Finishing up my 5 by 5 directors series.
I had a hard time with this last one. I had to decide between The Kid and The Big One. Steven Spielberg will always be The Kid to me. And I know he has done a lot of great films (Raiders, E.T., Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List) but in the end I had to go with The Big One. The man with absolutely no limit.
FANS: Can we do this even bigger?
PRODUCERS: Will it cost an enormous amount of money?
JC: Sure… Your point?
STUDIO: But will it also make an enormous amount of money?
JC: Damn straight.
CRITICS: Okay… But will it be good?
ME: Fuck yeah! It’s gonna be awesome.
Far too many talented directors get a huge budget and immediately forget how to tell a good story. James Cameron does not suffer from this.
His movies get bigger and bigger with each successive film. Within the film each action sequence gets more and more spectacular until by the end you’re staring at some insanely huge and respectively kick-ass bit of movie magic with your mouth wide open and your heart racing. (I swear to god he’s going to give me a heart attack one of these films). And the artwork never suffers… not even a little.
At number 5 on my list of 5 great films by 5 great filmmakers is (apologies to Michael Moore) The Big One: James Cameron.
True Lies (1994)
She plays the wife that doesn’t know that her husband is a super spy. And Arnold plays that super spy to perfection. Throw in a great cast featuring Tom Arnold (at his best ) as the partner/handler, a young Eliza Dushku as their wild child daughter and Bill Paxton as a sleazy car salesman who… you know what you have to see it. This is a great action/comedy film.
And did I mention that Jamie Lee Curtis does a smoking hot and comically awkward strip tease that also has to be seen.
The Terminator (1984)
The best of the Terminator franchise, this is one of the 3 or 4 movies that I have seen more times than I can possibly count. Excellent in every way. Great cast, great story. suspenseful, infinitely quotable and enormously entertaining.
And for you Schwarzenegger fans out there, this is Arnold at his peak physique, at one point completely nude.
Again, you’re welcome.
Not to change the subject but I’m still mad at FOX for cancelling the Sarah Connor show. That thing was fantastic. (Though it did free up Lena Headey to play Cersei Lannister. [Give her an Emmy now… right now])
Boo FOX just boooooooo
Pure… Adrenaline… Rush. A small group of elite fighters… and Sigorney Weaver are all that stand between an alien race and the earth. Outnumbered and alone on a strange planet. Call it 300 Spartans in space but with automatic weapons, if the Persian army had acid for blood and fangs that extend from the front of their faces… of course.
One of the most exciting movies ever made.
Yes, I know this film has a very heavy-handed environmentalist message but it also kicks ass. An epic sci-fi action flick with a decent love story and spectacular visual effects. This movie is gorgeous and needs to be seen in all it’s splendor. Every time someone watches Avatar on an iPhone, the Lumiere brothers weep and Thomas Edison kicks Steve Jobs in the nuts.
Don’t let this happen.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
I almost didn’t include this movie on the list because it may just be a little too action packed for its own good. Aliens is a thrill-ride, yes. But it has a few well-placed catch-your-breath moments throughout. Terminator 2, however, does not. From the moment Arnold says, “Come with me if you want to live.” you’re fighting for air. I remember leaving the theater with a pain in my side thinking “Damn Cameron you just took several years off my life.” But I had to include it, because this is a fun movie.
And Linda Hamilton’s metamorphosis into the kick ass Sarah Connor is amazing. Also she is hot as hell.
A great deal funnier than the first Terminator, it also has a bigger budget, so Cameron pulls out all the stops with the action and the effects. T2 is to Terminator what Aliens is to Ridley Scott’s Alien. We go from suspenseful horror film to action packed all out war action. Two very different films; both of them really good.
James Cameron has created some of the most exciting and iconic action film franchises in history. From Rambo to The Terminator. From Avatar to Titanic.
He has advanced film making and technology (now science and exploration) into the 21st century with the artistic blockbuster. The massive movie spectacular that doubles as an art house flick. Just give him all the money and watch him take home all the awards.
…And we are done.
I hope you enjoyed my 5 by 5 directors series even if you didn’t agree with my picks.
I think I’ll do a foreign language 5 by 5 and an animated 5 by 5 next. (This is fast becoming a movie blog… who knew?)
- Top Five: Arnold Schwarzenegger (filmophilia.com)
- James Cameron Wants Terminator 5 To Be All About Arnold (perezhilton.com)
- The Greatest Movie Sequels of All-time! (mrmovietimes.com)