Imagine an AU where Iroh, who knows how to play the political game, seizes his opportunity in The Southern Air Temple, when Zhao says, "Capturing the Avatar is too important to leave in a teenager's hands. He's mine now."
"Commander Zhao!" Iroh gasps. "The Fire Lord, himself, authorized this mission to Prince Zuko. Are you questioning the Fire Lord?"
"Oh, no, no!" Zhao says, caught between his need to save face and his need to insult Zuko to his face. "It's just surprising to me that the Fire Lord would give a mission to a son he doesn't even want."
"Wh-?" Zuko begins.
"What?!" Iroh exclaims, eyes sparkling. "Did my brother tell you this? It's surprising to me that the Fire Lord would say such a thing about his family to one of the many commanders in his navy."
Sparks are practically coming out of Zhao's mouth as he shouts, "I'm trying to remind Prince Zuko of the position he's currently in!"
"If I was you, Zhao," Iroh says, "I would reflect on your own position."
@rufiozuko, Dante Basco himself, said hi to our Zutara group chat today, Zutara Week, and also a shoutout to myself (Blaise)! I know he probably won’t see this, but 15 years later he is still so supportive of Zutara and the Avatar fandom, and he doesn’t even realize how many lives he’s changed! We LOVE Dante! ❤️
Back from seeing the remaster, here are my thoughts on it.
The updated color grading was really nice. I know some people were worried about it looking too bleached out and low-contrasty, I can safely say that was just YouTube compression. The real thing looks flawless: the new coloring makes Pandora feel much more lush and alive, it feels like natural, real footage someone shot on-scene with a camera rather than movie color grading that was added in post. There was a little too much green ambient lighting in very very select moments but they still looked fine overall. The night scenes in particular looked SO much better. In particular, I also remember the Tree of Voices and Tree of Souls having a really cool pinkish glow effect around them that was a lot more apparent than the standard cut. There are a few scenes that I've felt looked very dated that still look dated, but they definitely still received an improvement from the 4K upscale.
The HFR - which I think was the biggest worry - was totally fine. The transition from 24 to 48 frames was pretty seamless and took a few moments for me to pick up on, and the scenes it was added to only benefitted from the HFR. It makes you feel way more immersed in the action, just gives you the same frantic, exciting sort of pace that you know the characters are feeling as well during those scenes if that makes sense. It was very tastefully done, definitely hoping it sets the bar for HFR usage going forward. or, in other words, STOP USING HFR FOR THE ENTIRE RUNTIME OF YOUR FECKIN MOVIES.
I saw it in Real3D and it looked really good, very subtle but still made you a lot more immersed in the film. They did a really good job brightening the base footage so that it would dim to just the right brightness when you put your glasses on, something I know cinemas have struggled with in the past.
Somehow seeing it in theaters really emphasized the breakneck pace of the movie, it did not feel like an almost three-hour-long movie at all. Which isn't really a good or bad thing, but we'll see how or if ATWoW decides to improve upon that.
And finally, that new "scene"... well, the transition into it was a bit awkward, kind of like when a video game transitions from cutscene to gameplay, but I acknowledge that I likely feel that way because I'm so familiar with the standard cut. I am very curious about how they pulled off the new addition. Neytiri, from what I can remember, didn't say anything, so they could've gotten a double for her and Jake and recorded Jake's lines remotely. I wonder if they got Giovanni Ribisi back for another shoot, though. Also, there was very very little visual difference between the new scene and the rest of the movie, which I was very impressed by.