Battle Over 3D - James Cameron vs Piranha 3D's Mark Canton

August 31, 2010

James Cameron

Let the battle begin! An amusing little industry tussle is causing quite a stir in the web world recently and it's an interesting debate to bring up. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, James Cameron "dissed" the recently released Piranha 3D, saying "that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D." He's definitely right about that and this isn't the first time he's said something like that. But, of course, his statements ruffled the feathers of the Piranha 3D filmmakers, so producer Mark Canton fired back with his own lengthy, for lack of a better word, attack on Cameron and his "mean-spirited and flawed analysis."

To kick things off, let's take a look at James Cameron's calm and reasonable statements from Vanity Fair:

"You've got to remember: I worked on Piranha 2 for a few days and got fired off of it; I don't put it on my official filmography. So there's no sort of fond connection for me whatsoever. In fact, I would go even farther and say that… 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 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that’s not what’s happening now with 3-D. It is a renaissance—right now the biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D. Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3-D. Disney’s biggest film of the year—Tron: Legacy—is coming out in 3-D. So it’s a whole new ballgame."

Glad to see him name drop Tron Legacy, especially calling it Disney's biggest film of the year - it deserves to be! Anyway, as for the response from Mark Canton, well, he wrote up a huge email in reply and instead of publishing the entire thing (which you can read on Deadline) because it's very long, I've highlighted a few of the key anti-Cameron portions for your reading (and potentially laughing) pleasure below. Canton states:

"As a producer in the entertainment industry, Jim Cameron's comments on are very disappointing to me and the team that made Piranha 3D. Mr. Cameron, who singles himself out to be a visionary of movie-making, seems to have a small vision regarding any motion pictures that are not his own…"

"Jim, are you kidding or what? First of all, let’s start by you accepting the fact that you were the original director of PIRANHA 2 and you were fired. Shame on you for thinking that genre movies and the real maestros like Roger Corman and his collaborators are any less auteur or impactful in the history of cinema than you. Martin Scorcese [sic] made Boxcar Bertha at the beginning of his career. And Francis Ford Coppola made Dimentia 13 back in 1963. And those are just a few examples of the talented and successful filmmakers whose roots are in genre films.Who are you to impugn any genre film or its creators?"

"My sense is that Mr. Cameron has never seen PIRANHA 3D…certainly not in a movie theatre with a real audience. Jim, we invite you to take that opportunity and experience the movie in a theatre full of fans - fans for whom this movie was always intended to entertain. Does Mr. Cameron have no idea of the painstaking efforts made by the talented young filmmaker Alex Aja and his team of collaborators? Clearly, and this one is a good bet, he has no clue as to how great and how much of a fun-filled experience the audiences who have seen the film in 3D have enjoyed…"

"Let’s just keep this in mind Jim….you did not invent 3D. You were fortunate that others inspired you to take it further. The simple truth is that I had nothing but good things to say about AVATAR and my own experience since I actually saw it and didn’t damn someone else’s talent publicly in order to disassociate myself from my origins in the business from which we are all very fortunate. To be honest, I found the 3D in AVATAR to be inconsistent and while ground breaking in many respects, sometimes I thought it overwhelmed the storytelling. Technology aside, I wish AVATAR had been more original in its storytelling."

Ouch! While I do often admire a strong rebuttal to negative statements, I have to say I'm on Cameron's side this time. To be completely honest, Canton's response just seems like a Hollywood producer whining about someone saying their movie was bad, then attacking them in return. Why the Weinstein Company decided to officially send this out baffles me, but I guess Canton and the Weinstein Bros know they'll never work with Cameron, so why not? I'm not sure this will drum up any more buzz for Piranha 3D anyway, especially once people get a whiff of the fact that it's shabby converted 3D which Cameron does not approve of. Then again, maybe I'm the only one who actually cares about the (big) difference between real 3D and converted 3D?

I'm sure there won't be any more back 'n forth statements between these two, but it was fun while it lasted. I suggest you read both Cameron's statement, Canton's statement, watch Piranha 3D (if you haven't yet), and make up your own mind about whether the 3D was quality or not. I've been an anti-3D guy for a while (with Avatar and Tron Legacy and certain movies as exceptions) so I'm obviously going to side with Cameron, but I'm wondering if anyone actually thinks Canton makes a valid point at all. So what do you guys think?

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personally, i had more fun last night seeing Piranha 3D,then when i saw avatar last year. It's fucking hilarious if you're with the right people who already know it will be a dumb story but funny over all and that is what it was. The 3D made the movie better,especially when people's bodies were splitting apart in 3d and honestly,much more fun than seeing avatar in 3d. Maybe it's because Avatar was so over-hyped and just turned out to be a good film with a predictable ending but i thought Piranha would be terrible but it ended up exceeding my expecations. plus there's boobs. So yeah. 3d sucks and i hope its a trend that dies soon. but hopefully Tron blows my brain,and i already expect it too so shit i just contradicted myself.oh well.

erik keating on Aug 31, 2010


They both sound like little boys arguing in the sandbox. Avatar was a 3 hour light show, and Piranha was yet again another crap remake-- BOTH movies used 3D: the "autotune" of cinema. The only thing I agreed with in this whole article was looking forward to "Tron: Legacy"!

Big Boss on Aug 31, 2010


I've not seen Piranha 3D, so I cannot attest to its quality. As for Avatar however, I was extremely bored in the film. People, try to get this through your heads: 3D DOES NOT MAKE FILMS BETTER!! Sure, it makes them more enjoyable (let's face it, its the only reason anyone goes to see either film is because of it) but it does not take the place of story, characters, cinematography, etc. "Inception" and "Scott Pilgrim" were in 2D, yet they entertained me and made me think and feel more than Avatar ever could. The worst thing a film can do is bore you, and that's what Avatar did to me. So my advice to Jim is to stop complaining and focus on making Avatar II more interesting.

Ajax on Aug 31, 2010


Sorry Alex, but Cameron is being an elitist snob and Canton went above and beyond the call of duty to respectfully defend his movie (which by all accounts was an above-average success). James Cameron does not speak for all things 3D. If anything, his ego is the biggest problem in Hollywood, creating a 3D version of Pocahontas, hyping it to the moon, shamelessly cashing in on a re-release and then planning two more movies on top of it. His vision for scale is quite unlike any other director's, but his scripts are weak and he's nobody to be taking potshots. This is a guy who backhanded his own ex-wife at the Oscars because the Academy correctly identified her film as the superior of the two, technology and 3D be damned. I won't purport to speak for anyone else, but I'm sick and tired of James Cameron telling me what I should and shouldn't find important in filmmaking. As far as I'm concerned, he hasn't done any worthwhile original work since the first Terminator.

Devon Shaw on Aug 31, 2010


Big Boss, you hit the nail on the head. 3D is the "auto tune" of cinema. Let's just hope it dies out faster then auto tune. Honestly, I think Piranha 3D is exactly the type of movie that should be utilizing 3D. A movie that understands and accepts that it's a B-movie, just trying to have a little fun. Not a B-movie masquerading as "work of art."

Joshua m on Aug 31, 2010


I have to agree with Canton on at least two things. First of all, Cameron does seem to talk like he's the creator of 3D lately. Whether he's right or not about 3D conversion and gimmick 3D, I'm getting SO tired of Cameron dissing every 3D movie that comes out. I also have to agree that Avatar relied so much on 3D and effects that the story ended up unoriginal and bland. With no 3D or effects Avatar would have been an average at best sci-fi story. Not to say that Piranha is any better, but at least Canton and the makers of Piranha aren't making themselves or their movie out to be more than it is. Cameron needs to remember that movies are made for a specific audience and not arrogant perfectionists. Avatar is exactly what it's targeted audience wanted, and Piranha is exactly what it's targeted audience wanted it to be. Every person has different tastes, and even though I'm not one of them, some people don't care about "the right way to use 3D". If they enjoy a cheap gimmick movie then that's their preference.

Cloudy with a chance of beefaroni on Aug 31, 2010


I don't side with either of them, I hate 3D entirely. However, Jim's statements bashing Piranha 3D are uncalled for. Like Joshua says, Piranha 3D is simply trying to be a fun B-movie. It isn't trying to be anything artful and meaningful. Avatar was an overrated piece of trash (no, I'm not hating because it's popular. I truly thought that, other than the visual spectacle, the movie was garbage. I'll never watch it again). Piranha 3D was a stupid B-movie that I'll prolly never see, but at least it doesn't claim to be anything amazing special. Overall...... I just hate 3D so much. let it die... please.

Chazzy on Aug 31, 2010


@ #1 LOL at any idiot who suggests Piranha 3D is greater than Avatar. Avatar haters are a pathetic lot.

gshauger on Aug 31, 2010


3D SUCKS MONKEY BALLS!!! That is all I want to say.

CLAW on Aug 31, 2010


Um, first off, Cameron isn't bashing the movie (Piranha 3D) on a whole, rather the 3D aspect specifically and the fact that it was made entirely as a gimmick of 3D. That's not helping the 3D cause in the industry and that's his main point for saying it's going in the wrong direction. If films like this are successful, all we'll continue to see are more shoddy converted 3D films, like this, over and over. Secondly, this isn't Avatar vs Piranha 3D, this is the shitty 3D of Piranha 3D (as pointed out by Cameron) vs Mark Canton using Avatar against him (personal attack) and saying that "Jim" needs to actually see the movie first. There's no need to jump on this and be like "yea, Avatar sucks, so what Cameron said is stupid, fuck him." Come on, that is NOT what this argument is about!

Alex Billington on Aug 31, 2010


I really didn't like Avatar. But even if I did, Cameron just attacked another film. Thats extrodinarily rude. Its nice to see Canton fight back, and take on one of the (supposedly) most incredibly rude, and self centered film makers out there. Viva Piranha.

Al on Aug 31, 2010


Visually Avatar was beautiful. The story was awful: Dances With Wolves in Space. P3D was campy crap, and fun. Just like they intended. To use 3D to expand the depth of the film was done beautifully with Avatar. To have gory on your face 3D for the fun factor was cool too. Both have their place, for me.

Jamie on Aug 31, 2010


I think the whole point Cameron is trying to get across is that if more movies like Piranha 3D get released than it will hurt other 3D films' (Tron,ect.) chances of being taken seriously. People will just be say "Oh another 3D gimmick movie full of tits and blood." instead of appreciating something for the masterpiece it actually is. Don't get me wrong I love B-movies when I'm in the mood for them, but they are a waste of the current 3D resources. Actually I think instead of B-movies following the digital 3D trend, theatre companies should invest in building more drive-in theaters to show them in because that's their natural environment. I would even say that they could still make them in old school 3D and get everyone to wear the good old paper red and blue glasses. That would be awesome.

Alex T. on Aug 31, 2010


Alex just massacred you jerks

zzz on Aug 31, 2010


Alex is wise beyond his years. I feel like everyone who commented that Avatar sucked and didnt realize that Cameron was meerly pointing out that the 3d aspect was bad, are 12 and under. As Alex said, Cameron is saying there are too many gimmicky movies coming out that are using (and abusing) the 3d technology. 3d should enhance a movie, not have stupid stuff flying out at you in random points.

Cap on Aug 31, 2010


Converted 3-D is nothing but another money-making gimmick that the studios are using to get the most cash out of the consumer. Just look at CLASH OF THE TITANS or THE LAST AIRBENDER, some recent examples of "3-D" films that not only failed to deliver on their promise of heightening the experience for the audiences, but also just failed to deliver on a narrative level. Both of these films were "delayed" just so the studios can convert them into 3-D in hopes of making the film somewhat watchable. 3-D is becoming the new "failsafe" for Hollywood projects that just don't seem like they're going to deliver. Hence, most movies that maybe would have done mediocre in ticket sales instead end up making hundreds of millions of dollars because of the difference in ticket prices. With this useless rant out of the way, I do believe that 3-D can become a very effective way to tell a story (AVATAR, TRON: Legacy), providing the studios put effort into their projects, rather than just sit back and let the cash flow in. I don't know about you, but where I come from if you want money, you earn it! Until then, I will refuse to watch anything that is advertised as "3-D".

Icefilm on Aug 31, 2010


To me 3D should be things flying out of the screen, it is what makes the film fun when you have stuff coming out of the screen in cool ways. Avatar (and Toy Story 3) didn't have that, in fact I couldn't tell the difference between the 3D version and then non-3D version. However films like Piranha and My Bloody Valentine actually had things coming of the screen that were noticeable, fun and surprising. Come on, Piranha has a chewed up dick coming out of the screen ffs, what did Avatar have? I don't care if it is "real" 3D or "fake" 3D... I just want to have fun with it.

Ben on Aug 31, 2010


Why is there even an argument here? Cameron is right. Who the fudge is Canton? Just another producer making cheap remakes. I can't believe that some of you actually defend Piranha 3D and Canton points. Shame on you.

almartva on Aug 31, 2010


I'm with Canton on this. James Cameron is completely wrong to call out Piranha 3D like that. Regardless of the 3D technique used, people have nearly universally enjoyed Piranha 3D. What's the "merit" of real-3D versus converted-3D when the end result, the FILM, is still considered great? Clash of the Titans was a huge Hollywood blockbuster and had converted 3D (and was also a lame movie) yet it get's treated with more respect and reverence than Piranha because Piranha is a sub-genre film. Not because of the 3D technique used. In fact, where's Cameron's comments for fellow film maker Tim Burton and his awful Alice in Wonderland? Forgive the pun, but Cameron is clearly just picking on a smaller fish. Using a judgmental attitude to condemn a film that audience's LOVE to promote his 3D agenda. An agenda that is certainly worthwhile; maybe real 3D is much better than converted 3D, but it was a jerk move of Cameron to make an example out of Piranha 3D. Cameron pulled a Michael Moore. Maybe his cause is right, but how he's fighting for it just makes him look like an ass.

DRM on Aug 31, 2010


I see both points of view...but Cameron is and always has been a self-righteous prick who think he is God's gift to the film industry. 3D is way overrated and Conaton is right- Avatar was great visually, but its story was NOTHING we haven't seen over and over again. I mean come on...a broken soldier/hero goes to the other side to spy and ends up becoming apart of that group and fights with them? HA...way to rip off Dances with Wolves, Ferngully, Pocahontas and many more...and speaking of squeezing the turnip- Cameron re-released his film, which made more money than any other movie in history!

one on Aug 31, 2010


OKAY. this is a debate between the 3D between the two films. Avatar was natively shot in 3D which made the wooooorrrrld of difference than post converted. Piranha was not and it showed. There is a tracking shot at the beginning of the film through a fence that was truly disorienting because the 3D effect messed things up visually. Also, every time there was reflections off the water it blinded the viewers. The darker underwater scenes were barely visible. The 3D added nothing to Piranha whereas Avatar it did. Can anyone here point out any specifics where Avatars 3D was distracting? I honestly felt that it immersed you in the world a lot more. Yes, it could still have done without. Here's another little thing to think about. Avatar( at least in my area) had a lot of 2D showings available. A lot of people CHOSE to see it in 3D. That's because it was done effectively. Piranha( as far as I can discern) is damn near impossible to find in a non-3D theater. This is because it was post converted to make MORE money. I read that the filmmakers didn't shoot in 3D because of the difficulties with shooting 3D cameras with water. Well, then take more damn time to post convert like Alice in Wonderland. I enjoyed both films quite well but was pissed off at the shoddy attempt at 3D in Piranha. I wonder if it had to do with Real 3D (Piranha) or the IMAX 3D (Avatar).

Jason McGuire on Aug 31, 2010


Avatar was visually stunning. Good job, Cameron, you got your pat on the back for that. Now shut the fuck up and make movies. Avatar will be gone and forgotten when the next technological fad takes over. There's no reason to shit on a movie like Piranha 3D which does exactly what it sets out to and does it well.

sam on Aug 31, 2010


The film's called "Piranha 3D". People know what they're walking into with a name like that. I think James Cameron saying it cheapens the medium is ridiculous. Audiences are more savvy than he gives them credit for, and they can tell the difference between Piranha 3D and Avatar. The audience goes in with very different expectations for each film.

Mark on Aug 31, 2010


HONESTLY people, as much as I LIKED "Avatar", I didn't love it...Cameron really wasn't in the right to say what he did...just promote your technology's obvious that we aren't really in a 3D renaissance right now(like he says), or else he wouldn't feel the need to be on the defensive and hock his wares so obviously... "Avatar" was good, "Piranha 3D" was a good fun time, too. But honestly, there has yet to be a truly wonderful 3D movie that is made better because it's in 3D and the 3D is necessary. In "Avatar", the 3D was not necessary to tell the story.

LINKFX on Aug 31, 2010


seriously fuck James Cameron for being such a prick, they are only movies for fuck's sake. This little hissy fit is only about making sure his tech sells. He's deep into it, for the money, people. "Avatar" was a tech demo for him, too...not just the audience.

LINKFX on Aug 31, 2010


Mr.Cameron sure likes to pass a lot of judgement, no matter how calmly he puts it, for a guy who made SPACE POCAHONTAS. 99.9% of movies are brainless SHIT; his movie wasnt horrible but it sure as hell was brainless. Just because he has invested so much into 3D to get his career moving again doesnt mean he owns it or has the creative authority to deem who should and should not use it. Again, i repeat; just because you make SPACE POCAHONTAS in 3D doesnt mean your the king of 3D. Everytime this guy speaks he manages to make himself look like a douche.

PerspectiveJames on Aug 31, 2010


I like that Canton has come back against Cameron. Cameron started a fight and he needs to be ready to back it up. In general, I really don't like what 3D looks like in a theater because the glasses are dirt cheap and just terrible quality and ruin the whole experience. However, for a movie like Piranha 3D, I think the converted 3D works fine because it isn't a super deep and super serious film. In regards to Avatar, its hard not to agree with Canton. The 3D and the computer animation is brilliant. But, the story telling itself is average. Again, the experience is mostly ruined by the cheap glasses that they give you in a theater. The plastic film is flimsy and flat so it doesn't conform to the shape of your eye. Because of this, the image is guaranteed to be blurry around the edges. I don't know about you, but I don't want just the center of the movie to be in focus, I like the whole thing that way. They make eye glasses the way they do for a reason. If the glasses I am wearing right now were flat, my vision would be complete shit. The real shame is that I have had some great experiences with 3D in a smaller environment with both games and movies where I have worn a pair of great glasses and the difference is instantly noticeable. This is the biggest problem that I see with 3D. It is fun in the theater but it just isn't good enough and can potentially take away from the movie by making it blurry. On the other hand, a compelling home 3D experience is very pricey. This is why I think we won't be talking about 3D in 5 years time. The people making movies will realize that people only want to watch a movie in 3D every now and then. People making TVs will realize that people don't want to spend at least double the money just to have 3D.

NamelessTed on Aug 31, 2010


Have to laugh at anyone pretending 3D is more than just a gimmick. Cameron acting as if his distraction-from-plot in Avatar is better than the more honest distraction-as-entertainment of Piranha 3D is pretty disgraceful. Coasting on grandiose mediocrity turns you into a bit of an elitist tit, it appears.

Chris on Aug 31, 2010


Alex! Respect!! lol....some of you peeps got told!

Conrad The Great on Aug 31, 2010


Cameron is really starting to alienate some of his fans, he's really pushing his "3-D WILL BE THE FUTURE OF CINEMA" agenda, when he should know its a money-grabing-asses-in-seats-hey-its-a-fucking-distraction-cheap-gimmick-that-makes-movie-goers-pay-more-money-for-something-that-is-uesless. I'm not on Canton's side either, I hate 3-D as a whole. Piranha 3-D is a film i shall never see, because if endorses over-use gore and 3-D. Cameron thinks "Avatar" was the best film to ever have come out! He's let his ego take full control.

Xerxex on Aug 31, 2010


"that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D." um...we shouldn't be doing anything in 3-D!

Xerxex on Aug 31, 2010


Alex you need to shut up and realize that you always stand up for James Cameron when it comes to an argument. Secondly, you need to realize that James Cameron has been bashing every 3D movie that has come out before, during, or since his release of Avatar (which is a reinvented 3D version of "Aliens" by the way). I must admit I haven't seen Piranha 3D yet but I am looking forward to having a fun time while watching it. Cameron is just a stuck up asshole that is afraid of being shown up by other directors maybe not in sheer terms of skill but enjoyable film making.

betterchillalex on Aug 31, 2010


The problem is, this is the first film using 3D conversion that James Cameron has come out to specifically criticize. While other horrible films like Clash of the Titans are released without any words from Cameron (just Jeffrey Katzenberg), a film like Piranha 3D gets ripped apart despite the fact that it was made to echo these B-movies from the 70s and 80s and it has both critical and commercial success. James Cameron is just mad that someone liked this Piranha and not his.

Max on Aug 31, 2010


Fuck you Cameron, at least they did it right! Converting movies make them look like shit, but Piranha 3d was filmed in 3d (to my knowledge at least). Also I thought the 3d in it looked way better than Avatar. Sure Avatar had better special effects, but there is just something about 3d and a water environment that meshes well.

JT-Money on Aug 31, 2010


@34 My earlier statement is wrong as he filmed in 2d and converted according to Wikipedia. He did plan ahead for the 3d shots and such, making it a MUCH better converted film. I have seen Clash of the Titans in 3d and it was terrible compared to Piranha, so color me impressed.

JT-Money on Aug 31, 2010


Cameron is a whiny thin-skinned bitch who happens to make visually spectacular movies that are either derivative or theme-driven. He is a block-busting diva who enjoys crapping all over the people who feed him. Quite frankly, I think the re-release of Avatar is nothing but a money-grubbing joke on everyone who saw the film the first time around, and I, for one, will not patronize it or "look for it on blu-ray." The sun does not rise or set by James Cameron, and in a world without movies, he'd be a hippie loner smoking weed and humping trees. I must say, however, that Piranha 3-D was not bad. Nothing to really write home about, but at least I didn't feel like I could have gotten a better deal throwing my money at a couple of bums in the street.

Morlock on Sep 1, 2010


First Off Jim cameron has right to dis any movie he wants cause he holds the goddamn record for the biggest blockbuster in history. But he's not dissing the movie, he's dissing the 3D. He's saying shoot the movie all in 3D or don't do a 3D movie. People came to see Avatar because of the Special affects and 3D because its something we've never seen before. No one came to watch it cause of the story. I'm with Cameron on this, every movie lately is being converted to 3D and all its doing is just making people have to pay more for a crappy 3D wananbe. Converted 3D is giving actual 3D a bad rep and I personally think they need to quit that shit. You didn't see Inception converted to 3D because a director like Nolan Doesn't want to cheat his fans, he doesn't want them to have to pay more for a movie that has fake 3D. Thats really all its about anyway is just trying to squeeze a few extra bucks outta everyone's wallets anyway. When i go to see a 3D movie i expect to get my moneys worth not have to pay for a movie thats been converted to 3D just to rake in a few extra dollars. Canton just needs to say whats true that his movie isn't an actual 3D movie, he needs to say its a fun movie with a few good 3D moments. Thats it, nothing more nothing less. And he really doesn't need to come out and dis cameron's movie cause atleast cameron can back up what he's saying.

Rooney on Sep 1, 2010


Whats really funny is Cameron is converting Titanic to 3D for 2012 re-release. Wait a minute! I thought that was against Papa Cameron's God Almighty Guide To 3D? You see the issue here to me isn't about 3D (which I hate) and it isn't about Avatar (which I hate) Its about James Cameron acting like he is the boss when it comes to 3D. He sets the standards? he sets the rules? Why? Again, I personally don't like it, but I have to come to Cantons defense. Him and Aja and that whole team can do whatever they want. Cameron isn't in charge.

Al on Sep 1, 2010


This is all subjective. Its a medium. Let an artist do with it what they wish. I hate all these damn philosophical debates over how something should be done. That's just someone's opinion. You want to know what 3D amazed me more then Avatar? It was the Capt EO shpw from years ago at Disneyland. Yes today's 3D is sharper more high res etc but I was amazed at the immersion of some of the 3D characters. creatures flying around literally looked like they were in space flying around your head or right in front of you. real immersion versus a flat screen that has 3 dimensional imagery.

JimD on Sep 1, 2010


3D ADDS NOTHING TO FILM! Try understanding that simple concept. It's an image gimmick that should only be used for theme park rides and videogames. There is zero point in watching a 3D film, because you can't 'interact' with it. There is no need for the illusion to be inside a pre-determined story. Avatar was simply made as a bootleg repellent; a graphics engine to overwhelm people away from a terrible story. Still, at least Jackass will be crapping all over little Cameron's three little D's.

Frank Drebin's Hair on Sep 1, 2010


3D works more effectively when it is used somewhat for the gimmick that is is. All the movies I've seen in 3D like Avatar, Toy Story 3 etc were ok but it didn't really add anything to the movie. I could have watched Avatar in 2D and I would have been fine. On the other hand, movies like the old captain eo show from Disneyland, or maybe even Piranha 3D make more sense for 3D. Movies where elements are coming at you or literally in space right in front of you are more effective as 3D movies because they ARE using the medium for its most obvious purpose. I'm not against 3D. Used right it can be fun or effective. The problem is that many in Hollywood (including Cameron) think making anything 3D makes it better. That's not true at all.

JimD on Sep 1, 2010


Now Comes along Me, who kinda hates 3d, it tires my eyes, and i cant enjoy a good movie like i used to. Films in real 3d or just converted 3d would be much better if instead of working on the 3d, they actually worked harder on the god damn movie. In Portugal 3d has such a bad image, that most theatres only charge for 3d glasses, if you kept them from another movie and you know why? People didnt go see them! 3d is just a calling card, since it costs pretty much the same as 2d here. I've seen a couple of 3d movies, and it wasnt the 3d that made them amazing or just bull crap. Last one i saw was the Last air bender, and i dont care if you didnt like it, i saw the cartoons which i loved, and i liked the movie because it brought the story to the "real" world. Ok the movie kinda sucked, but i bet if they scraped the 3d plans and worked more on post-production, etc it would have been a dam good movie. Cameron is wrong, but Canton isnt fully right also. (yes i dont like cameron, specially after the chat made public about his talk with Del Toro and the Hobbit, i cant belive Blizzard would go for a movie with Cameron)(and now that i'm at it, Avatar's wild life was just absurd, and anyone who has a decent amount of knowledge in the fields of Biology can tell you that Cameron didnt waste much time on it, com'on that self rotating flying lizard was just awful, even us humans could catch it with our hands.)

Ricardo on Sep 1, 2010


Ups, ate a few words, it should have read: "if you kept them from another movie you only pay for a normal ticket"

Ricardo on Sep 1, 2010


first, 3D sucks in any movie. it's funny how cameron will denounce other movies in 3D.........but HIS are fine. and he's wrong about movies being the "biggest and best" because of 3D................3D is a gimmick and nothing more. it's used to cover up the fact that a movie (avatar) is lacking in plot, acting, and direction. lord, i'm SICK of james cameron.

beavis on Sep 1, 2010


Wanna get high ?

Jeff Spicoli on Sep 1, 2010


Personally I thought the 3D in Piranha was more amazing than most of Avatar. Piranha's libidinal 3D underwater shots were cinema at its purest - absolutely sublime. It's a wonder why more 3D films aren't shot underwater, the technology's perfectly suited for it. Piranha realises that 3D works brilliantly when it's used in a libidinal context. The blend of underwater and overwater shots matched with all the nudity and gore creates a really layered sense to the image (remember that great early fence shot?) that incites our desire and fuels our libidinal emotions. The 3D in Avatar is pretty and works well with the environment and theme (the displacement and immersion of being an avatar), but it's not psychological or so directly affective in the same way as Piranha's 3D is.

gamus on Sep 1, 2010


@ Ganus, you're a fucking poet, dude. Hahahaha...loved those scenes, too. Altgough it was obvious much of the time that anything underwater was post conerted really poorly, thats why they obviously shot the underwater sexy scene on a greenscreen underwater stage where they could control the water quality(just like that one shot near the beginning of the film where the cops go put to the pier and the camera zooms under the dock with the plants covering the surface, it was obviously done dry for sure it would be much easier to shoot underwater with Cameron's cameras. None of the scenes that were actually filmed in the lake were post converted. They were all flat.

LINKFX on Sep 1, 2010


I'm sorry but I think JC is kind of a joke. His movies are no better than Michael Bay movies in my opinion. If Avatar was nominated for best picture because of it's imagery why can't Tron: Legacy be nominated this year? The answer is because James Camerron gets great press for his crappy movies.

Moon on Sep 1, 2010


James Cameron is the master of arrogance and hypocrisy.

Lincoln on Sep 1, 2010


I stand by my original statement. For ANYONE to say that 3D can be used WRONG is only speaking for themselves. Whether you like it or not, there are enough people out there, including a ton on this thread, defending the cheesy gimmick use of 3D in Piranha to justify it's part in the 3D medium. How can anyone say there's a wrong way to use 3D? Weren't all the Avatar praisers the ones saying that thanks to Avatar 3D was as important of a breakthrough as color film was years ago? If we went back and heard discussions on the use of color film, how many people would have been right by saying "That B grade monster movie is incorrectly using color film!" I'm not saying I prefer the cheap gimmick use of 3D, but if people enjoy it, then there is a place for it in movies, and Cameron is 100% dead wrong. Any aspect of film making is made for an intended audience. Piranha is a cheesy gimmick horror movie. For Cameron or anyone else to attack it for cheesy gimmick use of 3D is the same as attacking the movie itself. So although Alex brings up some valid points, I still say it's ridiculous to claim there can be an improper use of 3D. You can say there can be a cheesy use of it, but what else is a cheesy movie supposed to do? Every movie can one day be shot in 3D. If that's the case then unless everyone is going to take things so seriously and strip all the fun out of movies, there will be a place for gimmick 3D.

Cloudy with a chance of beefaroni on Sep 1, 2010


James Cameron really should not be dictating what is 3D worthy. He holds it in too high regards. That's like saying a low budget horror film should not be shot on film because it "cheapens the medium". It's arrogance at its worst. And you know what? 3D is a gimmick. Avatar sucked on DVD without the gimmick. I loved it in theaters and was bored to death watching it at home. No one I know who saw it on DVD first liked it AT ALL. So sick of hearing about Avatar at this point. It's been overblown for too long. Move on.

Dane on Sep 1, 2010


The VFX crew of Piranha 3D, who worked at Fake Studios WERE NOT PAID FOR THEIR WORK! I have not heard of anyone who didn’t get paid for working on Avatar. As far as I’m concerned, that film and it’s producers deserve all the negative press they can get.

Alex O on Sep 1, 2010


Its all a game guys...Publicity.You will note both have a film currently at a cinema near you....Piranha 3d and Avatar remix.I do think Jim is concerned for the future of cinema as we know it....look whats happened to the music and porn industries with the internet.They're going through massive restructering which can be a good or bad thing depending on your view.

TIR NA NOG on Sep 1, 2010


3D is an artform and can be very effective in the overall presentation of a movie. I think the debate here is merely about how real 3D vs post production. For the average movie goer, most won't even notice the difference but in time people will get more critical and start to nit pick. From realistic stand point, there are still disadvantages in shooting in 3D since it its stol in its early stages and the same can be said for post production. Fact of the matter is 3D is sering a new standard in movie watching. Much like HD or imax. None of these can make a movie better but they can make the experience more enjoyable. I can see cameron's point in his statement since he's mainly commenting the quality of work on post production. Believe me, post production wil only get better and there will always be a need for it especially for home viewing. Who knows, cameron himself might have some of his old films converted.

mr sole on Sep 1, 2010


I don't have a problem with what I read from either man and I see both of their points. As far as I'm concerned, they are both right and I also acknowledge that they are both coming from a point of view or rather corner, to be PC about it.

Johnny Neat on Sep 1, 2010


I saw Piranha 3D as a last mintue decision with friends. I found the 3D to be incredibly hindering, especially in almost all of the underwater shots, it was very blurry and hard to see. On top of that, throughout most of the film, you couldn't even tell it was in 3D. I had the opposite experience with Avatar. The 3D throughout that entire movie was crisp and high quality and every scene seemed to be enhanced by the 3D. Bring on Avatar 2 and 3!

Cmurder on Sep 1, 2010


Isn't the 3D fad over YET?

Armitage on Sep 1, 2010


What James Cameron Was saying "I Think" that is Piranha 3D has a style of the 80s look about it which of the the footage I've seen of the film, there is that look about it. But in a interview I've seen on the new James Cameron Was not in favor of conversions of films into 3D. But you don't no what to believe has Cameron is think of Conversion of Titanic.

Cineprog on Sep 1, 2010


The argument as a whole from Cameron is "against the conversion" of a 3D film, rather than filming in "real 3D." Cameron did it the hard way by putting his own stamp on it, labeling it as art, and reinventing 3D as we know it, whereas other company's feel cheap rendering to make an extra buck is the way. And that's all it is, just a cheap gimmick to siphone more from the already paying masses. I believe that is what Cameron is bashing, Piranha3D was a prime target and he took it. But to his own discredit, what do you think he'll have to say about Resident Evil4? W.S. Anderson's not exactly an on-par director (maybe not even sub-par), but he's using Cameron's technique. Will Cameron bellyhoo that too? Most likely. In my own opinion, Cameron's ego is murdering his image. The self-righteous indignation he's been spewing about "his" 3D from his rainbow striped, mini-submersible is laughable. So is the idea that if a studio tries to make an extra buck or three million by "cheap 3D conversion," they're tainting the industry and spoiling what should be savored. Honestly, every studio wants to make an extra buck or three million, why do you think Cameron and 20th Century are "re-releasing" Avatar? They owned the market on it's original release, they killed on they're blu ray/dvd release date, and now they not only slap a special re-release into theaters, they're bringing a special edition blu-ray out in November with even more footage (just in time for the holidays). Raping the paying masses because you can get away with it? Now that's cheap.

quazzimotto on Sep 1, 2010


Mr James Cameron is right just like always.He is "GOD OF FILM MAKING" and words from a few obsessive guys against him,is nothing more than horse shit!!!... Get ready for "Battle Angel (2013).

Bob on Sep 1, 2010


You people are missing the fucking point. This is about the quality of 3d between the two films and there is a huge difference between natively shot 3d and post converted 3d. I saw both films and well fuck it. just read post 21.

Jason McGuire on Sep 1, 2010


The conversion to 3D is clearly used as a trick to earn more money, i don't think anyone can argue against that, but who cares? Most of hollywood is just a trick to earn more profits. Cameron should know this best. Personally, I enjoyed Avatar on bluray in the comfort of my home more than I did in theaters in 3D. I haven't enjoyed the 3D aspect of recent films. I would much prefer to see it in 2D. 3D makes me sick, hurts my eyes, and acts as a distraction (I sound like an old man, I swear I am in my mid twenties). I'd rather be seeing Honey I Shrunk the kids at Universal Studios. I hope that this craze is short lived. I am still looking forward to seeing Tron, but I imagine I will prefer it on Bluray in my living room when all is said and done. To me, Cameron sounds similar to roger Ebert who was recently hating on the netflix application being available on the Itouch and Iphone. Just do what you do Cameron, your film is clearly superior, why get yourself caught in a mess like this? You are the most successful director in but the more you buildup your ego the less likely your audience will be to listen. Not everyone has the budget to shoot in 3D like Cameron. Piranha 3D had a budget of 24 million compared to the 237 million dollars of Avatar.

Comonsens on Sep 1, 2010


Now Cameron has an ego but dang if he isn't right. How hard is it to figure out that post-production 3D is crap? Avatar's 3D (whether you liked the movie or not) was very good. I have not seen Piranha 3D and don't plan to. Not because of the 3D issue, but because the fish look very fake in the previews. Now we know they are CGI and therefore fake, but does it have to look so freakin obvious? The pirahna just looked like really bad CGI. No thanks.

jjboldt on Sep 1, 2010


I think to call Piranha 3D's 3D shitty is a shitty thing to do James Cameron knows how hard and long it takes to make a movie why throw it under the bus. The main thing is YES the 3D in Avatar is AMAZING! but i bought the bluray because like everyone i loved it after i saw it, BUT! that movie does not hold up without the 3D. Without it the movie is straight up fine its not bad by any means but its just "oh yeah Avatar" Avatar is the Beer Googles of movies you put on those 3D glasses/have a few drinks and its like "damn! what up Avatar you looking goooood" when you lose the 3D/sober up its like oh man! really!?

tim_dahill on Sep 1, 2010


also yes i know this isnt a debate of Avatar vs Piranha 3D but to call out Piranha which was always planning to be converted to 3D and not bring up "The Last Air Bender" or "Clash of the Titans" is ridiculous

tim_dahill on Sep 1, 2010


Hey Jim, I like Friday the 13th 3-D =P

D on Sep 1, 2010


hey tim dahill. Cameron called out clash of the titans as well when it came out. Hell alex even posted it on this website.

Jason McGuire on Sep 1, 2010


Cameron quote: "You know, everybody is an overnight expert. They think, 'what was the takeaway lessons from Avatar? Oh you should make more money with 3D.' They ignore the fact that we natively authored the film in 3-D, and decide that what we accomplished in several years of production could be done in an eight week (post-production 3-D) conversion with 'Clash of the Titans.' It's never going to be as good as if you shot it in 3-D, but think of it as sort of 2.8-D." "If people put bad 3-D in the marketplace they're going to hold back or even threaten the emerging of 3-D. People will be confused by differences in quality. Because the audience doesn't know the difference — when they put on the glasses on, they don't know if the problem is in the glasses, the TV or the actual way in which the stereo space is managed by the producers of the film." Link:

Jason McGuire on Sep 1, 2010


jjbodt: not all post production 3D looks bad. I've seen good examples of post production 3D done right and Im confident if you saw them too you would not be able to tell that it was not shot in real 3D.

mr sole on Sep 1, 2010


I saw Piranha 3D this weekend in a packed venue and had an absolute blast with it. Fanservice from beginning till end, both of the nude and the gory variety. BUT... The 3D in it was the most shoddy and inconsistent I have seen yet. Objects moved "through"each other, people had ears and hair three feet behind their faces (and this was BEFORE these were ripped off by fish, mind you) and mountains looked like cardboard cut-outs. One of the best practical gore effects was ruined because the victim seemed to be floating a foot above the deck he was supposed to be lying on. Railings and lines between boats seemed to be in their own dimension, and some objects were even INVERTED. Most of the scenes involving gratuitous T&A (prime example being the underwater ballet) or loads of cgi were well done in 3D, but many of the other scenes were atrocious... So I'm behind Cameron all the way. I also think he was just referring to the quality of the 3D, not to whether or not Piranha 3D as a "genre" film was worthy of the technique or not.

Ard Vijn on Sep 1, 2010


3D sucks, I want it to go away very soon. I cant stand Avatar, horrible story

shart on Sep 1, 2010


I had 10x more fun watching Pirahana 3D than Avatar!! I wasn't expecting much but it made the 3D SO much more enjoyable and I never forgot the effect was there which was a first. It did everything right for a cheesy monster flick. Then again Avatar will eventually get the cheese factor slapped on it. Cameron is simply jealous that this flick is so much better than his offering from the same franchise!

dom on Sep 1, 2010


3D is a fad that will pass in a couple years...unless the film itself is made for 3D it should not be shown in 3D (ie: trash of the titans). i saw piranha 3D and aside from the one part (the ones that have seen it know which scene im talking about) the 3D was terrible...even worse than the script. th technology shold be taken seriously for very serious projects, or not at not a big james cameron fan (aside from his terminator film) but this time i have to agree with him. a shout out kudos to chris nolan for being the brave one and shooting down the proposal to make his third batman in 3d.

blah blah on Sep 1, 2010


Camron is great when it comes to movies, but he's a POS as a human.

dac_fan on Sep 1, 2010


First off aja and company made it as a homage and total gimmick 3d for the reason being for the fun of it second of all james cameron can only direct action sequences thats it, so why the hell everyone calls him a director is beyond me and if Martin does a 3d movie Shotgun to the mouth.

Stanley Endall on Sep 1, 2010


you idiots, James Cameron's been criticizing so many 3D movies lately because all of them have been clunky 3D conversions. But the upcoming "Tron" was actually shot in 3D. I personally agree with both of them. But we have to admit James is right about "Piranha". 3D movie sales continue to go steadily down each month and the 3D for "Piranha" is no technical achievement in the least bit. Which is why it has also flopped at the box office. He's right just like "Avatar" and the upcoming "Tron", if 3D is to ever become Art and just not a cheap gimmick and attempt for more money from higher premium ticket sales, we have to give people a 3D Premium experience.

Curbcooler on Sep 1, 2010


3D sales for each individual movie has gone down, but that's partly because the 3D market is being shared by 3 or 4 movies at a time. Avatar had a monopoly on almost all 3D theaters in January to March. There are currently 4 movies that have opened in the last month that are occupying a limited number of 3D screens. Avatar re-release is one of them. Step Up, Cats and Dogs, Piranha being the others. You add to that Despicable Me and Toy Story still occupying many 3D screens and of course 3D business will go down on an individual basis.

Cloudy with a chance of beefaroni on Sep 1, 2010


We absolutely need movies like Piranha and the so called "bad 3-D". it makes the real 3D films look better. If all these movies looked the same, nothing would ever stand out. If anything, Jim should be thanking Aja for doing Piranha. ALL HAIL PIRANHA!!! Bring on the cheap and nasty cinema. Does anyone else think James Cameron and George Lucas sleep in the same bed?

wm on Sep 1, 2010


I do like how Canton jabs at AVATAR's un-original story.

Xerxex on Sep 1, 2010


78 comments about this crap? seriously? ... who cares?

DoomCanoe on Sep 1, 2010


Piranha had a better plot that Avatar, also that floating penis was funny. 3d is like a photoshop effect that everyone uses for a while to create similar results, now and again a creative person will make something a bit better.

Crapola on Sep 2, 2010


exactly Cred-X! "Technology aside, I wish AVATAR had been more original in its storytelling." quote Mr. Canton How in the Hell is that "flawed logic?" It is the bloody truth!

Clover on Sep 2, 2010


"...cheapens the medium" Mr. Cameron says. Does Mr. Cameron know that the first porn films shot in the new 3D tech are completed? It's just tech, in 10 years time porn in 3D will out no# "common, normal films" 100/1. And thus, due to porn, the tech will grow, expand and be more widely available. Seems this has been the case in the past, anyhow. Bit crass to say Piranha 3D cheapens the he gunna attack every new porn in 3D aswell?? 🙂

David Banner on Sep 2, 2010


Saw Piranha 3D last night and loved it. Everyone in the audience was howling and screaming. It's a fun movie and a movie you have to watch in a theatre to really enjoy.

Ryan on Sep 2, 2010


I haven't seen Piranha 3D, but could the storyline possibly be any dumber than Avatar? Both movies dress up a bunch of lame, old cliches with modern technology. Cameron has no room to criticize.

Greg on Sep 3, 2010


James Cameron is by far the sole filmmaker in hollywood who feels so passionatley about 3D, and good luck to him because I hope this renaissance is over within the next 18 months. 3D SUCKS, to be honest I wish I had saved my money and watched Avatar in 2D (LIKE NORMAL FILMS) because the 3D didn't impress me that much. BOYCOTT 3D!!!

DiR3cT on Sep 4, 2010


The comments made here against Cameron are incredibly stupid ! You people hate Cameron so much why the hell did you even bother seeing Avatar in the first-place ?! The Avatar trailers spelled the plot out to you before its Dec 2009 release ! Yet you STILL PAID to see it. What a bunch of MORONS ! Cameron earned that right to say what he said about Canton. His comments wasn't rude; it was the honest truth. Don't give me this B-movie excuse. Especially when ticket prices are extremely high these days.

Herman M. on Sep 7, 2010


JACKASS 3D is coming. Carmeron face palms himself! I went to see Resident Evil in 3D and they filmed on and in the water and those scenes looked the best, even the wet floors looked good in 3D so I don't get why Piranha "faked" the 3D in post because of water. Water didn't hurt RE3D IMHO

Walley on Sep 11, 2010


I prefer Piranha 3D over Avatar because I still don't believe that anything in Avatar was "filmed" in 3D. It's just a 3-hour video game cut-scene. How do you film CGI?

Tinman on Sep 27, 2010


@ #8 - gshauger No you're the pathetic one. Avatar's storyline was complete shit. Totally unoriginal. People are entitled to their own opinions and calling someone an idiot for liking Piranha over Avatar makes you sound like a moron. Piranha was much better enterainment-wise, while Avatar was bland/dry for the most part. All it was was hype, and you're obviously one of the suckers who fell into it's trap. So now sir, I only have two words for ya. You're pathetic.

Peace Love & GaGa on Sep 29, 2010


The Its all a game guys…Publicity.You will note both have a film currently at a cinema near you….Piranha 3d and Avatar remix.I do think Jim is concerned for the future of cinema as we know it….look whats happened to the music and porn industries with the internet.They're going through massive restructering which can be a good or bad thing depending on your view.

Rüya on Sep 30, 2010


the thank you wayy..Now Cameron has an ego but dang if he isn't right. How hard is it to figure out that post-production 3D is crap? Avatar's 3D (whether you liked the movie or not) was very good. I have not seen Piranha 3D and don't plan to. Not because of the 3D issue, but because rüya the fish look very fake in the previews. Now we know they are CGI and therefore fake, but does it have to look so freakin obvious? The pirahna just looked like really bad CGI. No thanks.

gok on Oct 9, 2010


BTW Alex. Although you've long since abandoned this thread: Piranha 3D did get 75% on RT. It wasn't considered a crap movie by any means. It was a B movie made to be fun for the audience and added a touch of interactive to liven it up. No one owns the idea of 3D and no one has the right to determine what should or shouldn't be a 3D film. We shouldn't get worried until Anne of Green Gables goes 3D. 3D was meant for all kinds of movies. Having a film like this in 3D helps 3D, it doesn't hinder it. To say it does is a weak, baseless argument that can't be supported by facts.

ModernAmericanMan on Oct 20, 2010


Good post but you should really get rid of all your sites spam messages.

lose weight on Nov 27, 2010


---EVEN as it comes to light that the UN World health Organization has 'accidentally' infected some 2 BILLION (!!!!) worldwide with ultra-contagious, chronic heptatitus B via Bill Gates-style 'stealth' vaccines, STILL NO SIGN of consciousness, much less repentance, from techno-worshipping, ECO you-genocide 'friendly', aging fast slum lord James Cameron. ---Playtime's over kids! SO------------Remember, YOU-genocide ---includes YOU.

tiger tim on Dec 22, 2010

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