WARNING: A good chunk of my readers may not like or agree with what I have to say, but I don’t care. This blog is about the way I see things and while I’ll be in the minority in some of my beliefs. Others will agree…that said here you go. —Ross

Back in the day I used to be very impressed with James Cameron and his film making. And then I realized that the only films of his that I truly loved were those that came out before I started going to the theater.

The Terminator, Aliens and The Abyss were films that as a Science Fiction fan enthralled me and excited me. They had engaging plots, ideas and equally engaging settings and characters. They had a purity about them, the scripts told their stories well and all had depth and knowledge that intrigued me. These three films engaged me in spectacular ways and they still do.

I think the main reason that these three films engaged me so much was because they were pure and unsullied by the need that would soon develop in Cameron. The need for technology and to rewrite the book with every film he made. The films were driven by passion for story and character and not special visual effects, new cameras or 3D tech.

After The Abyss the story and character began to loose its luster and the sfx became what seemed to drive Camerons films.

I know a great many of you will be up in arms especially about T2 but as I repeatedly watched the film over and over againthe script got worse and worse. From a personal standpoint the film simply fell apart for me and I don’t nearly enjoy it as much as I had to.

After Titanic in 1997 we went into a holding pattern and during that time or perhaps a little before that’s unclear Cameron wrote a Treatment and then a Script for Avatar.

Unfortunately while Cameron waited for the SFX techniques to keep up with his raging imagination he didn’t do much at all to improve the script. A little shock and awe maybe but that’s about it.

That’s a pity, a very huge pity because as I found out when I saw Avatar recently once you get beyond the visuals, those SPECIAL EFFECTS, which I’d like to point out are for the most part very good. But once you’re used to them then your mind can start to concentrate on the plot and the script.

Which I’d like to point out is for the most part very bad.

In fact the one and only moment when I was drawn to some kind of emotion in the entire story was when Quaritch and his fine soldiers. Destroyed a ginormous fucking tree! I’m not sure if it was true emotion or just a special effects thing either.
Cameron used to be eloquent in his screenwriting, he used to have differing shades of grey. He used to create charactes I could give a shit about, that had more depth then a puddle of standing water. They had nuances, subtleties, they had life.

Here he seemd to have written his script in a big thick tipped permanent marker.

There was no nuance.

No depth.

No shades of grey.

No involvement.

I felt as if I was always on the outside looking in and therefore did not care.

And if I can’t care for anything other than how a film looks and I get used to that so I can turn my focus to other things…and there are no other things to care for then I can’t give you any more chances.

In the ironically immortal words of George Lucas, ‘ a special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing’.

And cut, print, Martini Shot.

Ross Out.

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