His films are some of the greatest Box Office draws of all time. But rarely is he mentioned when a conversation is sparked about the cinematic greats. He has a Spielbergian way of being unappreciated by cinephiles.
Who are cinephiles anyway?
Opinionated, thick rimmed glass wearing’, arm chair quarterbacks of the arts, if you ask me. When I’m on set in the trenches I want a Five-Star General at the helm of the film. I want someone who’s not afraid to take risks, someone who puts their own ass on the line.
I want James cameron.
To make a James Cameron film it costs roughly the annual GDP of second world nation. Gambling on this proven visionary has a huge risk-to-reward ratio. Even though none of his films ever seem profitable, you gotta love Hollywood accounting; I swear it’s more creative than the films coming out of it.
James Cameron is that legendary Canadian truck driver director.
That very same James Cameron who went into a pitch meeting for Aliens 2, walked in the room and wrote “Alien$” on the board and walked out. A few hours later he was given a budget of 18 million to go and make the damned thing.
The man is as fascinating as he is brilliant.
I don’t want to talk Avatar, Titanic or even True Lies. I want to talk Terminator 2 and the impact it had on my childhood. This is not an accurate review; it’s a personal memory.
It was the summer of 1991, I was going into the 6th grade and loved everything Arnold and Guns & Roses (not much has changed TBH). Also... My father was hospitalized for a few days with an irregular heartbeat -- and I was scared shitless.
We went to visit him in the hospital, I remember him sneaking out of his room pushing the IV hanger on wheels to go outside for a cigarette. That’s when he told me: He’d be out in a few days and he would take me to see Terminator 2 on OPENING DAY. My response, naturally, was: “Dad, it’s rated A! I’ll never get in!." He didn't flinch: “Don’t worry about it. We’re going."
Two agonizing days later my father returned from the hospital, showered, and cut his Medical Bracelet off his wrist. We then got into the car and on our way to the Cinema at Square One in Mississauga, ON. Of course, Every show was sold out. Miraculously, a few tickets were still available for the 9:45 p.m. late show. So my dad did what he said he would and bought two tickets.
The cinema was so busy that no one ever questioned me walking in. I remember hiding in the crowd. By my father's side. The theatre was packed and it was hot as hell. We made our way over to our seats: Near Back Row, Middle section -- which is still my favorite place at the Cinemas.
I don’t recall the trailers. Only the anxiety of the crowd. The anticipation was bananas. Like the grin on my face from ear to ear. I remember thinking that my friends would never believe me: "This is the craziest moment of my entire life!!!"
The film starts. Sarah Conner's voice over montage begins. The rest is history.
I want to personally thank My Father and James Cameron, because that was the moment my love for cinema began.