Vatican fails to bestow blessing on 'superficial' 3-D blockbuster
IT MAY be the biggest hit the film industry has seen in decades but, unlike the rest of the world, the Vatican is not impressed by the film 'Avatar'.
James Cameron's massive-grossing, 3-D spectacle has earned lukewarm reviews from both the Vatican newspaper and its radio station, which say the movie is simplistic in its plot and superficial in its eco-message, despite groundbreaking visual effects.
Perhaps more significantly, the Vatican takes the movie to task for flirting with what it says is the worship of nature as a substitute for religion.
"So much stupefying, enchanting technology, but few genuine emotions," said Vatican newspaper 'L'Osservatore Romano', which devoted three articles to 'Avatar'.
Vatican Radio called it "rather harmless" but added: "We doubt that this is an heir to those sci-fi masterpieces that -- for reasons other than special effects -- have marked cinema history."
The story of the tall blue creatures who inhabit Pandora and contend with humans intent on grabbing the resources of their planet has made over $1.1 billion at box offices worldwide and 'Avatar' looks well on its way to becoming the biggest grossing movie of all time.
"Pandora is the planet that cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium," Vatican Radio said. "Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship."
The reviews came out after a red carpet preview held in Rome just a stone's throw from St Peter's Square.
The movie will be released in Italy on Friday.