Monday, July 7, 2014

The Directors Project: #40 - James Cameron

Scene from Cinema Paradiso
With the many lists and essays written on the subject of film, there has been one thing that The Oscar Buzz has tried to understand: Who is my favorite of the film world? For 10 weeks this summer, I will be exploring this with a countdown of the Top 50 names based on a numerical ranking of ratings from various sources, the following is a list of directors who rank above everyone else. With occasional upsets, this is intended as both a discussion opener as well as a better understanding of me as a film critic and fan. Please enjoy and leave any comments you have regarding the entry's selection.


Years Active: 1978-present

Films as Director: 8

Oscar Wins: 3

-Best Picture: Titanic
-Best Director: Titanic
-Best Film Editing: Titanic

Who: While he may fall as one of the least prolific directors on this list, his work definitely makes up for it. His films tend to be sci-fi stories that not only tell unique stories, but feature some cutting edge technology that enhances the story. Since coming to prominence with The Terminator  movies, he has been a box office mainstay whenever he comes around. He has also been an Oscar darling with most of his films at very least receiving nominations for their technical merit. While he isn't the most insightful director when it comes to writing scripts and making something well rounded, he knows how to appeal to general audiences and thus achieves one of those rare feats as a blockbuster director who isn't all that grating while still bringing in billions as one of the most financially successful names out there.

Scene from Aliens
-- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) --

Flickchart Ranking: #199 (750 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total: 820 points

-- Aliens (1986) --

Flickchart Ranking: #232 (700 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 760

-- The Terminator (1984) --

Flickchart Ranking: #634 (400 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 460 points

-- Titanic (1997) --

Flickchart Ranking: #661 (350 points)
IMDb Rating: 5/10 (50 points)
Perks: None
Total: 400 points

-- Avatar (2009) --

Flickchart Ranking: #829 (200 points)
IMDb Rating: 3/10 (30 points)
Perks: None
Total: 230 points


Scene from Terminator 2: Judgment Day
This may be one of the biggest surprises to make the list. As someone who generally liked to make fun of Avatar, I felt like I had dismissed the director for being a little too vapid and his content waning just a bit. Of course, that is to discredit his achievements in making film a far more interesting medium. Is Avatar his greatest film? No. However, The Terminator films remain some of my favorite childhood memories and I have come around to appreciating the grandiose scale of Titanic. His films are meant to be universal, and the stories reflect that, warts and all. He isn't the best, but he is like a more polished Michael Bay in that his films are big and explosive, yet they deliver without the sloppiness. Also, if there is one guilty pleasure to appreciate, he is definitely one who has a lot going for him.

UP NEXT: A technical wizard whose camera work is often just as, if not more, impressive than his films which have dealt with coming-of-age dramas to fantasy and sci-fi.

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