The irony: James Cameron disses "Piranha 3D" this week and the "Avatar" re-release can't even crack the top 10 (10th slot? "Piranha 3D").
So yeah, Cameron talked to Vanity Fair last week in anticipation of the "Avatar" re-release (8 new minutes of footage hauled in $4 million at the box-office) and when asked if he had nostalgia for "Piranha 3D" (remember his directorial debut was "Piranha II: The Spawning" in 1981), he answered, "Zero. 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."
Cameron then went on to diss "Piranha 3D" for its inferior stereoscopic technology (the film was post-converted into 3D, though Harvey Weinstein recently said -- print edition of EW only -- that a 2D shoot was planned on purpose cause filming underwater isn't exactly 3D-camera conducive).
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 3D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3D horror films from the '70s and '80s, like Friday the 13th 3D. 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 3D. Disney’s biggest film of the year—'Tron: Legacy'—is coming out in 3-D. So it’s a whole new ballgame."Speaking of 3D, we spoke to Werner Herzog last week and had to ask him about 3D because of his 3D-shot documentary, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."
"I've always been skeptical of 3D, for some cases it's fine like 'Avatar', you see the spectacle [of the picture] like fireworks on the 4th of July, that's perfectly ok. But in principal, human beings do not like to see 3D on the screen. Our eyes, our brain is not really for it, because in real life we see with one dominant eye and the other one peripherally sees the third dimension."
Herzog said 3D is fine for special cases but hopes it doesn't infiltrate every genre and avenue of cinema."Like our cave documentary, you will see what a wonderful choice that was, but I hope you will never see something like a romantic comedy in 3D. It wouldn't be the right thing to do."
As for James Cameron's recent prediction that all films will be shown in 3D, when we posed that directly to Herzog he said, "He is certainly wrong, he's definitely wrong. Our eyes do not want to see 3D all the time. We are very selective how we see and even how we hear. It's the same thing with 3D. It works in a few isolated cases -- as I said, like the fireworks of July -- otherwise, I think 3D will not invade what we normally want to see in a theater."
Herzog insists his "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" was not an experiment either. "I was set to do it, it was done professionally as it gets," Herzog said, bristling at the suggestion the film was an exploration of the technology and again noting that not all films need 3D. "I've written a screenplay now for a big, epic film which certainly will not use 3D."
Cameron definitely has the numbers and math on his side, 3D -- despite weak showings by "Step Up 3D" and "Piranha 3D" (though relative, a sequel has been green lit) -- is probably not going away. Whose team are you on?