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October 20, 2009 4:01 AM   Subscribe

“I try to do my testosterone movie and it’s a chick flick. That’s how it is for me.” The New Yorker profiles James Cameron
posted by fearfulsymmetry (57 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here's the edited highlights. Or lowlights, depending on your perspective.
posted by tapeguy at 4:36 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


• James Cameron has a piece of shrapnel in his arm from Terminator 2 that never came out.

• James Cameron broke a tooth while shooting Avatar and he hasn't bothered to fix it. Why not? James Cameron doesn't "smile that broadly anyway," he says.


For James Cameron, even fictional movies are real.
posted by DU at 4:48 AM on October 20, 2009


Even though the trailer does look a "Ferngully"-ish, it's still worth seeing a Cameron movie in the theater, hopefully at the biggest screen I can find.
posted by octothorpe at 4:58 AM on October 20, 2009


CGI jumps the shark:

“Look at the gill-like membrane on the side of the mouth, its transmission of light, all the secondary color saturation on the tongue, and that maxilla bone. I love what you did with the translucence on the teeth, and the way the quadrate bone racks the teeth forward. It’s a sharky thing. As wacky as this creature is, it looks completely real. Maybe I’m getting high on my own supply.”
posted by chavenet at 5:37 AM on October 20, 2009


For James Cameron, even fictional movies are real.

Beneath a James Cameron movie, there is no subtext...only another movie.
posted by jquinby at 5:40 AM on October 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


In terms of influence on the history of special effects, there's Lucas and then there's Cameron. At this point, maybe the other way around.

Asshole or not, the man's a visionary.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:45 AM on October 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


His face was flushed and happy. “It’s all just an excuse to do helicopters versus pterodactyls,” he said.
posted by hawthorne at 5:45 AM on October 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


In terms of influence on the history of special effects, there's Lucas and then there's Cameron. At this point, maybe the other way around.

Asshole or not, the man's a visionary.


Where does the special effects medium rank in the visionary hierarchy? Below limerick composition and above paper football design, maybe?
posted by aswego at 6:04 AM on October 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


In terms of influence on the history of special effects, there's Lucas and then there's Cameron. At this point, maybe the other way around.

But neither of these guys are the ones actually doing the special effects work. They're just imagining them and then telling others to "make the Millennium Falcon look like a hot-rod."

You may as well call Shakespeare a special effects visionary for imagining that a ghost could talk to Hamlet.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:10 AM on October 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I watched the first Terminator movie recently and was hit by how well Cameron can shoot and edit an action sequence. Compare the car chase/shootout in the parking garage in that movie to a similar scene at the opening of the most recent Bond movie. I realize that the action style of the newer movie is intentional but it just sucks all of the thrill out of viewing it because you're so annoyed and disoriented by the jumpy flashy editing style.
posted by octothorpe at 6:16 AM on October 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Can I just say I really *hate* the terms chick flick and dick flick? By today's definitions, just because they didn't involve explosions, a lot of Frank Sinatra's and Bing Crosby's films were "chick flicks."
posted by Zinger at 6:33 AM on October 20, 2009


Asshole or not, the man's a visionary.

Terminator 2 is one of the best action films ever made, and he made it nearly 20 years ago. Nothing since has touched that film for sheer, jawdropping, "Howinthefuck..." awesomeness.
So yes, I'd say he's a visionary. And so what if he's an asshole? Most people who work in Hollywood are assholes. Only one of them gave me the T-1000 walking through fire, and robo-Ripley body-slamming the Mama Alien into an airlock.
posted by Optamystic at 6:37 AM on October 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: "But neither of these guys are the ones actually doing the special effects work."

That's like saying Rommel didn't actually drive the tanks.

But let me quote - as best I can from memory, pre-coffee - someone actually doing the special effects work, as reported in (IIRC) Cinefex's special issue devoted entirely to Titanic:

People ask when computer-generated actors will replace real ones. It will happen when someone like Jim Cameron drives to make it happen.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:42 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can I just say I really *hate* the terms chick flick and dick flick?

Infinitly worse is the 'bromance'... buddy flick was bad enough but just hearing bromance starts my eye twitching.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:44 AM on October 20, 2009


I want to see this movie, but I can't get over the fact that they called the MacGuffin "Unobtainium". Millions of dollars spent designing this planet and its inhabitants and they couldn't throw a few to some writers to come up with a better name?
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:47 AM on October 20, 2009


But neither of these guys are the ones actually doing the special effects work. They're just imagining them and then telling others to "make the Millennium Falcon look like a hot-rod."

Possibly true of Lucas, not of Cameron. He's a nuts and bolts guy.
posted by Optamystic at 6:49 AM on October 20, 2009


CGI jumps the shark

Not sure what youre objecting to. This kind of attention to detail goes into every movie that has CG visual effects. At least the 10 or 12 Ive worked on. Unless youre making fun of the 'getting high on his own supply' part. Then by all means..
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 6:57 AM on October 20, 2009


Nothing since has touched [T2] for sheer, jawdropping, "Howinthefuck..." awesomeness.

The commentary track with Cameron and (I think) William Wisher is worth listening to.

"Jim, how did you get that shot of the helicopter flying under the freeway overpasses?"
"The helicopter pilot flew his helicopter under the freeway overpasses."
"..."

Possibly true of Lucas, not of Cameron. He's a nuts and bolts guy.

Yah. Among other things, he did the initial version of the model of the dropship in Aliens.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:00 AM on October 20, 2009 [5 favorites]




Possibly true of Lucas, not of Cameron. He's a nuts and bolts guy.

Goes nuts & bolts off the set?
posted by Forrest Greene at 7:15 AM on October 20, 2009


I want to see this movie, but I can't get over the fact that they called the MacGuffin "Unobtainium".

You'd prefer it was called MacGuffin? Obviously, I have yet to see the movie, but I'm pretty sure that this is going to be a joke. Well, not a joke, but an intentional dumbness. I mean, in the movie. Cameron is not Woody Allen or David Mamet, but he IS interested in the writing, and it's pretty universally good (if admittedly, and intentionally, broad).

And as for him not doing the effects, well, RTFA. He got his start as an effects/props/design guy, he has been hands on on every picture, even going so far as actually applying the paint around a wound for a scene because he knows it's the only way it'll look like he wants it to. He's been the driving force, and one of the actual designers, for both the new 3D cameras and for the submersibles he used in The Abyss and Titanic. The sketches that what's-his-face has in his portfolio in Titanic were drawn by Cameron. I mean, he might not be molding every booger, or pressing every button, but he comes closer to 'doing' the effects on his pictures, than any other mainstream director. By a long shot. The only other person in the room is Peter Jackson.

Yes, I am a fan.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:41 AM on October 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


You don't have to like their movies, or even their personalities, but for those of you who do not consider Lucas or Cameron to be visionaries..... um, perhaps we could see a link to your IMDB page? You must have come up with some pretty spectacular shit in your day.

Go on... I'll wait.
posted by spilon at 8:19 AM on October 20, 2009


I've heard that during the making of Phantom Lucas would stride through a room full of sketches of different stuff that the designers had done and be like 'yes, yes, no, no, yes, no'...

I get the impression that Cameron 'do it more like my temp track' is much more hands on.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:23 AM on October 20, 2009


for those of you who do not consider Lucas or Cameron to be visionaries

I guess a more elegant way to put it would be to draw a distinction between the artistic visionary and the engineering marvel. Da Vinci didn't invent paint, but the accolades heaped on Mssrs. Lucas and Cameron make it sound like they're up late at night, debugging the shader code.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:30 AM on October 20, 2009


Something James Cameron actually shouted to Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set of True Lies: "Do you want Paul Verhoeven to finish this motherfucker?"

LOL, that is awesome. I actually like Cameron more now. (He had me at Terminator.)
posted by callmejay at 8:36 AM on October 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah it was "Battle Beyond the Stars." Now I don't have to do that askme.
posted by rlk at 8:42 AM on October 20, 2009


(...) the accolades heaped on Mssrs. Lucas and Cameron make it sound like they're up late at night, debugging the shader code.

Who do you think is more responsible for the CGI and its ubiquity - Cameron or the 23 year old kid who is debugging shader code? I'm not saying that the kid isn't doing important work, and I'm not saying the auteur theory is flawless or precisely applicable, but it seems very, very clear that the 23 year old would simply be doing something else if it were not for Cameron and Lucas.

Leonardo didn't invent paint because he didn't need to.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:43 AM on October 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


You don't have to like their movies, or even their personalities, but for those of you who do not consider Lucas or Cameron to be visionaries..... um, perhaps we could see a link to your IMDB page? You must have come up with some pretty spectacular shit in your day.

How does extensive documentation of horrible work mitigate it? Was the first person to inject cattle with hormones a visionary? What about the engineering marvel behind crack? They were giving people what they wanted and their products were popular, after all. But the output was still bad.

Props to Cameron on the Verhoeven line, though.
posted by aswego at 9:31 AM on October 20, 2009


But neither of these guys are the ones actually doing the special effects work. They're just imagining them and then telling others to "make the Millennium Falcon look like a hot-rod."

Sure, it's a team effort, but the fact remains that those two guys have consistently assembled the teams that have done the most influential special effects work.
posted by straight at 9:31 AM on October 20, 2009


How does extensive documentation of horrible work mitigate it? Was the first person to inject cattle with hormones a visionary? What about the engineering marvel behind crack? They were giving people what they wanted and their products were popular, after all. But the output was still bad.

You like potato and I like potahto
You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto
Let's call the whole thing off!
posted by blucevalo at 9:42 AM on October 20, 2009


visionary (n) - one having unusual foresight and imagination

I'm open to arguments against Cameron meeting this definition. But frankly, I don't think you're holding the cards.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:54 AM on October 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Who do you think is more responsible for the CGI and its ubiquity - Cameron or the 23 year old kid who is debugging shader code?

You're making it sound like it's an either/or proposition, which is exactly what I'm railing against. You're making it sound like the choice of director for Terminator 2 boiled down to the guy that said "I think the bad guy should be made of liquid metal" and the other guy that said "I think the bad guy is just a normal dude like last time and we can throw some stop-motion animation in at the end because it worked last time and I don't want to try any harder." And the truth is a little more complex than you read in the magazine.

Look, there's a reason the technical Oscars are presented on a different night than the main telecast -- the PR people would rather focus on the guys don't use funny words like "polygons" and "vertices" that hurt your head.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:03 AM on October 20, 2009


"You don't have to like their movies, or even their personalities, but for those of you who do not consider Lucas or Cameron to be visionaries..... um, perhaps we could see a link to your IMDB page? You must have come up with some pretty spectacular shit in your day."

The movies are ok. I don't really know anything about their personalities. Nothing about that visionary, either.

But I'm worried. I've never designed a community weblog, even though I partake in one, & have opinions about it. Should I resign my MetaFilter account?

Signed,

Anxious
posted by Forrest Greene at 11:06 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


So I read those highlights and all I want to know is, what's Chuck Norris going to do now?
posted by wenestvedt at 11:55 AM on October 20, 2009


You're making it sound like it's an either/or proposition

I agree that for the state of the art to have advanced to the present level both of these people need to be here. But in some ways I think the importance of one driving personality, again, the auteur, is extremely important. I think we agree that the debugger plays an important role, but in my view the debugger is like the guy pounding rivets into the Eiffel tower - his job could be done by lots of people, but the tower itself simply wouldn't exist without the big man seeing what needs to be done. The projects that Cameron, through force of will, talent, vision, assholishness, and luck, has pushed through production have been (among?) the primary engines driving this technology.

There is probably some emergence here too - ideas and technologies that were sort of waiting to be invented - and if Cameron (et al) had never existed, a different person or group of people might have pushed them along. But they didn't.

the PR people would rather focus on the guys don't use funny words like "polygons" and "vertices" that hurt your head.

James Cameron is pretty tech heavy, really. He knows this stuff.

Here's a pretty entertaining talk he gave a while back, about the making of past films and Avatar, that gives a pretty good indication of the guys brain, as I recall.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:59 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


You don't have to like their movies, or even their personalities, but for those of you who do not consider Lucas or Cameron to be visionaries..... um, perhaps we could see a link to your IMDB page?

By that rationale, Keanu is a visionary actor way beyond the average Tony-award winner. After all, his IMDB page is far more extensive. Yes, I like both guys, but your argument is vacuous.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:32 PM on October 20, 2009


Heh. James Cameron was a truck driver living in Brea when he took one of my dad's English classes at the local junior college. My dad told me later that Cameron was one of the brightest students he'd ever had, and Cameron gave him a painting (which was pretty weird, if memory serves -- a male and female figure glowing in front of a pyramid. We had in the back of the closet for years and then Cameron's mother asked for it).

Cameron's mother once told my dad that she thought her son was a gifted writer, but just wished he stopped writing that crazy science fiction stuff. Reminds me of John Lennon's Auntie Mimi telling him to put the guitar away, because he'd never make any money with it.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:32 PM on October 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


But neither of these guys are the ones actually doing the special effects work. You may as well call Shakespeare a special effects visionary for imagining that a ghost could talk to Hamlet.

Wha?

Visionary means "having or marked by foresight and imagination." No, it does not mean you're the guy actually doing the pixel-by-pixel shading on frame 3775. But without the ideas person, there'd be no need to do the shading.

Could you execute your ideas without the people down in the trenches? Maybe not. But by the same token, the people down in the trenches wouldn't have jobs without the ideas people.

So while many people have pointed out that Cameron is hands-on, even if he weren't, you could - and should - call him visionary. And yes, Shakespeare was visionary too. That'd kind of be why he's so famous, n'all.

/really bugged by all the sniffy dismissive comments about creative people on the blue lately
posted by Zinger at 12:59 PM on October 20, 2009


Da Vinci didn't invent paint

He certainly tried to, as generations of art restorers can attest to lament.
posted by furiousthought at 1:19 PM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


After he finished making “True Lies,” Cameron called Kubrick, by then a recluse, and invited himself over. They spent a day, in the basement of Kubrick’s house in the English countryside, watching “True Lies” at Kubrick’s flatbed editing station. Cameron went over the shots—Schwarzenegger in a Harrier jet firing a missile, with the villain attached to it, through an office building and into a helicopter: boom!—so that Kubrick could learn how the effects were done.

At what point would Kubrick ever need to know that information? I can't tell if this is a description of brain-stultifyingly outrageous assholery, or just spectacularly hilarious. Probably both.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:45 PM on October 20, 2009


At what point would Kubrick ever need to know that information? I can't tell if this is a description of brain-stultifyingly outrageous assholery, or just spectacularly hilarious. Probably both.

Well, presumably Kubrick didn't just take a look at Terminator 2 and go, "Well, I don't know how to do any of that computer stuff, so I guess I'm done with film-making." It's not outlandish to think that the guy who did 2001, A Clockwork Orange, and Dr. Strangelove might want to have some idea of the current state of visual effects for some upcoming project. Doesn't necesarily mean he had some plan in the back of his head to have Schwarzenegger killing Arabs in Barry Lyndon II.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:12 PM on October 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Amanojaku: "It's not outlandish to think that the guy who did 2001, A Clockwork Orange, and Dr. Strangelove might want to have some idea of the current state of visual effects for some upcoming project."

2001 was every bit as ambitious from an effects perspective as Avatar is. Kubrick also had custom lenses created for the candlelit scenes in Barry Lyndon. So a summit with Cameron is completely in character for him.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:33 PM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


As he grew older, Kubrick wanted to know everything about everything so the sfx lesson didn't surprise me at all. And he was working on AI for years so he'd probably want to know the latest in special effects for if he ever go that going.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:59 PM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cameron is not a director, he's a project manager, and a mediocre one at that.

To me Cameron, and his ilk, are little more than guys with a phone a Rolodex and huge budget.

People act like going big is a hard thing to do, but I can tell you right now that going small is much, much harder.

I would like to see someone who hasn't seen any of their movies be shown something done by Michael Bay, or Cameron, or Paul Verhoven or any number of these ego bloated cretins wandering the boulevards of and Southern California and see if the viewer can tell the difference. What, we got more shots of the femme fatale ass? Well that's gotta be Michael bay – you see, you can always tell when the artist is ...

Bullshit.

Look at other action flicks out there being redirected by guys like Mathieu Kassovitz or David Twohy or Rob Cohen or Timur Bekmambetov or Roland Emmerich.

Might as well been directed by Cameron/Bay/etc., fuck all of a difference I could see.

I say you want to know who a real director is, give them two cameras three lights and a room. Also give them a script and two good actors and let's see what they can make with that.

I'd bet anyone here that if you were to somehow coerce Martin Scorsese into making a big budget f/x film like Titanic, he could do it without breaking a sweat.

I'd love to see Cameron or Verhoven or Bay or any of these half-wits that seem to actually believe that big explosions are better than a good script take on the bar scene in Goodfellas between Spider and Tommy DeVito.

I'd love to be able to say to someone like Cameron, "OK, let's see your take on how Don Corleone has to deal with the undertaker over the burial of Santino."

All James Cameron can do, the ONLY thing he can do, is throw special effects at what passes for a "plot" until it looks pretty

None of these people, from Cameron on down, seem to understand that special effects serve the plot, not the other way around.

And until you can handle a plot, you're not a director and you're certainly not an artist.
posted by Relay at 3:55 PM on October 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


...but for those of you who do not consider Lucas or Cameron to be visionaries..... um, perhaps we could see a link to your IMDB page? You must have come up with some pretty spectacular shit in your day.

Yeah, and My Chemical Romance must be fucking awesome since I don't have a band of my own. Plus I was in the bookstore the other day and there's nothing on the shelves written by me ergo Dan Brown is the greatest author of this century.

(Yes I'm being snidey but "Let's see you do better!" is a fucking retarded argument.)
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:53 PM on October 20, 2009


[few comments removed - hugs available in metatalk for people who appear to need them.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:18 PM on October 20, 2009


i will wait and see if "The Na’vi" are really as realistic as Mr Cameron wants them to be but forgive me if another movie with *slightly* more lifelike Jar Jar Binks doesn't make me wet my pants.
posted by Hammond Rye at 5:23 PM on October 20, 2009


Relay-if you think Cameron is "the same thing as" Michael Bay or David Twohy(?), then you see movies really differently from me. You obviously have a rather narrow view of what a director is and should be and the kind of movies he/she should be making. And that's fair; some people think musicals are the best kind of movie and I (with a few exceptions) couldn't be made to watch a typical one at gunpoint. But I wouldn't think that all musicals are the same. I haven't seen West Side Story, but I'd bet that it's at least somewhat better than Grease 2.

And if you think all Cameron is doing is making phone calls and throwing money around to get his movies made...read the fucking article, man. Sigourney Weaver got a Best Actress nomination for her role in Aliens. I know the Oscars aren't the be-all, end-all, but it says something about Cameron's dramatic sensibilites. There's at least a smidgen there. Personally, I thought the romance in Titanic to be sluggish and silly and boring--I just wanted to see a sinking ship. But lo and behold--when Leo sunk under the water just about every female (sorry, true) in the theater was a blubbering mess. Tell me that was from special effects.
posted by zardoz at 6:25 PM on October 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Re: Bay vs. Cameron. Granted, I haven't seen either of the Transformers movies, but by all reports they're a blur of crap happening onscreen with no way to tell what's going on. I don't recall that ever being the case on a Cameron film. The Orson Scott Card quote about Cameron on Wikipedia is money, too:
"...hell on wheels. He was very nice to me, because I could afford to walk away. But he made everyone around him miserable, and his unkindness did nothing to improve the film in any way. Nor did it motivate people to work faster or better. And unless he changes his way of working with people, I hope he never directs anything of mine."[34]
So, basically: Yeah, he sounds like a visionary.
posted by Decimask at 7:20 PM on October 20, 2009


a big budget f/x film like Titanic

There are lots of silly things in your comment, but I'll talk about this one:

Titanic, the movie, is framed around a story that everyone already knew (big ship sinks). It has maybe 30 distinct characters (and dozens of lesser characters) ranging in age from teens to 90+, and all strata of social and cultural types. The lead character, a young woman, not only thinks, feels and acts bravely, but is portrayed positively for doing so. The male lead dies, the villain survives. The entire 3+ hour, effects laden film does not contain a single element of 'fantasy' - it's an accurate period movie without monsters, spaceships, aliens, car chases, robots, or gore. What happens on screen, arguably, could or did happen in the reality we live in. This movie was the most expensive ever made, is the highest grossing film of all time, and won 11 Oscars.

There aren't big budget effects films like Titanic. There's just Titanic.

And don't get me wrong, although I like and admire it I'm not a huge Titanic fan or anything - I just think writing it off like it is the Transformers is either stupid and disingenuous, or both.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:25 PM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not writing Titanic off because it's like Transformers, I'm writing it off because of what it is:

Love Boat with a budget.

Oscars? Please, have the benchmarks been set that low? Wow, I guess Cameron, the great auteur, can go hang out with Mel Gibson and Kevin Costner and they can discuss how their reinterpretation of the visual narrative was heavily influenced by the works of von Stroheim and Arthur Lubin.

Shit, what Cameron does barely rises above the level of craft, let alone approaching anything like art. Look, I'm not saying that all of his characters have to be at the level of Colonel Kurtz in their varied complexities, what I am saying is that his characters don't have the depth of the paper he typed them out on.

What Cameron makes is the cinematic equivalent of the Big Mac, and I've got nothing against a good burger now and again, just don't expect me to put it on the same level as filet mignon.
posted by Relay at 8:04 PM on October 20, 2009


That's ridiculous. You cannot watch James Cameron movies and mistake them for normal same old action movies. If you can watch Terminator 1 and 2 without being like, "Jesus, that's weird- the self-creation of John Connor is identical to the self-creation of Skynet" or "Did that character just give a three minute speech about how men cannot form life in their wombs?" or "Huh, having a poor white woman climb up the Hollywood hills and viciously attack a rich black family is a winking reversal of the actual fears of Hollywood residents circa 1991", you don't know how to watch a film. Cameron, along with Verhoeven, makes (or made, we'll see how Avatar turns out) subversive movies that audiences watch and enjoy, which puts him head and shoulders above half of the hot filmmakers on the block these days.
posted by 235w103 at 9:26 PM on October 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


He hired a team of artists to execute his ideas, but reserved one creature for himself: the thanator, a six-legged black pantherlike beast, twenty-four feet long, covered in plate scales, with a reptilian double set of jaws and a threat display resembling that of a fan lizard. “The thanator is the baddest, meanest predator the planet had to offer,” Neville Page, the lead creature designer, said. “As Jim put it in the treatment, a thanator can eat an Alien for dessert. He wanted to outdo himself, outdo the Alien Queen.”

Good luck Jim, that Queen is a masterpiece.
posted by Brainy at 1:05 AM on October 21, 2009


...Jar Jar Binks...

*shudder* If you're worried about the characters being too CGI, try to remember Gollum from LotR rather than Jar Jar. It is possible to do it well.

And if anyone wants to say all action directors are the same, I say compare Terminator 2 to Terminator 3. T2 is clearly a better movie than T3, even though they have similar setups, characters, effects challenges etc.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 1:40 AM on October 21, 2009


People act like going big is a hard thing to do, but I can tell you right now that going small is much, much harder.

Do you know the story behind James Cameron and the first Terminator movie?

I would like to see someone who hasn't seen any of their movies be shown something done by Michael Bay, or Cameron, or Paul Verhoven or any number of these ego bloated cretins wandering the boulevards of and Southern California and see if the viewer can tell the difference. What, we got more shots of the femme fatale ass? Well that's gotta be Michael bay – you see, you can always tell when the artist is ...

Wha...? Michael Bay is who he is and his movies are what they are, but he undoubtedly has a personal stamp on his movies. As for Paul Verhoeven, Hollow Man notwithstanding, he's actually a pretty excellent director, with a sharp sense of humor. I'd say he's far more intelligent than most directors out there.

Look at other action flicks out there being redirected by guys like Mathieu Kassovitz or David Twohy or Rob Cohen or Timur Bekmambetov or Roland Emmerich.

Might as well been directed by Cameron/Bay/etc., fuck all of a difference I could see.


Timur Bekmambetov seems weirdly out of place in that list. Kassovitz, too, if only for La Haine.

I say you want to know who a real director is, give them two cameras three lights and a room. Also give them a script and two good actors and let's see what they can make with that.

You should check out Verhoeven's The Fourth Man, or, from his more recent work, Black Book.

I'd bet anyone here that if you were to somehow coerce Martin Scorsese into making a big budget f/x film like Titanic, he could do it without breaking a sweat.

Really? Because Gangs of New York was not exactly known as a smooth production. Nor is it generally regarded as being at the level of quality of his earlier, smaller movies.

His medium-budget movies, such as Cape Fear and The Departed, are pretty great (except when they're not, as with The Aviator), but that doesn't mean that Scorsese could direct an Aliens sequel. Not that I wouldn't be curious to see what that would look like, but it's ridiculous to put James Cameron on the same level as Rob Cohen, or to say that what people like Cameron and Verhoeven can do is in any way easy .
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:31 PM on October 21, 2009


All these comments and no mention of the fact that the dude was planning to go to outer space and film it? Space, people!
posted by doift at 1:37 PM on October 26, 2009


Full trailer for Avatar looks better than the first, how could a movie with giant cats fighting robots be all bad?
posted by octothorpe at 11:36 AM on October 29, 2009


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