Canadian filmmaker James Cameron is not only an Academy Award-winning director, he’s also responsible for the two highest grossing films of all time – Avatar and Titanic.
And he’s now the producer and host of James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction on AMC. Offering incredibly insightful one-to-one interviews with some of the biggest players in the sci-fi genre – including Steven Spielberg and George Lucas – it’s an absolute must-watch.
But before we do, let’s remind ourselves of these seven James Cameron classics…
This phenomenally successful action fantasy film is set in the 22nd century. Humans are colonising a paradise-like planet Pandora to mine the valuable unobtanium. When paraplegic marine Jake is sent to Pandora on a unique mission, he soon encounters the endangered Na’vi tribe. Soon torn between his world and theirs – which side will he choose?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 1997 the chances are you’ve seen Titanic at least once. This istant classic brings the Titanic seafaring tragedy to life, and adds an unforgettably romantic storyline from its central characters – Jack and Rose. And there’s the extravagant sets and the haunting genuine footage of what remains of Titanic’s shipwreck.
It’s the movie that put Arnie, or Arnold Schwarzenegger as he’s formally known, on the map, and lead the way for his movie stardom and eventual Governor of California role. And it just so happens to be an absolutely brilliant movie. Arnold stars as a cyborg assassin disguised in human form, as a ‘Terminator’ who travels back in time to 1984 to assassinate Sarah Connor – whose unborn son will rise to threaten a future enemy – Skynet.
Rarely is a sequel as good as the original, but James Cameron’s Aliens is one of the lucky and few. The sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien, Aliens is equally as terrifying. After 57 years of floating in space Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is rescued by a team of Marines, only to soon discover that the planet where she first met the alien – is now colonised by the sinister species.
In another space epic, George Clooney stars as psychologist Dr. Chris Kelvin, who is sent to explore strange behaviour taking place by astronauts on a space station orbiting the planet Solaris. But once onboard, he begins to feel the bizarre effects himself. Haunting and intriguing, Solaris offers an unusually solemn and meditative work from Cameron.
Almost a decade after The Terminator turned Schwarzenegger into an A-list celebrity, he returned for another hit for both him and Cameron – True Lies. In this surprisingly funny action thriller, Schwarzenegger stars as secret spy Harry with on-screen wife Jamie Lee Curtis as Helen – who is contemplating with a car salesman posing as a spy. The two find themselves kidnapped by an Islamist jihadist – and Harry must save both their lives and their marriage.
Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio star in 1989 film The Abyss, written and directed by Cameron. The two play professional diving team who when sent on a mission to recover lost nuclear submarines. As they begin their investigation, it becomes increasingly clear that something other than mankind has been at play. And indeed, they sound find themselves encountering a horrifying alien aquatic species. Critically acclaimed for its suspense and emotional engulfment, The Abyss has stood the test of the time as a fantastic sci-fi movie.
James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction continuers on AMC, BT Channel, 332/381 HD, Tuesdays at 9pm.
Image credits: PA Images/REX/Shutterstock