James Cameron Says Piranha 3D Gives 3D a Bad Name

Well as we all know, James Cameron is basically the saviour of cinema and godfather of 3-D, so every time a new 3-D movie comes out, everyone just has to get his opinion on it. Thus, in a recent interview with Vanity Fair for the Avatar re-release, they prodded him to talk a little bit about Piranha 3D. Now you might assume that since he started his career by directing Piranha II: The Spawning he might have a little bit of a soft spot for this movie, but alas, that is simply not the case. He essentially used the opportunity to call out anyone who isn’t using 3-D to create “art”, because apparently that’s the only thing it should be used for nowadays:

“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. It is a renaissance—right now the biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D. Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3-D. Disney’s biggest film of the year—Tron: Legacy—is coming out in 3-D. So it’s a whole new ballgame.”

It sounds a bit too much like a sales pitch for me to take all of his statements seriously, although I kind of see his point. In order to avoid having 3-D die out like it has in previous eras, they need to justify it as being something more than a cheap gimmick. Personally I think there’s room for both, and outside of Avatar, Piranha is probably the most entertaining 3-D experience I’ve had to date. What do you think, is James Cameron right to rip on Piranha 3D, or is he just being an arrogant prick? (On a side note, he must really be pissed that Piranha 3D made more money this weekend than Avatar: Special Edition did.)

  • Nate

    Despite what Cameron thinks, there’s nothing prestigious about 3D. Quite the opposite really. Maybe that will change, but right now it’s best used to enhance visceral, CGI images, which lends itself to schlocky B movies. Also I find these comments laughable as Avatar was nothing more than a 3D tech demo.

  • bard

    I agree that everyone has an opinion, but couldn’t someone who is an excellent writer come out and say that these terrible blockbuster movies like Titanic and Avatar cheapens other movies where a lot of time and thought went into an intriguing story and characters?

    Again, he’s entitled to an opinion, but to me, his opinion is invalid.

  • cronenfly

    Man what a fucking jerk. I haven’t seen any of the piranha films including the newest one but come on. Avatar was good but it certainly isn’t some piece of savior cinema. He also acts like he doesn’t milk his own films for financial gain. oh well…hes a chode with a heavy greenback load.

  • Rick

    james cameron

    I hate this vain, self richeous prick! who the fuck is he to say what is considered art, and what is not. What because it doesn’t have a naked blue chick getting fucked by a tail it’s not “art”. I say have a coke and a smile, and shut the fuck up. If someone walked away from piranna 3D and can say they enjoyed the movie and had a fun time, then guess what, that my blow hard friend, is art. Because god help us, if art is now defined by what James Cameron thinks we might as well dig our heads in the sand now becasue were all fucked.

  • Rick

    sorry for my language, i just loathe this arrogant douche bag

  • “…the biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D.”

    I seriously hate this guy.

  • I’d watch Piranha 3D over Avatar any day.

  • Joel

    Would be nice if he showed more of a sense of humor about his “Piranha” connections, and his “biggest and best” generalization is certainly arguable, but he’s got a point. “Piranha 3D” was amusing schlock at best. Not sure how or even why anyone would compare it with a movie that was actually filmed using 3D cameras, since that process makes for a far more impressive result. Like it or not, all films aspire for art, whether the decision is made consciously or not. Even purposefully bad films have their own art.

  • Jonny Ashley

    this guy!

  • Zoo

    I agree with Big B.

    I think this quote from his ex-wife, Linda Hamilton, is very telling of how high he thinks of himself and puts himself above so many others:

    “He used to say to me: ‘Anybody can be a father or a husband. There are only five people in the world who can do what I do, and I’m going for that.'”

    I guess doing what he does, does not include writing a good story for Avatar. Sorry, you have to show me more than 3D, mutated smurfs on steroids to impress me.

    There’s an unconfirmed rumour that Cameron’s next movie will be filming his giant ego which is already in 3D but not even IMAX screens a large enough to display it.

    Remember the line from Titanic when Jack yells, “Im the king of the world!?” You can rest assured Cameron was thinking of himself when he wrote that. If you have any doubt, just check out his Oscar award acceptance speech on YouTube. Not since Sally Field, have I seen a more self indulgent display of egotism.

    Before I get accused of being a player hater, let me say that I have enjoyed several Cameron movies, including Titanic. I’ve also liked Terminator (1 & 2) Aliens, True Lies and The Abyss.

    With his most recent box office smash, his ego has been stroked even more and he now has taken the liberty to anoint himself the King of I Know Better Than You.

    King Asshole, if you ask me.

  • I find it kinda hard to agree wit when his “extended cut” has just appeared, and talk of an avatar sequel in the works. That screams more “franchise bucks” than “art”. When I think of film as art, I’m not thinking of Cameron’s films I’m thinking Hanke, Bergman, Kubrick, Lynch etc. The list can go on couldn’t it.

    I’m not a Cameron hater, but the more I hear about him, the more I feel he’s a bit of an egotistical curmudgeon.

  • Derek

    That kinda shit comin out of Jim’s face hole doesn’t surprise me at the least. After watching the behind the scenes feature of Aliens (special edition), I could already see how much of a douche bag he was and the way he treated his crew members. Hell… he even made Linda Hamilton cry during the filming of the first Terminator movie. Divorced by Gale Ann Hurd and Linda herself. Probably from criticizing the hell out of them, before they just couldn’t take it anymore ;P

    I’m not gonna lie… I’ve enjoyed just about every movie he’s done (except Titanic). He always seems to like pushing the limit when it comes to film making, with top of the line special FX; but really has no place in putting down other films due to what genre they are. I could say the same thing about the dialog in his movies… I mean his scripts have never been top of the line award winning….ONLY his FX. And not everyone likes his type of films. Avatar bored-ed the shit out of a couple of friends of mine; and they enjoyed Piranha. Cause it was full of campy horror fun, in tradition of old horror films that might have been filmed in “3D” and not some futuristic green screen version of Dances With Wolves; with (only) minorities playing blue aliens. Don’t get me wrong, i liked Avatar, but I could only watch it a couple of times all the way through, before just fast forwarding to the “good” parts of the movie.

    If he keeps this type of attitude up, I’m gonna start comparing him to Michael Bay.

    P.S. That’s a bad thing.

  • Kyriacos

    I bet my entire shemale porn collection that J/C haven’t seen Piranha 3d.

    He just assumed from the old 3d horror movies and the general negativity towards this film that this one also suck.

    And who can blame him? barely everybody snobs this film without even seeing it.

    Nevertheless Old J has a point here, he just used the wrong example, I also believe that the excessive use of 3d will expose the gimmick for what it really is, (a gimmick).

    With all that negativism towards 3d. People will probably wont go see the next Avatar movie.

    I think all in all what James is trying to say here is: “Hey! stop milking the 3dcash-cow , that was my idea!”

  • Big Hungry

    It sounds like JC is setting him self up to direct the sequel to Piranha 3D or maybe getting asked. This would be like Richard Donner getting a crack at superman 2 again. Oh I wish that would happen. But in all honesty 3D is just another layer to the fill process and one more element for the director to worry about and get right. I will also say Piranha 3D was the most fun I had in the theater all summer… not the best but the most fun.

  • James Cameron

    “I have a small penis”

  • Henrik

    “the best films are being made in 3-D.”

    This guy is hilarious!

  • tiger tim

    In the face of GARGANTUAN unfolding
    revelations of ‘peacetime’ genocide,
    decades AFTER WW2 —in Hollywood’s
    ‘fave’ mass market franchise slum
    ACROSS the Pacific —we’re waiting
    for the LONG RICH, decades stale
    Cameron to FINALLY break ranks, come forward
    and call out 2010 Hollywood for what it is.


  • FoxMulder

    Man, he sould just shut it once and for all! I think everyone knows by now that if 3D was a woman, he would like to fuck it 3 times a day 24/7!

  • Derek

    To me, the whole “new” 3D trend is almost no different from that bullet-time trend that “every” action director just had to use, after seeing the results it had in,
    The Matrix. Only difference is 3D cinema’s been around before James could have an opinion on what films should or shouldn’t be filmed that way.

  • geekslayer

    @ FoxMulder

    Hey Dude, you don’t even know what “fucking a woman is”, I mean a “real fleshy woman” not a Jenna Jameson sex doll. At least, Cameron boned Linda Hamilton and Kathryn Bigelow (what a Amazon of a woman for the latter!) and it takes serious hard balls to do that (apart directing Epic packed action blockbusters with thrilling emotions like Aliens,Terminator 1 & 2, Titanic and Avatar) something you’ll never have, Sissy. Haters gonna hate but Cameron always wins at the end…

  • Mark in Ottawa

    “Well as we all know, James Cameron is basically the saviour of cinema”

    He’s no Jay Cheel …..