"Twenty-five years after its release, The Abyss remains an oddity in director James Cameron's filmography. But the fact that it's an oddity seems like an oddity. The underwater sci-fi epic, about a team of commercial drillers who stumble upon a deep-sea alien civilization, wasn't a flop by any means. It made more money than The Terminator and came very close to matching Aliens at the box office. It holds a higher critical rating than Avatar and Titanic (according to the almighty Rotten Tomatoes, at least). And yet it has utterly failed to reach the same levels of cultural saturation as Cameron’s other works."
True Lies is a 1994 action comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Tom Arnold. The film was a huge hit, and is noteworthy in that it featured visual special effects considered impossible only a few years prior. It's been 20 years since it was released. Time for a revisit, then. [SPOILERS if you haven't seen this movie.] [more inside]
"Doing the full-body life cast of Arnold Schwarzenegger—wow, that took a lot of plaster bandage." Entertainment Weekly brings us a lengthy oral history about James Cameron's The Terminator, featuring many of the films stars, director, production crew, and special effects creators.
James Cameron is being sued by Roger Dean. Best known as the creator of classic Yes album art, artist Roger Dean has filed a complaint against James Cameron and 20th Century Fox seeking more than $50 million in damages over Avatar. Full 17 page complaint here.
From The Weyland-Yutani Archives:
During Alien's pre-production, Ridley Scott drew up a story board presentation of Alien for 20th Century Fox. These storyboards are known as 'Ridleygrams'. This story board presentation contains scenes and FX shots that were later re-written or dropped due to budgetary reasons.[more inside]
If you're sad that there's no Seven Samurai-inspired Star Wars movie in the foreseeable future, or if you want to view James Cameron's first feature film special effects, or early soundtrack work by James Horner, look no further than Battle Beyond the Stars (full film on YT; Wikipedia), Roger Corman's 1980 film that was inspired by Star Wars and Seven Samurai (by way of The Magnificent Seven). [more inside]
“When Jim first came to me with this idea of putting two guys inside a giant alien queen suit,” Winston admitted, “I thought, ‘This man is out of his mind.’ Nothing like that had been done before. But in the next moment, I realized that if he had imagined it, we could probably do it.” - How Stan Winston and Jim Cameron built the Alien Queen. Original creature creature H.R. Giger was disapointed not to be involved, leading to this letter from Cameron.
"James Cameron narrates this documentary on the classic film 2001. It includes archival footage of the late Arthur C. Clarke in the 1960s touring spacecraft manufacturing facilities, footage of designers putting together models, snippets of archival footage of Kubrick, interviews with various luminaries, and various other amazing stuff I’ve never seen. It also features interviews with Doug Trumbull and others who did special effects for the film. If you’re a 2001 fan, this is 43 minutes of candy. Skip to 7:00 to find out how they did the floating-pen trick — including an interview with the actress who played the “Space Hostess” who grabbed the pen seemingly from midair. Skip to around 11:00 to meet the guys who played the apes ... . Around 13:45, Clarke explains how the monolith originally was to have a movie screen on it ... ."
Alex Pappademas and Sean Witzke over at Grantland have a long, detailed, super geeky film-nerd discussion of the Alien franchise. "It's important to note here that this is a nuke-it-from-space kind of conversation in which just about every aspect of the original "Alien Quadrilogy" is spoiled, as are some fairly crucial plot points from Prometheus. The Alien vs. Predator movies are neither spoiled nor discussed, because that would mean acknowledging their existence. Some people will undoubtedly view this as curatorial negligence on our part, but we welcome their scorn. "
The Previous And Current Lives Of A World-Class Joke "At first, it was limited only to the Chinese-language Internet. More recently, it has appeared among foreign media. I just watched a clip of director James Cameron being interviewed on a talk show during which he said: "They were afraid that the Chinese men will reach out to touch the screen." When Cameron emphasized that "This is true," I knew that this is one of the most successful fake stories in recent years." [more inside]
The 3D re-release of James Cameron's Titanic prompted Lindy West of Jezebel and Will Leitch of Deadspin to re-assess the movie.
Is a ’director’s cut’ ever a good idea? The director's cut has been a feature of the home video landscape for years, getting a significant boost from multi-disk DVD and now Blu-Ray sets. There are some pretty bad ones around, but which are the best? Movie sites like Shortlist, IGN Movies, MoviesOnline.ca, FilmWad and Empire have all given us lists of the best (and worst), and online discussions have suggested others (Blade Runner tops most lists, but beyond that they diverge significantly). Where do you start when that two-hour epic isn't epic enough?
"By the way, it's not in the goddamed cat and it's not in Newt, either. I would never be that cruel."
Director James Cameron is currently 32,160 feet underwater and descending further, solo, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. [more inside]
The BBC has produced a fabulous infographic showing the ocean zones: Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, Lower Midnight, and The Trenches. The page also includes videos showing: what happens to material at 100, 1000, and 10,000 meters down; the animals living in the Abyssal Plains (described in a lovely Scottish accent); and the story of Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh going down to the Mariana Trench in 1960. No one has been back there since, but director James Cameron and Richard Branson are among the contenders who are going to make a go of it. (Rumour has it that Cameron intends to be the sole person in the sub, while Branson is just financing a team.) Meanwhile, the Doer team (backed by Eric Schmidt of Google), says it's all about the science and not just being first in this century's race. And there's even a yellow submarine for the rest of us, if by "rest of us" one means "has $250,000 to spare for a single trip". Don't forget to click the links at the top of the infographic page to see everything.
"As part of the DGA's 75th Anniversary, DGA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and three-time DGA Award winner, Steven Spielberg, was celebrated on June 11, 2011..." [more inside]
Will post-conversion done badly kill 3D movies? Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks thinks it might. Or as Michael Bay puts it "You can’t just shit out a 3D movie".
Although best known as an actor, Bill Paxton's extracurricular dabbling has been previously discussed on the blue, however... [more inside]
The most expensive movie ever made, is getting its first reviews ... and so far the thumbs are mostly up. [more inside]
“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
Meanwhile in Hollywoodland, the trailer for James Cameron's much anticipated AVATAR debuted online yesterday and ... ooops! [more inside]
Watch The Skies! Directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron discuss the science fiction movies of the 1950s that influenced them. 1::2::3::4::5::6:: 1 hour.
Wired.com is really pimping the Terminator franchise right now. With the success of the television series and the upcoming fourth installment hitting the big screens at the end of May, is the continuing appeal simply science fiction geekdom or is the concept really a deep philosophical metaphor? [more inside]
"In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected --the cornerstone of Christian faith-- and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene."
Dark Angel is a rip-off of Heinlein's Friday, which I completely agree with. Cameron has been successfully sued by Harlon Ellison before for blatantly ripping off his ideas. Then again the sci-fi word is a static world of either super-humans/machines/aliens/time-trave/alternate dimensions.