Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Last Airbender

We are a movie-going family. It's one of our all-time favorite things to do. So when summer movie season comes around we get out our Entertainment Weekly and consult our favorite review websites like Rotten Tomatoes and Common Sense Media. We watch trailers and check out the actors on Internet Movie Database. It is not unlike making our predictions and filling out spreadsheets for the NFL draft.

This year we are particularly excited about The Last Airbender. It was supposed to be called Avatar: The Last Airbender, but I think we all know where that title wound up.

The Last Airbender (Avatar) is a cartoon from Nickelodeon that the kids and I got into a few years ago while we were eating breakfast and getting ready for school. We made sure we got up a few minutes early so we'd have time to watch the full episode.

It is a story about young boy and his companions who live in an Asian inspired world where there are four different tribes- air, water, earth, and fire. Each tribe has members who have the ability to summon that element. Firebenders can shoot fire, waterbenders can manipulate water, etc. Aang, our hero, is the last of his airbending tribe, but is also a chosen one- a reincarnation of a special being that has the power to use all four elements. The Avatar.

I am particularly excited that M. Night Shyamalan is directing, though it is admittedly on his part, a "Buddhist movie". We have never felt like Buddhism has been shoved down our throats from the animated series and I'm hoping that M. Night won't either. I've enjoyed most of the movies that he's written and directed and I really love his style. This movie was not filmed in 3D, but has been converted to 3D and we are sort of purists when it comes to that. If I'm going to pay $4 extra for a 3D movie, I want to know that my money is paying for those cameras and the extra effort.

The Last Airbender will have some amazing martial arts and some really fun characters. From what we've seen of the previews they've followed right along with the animated series and that makes us really hopeful for one of our favorite series. The Last Airbender opens July 2nd.

For more information on this and other kid-appropriate movies check out http://www.commonsensemedia.org/summer-movies.

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