Avatar ★★
This has to be one of the worst films that I’ve seen in recent times. The only reason for two stars is that the graphics are incredibly well done.  The story is about how a group of earthmen (mostly Marines and scientists) has a need for a certain ore on a distant planet Pandora occupied by tall blue people called Navi. The earthmen have no regard for the environment of the planet and run rip shod to tear up “sacred” landscape in order to obtain their ore. Eventually, the natives win out and are able to drive out the earthlings. So, what’s wrong with the film? 1. Character development: acting was poor. None of the characters in the film could be called admirable. Most were sullen, angry people (or Navi) bent on the idolization of themselves. Sig. Weaver was a worn-out hag. The Navi were angry, never happy, quite war-like, and certainly not at peace even with themselves. The military marines and scientists were painted as thoughtless, brain-dead, clueless. The earth “traitors” that went over to the Navi side lacked any sort of insightful virtue. 2. Plot. This film has often been criticized for portraying developers and industrialists against environmentalists. That is too simple of an analysis. If one looks at the  Navi, they are essentially dressed with African animistic paraphernalia, and the thematic structure of their “religion” is essentially animistic and pantheistic, with the world “force” emanating out through every living being that is connected to the “mother”. Animism didn’t get the Africans and other primitive tribes too far, and fantasy films are now necessary to promote such religion of animism that is taking over America by storm. In total, this film makes it for its graphics arts effects and not for its story, and so barely deserves two stars.