James Cameron is a Prick

As it’s a Bank Holiday I will be lazy and copy and paste directly from the wonderful Movie|Line a quote from James Cameron. Only while they seem to agree with him I find him offensive prickish.

“I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but [Piranha 3D] is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip.”

Doesn’t re-releasing a film with a few extra minutes thrown in to make some more money cheapen the medium? How about making preachy film which rips off the plot of Pocahontas, and while nice to look at holds no real substance in dialogue or plot?

I have seen Avatar, Piranha 3D and Friday the 13th 3-D and I know which one I enjoyed the least.

Just when I get over disliking Cameron he pulls me back in!

Out Now – 27th August 2010

Run Michael Cera, run! If the release of Avatar ruins Scott Pilgrim‘s box office I might cry. For more on the whole prancing Michael Cera phenomenon go to here.

Avatar (Special Edition)
So who felt that Avatar ran a bit too short and wants to see an extra nine minutes? Really? Well apparently if you wait for the new extended DVD then you’ll get sixteen minutes of extra footage! What a scam. Then you can always get the 3D DVD when it rolls along. So that’s two cinema releases and three DVD releases for just the first in a trilogy.

The Girl Who Played with Fire
A computer hacker and journalist investigate a sex trafficking ring. I’ve seen people on the underground every day reading books from this trilogy, it must be good. If only I’d seen the first!

Dog Pound (limited release)
Three young thugs arrive in a correctional facility and some presumably gritty stuff unfolds. I imagine I’d spend the whole film feeling mildly threatened.

The Last Seven (limited release)
This could maybe possibly be good. Seven people wake up in an abandoned London and find they are the last people alive. Or are they…? Well you’ll never find out as it’s only out in one cinema in London.

The Maid (limited release)
A South American dramedy about a maid trying to scare off newer younger maids in order to maintain her position in the household of the Valdes family.

Wah Do Dem (limited release)
A badly received low budget american indie film about some hipster getting lost in Jamaica.

Please, please do not go and see Avatar.

Empire Awards: The Horror! The Horror!

Thought the awards season was over? Well yesterday Empire Magazine held their own awards ceremony and the results are mostly horrible.

Avatar won both best film and best director with Zoe Saldana picking up best actress. Another major mistake was Sherlock Holmes winning Best Thriller. Without getting into a debate about what constitutes a thriller I dispute Holmes being a better film than Inglourious Basterds.

On the plus side In The Loop finally won something as it acheived Best Comedy beating out a four more successful, but less brilliant films. Sadly Moon and District 9 were again overlooked in favour of the more flashy Star Trek, at least Cameron didn’t get this one. The full list of winners can be seen here.

What happened Empire? You used to be cool man!

It makes me wonder when the Mild Concern awards are.

James Cameron 3D in Your Face!

James Cameron has said that not only is he hoping to re-release an extended Avatar back into cinemas this Autumn but that Titanic is undergoing the 3D conversion for a 2012 re-release. Do the two highest grossing movies of all time need to be back in cinemas? Shouldn’t Avatar let the autumn releases have a chance at making some money instead? Is there any real benefit to somehow making 2D movies 3D?

Grrr argh etc…

Cameron Tries Writing

Along with planning an Avatar trilogy James Cameron is set to write a novel based before the first film, Jon Landau has revealed to MTV. The book will detail the back-story of Jake Sully, his colleagues and the Na’vi; clearly there just isn’t enough time in three films to tell the whole story.

Those of us who think Avatar’s major weak point was the core story will, I’m sure, be intrigued to see how Cameron faces the challenge of writing a book; Pocahontas only ever had a sequel, never a prequel. Of course the real target here is true Avatar fans who are hungry to learn all they can about their favourite 3D characters, soon to be represented in black and white text. A definite case of swapping 3D glasses for reading glasses, despite how cringeworthy the sentence may be.

This seems an odd move for a franchise so synonymous with draw-dropping visuals and disappointing storytelling. While I am intrigued by the idea I am unlikely to follow through when the book is published in late 2010.

Cameron’s Camera

Vanity Fair recently tasked acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz with photographing the creative forces behind the past year’s greatest films, focussing on “the bond between actor and director.” The results can be seen here and show the likes of Meryl Streep and Penélope Cruz posing with their respective directors.

Within the twelve photographs there is one notable exception which you can see above; for some reason James Cameron is posing not with Sam Worthington and/or Zoe Saldana but with his revolutionary camera. I find this particularly odd considering him constantly stating that the acting in Avatar is every bit as real as in a fully live action film, yet here Cameron is almost calling the camera his biggest collaborator. Weird.

Cameron Vs Cameron

Avatar has finally done as predicted and knocked Titanic off the top spot for highest grossing film of all time. Cameron has beaten his own record and will probably be smug forever more. For me this feels like a hollow victory of style over substance, one that tells the studios that fancy effects and endless marketing makes for a guaranteed success. Which perhaps it does.

Looking at the figures a different way, Avatar‘s budget was so massive that it needed a record breaking box office to bring about a reasonable percentage return on the studios investment. If claims of a $500 million total production and marketing budget are to be believed, Avatar only made less than four times the investment it cost. The real winner is Paranormal Activity.

Paranormal Activity was made for a meagre $15,000 and made over $140 million dollars meaning a whopping percentage return on investment of 472,962.70% (as shown here). I’m not an expert on investments but this looks like a case for smaller films with viral marketing to get a bigger return for your money. It is worth noting that the second most profitable movie of all time, based of percentage return on investment is The Blair Witch Project. Obviously not every film can have a micro budget but those that do should not be overlooked as they are far more profitable than effects laden epics like Avatar.