Titanic, Amistad, Titanck moive review, Amistad moive review, Movie Review, Rilm Review

Michael A. Maynez photo

Titanic Logo



Two ships are sailing into our Christmas Holiday Horizon. Will they be the good ship lollipop? They are La Amistad, the Spanish galleon slave ship, loaded with stellar performances by a cast that in itself is star studded. It has Morgan Freeman, so different from his performance in "Kiss The Girls", Nigel Hawthorne, and Anthony Hopkins as President John Quincy Adams. How is that for diversity? From "Silence of the Lambs", Matthew McConaughey, Djimon Hounsou as Cinque the Mende tribesman who makes a very impressive debut as the leader of the slaves. David Paymer, Pete Postlethwaite so magnificent in "Brassed Off" and Stellan Skarsgard round off this dream team cast.

Amistad covers the period of 1839 when the slave ship's uprising by fifty-three West Africans lead by Cinque wind up on American soil to be tried by our fledgling justice system for murder and mutiny. This is a Steven Spielberg production from his new DreamWorks Studio. He uses much of the creativity that he used to make "Schindler's List" and a very limited budget by Hollywood standards, $40 million, to bring this epic to the screen which was shot in New England. We need someone to rework our conscience with this ship call Friendship, translation for Amistad.

The other ship "Titanic" is James Cameron's 200 million spectacle, that is now being hyped as the love story of our times with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, great in "Sense and Sensibility". It also has a cast of thousands plus Kathy Bates and Billy Zane. And if that wasn't enough Digital Domain, the visual-effects artists, added computer birds, fish, sky smoke reflecting water for anytime day or night, plus crowd replication, creating more digital people up to thousands. The statistics for this film are going to be studied for years by anyone even wanting to attempt an epic. The 90 percent -scale ocean liner was custom-built for 40 million dollars. That should give you the scope of this magnitude.

Yet this is simple love story a la Romeo & Juliet on the boat ride of a lifetime. When it recently premiered in Tokyo, the screaming teenagers couldn't be controlled, as they called for Romeo, Romeo, a reference to his performance last year in "Romeo and Juliet". Leonardo DiCaprio gave an interview in which he said "This movie made a man out of me" and the fans screamed for more of his manliness. The London premiere is scheduled and I wouldn't put it past Kate Winslet to say, "The movie made a woman out of me."

At any rate, these two ships are dropping anchor shortly and of course they will make money, enough to pay the bills. I don't know about the "Titanic" but the ad for "Amistad" is very exciting and interesting. A rusted chain off center and if you look close enough in the background is the constitution of the United States. A real declaration of independence.


DreamWorks SKG
Produced by: Steven Spielberg, Debbie ALlen, Collin WIlson
With: Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins, Matthew McConaughey, Djimon Hounsou, David Paymer, Pete Postlethwaite, Stellan Skarsgard
Rated: tbd
To be released 10 December 1997 in LA and NY

Twentieth Century Fox
Produced by: James Cameron, Jon Landau
Written and directed by: James Cameron
With: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, Bill Paxton
Executive producer: Rae Sanshini
Rated: PG-13
To be released widely in US 19 December 1997

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Original Date Tuesday 18 November 1997
Updated Tuesday 6 January 1998