1. Apollo 18 (Weinstein/Dimension, 3,328 Theaters, 88 Minutes, Rated PG-13): This is what passes for originality theses days–taking various and sundry pre-existing concepts and blending them together into one narrative.
This film mixes fiction with real life (like Captain America: The First Avenger) as it purports to tell the truth about the disastrous Apollo 18 mission (which makes me think of Apollo 13). You might have been told that the Apollo 18 mission was scrapped because NASA needed a Saturn V rocket to launch Skylab into orbit. You were wrong, as secret tapes are discovered (ala The Blair Witch Project) that show that there was an Apollo 18 mission, and they found something hidden on the moon’s surface (hopefully not a transforming alien robot like in Transformers: The Dark of the Moon) that caused NASA to scrap all other Moon landings.
Outside of the nods to all the other movies, what you have is your basic “there’s something out there” horror film. And a PG-13 one at that.
2. Shark Night 3D (Relativity, 2,806 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated PG-13): So, judging from the ads I saw for this film, it looks like the people behind this offering thought to themselves, “Hey! Do you know what would have made Jaws: The Revenge a better movie? Different types of sharks!”
Because the ads are playing up the “the sharks are out to get us” factor, which was the goofiest aspect of Jaws: The Revenge (the family of the shark from Jaws tracks down the family of Roy Scheider’s character’s family to the Bahamas to exact its vengeance. Really) all the while listing all the sharks the cast will face off with.
This is Jaws mixed with Friday the 13th and other films of its ilk as the targets are a group of teenagers partying at a Louisiana lake house. Of course, this being a PG-13 film, the sex and gore will probably be muted to the point of non-existence, which kind of defeats the purpose of films like these.
I’d like to point out that there are still some very good films out there that you might not have seen or might enjoy seeing again. This might be the week to do that.