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James Cameron's epic sci-fi fantasy film released in 2009.

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Review of 'AVATAR' Movie: A Christian Perspective

  • Dec 21, 2009
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The late 2009 big buzz in movies is a scifi action film called AVATAR.  The plot is the classic big guy against the little guy, underdog theme.  It is reminiscent of how Native Americans are portrayed as being victims of European expansionism.  An "avatar" is a character controlled by another person, much like any video game you might play -- the character you control is an avatar.  It follows your commands, but when you stop telling it what to do, it does nothing.  In the movie, scientists are controlling hybrid human-alien avatars in an attempt to gain the trust of the indigenous population of a planet called Pandora (alluding to Greek mythology of Pandora, the first woman, and the tale of a box that once opened let's out events that cannot be contained).  But there is also a military and corporate element that is attempting to mine resources from the planet, ironically from the main home site of the indigenous population.

Once you get past the not so nuanced play against the capitalistic mindset, the movie is really a remarkable feat. You have seen movies where the computer generated characters are a bit wobbly and fake looking, but this movie almost has it down to a believable point.  As a matter of fact, since the alien race is supposed to be much like the Native Americans, expect to see some implied nudity.

Now, I know there has been and will be some controversy over the apparent promotion of paganism, as the alien race is very religious or "spiritual" in an evironmentalist way -- but again, if we were recounting the history and culture of the Native Americans, to leave out this aspect would not be framing the entire story.  However, I have noticed something interesting in space-based scifi flicks and tv shows -- humanity seems to never really believe anything.  Are humans to be thought of as having no faith?  I mean, society has been for centuries trying to downplay if not altogether expunge religion and especially Christianity from the human record.  Yet, we see movies and tv shows that fault humanity for being disconnected from "spirituality".  The true history of humanity, especially Europeans is that of a people so connected to a spiritual sense, that it permeated everything.  But for centuries, the elites in societies have shunned that spiritual sense and promoted instead a cold, calculated "scientific" approach.  I just find it a bit ironic if not hypocritical that those same elites are now faulting humanity for not being a spiritual race.

Past all of that, the movie in my opinion ranks as one of the best scifi action movies.  And I suspect AVATAR is really the first of a new kind of film where computer generated characters and scenes will dominate.  I even suspect in the near future, live actors will give way to computer generated actors.  Let's see the paparazzi chase that.


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January 27, 2010
There's a great conversation started here about the movie and its spiritual meaning. Feel free to join the conversation! http://www.reliefjournal.com/2010/01/26/avatar-whats-the-big-deal/
December 22, 2009
No offense to your religion at all, but it's funny that you are looking at this film from a christian perspective seeing as how Avatar is actually almost a giant advertisement for Pantheism - a faith that equates god with nature.  Instead of worshipping some all mighty being because of human nature's fear of everything, it asks to bring humanity into communion with the natural world... 
December 24, 2009
One thing Christians seem to little understand is how much Jesus loved Mother Earth and how Mother Earth shook and mourned over His death. The prophet Enoch wrote of how Earth weeps over the wickedness of mankind. God also weeps over the cold heartedness of His children and how they inflict pain upon one another and upon Mother Earth, having forgotten their divine heritage and responsibility for Her welfare and all life upon it.
December 25, 2009
I say also in the movie AVATAR, the Na'vi became fully evolved to be able to commune with their planet while the humans lost touch. I guess there's a lot of things that got in the way for humanity to be able to lose touch...dare I say arrogance, greed and the desire to outdo each other? You see the Na'vi in a united front and have respect for the animals' lives they have to take when they have to kill. The na'vi are saying that there is a force that unites everything (even ancestors), to them it is their deity. Humans lost touch of this but Jake was able to hear his ancestors when he held that strand for a time. This means this force does exist throughout not just to the Na'vi. Their deity may be their own, but it is another representation of a singular force.
More Avatar (2009 film) reviews
review by . March 09, 2010
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   I was waiting to write this review for a while because I had only seen it in 3D. I was utterly amazed because it was the first 3D movie I had ever seen. I wanted to go straight home and write a review giving it a +5 rating. Upon talking with others who had seen the movie and reading various criticisms and analyzes of the film, I began to doubt my initial reaction. Was I letting the CGI effects and the 3D elements hype the movie to a level it didn't deserve? So, I was determined …
review by . February 23, 2011
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James Cameron, it seems to me, creates wonderful dishware in which to place the most nourishing and satisfying of those things we humans crave. All those J. Cameron-imprinted tureens and goblets took rare imagination and meticulous craftsmanship to make. Just one piece can cost a Wall Street banker's annual bonus. They boggle. But look inside that tureen and there ain't no vichyssoise. Take Avatar.       This is one of the most beautiful movies you'll ever hope …
review by . January 30, 2010
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Fly me to the moon
              It’s when Adventure meets Art,  you’ve got the human spirit all throughout this film. The good, the bad.   Learning is a way of life. Innocence is inherent. Trust in the invisible and the unknown. The spirit within each living thing. Every day is an adventure. Entertainment at its summit!   A Dreamland. A Wonderful World. A Stunning Visual. An Incredible Imagination. A World beyond words …
review by . March 01, 2010
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Well, here goes nothing.  I've not really done movie reviews before, and honestly am intimidated to a degree by the major film buffs who are incredibly adept at breaking down plots, themes, and drawing parallels to other films.  This is simply my totally novice, average schmo-ette attempt to share my thoughts ... so please be kind : )      My main take-aways: This will be the Star Wars for my young daughter's generation. I wanted to BECOME one of …
review by . April 19, 2011
   "Frank, when's this gonna stop?"   "You should already know that."      And I smelt, as it were, the stench of CGI: One of the four beasts saying: "Best ever." And I saw. And behold, a blue alien.      There's a 3-D gimmick goin' 'round takin' names. An' he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down. …
review by . November 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****   James Cameron knows how to build hype. He also knows how to spend money very well. “Avatar” is the result of how Cameron spends his time and money, being a technical masterpiece but none the less a terribly familiar trip. Sure, it’s very engaging. Sure, it looks pretty. But when watching it, I noticed that everything Cameron shows or does is something that has been done before. Some of his choices often result in “Avatar” being very predictable …
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Thats Right I Didn't like this movie
Avatar is your basic outsider/broken dude finds himself in a place he dosent belong/fit in. And after being there a while he finds himself and he's a new man. Avatar felt like a play it safe movie to me. It was predictable and we've literally seen movies like this a thousand times. The 3-D in my opinion didnt really add anything to the film. So after all that why am I giving this movie a 3 and a half? Because Avatar is one of the most awe-inspiring movies Ive seen in a long time. I loved …
review by . December 29, 2009
Avatar: relegates Lord of the Rings to 'old hat'
 I bow to our friend, who prefaced his astonished and profound appreciation of the Avatar movie with "It drives me nuts.." (that they have to include the dominator thing.....) "But...."      The conversation that ensued resulted in all 8 of us (4 couples) going to IMax for the experience (that one couple's second viewing). We came out of there with 'sea legs' and we're still re-orienting.      It's significant in my little Universe …
review by . December 21, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ + Stars: Absorbing Fantasy Adventure and Thought-Povoking Themes Make This a Blockbuster!
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review by . December 18, 2009
The Greatest Science Fiction Epic of All Time!
James Cameron has outdone himself!  He may have actually outdone the whole entire film industry.  Never in my life have I seen a film so brilliant and beautiful that it made me rethink the whole way in which I look at film.  Avatar is what movies are all about; transporting you into the film and making you feel as if you're really there.  Mr. Cameron has accomplished that with they way in which he has revolutionized the 3D genre of filmmaking.  Avatar isn't just another …
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Roderick Edwards ()
Ranked #1180
Member Since: Dec 21, 2009
Last Login: Dec 25, 2009 03:13 AM UTC
About this movie


Avatar is a 2009 American science fiction epic film written and directed by James Cameron and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang. The film is set in the year 2154, when humans are mining a precious mineral called unobtanium on Pandora, a lush moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi—a sentient humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film's title refers to the genetically engineered Na'vi and human hybrid bodies used by several human characters to interact with the natives of Pandora.

Development on Avatar began in 1994, when Cameron wrote an 80-page scriptment for the film. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion of Cameron's 1997 film Titanic, for a planned release in 1999, but according to Cameron, the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his vision of the film. Work on the language for the film's extraterrestrial beings began in summer 2005, and Cameron began developing the screenplay and fictional universe in early 2006.

Avatar was officially budgeted at US$237 million. Other estimates put the cost between $280 million and $310 million for production, and at $150 million for promotion. The film was released for traditional two-dimensional projectors, as well as in 3-D, using the RealD 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D and IMAX 3D formats, and also in ...

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Director: James Cameron
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: December 18, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: James Cameron
Runtime: 162 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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