The Politics of 'Avatar:' Conservatives Attack Film's Political Message

"There are dozens of movies that have taken shots at Bush, starting with 'Star Wars' movies," Goldberg told ABC News. "What's offensive about this is not that it's carrying an ideological agenda. It's that it's so lame. The guy is not even president anymore. ... It's bravery at the cheapest for Cameron to think, if he thinks that, this took courage on his part to make."

John Podhoretz, writing a critique for the Weekly Standard, goes so far as to call the movie "anti-American."

"The conclusion does ask the audience to root for the defeat of American soldiers at the hands of an insurgency. So it is a deep expression of anti-Americanism-kind of," Podhoretz writes.

Conservatives Pan Liberal Bias in Avatar

This is certainly not the first time a Hollywood movie has been accused of liberal bias, or criticized for its political undertones.

Some critics such as Kavulla say the movie, which is mainly about the 3D special effects, should not be taken seriously. But at the same time, some conservatives say they cannot discount its impact on pop culture.

"I think conservatives understand how influential pop culture can be," Kavulla said. "I talk to people who have not seen a movie in theaters in years. Nonetheless they are talking about their excitement ... It is a reinvented way of watching a movie."

Those on the political right don't see the movie as controversial -- in fact it may be the opposite, Goldberg said -- but there is a certain amount of sensitivity about these issues among conservatives.

"The special effects really look awesome but the story, regardless of the politic stuff, is salient. ... It's incredibly trite and cliched," said Goldberg said.

For his part, Cameron has been unabashedly open about his political intentions.

The movie is about how greed and imperialism tend to destroy the environment, in this case the "pristine" environs of Pandora, Cameron said in an interview with NBC's Today show. "It's a way of looking back at ourselves from this other world, seeing what we're doing here."

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