Tuesday, June 17, 2008


James Cameron is currently completing a new movie, Avatar, his first feature film since his blockbuster Titanic, which was filmed in 1997. Cameron began the shoot of the new movie with virtual photography (don’t ask me quite what that is), following it up with live-action work. Let’s hope the cast aren’t ‘animated’ in the same way those in Beowolf were.

Cameron wrote the screenplay for the movie as well. It’s the story of a wounded marine who’s sent to the faraway planet of Pandora against his wishes, and finds himself caught up in a battle for survival with the planet's inhabitants.

The 52-year-old Cameron has spent years researching and developing the new filming techniques needed to create the movie's $190 million hybrid of action and animation, and he claims he's been "the busiest unemployed director in Hollywood." He says, "We're going to blow you to the back wall of the theatre in a way you haven't seen for a long time. My goal is to rekindle those amazing mystical moments my generation felt when we first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey or the next generation's Star Wars. It took me 10 years to find something hard enough to be interesting." The sci-fi epic is due to be released in 2009.

Well, at the moment the most interesting factor about the movie is Sigourney Weaver, who can be guaranteed to light up any scene she’s in. Cameron was a brilliant director when he made The Terminator series, but Titanic, in spite of its enormous popularity, leaves me cold: it has some of the worst acting this side of the silent movies, and even Kate Winslet and Di Caprio barely make their scenes work. The whole thing got overloaded with technical stuff and spectacular effects, to my way of thinking. And it was so long: it could have done with a dose of lipovox to thin it down!

And I can remember my first viewing of 2001. Like millions of others, it was a revelation – or so it seemed until you tried to figure out what the heck it was all about. Seeing some of it again in recent years confirms my opinion that it should join Titanic in the Most Overrated Movies of All Time Lists. It’s even worse in terms of length than Titanic (where at least there’s something happening most of the time), the acting is non-existent because there aren’t any characters in it, and Hal is about the only interesting bit of the story.
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