Can James Cameron save 3D from itself?

Can James Cameron save 3D from itself? (photo)

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This past summer Hollywood just utterly overdosed on 3D. No other way to say it. There were so many films that should have not gone down the way they did. “The Green Hornet,” for example. Or “The Smurfs 3D,” which can only be properly construed under the category of harlotry, comes to mind. “Smurf happens,” indeed.

Enter stage right: James Cameron. In many ways it is Cameron who deserves a lion’s share of the blame, for this unholy Hollywood orgy-spectacle. Eighty-five percent of the massive domestic box office for “Avatar” came from 3D. And Hollywood, of course, saw those numbers and got wood. Ironically, only Hollywood could turn three dimensional technology into one-dimensional dreck (for further reference see — or rather don’t — “Green Lantern”).

In his defense, Cameron urged caution where many studio executives saw naked, spread eagle profits. Cameron told USA Today, prophetically, in March:

“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 3D, and decide that what we accomplished in several years of production could be done in an eight week (post-production 3D) conversion with ‘Clash of the Titans.’

“If people put bad 3D in the marketplace they’re going to hold back or even threaten the emerging of 3D. People will be confused by differences in quality.”

Accurate, sadly. That was in March. By the summer, Hollywood was in a full blown 3D frenzy, summer tent-poles erect. But it got very little to show for its ardor. This very blog, by June, asked: Has 3D jumped the shark? Goddamned Michael Bay. Why didn’t they listen to James Cameron?!

Once again, this time with gusto, Cameron rides in to save the day. He wants to save 3D from its own overblown excesses. One of the most vocal proponents of 3D, Cameron is now taking his role as cheerleader to the next level. More hands on. Cameron wants, in effect, to create, collaborate and oversee best practices in the making of 3D entertainment. Cameron, if not the father of this latest incarnation of 3D, is at least its sober and responsible uncle. He aspires to put his seal of approval on the genre. From The Wrap:

“We want to be the Dolby of 3D,” (Cameron) said.

He said that RealD handles that function on the display side, but no one’s doing it for filmmakers.

A “Cameron-Pace Group-certified” stamp of approval would do just that, he said.
Cameron added that he wants the certification program to be a way for filmmakers to know that they’re using 3D technology in the best possible way.

“It’s about the planning, the acquisition … delivering it to display,” he said. “We want to work with the filmmakers, we want to work with the standards entities … to create a consensus about the best practices and standards on the way the set is run, the cameras are used and so on.”

Cameron’s proposal, though perhaps a tad ego-centric to most observers, has more than a little merit. He sees this nascent genre as his baby. It sort of is. And what “father” wants to see his child fail? The legacy of this particular form of 3D, for better or worse, will be tied to James Cameron. Who else better, bearing that in mind, to save 3D from itself than Cameron? And boy does this genre need some saving right about now.

(Related: James Cameron says “Avatar 2” will focus on the ocean, feature other planets)

Tell us your own thoughts on the future of 3D in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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