By John Young
Updated August 31, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Image Credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images; Ryan Miller/Getty ImagesLesson one in how to handle criticism: If someone insults your film in 89 words, don’t spend 1,374 words fighting back. Especially if the movie in question is Piranha 3D, and especially if you’re fighting against James Cameron. Last week, Cameron told Vanity Fair that Piranha 3D was “an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D.” He continued: “It just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip.”

Piranha 3D producer Mark Canton responded Tuesday in an e-mail sent to reporters that not only circumvented Cameron’s initial point, but also engaged in much of the same behavior that Canton accused Cameron of. For instance, if you’re going to slam Cameron for name-dropping some notable directors, you shouldn’t mention that you watched Piranha 3D with J.J. Abrams, who “had nothing short of the fabulous, fun 3-D experience that the movie provides.” I agree that it was inconsiderate of Cameron to single out Piranha 3D. Cameron could have easily made his argument without condemning a specific movie. But if Canton thinks Cameron “should be taking the high road,” the producer shouldn’t declare that he found “the 3-D in Avatar to be inconsistent,” and that he had wished “Avatar had been more original in its storytelling.” Mr. Canton, hidden not that deep within your dissertation was the only response you needed to make. And it would have taken all of 11 words: “My sense is that Mr. Cameron has never seen Piranha 3D.

Canton’s unedited response, in its entirety, starts after the jump:

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