“PIRANHA 3-D” PRODUCER MAKES JAMES CAMERON HIS BITCH

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Piranha 3-D producer, Mark Canton wasn’t thrilled with James Cameron’s negative comments about his movie (see article below for reference) and has responded with not just a reaction, but an open letter to the Avatar filmmaker.

See full comments below with typos from the producer (clearly he was bent):

As a producer in the entertainment industry, Jim Cameron‘s comments on VanityFair.com are very disappointing to me and the team that made Piranha 3D.  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.

Jim, are you kidding or what? First of all, let’s start by you accepting the fact that you were the original director of PIRANHA 2 and you were fired.  Shame on you for thinking that genre movies and the real maestros like Roger Corman and his collaborators are any less auteur or impactful in the history of cinema than you. Martin Scorcese made Boxcar Bertha at the beginning of his career.  And Francis Ford Coppola made Dimentia 13 back in 1963.  And those are just a few examples of the talented and successful filmmakers whose roots are in genre films. Who are you to impugn any genre film or its creators?

Having been deeply involved, as either an executive or as a producer, on Tim Burton’s original BATMAN and the first MEN IN BLACK, as well as 300, and now IMMORTALS, one of the things that has been consistent about all of the filmmakers involved in these landscape-changing global films is that, in each and every case, all of the directors were humbled by their predecessors, their colleagues and by their awareness of the great history of film that came before them.

The enjoyment and the immersion of an audience in a movie theatre, as they had and will have with the above-mentioned films, and as audiences are experiencing with PIRANHA 3D now, comes from the originality and the vision of the filmmaker, and not just from the creation of the technology.  You as much as anyone certainly knows that there are many pieces to the puzzle. Going to the movies still remains, arguably, amongst the best communal experiences that human beings can share.

My sense is that Mr. Cameron has never seen PIRANHA 3D…certainly not in a movie theatre with a real audience.  Jim, we invite you to take that opportunity and experience the movie in a theatre full of fans – fans for whom this movie was always intended to entertain.

Does Mr. Cameron have no idea of the painstaking efforts made by the talented young filmmaker Alex Aja and his team of collaborators?  Clearly, and this one is a good bet, he has no clue as to how great and how much of a fun-filled experience the audiences who have seen the film in 3D have enjoyed.  Those of us who have tried to stay in touch with the common movie audiences – the ones who really matter, the ones who actually still go to the theatre, put on the glasses, and eat the popcorn – take joy and pride in the fact that movies of all kinds, including PIRANHA 3D, have a place in filmmaking history – past, present and future.

3D unto itself is not a genre Jim, it is a tool that gives audiences an enhanced experience as they experience all kinds of movies.  I believe Mr. Cameron did not see PIRANHA 3D either with any real audience or not at all. On opening weekend, I was in a Los Angeles theatre with a number of today’s great film makers including JJ Abrams, who actually had nothing short of the fabulous, fun 3D experience that the movie provides.

I am fortunate enough to have worked on, and continue to work on, evolutionary movies in all formats from just simple good story telling, which still matters most of all, to CG movies to tent-pole size 3D movies, and genre 3D movies like PIRANHA 3D.

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 10 years using other people’s money to make and market a film….like you do. Why can’t you just count your blessings?  Why do you have to drop Marty Scorsese’s or Tim Burton’s names, both gentlemen who I have personally worked with, and who have enjoyed great joy and success with movies of all genres and sizes well before the advent of modern 3D?  Then as now, they were like kids in a candy store recognizing, far beyond your imagination, the possibilities of storytelling and originality.

For the record, before you just totally dismiss PIRANHA 3D and all, in your opinion, worthless genre movies that actually undoubtedly gave you the ability to start your career, you should know that PIRANHA 3D had an 82% “fresh” (positive) rating on Rotten Tomatoes on opening day – a web site that all the studios, filmmakers and the public use as a barometer of what makes a quality film.

We know that PIRANHA 3D has not achieved a boxoffice that is on the level of many of Mr. Cameron‘s successes.  To date, PIRANHA 3D has earned over $30 million around the globe with #1 openings in several countries.  And, as the “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes indicates, critics and many, many others have embraced and celebrated PIRANHA 3D for the fun and entertaining – and even smart – movie-going experience that it is.

Let’s just keep this in mind Jim….you did not invent 3D. You were fortunate that others inspired you to take it further. The simple truth is that I had nothing but good things to say about AVATAR and my own experience since I actually saw it and didn’t damn someone else’s talent publicly in order to disassociate myself from my origins in the business from which we are all very fortunate. To be honest, I found the 3D in AVATAR to be inconsistent and while ground breaking in many respects, sometimes I thought it overwhelmed the storytelling.  Technology aside, I wish AVATAR had been more original in its storytelling.

We have to inspire, teach and mentor this next generation of filmmakers. It is garbage to suggest that any film or any filmmaker who cannot afford to work to your standards should be dissuaded from following his or her craft by not making 3D movies or not making movies like DISTRICT 9, for example, which probably cost the amount of AVATAR’s craft services budget, but totally rocked it in the movie theatre and in the marketplace. In that case, it was not a 3D movie.  But had it been, it certainly would not have been any less original or impactful.

The enormous worldwide success of AVATAR has been good in all respects for you, your financiers, your distributors and the industry, as well as for the movie going public. Jim, there is a difference between Maestro which is a word that garners respect, and Dictator or Critic which are words better left for others who are not in our mutual boat or on our team. You are one of the best, it is reasonable to think that you should dig deeper and behave like it.  Young directors should be inspired by you, not publicly castigated by your mean-spirited and flawed analysis.

While we are all awed by your talents and your box office successes – and I compliment you on all of them – why don’t you rethink how you address films with which you are not involved?  You should be taking the high road that is being traveled by so many of your peers, and pulling with them to ensure that we, as an industry, will have a continuum of talented filmmakers that will deliver a myriad of motion pictures both big and small, with 3D or any other technologies yet to come that will entertain audiences throughout the world. That is the challenge that we face. That is the future that we should deliver.

Please go see PIRANHA 3D in a theatre near you.

HEY JAMES CAMERON “TURNIP THIS”

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When James Cameron took potshots at the horror flick Piranha 3-D in a recent Vanity Fair article, it left us scratching our heads. Why pick on a pic that clearly delivers what’s expected of it?

Cameron was quoted with saying 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, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip.”

Aren’t films subjective? It must be nice to be the self-appointed judge of art. We happen to love horror films at HollywoodOutbreak.com and just because Piranha 3-D insults Cameron’s personal vision doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place in the industry. After all, the Saw and Final Destination installments have built a franchise off of dismembering limbs.

Besides, there were many who thought the story in Titanic was a sappy with ridiculous dialogue and that Avatar would be uneventful were it not for the technology.

We are, of course, in no way comparing slasher films to either of those box office behemoths, but we do take exception to the snobbery of Cameron’s comments.

Gimmicky films are nothing new in Hollywood. Remember The Tingler (buzzers under the seats), Thirteen Ghosts (ghost only visable through 3D glasses) and Earthquake (in Sensaround no less, where the theater vibrated)? Those films are still thought of fondly as cult classics.

Perhaps Cameron has a Piranha axe to grind. He’s credited with co-writing the screenplay and directing Piranha II: The Spawning, but was supposedly dumped for un-credited director and co-writer Ovidio G. Assonitis.

Let it go, Jim.

And when Piranha 3-D comes out on DVD, we’ll be there to pick up our copy – and we hope the studio includes plenty of extras – especially those 3D glasses.

JERRY LEWIS KICKS OFF ANOTHER MDA LABOR DAY TELETHON

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It’s that time of year again – Labor Day – and that means Jerry Lewis is hosting his annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon for the 44th time. The legendary performer, who is the MDA National Chairman, is headlining the event with a host of celebrities expected to join in on the fundraiser. And a few names were recently added to the roster.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Grascals and The Roys are set to perform, joining previously announced names including David Archuleta, Enrique Iglesias, WAR, John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting, OneRepublic, Barry Manilow and there are so many more activities planned.

Special guest hosts Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, Richard Belzer from Law & Order: SVU,Ace Young, General Hospital’s Brandon Barash and actor/comedian John Pinette will bring their talents to the Telethon stage to help introduce some 65 performers, plus notable families served by MDA.

The Telethon will also feature cast members from the TV hits GLEE and The Doctors, Ray RomanoPatrick DuffyKen HowardLou Ferrigno and Olympic Gold medalists Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci.

For laughs Las Vegas headliners Carrot Top, Terry Fator and George Wallace are returning along with comedic legends Norm Crosby and Charlie Callas.

So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Tyce Diorio is creating the opening number and throughout the Telethon numbers from Broadway’s Memphis, Rock of Ages and Million Dollar Quartet along with Las Vegas favs Viva Elvis by Cirque du Soleil, Paris by Night and Vegas! The Show.

Lewis will be assisted by additional co-hosts Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser and Days of our Lives), Former Access Hollywood host Nancy O’Dell, and former ET correspondent Jann Carl.

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research.  The Association, which is the first nonprofit to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association (“for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity”), also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.

The 2010 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon starts, Sunday, Sept. 5th at 9 p.m. EDT.  Originating live from the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, the show concludes Labor Day, Sept. 6th at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

PIERS MORGAN SAYS AMERICA NEEDS MORE THAN “TALENT”

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America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan believes it takes more than talent to win peoples’ hearts and minds, as a little moxie and a spoonful of charm are a definitely plus.  Morgan also admits that some of the “talented” people who’ve auditioned for him actually come off as annoying, and one should not discount a person’s likability factor.  A new episode of America’s Got Talent airs tonight on NBC at 9 pm et/pt, and click on the media bar to hear Piers Morgan give his take on what “talent” is really all about.

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JONAS BROTHERS GET WAY MORE “SAVVY”

Pictured: Andrew Bowen Stern, Kevin Jonas, Gabrielle LeMaire, Shaylen Carroll, Joe Jonas, Drew Reinartz, Mariah Parks, Nick Jonas and Alan Shaw.

Pictured: Andrew Bowen Stern, Kevin Jonas, Gabrielle LeMaire, Shaylen Carroll, Joe Jonas, Drew Reinartz, Mariah Parks, Nick Jonas and Alan Shaw.

The Jonas Brothers’ company The Jonas Group already had a strategic partnership with teen music group, Savvy. Savvy are stars of the TV series The Wannabes Starring Savvy. The Jonas Group began guiding the careers of Savvy members Shaylen Carroll, Gabrielle LeMaire, Mariah Parks, Drew Reinartz, Alan Shaw and Andrew Bowen Stern and they have been doing well.

Over the weekend the two groups performed alongside each other for the Arthur Ashe Kids Day 2010.

Savvy has been together since 2004 and have already performed over 400 live concerts in the U.S.

The Jonas Brothers continue their quest for world domination as music moguls. Goodness certainly has its rewards.