Sunday, December 20, 2009

Movie Review: Avatar (2009)

Short Review: I want to put this as plainly as I can. This film is so uniquely awful that it should be legal for me to enslave and neuter any movie critic who gives it a positive review. They should be forced to do my yard work and clip my toenails.

But then again, I can be an extremist about such things.



This is the worst movie I have ever seen.

Consider that statement. I have seen thousands of movies over the course of my lifetime. This is worse than any other film I can name.

Troll 2, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Leonard: Part 6, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Battleship Earth, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Glen or Glenda, Exorcist II: The Heretic,

Kazaam, even Kazaam. It is worse than an embarrassment starring Shaquille O'Neal as a genie who comes out of a magic boom box. Look at this:



This is better than Avatar.

How? Easy, no one within a thousand miles of Shaq in his hammer pants thought for one minute they were making a great work of cinema.

Everyone involved with Avatar has made it clear that this is supposed to be a game changer like Star Wars or The Matrix. This is meant to be one of the seminal moments in cinematic history. When future generations refer back to this time we're to believe that Avatar will be one of the cultural milestones.

I do think this film will go down in cinematic history. Hands down, it is the most self-loathing, insufferably pretentious works of human invention ever to be put before a paying public.

The film takes place on a planet call Pandora. PANDORA - get it? Astronomers, upon finding a planet that can sustain life, felt compelled to give it an ironic name warning of impending doom. Humans, after destroying the Earth's environment (this is mentioned a few times during the film), have shown up on Pandora to claim a mineral called Unobtanium. UNOBTANIUM - get it? Geologists, upon finding a valuable mineral, felt compelled to give it an ironic name warning of impending futility. The humans want the mineral so they can make money. One problem, on top the indigenous humanoid species known as the Na'vi live where the minerals are found. So, of course, the humans plot a pogrom against the planet's peaceful people.

Jake (Sam Worthington - no you don't know who he is), a paraplegic marine, arrives at the planet as a mercenary for the Resources Development Administration, the evil corporation who wants to displace the primitive Na'vi.

Jake is given an avatar, a body that looks like a Na'vi (meaning he looks like a big, blue kitty). He gets closed in a tanning booth and can control the body with his mind, or something like that, its not well explained. As one would expect, he meets up with the Na'vi, falls in love with the pretty one. Then the whole thing turns into Dances with Wolves in Space.

(Spoiler warning for the rest of this paragraph) Jake eventually becomes one of the Na'vi and after the humans attack a Na'vi's sacred site, he leads the attack on the marines. Yes, for half of the movie Jake leads an attack on his own species. Thus, everyone who would ever watch the film is his enemy. Jake and the Na'vi are victorious and send the humans back to their "dead world". Uh, doesn't that mean he sends his fellow humans to their extinction?

The story is a patchwork of other movies and various strains of the noble savage motif. Cameron provides the world with a shockingly unfiltered look at the modern, white liberal mindset. The primitive culture is idealized to the point of being laughable. Everyone is happily equal. The genders are on equal footing. Everyone is in tune with nature. Heck, they literally are wired into their world. The Na'vi have wires at the end of their ponytails that they actually link into dino-birds and trees so they can "talk" to them.

No, I'm not kidding.

Yes, this is a serious movie.

Back to the hippie stuff. The primitive culture is so perfect, so wonderful that every time they are on screen they are celebrated with sweeping World Music. Honestly, during every moment with the Na'vi, Cameron unloads the demo tapes for The Lion King. Now, when the humans are around, he plays the discount version of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. Apparently, he couldn't get the rights to play the theme music for Darth Vader.

So we're clear:

Primitives = happy, natural, honorable and spiritual
Humans = destructive, greedy, violent and conniving.

There is not a moment in the film that isn't noticeably crafted. There is nothing organic. The dialog is self-aware and often corny "Why did you save me?" "Because you have a strong heart!"

No, I'm not kidding.

Yes, this is a serious movie.

Characters act completely against their history and/or better interest. My personal favorite is when a mercenary who is collecting a paycheck to kill aliens is ordered to kill said aliens yells "I didn't sign on for this!" and then leave the battlefield. This is done without any character development leading to the decision, it just happens because Cameron needs the character for later on.

You will hear many people say that you see the budget up on the screen. Yes, they put all $300 million up on the screen. Too bad they didn't put one dime into the script. The film is visually full. However, the imagery is too intentional. The environment of Pandora is full of flashing lights, day-glo plants and the grass glows when it is stepped on at night. It is like the whole place is paved with Michael Jackson's sidewalk.

The expansive scenery in all of its intricate glory is so forced that I never lost the feeling I was looking at created scenery. I can say the same about the animated figures. Cameron has managed to get beyond the dead-eyes issue with animated humanoids. There are emotions in the eyes of his characters but they still looked unreal. The visuals are entertaining, but in the end the movie looked like a real long video game trailer. I kept expecting the game menu to pop up.

What puts this film over the top in its road to crapville is that it is a self-loathing racist screed.

The Na'vi are all played by African-American or Native American actors (CHH Pounder, Zoe Saldana, Wes Studi, Laz Alonso). The Na'vi are blue, but their society is an idealized hybrid of African and Indian tribal cultures with some white, middle-class New Age mumbo-jumbo tossed in for flavor.

The humans are almost all white. There are a couple of minority actors who have lines, but almost all of them turn out to be on the side of the natives. Now, let it be known that I don't normally go counting races when I watch movies. I normally don't care one bit. But in this case it was so obvious, you can't avoid it.

The Na'vi are so transparently supposed to be minorities and the humans are blatantly supposed to be oppressive white Capitalists that it is unsettling. I haven't seen a more open case of white guilt casting since the last time I saw a Brinks Home Security ad. Don't believe me? Then listen to Cameron who tips his hand with his own self indulgent dialog. Jake comes clean of his intentions to try to save the Na'vi. Col. Quarich (Stephen Lang - no you don't know him, although you should) turns to Jake. Quarich squints his blazing blue eyes and snarls "You don't want to be a traitor to your race."* The guy in charge of military operations swaps out "race" for "species" when he's dealing with a society of alien humanoids who are a) blue, b) seven-eight feet tall, c) have carbon-binding bones d) look like big kitties. Cameron intentionally uses the word race because that is his point.

The casting and the dialog may not tag Cameron as a self-hating bigot. But this does. (Spoiler for the rest of this paragraph) At the end of the film, Jake (the white boy) only achieves wholeness and his full heroic stature after he leaves his white boy body and enters the body of a Na'vi. In other words, until he kills all the white people (by sending them back to their dead world, remember) and then leaving his own white body behind can he be complete.

No, I'm not kidding.

Yes, this is a serious movie.

Try switching the races around and see how comfortable you feel with this plot. Cameron was one step away from showing white people and then flashing images of rats on the screen. Why not just have everyone chant "kill whitey!"

If all of this isn't enough here are some other problems with this, a great leap forward in world cinema:

  • A character leaves the battlefield against orders. The next time we see this character he/she isn't in the brig. He/She is smiling, casually walking around with a gun. No reason is given to how he/she managed to avoid being arrested or shot on the spot for cowardice.
  • The film is loaded, LOADED with anachronism. The film takes place in 2154 but people still use terms like "bitch ass", "bitch", "come git sum!" and "he's got skills". One character smokes - INDOORS. Heck, I can show you outdoor parks you can't smoke in. It goes on from there.
  • It is stuffed full of Mother Earth/Gaia nonsense.
  • We are never told why Unobtanium is so critical. The only reason given is financial. What if it cured cancer? What if it was used to revive the dying Earth? This is an important fact to leave out because it gives a fuller context to Jake intentionally killing off his own species.
  • The pretty Na'vi Jakes falls for and has sex with (yes, he has sex with a big, blue kitty) knows he is an avatar and really an alien. It is illogical she would allow herself to be taken in by what amounts to a big blue sock puppet sent by the enemy.
  • All of the Na'vi and their animal friends are glowing bright colors. Which makes them all easy targets in the brown and green jungle world they live in. Yet, no trained marine can seem to hit them.
  • Speaking of marines, (spoiler warning) we are asked to believe that after years of engaging with the Na'vi the marines are finally done in by a full frontal assault by the primitive warriors using spears and arrows. This is like asking us to believe the modern American military would be taken down by the Sioux.
  • Every time Jake returns to the human world his avatar body (made of flesh and bone) drops like a discarded rag doll. This is shown a few times. When this happens the Na'vi are accepting of it. Sure one says he's a demon but other than that they're cool. This is a culture that hasn't invented the wheel yet, let alone any complex tools (which is why they still fight with spears and not catapults). They could not conceive of why he would keep dropping over. They never bury or burn his apparently dead body?
  • Jake's avatar is left laying prone in a jungle for an extended period of time. No animals or insects devour the warm flesh of his dormant body laying on the jungle floor
I can go on for about another six posts.

I know you will feel compelled to see this in the theater and I don't blame you. It is a tempting flick to see. I will say that if you insist on seeing it you should do so on the big screen. I will also say that if you can find the will to resist its pull, of any movie I have ever seen, this is the one you want to miss.




* - I'm paraphrasing, I don't have the exact words, but this is dang close. The important point is the replacement of "race" for "species".


47 comments:

Kevin Estabrook said...

so if i liked Troll 2 will i like Avatar?

Jean said...

Quite hated the film. All it had was creatures(so called people) of an immaterial world with fake Hollywood cliches.

Scott Nehring said...

If you liked Troll 2, does it matter?

KatyTold said...

The Real Avatar is The Soloist. [And i am not a Pandoran Trapped in a Human Body].
After watching Avatar and The Soloist,
and pondering for a couple days,
it seems the real way
to get into someone's skin,
to "get it" and find deeper meaning in another's situation
is to see the amazing jamie foxx and robert downey jr in The Soloist.
(Having worked in Washington DC with individuals afflicted with heavy mental illnesses, )
THE SOLOIST is spot on and gives us many things to think about.
The other movie, avatar i think is the name, felt a bit like an argument being rehashed. [[To say nothing of the brilliant advances science had made while still using giant heavy metal guns. Don't look for logic or plot or dialog...]]

If the goal of Avatar was to teach (any unknowing) youth or others how horribly the native americans were treated; the selfish and insane mindset that was involved with that shameful time in human history--and many other times where so-called "civilized" people used the power of violence and trickery to hurt and steal from native folk--it was probably successful, in a shallowy way. The beautiful special effects and the rich sensuality actually distracted from/tempered the lesson.
We enjoyed the luminescence and heady movement of the movie.
but a new film paradigm? you jest.
I just wanted to post these thoughts to bring up the Soloist--which is not touted with a 150,000,000 $$$ ad budget.
The Soloist is a Real movie which can provide the emotion/thought/reality provocation for humans to actually make things better.

as to the other --I think psychologists will see a trend--and begin to start treating teens who think They are Pandorans Trapped in Human Bodies.

Scott Nehring said...

Katy,

Isn't The Soloist another example of the intellectual white liberal coming to the aid of a hapless black who can't make it on his own?

Or is that the one that rehashes The Caveman's Valentine?

Oh wait, that's right - its both in the same.

KatyTold said...

Well, yes, that could be a correct interpretation but also might be pure chance. in dc many black folk helped the white schizophrenic folk. i did not think about race when working with folks carrying heavy mental illness, or when watching this movie (the soloist). i DID feel the racism with avatar.
my parents blessed me with a non-racist view of all the people who came to our homes-the focus was on who was funny, who played the music well, who was creative and good. one will see race everywhere only if one is race obsessed.
and or one has an axe to grind, which seems to be true in avatar.
the REALLY cool thing about avatar is you can type it with just one hand.

Scott Nehring said...

HA!

Yes, you can.

My overall point is that Hollywood tends to have the races typed into a white/master black/subservient template. Its not hyper-sensitive race obsession on my part, it is the way it is.

Avatar's racism is very upfront however. It is waaaaay upfront.

KatyTold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Walter Lewkowski said...

The worst movie ever: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

Anonymous said...

Anachronisms of the year 2154. So, you're an expert on the social norms of a time period we haven't been through yet? This single comment negates your entire review, along with the crack mentions of slavery at the beginning where 'positive reviewers' are concerned. Disgusting.

Scott Nehring said...

So, you think people living 150 years from now will be using slang that has been promoted by our disposable culture for a mere 10 years?

Given that the joke about enslaving other critics is a joke one would expect for you to treat it as such.

Peter said...

"it should be legal for me to enslave and neuter any movie critic who gives it a positive review. They should be forced to do my yard work and clip my toenails."

Doesn't sound very christian of you. This is the type of narrow minded thinking that turns people off religion in general. Sarcastic or not it undermined anything you had to say. And Troll 2. That killed any credibility you may have had left.

Scott Nehring said...

My aren't we a sensitive lot?

So, you're contending that it is not "Christian" to use hyperbole? I'm not certain but I don't think your position is entirely scriptural.

Actually, it is narrow-minded, uninformed, haughty reactions like yours that make it impossible for thinking people to remain atheists.

I've lost credibility over my distaste for Troll 2? That's rich. In order to have credibility in your eyes I'm compelled to enjoy that movie? Wha?

Anonymous said...

This movie had nothing on The Matrix trilogy. Did anyone notice that all the good guys in The Matrix were non-Whites:
Keanu Reeves (Half-Asian)
Carrie-Anne Moss (technically she's White but she was cast in the by now Hollywood archetypal misandric, power-dyke, women-warrior, feminist, fantasy role)
Laurence Fishburne (black)
Gloria Foster - as the oracle (black)
Collin Chou - as the oracle's body guard (Asian)
Jada Pinkett - as the best pilot (black)
The Infantry general in the final film was Hispanic.
All of the families that we meet in Zion are black.
Hell even the blatantly racist light-heavyweight boxing champ at the time, Roy Jones, Jr. was given a role. In the "captains meeting" he is given the line "Shut the f***-up before I knock you out" which he speaks to the one White captain in the room and the only White in the entire extended scene that is given any lines.
Btw, what was with that weird "pagan" festival of fire orgy scene in the second movie featuring all black characters?

I could go on.

On the other hand all of the bad guys were White:
All the agents were White
The "Architect" was White
The Merovingian was White
His wife was White
All of his henchmen were White. In fact his two most evil henchmen were played by albino twins (get it - eviler than evil, so therefore, Whiter than White).

Also, almost none of the bad White characters were given names (in Judeo/Marxist/Frankfurt school/White hating "critical theory" this is significant).

Peter said...

Scott, I never would have read this post if not for your review appearing on a search. The title of your blog made me think I'd get an interesting perspective on this subject, but instead had cynic-laden word vomit dropped on me in the first 3 sentences. A lot of people (not just critics) apparently enjoyed the film being dissected. If you weren't so premature with your hyperbole and instead left that till the end I could've bought it as some clever summary of your dismissal of the film. The fact that it was as ironic as it was, begged for commentary. Just my honest outsider perspective on how the blog presented itself to a first and now last time reader.

Troll 2. Not sure what your confusion is. You wrote Avatar was worse than a list of films that included Troll 2. You lost credibility with me before you even had the opportunity to make any points. The rest of the review didn't alter that perspective.

Like the film or not it is fast becoming a cultural milestone.

Most people are having an extremely positive and uplifting response to the film and its message despite whatever darker undertones that can be perceived/extracted through a cynical view finder.

KatyTold said...

We were watching Ice Age 2 last night and we laughed and looked at each other and said, hey, james cameron was SAMPLING from an earlier flick! it happened more than once. hmmm
Scott, you might want to allow more leeway in folk's sense of humor. that said, i also was looking for Christ's Light to be enlightening one about this movie. we got a good review, but perhaps not what was advertised.
I was hoping to find a site which shines the Light of Christ on these pagan or demonic or angelic little lures (Movies) and hoping for some focus in the review on the pull for pantheism in this movie, the corrupting idea that the soul moves from body to body-- at the will of Man, not the Creator of the Universe; and the focus on nature/animal/sensuality/Flesh as good as opposed to sacred holiness as the mystery of life. however, the review is hilarious and mostly spot on. (i wondered how many teenagers were inflamed in identification with characters flying around naked. No National Geographic-type titillation here... i have now heard from several youn'uns that there was in fact great trouble with remaining chaste during large blocks of the film)
Merry Christmas everyone.

KatyTold said...

oops, i meant to say PETER, not scott, giving humor a bit more leeway. yes, scott's humor was a little vulgar. sometimes i think we are not as beautiful in our speech as we could be in order to reach folks with our hyperbole. i myself also use hyperbolic horrifying humor to make it past the layer of desensitization; maybe not the best idea but there it is.

Anonymous said...

@ Peter who said:

"Most people are having an extremely positive and uplifting response to the film and its message . . ."

That is terrifying. Why would people have "an extremely positive and uplifting response" to a message that is so vile and clearly anti-White?

Also, why do left-wing dingbats always use words and phrases like "extremely positive" and "uplifting" and still expect normal people to take you seriously?

Scott Nehring said...

Peter,

The film is not quickly becoming a cultural milestone. It barely scratched out a second week at #1 at the box office.

Anyone who actually knows anything about film sees right through this. It is puff. People are, rightfully, impressed by the technological advancement shown in the film, but no one is moved by the story other than slack-jawed leftists who believed everything they were told getting their undergraduate degree. Actual milestones like Star Wars, Jaws, The Matrix, these were technically impressive as well but they became milestones because they also were well constructed stories that moved people.

This film is little more than a good tasting Happy Meal sold as filet mignon.

This film is worse than Troll 2 - like Kazaam, no one connected with Troll 2 ever thought they were doing anything but making crap. The story and more importantly the message in this film is on the same level as the worst movies out there and outdoes them because it is presented as being a great work.

Anonymous said...

More crap from the crapMeister himself James (I will do anything for the kosher Nostra) CanRam.....

PS/ It is not that people are against Religion, it is that they are brainwashed into believeing that it is what is wrong with society and so Religion is set upon as an elite sturcture needing to be toppled; but it is dual citizens at AIPAC, the ADL and host of other organisations as long as your arm that foster anti-Christian feelings while they destroy white western culture for their own greed.

KatyTold said...

don't forget the Milestone of milestones, The Passion of the Christ. money$, language, cinematography, time setting, roles/acting. did i say $$$moneis$?

Scott Nehring said...

Good point Katy,

Passion was a milestone on a number of levels. It brought Christian art to the forefront and proved that a scriptural-based film could be profitable. This led to the establishment of a stronger "Christian film" movement.

It also showed a stronger relationship between Catholic and Protestant audiences who both went to the film in huge numbers. This is something I always thought was overlooked.

The film is also remarkable because it proves that the audience reacts to good storytelling. The movie was in a dead language, yet people were still moved to tears, many people were deeply impacted because of how the story of Christ was presented by Gibson.

Then there's the fact that people naturally react to seeing the sacrifice of Christ.

Again, good point.

hanum said...

great movie... great technology used...

Anonymous said...

If i watched this film and not once thought it was implying actual racism or trying to mimic a historical incident, does that make me stupid?

Scott Nehring said...

It doesn't make you insightful. I can't speak to the rest of your intellect without more evidence.

I would defer to those who know you better. Ask them.

Anonymous said...

Does this review remind anyone else of the satirical rant on Star Wars by the Black Power comic book creator in Chasing Amy?

KatyTold said...

Making Fun of people
to
1 disempower them, 2 weaken their message, or
3 to feel better about one'self by pointing out another's flaws, in a mean manner--
is
Fun
Sometimes.
(eveil laugh bbwwwaaa)

Ben said...

I thought that there were some clear undertones regarding the recent American wars mingled with the European conquering of America/Australia etc. There were the lines about a "pre-emptive attack" and about "fighting terror with terror" which especially seemed to ring a bell, and then there was the fact that the humans are represented by the US.

What do you think?

Scott Nehring said...

They weren't undertones, they were right out there, but yes, I'm with you.

Randal said...

No room for a point by point, so:
“My personal favorite is when a mercenary who is collecting a paycheck to kill aliens is ordered to kill said aliens yells "I didn't sign on for this!" and then leave the battlefield.”
Hey, you actually identified her as a mercenary, not a “marine”. Go you! And really, you think that a bunch of armored aircraft shooting missiles into a village of people armed with bows is a battle? Really? (Do you wow people with tales of the epic battles of you vs. the anthills in your youth?) That’s what is known as a ‘massacre’

Scott Nehring said...

Aw c'mon Randall, there's plenty of room. This is the Internet, its not like we're going to run out of ribbon. Have at it. Give me your best shot. Then I will methodically explain why you're wrong in brilliant detail.

Did you see the movie? And by that I mean, were you actually paying attention to what was going on in front of you?

Cameron's point was to make the Marines out to be mercenaries. He doesn't really make a distinction between the titles. He simply conflates the two, smearing the servicemen, and then moves on.

The first conflict, where Cameron reproduces 9/11 with the tree is a massacre. The second conflict is meant to be a battle.

I hope this clears things up.

Maritide said...

Let's hear it for the U.S. Army Navy and Marines who are the ones taking care of haiti right now.
You can always count on the u.s. military to do it right and step up.
until it's time to hate them at the acamdemy awards.

Anonymous said...

Wow. So if I actually LIKED the movie, I'm a leftie moron?

This movie is getting under the skin of impressionable young people (and some of us older leftie morons, too) who may be hungry for spiritual meaning in their lives. Is it wise to dismiss this phenomenon, or is it an opportunity for a teachable moment?

The fact is, it's a rather cliched story that's been told and retold over and over, and the reason for that is because it's based on a great deal of truth and human history. The themes continue to get acted out over and over in real life: greed can lead to corruption and murder, people run roughshod over the basic human rights and dignity of others on a regular basis, and sometimes we need a hero to rise up and show us the way.

Is it possible there are Christian themes here?

Pandora is a beautiful world where all things live in harmony. Could it be a "type" of heaven or the Garden of Eden?

Sin enters this beautiful world and immediately seeks to destroy it. Hmmmmm. Doesn't that kind of sound like what happened at the Garden of Eden?

There is a "god" who rules this world. Not multiple gods, but one. This god is portrayed as a she. In fact, it is this god who saves the day, not the puny creatures. Could we look at this particular god and explain how she is like or unlike our own God? Can we use this movie to evangelize others rather than insult them by telling them they're not supposed to like the movie?

Yes, much about the movie is oversimplified and stereotyped. This is no reason to dismiss the movie entirely. Some of the original reviewer's points had me scratching my head. Did he watch the same movie I watched? Did he miss key points?

I loved the movie, even though I am a certified Catholic catechist (so I guess I wasn't supposed to like it, and I must be too impressionable). I am also a nature lover, and I see how original sin has corrupted the world around us, and this grieves me. We do not have to be tree-hugging environmentalists to agree that all of God's creation is sacred and humankind has not always treated it as such.

What is the point in dismissing the lessons in this movie, which are timeless and should not be the sole property of liberals? (Why does this have to be political in the first place?) I would think they should be the property of all God's children.

Our choice: dismiss the movie altogether and lose a potential audience who may be hungry for spiritual truth, or use it as a teachable moment. Which do you think we should choose?

Anonymous said...

There is a report of people experiencing 'post-Avatar blues' , but the report is misleading in emphasizing the viewers' desire to live in a world of heightened experience (Avatar also depicts a very dangerous world).
The feelings of loss are driven home by the use of archetypes e.g. garden of eden, loss of innocence, historical realities such as the genocide of Native Americans, the carnage of industrialization and civilization. Don't be confused by surface values - this myth is the story of the human tragedy made even more relevant by recent news as the Supreme Court's 'Radical and Destructive' Decision Hands Over Democracy to the Corporations. The machine is marching on, and it's not interested in renewable energy or sustainable growth.

" Under the Court's new rules, progressive list serves won't stand a chance against the resources of new "citizens" such as CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Maybe UBS (United Bank of Switzerland), which faces U.S. criminal prosecution and a billion-dollar fine for fraud, might be tempted to invest in a few Senate seats. As would XYZ Corporation, whose owners remain hidden by "street names." '....http://www.alternet.org/politics/

oneemptylittle said...

Please.
There is no corporation bigger than Big Media mixed with Big Products GTE/NBC/CNN/Time etc etc etc and there has been NO LIMIT on how they speak or push or slander anyone near election time.
If childen are not carefully taught and given a spiritual base long before they start seeing PG movies, they will most likely be lost to mamamedia.
one effect of the Court is that personal billionaires are not the only ones that can finance a campaign. a little good, a little bad?

Randal said...

The second battle is pretty darned one sided up until Eywah buys a clue and has every large animal in the region attack.
Can't hit the Na'vi? They were shot off their mounts right and left. Artillery very effective also just like in real life. What movie did you watch?
Unobtanium? It levitates. Some big boulders and hills levitate. Do the math. The name? Look up 'quarks' and their 'flavors'. Some scientists have a sense of humor.
Kitty people? More like 90% human, 10% monkey.
Mercs vs. Marines: Evidently you feel that Blackwater represented America. I disagree. The protagonist mentions the difference between fighting for their country and fighting for a paycheck up front. Pay attention.

Anonymous said...

It is a movie - get over your fears. If you don't understand that there were definite good guys and bad guys and don't want to cheer for the good guys I feel sorry for you.

Watch any movie and you will find some unanswered questions or plot lines. Yeah, people in Star Trek often use 20th century slang. Bottom line is that this is a movie and it tells a story.

A better question is WWJD? It seems as if the real issue you are arguing is that the humans ruined their world and needed the resources of the Na'vi and were willing to take them by force. Would Jesus advocate stealing from someone else and desecrating their temples and killing them if he wanted what they had. Of course not!!

And besides all of that, IT WAS JUST A MOVIE

Anonymous said...

Scott, i am sorry you seem to be missing messages from Jesus, about being non judgmental and having compassion. Reading your material I get a sense you are have a hateful heart and are hiding it behind and justifying its existence with religion. I hope Jesus message may ring louder in your ears from now on.

As For this movies inner message and the Vatican's response.When i see nature i am in awe of a grand design. With elegance, precision, balance and beauty. In worshiping nature as divine,I worship the grand designer, the creator, and his greatest work.

I Feel much closer to God that way than when I see some man in a castle surrounded by gold and opulence.

Catholic leadership needs to make headlines that cant be ignored, headlines for the benefit of the Grand Designer and his creations, maybe start by selling some of that gold and feeding the poor,or leading us to a place where we cause less harm on the Grand Designer greatest creation.

Max II said...

It is ultimately unimportant what the unobtainium did for Earthlings. There is the matter of dealing ethically with the people indigenous to the planet, which the people who came to collect the resource were only marginally interested in doing. And when push came to shove they opted for intimidation and violence over moral action. This is not an unrealistic turn of story as such action play out during asymmetrical disputes all the time.

george said...

Jesus was an outdoorsman. His friends were fishermen. He spoke of birds and plants, wind and sea. He went up into the hills to pray, and in his time of deep travail went to a garden to pray. How do you think he feels about greedy people destoying the beauty our Father dreated?

Do you see a connection here?

mygamebest said...

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Anonymous said...

Any attempt to make humans aware of the destruction of the natural world I will fully support. This movie, while simplified and repetitive, is GOOD and not a rotten pile of trash as the reviewer perceives it. It makes me sad there is so much hate and disregard for the natural world. It is what gives us life. Air, food, and water are within us. Combined with the spirit of the creator, we are allowed to live on this planet. You think I am lying, try and stop breathing, eating, or consuming water. Wake up and rise above your hate spewing, trash talking, judgmental viewpoints. seriously. where are you christian values?

Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed reading the last several comments because they hit the nail on the head. Even though you are entitled to your opinion this review was terrible. I am a devout practicing Catholic and I loved this movie. I think it shows that as humans we are broken but through the grace of God, faith and community we are redeemed. The movie was not anti-American or anti-military but showed a side that there is corruption in our world and country...one reviewer wrote that you need to pay attention to the movie...and honesty I don't think you did.
Also this movie was a HUGE success:
Avatar premiered in London on December 10, 2009, and was released internationally on December 16, and in North America on December 18, to critical acclaim and commercial success. The film broke several box office records during its release and became the highest-grossing film of all time in North America and worldwide, surpassing Titanic, which had held the records for the previous 12 years. It also became the first film to gross more than $2 billion. Following the film's success, Cameron stated that there will be a sequel. Avatar has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed reading the last several comments because they hit the nail on the head. Even though you are entitled to your opinion this review was terrible. I am a devout practicing Catholic and I loved this movie. I think it shows that as humans we are broken but through the grace of God, faith and community we are redeemed. The movie was not anti-American or anti-military but showed a side that there is corruption in our world and country...one reviewer wrote that you need to pay attention to the movie...and honesty I don't think you did.
Also this movie was a HUGE success:
Avatar premiered in London on December 10, 2009, and was released internationally on December 16, and in North America on December 18, to critical acclaim and commercial success. The film broke several box office records during its release and became the highest-grossing film of all time in North America and worldwide, surpassing Titanic, which had held the records for the previous 12 years. It also became the first film to gross more than $2 billion. Following the film's success, Cameron stated that there will be a sequel. Avatar has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Hubert Hubert said...

I am with you in loathing this film; it is, I agree, the most shockingly awful and amoral farrago.

I hope you will forgive me this blatant link but I also wrote a (very) lengthy review and also one from a catholic standpoint. It's here: Avatar .

Thanks,
HH

Paula said...

Dear Scott,

I am white, not American and wish to comment on your review of Avatar.

Your racial reading of Avatar is questionable, but nevertheless reaches the point: the primitive way of life is in all aspects better.

Is that untrue? Is your our Western capitalist "civilized" way of life good?

We live in absolute discordance with our nature - both the nature inside us and around us. The reason for this disharmony is the cherished deeply-rooted biblical thought.

The biblical god is male (even if you argue he's beyond gender, he's always referred to as "he"). A sterile deity who we, on this earth, struggle to reconnect with (hence Religion- re-connect).

Nature, on the other hand, has a female connotation and is in direct opposition to the biblical ethos.

The premise is we are not originally from here (Eden), this is not our home and thus not only we shall inherit somewhere better (or this place bettered by him) but we come from somewhere better.
Somewhere fair, where the living beings don't have to eat each other to survive.
Life is cruel, ruthless and unfair if analysed by the biblical or Aristotelian sense of ideal.

Therefore only a religion that offers "the beyond" like Judaism, Christianity and Islam can "save us".
Religions that accept the hard realities of life and nature and try to put us in accordance with it (instead of rejecting it) are considered derogatorily "pagan".

The 3 so-called great monotheistic religions of the world do precisely that: a disconnection of this existence for salvation to a higher spiritual and eternal life.

Animals, trees and rivers are defined as "near-objects" all here for us. Their very creation and existence is to serve us, god's sublime main piece of creation.

In the movie, when an animal had to be killed in order to feed a tribe the hunter thanked the animal, not some unattached god. Yes, a mirror image of 'primitive' cultures, reflecting their beliefs. But you find Gaia sheer liberal, left-wing, hippie talk.
Gaia is a concept that is acknowledged and endorsed by scientists, philosophers, biologists, and the list goes on. However, I don't think any of it matters to you. Science (specially when it contradicts the bible) is probably just another blasphemous device of the unfaithful to attack the sacred.

Paula said...

The bible offers a line of reasoning to not only reject our nature but to also disconnect from it. The so called "primitive" civilizations are laughable because they do not reconnect with monotheism or his main guy: Yewah.

So here is the point of this text: what are you connected to? Are you sure he IS god and he is good and will save you? Save us from what, exactly? Why is the connection to nature (like the one Avatar shows) crap and the connection to Yewah perfect? All the religions that stemed from him via Abraham are and have always been riddled in anger and fight.
Yewah and his absurd laws and actions (all in black and white in the bible) are just as "primitive" as any of these nature religions. Look up the meaning of the word "primitive".

Yeawah is a jealous god, says so himself, who can bestow wrath and cannot tolerate any other gods for he is the top-notch god. In several passages he compares himself to other gods and in one of his commandments he orders his people (not you by the way - he was talking to jews) to not have any other gods before him. THUS he infers that there are other gods. So much for monotheism. So monotheism is the worship of one god and not the popular belief that "there is only one god."

I don't know god or gods or if they or he or she exists. We will never know. But what we do know is that we do not live according to biblical laws. You mix dairy and meat, you don't keep the Saturday and you do not stone your son to death if he disrespects you. The list is long and different groups of faith from the 3 main religions pick and choose what they want and then found their morals on stories and principles worth of being called holly because they are taken from the bible.

I know you will probably never be able to read the bible and just read it for what it is. It's better to "study" it and dig for justifications for the divine mistakes and atrocities.

Jesus is a different story. You have to read the apocrypha texts in order to see and understand how the jews are right when they say he was completely detached from yewah and the torah (the old testament) hence why they don not accept him as the messiah.

Avatar is portraying the truth, Scott, weather you want to accept it or not. If we were to vanish from the face of earth all other animals would probably breathe a sigh of relief - oh, they are gone! We are eating this planet up like parasites and our way of life is leading future generations to a planet with no green and unpolluted nature.
All our babble about religion is pointless, there is nothing that can be proved or tangible. Nature is here, around us, alive. And we are killing it and looking down on it in the name of what? God?

Watch part one of Zeitgeist and you will find out more about empirical evidence of what I am talking about. If you have faith in your faith then you'll have no trouble in opening your ears and eyes to those who contradict your certainties.