all four elemental powers, a waterbender named Katara and her older brother Sokka, and the Fire Nation, who pursues Aang and his crew in hopes of defeating them and controlling all.
While the story and its basis are brilliant (as proven by the success of the animated series), The Last Airbender unfortunately falls short on multiple levels and fails to impress. The inexperienced actors deliver little if any real feeling and, unfortunately, are forgettable to say the least. Likewise, the story gets discombobulated with Shyamalan trying to condense an entire season of the animate show's story into a 103 minute live-action film. Lastly, while the graphics are impressive and well-made, they immediately draw the majority of attention away from the story and characters, essentially making the effects the draw.
Speaking of draws, the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo pack features a beautiful 1080p video transfer and gorgeous and full DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless track, which delivers an amazing sound experiance. As for special features, a nine-part
An hour-long "Discovering 'The Last Airbender'" documentary, broken into nine parts, delves into everything from the original story, music, and production of the film to the special effects and film's characters. Fans of the original series will appreciate this documentary. Another bonus - "Siege of the North" explores the creation of the film's settings while "Origins of the Avatar" gives non-fans a (very) short tour of the original animated series. "Katara for a Day" explores actress Nicola Peltz's experiences on the set.
Lastly, four deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a picture-in-picture bonus track, Avatar Annotations, provides film viewers with behind-the-scenes clips and interviews with cast and crew while watching the feature film.
I'll be the first to admit I am and will continue to be a big fan of M. Night Shyamalan. I have enjoyed each of his original films for a number of different reasons and, while I know his films are a mixed bag of spellbinding magic and confusing ridiculousness, I also know he has the ability to make the most wonderful of film masterpieces. Unfortunately, The Last Airbender is far from a masterpiece and will probably only appeal to kids and the most die-hard of Avatar: The Last Airbender fans.
The Last Airbender is available on home video now wherever fine home video is sold.
Don't forget to enter The Last Airbender DVD Giveaway today for your chance to win this DVD as well as the first DVD in the animated series!
- Jess C. Horsley