Piranha 3D may not be the greatest movie ever, but James Cameron thinks it's "an example of what we should not be doing in 3D."
Piranha 3D is just the latest in a long line of movies to be released in 3D this year, but it's the only one that James Cameron is willing to openly badmouth. Speaking to Vanity Fair in a recent interview, the man behind Avatar decided to beat up on the recently-released campfest:
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 3D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip.
Cameron went on to say that Hollywood is in the midst of a "renaissance" right now thanks to 3D filmmaking. "[The] biggest and the best films are being made in 3D," he said. "Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3D. Disney's biggest film of the year - Tron: Legacy - is coming out in 3D. So it's a whole new ballgame."
Personally, I disagree with Cameron's logic: I don't think 3D filmmaking techniques make movies any more enjoyable than they are in regular two-dimensional formats. I also don't think that the technology is creating a renaissance of any kind, since movies like Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender were hastily converted to 3D and the results were far from works of art.
Cameron's criticism of the film may stem from some personal feelings, though. Back in 1981, the man was hired to direct Pirahna II: The Spawning and was quickly fired by the film's producer.
Ultimately, I think Cameron is being absurdly harsh on Piranha 3D. Several of my friends were extras in the movie, which was filmed on Lake Havasu (near my college campus), so a group of us went and saw it on opening night and reveled in its goofiness. It clearly was meant to be a bloody and absurd send-up to the monster movies that were so popular after the success of Jaws. Did the 3D technique add anything to our experience? No, not really, but we still enjoyed ourselves.