I'm sure a lot of you know this already, but Titanic is currently playing in 3D Dolby Vision thru Thursday and I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity, yes even if you saw it during its original record-breaking theatrical run (or its previous 3D reincarnation in 2012). As expected the big scenes (you know which ones) remain spectacular, but I especially liked how the increased definition directs the viewer's focus onto the appropriate character(s) during more mundane scenes. (Case in point: at the dinner table you're invited to pay close attention to Rose's mother Ruth's scornful eye on Jack even when she lies in the background.) And while the admittedly implausible plot has been much maligned ever since the film became the cultural phenomenon that we know by heart today, I will confess with no shame whatsoever that I still find myself responding to much of it favorably. Many of the naysayers would deny it, of course, but I say the main reason why Titanic attracted such backlash is not that it became the biggest blockbuster of all time (without adjusting for inflation - apparently such things matter a great deal in these calculations), or even that it became such a financial juggernaut despite presumably sparing no mercy with the idle rich whose pockets it ended up filling, but rather that it became the biggest blockbuster of all time for its no-holds-barred assault on the upper class from the commoner's cockpit. And if the latter viewpoint lacks much of the "sophistication" preferred by our elite arbiters of taste, it's useful to keep in mind that they happen to be the same critics who would (and in many cases still do) dismiss a Dickens, Chaplin or Kurosawa for his cheap appeal to the senses, without bothering to understand how else the supposedly inferior artist was able to command such a large following and cultural cache. Subtlety in and of itself is no virtue, and sometimes the hardest punch to the gut may be the most appropriate measure, as Cameron occasionally demonstrates in his most celebrated feature. Still, it must be granted that Cameron is less adept at plot than at spectacle, and while one may bemoan some of the climatic sinking sequence as the apotheosis of the bigger-is-better school, it's no hyperbole to say at the same time that Cameron nearly manages to rival Griffith, Lang and DeMille in the eerie aftermath. Another oft-overlooked auteur is the late James Horner, whose sentimental score (yes, even the wretched song included) complements the heartfelt schmaltz of the story perfectly. In short Cameron's magnum opus is commercial filmmaking of the highest order, and it's quite unlikely you'll come across a better studio flick this year. Go see it in glorious 3D while you still can. And now time for some housekeeping.... Its persistent success (I must've seen it a couple months ago shortly after it came out but it's still playing in theaters) has indeed been one of the year's best stories in indie cinema. (The flip side: the feel-good racism of Victoria and Abdul, which opened around the same time and is also going strong, alas.) And yes, Brooklynn Prince was truly extraordinary as Moonee. Director Sean Baker in a recent Q&A declared her a precocious "genius" on par with Mickey Rooney, Jodie Foster and Elle Fanning, and I myself would probably pick her as the second best child actor active in English-language cinema today, just behind Jacob Tremblay (who BTW continues to prove himself the worthy successor of Haley Joel Osment, most recently in the tearjerker Wonder). Plus the final shot of Moonee running off with her friend Jancey to Magic Kingdom (which Baker has admitted was filmed on an iPhone without Disney World's permission) was just about perfect. In fact if not for Dawson City: Frozen Time (probably my fave film of the year so far) I'd probably say The Florida Project boasts the best ending of all of this year's movies (again 2017 isn't over yet). Its lead stars were miscast - I know I'm not the only one who found it odd that the Beast shows exudes more virile eroticism than the effeminate Prince (both played by Dan Stevens), and truth be told Emma Watson is a tad too homely to pass for the town's Belle - and I may be biased as I saw the famous animated original after this live-action version, but overall I do think this was a worthy addition to the Disney canon rather than a shameless cash grab. It may be available on Netflix now, but if you haven't you may want to see it in the theater during its next anniversary run. I saw it in IMAX 3D myself and the absolutely dazzling "Be Our Guest" sequence alone was worth the price of admission. And Luke Evans manages to steal the show in his every appearance as the insufferable Gaston. If you liked Groundhog Day you may wanna try the recent Happy Death Day. It's not as violent as its awkward title suggests, and I liked how it meshed all of its horror/fantasy tropes together to create something subversive (though nowhere near transcendent - it's still a genre film, if a very entertaining one). Nah. Admittedly the story had a lot more potential, but as far as standard biopics go this was one of the better ones. And I actually liked that the film had very little to do with tennis.