piranha_maw

We got a taste of the James Cameron of old this week when he told Vanity Fair that Piranha 3D “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.”

It hasn’t taken long for Mark Canton, one of the producers on Piranha 3D, to respond. His lengthy letter to James Cameron covers a lot of ground, but might best be summed up with one line in particular: “Jim, are you kidding or what?”

Apart from some opening invective, the letter is relatively politic, choosing to emphasize the fact that Piranha 3D is meant to be fun and seems to be satisfying audiences in that respect. Here’s a sampling of Mr. Canton’s comments; head to Movieline to read his full letter.

This is the rough stuff:

Mr. Cameron, who singles himself out to be a visionary of movie-making, seems to have a small vision regarding any motion pictures that are not his own. It is amazing that in the movie-making process – which is certainly a team sport – that Cameron consistently celebrates himself out as though he is a team of one. His comments are ridiculous, self-serving and insulting to those of us who are not caught up in serving his ego and his rhetoric.

But then there’s talk about teamwork, and a plea, of sorts, for Cameron to leave well enough alone:

What it comes down to, Jim, is – that like most things in life – size doesn’t really matter. Not everyone has the advantage of having endless amounts of money to play in their sandbox and to take ten years using other people’s money to make and market a film….like you do. Why can’t you just count your blessings?

The letter is all over the place, and in this case less would probably have been more. But it isn’t difficult to see where Canton is coming from. If there was something actually damaging about Piranha 3D, then seeing other filmmakers rip it would be more satisfying and useful. It’s not even like Cameron is even taking some moral high ground against the movie. He’s just kicking sand in its face.

Then again, you can’t buy publicity this entertaining, so perhaps Canton and The Weinstein Company should just run with it.

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