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Is The Abyss James Cameron's Best Film


Is The Abyss James Cameron's Best Film?  

35 members have voted

  1. 1. Is The Abyss James Cameron's Best?

    • Yes!
    • No!!
    • It Might Be!
    • I Don't Even Like James Cameron!


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Terminator 2: Judgement Day is his best overall film.

 

Titanic is his most 'accomplished'.

 

The Abyss is great, it really is, but it falls slightly short of those.

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5 minutes ago, blondheim said:

 

I really don't like Aliens. Alien all the way for me. Bill Paxton single-handedly ruins that film. If it weren't for him, man, I might be able to get through it more often.

 

Yeah, they're dead. They're all messed up." | Bill Paxton as Pvt. William  Hudson in ALIENS...

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I'm not big on Aliens either.  The only thing that feels real in the whole movie is the thing with Ripley and the kid.  Which makes the third act on the best third acts in cinema history.  But the rest I can really do without.  

 

The Terminator is probably Cameron's best film, with The Abyss being his best visionary work.

T2 is fantastic too.  

With Titanic, and especially Avatar, he was given too much money.  

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28 minutes ago, Thor said:

No, Aliens is. But The Abyss is second. Release the 4K version already!


4K? How about just Blu-Ray! We don’t even have The Abyss in HD. To my knowledge none of Cameron’s films are available in 4K.

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36 minutes ago, blondheim said:

Terminator 2 is his best film.

Fixed ;)

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I'll never understand why Cameron is loved so much. I don't think his films are worthless, but they are beautiful mediocrities to me. I don't mind when a story dips out of the same cauldron we all dip out of. But the actual line by line dialogue is so dreadful that I often can't watch them more than once, or only for academic reasons. They are technically proficient, excellently-made films but it can't fix what's inside.

 

I personally need more. Terminator 1 is the film that has the least amount of pretension for its concept and isn't boggled down by how great Cameron thinks he is.

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Nah. Abyss is definitely good, but T2 is his best. (The simpler and more dated original gets honorable mention.) And as silly as parts of it are, Titanic is up there too.

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1 minute ago, Datameister said:

Nah. Abyss is definitely good, but T2 is his best. (The simpler and more dated original gets honorable mention.) And as silly as parts of it are, Titanic is up there too.

I think T2 feels more dated than T1.  T2 has that unmistakable 80s SoCal feeling.  T1 rises above its setting and the period genre trappings.  It's simplicity is a great strength, and makes it paradoxically more complicated than T1.  T2 is extraordinarily well made and complicated, but in a way that makes it the cinematic equivalent of a thrilling theme park.    

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I don't think there is anything wrong with crafting a thrill ride of a film. I am just sort of dumbstruck when these simple amusements get lauded as incredible pieces of cinema. I'm not saying a thrill ride can't be cinema but James Cameron doesn't do it for me. That's me. Good on you if they bring you pleasure. I don't like whips and clamps either but hey, different strokes. If it weren't for the scores, there's a whole bunch of them I would probably never watch again.

 

I've never once been unimpressed with the visuals that I can remember. The opposite actually. The man has set the standard for special effects at least three times. I'll give him his due where it is deserved. He's a hell of a director but he should never write another script or story treatment. Unless he takes night classes. Just for shits and giggles, why not get an incredible writer to do what they do best and direct the hell out for that. Just once. His technical prowess attached to great material could really be something but alas we have Cameron smothering the life out of his productions with his bloated sense of self-importance. Lucas fell prey to this in the prequels.* When we mother too much, we smother.

 

*Every Cameron movie is like a Star Wars prequel in a way, only prettier and without PowerPoint transitions

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T2 is my favorite Cameron film, but I agree that Aliens is his best, even if Cameron's attempt at locker room banter among the colonial Marines can sound like a middle-schooler trying to emulate an alpha Chad. But the remainder of the film from the time that the xenomorphs invade the compound to the ending...my goodness, what a master class.

 

True Lies probably has the best line-by-line dialogue in a Cameron film, perhaps because it's based on a French comedy(!)

 

6 minutes ago, blondheim said:

He's a hell of a director but he should never write another script or story treatment. Unless he takes night classes. Just for shits and giggles, why not get an incredible writer to do what they do best and direct the hell out for that.

 

Funny you say that because in an essay on the Ultimate Edition DVD, he confesses that he hates writing

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5 minutes ago, Corellian2019 said:

even if Cameron's attempt at locker room banter among the colonial Marines can sound like a middle-schooler trying to emulate an alpha Chad.

 

True Lies probably has the best line-by-line dialogue in a Cameron film

 

 

Funny you say that because in an essay on the Ultimate Edition DVD, he confesses that he hates writing

 

I have often stated that his films have the sensibility of a hormonal 15-year old boy.

 

True Lies is...

 

You can tell he hates writing. When you like something, you put effort into getting better at it. Cameron's problem is he doesn't have to. The public continues to give him a free pass. Not just a free pass, the level of fandom associated with him is insane.

 

Honestly maybe I was beat up too much as a kid, but I have no desire to hang out with dude-bro Bill Paxton even one more time unless I am drinking through it. Much less 70 times. That sounds like a circle of hell to me. Aliens on repeat. That's my idea of hell: "They mostly come out at night... mostly... They mostly come out at night... mostly..." over the loudspeaker and then "Man... man... man... man!"

 

It's the sound of a mind coming apart at the seams

 

 

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A friend once said, somehow you see in Cameron's movies that he is not really the intellectual type of guy.

Anyway, I used to be a big fan and would also consider Aliens best, but just regarding the cinema cut, not the longer version. I don't like that one.

T2 is second, including the extended cut.

And I must confess, I might even like True Lies better than The Abyss.

But Abyss is 4th in my ranking. Then comes the original Terminator.

 

At the Abyss I never liked the ending. I always thought, they cannot get saved, they should have all died. It is such an unbelievable deus ex machina ending, which didn't fell right for me. They could never get back to the surface that fast etc.

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1 hour ago, blondheim said:

I don't think there is anything wrong with crafting a thrill ride of a film. I am just sort of dumbstruck when these simple amusements get lauded as incredible pieces of cinema. I'm not saying a thrill ride can't be cinema but James Cameron doesn't do it for me. That's me. Good on you if they bring you pleasure. I don't like whips and clamps either but hey, different strokes. If it weren't for the scores, there's a whole bunch of them I would probably never watch again.

 

I've never once been unimpressed with the visuals that I can remember. The opposite actually. The man has set the standard for special effects at least three times. I'll give him his due where it is deserved. He's a hell of a director but he should never write another script or story treatment. Unless he takes night classes. Just for shits and giggles, why not get an incredible writer to do what they do best and direct the hell out for that. Just once. His technical prowess attached to great material could really be something but alas we have Cameron smothering the life out of his productions with his bloated sense of self-importance. Lucas fell prey to this in the prequels.* When we mother too much, we smother.

 

*Every Cameron movie is like a Star Wars prequel in a way, only prettier and without PowerPoint transitions

 

That sums up my feelings on Avatar. Pretty impressive visuals, but a total snooze-of-a-been-there-done-that plot. 

 

Very much disagreed on the prequels, though. Lucas's cinematic shortcomings are pretty different from Cameron's.

 

That's interesting, what you said about thrillers. Can you think of any that you'd also describe as incredible works of cinematic fine art? I can't think of any offhand. Some are certainly a lot more sophisticated, layered, or polished than others, but a thriller is still a thriller (which is fine).

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2 minutes ago, Datameister said:

 

That sums up my feelings on Avatar. Pretty impressive visuals, but a total snooze-of-a-been-there-done-that plot. 

 

Very much disagreed on the prequels, though. Lucas's cinematic shortcomings are pretty different from Cameron's.

 

That's interesting, what you said about thrillers. Can you think of any that you'd also describe as incredible works of cinematic fine art? I can't think of any offhand. Some are certainly a lot more sophisticated, layered, or polished than others, but a thriller is still a thriller (which is fine).

 

I'll think on this further but off the top of my head, Rear Window.

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18 minutes ago, blondheim said:

 

I'll think on this further but off the top of my head, Rear Window.

 

Ooh, I haven't seen that one. I'll have to check it out.

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1 hour ago, bruce marshall said:

Great director, mediocre writer.

Imagine if he directed a script by the Nolan's?!

I subscribe your first statement. But I am not sure if Tenet would have been any better under Cameron's direction.

39 minutes ago, AC1 said:

Cameron's Alita: Battle Angle is severely underrated. I take that over Avatar any time.

Do we count in films just produced by Cameron as well?

Like Terminator Dark Fate and Alita?

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44 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

I subscribe your first statement. But I am not sure if Tenet would have been any better under Cameron's direction.

Oh no!

 

I meant if he had a script the quality of the DARK KNIGHT films.

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9 hours ago, Nick1066 said:


4K? How about just Blu-Ray! We don’t even have The Abyss in HD. To my knowledge none of Cameron’s films are available in 4K.

 

Oh, absolutely. But there was a news blurb awhile back that they were in the process of transferring the film to 4K, but it was postponed because it needed Cameron's input, and he was/is so caught up in the AVATAR sequels. So a 4K Blu-ray is presumably on the way. The question is just how long we'll have to wait.

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I would, but since they're already in the process of upgrading it to 4K, it wouldn't really be any point in releasing/buying a straight BR first.

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20 minutes ago, Thor said:

I would, but since they're already in the process of upgrading it to 4K, it wouldn't really be any point in releasing/buying a straight BR first.

Can you play 4kuhd on a standard br player?

1 minute ago, Chen G. said:

 

Yeah, I don't get all these comments about him being a good director but a bad writer. Sure, of the two his stronger suit is directing, but that doesn't make him a bad writer by any stretch of the imagination.

He has good concepts but often relies on cliches and recycled story ideas.

 

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1 minute ago, bruce marshall said:

Can you play 4kuhd on a standard br player?

 

Don't know. Maybe not. But I need to get a new BR player anyway, as my last one got broken.

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1 minute ago, bruce marshall said:

He has good concepts but often relies on cliches and recycled story ideas.

 

All storytelling ideas are to some extent recycled.

 

For some reason, only Cameron gets accused of this.

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45 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

Folks can't even be satisfied with plain.old 1080 bluray?!.

 

It was always Cameron's artistic intention for the Russian water tentacle to be in 4K.

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Just now, Chen G. said:

 

All storytelling ideas are to some extent recycled.

 

For some reason, only Cameron gets accused of this.

TERMINATOR " borrowed" story ideas from. two OUTER LIMITS episodes.

AVATAR is a virtual compendium of recycled stories from DANCES WITH WOLVES to POCAHONTAS and more..

 

ABYSS is like CE3K under the ocean.

 

I think he is a great talent but his flaws are real

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4 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

Can you play 4kuhd on a standard br player?

 

Nope. But the opposite it true.

 

5 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

He has good concepts but often relies on cliches and recycled story ideas.

 

 

Hmmmmm. Well perhaps. But there really aren't any new stories, are there?

 

Avatar got a lot of criticism for its relative simplicity, but its themes are actually very old in terms of storytelling.  Which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing. This simplicity and universality is part of what made the film so appealing to so many people.  I actually think simplicity is way underrated in terms of effective storytelling.

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9 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

Don't know. Maybe not. But I need to get a new BR player anyway, as my last one got broken.

Since 4K doesn't play on standard br players, you have to issue a standard 1080 Disc.

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Just now, bruce marshall said:

Since 4K doesn't play on standard br players, you have to issue a standard 1080 Disc.

 

That's fine. Release both simultaneously, so people can choose.

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2 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

Do you know a filmmaker who has no flaws?

 

 

There are no flawless filmmakers; only flawless films. And of those, we have a precious few.

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2 minutes ago, Thor said:

I go to him for experience-oriented cinema, wherein I'm envelopped in a world. A purely visceral form of filmmaking. Thankfully, film is about more than just storytelling.

 

Its about storytelling through pictures.

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Just now, Thor said:

Moreover, I don't go to Cameron movies for terribly original stories. Screw that. I go to him for experience-oriented cinema, wherein I'm envelopped in a world. A purely visceral form of filmmaking. Thankfully, film is about more than just storytelling.

I loved AVATAR when I saw it in 3d IMAX.

When I watched it at home, I was struck by the cliched and predictable script.

My.opinion dropped considerably.

ALIENS is a film I can watch again and again.

I'll never watch AVATAR again.

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Just now, Chen G. said:

 

Its about storytelling through pictures.

 

Not necessarily. It can also be about communicating ideas or moods, where 'story' takes a back seat. Godard was never really interested in stories. His films DID have stories, to one extent or another, but they were rarely the most important thing.

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1 minute ago, Thor said:

It can also be about communicating ideas or moods

 

And what is "communicating ideas or moods" through pictures if not storytelling through pictures?

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Just now, Chen G. said:

 

And what is "communicating ideas or moods" through pictures if not storytelling through pictures?

 

Because it's not storytelling.

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