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Entries in James Cameron (23)

Monday
Jun052017

Beauty vs Beast: Bad Romance

Howdy, everybody - Jason from MNPP here with a brand new round of "Beauty vs Beast" for you on this first Monday of June. Coming up on this first Friday of June a movie called My Cousin Rachel is coming out (you can watch the trailer right here) that stars Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin and is adapted from the 1951 book by Daphne du Maurier (who also wrote The Birds and Rebecca). The book was already turned into a movie once in 1952 with  Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland (which I have never seen; have you?) - anyway it's one of my favorite genres, the overheated gothic romance, brimming with lace and poisons, and I can't wait.

So in the spirit of such things this week we're tackling one of the greatest of all when it comes to these stories - Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. There are a couple of film adaptations but let's go with the most recent, Cary Fukunaga's 2011 film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, since I found it a grand adaptation.

PREVIOUSLY We spent last week trapped in that damn cryogenic container so we've got to skip back two weeks to our last competition, which pit the Ellen Ripley of Ridley Scott's Alien against the Ellen Ripley of James Cameron's Aliens. And it was the bigger badder bitchier (her words not mine!) version of the latter who stomped away with 67% of your votes. Said markgordonuk:

"Alien is my favourite movie but the Aliens performance is something else, the looks and glances, the fear, the physicality, the line readings, the no bull attitude, I could go on, such an Iconic performance, everyone knows who Ripley is."

Friday
Jun022017

Disney World's Pandora

Nathaniel popping in from a vacation I forgot to tell you about at Disney World to say hello. (Thanks to the team for keeping you occupied!) Disney opened "Pandora – The World of Avatar" just a week back and the lines are loooong. It's two to three hours for the Avatar related rides and pricy gift shop purchases. The most popular of the souvenirs are banshee puppets that sit on your shoulder. All the little kids seem to be wearing them but it seems like adults might like them even more. They're gorgeous and have a ton of realistic movement you control with a small device in one hand. There are also custom made Avatar action figures that are meant to look like you. That's an exceptional audience-friendly concept for a toy but I personally didn't see enough resemblance in the examples to justify the $80ish price tag.

We fast-passed the "Flight of Passage" ride and it is breathtaking. You mount motorcycle like contraptions and wear some form of 3D glasses for the ride. For a hot minute or so in the middle of the 4 minute ride, I literally forgot I was at an amusement park I was so caught up in it as if I actually were flying a banshee in Na'vi form. James Cameron, never one to shy away from hyperbole, has described the ride as "dreaming with your eyes open” and that's not far off. In theory it's not so different from other rides which are more "virtual" than purely physical (like, say, old school rollercoasters) but this one is the most immersive and transporting ride of its kind that I've ever experienced.

Wednesday
May242017

Beauty vs Beast: All About Ellen

Jason from MNPP here with this week's All Sigourney edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- everything should always be All Sigourney, don't you think? Most especially Alien movies. I can't tell you how much I missed the grounding presence of Ellen Ripley this past weekend, whiplashing around Ridley Scott's scattered Covenant. If only we were getting Neill Blomkamp's proposed sequel, I kept thinking. An Alien without a Ripley is a body without a heart or a brain - an exo-skeleton full of acid.

So that's where I stand on Covenant. And even if they're more positive than I am most (if not all?) reviews continue to point to the first two films as the franchise's high-water mark. But instead of facing Ripley off with Giger's literal Beast I thought it would be more interesting to do a variation on the eternal "Alien or Aliens" question, and face off Scott's Ripley against James Cameron's Ripley, as the low-key smartypants of the first movie is in many ways quite a different beast altogether from the ass-kicking maternal Cassandra of the second. Which Ripley's your jam, and why?

PREVIOUSLY We tackled Alfred Hitchcock's personal fave Shadow of a Doubt (1943) last week for Joseph Cotten's birthday and it was Cotten's Uncle Charlie who triumphed over his niece Charlie (Teresa Wright), although it was close (as it ought to be with such doubling going on). Said Dancin' Dan:

"This is impossible, pitting one of my favorite Hitchcock heroines against one of my favorite Hitchcock villains. But I'm going to give an EVER SO SLIGHT edge to Young Charlie, for the sole reason that, as much amazing work as Cotten does in the role, Hitch helps him with Uncle Charlie's creepiness much more than he helps Wright (never better) in building Young Charlie's character."

Tuesday
Feb282017

Bill Paxton (1955-2017)

By Nathaniel R

In all the hoopla and festivities surrounding Oscar night, we neglected to note the passing of an actor who has a real pop culture fixture since the 1980s. Bill Paxton died of complications in surgery the day before the Oscars. He was currently leading the TV adaptation of Training Day in the former Denzel Washington role (they had reversed the race dynamics of the leads for the series). CBS says the role will not be recast though they have not yet announced if there will be a second season.

Paxton's first credited feature role was as "Soldier" in the comedy Stripes (1981) but most people first noticed him in the mid 80s in the films of James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep102016

Stage Door: Toruk - The First Flight

Errisson Lawrence © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Jose here. While worldwide audiences wait for the impending Avatar sequels, the folks at Cirque du Soleil are aiming to quench their thirst with a new spectacle called Toruk - The First Flight, which bills itself as being “inspired by” the James Cameron film, but feels more like just another chapter in what’s become a “universe”. Imagined for those who maybe don’t like video games, are too passive for amusement parks, and have deep admiration for the human body, the show is a two hour long arena extravaganza in which Pandora comes to life in “real life 3D”.

Avatar borrowed elements from films like Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, Fern Gully, and to an extent some of Cameron’s own oeuvre (Aliens star Sigourney Weaver was two seats away from me and was always the first to applaud, during a particularly complex sequence she held both her hands near her face and sighed in relief when the acrobats gracefully pulled it off...

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Thursday
Mar172016

Screening Room Attempts to Recreate Theater Experience In Your Living Room By Subtracting Everything That Makes It A Theater Experience

Daniel Crooke, here. In one corner: art house cinemas, regional and independent theater chains, and the flickering hope that sitting in a dark room while watching strangers’ problems projected onto a screen will warm you from the inside out. In the other: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, Justin Timberlake in The Social Network and the redheaded squirt from The Andy Griffith Show. Somewhere beyond the ropes, off in the stands, or wherever spectators chill in a sports metaphor: you, the audience, wondering how the hell you can just lean back and watch a damn movie. The fight: whether Sean Parker’s in-home moviegoing composite, Screening Room – which offers the chance to stream day-in-date releases of top shelf studio releases in the comfort of your own home – accessibly accessorizes or fundamentally destroys movies as we know, watch, and profit from them. Is it a forward thinking, easy-making application or Napster’s file sharing, older sister with a Friedkin poster on the wall? A brave new venture or a brave new world?

Doomsday scenarios and potential benefits after the jump...

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