This Wednesday, December 14 came out, after 13 years of waiting, the new Avatar. If the adventure on Pandora enchants all the press (including us), the question remained unanswered: what about The Way of the Water, within the exemplary filmography of James Cameron. You asked yourself the question, here is the answer. Here is the classification (objective) of the films of James Cameron. #9. Piranha 2: The Flying Killers (1981) In truth, no one has seen it and maybe that’s good. Because the first (directed by Joe Dante) may be of a pleasant Nanardesque gore humor, the second is missed. Cameron had to get his hands dirty and discover the terrible universe of an industry that goes behind the backs of filmmakers, or asks to add nudity for free. His first, his less good. See also on Konbini#8. True Lies (1994) The business is funnier than the finished product: making a $100 million remake of Zidi’s uninteresting comedy is odd. But past that, impressive action sequences and Jamie Lee Curtis’ acting, the film remains a little too hollow, even awkward to watch in 2022.#7. Terminator (1984) Divisive opinion, we agree. It must be recognized that from now on, we will only talk about good films, even excellent ones. The sinews of war, then. But in the lot, the first Terminator fishes a little. Revolution in the world of SF, revelation of Schwarzenegger in the role of a lifetime, immeasurable impact in popular culture. Certainly. But despite remarkable writing, the film is still a little too mechanical to succeed in becoming what will be the sequel (namely perfection).#6. Aliens (1986) Even more divisive opinion, but we assume. Anyway, going after the greatest film in the history of horror cinema (or even cinema at all) was a challenge. And Cameron has the smarts to change the DNA of the thing, not to replicate Ridley Scott’s tone or imagery. His Alien will be more frontal, more warlike. It will draw on filiation on one side and on an exacerbated militarism on the other. Violence prevails over refinement. Objectively a great film, but below what it will produce later.#5. Avatar (2009) A technical and technological revolution, which suffers from a narration lacking subtlety carried by characters too close to a cliche on legs at times. But the work is too big, too large, too consequential, and too important (even if that doesn’t mean much) not to be rewarded.#4. Avatar: The Way of the Water (2022) We didn’t think to put it so high, but the slap was too strong. Never underestimate James Cameron. He did better than with his first. Not only technically, the film is flawless and of disconcerting visibility in addition to offering an unprecedented spectacle, but also from a dramaturgical point of view. The film takes its time, lets us walk around, rediscover Pandora as we had never seen it before and discover a plethora of new characters. It becomes, strangely, more subtle — except when it comes to a little Tarzan and his daddy, but hey, nobody’s perfect… A great movie despite everything.#3. Titanic (1997) A monstrous shooting, an enormous success, and a legacy that we still perhaps cannot measure. It’s not just the story of a board that’s too big (please, let’s stop), but a great love story in a blockbuster with excessive special effects. We talk about class struggle, feminine desire and a society of progress that goes straight into the iceberg wall. It is still a little too taken from high by some moviegoers seeing it as a simple crying as the seventh art has been able to offer us so much. He deserves this place on the podium, without a shadow of a doubt.#2. The Abyss (1989) Purists know this may be his best (but the author of these words loves T2 way too much). The thing is, it’s the black sheep, the quintessentially underrated James Cameron film. No doubt the absence of a nice video edition and the fact that the film is less publicized and put forward does not help. The thing is, philosophically, emotionally and technologically, The Abyss is immense. Huge.#1. Terminator 2: The Last Judgment (1991) A little less first degree and more humor, like what he will try in True Lies. The importance of filiation in the face of the monster, as in Aliens. Love at the heart of breathtaking action sequences, like in Abyss or Titanic. A technological revolution (the term here is justified), as in Avatar. James Cameron’s sum film, forever. It’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest sci-fi film in cinematic history. Hats off.
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