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'Deepsea Challenge 3D' finds director James Cameron exploring the ocean floor

In 'Deepsea,' Cameron drops seven miles through the ocean in the Deepsea Challenger vessel.

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The Deepsea Challenger submersible is the centerpiece of the Deepsea Challenge expedition.

Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

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It’s not enough that James Cameron has directed the two most commercially successful movies of all time, “Titanic” and “Avatar,” with multiple sequels for the latter in the offing. No, he must also become the first human to do a solo descent into the Mariana Trench.

As explorer-in-residence (whatever that means) for National Geographic, Cameron supervised the making of a 3-D movie about his highly dangerous, privately funded mission. Ensconced in the designed-from-scratch Deepsea Challenger vessel, Cameron, tall and lanky, fitted himself into the podlike chamber and dropped seven miles to the ocean floor. Although he didn’t encounter anything other than barrenness, he did bring back to the surface 100 new species of microorganisms. I hope National Geographic appreciates the effort. Grade: B+ (Rated PG for language and brief disaster images.)

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