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Yes, James Cameron was one of the Hollywood figures cheering loudest for 3D as he spent four and a half years working on Avatar and begging theater chains to prepare for the technology. But still, don't blame him for all the garbage that came after. Even though Cameron is still a champion for the format and will swear up and down that his forthcoming Titanic in 3D will be awesome, he's not afraid to acknowledge that people have also done terrible things with the format. And, because he's James Cameron and does whatever he wants, he's not afraid to name names either.
My friend Mike Ryan caught up with Cameron last week for an interview at Vanity Fair, and right from the top Cameron singled out How to Train Your Dragon and Alice in Wonderland-- the films that kicked Avatar off the 3D IMAX screens-- and acknowledged that one did 3D better than the other:
After Avatar, people tried to cash in. Or, in some cases, like Alice in Wonderland and How to Train Your Dragon— especially the latter, which I think is excellent in 3-D—they were films that were in the pipeline for some time."
He didn't stop there, though. Mike asked Cameron about the newly released Piranha 3D, which is a remake of Roger Corman's Piranha; one of the first films Cameron ever worked on was that original film's sequel, Piranha 2. Not only did Cameron have no residual affection for the original Piranha, but he very willingly threw the new film under the bus:
You’ve got to remember: I worked on Piranha 2 for a few days and got fired off of it; I don’t put it on my official filmography. So there’s no sort of fond connection for me whatsoever. In fact, I would go even farther and say that... I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but that 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. And that’s not what’s happening now with 3-D.
Cameron's not saying anything new about Piranha 3D--most people who saw the movie admitted the 3D was garbage-- but it is really unusual to hear a filmmaker trash someone else's work, especially when he's trying to promote the medium of 3D as a whole. Just goes to further show you, though, that when you're the King of the World, you can say whatever you want. At least he's not using his power to be boring.