Superstar Chow Yun Fat throws down against a bunch of subversive blue aliens. But the fight is fixed
It appears “Avatar” has finally met its match. Even James Cameron cannot defeat the Chinese government.
According to press reports, the 2D version of “Avatar” is being pulled from 1628 movie screens in China to make room for a biopic on Confucius starring Chow Yun Fat. Both the L.A. Times and the London Times cite a murkily sourced article in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily with the purported explanation:
Reportedly, the authorities have two reasons for this check on Avatar: first, it has taken in too much money and has seized market share from domestic films, and second, it may lead audiences to think about forced removal, and may possibly incite violence.
Forced removal, readers will recall, refers to the widespread practice in China in which developers brutally evict residents from their homes or businesses, often with the assistant of street thugs and goons, while the government turns a blind eye.
I’m not sure of how seriously to take the idea that the commissars actually believe that “Avatar” is “subversive.” If so, why permit theaters to continue showing the movie on their 3D screens? If the two-dimensional version can deemed dangerous, then the 3D version must be regarded as even more so! Forcible eviction is always worse in three dimensions!
But the great thing about this story is that it doesn’t matter if it’s true. James Cameron undoubtedly never intended for his film to be read as a commentary on domestic Chinese property development. The Chinese government may well have ordered theaters to pull the flick simply because it wanted to give some breathing space to a patriotic blockbuster — though one would imagine that Chow Yun Fat plus Confucius would need little help from anyone to dislodge a few blue aliens from their perch. But now that the interpretation of the film as an allegory for abusive behavior in China has become part of the conversation, it can’t be dismissed. “Avatar’s” work is done — intentionally or not, ban or no ban.
More Related Stories
- Slave descendants seek equal rights from Cherokee Nation
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Is abortion about to doom Republicans again?
- Anti-voter-fraud Tea Party group sues the IRS
- The Bachmann-inspired romance novel
- Nate Silver: Why the scandals aren't hurting Obama
- How to oust Michele Bachmann from Congress
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- Who is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford?
- Colorado judge rules Abercrombie parent company violates Disabilities Act
- When America became a third-world country
- Inhofe and Coburn: Red state hypocrites
- It's Whitewater all over again
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
- Anyone regret slashing National Weather Service budget now?
- Oklahoma senator: Tornado aid "totally different" from Sandy aid
- Aloof, shifty Obama: Nixon times ten thousand!
- Obama: Moore "needs to get everything it needs right away"
- California Tea Party group files first IRS lawsuit
- Still no polling backlash for Obama
- Oklahoma senator wants to offset tornado aid with other cuts
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11