Vatican says 'Avatar' is no masterpiece

Vatican City -- Unlike much of the world, the Vatican is not awed by the film "Avatar."

James Cameron's big-grossing, 3-D spectacle has earned lukewarm reviews by 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.

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano says that despite "so much stupefying, enchanting technology," there are "few genuine emotions."

Vatican Radio called it "rather harmless" but said the movie was no sci-fi masterpiece.

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 Friday in Italy.