Space Ramblings

George Lucas, James Cameron and the Hacks of the Filmpocalypse

10 years ago, The Phantom Menace was the Avatar of 1999. It was a heavily hyped big budget movie that everyone had to go see despite it being absolutely terrible. But it also muscled theaters into making the switch to digital. Between it and Cameron’s Terminator 2, the die was cast for every movie to turn into a ridiculously budgeted 150-250 million dollar CG spectacle, that was big on special effects that never looked realistic, and light on everything else.

Today after setting Hollywood on the path to ridiculously inflated budgets and special effects with Terminator 2, James Cameron has actually managed to make movies even worse by pushing movies to adopt 3D, the same way George Lucas pushed theaters to go digital. But if George Lucas at least had a financial interest in pushing the digital agenda, James Cameron jumped on the 3D bandwagon and managed to make a terrible movie that made up a lot of money. Which means everyone is rushing to make their movies in 3D.

Alice in Wonderland, a movie almost as terrible as Avatar, was converted to 3D, and has made a lot of money for theaters who get to charge more for 3D. That makes Alice and Avatar hits, and means that movies which have already been bad will now get worse, because in addition to being giant pieces of pasted together CG, they will also be in 3D. Which gives us a ratio of 90 percent gimmicks to 10 percent movie. Even worse all these movies will become unwatchable 10-15 years later when their special effects and approach to 3D looks hopelessly dated. So thanks guys.

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