CATEGORIES Sci-Fi & Fantasy, 20th Century Fox, Home Entertainment, Politics, Features, Movie News, CinematicalIs James Cameron a big hypocrite? You may have found it ironic that the villains in Avatar (which just earned another $4 million through its extended-cut re-release) are the more technologically advanced species, and much of the time their technology is scrutinized, and yet the movie itself is arguably the most technologically advanced we've ever seen. Shouldn't Cameron just go into a forest somewhere and direct primitive, nature-friendly plays? Or should he be forgiven that he's using technology for good, via his movies and through interviews, in which he explains why the digital distribution of films is so environmentally positive: "DVDs are wasteful."
That's a quote from The Washington Post, but we found it copied to the blog Deceiver, which calls Cameron out for hypocritically releasing three separate DVD versions of Avatar -- first there was the bare bones disc, and later this year a special edition will be available, followed by a 3D release next year -- plus being responsible for the production of plastic 3D glasses and plastic Avatar merchandise, such as lunchboxes and toys, while speaking out against wasteful consumer products, including DVDs and bottled water, and how they impact the environment.
To be fair, Cameron doesn't exactly tell us not to buy DVDs so much as he tells us digital distribution is the future and a good one at that in terms of the carbon impact. As for the multiple Avatar options, he likely is partly to blame for them, but that's possibly also being dictated by 20th Century Fox, who he makes a point to mention is expected to be fully carbon-neutral by the end of this year. That means all that DVD production should be offset by the planting of a tree and other means. Cameron may sound hypocritical, and maybe he kind of is, but he might also be one of the more green film producers working in the industry.
Anyway, like Deceiver says, it's the consumer who's encouraging the production and therefore is the worse culprit in the matter. But couldn't Cameron have at least put Avatar out on more digital platforms right away? Why isn't it streaming on Netflix Instant, for instance?
Another story going around that similarly exposes a level of hypocrisy, or least a kind of filtering pickiness, involves a statement from Cameron bashing the new Piranha remake for cheapening 3D and giving the format a bad name. Of course, he needs to recognize that he got his big break with the original film's sequel and also that 3D films have traditionally been linked to horror movies and the genre can not be left out of this new digital 3D revolution just because they remind audiences of the earlier, gimmicky incarnations of the medium. As with any kind of movie, there is room for the good and the bad examples. I understand if Cameron wants to throw retro-conversion 3D under the bus, but I disagree with him on the idea that only some genres or filmmakers should be allowed to be 3D.