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ON SCREEN, SCREAMS AND SINKING SHIPS

Looking for something to do during the holiday break? Go to a movie! Here are reviews by NeXt correspondents of two of the hottest new movies.
There have been many rumors flying around about "Titanic," but one thing is for sure. This film's voyage into theaters is going to drown out the competition.

With the final cost of "Titanic" reaching around $250 million, the movie will have to make around $350 million to break even. Why did it cost so much? That might have to do with the fact that they had to build a 775-foot replica of the ship and a 17 million-gallon tank to sink it in.

There was, however, much more that went into this expensive movie. Details cost money, and everything from the design on the china to the pattern on the rugs was re-created from 1912.

In "Titanic," (rated PG-13), poor boy Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), wins his third-class ticket on the ship in a game of poker and sets out to sea not knowing what he is in for. Up in first class, Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), lives a life of luxury and grace.

Rose, who is disgusted with her lifestyle, finds the rebellious life that Jack leads interesting, and eventually they fall in love. Future husband Cal Hockley (Billy Zane) and mother Ruth DeWitt Bukater (Frances Fisher), try to keep Jack away from Rose, but Rose is determined to leave with Jack when they dock in America.

The story is told by a much older Rose (Gloria Stuart), who is brought out to sea aboard the ship that is trying to dig up some of the Titanic's most precious memories. Her flashbacks are precise down to the newly painted decks.

But the love story she tells is what sets this movie apart from other romance stories. Out of the hundreds of people who lost someone or something the night the ship sank, Rose was most likely the only person who found something.

The director of "Titanic" was James Cameron, the master behind other films such as the "Terminator" series and "True Lies." This time around he's not working on blowing up a city or a bridge, but instead the sinking of a ship, and he spares no expense doing so.

Criticism always follows the release of a movie as big as this one. But the question of how many people were hurt during the filming or how cold the water was is not relevant to the final product.

After walking out of the theater, I realized I had not only just seen a magnificent story, but also one of the best movies of the decade.

-- Steve Soroka

"Scream 2" is another great installment to the horror movie-esque life of Sidney Prescott.

In this newest movie, starring Neve Campbell, Jerry O'Connell, Jamie Kennedy, Timothy Olyphant, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, and Jada Pinkett, it's a few years later, and Sidney (Campbell) and Randy (Kennedy), now college students, have been trying to forget the Woodsborough murders.

That proves to be hard, though, since Gail Weathers (Cox) has published a book about the murders that was turned into a movie called "Stab."

Another character back from the first movie is Deputy Dewey Riley (Arquette). Injured in the first "Scream," Dewey is back on the killer's trail.

Added to the story are Derek (O'Connell), Sidney's new boyfriend, and Mickey (Olyphant). The boyfriend and his best friend -- sounds familiar, doesn't it? Also, Cotton Weary, the ex-con whom Sidney had convicted of her mother's murder in "Scream," is back, for some reason. Could it be revenge?

"Scream 2" is a hilarious, yet scary, ride. It follows the pattern of true sequels: more suspects, a bigger body count, and more fun.

"Scream 2" has its scary moments, but what really stands out is its humor, and Randy is the funniest character.

Also giving great performances are Liev Schreiber, as Cotton Weary, and Arquette. If you don't fall in love with Dewey, your heart must be made of steel.

Altogether, "Scream 2" is definitely as good as the original "Scream." In fact, some parts of it are even better.

The ending is shocking, but somewhat shaky. But the constant humor and fast-paced action keep the movie going along smoothly.

"Scream 2" is a wild ride that keeps you laughing and screaming right to the end. I would give it 4 stars, two thumbs up, and anything else that would express just how much fun this movie is!
-- Kate Nowadly

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