Avatar- The prettiest dumb movie ever

There have already been many reviews written about this movie. So far, the critical consensus has been positive it manages an 82 on Rotten Tomatoes and an 83 on metacritic. That’s not too shabby for a big blockbuster that managed to rip off Dances With Wolves, Pocahontas, Ferngully, and just about every other “evil white man” movie out there. Oops, sorry. Did my last sentence give away my opinion of the movie? The title of this review sums up my thoughts about it. It is one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen with one of the most rehashed and cliched stories I have ever seen.

What worked- As already stated, the visuals in this movie are simply stunning. Pandora as a world is believable and it is easy to get lost in the scenery. Cameron did a great job of creating a believable ecosystem and populating it with lifelike creatures.

What didn’t work- Where to start…

1. The story is completely unoriginal, only the setting has been changed to protect Cameron from being sued for copyright infringement by the makers of Pocahontas and Dances With Wolves.

2. It’s anti-military. While the soldiers in the story are said to mercenaries hired on by a company, it’s made clear that most of them are ex-military and the movie takes pains to show their glee as they gun down the Na’vi. In this movie it is the military that are savages and they are portrayed as mindless killing machines.

3. It’s a half billion dollar PSA for environmentalists. I will be the first to tell you that we need to take care of our environment, but this movies puts forth a ludicrous ideal that somehow things were better when people had to live in fear of being eaten by wild animals and that living in the forest is somehow a superior lifestyle to what we are blessed to live with now.

4. Its pantheism is disturbing. The worship of nature always disturbs me. When creation leaves out Creator and begins worshiping creation terrible things happen. We seem to forget that many native cultures of yesteryear engaged in horrible practices such as child sacrifice, ritual murder, and cannibalism. Yup, that’s the ideal world that we should apparently be striving to get back to. No thanks, I’ll keep my blog and my X-Box and not having to worry about if my neighbor is going to bludgeon me in the night so that the rain god can make his crops grow. The movie expects me to view the pantheistic ceremonies as something beautiful and reverent. I have a hard time doing that when Hollywood continually portrays my faith as being populated by a bunch of bigoted, apocalyptic rednecks.

5. I’m tired of people feeling the need to apologize for evils done in generations past. This is pure selfish condescension on the part of the one doing the apologizing. Why? Because they do it to make themselves feel better. Eventually we have to get to a point where we stop blaming the past for all our present circumstances. We live in a country where someone can make something of themselves if they really want to. It’s time for people to step up and take responsibility for their own lives instead of blaming their present circumstances on something that happened hundreds of years ago.

Avatar is a stunning visual achievement that ends up being a mediocre film thanks to the tired story and ridiculous attempts to once again assuage the evil white man’s guilt by falsely glorifying a mythical culture that exists only in the mind of those Hollywood elites who have not taken the time to read history.

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8 thoughts on “Avatar- The prettiest dumb movie ever

  1. First of all, blog = lame.

    I dare you to find a movie made in the last 10 years that doesn’t borrow from or “rip off” any other story line. I can point out dozens upon dozens upon dozens of movies that you would probably not label “rehashed and cliche stories.”

    This movie was unique. What did you expect: He WOULDN’T join the Na’vi? Come on, now. One could infer that just from the trailers. And by the way, I don’t get the “Pocahontas” reference… didn’t see anything like that in there.

    But let’s break it down like you broke it down:

    1. Like I said, you were only looking at the surface. “Man infiltrates ‘pagan’ culture. Man falls for ‘pagan’ girl. Man joins ‘pagans’ to fight the other men.” You missed everything that made this movie incredible. It’s been said that every story line of every movie ever made could be boiled down to a simple plot from something William Shakespeare once wrote. The very basic story line isn’t what’s important. What is:
    (a.) A completely new planet, built from the ground up by Cameron, a biologist and some computers.
    (b.) New technology (avatars).
    (c.) Completely new culture, built from the ground up by Cameron and a linguist from USC.
    Add all of that together and you get the final result of Avatar, a movie with a fascinating culture on a gorgeous planet with characters so unique it hurts to think about. I dare you to find a movie, short of Lord of the Rings, that so completely created another world so different from our own that the environment and culture overshadows the overarching story.

    2. I didn’t catch any anti-military. Cameron borrowed an instance from human history to give people a “connection” to the story: Remember how white people weren’t here in America first? Remember what we did to the native peoples to steal their land? More on that later. (Plus, I know you’re in the military, but the military isn’t untouchably perfect. It consists of men who, like all of humanity, is inherently evil and has to consciously choose to do right instead. News flash: They don’t always choose right. Deal with it.)

    3. Drive around on 23rd street, anywhere along it, in Oklahoma City and tell me that pleases God more than a forest ecosystem. I’m not saying that humanity is evil for cutting down trees, but remember that God did also charge us with being good stewards of His creation. And like the humans we are, we can get carried away. For whatever reason, neo-conservatives have taken the stance of defending humanity’s folly. I’m not saying we should not eat meat or drive cars or wear clothes, but I’m saying your blind, foolish disposition against ANYTHING environmental-sounding made everything in Avatar sound radical. The message I got from Avatar was that rather than working AGAINST nature to survive, we should work WITH nature. That “unobtanium” didn’t seem to hold anything NECESSARY to human survival, just money. And if I had to choose between money or a gorgeous forest, I’d take the forest 100 percent of the time. I dare you to argue against that.

    4. You’ve got to be kidding me, Glen Beck Jr. “Child sacrifice, ritual murder, cannibalism?” Where was that in this movie? Just like Fox News’ Glen Beck, you bring in stuff that has ABSOLUTELY NO RELEVANCE to what you’re discussing. Though I agree with almost all of Beck’s political stances, I still think his show is worthless because he does what you just did. How was any of that in this movie? AT ALL? And the bit about the “rain god?” Good grief, God gave you a brain so you could use it, so use it.

    And who are you to say that, were such a fantasy world in existence, God would choose to manifest Himself to the natives in the same way He did to us? Who are you to decide that Eywa was something different, if not a little more proactive, than God? Everything God has chosen to reveal to us has been in ways we can understand: “He” is not male, but He chose to manifest himself to us in a way that we could culturally understand–in ancient Israel, a man. Who’s to say God couldn’t choose to reveal Himself to a culture whose religious leader is female as a she? They explained the network binding everything together was BIOLOGICAL more than spiritual, so what’s the problem with that? Who are you to say God wouldn’t want to make a new, fantastic world much different from ours and reveal Himself in a completely different way? Even if not, why is it wrong for a FICTIONAL story consisting of fictional characters in a fictional world with a fictional situation to have a fictional deity? If that is wrong, throw out Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and pretty much any other movie/story in the fantasy genre. Even HALO. I know you’re as nerdy as me and you would be unwilling to dismiss all of that, so don’t dismiss Avatar on that basis either.

    Xboxes are great, but do you really NEED it? Frankly, I’d rather have one of those flying dragon things than an Xbox, so the Na’vi might be more right than we are.

    5. Why is it wrong to have a reminder about our past? After all, if we don’t learn a lesson from the past, we’re bound to make the same mistake again. THAT is an overarching theme of this movie. If we never learned a lesson from the horrible things our forefathers did to Native Americans, we’re bound to make the same mistake, er go Avatar. Who’s to say that if we discover a planet suitable for living by humans that’s already inhabited by a native people, we won’t push them out the same way we did the Indians? I’m not ashamed to be an American, but it is healthy to be ashamed of parts of American history (i.e. the treatment of American Indians, SLAVERY). But rather than wallow in guilt, we should LEARN from it.

    That was a theme from Avatar: That we should be weary of the future and be vigilant to not repeat our mistakes. I, for one, would not stand idly by if something were happening like in Avatar.

    Come on now, Caleb. Let’s use some commonsense here.

  2. This movie was soooooo dumb. It was nothing but anti- American propaganda with some tree hugging liberal Hollywood bias. I will save details of the movie for you to watch so I don’t give it away. But be prepared to be drowned in anti-American propaganda. I walked away from that movie wanting to sue the director for my money back.
    It showed how evil we “Americans” are going around pillaging other lands for big corporations. They might as well called it George W Bush sucks. I saw right through it and my kids will NOT be brainwashed by this -edit-.

  3. the main thing dumb about it is like any movive made these days is LOUD SOUND EFFECTS, and the vocal dialogue is too low. plus the story line is dumb and a bit epected like any other “thriller” movie. movies these days are stupid.

  4. Pantheism is equally as wrong as any theism….lol

    But ya, the theism was as disgusting as the probably unending logical inconsistencies (I couldn’t watch the movie because the story line seemed dumb and loaded with BS)

  5. opinion: correct / reasoning: dumb

    You’re allowed to dislike a movie for putting forward an opinion that disagrees with yours. You’re allowed to say a movie is bad for putting forward an overtly generalized, one-sided, black-and-white viewpoint (which Avatar also does). When you say that all pantheism is bad, though, you start to seriously stretch your credibility and your message. Suddenly, your review takes a shocking turn from reasonably well-thought-out to bigoted and – more alarmingly – possibly racist, as you seem to be implying that Europeans did Native American societies a favor by invading their terrirory, killing thousands upon thousands of them, and infecting them with their diseases. Sorry, man, but this is dumb, and is also a bad opinion. I don’t like Avatar either, but I wish that holding that viewpoint didn’t ally me with someone like you, who is literally stupid.

    1. And you, good sir, are apparently unable to voice your opinion without name calling and demonizing those with whom you disagree. I know it’s easy to do on the nameless and faceless and Internet but I still hope for better and more articulate arguments.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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