Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top Ranked Films of James Cameron

James Cameron
5 titles, 32nd in pts with 19,369

1. Aliens (1986) #75
2. Terminator, The (1984) #128
3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) #186
4. Avatar (2009) #456
5. Titanic (1997) #772

For me Cameron is more popular than artistic. I did love Aliens however, that's Cameron at his best, one of the best horror and best science fiction films ever, two genres in one. You could also say it's a great military action film as well, a "bug war" as Bill Paxton calls it early on. The film has genuine creepiness interspersed with some great action sequences, it blows away the Ridley Scott original, Alien, which was lame and predictable by comparison, with the same event over and over until there was one, Sigourney Weaver.

I found Terminator 2 to be a far better sequel than the original promised, which was almost 'b' level SF from the 50's, with an evil robot running after a kid and his mom to kill them and prevent some future revolution. The 2nd one emphasized action and mind-bending special effects. My favorite scene was when the new terminator became a linoleum floor as a disguise - I mean, who thinks of that?

By contrast, Avatar, which was a not so thinly disguised retelling of the story of the Lakota Souix, who were sitting on gold in the Black Hills of Dakota when the U.S. invaded them to steal the gold, is just another good vs bad guys war film, not very imaginitive other than some special effects, but a fairly juvenile sf story. He says he thought of it when he was a kid, that's about when boys find out about the Indian wars. The animation in the landscapes is also far better than the animation of the beings, something else that hurt the film, they looked stiff and fake, not as smoothe as early Disney hand animation even. Also overranked in the top 500 of all time. I see it as an animated film and not one of the best of those, just because the story is so lame - compare it to the Oscar-nominated screenplays of The Incredibles and Toy Story 3. (However, I did not see it in 3d, if that's it's true medium, and I'm seeing a limited version. As for Cameron on the photo at the top, I hear 3d is better with two women!)

It's obvious where Cameron got the aliens in
Avatar, from looking at Oscars on his mantlepiece
He gave one to some art director and said,
"Here, just stick some hair on it and pointy alien ears"

Titanic should only appeal to teenage girls, in my opinion, and that's from a Kate Winslet fan (from day one, in Heavenly Creatures (1994), Peter Jackson's first film and in which she sang an aria to the sunrise then lost all sanity). C'mon, it's total Hollywood b.s. It wasn't even the best picture of its year, Babe (1995), from Australia, was, easily - one of the best kids' films of all-time. Titanic was just a romantic best-seller put on film, it had mass appeal and little else. If you appeal to the common denominator, you'll make an average film that will appeal to the average filmgoer and you'll make big money. It's a simple formula. In another era, it was Gone With the Wind. The worst kind of 'chick flicks', those without much intelligence. I prefer Chaos (2001) or La Femme Nikita (1990), from France, or The Cuckoo (2002) , from Russia, or My Brilliant Career (1979), from Gillian Armstrong in Australia, for independent women, not those dependent on men.

I suppose The Abyss should be in here somewhere. Admittedly not great, but still, major league underwater science fiction - it just didn't have much pace or any 'wow' factor. But it was better than Titanic.

Classic dialogue in Aliens:
"Ain't you keeping up with current events, pal? We're gettin our asses kicked!"

"Hey, Vasquez, anyone ever mistake you for a man?"
"No - how bout you?"

"That's it, game over, man, game over!"
"This little girl survived"
"Then why don't you put her in charge?"

Yep, laughing to the bank - he now
has more money than the GNP
of 137 nations

No comments: