A Look at James Cameron’s Career as a Director Through Movie Trailers


I did this once with Tim Burton, so why not again with the guy who’s just dominating right now, James Cameron?

Cameron’s career is notable for two main reasons.  The first is that he simply makes enormous films on a scale much grander than most directors would ever dare to achieve; Cameron’s movies contain fully-realized worlds and alien species.  The second reason is that Cameron continuously pushes the boundaries of technology in an effort to show audiences images they’ve never seen before.

As with Avatar, it’s tough to really appreciate a Cameron movie through the trailer alone, but it still usually gives you a pretty good idea of how ambitious the movie will be.  Take a look at the trailers to all of James Cameron’s films after the jump.

Piranha Part Two” The Spawning (1981)


I couldn’t find an English version of the trailer,but believe me, you aren’t missing much.  Good lord does this look atrocious.  It’s always amusing to think that this was Cameron’s first film.

The Terminator (1984)

They really do show a bit much of the movie in the trailer, especially the images of the Terminator without its skin.  I remember the first time I saw this movie and was really pretty awed at the metal skeleton that lurked underneath.

Aliens (1986)


It’s tough not to get pumped with James Horner’s score.  My question is: if you saw this trailer in the theater in 1985 or 1986, would you know it was a sequel to Alien?  I’m not so sure.

The Abyss (1989)


This trailer isn’t subtle at all when dealing with how much effort went into making this movie.  For the first time, we see a focus on Cameron’s technical ambitions, but the trailer makes the movie itself seem pretty awesome, too.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)


Maybe the most pumped I’ve been for a movie, ever.  How great was it getting a glimpse of the T-1000 for the first time?

True Lies (1994)

There was absolutely no doubt that there would be over-the-top action throughout this one.

Titanic (1997)


After watching the first half of this trailer, I bet a lot of guys didn’t want to watch a movie about love on the Titanic.  The second half probably did a good job of sucking them back in, though, as the Titanic sinking looked incredible.  I don’t think Titanic is the greatest movie in the world or anything like that, but I do like it quite a bit.

Avatar (2009)


If you’ve seen this movie in IMAX 3-D, then you know that watching this trailer on your computer screen is like listening to Mozart on a kazoo.

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  1. It is fun to look back and see Piranha Part Two on James Cameron’s resume.

    @ like a boss,

    I agree. True Lies is easily one of my favorite movies. And I had no clue it was James Cameron.

  2. i watched Terminator 1 and 2 for first time this past year and I remember when I heard James Cameron directed it I was like “Isn’t that the guy who directed Titanic?” My mind was blown at how different the movies were, he is very versatile while being ambitious and it works really well for him.

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  4. Terminator is a remake, True Lies is a remake, Avatar is a remake of several movies. Get the picture he is a good director don’t get me wrong but he is not as great as some people think.

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