Worrisome flips more than flops for scripts
In the interest of scientific exploration, I offer a few random dialogue samples from the 3-D cavediveapalooza survival adventure Sanctum: “Life’s not a dress rehearsal — you gotta seize the day!” “The exit! Shit!” “Where’s my mask? Goddammit!” “I am not wearing the wetsuit of a dead person!” “You spend your lives wrapped in cotton wool! You want to play at being adventurous? Yeah, this is it!” And last but not least, the ever-popular “We’ve got to get out of here — now!”
Sanctum wasn’t directed by James Cameron — he’s merely an executive producer — but the script is pure Cameron gibberooni, the kind of language that would embarrass a ’40s comic-strip character if he found it penciled into one of his voice balloons. (Stephanie Zacharek, “Sanctum Wasn’t Directed by James Cameron, But It’s Dumb Enough to Seem So,” Movieline, 3 Feb. 2011)
For what it's worth, I really like this bit of dialogue from "Avatar":
GRACE: Alright, look -- I don't have the answers yet, I'm just now starting to even frame the questions. What we think we know -- is that there's some kind of electrochemical communication between the roots of the trees. Like the synapses between neurons. Each tree has ten-to-the -fourth connections to the trees around it, and there are ten-to-the-twelfth trees on Pandora --
SELFRIDGE: That's a lot I'm guessing.
GRACE : That's more connections than the human brain. You get it? It's a network -- a global network. And the Na'vi can access it -- they can upload and download data -- memories -- at sites like the one you destroyed.
SELFRIDGE : What the hell have you people been smoking out there? They're just. Goddamn. Trees.
The dialogue's not embarrassing. What is is Cameron being completely unaware that Selfridge here comes close to being the Ripley to Grace's Carter Burke -- if only the "network" had something else on its mind rather than jungle homeostasis.
RIPLEY: No good. How do we know it'll effect their biochemistry? I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
BURKE: Now hold on a second. I'm not authorizing that action.
RIPLEY: Why not?
BURKE: This is clearly an important species we're dealing with here. We can't just arbitrarily exterminate them --
Script excerpts from IMBD.