"Avatar" director James Cameron had some nasty words for Glenn Beck and global warming "deniers" yesterday.
Cameron said at a news conference that he would like to shoot "those boneheads," referring to skeptics of anthropogenic global warming. "Anybody that is a global warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their a** I'm not sure they could hear me," Cameron added.
As for Beck, "he's a f****** a**hole," the 2010 Oscar nominee so eloquently put it. He backtracked a bit, but still maintained that the FNC host is "dangerous because his ideas are poisonous," echoing a statement by NPR's Cokie Roberts yesterday. "Of course he wound up on Fox News, which is where he belongs, I guess."
Two years ago, Time critic Richard Corliss wrote an article that clearly must have resonated at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Oscar telecast was sinking in the ratings, he wrote, because the nominees were largely unwatched by the masses. It used to be that the Best Picture prize went to mainstream box-office hits. "Now when the nominations come out, people try to catch up with the finalists, but it's almost like homework."
The 2010 Oscar nominations clearly signal that Hollywood is trying to return to a broader vision of the Oscars, as something more than an insular critics’ circle that likes only the self-consciously arty and obscure. That signal came most obviously with the announcement that there would be ten nominees for Best Picture. That list hadn’t seen 10 nominations since 1943, when the winner was "Casablanca."
Arty films that almost nobody has seen are still there – like "An Education." But arty blockbusters are there as well, like "Avatar" – current box office gross: $601 million -- and the animated film "Up," with $293 million. (By contrast, two years ago, the Best Picture box office leader was "Juno" – at $85 million when the nominations came out.)
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd really wants a national security system that looks really nice and has lots of fancy bells and whistles, but is, beneath the shiny exterior, quite mediocre and extremely expensive.
Dowd implied as much when she asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a New Years Eve interview, "Why is it so hard for those charged with keeping us safe to be as imaginative and innovative as filmmakers like James Cameron?"
Yes, Cameron is so imaginative that he managed to spend $400 million on what amounts to a visually dazzling remake of Disney's Pocahontas (see plot summary below the fold - h/t Big Hollywood).
It's not because he's a fan of special effects or blockbuster action flicks, but because the "timely" liberal message of the movie could "ripple" through the culture in a manner favorable to, wait for it, "enviro-theism" (emphasis mine):
MSNBC host David Shuster on Wednesday attacked conservatives who have a problem with the liberal agenda of the film Avatar, dismissing their arguments as "shameless and crazy." Shuster and New Live co-host Tamron Hall seemed bewildered by right-wing complaints about the environmentally-themed movie.
Talking with film critic Mike Taibbi, Shuster derided, "Could this be just about the political strategy of punching up? That the Weekly Standard, or whoever wants to criticize, they can get a little bit of attention for their point of view, as shameless and crazy as it may sound, by attaching themselves to a movie that's doing so well?"