Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day is for Dicks

James Cameron can go away any time now. He doesn't need to go anywhere in particular - like, say, hell - he just needs to go away. And shut up. He needs to stop rubbing in the world's collective face that Avatar made several bucket loads of money, and that he fully intends to go out seeking more.

James Cameron

Avatar arrived today on DVD and Blu-ray, with nothing on it but the movie. Personally, I'm not particularly hurt by this - special features seem like a super cool idea, but then you watch them once and never look at them again. Interactive ones provide a more enjoyable experience, but still, I really just want to watch the movies.

But, in the case of Avatar, I want me some special features. Why? Not because I particularly care about how the movie came to be, but because James Cameron doesn't want me to have special features.

There's zero extras! There's so few extras that you put it in, you push play, and the movie starts. There are no trailers, there's no bullshit at the beginning that you have to endlessly go through. I have a deal with the studio and it goes like this: Any movie I make that makes over a billion dollars goes out without a bunch of crap trailers for your other movies.

Now, I'm sure part of that agreement came with the studios thinking, "There's no way he'll make a billion dollars", which they are probably hitting themselves over now, but I own plenty of movies where I "push play, and the movie starts". And they aren't Avatar or Titanic.

Plus, that is only until August, when the film is re-released theatrically - with a whopping six extra minutes of footage - and then November, when the film is re-released on DVD.

But right now, today, if people want them some Avatar, they can get it. And I think they will. And then in August, we’re going to take those six minutes of deleted scenes and finish them up to a level of photo-reality equal to the rest of the film and re-release the film theatrically. Then we’ll get creative with the DVD technology in November.

The film re-release is apparently because the studio felt that the movie - which grossed $2.7-billion - had its box office results hampered by the release of other 3D fare - Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, and Clash of the Titans. Now, those movies are still running in most theatres, but combined they've grossed just shy of $1.5 billion, and the highest grossing of them - Alice - barely made a third of what Avatar did. If there's one thing that Avatar didn't do, it's suffer.

More accurately, I have a feeling Cameron used the same pull he has with the extras to petulantly show his movie again without having to battle other movies that took away a spotlight I'm sure he thought would be his for a long time. And, really, why would he care if its re-released in 3D or not? Apparently:

I certainly feel a personal sense of responsibility because I made a movie on [environmental] issues. Why? Because they were personally important to me. It's not like the studio said, 'Jim we want you to make a movie about the environment.' No. They said, 'We really like the big epic science fiction story, but is there any way we can get this tree-hugging crap out of it?'

And you need 3D to accomplish this story-telling? The fact that the movie's not subtle at all about the "Earth Good, Humans Bad" message isn't enough?

Admittedly, I plan on buying it - probably when it's previously viewed - because I really enjoyed it. But I didn't enjoy it any more watching it in 3D, and I don't genuinely care enough to hear James Cameron wax poetic on everything he's decided his movie stands for.

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