James Cameron has certainly earned his right to say what he wants about Hollywood films, considering he made the two top grossing films of all time, 2009’s ‘Avatar’ and 1997’s ‘Titanic’. Both works managed to retain their rankings even in the face of a blockbuster so mighty that most just *knew* it would blow those numbers away, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. And while ‘The Force Awakens” $936,662,225 haul makes it a runaway smash, it couldn’t quite “force” its way past Cameron’s achievements.
Cameron is currently working on three proposed follow-ups to ‘Avatar’ but what did he think of ‘The Force Awakens’? Well, he recently divulged his opinion, but be warned, his first sentence should tell you everything you need to know:
“George Lucas is a friend of mine and he and I were having a conversation about it the other day. I don’t want to say too much about the film, because I also have a lot of respect for J.J. Abrams. I have to say that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination. The film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters. For me, the jury’s out. I want to see where they go with it.”
It’s not surprising that Cameron, whose ‘Avatar’ was a blockbuster built almost exclusively on the strength of groundbreaking visual effects technology, would feel that way, considering that Abrams is notorious for being a huge fan of old school practical effects– like the ones that Lucas used on the original ‘Star Wars’ films. Abrams is one of the few modern blockbuster directors that still refuses to shoot in 3D, an area that Cameron helped pioneer and is a huge proponent of.
Then again, Cameron praises Lucas’ films (although technically, Lucas only directed four movies– ‘A New Hope’ and the prequels. The visual effects in the original film were groundbreaking at the time but are comparable to the effects Abrams employed. On the other hand, Lucas then revised the original trilogy with added CGI effects, a precursor to the nearly all-green screen prequels. Considering that most of ‘Avatar’ is mo cap/CGI, it’s not surprising that Cameron prefers other movies that also look similar.
I can’t omit the fact that most fans DO NOT like the heavy CGI look of many modern movies. (Such as ‘Gods of Egypt’.) Older ‘Star Wars’ purists hated the alterations Lucas made to the ‘Special Editions’ of the original films and that excessive CGI employed in the prequels. And many of the same naysayers felt similarly about ‘Avatar’ which was heavy on visual bam! pow! but lacking in story quality.
And the fact that Cameron is friends with Lucas and Lucas was notoriously pretty… well, butthurt over the new movie not using his original concepts, may taint this opinion somewhat.
It sounds like a “It’s great… if you like that sort of thing” scenario. And it appears that most audiences were just fine with ‘The Force Awakens’ and a more sparing use of CGI.
Do you agree or disagree with Cameron?
Source: Comic Book Movie