Tag Archives: Sigourney Weaver

Avatar (2009)

James Cameron's ego and superego stroll casually through your imagination.James Cameron lost something sometime in the middle nineties. I don’t know what it was but I know where it went: into Terminator 2, the last good film to bear Jim’s name, the place where his wave crested. It had already rolled back by the time True Lies came out, and while I liked True Lies well enough (enjoying, as I do, any¬† slapstick send-ups of the Action movie, with its pretensions of the mythic…there’s even a soft place in my heart for Last Action Hero, and I’m not ashamed of it) who the bloody hell follows up Terminator 2 with a screwball comedy about a secret agent ubermensch and the Jamie Lee Curtis who loves him?

(Answer: a man who gets his Great Ideas from the Governator.) And who follows that with Romeo and Juliet at Sea? With Titanic, Cameron threw all pretense of originality over the side along with Leonardo. And bless his heart for sending the foppish pretty boy to a well-deserved watery grave. But Titanic also proved Cameron’s real talents lay in fields having nothing at all to do with making good films. The man is first and foremost a technician. Give him a some hardware and a chunk of time and he’ll go Rain Man on that shit…but God help you if you’re a flesh and blood human being. Bless Linda Hamilton for dropping the man faster than a hot rock from the Temple of Doom. Bless her also for warning us all about what he was and where he was going. And curse everyone else for not paying attention. Titanic also taught him that America’s film critic community is so coddled and concentrated on writing proper ad copy that they’ll let any half-hearted, hackneyed sci-fi flick slide, so long as you make it pretty. {More}

Alien (1979)

"Hi-ya! Howyadoin?"
“Hi-ya! Howyadoin?”

There are three films, more so than any other, that typify modern genre cinema. Ken Begg calls them “template” films, and while that’s a darn good phrase it falls short of describing the true end result of Hollywood’s slavish corpse eating. I hear “template” and I think of this massive assembly line, stamping its slow way to entropy. But the creative process isn’t quite like that. If it were, there’d be a lot more good movies out there.

Instead, for twenty years we’ve drowned in a seemingly endless barrage of rip-offs, plagiarisms, and bastardizations. It’s almost like a virus latched on to hundreds (if not thousands) of creative minds, churning out volumes of absolute shite that then go on to spread and mutate, each time loosing just a little bit more of what made the template what it was to begin with.

Alien is one of those movies you hate to review, but can’t bare to leave unmentioned, in favor of its dismal progeny. You fall into a cycle of Jesus, what could I possibly say about this that hasn’t been said? But that didn’t stop Dubbya, and look where he is now. I hope this will be interesting. Or at least functional. {More}