Sunday, April 18, 2010

Avatar

So have you seen it? If so... I'm so sorry!

Let me just share my very strong opinion on this movie. My husband works for a company that was bought out by Adobe (yep, THE Adobe, the one you've heard of...) so we got tickets to go see Avatar for free since Adobe helped make this movie. I left the theater infuriated. And when Jason asked why, I wasn't sure whether it was a good thing or not that he didn't already know why I was so mad. Let me explain...

The whole movie is about a humanoid (defined as a being having the appearance or characteristics of a human) species that is being threatened and attached by humans. So what is the difference between the appearance of the humans and the humanoids? The humanoids are blue skinned with white freckles. They're tall and they have tails. Other than that, they look exactly like humans. So why am I so upset? The whole species wears pretty much NOTHING throughout the whole show. LESS than bikinis. You think I'm kidding? I saw cracks, nipples, everything except the actual genitals, though I was afraid that was next throughout the whole show.

So when we left the theater, Jason said he hadn't even noticed since they had blue skin. Again, I wasn't sure if I was glad that he hadn't noticed the body parts that I saw, or if I was upset that he was so callused by the world that seeing that much of a woman wasn't even a problem. What have we come to?

And what's more, people in church love this movie, talk about it, rave about it... in CHURCH! How is this okay? For a while I thought I was going nuts and maybe it wasn't as bad as I remembered it (which is why I have taken so long to blog about this) but then Jason and I were discussing it and decided to look up a review of the movie. They say right on the site that you see a lot of the humanoid species' body parts (they list them, but I already have, so I won't burden you all with those words again) and a human woman's bare naked body. And yet is was only rated a 4 out of 10 for sexuality/nudity on kids-in-mind.com. (0 being the most clean and 10 being the most obscene) I just don't think I can trust anybody's opinion on movies any more.

So what's the solution? Do I go see every single show by myself before I can go with my husband or let him see it? Do we just stop watching anything over PG? Do we stop going to the theater altogether? And what good would that do since we still like watching movies at home? Do I share my opinion with people in church that love this movie? Or do I keep my mouth shut, put on a smile, and let the world turn as it will?

Am I right for trying to protect my family, or am I just being a bigot or a prude?

I would love to hear someone else's opinion on this so PLEASE tell me what you think.

5 comments:

Ashley Case said...

I have gotten a lot of the same comments from everyone so maybe this needs to be added directly to the blog post to clear some things up. The following is something I wrote to a responder about this blog post.

"I think they easily could have been wearing more clothing without changing the story. It wouldn't have made the message less significant to not show the one lady's nipple or the other lady's butt crack. I don't think it's "porn" because it wasn't meant to be sexual for most of the movie, but I do think it was nudity. You can't really deny nudity; either it is or it isn't. And like you said, there are some "less materialistic" tribal people that wear a good amount of clothing. Does that make them less "connected to nature"? nope. I've seen tribal clothing, etc. that has absolutely no top to the outfit for men or women and have felt sorry for them, but not offended. Why? Because that's reality. No one just said, "Let's not put clothes on them. That will be more enticing." And some other idiot agreed, which is what happens when movies are being made. I think PG-13 was an appropriate rating as far as worldly ratings go, but when I am talking to my friends at church, I would at least like to be warned. When I am on a site that is specifically to warn parents about what's in a movie for their children, I'd like it to be a little bigger deal that the curve of the naked breast is on the screen for 95% of the show. And yes, I have been very offended by "art" studios. Did you know that the first pornography that came out was fought hand and foot? The only reason they were able to continue publishing it is because the cameraman said he was making art and the jury voted on his side. (I wrote a paper on it at BYU.) So I think the label "art" is just that, a label. It can be used as a justification as much as anything and it has been.

Again, I just want to reiterate that I don't think this movie was "porn" at all. Part of posting that blog was 1) to get my thoughts out of my head and 2) to get other peoples opinions. So I am glad you've given me yours. I love having intellectual discussions with people about these sort of things. Like I said before, maybe I just need to check myself into a mental institution. That way if I see naked people, it's because they are crazy, not because they are trying to push all the Lord's boundaries. Lol! :) (and I think I would fit in better there also...) Thanks for your thoughts.

The Case's said...

Ashley's right about two things in my opinion. Either they needed to wear no clothes because they were "alien" and had a lizard like skin, or they needed more clothing because they felt they needed to cover whatever was there.

And two, she would fit better in a mental institution lol! :)

Sandy said...

NO no I have to agree and I can do it from a different angle because I have not seen this movie and don't really intend to. The movie that sent me reeling from the theater in pretty much the same state of mind as Ashley was in 1997 when the movie "Titanic" came out. I was excited for this movie because all the way through 6th grade and Jr. high it was my "thing" some people like cars, some people like malls I thought the Titanic Disaster was interesting.
I didn't get the chance to see it until it had been out for about 2 weeks and my Dad took me. So you would think that in that two weeks I'd have heard something about nudity but no, like Avitar everybody raved about it even in church. It was rated PG-13 and I was shocked and appalled and though it was a great movie it was completely destroyed for me by a 2 minute scene that was labeled as "ART" and stuck with a PG-13 label.
What makes that ok and where do we draw the line between 16th century art and pornography or even just something that needs a label on it.
I can tell you as a teen something girl I was mortified to be sitting next to my dad in that situation. Even though this could have been my favorite movie of all time I have never seen it again, not a clean flicks version, not again. I don't even know what I would do if I were sitting next to my husband and something like jumped on the screen.
I think it is a tragedy that we are so desensitized in this world that we tend to let those things slide even make cartoons out of it so it suddenly becomes "OK" and yet more accessible to children and young adults. I work in a Jr. High School, trust me kids don't need any more influence like this.
Anyway I'm going to state my points again because I feel like I've gotten a bit off track.
1) I think we are becoming a society that is becoming completely desensitized to our morality as a people.
2) Nudity is not necessary not as art and not in something that is labeled pg-13 For kids 13 and older.
Keep that kind of art for those that have made the choice to see it.
I can tell you what they say in church is true, once you have seen it it's in your mind forever. I haven't seen Titanic in 13 years probably half my life and I can still remember clearly What Kate Winslett looks like naked. Is that something 13 year olds should walk around with?
3) Nudity is not necessary. It can be left to the imagination. We don't have to see it to know it's there.

I think I'll be done ranting now.
Thanks.

Aaronius said...

Hmm...interesting analysis. First of all, I completely respect anyone's opinion on the movie with regard to what you talked about. I think the reason why nobody's pitching a fit about it or warning anyone else or any of that is because it's quite subjective in nature. I also read your comments and know I'm going to be repeating it some.

I, like probably the majority of viewers, considered it very similar to watching a national geographic movie. The blue peeps were being portrayed as an indigenous kind of people--very much so. They have high respect for (and in a way worship) the land, they only kill animals when needed, they're very spiritual and primitive, and they run around in scraps of leather and beads. Some Indians are indeed fully clothed, but the vast majority (especially in Avatar-ish jungles) are not. They could have completely clothed them, but I think they were trying to get across the indigenous idea and honestly I think they executed it quite well. I honestly never felt like a producer sat down and said, "Let's not put clothes on them. That will be more enticing." If so, I've been beguiled. That may have been a second-hand result of it, but I don't think it was their purpose. I do feel the sex scene was like that though and could/should have been pulled. Scantily-clad Indians=integrated part of a National Geographic movie. Indian sex=not so much.

Would they filter a National Geographic movie with Indian boobies and naked man butts? Probably not. There is an obvious difference in that National Geographic is real and Avatar is animated, but even that argument could go either way...is it okay for the Indians to run around in their half-nudies on TV because it's real life or is it okay for blue peeps to run around in their half-nudies because they're animated? And would you watch either one if you knew there were half-nudies?

I'm not saying there's a right answer here--anything but that actually. I'm not trying to prove that people should or should not go to a National Geographic and/or Avatar movie. In fact, you might have some valid reasons why even with those similarities they should be treated differently. I just think that's where the subjectivity comes in, that's all.

Thanks for the post!

Aaronius said...

BTW, as a sanity check you're not the only one that's felt that way.