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James Cameron

Avatar (2009)

DIRECTOR: James Cameron

CAST:

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, Laz Alonso

REVIEW:

It’s possible to experience a little of the same thrill watching Avatar that audiences felt in 1977 watching the original Star Wars for the first time. It embodies the feeling of wonder and being transported to another world that an elite few films truly evoke. It is quite possibly the the most technically amazing motion picture yet to hit the screen. Continue reading

Titanic (1997)

DIRECTOR: James Cameron

CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Gloria Stuart, David Warner, Bill Paxton, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Victor Garber, Bernard Hill, Danny Nucci, Jonathan Hyde, Suzy Amis, Eric Braeden, Jenette Goldstein, Ioan Gruffudd

REVIEW:

With sci-fi thrillers like The Terminator, Terminator 2, Aliens, and The Abyss, and the action-comedy True Lies under his belt, James Cameron turned his sights in a totally different direction for his next project….a romance set onboard the notorious ill-fated luxury ship the RMS Titanic. Nearly anyone knows the basics of the story of the 1912 disaster, with more than 1,500 of the 2,200-plus passengers, including many rich and famous of the day, perishing at sea when the “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, but none among the many, many films to deal with Titanic had the means to bring the massive ship and its end to the screen with such visual splendor.  To draw crowds, Cameron centered his script around a star struck love story, cast with primed-to-explode heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio and soon-to-be Oscar nominee Kate Winslet.  Titanic clearly struck a chord with audiences, standing for twelve years as the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassed only by Cameron’s next film, 2009’s Avatar.  Unfortunately, it’s also overrated, and the story doesn’t equal the spectacular visuals surrounding it. Continue reading

Strange Days (1995)

DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow

CAST:

Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio, William Fichtner, Brigitte Bako, Josef Sommer, Glenn Plummer

REVIEW:

A murder-mystery with the backdrop of a vivid and fascinating slightly futuristic sci-fi visionary thriller, Strange Days is entirely worthy of anything with James Cameron’s name attached, and director Kathryn Bigelow (Cameron’s ex-wife) is entirely up to the task of helming Cameron’s story. Strange Days is the whole package: thinking man’s entertainment while appealing equally to the brain and the visceral. Continue reading

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

DIRECTOR: James Cameron

CAST:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Joe Morton, Earl Boen

REVIEW:

With 1984’s The Terminator , then fledgling filmmaker James Cameron displayed narrative prowess, a deft hand with action sequences, and economical use of a limited budget. Continue reading

Aliens (1986)

DIRECTOR: James Cameron

CAST:

Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, William Hope, Mark Rolston, Al Matthews

REVIEW:

Aliens, along with James Cameron’s sci-fi hit five years later, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day , is both among the best sci-fi action thrillers ever made, and a rare example of a sequel surpassing the original. Continue reading

The Terminator (1984)

DIRECTOR: James Cameron

CAST:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Bess Motta, Rick Rossovich, Earl Boen

REVIEW:

The stars were aligned for the cast and crew that came together to make the original Terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Mr. Universe, had made his break into the movie business with 1982’s Conan the Barbarian. Together with this and 1986’s Aliens and 1989’s The Abyss (both also directed by James Cameron), Michael Biehn seemed set to become a major star, but never again reached his nearly A-list heights after the 1980s. Linda Hamilton was a relative newcomer (and future, now ex Mrs. James Cameron), and like Biehn, Terminator and its sequel would be the high point of her career. And bringing it all together was a then-unknown filmmaker named James Cameron, who was previously art director for zero-budget B-movie legend Roger Corman, and his previous directorial effort had been the inauspicious Piranha 2: The Spawning. Inspired by two television episodes written by Harlan Ellison (who sued for and later received official credit), the Outer Limits episode “Soldier” (about two time-traveling soldiers who travel back in time to 1964, where they fight to the death), and the Twilight Zone episode “Demon with a Glass Hand” (about a time-traveling robot that looks human), and his own nightmare about a killer robot sent from the future to murder him, Cameron wrote the original story for what became The Terminator while sick and bedridden in Rome. Working alongside him to bring it to fruition was producer (and another ex-wife-to-be) and fellow Corman alum, Gale Anne Hurd. In the hands of this cast and crew, The Terminator exploded from the cult film it was expected to be into a sci-fi/action classic that revolutionized the genre. Continue reading

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