My geek cred fails me here as Avatar: The Last Airbender is just one of those things I know very little about. The original series is available on Netflix Instant Watch, but the curse of being on the movie news wire is that time to sit and watch is pretty scarce.

So, I will have to rely on you Airbender fans to give your take on these first photos from USA Today (apparently it's back to using the Avatar moniker despite James Cameron), and eagerly await your take on the controversy is raging around the film. Many fans are offended that M. Night Shyamalan didn't cast Japanese actors. Others feel that's an unneccessary sticking point as the world the characters inhabit is a fantasy one based on Asian culture, so that Shyamalan should be able to cast freely. Dev Patel just sits awkwardly in the middle of the debate -- people are simultaneously annoyed he's not Japanese and suspicious that the one non-white actor is cast in a villainous role.

Blissfully unaware of his unsuitability is newcomer Noah Ringer, who plays Aang. Apparently, he's always gone by the nickname "Avatar" due to his resemblance to the cartoon character (he always sports a shaved head) and his lethal martial arts skills. He won the part after sending a home made DVD of himself ... talk about an easy day for the casting director.

Give your thoughts, Airbender fans. And I promise, I'll start watching the series this weekend ... in the meantime, can you tell me what's up with Aang's hand?

categories Movies, Cinematical