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Chicago Alderman Declares War On ‘Avatar’
James Balcer, A Veteran, Says Blockbuster Film Portrays Military In Negative Light
Jan 7, 2010 8:51 pm US/Central
It’s a titanic battle, and it’s in the 3-D of reality: A Chicago alderman versus “Avatar.”
Eleventh Ward Ald. James Balcer believes the new blockbuster movie is anti-military and anti-American.
Balcer is a decorated Marine veteran of the Vietnam war, and now he’s going into battle against the film that may turn out to be the biggest moneymaker of all time. He hates the film’s message, and he’s not alone.
In the movie, an army of mercenaries, led by a villainous Marine, invades the idyllic planet of Pandora and goes after the peaceful blue creatures who live there over deposits of a precious mineral.
Balcer says the film makes Marines “look like lunatics.” In reality, he said, “We are a good, generous country that helps people.”
Balcer’s not the only critic blasting “Avatar” for its point of view. There is also conservative activist Tom Roeser.
“This is the only time I ever sat in a theater where people were cheering the forest and the blue people, attacking ex-Marines,” Roeser said.
Asked if the film is anti-American and anti military, Balcer said, “Well, they never mentioned America but when you have the eagle, globe and anchor—the Marine Corps emblem—it has to be America.”
“And that’s the Hollywood view of us,” Roeser complained. “We are the exploiters, we are pre-emptive attackers.”
Others who have seen the film were less critical.
“To me it was more talking about people’s exploitations on resources,” Michelle Tan said.
“It can be kind of like, liberal and anti-military, but overall, the message was more like humanitarian,” Tatiana Favelevic said.
The film critic for the right-wing Weekly Standard calls the film “blitheringly stupid” and among the “dumbest movies I’ve ever seen.” Others have attacked it for its super-environmentalism and what is perceived as an anti-Christian slant.
None of this has kept “Avatar” from becoming a huge moneymaker all over the world.