Yes he can be (I'm sorry, he is) an egomaniac blowhard shouting "King of the World!" at the Oscars when L.A. CONFIDENTIAL should've fucking won. (Seriously.) But unfortunately, he is the King and to be fair, once upon a time ago he was IMO a damn good scriptwriter who matched his words with kinetic action and great characters and setpieces, before his scripts since TRUE LIES (imo) became arguably the cheapest, poorly developed aspects of his otherwise now incredibly well-developed spectacles. If a movie had to break his ego, it would've been TITANIC which should've failed all things considered but instead it...well, became TITANIC. The same goes for AVATAR, shit I remember the initial negative backlash by the Internet when the trailer premiered. Instead, it became...AVATAR. How the fuck does he do it? Which demon did he sell his children to? All-time Box-Office champion #1 and #2, and God knows I won't rule out that son of a bitch making another #1 hit before his soul departs for Skynet, and if he does he'll let you know for sure how dumb you are to doubt his greatness.
But you know when I recently rewatched TITANIC, I still think the love story is so fucking eyerolling nonsensical at times (yes abandon your luxury to live happily in poverty, hopping around trains!) yet I do forget that DiCaprio and Winslet more or less made great outstanding work from otherwise shitty parts, and yes what a great technical big movie making triumph. For a guy who blew the budget, at least it looked it. Very impressive.
But when I hear "James Cameron," I think most of his less successful days (as technically accurate if fucking wrong to say) of course back in the 1980s and early 90s. I mean THE TERMINATOR is awesome, still a riveting, exciting action/slasher thriller that is sublime, sophisticated low budget exploitation fare at it's finest. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a star, but that movie made him an icon as one of the great baddies. And gave him a catchphrase. In retrospect, I'm willing to argue he should've been Oscar nominated. ALIENS, well as great as ALIEN is, Cameron produced a sequel nearly as great if changing plots more suited to Cameron's talents, which is a roller coaster ride. I really also adore THE ABYSS, and apparently I'm one of the few people who prefer his Special Edition version, which revealed that this was his CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL sort of large scale humanistic parable that's a background for a love story that as love stories go, beats the pants out of TITANIC in my opinion. And of course TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, ah yes my youth. Cameron follows the rules of pro wrestling: When you have a villain so popular, turn him face and with then unbelievable mind-blowing CGI (still IMO among the best in movie history), I count that movie experience as among my favorite of my childhood. Even that young, I noticed the audience tearing up when this badass robot kills himself. That's good moviemaking. I wished that Cameron the storytelling would return.
I guess if I have to vote, Let me think about it. I'll be back.