Thursday, May 13, 2010

Guest Blogger, and Thoughts on the Utility of Bad Directors

Young James Cameron, trying to put a choke-hold on himself

Papa Grice e-mailed this morning. I sighed, readying myself for whatever political debate he was trying to trick me into (ahem). But, no! Pops G bloggled into my inbox, Slice of Grice-style. Having just recently seen "Avatar," he needed to get some things off his chest.

I was almost as appalled by the fact he was just seeing Avatar as I was by the movie itself. This, from a guy who sees almost as many movies a week as I do. But, I forgive, just won't forget.

He had some musings on Cameron, his oeuvre (cough), and the appreciation gained from suffering through bad directors. On to the soapbox!


That James Cameron. The man with the Midas Touch, his alchemy this time turning mere straw into wood—much as with Titantic, where an ordinary seashell was turned into granite. While I think he was aiming for gold, both resulted in something far less, far more forgettable and far more uninspiring.

Though, if the end desire is huge monetary largesse, the products were both diamonds.

Once you have arrived into the rareified climes that he has reached, I would think that you desire more—to leave a true imprint that will make you happy in your very old age. It should be that feeling that Hitchcock, Scorcese, William Wyler (Funny Girl, Ben Hur) must have—or, have had. But Cameron seems to either be bereft of the potential to stir up new ground or just satisfied with the tweaking, albeit with huge bells and whistles, of old, banal themes.

Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, William Wyler ... James "Unworthy" Cameron

I felt like I was back in the roaring 70's, where the big, bad, heartless, misanthropic corporation discarded all that represents real life in its scorched earth march towards a higher EPS (earnings per share) [Editor's note: "Yeah, I know, Dad."]. It seems futile to keep alive the delusion of a runaway, new industrial state that, unfortunately, does seem to dovetail with the Left's lean that has become pervasive--though rapidly unclothed. [Editor's note, "Boo."]

Be that as it may, the insipid, banal theme did provide an easily-understood and, hence, an oft-sold package that has satisfied the masses. With the inclusion of very special, special effects, it was a doozie that had the American Idol mentality all aglow. The formulaic love-hate-love pattern of the designated Love Situation was equally uninspired. The device of duality in time was a tweak on, and on loan from, Terminator et al, but did make for a slight bit of intrigue.

But overall, this movie was a yawner, one that made me so appreciate the Merchant-Ivory's and those who spin great stories that inspire. It is similar to the glitzy, easy-patterned top 40 songs of the past which just do not have the “stuff” that makes them “stick to the ribs.” Instead of shooting for "Dizzy"—though it makes you rich— why not aim higher?

Cameron has shown no real spark that would lead one to imagine such a thing, ala the Coen's or Tarantino, so I expect his bag’s to remain full, getting fuller, as he feeds the dumbed-down masses more of his forgettable fodder.

So as this uninspired trickery will serve as a good contrast and base to judge the more unforgettable directors, this too has its value.


Amen, Pops.

Mama G, Brother G, Papa G, Me.

No comments: