Tag Archives: Avatar

Where to begin with James Cameron

It may seem silly to construct a guide to exploring a filmmaker who directed two of the three highest-grossing movies ever made, and also created one of the most successful science-fiction media franchises of the last 40 years. When it comes to James Cameron, it seems much of the globe has already begun. Yet since his real-life-disaster-inspired romantic melodrama Titanic conquered the world a quarter of a century ago, his directing jobs have been rare. An 18-year-old today would have been five when the last Cameron film – 2009’s alien planet war-epic Avatar – came out…

Full feature for the BFI

Nicolas Cage understood the maximalist potential of 3D movies

 3D boom that launched the decade is in its dying days. While many blockbusters still open with 3D versions, and James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar sequels should give the format a major boost, the numbers back up the decline. Eye-popping images aren’t the sell they were in 2009.

What’s lost as 3D fades into cultural irrelevance? Numerous directors, from Martin Scorsese to Wim Wenders, extolled the virtues of the visual gimmick, but the format also reshaped actors — or could have if given the room to evolve. In the first decade of 3D blockbusters, big names like Will Smith or Sandra Bullock were strapped into what were essentially theme park rides, the technique more of a marquee attraction rather than a lens through which to navigate around performances. We never got to the moment where 3D became a tool for actors.

There is a notable exception, however, and it concerns two films that exist in a specific subgenre: Nicolas Cage driving dangerous vehicles after escaping from hell…

Full feature for Polygon