Out Now – 6th April 2012

Titanic 3D
See the unsinkable ship sink in 3D! See Jack and Rose frolic, fornicate, and freeze to death! Remind yourself that James Cameron once made decent films and then marvel at how he has ruined it all by retrofitting Titanic with 3D.

Norwegian thriller in which an “accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.” And when they say headhunter they actually do mean a recruitment consultant, who knew they led such exciting lives?

The Cold Light of Day
“After his family is kidnapped during their sailing trip in Spain, a young Wall Street trader is confronted by the people responsible: intelligence agents looking to recover a mysterious briefcase.” What!? It may be because I’m half asleep but that synopsis does nothing for me. Give them the suitcase and get your family back, don’t be a jerk.

La Grande Illusion (limited release)
Re-release of 1937 French film about two French soldiers in a German POW camp. My favourite part of the synopsis is the phrase “a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from”. I wonder if that fortress is easy to access?

This Must Be the Place (limited release)
Sean Penn plays a former rock star on a road trip to find the ex-Nazi who executed his father. Finally the showdown between a Nazi and Sean Penn in lipstick and a wig I’ve been waiting for.

Le Havre (limited release)
A French shoe shiner forms an unlikely friendship with an African boy when he arrives alone on a cargo ship in Le Havre. Could this be this week’s The Kid With a Bike, if so I will intend to see it but never quite manage to.

Return (limited release)
Soldier returns from the army and struggled to settle back into normal life so starts dressing her pets up in tiny flak jackets and makes them hold tiny guns. Some of that I made up.

North Sea Texas (limited release)
Dutch film about a teenage boy who falls for the boy next door. This is the perfect film to use to come out to the neighbour you’re in love with. Terry, I’m coming for you!

A Cat in Paris (limited release)
Short and stylish French animation about a rooftop adventure in Paris. Forget Le Havre, this is the French film I’m going to fail to see this week. I need to go to the cinema more.

666: The Prophecy (limited release)
“After the death of his wife and child, an author travels to Barcelona to see his estranged brother and dying father, where he learns that his life is plagued by events that occur on 11/11/11.” Surprisingly in most countries this came out on 11/11/11 and was called 11-11-11. We’ve just got to be different.

A Gang Story/Les Lyonnais (limited release)
Long-winded synopsis here. Something about a gypsy camp and someone stealing cherries. I’m going to return to my slumber now.

Titanic Real-Time Review – Television Review

Do we really need another of these? Mad Men, why did you have to go and win all those awards? And then you too, Downton Abbey? These days we can’t move for 50s midwives, 60s flight attendants and even time-travelling prison inmates from the past. So who wouldn’t want to go back for a two hundredth re-telling of the Titanic story in full period drama awesomeness?

After all, this year is the 100th anniversary of the tragedy so naturally every living soul on the planet now feels obliged to open their heart once more to the sad tale. All those lives lost when the unsinkable became sinkable, and all those dollars earned when sinkable became the profitable (you make up a better rhyme, then!) as James Cameron gets ready to earn another billion dollars when he re-releases his 1997 movie in time to celebrate all that tragic death once again (IN 3-D!!).

Of course, we Brits wouldn’t want Jim to have all the attention so to challenge him is hot property in America right now, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, who has penned a new four-part miniseries about the legendary doomed voyage to air over the next four Sundays. (With the final episode airing on the night of the actual ship’s demise – grim.)

In turn, we here at Mild Concern don’t want to take such drama too seriously lest we succumb to actually enjoying one of these period shows that are all the rage right now, but just so that you know what you may (or may not be) missing out on I am here to take you through the show minute-by-minute (depending on how much it enthralls). I’ve got my measuring jug full of caviar (you’ve got to mix the posh with the poor to mirror the uniting of the inevitably contrasted characters in the show, obviously) and a watered down sherry on the rocks so let’s get this boat on the road… or sea, whichever, really.

Reviewing begins after the jump.

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Titanic 3D – Trailer & Pics

Something odd happened to me as I watched the trailer for Titanic‘s 3D re-release: I got a bit nostalgic for a James Cameron film. The sweeping camera, the intense emotion, the inevitable sinking feeling, and a time when seeing Kate Winslet naked was a treat rather than an inevitability, all rushed back to me, 12 years after I first saw the film. Have I got James Cameron wrong? Was I too harsh when I declared him a prick?


This is a 3D re-release after all, making it more expensive, more difficult to watch and therefore plain unnecessary. In essence, modern-day prickish James Cameron has taken the good work of pre-prick Cameron and retroactively pricked it up… if that makes sense. It’s as if he looked at his back catalogue, saw something of genuine quality and couldn’t help but ruin it. It’s enough to make me shake my fist in the air and shout out in a growl, “CAMERON!”, but I haven’t done that since the last general election (political!)

The trailer is below, and is a bizarre case of a 2D trailer for the re-release of an old film made into in 3D, therefore unable to showcase any of the new draw. There are also some fresh new stills, some including a pre-prick Cameron, which are also from a film over 10 years old. To repeat a joke, you can get 280,000+ more stills by buying Titanic on DVD.


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In summary: I do quite like Titanic, just not in 3D please.

Oi! 3D! Stop Touching Things!

With growing complaints about the weak 3D conversion of Clash of the Titans I’m getting worried about the number of films new and old about to undergo the treatment.

Alice underwent the conversion to 3D rather than being filmed in the format and reactions were underwhelming, personally I forwent the 3D to reduce cost and discomfort. Den of Geek has collected some reviews of Titan’s 3D and they are all bad and they went so far as to say that the 3D made the film worse as “the difference was negligible and the rest of the film just looked darker and foggier as a result of the tint in the glasses.”

With 3D bringing big bucks at the box office studios are keen to convert old 2D films to 3D to milk that cash cow for all it’s worth. MTV has a list of potential contenders including Titanic, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, all of which will somehow be made into “glorious” 3D. The problem is that unless you film in 3D the effect is going to be pretty limited, probably just making some objects appear in front of others.

Of course you can always protest by seeing these films in 2D instead, that is if they are available to you. Today Cineworld tweeted me to say, “We’ll try to offer a 2D alternative if the site’s big enough to accommodate showing 2 versions of the same film.” Despite this my local cinema is only offering the 3D Clash of the Titans when I watched Alice there in 2D just a few weeks ago.

Done properly 3D can be a real draw for audience but when you stick 3D on the end of every title and don’t do the job properly people are going to catch on and spend their money elsewhere.

James Cameron 3D in Your Face!

James Cameron has said that not only is he hoping to re-release an extended Avatar back into cinemas this Autumn but that Titanic is undergoing the 3D conversion for a 2012 re-release. Do the two highest grossing movies of all time need to be back in cinemas? Shouldn’t Avatar let the autumn releases have a chance at making some money instead? Is there any real benefit to somehow making 2D movies 3D?

Grrr argh etc…

Cameron Vs Cameron

Avatar has finally done as predicted and knocked Titanic off the top spot for highest grossing film of all time. Cameron has beaten his own record and will probably be smug forever more. For me this feels like a hollow victory of style over substance, one that tells the studios that fancy effects and endless marketing makes for a guaranteed success. Which perhaps it does.

Looking at the figures a different way, Avatar‘s budget was so massive that it needed a record breaking box office to bring about a reasonable percentage return on the studios investment. If claims of a $500 million total production and marketing budget are to be believed, Avatar only made less than four times the investment it cost. The real winner is Paranormal Activity.

Paranormal Activity was made for a meagre $15,000 and made over $140 million dollars meaning a whopping percentage return on investment of 472,962.70% (as shown here). I’m not an expert on investments but this looks like a case for smaller films with viral marketing to get a bigger return for your money. It is worth noting that the second most profitable movie of all time, based of percentage return on investment is The Blair Witch Project. Obviously not every film can have a micro budget but those that do should not be overlooked as they are far more profitable than effects laden epics like Avatar.