James Cameron Criticizes ‘Battleship’ Movie

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:00 am,

james cameron criticizes battleship movie James Cameron Criticizes Battleship Movie

It’s not much of a secret that creativity has all but left the building known as Hollywood. Besides just terribly unoriginal movies, there are too many sequels, too many remakes, and too many movies about toys, roller coaster rides, and board games. Indeed, this has been the state of things for the majority of the past decade (2007 notwithstanding).

Leave it to James Cameron then — who, in addition to being a billionaire blockbuster filmmaker, has recently taken up film criticism — to state the obvious point.

In an interview with the German website Spiegel Online, Cameron was rather blunt about badmouthing the upcoming Battleship film, based on the Hasbro board game of the same name.

Check out the quote below:

“We have a story crisis. Now they want to make the Battleship game into a film. This is pure desperation. Everyone in Hollywood knows how important it is that a film is a brand before it hit theaters. If a brand has been around, Harry Potter for example, or Spider-Man, you are light years ahead. And there lies the problem. Because unfortunately these franchises are become more ridiculous. Battleship. This degrades the cinema.”

This isn’t the first time James Cameron has taken to openly criticizing movies by fellow filmmakers. Previously, Cameron called Piranha 3D an example of bad 3D filmmaking:

“I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the ’70s and ’80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that’s not what’s happening now with 3-D. It is a renaissance — right now the biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D. Martin Scorsese is making [The Invention of Hugo Cabret] in 3-D. Disney’s biggest film of the year — Tron: Legacy — is coming out in 3-D. So it’s a whole new ballgame.”

Cameron neglected to mention that Piranha 3D was actually satirizing those movies from the 70s and 80s. Whether or not it did a good job of it, that’s up for debate — though it did get generally positive reviews.

First of all, as I said before, I totally agree with Cameron that Hollywood has a story crisis on their hands. The past year, while peppered with gems, was pretty rough for the American cinema. That said, while Avatar made approximately a googol dollars at the box office – and was mighty fine entertainment to boot – it wasn’t exactly an original tale. Mix one part Pocahontas, one part Dances with Wolves, one part Aliens, twenty parts Fern Gully, twenty-eight parts Call Me Joe, and one part The Blue Man Group, and you’ve essentially got Avatar’s story.

Also, it’s not unheard of for a movie based on a board game to be good. For example, the 1985 film Clue is a movie I can watch ad infinitum – thanks to a great cast and great writing. Who’s to say Battleship won’t be the same? The director, Peter Berg, has proven himself to be fairly capable with movies like The Rundown and Friday Night Lights, and it’s not as if the plot is going to see actors Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsård, and Rihanna just sitting around playing the actual board game (though that could be good, too).

battleship game James Cameron Criticizes Battleship Movie

Battleship is America’s all time favorite game for a reason, people!

I’m not saying I expect Battleship to be good, I’m just saying – give peace a chance, James Cameron. Give. Peace. A chance.

Battleship, which may or may not be about the US Navy’s response to an alien invasion, hits theaters May 18th, 2012. Only time will tell if (gulp) James Cameron will enjoy it. Though one would assume that, due to the movie taking place primarily in the ocean water, he would?

Source: Spiegel Online [via Reelz Channel]

TAGS: Battleship
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  1. This so-called director lost the right to complain about any film lacking in substance or story the moment he made Avatar.

    This is just the pot calling the kettle black. Actually, it’s not even that. At least Battleship seems to realise it’s a dumb joke with little story. It’s not got creators ripping off every major book, video game and film from the last thirty years and calling their product “original” and “deep”.

    • He is right! The problem is that the film makers insist to explore every cent even when the franchise is dead (Titanic 3D) and there are a lot of sequels and nothing new (Avatar 2and 3 being filmed at the same time). Do what I say but not what I do!

  2. Here’s my two cents: Cameron is right about the saturation of unoriginal material in movies, that is plainly true. Just about any big movie these days is based on either a graphic novel, a published novel, a comic book, a sequel, a prequel, or in this case…a board game. Which, since we are on the subject, I understand there is also a Monopoly movie in the works.

    As for a pot calling the kettle black situation, considering Avatar…I mildly agree, but not so much. See, Avatar has without question a simplistic story that has been done before (for me it reminded me of Fern Gully and Dances with Wolves), but the fact remains Avatar was Cameron’s idea and was not published, within the context of the movie, in any shape or form prior to the film’s release. As it is, Avatar’s story actually is technically original…especially when you compare it with the source materials and quality of them sampled for most other aforementioned films.

    In any case, stuff like Battleship makes me feel very pessimistic about the future of cinema and the mentality of the casual moviegoer.

    • James Cameron needs to shut his holier than thou mouth. I hate people who bash movies without even seeing them. Personally, i love watching sports movies, but you hardly ever see them hit theatres because of the belief that they wont sell.

  3. Cameron’s right. Hollywood’s producing more crap than ever. And the bad news is, it appears to be getting worse (esp judging from some comments).

  4. And whatsup with h-wood o.d’eeing alien invasion movies anyway?

  5. I am sorry but,I have to disagree with JAMES on this one.I have seen many a great movies that weren”t supposed to be any good.Let’s not judge anything or anybody just yet. For example, DISNEY and “JOHN CARTER”….BEST 3-D I’ve seen to date! BATTLESHIP is nothing like HASBRO’s board game.

  6. Yeah..James knows it all man..and his ex wife takes home all the awards at a fraction of his production costs

  7. James Cameron directorial debut started his career with Piranah 2 !

  8. James Cameron is James Cameron. Most of his films are blockbusters, artistically done, and are timeless classics. He may be a little too much about the originality part of other movies, but he does write original stories for his own movies albeit based on unoriginal facts.

    Personally, I agree with him about the trend of today’s cinema. Hollywood makes a lot of garbage. It’s a good thing most of these garbages don’t reach other countries.

    As for Battleship the game. It’s a blockbuster, artistically done, and a timeless classic. Period.

    AS for Battleship the movie. I recently watched it. The movie is well cast, direction is decent. However, the script is downright horrible.

    What irritates me a lot is not the fact that a movie was “desperately” made based on a boardgame, but that the boardgame did not deserve a badly-written script for a movie.

    What irritates me the most is that the producers gave the green light for the production of this movie knowing full well during the development stage that it has a bad script.

    It’s a bad call.

  9. come on, make childhood’s end for pity’s sake or the wounded land

  10. Saw the film yesterday while killing hours waiting for a bus.Its was awe inspiringly epic in its total lack of story plot acting or being at all credible.I.d like to be the first to nominate it for a mass or trophys from the raspberrys.It was wonderful to see that if your a screwup moron in America and you got a brother in the US navy you get to become a officer too.Taylor Kirsch played the role of a moron to perfection right to the end of the film.Taylor s subsequent acting career will be epic to watch its dizzy slide to the gutter after this effort at trying to act and the turkey John Carter he”starred” in.On the film liked how the operations room staff were massively overworked needed as the away crew to investigate alien ships that appear. Rhianna was magnificent as a robot like model issued with machine gun to kill alien battleships. The pouting and curt orders to moron marine were worthy of applause of a crew of synchophants.
    The peice where Hopper is been told he is the only surving officer and now captain but did not want to have command brought back memorys of the Costa Concordia. It was fun to learn that all these American museum battleships are still fully armed and got all the explosive and shells ready on board in case of any imminent alien invasion.

  11. i wonder if seeing the film…

  12. As once a Navy Man who had the chance to walk the Decks of these mighty Battleships I found the movie fun to watch and it did help raised awareness of the fighter power that our Navy is lacking today by putting these powerful ship out of commission. It also presented a scenario were we could see that two more Gatling guns could save a day in stopping multiple treats coming down on the ship all at once as it did in the movie. Over all they can say what ever they want but the box office success is what really counts and measures the publics appeal, not the critics. Over all it was good visual effects and great publicity for our battleships preservation efforts.

    Ralph Martigani, JR
    Future Director writer

  13. Cameron is a bit too vanilla (mainstream) himself to make such criticism imo