best james cameron feature film

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what do you think?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Terminator (1984) 19
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 19
Aliens (1986) 18
The Abyss (1989) 8
Titanic (1997) 8
Piranha II: The Spawning (1981) 4
True Lies (1994) 3


groovemaaan, Sunday, 15 November 2009 13:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

That's all he's done? Hm. I guess T2. Titanic is certainly a more "epic" and "serious" film, but it was interminable to me.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 15 November 2009 13:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

The Terminator>T2. It's between that and Aliens.

I am flesh and blood. You are software and circuitry. (chap), Sunday, 15 November 2009 13:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

i love aliens, and he definitely made it his own -- it feels like a cameron movie -- but he gets extra points for inventing the terminator. so that.

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 15 November 2009 14:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

also, what an odd filmography he has. about to get odder, obv.

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 15 November 2009 14:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

Aliens, followed by The Terminator.

fel (latebloomer), Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

terminator 2. wouldn't change a thing.

caek, Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

no aquaman, no credibility

peed on tree (k3vin k.), Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Don't let Harlan Ellison see tipsy's comment or there'll be trouble. Trouble, I tell you.

Bears Are Alive! (Pancakes Hackman), Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

AVATAR

ice cr?m, Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

since his first film in 11 years is about to come out, mebbe shoulda waited?

Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

ellison v. cameron was a real clash of the dickheads.

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

Aliens.

Hell is other people. In an ILE film forum. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

Has anyone actually seen Piranha II?

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have. The Piranhas can fly.

I am flesh and blood. You are software and circuitry. (chap), Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

shouldve called it birds II

ice cr?m, Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Piranha II used to run on Cinemax or something like all the freaking time when I was a kid. It really sullies the memory of the first one.

Bears Are Alive! (Pancakes Hackman), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

terminator>aliens>>t2>the abyss>>titanic>>>true lies>>>>>>>>p2

jØrdån (omar little), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

True Lies is fun!

I am flesh and blood. You are software and circuitry. (chap), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

uh, I'm trying to remember what was fun about

http://llamabutchers.mu.nu/archives/jamie%20lee%20curtis%20in%20true%20lies.jpg

nearly one-third of a man (Z S), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

Good clean o_O fun. Voted Terminator anyway.

Azzingo da Bass - Dom's Night (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh wait - "This is not a movie!!"
That was kinda fun

nearly one-third of a man (Z S), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

is that one of the blue guys from avatar xxp

Alf, Lord Melmacsyn (s1ocki), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

the action shit is good, but the rest is incredibly weak

jØrdån (omar little), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

is that one of the blue guys from avatar xxp

"right from the start i knew Jamie Lee had to have tits..."

mdskltr (blueski), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

T2 lags on the Mexico detour, but the final hour is unfuckwithable.

went with Aliens, which is pretty mega.

The Devil's Avocado (Gukbe), Sunday, 15 November 2009 17:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

Was I a weird kid in that, as big a fan as I was of Aliens and the Terminator movies, I probably watched and enjoyed The Abyss twice as much as the others?

I HEART CREEPY MENS (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 15 November 2009 18:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

i read the novelization of the abyss :D :D :D

orson scott card iirc

Alf, Lord Melmacsyn (s1ocki), Sunday, 15 November 2009 18:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

maybe The Abyss is the "smartest"

mdskltr (blueski), Sunday, 15 November 2009 18:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

i haven't seen Piranha 2 tho

mdskltr (blueski), Sunday, 15 November 2009 18:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

the only knock i have against T2 is that it contains neither bill paxton or michael biehn

i voted for true lies because of the scene where arnold fires a missile with a terrorist dangling from it

NEW YORK DESERVED 9-11 (cankles), Sunday, 15 November 2009 18:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

michael biehn is an axiom of cinema imo

fel (latebloomer), Monday, 16 November 2009 01:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

for me it's: Terminator > Abyss > True Lies > T2 > Aliens

i hate unnecessary sequels.

Buck Utah (rockapads), Monday, 16 November 2009 07:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

my knock against Aliens is that when you look at it there's only like 10 actual minutes of the marines fighting against the aliens

囧 (dyao), Monday, 16 November 2009 07:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

since his first film in 11 years is about to come out, mebbe shoulda waited?

― Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Sunday, November 15, 2009 11:11 AM (Yesterday)

Somehow, I don't really think it would've made a difference.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 16 November 2009 07:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

maybe challops, but i voted The Abyss.

Mordy, Monday, 16 November 2009 08:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

The Abyss. By a large ...er...margin.

Lord Byron Bay of Pigs (SeekAltRoute), Monday, 16 November 2009 09:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

terminator 2. wouldn't change a thing.

― caek, Sunday, 15 November 2009 16:02 (Yesterday) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

George Mucus (ledge), Monday, 16 November 2009 10:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

True Lies is vile; it feels more 1984 than The Terminator.

Hell is other people. In an ILE film forum. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 16 November 2009 12:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

Voted Titanic because for at least 45 minutes, it's something like the best action-adventure movie ever. T2 is the best action-adventure movie for more like about 41 minutes or so.

cough syrup in coke cans (Eric H.), Monday, 16 November 2009 12:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

No, not for even 2 minutes is it like The Wages of Fear.

my knock against Aliens is that when you look at it there's only like 10 actual minutes of the marines fighting against the aliens

Yeah, what a shame it has characterization and story instead of being "a ride" in the permanently approved style.

Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Monday, 16 November 2009 13:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

The Wages of Fear (good, not great) is no more an action classic than Diabolique outdoes Hitchcock.

cough syrup in coke cans (Eric H.), Monday, 16 November 2009 13:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

come on morbius the only reason anybody watches aliens is to watch the marines be badasses xp

囧 (dyao), Monday, 16 November 2009 13:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

"anybody"

Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Monday, 16 November 2009 13:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

you're right tho the movie needs more scenes of ripley and newt being tender and making deep ~connections~ with each other

囧 (dyao), Monday, 16 November 2009 14:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

morbius doesn't watch movies "anybody" watches

cough syrup in coke cans (Eric H.), Monday, 16 November 2009 14:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah dyao, empty action keeps the masses mollified. Whatever works.

Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Monday, 16 November 2009 14:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

right morbius because the enjoyment of action scenes is completely predicated upon your inclusion in the third estate

囧 (dyao), Monday, 16 November 2009 14:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm gonna go watch Jeanne dielman to purge myself of my populist leanings

囧 (dyao), Monday, 16 November 2009 14:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

Jeanne Dielman has plenty of action in it if you know what i'm sayin

cough syrup in coke cans (Eric H.), Monday, 16 November 2009 14:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 19 November 2009 00:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

Piranha II no contest and this guy is horrible in general

Jack Kirby's Orangutan Surfing Civilization (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 19 November 2009 00:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

T2 but i mean i'll sit and watch any of the others if they're on tv.

Louis Cll (darraghmac), Thursday, 19 November 2009 00:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

goddamn it i should have voted for aliens over t2

I don't know if it's just the smurfiness of it or what (M@tt He1ges0n), Thursday, 19 November 2009 00:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

not too late to start a cool new sock!!!

Alf, Lord Melmacsyn (s1ocki), Thursday, 19 November 2009 01:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

anthony lane is an aliens stan iirc

max, Thursday, 19 November 2009 01:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

A question for Abyss stans: I have not seen this & am thinking maybe I should. Being a sfx-laden sci-fi joint from the late 80s, has it aged well, or is a "had to be there" kind of thing?

gerbl (Pillbox), Thursday, 19 November 2009 01:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

iirc it's pretty great until the amusement park pops up

Alf, Lord Melmacsyn (s1ocki), Thursday, 19 November 2009 01:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

Haven't seen it for donkeys years, but as I remember the non-CGI alien bits of the Abyss are better - it's a fairly tense underwater spy thriller (or something to that effect, like I say it's been ages).

I am flesh and blood. You are software and circuitry. (chap), Thursday, 19 November 2009 01:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

And I just went for Terminator over Aliens after a minute of dithering between the two with the cursor.

I am flesh and blood. You are software and circuitry. (chap), Thursday, 19 November 2009 01:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

s1ocki otm. also the abyss got me into linda ronstadt, so it has a special place in my underwater amusement park

囧 (dyao), Thursday, 19 November 2009 01:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

by god what a run. The Abyss though.

piscesx, Thursday, 19 November 2009 01:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

Goddammit, you bitch! You never backed away from anything in your life! Now fight!
is a random catch-phrase btwn my brother and i

i am torn btwn Aliens and Terminator...
okay, Terminator

paragon of incalescence (rrrobyn), Thursday, 19 November 2009 03:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

Aliens, easily. The Terminator and T2 are close, with The Abyss a distant fourth, though it has aged pretty well.

President Danny Glover (Millsner), Thursday, 19 November 2009 03:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah I voted The Abyss.

fields of salmon, Thursday, 19 November 2009 04:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

Aliens. Wanted to go with Terminator, but Aliens edges it out in almost every category: more quotable, more memorable, more suspenseful, more fun. Plus way more ambitious. Could say the same for T2, I suppose, but I don't dig the characters in that one half as much. If it weren't for the ending, the Abyss might have been in the running. And True Lies is horrible crap.

my full five minutes of iguana time (contenderizer), Thursday, 19 November 2009 04:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not my favourite, but Abyss has aged fine.

caek, Thursday, 19 November 2009 14:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

the time travel is what tips the scales in favour of Terminator, for me, tbh

paragon of incalescence (rrrobyn), Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

Piranha II no contest and this guy is horrible in general

"lolz"

<3 all these movies p much but terminator is just n/l

Lamp, Thursday, 19 November 2009 18:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 20 November 2009 00:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

lol ok then

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 00:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

Finally saw The Abyss and was really pleased with it right up until the ending, where it would have really benefited from being much vaguer, closer to Close Encounters or even more than that - our heroes could still be 'saved' but in more of a mysterious/miraculous way. (This may be vague but I'm sort of trying to avoid spoilers even though this movie is like twenty-five years old - - - my sense is a lot of people, at least my age, are like me and never got around to it? I was too young for this and then just the right age for T2 to be my first R-rated movie.) Kind of throws off the focus of the story and the intensity of our small band of humans confronting the knowable and unknowable fears in the deep. Apparently the special edition goes even more in on the goofy/top-side stuff which sounds really bad IMO.

But for all that - some fucking incredible scenes. The big near-death climax is fucking riveting even on VHS and a tiny screen. And great to see Michael Biehn in a role that sort of uses his type-casting standards and then totally plays against your expectations of that. And generally it looks great, everything is lavishly shot.. There are one or two shots that are the equivalent of the moment in Aliens when the queen waves off the drones and it just looks really awkwardly like a guy in a rubber suit shuffling politely back out of the room. But would recommend it.

I can't believe anybody voted for True Lies which is just grotesque and awful.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 28 November 2013 18:35 (three years ago) Permalink

I would vote for Terminator 2. The timey wimey stuff was thrilling and yet just shallow enough that it didn't get in the way of Ahnold being a silly robot trying to be hip to a proto-hacker kid in-between fighting against liquid metal cop from the future. Plus that one minute of future Judgement day time war w skeleton-looking robots crushing skulls under their feet is still one of the coolest visions of horrific technologic dystopia ever.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 29 November 2013 01:55 (three years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Haven't seen "The Abyss" in ages, so gave it another go. Still think it's pretty underrated, but man, the dialogue - it's so ruthlessly on the nose and clunky, at least for a long while, with every single line blatantly conveying a character beat/trait or explicitly foreshadowing. Every line is like "Now be careful here, boys, one touch of that red wire is enough the paralyze a man for life!" Or, "With this storm approaching, we better be careful, otherwise, we may be isolated, which would be a problem if one of us gets the bends, which is a condition that ..." Etc.

On the plus side, it gets going pretty efficiently, introducing everyone and the scenario in a fraction of the time it takes "Aliens" to get going, and the acting/casting is as top notch as the aforementioned as well. And once it gets going it's pretty great, until it realizes it needs an ending that also involves aliens. Would have been a great thriller simply about rescuing nukes from a sub while a SEAL goes nuts.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 July 2015 18:42 (two years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Just watched The Abyss again, had it on in the background as the latest in a string of familiar-films-to-play while working through a kind of tedious organizational project. I totally see what JiC is saying above but man is it good anyway. I totally gave up working halfway through and just rode through the string of climaxes. Ed Harris is so fucking intense in this that really any flaws are forgiven - there's SUCH a clear, strong, raw human story at the center of the effects and the environments and the nuclear-bomb plot. Maybe Cameron's only effective tear-jerker? Really underrated IMO.

the thirteenth floorior (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 31 January 2016 19:29 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah that's a great movie. not perfect but a good ride and well acted. it suffered at the time of its release from coming out in the year of deep sea alien thrillers, so it got lost inh the shuffle a bit w/deepstar six and leviathan. I think it may have even been the last of those to come out and people passed it by as a result.

nomar, Sunday, 31 January 2016 21:10 (one year ago) Permalink

and it's still unavailable on Blu Ray isn't it? wtf is that about.

piscesx, Sunday, 31 January 2016 22:03 (one year ago) Permalink

give true lies' votes to piranha 2 and these would be the best poll results on ilx: the two Ts unchoosable between, aliens asymptotically close, abyss and titanic on the same tier of "will listen to arguments for", avatar omitted

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Monday, 1 February 2016 03:08 (one year ago) Permalink

maybe it would be better if piranha 2 had 9 votes

denies the existence of dark matter (difficult listening hour), Monday, 1 February 2016 03:09 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Supposedly The Abyss (original cut) is on Netflix in HD at the moment. Baffling there's STILL no Blu Ray.

piscesx, Monday, 30 October 2017 23:22 (two weeks ago) Permalink

sometimes i consider The Terminator to be his best because it's his least sentimental major film, it's just this cold and dark and metal movie, it's basically a slasher movie with a time travel wormhole. Cameron really explores some amazing science fiction ideas in that movie, though, without it being one of those movies where the special fx were the part he wanted to show off, rather than the means to the end in a *story* he wanted to show off. Aliens fits there too, though its worst parts are the sentimental bits, fortunately occurring only in several quick moments and never at the expense of the story.

drejelire, Monday, 30 October 2017 23:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Aliens is one of the cases where the director's cut made the film worse.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 30 October 2017 23:39 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Terminator definitely his best. It’s so resourceful & thoughtfully crafted.

cosmic brain dildo (Sparkle Motion), Monday, 30 October 2017 23:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yeah the aliens director's cut really needs to be pulled from circulation or treated as a weird curiosity in the dvd. like the close encounters and star wars special editions it's pretty obvious the film is being made draggier and less focused whatever else the problems are.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 30 October 2017 23:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

hey i like the aliens director’s cut!

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 00:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i mean the original cut is perfect but idk i don’t mind the occasional sentimentality of that movie at all

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 00:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i’d argue that the t2 director’s cut is mostly unnecessary but there’s that wonderful scene where sarah almost smashed the terminator’s chip that really should’ve been in the original cut

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 00:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the problems imho with the aliens director's cut aren't to do with sentimentality but with pacing and the unfolding of the story - the auto-guns scene is neat but comes at a time when it breaks the ramping-up of to the barrage of climaxes, and all the added stuff in the first act bogs things down similarly, plus seeing that the company sent the colonists out there robs the film of any "have they reformed? is this on the level?" tension. which obv is less of an issue when you've seen it ten times but to me they are classic cases of the right decision having been made back in the editing bay when the filmmaker was in the zone and making the tough choice to cut out good scenes that were tough and expensive to shoot because they aren't helping the film work.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 01:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

this is all true! i still like it, mostly bc i have the beats of the original all memorized

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 01:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Terminator definitely his best. It’s so resourceful & thoughtfully crafted.


terminator is a genuine masterpiece, i could watch it forever

proton, neutron, electron and crouton (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Co-sign. Been a few years, but that grim air of impending doom hanging over everything really struck me last viewing. To say nothing of its other many virtues.

circa1916, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:05 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Did we say abyss theatrical or extended?

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Monday, 6 November 2017 14:54 (one week ago) Permalink

theatrical i think? iirc the deleted stuff there makes the on-the-surface plotline make slightly more sense but it's not needed, and the more we see/know about the ending the weaker it is... same logic as close encounters. i believe there are some great effects shots in there, but it's also possible these have dated way worse than his usual fare.

cameron makes long, but efficient films... adding stuff back in tends to make them less efficient and strain one's patience for a popcorn movie.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 6 November 2017 15:07 (one week ago) Permalink

Thks

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Monday, 6 November 2017 15:13 (one week ago) Permalink

the abyss is like 2/3 of a really good movie but tbh the making-of documentary is at least as good as the film itself - what an insane production

What's the range of an Iranian frogman dipshit? (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 6 November 2017 16:32 (one week ago) Permalink

The Terminator is amazing, fire everything else

flappy bird, Monday, 6 November 2017 17:32 (one week ago) Permalink

i think Michael Biehn as an action hero is supremely underrated, his back-to-back roles in Terminator and Aliens are two sides of the same coin and really interestingly vulnerable at the time they were released, in how these are a pair of strong, wary, brave, smart men who at various points defer to and depend on the female hero.

omar little, Monday, 6 November 2017 18:44 (one week ago) Permalink

yeah, it’s a real shame biehn didn’t go on to a more high-profile career, partic since everyman action heroes were about to be a big thing after die hard

What's the range of an Iranian frogman dipshit? (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 6 November 2017 18:53 (one week ago) Permalink

i think even the everyman action heroes of the post-die hard era were pretty cocky dudes, Biehn i think was too believably low-key and measured compared to Bruce Willis and some other actors. i like this bit of Alien 3 trivia:

Walter Hill and David Giler penned the final script, which had Hicks killed off in the opening scene. Biehn, upon learning of his character's demise, demanded and received almost as much money for the use of his likeness in one scene as he had been paid for his role in Aliens.

damn right, get that money

omar little, Monday, 6 November 2017 19:06 (one week ago) Permalink

God what a great collection of patchwork claptrap

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Friday, 10 November 2017 23:24 (one week ago) Permalink


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