“Avatar” a big hit at Bethel and in theaters

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Photo provided by http://3.bp.blogspot.com
A planet far, far away; a tribe of giant blue aliens; a battle between good and evil; and the relevance of right and wrong − all packed into one film. In case you still have not realized what this is all about, I shall explain with just one word: “Avatar.”

This movie depicts the journey of ex-marine Jake Sully as he travels to the beautiful, exotic planet of Pandora. His primary mission is to help with the studies of the natives’ culture and language, ultimately in search of “unobtainium,” a valuable source of energy for Earth. Even though the movie depicts life on a fictional planet, the aliens possess deeply human emotions and beliefs, which lead viewers to relate to their struggles, even taking the alien side of a human vs. extraterrestrial war.

James Cameron, writer and director of “Avatar,” is finally seeing his work pay off after almost 15 years of waiting for technology to develop enough to accurately present his vision for the film. Cameron himself asserted that “Avatar” is not an animated movie, since even the animated characters’ movements are a direct translation of the actors’ performances, developed with Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI).

Apart from the astonishing graphics and cinematography, this movie touches many ethical and philosophical issues, and it contains a spiritual plot that captivates audiences. However, many argue that the religion presented in the film contains New Age ideology.

Freshman Kyle Swope did not like the issues with spirituality displayed in the film.

“It looks like a very weird cult, which as a Christian, I do not approve of,” he said. “There were no redeeming qualities other than the fact that he tried to save the natives.”

Although some students found the film controversial, they did not let that effect their view of the movie as a whole.

“I thought it presented a very idealistic view of the native culture, and some interesting philosophy on mother nature and the afterlife,” said sophomore Josh Mann. “However, I enjoyed the movie immensely overall.”

“It was an awesome combination of Pocahontas and Gladiator,” said sophomore Alysha Miles. “I want to be an Avatar when I grow up!”

Despite the controversial issues that accompany “Avatar,” there is no doubt that James Cameron has managed to capture the world of realism and fantasy and has brought them together into a masterpiece that captures the imagination.

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