Culture | The top 5 movies in popularity as measured by box office receipts for the weekend of Oct. 1
Remember the Titans $21.2 million 1 week in release $21.2 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Denzel Washington, Will Patton / Boaz Yakin / Walt Disney
PLOT A black football coach takes over the team at a recently desegregated Virginia high school.
MESSAGE Blacks and whites can succeed together by getting to know one another.
CAUTION Rated PG for "thematic elements" (racial conflict) and bad language.
The Exorcist $ 7.4million 2 weeks in release $17.4 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow / William Friedkin / Warner Bros.
PLOT A re-edited version of the 1973 blockbuster about the possessed girl and the priests who try to help her.
MESSAGE Supernatural forces still exist in the modern world.
CAUTION Rated R for strong language and disturbing images.
Almost famous $5.6 million 3 weeks in release $17.8 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup / Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) / Dreamworks SKG
PLOT A 15-year-old Rolling Stone writer goes on tour with a 1970s rock band.
MESSAGE The rock scene offers freedom and personal destruction at the same time.
CAUTION Rated R for bad language, drug content, and brief nudity.
Urban legends: Final Cut $4.7 million 2 weeks in release $15 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Jennifer Morrison, Joseph Lawrence / John Ottman (Lake Placid) / Columbia Pictures
PLOT Teen exploitation sequel about a killer knocking off student filmmakers.
MESSAGE Sometimes creepy stories come true.
CAUTION Rated R for violence, gore, bad language, and some sexuality.
Bring it on $2.9 million 6 weeks in release $59.6 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Kirsten Dunst , Jesse Bradford / Peyton Reed / Universal Pictures
PLOT High-school cheerleaders discover their best cheers were borrowed from another team.
MESSAGE Success and cool dance routines help make life worth living.
CAUTION Rated PG-13 for sex-related material and bad language.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Can Disney tackle race relations? It tries in Remember The Titans (rated PG for "thematic elements," i.e., racial conflict, and bad language), with Denzel Washington playing a football coach at a recently desegregated Virginia high school. The new leader gets his job as a token black (literally) and has the task of turning two single-race squads into one unified team. He's also faced with the threat that he'll lose his job if the T.C. Williams Titans lose a single game. To keep the white kids from bolting the team, his predecessor (Will Patton) sticks around as an assistant coach, risking his reputation by supporting a black coach. Meanwhile, players on both sides fear losing their pride-and starting positions-to the others. Titans has good performances and direction that juxtaposes two subjects well. It works as both a sports movie and a fable on racial unity. The one problem with the movie is that it is based on a true story, and some scenes are too melodramatic to be believable. Things happen too fast; the coach is quickly respected and the players drop their bigotries before the season even starts. Characters and events are too perfect (Disney-fied, if you will) to be taken as more than silver-screen inspiration.