Okay. . . so I really messed this one up. You would think that because we're in the business of monitoring, knowing, and educating about youth culture that we would have been all over this. But that's not what happened.
Here's how it went down. . . . I started seeing the trailers for the film during the World Series. . . which, as you know, didn't turn out to be a particularly pleasant experience for me as a Phillies fan. Ok - that's an excuse. I'm not Pavlov's dog. But maybe I associated the upcoming film with loss and pain. There was also the computer-animated nature of the thing. It just didn't zing me. Another excuse. Then, there was the fact that James Cameron was also responsible for the film Titanic, which never grabbed me either because, after all, I knew enough history to know the ending. So, I never had the desire nor did I ever go to see Avatar in the theater. I know. . . how can I call myself a youth-culture watcher. If it's any consolation, there's a not a person on our staff here at CPYU that felt any differently than I did. Another lame excuse.
Still, I had this gnawing knowledge of the fact that someday it would have to happen, and when I finally opened up about the fact that I had seen the thing for the first time on DVD . . . well. . . any remnants of a positive reputation I might still have would be shattered.
That changed on Sunday. A quick after-church trip to Costco found me holding a DVD/Blu-Ray bundle of the film in my hand. When Nate spotted me from his vantage point at the sample table for Tyson's Buffalo Chicken tenders (which are quite good, I might add), he shot over and excitedly said, "Come on Dad, let's get it." We did. And then we watched. What I thought would never draw me in, drew me in.
So, in a classic example of "do as I say, not as I do" reasoning, I'm encouraging the two or three of you out there who have not yet seen the film to give it a look. Chances are, your kids have all seen it. The film broke records in the box office. Within four days after it's release last week, the DVD/Blu-Ray was breaking records as well. Not only is the film fascinating from a cinematic production point of view, but it's one of those films you shouldn't think twice about watching and discussing with your kids.
All I'll say is that James Cameron has built us multiple diving boards from which to spring into theological discussions with our kids. Here's a list of things you can talk about with kids after viewing Avatar:
-Cross-cultural missions and sensitivity
-The greater good
-The Nature of God
-Indigenous Peoples and how to treat them
-and so much more.
I'll be watching again. . . another way of saying, "Yep, I blew it." Now, take me to task. . . .