This weekend’s roundup title predicts…James Cameron will copy Apple! Imagine the supernatural uber-success born from that collaboration. It could summon the Wrath Of The Titans (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“For those with a burning curiosity to know how The Lord of the Rings as directed by Michael Bay might look, Wrath of the Titans provides an idea.” James Berardinelli ReelViews

Tough job for Bay. He’s made more bombs than appear in Middle Earth.

“The actors, the director, and the crew dash through their motions like they’re late for a doctor’s appointment.” Kelly Vance East Bay Express

Audiences should follow the film’s example and watch with a similar level of investment, like on an airplane (without headphones) or folding laundry (while drunk).

“One supposes the director’s principal task was reminding the actors to keep a straight face.” Philip French Observer [UK]

Close one

“This feeble followup to 2010’s godawful Clash of the Titans sucketh the mighty big one.” Peter Travers Rolling Stone

The franchise has screweth the mighty pooch. Time for a good hard look in the Mirror Mirror (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“The film sleepwalks along confidently enough in its numb, semi-unfunny, semi-unserious way. But the tale’s passion and subversion have been removed.” Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK]

Wait. Snow White is a tale with passion and subversion? That can’t be the Disney version.

“This rambling version of Snow White’s tale is a pretty, spun-sugar confection, airy as a plate of Easter egg-coloured macarons and similarly devoid of substance.” Linda Barnard Toronto Star

Happy sugar confection day!

“Poised between revisionist fairy tale and smirking sendup, this gaudy, over-frosted cream puff of a movie half-heartedly positions its famous heroine as a dagger-wielding proto-feminist, yet ultimately suffers the same fatal flaw as Julia Roberts’ evil queen: It doesn’t really care about anything except how pretty it looks.” Variety Justin Chang

Is there anything as ugly as vanity?

“‘Who’s the fairest of them all,’ is a cruel question to pose to a Hollywood beauty in her forties facing competition from ever-younger starlets, but Julia Roberts gamely takes it on the chin in this tongue-in-cheek reinvention of the classic fairy tale.” Jason Best Movie Talk

Actors can worry less about being ‘the fairest’ in the age of Photoshop and CGI manipulation. Just look at the youth on display in Titanic 3D (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).

“How is Titanic in 3D? The answer is pretty damn dazzling.” Peter Travers Rolling Stone


“You don’t just watch Titanic, you experience it.” ReelViews James Berardinelli

Okay, but it’s a disaster movie. And since history’s most famous disaster is also one of its most famous films, let’s hear from those who were checking their watches and waiting for the boat to sink.

“Cameron manhandles the real story, scavenging it for his own puny narrative purposes. It’s a film made with boorish confidence and zero sensitivity, big and dumb and hulking.” Stephanie Zacharek

Sulking Hulk

“Ultimately, Titanic will sail or sink not on its budget but on its merits as drama and spectacle. The regretful verdict here: Dead in the water.” Time Richard Corliss

Titanic was more than the sum of its profits and awards. It was the movie that could be heard on every radio. It was poetry for a generation of teens.

“It’s quite possible that Titanic is one of the greatest romantic epics ever filmed.” Portland Oregonian Shawn Levy

It’s quite possible that’s true, which makes every other romantic epic into The Hunter (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).

“You know a film must be special when it stays with you for days after seeing it. ‘The Hunter’ is one of those movies for me.” Betty Jo Tucker ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Does it stick with you like a lost pet or a disease?

“The Hunter is one part existential meditation on the male psyche and one part metaphor for the damage humanity has done to the natural world.” Thomas Caldwell Cinema Autopsy

So, it’s humanity dealing with the guilt of destroying the world?

“The clammy chill that pervades The Hunter, the fourth feature film by the Iranian director Rafi Pitts, seeps under your skin as you wait for its grim, taciturn protagonist to detonate.” The New York Times Stephen Holden

So, it’s a human bomb from Iran?  Rather than problemitizing implications of the comparison, notice how every critic has a different metaphor for the film’s complexity.  If it’s a bomb, it’s a smart one.

“By the time you realize how stealthy the film’s critique has been, you’ve already fallen right into its trap.” Time Out New York David Fear

Or, it could be a ninja.

“A tremendous achievement by all concerned, a film that delivers its emotional payload with sensitivity and power.” Andrew L. Urban Urban Cinefile

And if you’re wondering about emotional bomb payloads, perhaps it’s time for your American Reunion (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“American Reunion is about the comedy of middle-class men who can’t be satisfied with sex until it looks like porn.” Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

But porn is sex – just not the way most people do it.

“Guys and gals from the first film, now thicker and with incipient crow lines, pair up in more or less the same permutations as when they were young and shiny. The movie’s message is that the way to face impeding maturity is to embrace your inner teen idiot.” Time Richard Corliss

If you feel old, act young

“Taken altogether, the Pie movies offer a cohesive worldview, showing each of life’s stages as the setting for fresh-yet-familiar catastrophes, relieved by a belief in sex, however ridiculous it might look, as a restorative force.” Village Voice Nick Pinkerton

Premise: Just as Titanic was poetry for a generation of teen girls, the Pie movies qualify as this generation’s “guy” poetry.  Discuss.

“There’s some laughing gas left in the cupboard, but this series may require an infusion of new blood to last until ‘American Funeral.'” St. Louis Post-Dispatch Joe Williams

If the film does well, expect American Mid-Life Crisis and American Nursing Home before they make American Funeral, which will be followed swiftly by American Reboot.

“Halfway through, everyone starts drinking heavily and the film turns into agreeably sloppy fun. (Isn’t that always the way – class reunions often perk up when someone spikes the punch.)” The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Stephen Cole

King Sheep might have sloppy fun on his birthday tomorrow