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By: Jeff Ford
By: Jeff Ford

Titanic 3D and American Reunion

Normally at this time, I would be contemplating on what I believe would be the best and the worst of March. Unfortunately, I must apologize. Due to numerous outside influences, I was unable to see quite a few of the March releases. I have in mind the films that I would have picked to be best and worst and am pretty sure that my choices would not be topped (or bottomed in the case of Project X), but I feel it would be disingenuous to levy my accolades if not being able to see a wider sampling of films. Instead, I will point you towards www.facebook.com/NowPlayingUK to get my quickie takes on the films I did happen to see.

Since last month drew to a close, it is time to look forward to the future. Namely, the two films entering into the marketplace to try and earn your hard earned dollar. One of two also happens to be the former reigning box office champ, being rereleased with a 3D upgrade. I am of course talking about…

TITANIC
It’s a story of class warfare set against the backdrop of love and tragedy. Jack Dawson is a street urchin who wins his way aboard the towering Titanic, a luxury liner which is an affront of mass decadence. There he runs across Rose DeWitt Bukater, a socialite who is being forced to marry in order to retain her mother’s current social status. Their brief and tragic romance shatters her world, as the “Ship of Dreams” heads closer towards deadly waters.

Reigning box-office supreme until his follow-up, Avatar, James Cameron’s (Piranha II) ode to the ill-fated ship is a technical triumph, saddled with a pedestrian script. The star of the film is easily the ocean liner which has been recreated with loving detail down to the minute detail. Not a shot goes by where the audience is not in awe of the magnificent ship, overshadowing the performances in the foreground. This is actually to the movies’ benefit. James Cameron is too involved with the small details that he overlooks the overarching story. The script is written as, I would describe, bad young adult romance fiction. There is an overreliance on stating the characters names which I think helps Mr. Cameron know who is who. The bad writing, in addition to the lackluster performances by the leads, would normally crash a production.

Somehow this film overcomes its egregious obstacles, and achieves a status which I am not afraid to admit, it deserves. While I cringe at the dialogue and the bland acting from celebrated actors, I can’t help but be moved by the second half of the picture. The sinking of the Titanic ranks as one of the best sequences in all of cinema. Unlike the similar Pearl Harbor, where the attack was the “cool looking” backdrop to a badly conceived love story, everything that the people and the ship go through is shot in complete reverence to the actual event. It’s hard not to get emotional as the ship sinks while the camera lingers on the lower class citizens locked down in the bowels of the ship, knowing this is a good approximation to what actually transpired. Thousands of people lost their lives because of an attempt to show off the liner and that it truly is heartbreaking.

The second half of the movie is the main reason I am looking forward to its rerelease. Titanic is a spectacle that really needs to be seen on a large screen. The 3D is hopefully an added bonus. If there is one man I would trust with a post-conversion 3D update to an older film, it would be James Cameron. Don’t know when I would get a chance to see it this time, but I will be in theaters to watch. I’m granting this 4 Heart of the Oceans out of 5. Titanic is rated PG-13 for disaster related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality and brief language.

AMERICAN REUNION
The gang from American Pie is back as their high school reunion draws near. Hilarity ensues.

That briefest of plot synopsis is all that needs to be said. The fourth in the American Pie franchise (I refuse to acknowledge the direct to DVD dreck Universal threw at us) will no doubt be another in the long line of immoral behavior films that are meant to rattle our funny bones. Yes, there is an underlying story of a new group of students transgressing the same journey as the original cast did back in 1999, but it has not been the focus of the marketing campaign. It’s trying to lure us in with the promise of the old cast back together so we will overlook the fact they are trying to reboot the franchise. To be honest, if it’s as funny as the original, I will be happy to be dragged into the producer’s nefarious schemes. Just deliver the goods, that is all I’m asking. I’ll give this 3 disgustingly wrong uses of apple pies out of 5. American Reunion is rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, language, brief drug use and teen drinking.

That’s all for this week. Tune in next time when we venture to a cabin with three idiots. Until next time, please refrain from singing that blasted Titanic song. If you do, your heart may not go on (not really. I just can’t stand that song).
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