Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)

MV5BMTU3NjczMzU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjQ5ODU3._V1_SY298_SX485_As if “Titanic” wasn’t worse enough, now we have to go back and re-visit it for what reason? Tell me, Mr. Cameron. He never explains to us why he’s documenting a voyage to the bottom of the sea to look at the Titanic yet again. My theory is that he’s still riding on the success from it so he milked this cow one last time, but what’s the point of this mission? Is someone going to study this and say “Yes, the titanic sure did sink after all, and even better People actually did die!” Well, thanks for reminding me, I wasn’t sure if the the titanic sinking was actually an event that happened in history or if it was fictional like the NASA launch.

Well, I’m glad Mr. Cameron was able to go down and prove it to us. “Look, plates! Oh my god, mirrors!” Seriously, I’m not misanthropic when it applies to aquatic discovery, I love underwater documentaries and I’m anxiously awaiting a chance to see “Aliens of the Deep” but what’s really the point of watching these people go down on another Titanic expedition that has been covered for the last sixty years? I’ve managed to become slightly infamous for despising Cameron’s film “Titanic” which is possibly one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen it twice), so you can imagine my confusion and annoyance when Cameron created this documentary assembling a team and going down in to the water to look at the ship yet again.

For what it’s worth, “Ghosts” is beautiful to look at. From the pods, and oceanic scenery, to the murky depths of the sea, and utterly macabre inner workings of the wreckage of the Titanic (the boat, not the movie–*rimshot*) which often looks like a gigantic skeleton and tomb. The Titanic’s structure which is now a part of the ocean life has become home to many oddities of aquatic life and it was often fascinating to see what they’d discovered as they delved deeper and deeper. It’s just nothing we haven’t seen before and Cameron is not above using stock footage from his film that applies to a certain section of his ship.

Many will say it’s to connect to the audience, for me it was just him declaring “Remember?! I directed “Titanic”!” Alright, Mr. Cameron, we get it. “Ghosts” is self-congratulatory in every sense of the word, from Cameron’s attempts to hog the camera, to the constant 3D graphics, the film stock footage, unbearable commentary, right down to the narration by Bill “Duh” Paxton. Why Cameron chose Bill Paxton to be a primary narrator for this documentary I will probably never know. Of all the people from Ian Holm, John Hurt, Lance Henriksen, Jamie Lee Curtis, even Michael Biehn (!), why he’d choose Paxton to narrate is beyond me.

Bill Paxton is very annoying here, he always spouts insightful commentary like “This is amazing”, and “I can’t believe we’re here” over and over. Watch him muse on how a fish is like a tour guide, watch his natural comedic improvisation with the crew with facial expressions and stupid skits, and watch as he connects the underwater experience with his own world “This is like I’m on a movie set, and there’s no trailer”. Cut off his oxygen, for Christ sake. If you’re going to attempt comedy, at least throw in a “Game Over” every now and then. Why Cameron would choose Paxton out of all the people he knows is shocking, because all Paxton ever does is sit around giving these ridiculous comments, and no one seems to be amused but him.

Even with staged sequences, and composed artificial drama, “Ghosts” is never interesting enough because it’s only been made for Cameron’s hubris and his unwillingness to move on from “Titanic”. Though, I was fascinated with “Ghosts” I couldn’t help but imagine that after its release, it’d be played on a constant loop somewhere in Disney world. Though the cinematography is gorgeous, I couldn’t stop asking why. What’s the point of this documentary? What are you telling us what we haven’t already learned? Why should we invest time in an overdone topic? Why remind us you directed one of the worst movies ever made? And why is Bill Paxton such a dumb ass?