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January 26th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Critics: 'Avatar' is anti-military & anti-religion

20th Century Fox says James Cameron's 3D epic "Avatar" has officially sunk "Titanic, taking the crown for the biggest movie ever.

It has topped more than $1.84 billion so far, but some critics aren't too happy about that success. Our Jason Carroll has the report.

Related: Is 'Avatar' really the biggest movie ever?

Filed under: Controversy • Entertainment
soundoff (798 Responses)
  1. GWB

    If I were you dems, I wouldn't waste my time talking about a movie. I'd worry more about how the country is turning against your party. haaaa Going down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  2. Rando

    Besides what difference are mercenaries and the US military?

    We have more mercs in the field than soldiers and our soldiers are all volunteer and most are only waiting for their discharge so they can go kill for Balckwater or whatever those paid killers call themselves now. SHEESH what a load this guys dump on us.

    America should hang it's collective head at the despicable nation we have morphed into.

    Leave Avatar alone and give me the blue people as friends any day over stupid white men.

    February 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  3. GWB

    Calm down, dumborats – everyone is entitled to their opinionst. My whole family – which is middle of the road Republican – loved the movie. It was mostly ANTI BIG GREEDY CORPORATION – the poor military was just brought in to do a job. That being said, I don't know if there was an eco friendly message either considering James Cameron lives in an 8,272 square foot “cottage” in Malibu with 6 bedrooms and 7 baths, complete with the requisite pool, tennis court and inner courtyard. Another example of dems talking the talk but not walking the walk.

    February 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  4. Rando

    Note to stupid redneck right wingnuts: this movie is everything you claiom it to be and so what? Maybe film goers want something besides war movies that do nothing but tell us "War is Hell" but offer nothing in the way of a moral message, the moral message is the US is wrong frequently, our military is bankrupting the country and we have a history of genocide and subjugation of other societies and peoples.

    Methinks thou dost protest too much

    February 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  5. Kozov

    Oh for pity’s sake people – for the persecution-obsessed Righties, Avatar is simply another opportunity to bleat about “the enemies all around us”, not an actual source of any legitimate disquiet. The deep-seated fear-mongerering mindset that lies at the core of the far right psyche demands a constant stream of exaggerated (and often completely fictionalize) externalized straw-men threats, aka “The Other”, to legitimize their conceptualization of the primacy of their own in-group identifications of “Us”. In this way they really are an atavistic throw-back, developmentally and culturally speaking, to the primitive tribal state of early anthropoids.

    Were it not for the fact that, in large herds, they have the potential to hack our system of governance and impose their fractious and fearful world-view upon the rest of us as the Rule Of Law I would simply pity them as the backwards, broken creatures that they are.

    February 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  6. Eli

    Military and church projecting their guilt on to a work of fiction. Its funny how insecure the Vatican gets about story time. There is a word for this now "Avatarded"

    February 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  7. Larry Botts

    Here we go again, the right wing nut jobs are at it again. Save your "weird" opinions for your momma and Rush Limbaugh!

    February 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  8. ann

    Anti-mercenary maybe. The hero ex-marine is open-minded and not blindly following orders to commit genocide.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  9. Nick

    I took it as anti Imperialist. It reminded me of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, except with a happy ending. There's alot of awful events in history this could be said to portray. Many of them not done by Americans. It's about greed. Good vs. Evil.

    I find it offensive people call it anti religious. You don't have to be Christian or Muslim to be religious. Maybe some of us believe in God but aren't too fond of their way of believing in it. They act like they have a monopoly.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  10. Philip

    The fringe groups that depend on external funding have to find reasons to raise their voice to justify the money they get. So here goes another rant ... the extreme left and the extreme right should both get a life!

    On the other hand the National Woodcutters Association(NWA) and the Save Our Wolves(SOW) are fighting each other to prove who really attacked Red Riding Hood's grandma.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  11. Jordan

    You know, considering that the "conservatives" has come out in opposition to this movie, why haven't we seen the "liberals" rally behind it.

    Oh, wait. That did happen, because apparently "Avatar" is the biggest sci-fi craze since "Star Wars". I think that when people saw the movie was going to be big, they discovered that if they protested it, they could get on the national media. Albeit, they just end up making fools of themselves, but that's what happens to close minded, arrogant, and insensitive people. They hate things.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  12. Depoleon

    I would like to point out an extremely important fact:
    In the very beginning of the movie, it is stated VERY clearly "Back on earth, these marines were heroes, fighting for freedom. Here on Pandora, they are just hired guns."
    Cameron goes out of his way to show these men are mercs, NOT a true military organization.
    If you are going to go and make a critical statement about someones art, at least perform the due diligence of knowing what your talking about.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  13. JoeJoe9

    Conservatives tend to panic and fear mongle on anything that may not fit perfectly in their belief system.

    As far as religion, the movie obviously reflects more of what most tribal cultures believe when it comes to spirituality. Just watch Disney's "The Lion King" or "Pocahontas"...were conservatives upset over those? No... so why are they singling out this movie? Because they didn't like the military overtones, so they are trying to add to that anything else they can find wrong.

    The military was handled very well, expressing more conservative extreme views like Cheney and others, who wanted to control the world... Not everyone in the US thinks this is how the military operates or should, and they are likely not offended...just those with extreme conservative views would find this offensive, because they see their beliefs being portrayed as the bad's the thing, for all you extreme right wing conservative military types, you are the bad guy! Rational, caring, responsible, loving people of the world don't share these beliefs...

    The message of how we consume, kill the rainforest, ozone, global warming is there, and any conservative right wing extremist would see themselves as the bad guy in this movie because it does represent them fairly well, and that is because they are the brainwashed bad guy!

    February 1, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  14. sp hamilton

    If a movie has good special effects, lots of killing (it doesn't matter who or what gets killed), then we as good red-blooded Americans we should flock to see this....No matter what it cost. You people want to make a big deal about religion and the military....Why don't we just do away with religion and the military and see what happens. Hey, what can we lose. Our self respect....We lost that when made heroes of people like Michael Jackson, and that idiot Polanski.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  15. Eric

    The movie it's not anti-religious, but it's not "pro-my religion", which is the complaint of the conservatives. The Na'vi are extremely religious/spiritual/superstitious, but at least their beliefs are rooted in some kind of reality, because their Gaia based religion actually works. I think the real complaint is that their religion isn't totally based on worship of an invisible, imaginary sky wizard. As for the negative light on the military, if that's the complaint then that means that people complaining think our military is in the habit of bombing indigenous people and stealing our resources, and being mercenaries; it was clear from the movie that the military in the movie where guns for hire for an unethical corporation, not the US military.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  16. Murf

    For those out there who want to see a good old-fashion pro America, pro military film, check out Red Dawn. Then, you can go see a good movie like Avatar.
    Really guys, the folks that are claiming that Avatar is against this or against that are not that secure in their own belief system. They are afraid of anything that even begins to question what they believe in.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  17. C Sperry

    You cannot blame the conservatives for finding an anti-religion theme. Their preachers and political leaders tell them "Christianity is under fire" and they. as TRUE CHRISTIANS, have to turn over every rock looking for examples. Then rally the forces to try and put whatever they think they find down.

    The religious theme is strong and it's not far different than many aboriginal religions on this planet, but it certainly isn't Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu. Having said that it also isn't anti any religion.

    Anti-corporation, anti-mercenary yes, very much so.

    Hey James Cameron: GREAT JOB, looking forward to the sequel!!!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  18. CoralShark

    Just to remind everyone this is a movie for entertainment. it is not a reflection of reality – no matter how good the 3d is. If it offends you then dont watch. Its ENTERTAINMENT. Some have compared it to what the Spanish or English did. That was real, this is just a story. If this were to ever have the chance of happenning ( again ) then lets protest, otherwise pick your entertainment based on what entertains you.

    February 1, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  19. Kurt Brink

    I am a staunch conservative and other than the not-so-subtle negative references to Bush (shock and awe) that I attribute to a very liberal Hollywood influence, I felt the movie was incredibly entertaining and like Star Wars in 1977, raised the bar in the use of special effects.
    However, if one insists on making this a political issue, I felt this movie was a lot like Dances with Wolves and what occurred in that movie to a large extent really happened – thank goodness, or there wouldn't be a United States.

    February 1, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  20. Elle

    They were NOT military. They are FORMER military personnel who are now well-paid mercenaries working for the benefit of a corporation. The corporation pays them.

    February 1, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  21. Al A

    Haven't this conservatives have anything else to do but bash a very wonderful movie. Get a life conservatives !!!

    February 1, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  22. bigcat

    This movie was not anti-american or anti-military or anti-marine... it is anti-corporate raping of natural resources, anti-corporate goon squads made-up of ex-military for hire, and anti- the almighty dollar being held above the welfare of living beings all be it alien to us... I refuse to acknowledge any religeon not based on love of all things and people... if your belief is centered on war, death, and exclusion of all who do not believe as you, then I don't care one thing about you... great movie... wonderful movie... I bet these same people hated Dances with wolves too... some people just like to hate on everything...

    February 1, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  23. PirateFONG

    WOW!, The critics sure are smart! Why shouldn't a movie like this be anti-establishment, though? Religions are the source for just about all world conflicts, and always have been. The military? Another tool, that is supposed to be designed for a national defense, that is misused for political folly. And so what if they were being portrayed negatively? This is America, right? It is not "un-patriotic" to love one's country and still detest the role of it's armed forces. When our national defense became the "world police" for our greedy governments, respect was lost.
    Organized religions should be parodied DAILY. Until we stop letting ourselves be ruled, or our rulers be influenced by superstition, we will not be free to allow science, or medicine, or education to progress out of the middle ages.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  24. Sensiable Consideration

    Avatar is a good representation of attitude of Business and Industry. Companies view overhead and cost as more important then environment and people. People who are trying to make money always want to cut out the more difficult part of life. I think that this movie Attacks Consumerism. We in American need to end this Consumer Movement the large companies are driving into the American culture. I was taught to save money and not to buy things on credit. Now they want you to have a credit card right out of college to start your life in debt. Being in debt is not American, its stupid.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  25. Alex

    I am amazed by all the feedback here.

    This movie was about compassion and learning: learning about the environment, learning about a new culture, and its religion. It is about being open to new things, and loving everything for its diversity, difference and unique beauty, and defending what you love. Its values are in line with christianity, and most religions: love thy neighbor, protect the weak and innocent.

    It is very anti-greed, anti-mindless violence and destruction, anti-closedmindedness, and anti-"this is the only right way." It has many themes that can be related to current events, such as the environment.

    This movie supports GEN McCrystal's guidance in afghanistan to get to know the locals, befriend them, and understand them so we can bring them peace, gain their trust and pass over the security and leadership to them. cultural imperialism, that is offhand disdain for people without getting to know them, will loose this war. If anything this movie is PRO-US Military!

    Bottom line: this movie is not anti-war, nor anti-religion. It is anti-thoughtlessness. In one word, what you should learn from this movie: Compassion.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  26. Chris

    Where was the conservative, faith-based backlash to Disney's Pocahontas? Yes, Jesus freaks, Avatar is Pocahontas in space...

    guess it's time to move from book-burning to DVD burning, eh?

    February 1, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  27. Mike M

    For anyone who was paying attention to the narration in the movie, the main character says the soldiers are NOT the U.S. military, but rather privately-hired "contractors" or mercenaries. Therefore, the film is in no way anti-military, anti-"freedom", or anti-whatever other generalized buzzword people wish to use.

    As for the fim being anti-religion: absolutely NOTHING is EVER said in the film that decries Christianity or any other popular religion. If the display of a fictional religion is the sole reason for the implied offense, the people who are complaining seriously need to lighten up. By that logic, even a harmless old classic like Clash of the Titans is "anti-religion" because the people in the movie worship a pantheon of gods rather than Jesus.

    Bottom line: if people are truly concerned about anti-military and anti-religious offenses, look to any of the many REAL crises going on in this world rather than a fictional film.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:33 am |
  28. adamrussell

    At its heart this movie is about the struggle between two value systems. One that holds that Honor is more important than Loyalty, and the other that values Loyalty above Honor.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:01 am |
  29. Jojo

    FYI @ Patricia if you really did watch the movie, Neytiri killed the Colonel not Jake. Get your facts straight before you try to twist things to see it as "anti-american" or whatever.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:55 am |
  30. Jay

    Anytime a group or individual gets angry about a position, statement, etc. that is not mean to be inflammatory, then there is bound to be truth behind it. Anti military...ridiculous. I look at groups as individuals. I know some very fine people in our armed forces and value what they do for this country on a daily basis...are there idiots in our military that are blood-thirsty and aggressive...absolutely. Individuals do not make the enitre group bad...but I do think that this movie was insinuating the Bush Administration, and it was dead-on...especially the comment about "fighting terror with terror"...that was a great, and accurate quote.

    Also, this movie anti religious...again, ridiculous. I hate to give up this secret to our nation of Christians, but even when other cultures believe in different types of gods, afterlife, is still religion, even if Jesus is not involved. This movie hit our nation's religious discrimination and intolerance right in the face...and people, the Vatican, all of them have a hard time thinking outside their little box.

    This movie is no more than an accurate re-telling of how our own nation was founded...we found a new continent, committed genocide against the natives that respected and worshipped the natural resources, and took what we wanted, how we wanted. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to look into the mirror. This film should be shown in history classes throughout our country...

    February 1, 2010 at 1:52 am |
  31. malty

    Conservative or not, you can't deny that Cameron exploited everything percieved as anti-american – an occupying military force, corporate greed displacing indigenous people for their earthly riches, and the silent adoration by many for what happed to America on 911. Witness the way Hometree collapsed on itself after being struck with missiles, and the way the Na'vi looked up in horror while it was burning – this could have been taken right from the newsclips of NYC on 911. It was so obvious. Of course, none of the protagonists (save for Sigorney) had an American accent. ALL of the antagonists were play by Americans. It was a cheap shot James, but I loved the movie anyway.

    February 1, 2010 at 1:35 am |
  32. Ryan

    Left wing, Right wing it doesn't matter you all are a bunch of conspiracy theoriest and idiots on top of that!! Anyone who pays 8 to 10$ to watch a movie needs to be slapped for funding all the hollywood types so they can push there political agenda on you wether it be libral or conservative! You know I should be slapped for responding to this stupid article!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 12:44 am |
  33. matt from michigan

    It is just a movie people! This is ridiculous. Lets worry about some problems that we have that are real!

    February 1, 2010 at 12:15 am |
  34. Tammi

    This movie was the best movie I have seen in the Past 10-15 years.

    If you didn't like the movie, then perhaps you are just another STUPID human not able to "see".

    I clapped and cheered when they put the arrow through the PIG Military leaders heart.

    We need to rid ourselves of corporations and their greed and the our rape and pillage the other country for their resources mentality.

    Investing in the STOCK market....look and see what evil you fund!

    The message is follow your inner guidance and SEE the world through your eyes, not through the propaganda of any political or corporate entity.

    January 31, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  35. TK

    I am a little confused...most of the "conservatives" (including myself) have liked the movie and seen it for what it is. Why in the heck does everyone keep saying stuff like "religious conservatives are little more than a bunch of whiny fearmongering scaredycats" and "Conservatives see " Avatar" as anti- religion " and "It seems that so-called conservatives are not happy unless they are bashing something." Seriously????


    Most people (liberals and conservativesalike) can agree that this was a well-made movie, had great special effects, and was fun to watch.

    Someone decided to say that conservatives say this or that, and everyone decides at that point to jump on the bandwagon and "diss" conservatives without reading what most of them are actually saying.

    How's this for a suggestion?? Maybe we should take a look around and try harder not to be so ignorant! (I say "we" meaning "you!")

    January 31, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  36. Sam

    Hollywood is a waste of Time. Period.
    America doesn't need more entertainment, but needs a relationship with Jesus.
    Wake up, we need to Repent of Sin, and give our life to Jesus Christ. And we will find what were missing.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  37. Briancf

    If spirituality is not based on christianity, people go crazy! Trying to see things from the OTHER side that the military is attacking, well that's just anti-american?!?! Here's an idea, if you don't like it, don't watch it! If you don't like that military, don't join! If you are so small minded not to learn more about other religions besides christianity, you are not american and can get out!

    January 31, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  38. western


    Anti-faith and anti-military...lets address them 1 by 1.

    This movie was certainly about faith...the fact that these people believed in something much greater themselves and whose beliefs were a part of every aspect of their lives is an ideal we all wish we could share. Those calling it anti-faith really mean to call it "against religious doctrine" of the west. Just from the way they treated other creatures on their world was very telling about their beliefs.

    This was not anti-military...that wasn't military operations...these people were mercenaries...they were doing this through private contracts, not through any military program...that was made clear from the beginning of the movie

    January 31, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  39. Jackson

    I'm a conservative and I go to Church every Sunday, and I thought this was a great movie.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  40. adamrussell

    There is a faction that hate avatar for showing a counter to their propaganda. It was kind of similar in the battlestar galactica series. . When the humans were captured and started fighting back with suicide bombers all of a sudden there was a huge outcry from former fans that there was too much politics. But it really wasnt that it suddenly had politics. The series was steeped in politics from the very beginning and that was fine up until that point where the politics touched too close to current events (iraq occupation). It was the fact that the series made people think about what propaganda they were being fed that was really what was hated. In Avatar is similar. There is currently a nationalistic fervor that is being stoked. "If you arent with us then you are against us" is similar at its heart to "How does it feel to be a traitor to your own people". As if you are required to go along with whatever has been decided that the nation will do without regard to whether it is honorable or not. But you do have a choice. You can go along with the crowd, or you try to do what is right.

    January 31, 2010 at 7:33 pm |

    That's so stupid. That was not meant to be a representation of OUR military. Are these people saying that it would still be ok even if our military did do those things?

    January 31, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  42. carguy79

    A news flash to all the people yapping about racism and environmental issues in Avatar. This includes the Pope and NAACP etc. The movie is FAKE!! Everything in it is FAKE!!! No trees were blown up, no animals hurt, no people got hurt with racist comments. Why, because it's all FAKE!! Nothing is real. The planet is NOT REAL. It's just a FAKE story. To the Pope, if you are worried about a FAKE tree on a FAKE PLANET being blown up. Here on a REAL planet called Earth, we have what is called a South American rain forest, with REAL trees and REAL animals being destroyed everyday. Why aren't you complaining about that?? To the men who wear panties screaming about racism on a FAKE planet with FAKE people in a FAKE story. Here on a REAL planet called EARTH, we have a REAL problem called terrorism. Where crazy group of Muslim extremists whack jobs are killing Americans just because we are not Muslim, and yet, you whiners are complaining about a MOVIE where nothing is REAL!!!! Here on the REAL PLANET EARTH, we have one of the most powerful tools known to man. Everyone has access to it, but no one know how to use it. There are thousands of people who watch this tool very closely and they do their best to make sure you don't use this tool, because this special tool can shape the world's economy and drive change to anything we want. The experts know this, but do not want you to know about it. There are a couple of modifications to this tool for different uses, but the result is the same. This simple tool and it's simple cousins is called...ready for it... It's called the OFF BUTTON. If you don't like it, turn it off, or don't see it. If enough people do this, the bean counters will notice, and change will be made so the chance of you turning it off again will be lessened. What it all boils down to is the bottom line. No money in failures, and right now the movie is loving all this free publicity about the so-called issues in Avatar because it means money to them. That's all they care about.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  43. Patrick F

    I would say that it is inherently wrong to take resources from another group by superior numbers, force or technology. The best situation is to work around issues by mutual trade. I agree that the movie is not about military, but rather corporate greed. Religion is universal. However, in our world history is resplendent with examples of religion and war being tied together. While so many mainstream religions preach peace and love, they have bloody backgrounds.

    January 31, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  44. Kevin

    There are always those who find fault with everything. How about trying to live and let live. I get so tired of arrogant, opinionated know-it-alls. Self-righteous prigs need to just get over it!

    January 31, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  45. John Q Public

    Its not anti-military its anti-corporate.

    As for the Anti-religion that is BS, leave it up to the Neo-con to think that just because a movie isn't spreading their twisted gospel...

    January 31, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  46. duh

    this whole blog offends me. Its very anti everything. I wish I lived in a place that would allow freedom of speech. Oh wait , I do.

    January 31, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  47. Wally

    Looking at a few comments I can't help wondering if I saw the same movie. I did NOT see marines killing marines. I saw mercenaries being killed for following dumb orders( seems like something happened like that in Iraq ???) I saw a people very religious, just not using the same icoms that we use, so Patricia- I don't know what movie you saw, but I would suggest you not keep your intent to never see the movie again, and instead go back and see it with fresh eyes. Lastly- it is a movie- a fantasy- and you have translated it to the real world- How do you do with cartoons?

    January 31, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  48. Vynn

    Why do I get the feeling that these religious conservatives are little more than a bunch of whiny fearmongering scaredycats.

    January 31, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  49. Alice Geier

    Oh come on. Avatar was wonderful. If you care to watch Walt Disney's Pochaontas you will see it is a similar story line. Remember watching cowboys and indians? Ever hear of General Custer......

    January 31, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  50. ww

    Get over it suspend disbelief and enjoy the movie. If you look hard enough at any work of the arts, books, movies, etc. you can find all sorts of social political religious agendas. Real or unreal.

    January 31, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  51. SanJose Mike

    The very technology and energy resources that this "film" criticizes is exactly what made it possible (including the enormous profits). The people who are angry at our military don't get it: If this were an Islamic Country, Avatar would never have been allowed. For people who are "intoxicated" with an artificial reality (even a beautiful one), you don't get medical treatment, energy, technology or education from a jungle environment. The real jungle is survival of the fittest, and quick brutal death is that reality. Not Avatar. sanjosemike

    January 31, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  52. Dreamping

    It's actually pro ecology, pro harmony, anti corporate controlled military, and anti narrow mindedness which seems to be the message this Country and the world need to hear right now. We all need to release our hold on the the past and live for the present moment while leaving our future to a well designed faith. Logic preached rationality over sentimentality.

    January 31, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  53. peter24

    Arguably it is also for government and universal healthcare. The entire community got together to heal the injured. No insurance card was required!! No denial of medical care based on a concocted "it's experimental" excuse. Downright UnAmerican if you ask me!!

    January 31, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  54. Greg Ebert

    Avatar has an anti-imperialist message.

    If YOU think that Avatar's message is anti-military, or anti-US, then I would conclude that YOU are an imperialist.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  55. yankie doodle

    Christianity is the biggest terrorist organization out there.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  56. Kelly

    A story about an indigenous group of people being driven from their land by military force. One of the soldiers lives with the people and learns their culture, and then changes sides and fights with the people and against the military zealots. Wasn't that also the storyline behind 'Dances With Wolves'? If that's the case, then shouldn't that movie be classified as anti-American along with Avatar?

    The Na'vi in Avatar seemed to be a very spiritually based people who knew that all living souls had worth and were part of a greater realm, so I don't know how that is supposed to be anti-religion. I think anybody would be anti-military if they aggressively took things from you and forced you into submission and compliance in the name of Imperialism. A military is good and just as long as it keeps the peace and doesn't run roughshod over other groups just because they have the bigger guns.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  57. RJStewart3

    I consider myself moderate-conservative, and a Christian, albeit non-denominational, and I absolutely loved Avatar. There are plenty of messages in Avatar, but I think the main on is to remind us to pay attention before we do anything to an extreme, because you never truly understand what you are destroying until it is gone. I think this is a message for everyone, regardless of what you believe.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  58. Wanda

    Even though this picture is fantasy, it does draw on things that have happened throughout history. The pro-military and pro-faith folks need to own up to it. And everybody has an agenda.

    January 31, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  59. Michael

    Many, many authors and film makers inject their personal views into their art...that is what makes their art a part of them. People want to decry a movie because the views in it do not reflect their own views...big deal. This is America, where the freedom to voice opinions in whatever form is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
    I also recall not long ago that certain groups were promoting a boycott of another series of movies and the burning of the books they were based on because these fanciful works of fiction "promoted witchcraft". I took the cautionary route and watched the movie alone before deciding whether it should be seen by my children. "Harry Potter" is one their favorite stories now.

    January 31, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  60. James

    Religion and the military industrial complex are destroying the world. The biggest threat to mankind is the combination of religious certainty and modern technology.(9/11 being a good example.) Religious arguments will destroy mankind before anything else. How can religion be good? How can dedicating your life to some old story that is BETTING that the world will end be good for the human race. How about trying to believe in yourself instead of some imaginary cloud man.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  61. kurt from virginia

    I think what could be considered offensive is the characterization that persons who serve in the armed forces, including those in leadership, are simple minded, war mongering, menacing and intrinsically violent/evil as portrayed be Avatar. Also, the idea of God as "us" verses a creative, dynamic entity actively orchestrating the universe. Its about the very nature of God and how he works in the universe. I saw a very clear agenda and this movie was meant to be and is about so much more than entertainment. It was propaganda. The creator of this film does not deny this. With that said, if you recognize what is going on in the film, yet disagree with some of its assumptions (as I did), then just disagree and enjoy the action, suspense and stunning visual display as I did and move on.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  62. Jerome

    Critics of this movie should get over themselves. It was obviously a movie that people want to see. In the age of file sharing, streaming video and top-rate home theater systems, it gave a reason for people to actually go to the theater. It is one of the most breathtaking movies I have ever seen. It is a game-change or a movie which others in the future will try to duplicate but only end up being measured based on this movie. I have personally been in the military for over ten years and did not feel offended in any way. Who really would approve of a mercenary army fueled by corporate greed any way.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  63. HotFootMcCook

    The movie Avatar, I enjoyed it, I think it is one of my favorite movies, but the whole deal with it is that (and they say this at the beginning of the movie) the marines are just paid muscle. So you can not count them as our armed forces or military. They are more like invading pirates then anything. Especially because of the Colonel in charge because, lets face it, he is crazy. The only reason there was such aggressiveness toward each other is because the young businessman wanted to make more money than he was making. So to say anything about this being anti-military is completely wrong. It is anti-capitalistic, because all of the conflict is essentially for is "unobtainium".

    The movie is also not anti-religion, if you want to take into a meaning for us instead of a fantasy world where the planet and all its animals are connected with each other is that we should take better care of our planet. Yes we do litter and pollute, and by my guess Avatar was set in like 75-125 years in the future. So by current expansion and growth of people + industry will equal around at least a 25% bigger area of trash(really think about it worldwide) and who knows what by-products of industry can happen. Am I saying go do everything you can to go clean up "Mother Earth"? No, I am not saying that, I am saying by this movie it is saying be more considerate of throwing things away and where you throw them away, try recycling a little more. This movie is not anti-religion or anti-military.

    Just to let you know, I am a Conservative Republican who enjoys guns and everything else with the military.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  64. adamrussell

    It's only anti-god if you worship money.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  65. Pablo

    Too late for criticism. The movie is already the highest -grossing film of all time. Conservatives should acknowledge that fact. Who are they try to convince?

    January 31, 2010 at 6:13 am |
  66. Nickel

    Conservatives are not against this movie. This is just another example of you left wing nut jobs assuming we are all retarded.

    January 31, 2010 at 5:47 am |
  67. AJ

    It's not anti-military! It's anti mercenary, big difference just ask Blackwater and Haliburton.
    The only reason conservatives hate it, is because it makes mega corporations look bad, after all none of those lumber companies in the Amazon or diamond mines in Africa would never hurt the environment or a native population over money.

    January 31, 2010 at 4:37 am |
  68. midwestmatt

    It's a movie that takes the stance that some groups may use military force to make sure they can steal another group's or culture's natural resources. we know THAT would never happen.

    Yup, it's anti-militaristic (NOT anti-military) anti-corporate greed (and just what's so bad about that?) and about the benefit of a life aligned with natural forces that lead to sustainability and limited negative impact on a the only home the natives have (pretty much the same thing that we face here but some would prefer to think everything we have is unlimited and the damage we can do is nothing to be concerned about).

    Oh yeah, it's a MOVIE and if you don't like its stance, don't go see it. If you don't like the premise, make your OWN movie with your particular POV and see if people will come to see it.

    January 31, 2010 at 2:41 am |
  69. JSonMaui

    It is a presentation, but it amazes me how so many miss the subliminal brainwashing in this MOVIE.

    The bad guys wore USMC uniforms and were clearly identified as veterans. They really enjoyed killing innocents. They also hated "tree huggers" and destroyed "everything green on their own planet".

    That's propaganda and Cameron himself has boasted of his bias.

    So far as using fear to advance a political agenda – it was the liberal democrats who campaigned in 2006 they need to be elected "to fix the economy" and incidentally, it is Congress that controls fiscal policy – not our Presidents. Additionally, it is Democrats who have turned the world upside down with global warming scare tactics.

    These blogs would be more useful with more facts discussed and less left right hate.

    January 31, 2010 at 1:35 am |
  70. Vickie

    I just have to say to all of the many people who misquoted the colonel (if you don't believe me, search for the transcript of Avatar). He said "How does it feel to "betray" your own kind?" NOT KILL! This line was to make you think about how stupid it is to aline yourself with "your kind" for it's sake alone. Jake was aligning himself with what he felt to be "right" in his own heart. And... this movie was not "anti-american" and I will go as far as to say it was not anti-anything with the exception of anti-ignorance. The movie wasn't anti-killing. Killing was justified if done for the purpose of food or true survival such as when Jake was being attacked by the weird looking black creatures. But in contrast the colonel made a speach that killing the natives was for "Our survival and make no mistake about it" when reality was "his" killing was based on ignorance that their precious "cheddar" was good enough reason. The movie wasn't anti-war. The natives "warred" in defense of their land. The movie wasn't anti-religion. Organized religion was a mute point because it just didn't exist on Pandora (or as many have said, Jesus just hadn't made it there yet). True, it is just a movie but it is also true that this particular movie was reflective of a point Mr. Cameron wished to portray (right or wrong). And that point is that greed, the pursuit of power and the almighty dollar blinds "people" to the point of "unnecessary war and killing and a division of cultural lines". This happens all to often because of greed regardless of unnecessary destruction. That "point" isn't democrat, republican, Christian, or any other cultural, party, or religious line some of you are drawing.

    January 31, 2010 at 1:25 am |
  71. Frank Rizzo

    Come on, can't we just enjoy this wonderful movie and have fun, for those religious wing-nuts lighten up and enjoy life so that others can as well.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:46 am |
  72. Ian

    It's fiction.... and yes the Bible has had more rewrites than most Hollywood scripts...also fiction

    January 31, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  73. Dennis

    I long for the day when we can go to see a movie without having to overanalyze it. If we look long and hard enough, we can always find what we want to perceive to be the hidden message. Enjoy without judgement, that should be the motto. The issue today is that we feel we must evaluate EVERYTHING. Sometimes a great movie line is just a great movie line. I think everyone needs to relax a little bit. It is healthy for us all.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:25 am |
  74. Juanita

    Some people just can't handle someone else's good fortune in life. Seems to be the story of the world.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:20 am |
  75. Steve

    Wait a minute!!!! This isn't real? It's just a movie??? Thank god. I thought this was a premonition of what America would be after the evil Democrat Obama leaves office. Whew, what a load off my mind.!!! Isn't it ridiculous how since the election last November the Republicans (I know it's not all the Republicans, just the ones with the loudest voices) have been screaming the sky is falling? Liberals, Democrats and the Devil...three peas in a pod!!! Oy vey!!! The Nazi's and Japanese couldn't destroy this country in WW2. Polio and small pox couldn't destroy this country. The Great Depression in 1929 didn't destroy this country. The bombings of the Twin Towers and the assassination of Presidents and natural disasters and civil rights didn't destroy this country. But 4 years of Obama, and the hardcore right wingers are ready to jump off a bridge because the world is coming to an end. I'd be happy to give them a push...

    January 30, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
  76. Geeman

    I just saw the Movie. "Awesome" is all I can say. I wish I could wake up in Pandora right now as a big blue dude.

    January 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  77. rick

    Our Bill of Rights gives Cameron the right to insert his view into a commercial product and allows his critics the right to be critical, and please honor this right. Just remember – most of these critics don't believe in the Bill of Rights for all. So when you decide to vote or not and for whom to vote, ask yourself if you want to actively support Rights for all.

    By the way – except for the effects I thought the movie pretty mediocre.

    January 30, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  78. emmittlangley

    It's interesting that the conservatives see themselves as the kind of people that would use military force to steal resources from other people.
    I think that says something about them.
    Says the person who sees the merciless slaughter of 50 million innocent unborns and calls it freedom...When I hear Liberals talk, I realize that Hell will be simply God letting them have their way.

    January 30, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  79. David

    I saw this movie and it was technically impressive. The story was crappy, derivative drivel suited for prepubescent teenagers. Seriously...the philosophy, logic and theology are sophomoric at best and moronic at their worst but it is just a movie folks. This was NOT a great movie. Blade Runner was a great movie, Andromeda strain, Galaxy Quest (comedy/fiction but clever on many levels), Star Trek I (under rated but posed a deep philosophical there nothing more to existence than what we see).

    – David

    January 30, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
  80. Jim

    who cares if a new movie that comes out is anti or pro anything, its just a movie, not every movie that comes out can be just perfect where it says a message for every issue out there. i have diabetes so should i say that the movie is anti-diabetes. get real people

    January 30, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
  81. Nik

    youre a genius, pam. can't believe people are comparing these movies' sales when one came out when tickets were so much cheaper!! you realize that they adjust for that when making these rankings right?

    January 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
  82. Robert in Vermont

    Another example of why conservatives have become the lunatic fringe.

    January 30, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  83. David

    Conservatives... it's only a movie... don't get your panties all in a knot.

    People... pay no attention to them....

    And not for nothing... most of the problems in this world are caused by religion and the military.

    Mr. Cameron... congratulations on making one of the greatest movies of our time.

    January 30, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  84. hasc

    People who see an anti-religion theme in the movie simply weren't paying attention. The so-called "goddess" was not a spiritual being but a biological entity. Hence the bad guys threatened to destroy this entity's nerve center, an act that brought about the last battle. If this "goddess" were a spiritual being it would be impervious to the bad guys weapons. But it was not, and it had to defend itself.

    I believe the writers did an exceptional job in making this movie politically neutral. Watch it a second time. I did, and enjoyed it just as much.

    January 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  85. Peter

    Its a movie!! Blue Giant tree huggers that win the war against the evil empire. I think i have seen this script before.

    January 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  86. nikki

    Ok, I've read your post until my eyes are bleeding. I have but one thing to say and one group to address. It’s the lambs who question the in depth review that many have offered up here.
    Please whatever side you find your self on. Do not chastise citizens for looking into what is showing within their borders. Several regimes of the 20th century telegraphed their views/plans/beliefs through media, some of it as entertainment. Mass media is just that, media. It can, will and has been misused. So for those lambasting these critics think twice before characterizing what may well be “history scholars” in some instances as fools neo-libs or right wingnuts. People of the free world, continue to question all that is placed at the table before you. peace

    January 30, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  87. Peter

    It's a magnificent movie, and not anti military or anti marine at all. In fact, the big hero in the story (Jake Sully) is an ex marine who puts everything on the line – including his own life – to save a beautiful foreign planet and its inhabitants.

    The 'military' in the movie aren't the US military but a bunch of thugs, hired guns for a big corporation which sets out to plunder the planet's natural resources. Anybody have any empathy for any of those guys? I don't and I certainly don't associate them with the US military.

    January 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  88. Kelly Goszkowicz

    Here is what I worry about currently: The status of health care in the United States and the price of having 44 million people uninsured, how long we're going to be committed in Afghanistan and the moral, military, and political implications of our involvement, how I can get more of my friends and family to donate to the relief effort in Haiti, and what it means to be a global citizen.

    Here is what I don't worry about: What sort of subliminal messages movies like "Avatar" are sending. I simply go to see them because they are entertaining and the graphics are amazing. By the way, I took my kids, too. So far, they appear to be tolerating the experience quite well without any adverse effects.

    January 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  89. Chasman

    A well-made movie. Unlike many, I was paying attention and realize that:

    1) God can be in the trees and the wind, not just printed on your money. Who are you to know how God treats people on a completely different planet? This movie portrayal could very well be how your relationship with God would be if your ancestors had not been kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

    2) The soldiers were MERCENARIES, not U.S. troops. Do a 4 year tour, and you'll learn that there are many places in the world where American troops end up shooting it out with American mercenaries; mercenaries are merely guns for hire to whoever pays them. One defends a U.S. Flag, one worships the U.S. dollar. Confusing the two cheapens the life of every serviceman who left a good paying job to take less money and go overseas to defend our way of life. Learn the difference. Crimity.

    January 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  90. Jeanne H.

    No surprises there. Those "conservatives" are too stupid to even understand that the bad guys in the movie are mercenaries/employees of a corporation, not soldiers in the military. And of course it's anti-religion to them because it is not THEIR religion. Talk about ignorance and intolerance.

    January 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  91. Serena

    I actually thought there was a great spiritual basis in the movie. I was deeply moved by the social commentary in the movie. We are a nation of people that have lost our sense of caring for others who are different than us. Greed is a powerful force and one that we have let take over our lives to the detriment of others.

    January 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  92. Scottish Mama

    I also remember the religious conservatives questioning the motives of the Harry Potter Movies as witch craft. Now Avitar. I was wondering what they think of exorcist and the priest that perform them. Are the priest using witchcraft?
    I believe most wars are started by religious zealots.
    Lets not bring up the Inquisitions. Believe as I do or be exterminated. Sorta like the halocaust. Both sound like horror movies to me.
    Most of these people cannot watch what their own children watch on T.V. so we have to have other people make the judgement for us.
    Judge and so shall you be judged.
    Religious people need to work on themselves and quit spewing their venome on other humans.

    January 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  93. steveblue

    This is stupid. The hero of the movie is a military guy who has praise for his military bothers. The bad guys are corporate mercenaries. It is clearly spelled out. As for the religious thing – it is another planet people. If they believed in one god that had his son walk like them on their planet and died for their sins – it still would not be Christianity – it is another planet. It is like saying a movie about beetles in anti religious because they do not believe in Jesus – come on. It is a religious movie – as they are spiritual beings and that spirit wins out of greed. Since when do es being religious mean being so only for 'my religion' even on a work of fiction taken place on another planet.

    January 30, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  94. Steven G. Solberg

    The film is anti colonialist. But let's not forget that America was founded on colonialism, genocide and slavery. Indigenous children were stolen from their families by Christians and imprisoned within boarding schools where Christianity was forced on them through mrisas abuses. First Nations people are still living in concentration camps. AKA as reservations. And we continue to rape the earth. Wouldn't it be wonderful if mankind realized the cosmic consciousness that the Navi in Avatar seems to live by?

    January 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  95. Eli from NAshville

    I do not know how anyne can say the movie is anti religion as they have similar beliefs as our mainstream religion .
    Navi means prophet
    The name of their god is based on the hebrew spelling from the old testament
    He justt added some noetic science theme to this that anything may be accomplished no matter what the odds are if you have faith, a common good and work together

    January 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  96. John

    The movie a modern interpretation of Dances with Wolves, is pro nature and anti-corporation. It's also anti paramilitary (think Blackwater). Anti-religion, leave to those who believe in fairytales to proclaim the absence of their god means your against religion. One area where the movie violates one of natures laws, survival of the fittest it demonstrates how environmentalism has become a religious movement. If this low brow film stirred strong emotions either way you are out touch with the mainstream and reality.

    January 30, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  97. Chris

    Conservatives are against Everything UNLESS it puts money directly into their pockets and takes away from those truly in need. The jury isn't out on that. If Avatar sent some of the proceeds to Focus on the Family, the conservatives would have loved the movie!

    January 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  98. SlamDuncan

    Ok, people, I think we need a reality check here. This MOVIE has whatever message you want to put into it. Like books in the recent past and cave paintings in the distant past, it is for YOU to decide how to interpret! I loved the movie and got totally immersed in the beauty of Cameron's vision. The other stuff, well, if you feel guilty about it then GOOD!! At least you FEEL something! Too many people sit through life without feeling anything at all, so if this movie incites a little introspection it has succeeded admirably.

    January 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
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