I was bummed. First, due to many different reasons I was not able to watch Avatar in 3D at the movie theater. Then I received the BluRay Disc/DVD package and I was so excited. I watched the movie both in BluRay and on DVD since they were both packaged together. I hated it. Yes I hated the newest movie to beat box office totals, the movie that many of our friends highly recommended, the movie that James Cameron took years to make and develop the technology that he wanted.
The old saying, “A polished up turd is still a turd” came to mind after watching the movie in it’s different formats. Don’t get me wrong the polish used on this turd is amazing, even on my circa 1994 27″ television on DVD. It was even more stunning on my 17″ laptop that plays BluRay discs. I can honestly imagine why people were so mesmerized by the film in the theaters. On that huge screen with the 3D glasses on it must have been…well, mind altering. That is the only reason I can come up with to explain why anyone would throw down so much money to see this film more than once and highly recommend it to friends.
I was reading an article by Thom Parham entitled “Why Heathens Make the Best Christian Films.” In the article, one of the points is, “Parables, not Propaganda” in which he explains that good movies send their message buried deep within the metaphor and writing of the movie. He says, “Show, don’t tell, is the rule of cinema.” This film is not made for Christian audiences, but it makes the same mistake. It seemed very little time was spent on the story, especially in light of how much time was spent creating the technology for the film. I was literally ripped out of the already thin story line with the “explanation” of why the humans must attack the Na’vi; to get the Unobtanium. Seriously? Unobtanium? What does this stuff even do that we need it so bad? It was not explained in the movie, I had to Google it. The movie is full of this zero-substance stuff, but hey it was visually stunning.
As far as the propaganda is concerned about saving mother earth, I felt even more deeply saddened for James Cameron and those that believe this message. The juxtaposition of that belief system to the many uses of the vulgar “goddamn” in the movie was quite telling. The truth is God made the earth for humans and not the other way around. The earth is suffering from the effects of the decision that Adam and Eve made so long ago. Also, long long ago God had a plan to save us after that fall and eventually restore the earth back to it’s former glory. That plan is through his Son Jesus Christ who died on a cross and was raised from the dead. He will come again and will restore us and this earth. That is the amazing story!
At this point you may be asking if there was anything I liked about the movie. Well, there were some things I liked. Again, there was considerable polish on this movie. The use of colors and the technology that was used to make the Na’vi come to life within the better than real landscape of Pandora was amazing. I can’t wait to see other directors use it in their story telling, we are in for some great visual movies coming up. The battle scene at the end was epic and it was satisfying to see that colonel get taken out. And uh…did I mention the visuals were stunning?
Many people I have talked to realize that Avatar was thin on storyline, yet it was a huge technological breakthrough. I am glad for that, because that pretty much sums it up.