Until just a few months ago, I was in what many might consider an enviable position. Before his going to teach in Taiwan, a friend worked at a movie theater as he worked on getting his degree. While working for the theater, our friend was able to get us endless free passes for any movie my wife and I wished to see.
In all the years that our friend work for the theater, we may have taken advantage of his generosity once. I'm just not a big movie fan.
I haven't always been that way. There was a time long ago when I was a regular movie goer. Not any more. Getting me to a movie today is a Herculean task. One of the problems I have with movies is the whole "movie star" thing. It's nearly impossible for me to get involved in a story when the main character is a well known face. If, perish the thought, I were to attend a movie starring - let's say - Tom Hanks, I couldn't lose myself in the action because I could never forget that I was watching Tom Hanks on the screen.
I suppose that's just a way of saying that movie stars are just that.....movie stars - not actors.
You'd think, then, that I'd have little problem with the latest blockbuster of the year - Avatar.
After all, it's been so long that I've been to a movie that, other than Sigourney Weaver, I have no clue as to the identities of the other folks in the movie.
Everyone says the special effects and visuals are amazing. I've seen the trailer and, frankly, the Navi creep me out. They look a bit like "Last of the Mohicans" meets " A Midsummer Night's Dream"; like Native American fairy-lizards with blue green skin.
As far as what I can gather, the greatest weakness of the film is the story. My blogging buddy, Dominique Cimafranca rightly complains,
"It is always some effin' enlightened WHITE DUDE who has to come and save the natives."
A reviewer on moviesonline.ca comes right out and says,
"Yes, the graphics were amazing and the tall smurfs didn't bother me too much, but the story sucked."
L'Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio conclude that, despite groundbreaking visual effects, the story is simplistic and "[flirts] with modern doctrines that promote the worship of nature as a substitute for religion."
As I mentioned earlier, I no longer have access to free movie passes. Even if I did, it seems unlikely that I'd waste my time standing in line to see this movie. I'm certainly not going to spend money to see it.