'Sanctum' Op-Ed: 3D, Weaves and Waterfalls

Published February 7, 2011

James Cameron successfully captured the attention and imagination of millions with the mega-blockbuster hit "Avatar." Audiences sat in awe of the big, blue, tree-hugging “barbarians.” The Na'vi creatures taught us all invaluable life lessons laced with incomprehensible gibberish.

I knew Cameron was ready to wow us again while serving as executive producer of “Sanctum,” a 3D film based on real-life events. (Sidenote:  James is going a little 3D-crazy, don’t you think? Two dimensions clearly will no longer cut it for him. I have a feeling he will soon tire of the mere third dimension—he won’t be pacified until the actors are sitting in our laps! )

Nonetheless, ”Sanctum” is rich on courageous characters who proudly call themselves “rappel rats” due to their collective love of climbing, scaling and diving off any treacherous cave, mountain or bottomless, water-filled abyss Mother Nature mockingly puts in their paths. Right then I started paying close attention to all of the brown people inhabiting the village that offered these thrill-seekers solace. Now, we all know that in most movies people of color are always the first to know what’s really going on and the first to go! The likelihood of someone named Leroy making it to the closing credits are slim, so I knew the helpful native “Luko” was surely in for a ride. A ride where self-preservation takes a turn for the worse as cave-diving divas drown out each other’s claustrophobic cries and enormous egos echo off the cavern walls.
 
“Sanctum” is a cinematic fusion of “Titanic,” “127 Hours,” and a hint of “Terms of Endearment." What better place to mend a broken relationship with an absentee father than the moment the two of you are staring death in the face, trapped in a lethal Labyrinth of underground chambers hundreds of miles below the surface of New Guinea? Tragedy strikes one of the explorers in the form of extremely tangled tresses. Theatergoers will walk away with a debate as to whether or not her outcome would have been different had she been rocking a weave. A tightly sewn in track has been known to stop bullets! But I digress...

Commentary outside of the theater proved to be interesting. Talk even turned to an old TLC classic. We all agreed that the folks onscreen should not have gone “chasing waterfalls." T-Boz tried to tell them!

"Sanctum" is in theaters today.

J’Nara Corbin is a New York City-based actress and model.  To read more of J’Nara’s work click here for her commentary on "For Colored Girls."

Written by J'Nara Corbin

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