New releases this weekend include a 'flat' Titanic 3D and a 'sweet' American Reunion
The remade Titanic, in 3D, will hit movie theaters this weekend, as well the latest installment in the American Pie franchise, American Reunion. Plus, October Baby, a controversial, socially conservative film is gaining wider release.
The Hunger Games will make a run at topping the box office for three consecutive weeks, while one film that had its own run at box office dominance attempts a comeback.
Titanic 3D, a 3D remake of the 1990s smash hit, hits theaters this weekend, as does a very controversial film, October Baby. Baby, a small film, is a socially conservative, religious film that's already started making a surprisingly large amount of money.
The Titanic story has been told countless different ways in countless documentaries and movies. This time, though, is the first time the story has been shown in 3D.
Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, says the 3D doesn't do a whole heck of a lot for the film.
"I think there are some themes where the 3D actually flattens out the spectacle," he said. "It makes the sets look a little flat, a little cardboardish. Let's be honest, Titanic, I think, was first and foremost a love story. To me, those are the most affecting moments in the film. A love story is not going to be heightened, necessarily, by 3D."
Kristen Meinzer, culture producer at The Takeaway, pointed out, though, that there's a lot of buzz and excitement among fans who are eager to see the film.
American Pie's latest film, American Reunion, also hits theaters this weekend. It's the fourth film featuring the core cast and looks at what the friends lives are like as they approach the 10th anniversary of their high school graduation.
"The saving grace of the Ameican Pie movies, to me, was always that they had a kind of sweetness in them" Guzman said. "There's a certain heart to them. Despite it all, this one still has that. And it works on a nice level to see all these actors — who have largely vanished, you don't really see them in other movies — to see them come together and see them play off each other again."
Meinzer, though, panned the film. She said while there was a cuteness to the original films, in this one the movie's heroes come across as "pathetic and desperate."
Guzman said October Baby is the sort of movie, a faith-based movie, that comes along every few years and commands headlines for its subject matter. In this case, the movie is about abortion.
The movie has made $2.8 million, tiny by Hollywood standards but vastly more than it cost to produce and huge for the independent filmmakers who produced the movie.
"You see a movie like this that comes along and gets a little bit of traction, but these movies never quite breakout into a wide, mainstream audience. For that, you need a mainstream movie that happens to score with that (faith-based) audience," Guzman said. "Like Secretariat or The Blindside."
"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH Radio Boston.