Most everyone knows I graduated with a degree in Theater Arts from Baylor University. My undergrad work was so important in shaping who I am today. I have great friends, learned a great craft, and love to see good films.
So, last night I decided to head over to watch the critically acclaimed AVATAR.
First, let me be honest, anytime a film gets so much recognition that it becomes the highest grossing film of all time, I'm always a little skeptical. But as soon as I put my 3D glasses on, this movie whisked me away to a magical land, full of beauty and imagination.
The special effects are INCREDIBLE.
The theme of the movie, or shall I say themes, were interesting. From a critics point of view, this movie had everything everyone who watches movies goes to see. Bombs, love, techno stuff, army, doctors, brilliant cinematography, great special effects, WHEW it was like running a marathon. But what intrigued me the most, the story. The over-arching dominant theme of the Avatar is very interesting to a guy involved in a teenage generation.
AVATAR is literally another character by which you can live life through. Maybe you've heard of second life, or something similar, where you create your own surroundings. There are literally AVATARS you can choose on your Yahoo account so whenever you sign in, your cartoon character tells everyone else you're on. It's almost like Web 2.0 is filled with arenas where you live virtually in another world, and the internet is definitely heading that way. The movie wasn't as creepy as second life, but all the same, very interesting to use the idea of fictional 'self placement' in a movie with so many other themes.
Sure there was plenty of explosions for the fellas, love story for the ladies, but another interesting part of the movie was the unbelievable relationship to what's going on in America. The idea of the American armed forces literally forcing their way into a native land for precious natural resources was straight off the screen of Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC. Right down to the very phrase, "shock and awe" the story was told by the underdog, terrorist, insurgency. Interesting choice Mr. Cameron.
We left the theater, I looked over at my friend Luke and asked, "Does America know what this movie just said?" Because if they do, those who've been championing the wars for the last 8 years just took an intellectual shot in the mouth.
Spiritism is a vital part of the film as well. The native people take great pride in connecting with the energy of the earth, believing in an afterlife, and a connection among all living things. I think you'll be hard pressed to find the Christian message, but I'm sure someone is already working on a small group video series title, "The Gospel according to Avatar." If not…please don't.
For those of you weary of heart, there's plenty of language, lots of violence, and the natives run around the forest wearing little more than a loin cloth. So be informed.
Overall, I felt like it was a wonderful fantasy story with well development current event like issues. James Cameron did a great job telling the story he wanted to tell.
But most of you have already seen this right? I mean it is the highest grossing film of all time.
And in that respect…I'd be interested to get your thoughts.
If you've seen the film, what did you think?