James Cameron to Piranha 3D: You Suck

cameron-avatar-gun_500.jpgSelf-proclaimed king of the world and guardian of Eywa James Cameron recently had a chat with Vanity Fair and talked about the future of movie technology, how he looks back on his past films, and the necessity of working the press to sell your product. And Cameron also talked about his palpable, livid disgust with cheapie 3D flicks like Piranha 3D.

Cameron's uninhibited feelings on Piranha 3D are so obviously deeply felt (and spot-on, in my opinion) that I can't help but show them in their entirety.

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.

All true. Is there anyone who thinks that Clash of the Titans suddenly became 3D because of how it would enrich the movie rather than because they could charge an extra five bucks?

My only disagreement with Cameron is when he states that we're in the middle of a "3D renaissance." I think there's been exactly one movie that's utilized 3D as an enhancement to its storytelling and that was Avatar. Otherwise, it's a bit of a mixed bag: at best, it's superfluous, like Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon; at worst, it renders everything murky and impenetrable, like Clash of the Titans or The Last Airbender, or it produces a splitting headache like Step Up 3D.

Cameron's work in 3D has been excellent, but I think there needs to be at least one more shining example in the field before I agree that we're in a golden age of 3D filmmaking.

· Q&A: James Cameron Talks About Avatar's Re-release [Vanity Fair]


  • The Winchester says:

    I'm sorry, Mr. Cameron, but until you put a 3-D Na'vi-rapey-firewire cable being burped out of the mouth of a ravenous pirahna in 3-D, then you can gripe.
    Until then, why don't you spend less time bitching about corporate greed and their 3-D use, and spend a little more time thinking of a name less stupid than "Unobtainium" for your half billion dollar costing motion picture.

  • jtagliere says:

    Something else he was spot on about: wait til the movies that were authored in 3D come out and then make a judgment about 3D's effect on film. Scorsese, Soderbergh, and Cuaron all have their next movies coming in 3D, and not one of them has the same shooting style as Cameron. That excites me, to see the possibilities of what can be done by either auteurs.

  • Alex says:

    If anyone goes to see Piranha expecting to see quality 3D they have bigger issues than what James Cameron thinks. In any case, he's so busy milking the Avatar cash cow I'm surprised he even has time to do interviews. 3D is just going thru another passing fad. Seems like it happens every 25-30 years. After it fizzles next year expect it to pop up again around 2035.

  • Yousir,areanidiot! says:

    Lets think before we speak. I know that might be hard for some people out their, like yourself.

  • Ben says:

    On the contrary, movies like Piranha are the only kind of movie that should EVER be released in 3D. It's a gimmick. It has always been a gimmick. It may as well be used as such.
    It makes me laugh when I hear people expressing the preposterous notion that 3D has suddenly graduated to being a serious option for filmmakers, just because James Cameron told them so. What sheep. Film is a 2D medium and 3D will always be a cheap distraction. I cannot think of ANY film that would benefit from it EXCEPT for those in the exploitation genre where it's very tackiness is part of its appeal.
    In a few years 3D filmmaking will have (yet again) receded into memory, and the people who championed it as a game changer will look very silly indeed. Save it for video games, Disneyland attractions and movies about Piranhas eating 3D penises. Otherwise I'm not interested.

  • Alex says:

    "Bolt," "Coraline," "How to Train Your Dragon," "Despicable Me," "The Final Destination" and "Toy Story 3" all used 3-D quite well. And "Avatar." If you're making a 3-D movie and not learning from them, you're behind the times.

  • The Winchester says:

    Showing a wikipedia entry proving that unobtanium is in fact "real" doesn't change the fact that it's a stupid name.
    Along these lines, this shows that Cameron, who invented a language for the film, couldn't even be bothered to make up a single name, and instead snagged a generic term used for multiple unknown elements.
    My problem isn't that I don't think before I speak, it's that I think too much about stupid crap like this.

  • bailey says:

    Yeah, it was pretty shameless how they'd turn out all those shitty sequels to horror movies back in the 70s and 80s. Like the sequel to the original "Pirahna", directed by.... James Cameron.

  • Peg Entwistle says:

    Their, their, guys. Let's take it easy.

  • kstief says:

    kstief to avatar you suck alot

  • casting couch says:

    "There". Sorry, I couldn't resist.

  • casting couch says:


  • casting couch says:

    Quoted for truth.

  • anonymous says:

    I'm sorry, but of all things to complain about, you complain about the name unobtanium? because look:
    AS for 3D, I think that two more champions of 3d will be coming out soon, and those are TRON LEGACY and SUCKER PUNCH, which both look amazing as movies, and seem like they will deliver for the 3d.

  • Dave Rand says:

    I thought Bob Z did a great job on A Christmas Carol. The 3d really worked with the story and was in perfect focus all the way through.

  • Ben Poophead says:

    James Cammy prob couldn't handle the 3D cock

  • b says:

    Pretty sure Peg was touching upon the the original misuse of "their" when Captain Wikipedia tried to be smart.

  • body size says:

    We all know it was the COREXIT, we remember how BP and the Coast Guard sprayed lots of gallons of that stuff.

  • My Chick Bad says:

    Lindsay is a good example of everything wrong in the USA today. I definitely can not understand why the hell she would get so much blog attention!

  • James Cameron dissing a Piranha film? Does the old guy forget that HE directed the utterly cheesy Piranha 2- The Spawning which featured flying (yes with wings) piranhas killing people on land. Jim you're a very successful director, but before you put down a franchise, make sure you didn't direct one of the titles in the series!

  • thewasp says:

    Wow, what a total load of shit this article is. "Avatar" was only good if you were on copious amounts of ganja and had drank half a pint of high-proof whiskey. I know this from personal experience. 3D on the whole is a gimmick and being the spearhead of that gimmick gives you no right to to shit on others who make a movie that is at least honest w/itself in terms of what it's doing. How the hell is Cameron even going to take credit for something that relied solely on production of which he had no part (the 3D graphics)?

  • stikkyfinger says:

    I haven't seen a 3d movie yet, and I don't know if it's a good idea or not. I guess each person has to judge for themselves. The concept is a good one though, after all, we see our own world in 3d, so the idea should work. Now I just have to decide which 3d film to see...

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