Murphy’s Law – James Cameron wants me to hate him

Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy

It was my hope that after the Academy overlooked Avatar in all of the major categories that it would be a long time before I had to mention that film or director James Cameron again. However, Cameron and his lesbian haircut seem hell-bent on finding new and exciting ways to annoy me, so it seems that I must reluctantly berate him once again.

Now, I realize that many of you out there enjoyed Avatar and that’s fine. If blue cat people and lazy storytelling get you hot, who am I to judge? I think that chick who plays Flo in the Progressive Insurance commercials is sexy. We all have our kinks.

But what angers me is the fact that Cameron isn’t content to just count his piles and piles of cash quietly in seclusion until it’s time to shoot Blue Cat People II: Electric Boogaloo. Instead, the man who broke every box office record, including the ones set by his last shitty movie, is looking for new ways to bleed every last dime from you fine fans.

Take for example the announcement that Avatar will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 22. In case you aren’t a god damn hippie, April 22 is significant because it’s Earth Day, which means you can honor Mother Earth by driving your gas-guzzling, carbon-emitting car to the store to purchase a film with a ham-handed environmental message that is packaged in non-biodegradable plastic and feel good about it because, gosh darn it, you care about the environment. But forget about the crunchy granola subtext, this release is bullshit for a completely different reason – namely, the fact that this version will only contain the film itself; no bonus material.

Perhaps James Cameron has finally realized that Avatar lost out at the Oscars because it was too over-the-top and forced and is trying a new minimalist approach a la The Hurt Locker. Or perhaps he is trying to reduce the film’s carbon footprint by getting rid of all of those wasteful special features. Or maybe, as the liars at Fox would like you to believe, this release is bonus material-free so that all of that extra storage space can be used to provide you, the fine viewer, with the best picture and sound possible.

Except in reality, this is all just a scam to get you to buy this version now and then get you to shell out even more cash for the “Ultimate Edition” they plan on releasing in November. (Too bad the “Ultimate Edition” will feature shitty sound and picture quality, since it’s bogged down by all of the space hogging bonus features.) Then, sometime next year when you’ve all wasted your money on fancy 3D televisions, Cameron and the studio will release a third version of the film – this one in glorious 3D. That’s right, the barebones version and the “Ultimate Edition” will only be in 2D, which will sadly force you to focus on the shitty plot instead of the dazzling visuals and will make you realize just how overrated this movie really is. But hey, at least that picture and sound quality will be outstanding.

Perhaps I’m being too hard on James Cameron. Sure, to me it seems like he’s a greedy douchebag who isn’t content with the piles and piles of undeserved cash he has already made off of the film. But the guy really does seem to care about the future of 3D technology. Maybe I’m just being cynical. In reality, he really might be waiting for more people to buy 3D televisions so that his film can be seen the way it was meant to be seen.

After all, last month in an interview with MTV’s Josh Horowitz, Cameron bashed Hollywood for rushing out lousy 3D films. In the interview, Cameron made a clear distinction between films that were originally intended to be 3D movies and what studios have started doing since Avatar blew up, which is simply converting movies that were originally shot in 2D into 3D films during the postproduction phase.

“There’s an evolution, and people are starting to not accept inferior forms, which is good,” Cameron said. “But it’s typical of Hollywood to get it wrong. We do a film that’s natively authored in 3D — it’s shot in 3D. So they assume from the success of that, that they can just turn movies into 3D. In eight weeks. You know, just throw a switch on 3D and that’s going to work somehow. If you want to make a movie in 3D, MAKE the movie in 3D.”

So say what you will about the man, but at least he has integrity when it comes to this 3D technology … no wait, I’m just kidding. He’s a fucking hypocrite.

Cameron announced in a recent interview with USA Today that he will release a 3D version of Titanic in 2012 (the 100 year anniversary of the real ship setting sail). I’m not sure how he will turn this movie into 3D, but I assume it involves throwing a switch and making it somehow work. With his track record, that’s actually a fairly safe bet.

But I won’t get sucked in to going to the theater to see Titanic 3D (even if I’m dying to find out how Kate Winslet’s rack looks in 3D). No, I’m no sucker. I’ll just wait until 2013 and buy the 3D version on Blu-ray. Then I’ll buy it again, with bonus features, in 2014.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at

  1. Bill March 17, 2010
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  3. Joel Murphy March 17, 2010
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