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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Titanic 3D

Fifteen years later, I still have a heart on for Titanic. And yes, the new 3-D treatment is worth another trip. 

The White Star Line's R.M.S Titanic was “the largest moving work of man in all history,'' a character boasts — and this film is the motion picture equivalent. James Cameron’s 194-minute, $200 million, 2-studio film was the most expensive film in Hollywood history at the time of its release, and it became the most successful.

Titanic required a 17-million gallon water tank and a large-scale set constructed with meticulous attention to historical detail from the chandeliers in the staterooms to the china on the table.The rest was digital magic.

It was a spectacular demonstration of what modern technology and historical detail can contribute to dramatic storytelling. The result is still as true today as when this ship arrived in 1997. I can’t imagine any special-effects movie from its time that would hold up quite as well to audiences familiar with Avatar or Hugo. And the new 3-D treatment heightens the whole spectacle  – in this case, that’s a compliment. Cameron bypassed the 3-D tricks (there are some water bubbles that come your way) and focused the technology on pulling you into the many rooms of the mighty ship.

I understand those who find the romantic story too traditional or too melodramatic. There’s a point where Billy Zane is chasing our love-torn characters with a gun in the air that’s a bit too conventional for such a well-crafted film. 

But I’m not looking for an alt romance in a movie called Titanic.

When lovely Kate Winslet’s Rose utters “This is where we first met” to Leonardo DiCaprio’s doomed Jack, and the ship begins to crack, I felt the same chill of excitement as when Titanic and I met years ago. What a treat to see this film set sail again on the big screen once again.

Simply put:  Deliciously overwrought, flawlessly crafted and still as dynamic in 2012

Award potential:
Titanic gathered a record fourteen Academy Award nominations and eleven wins, including Best Picture.

The ten buck review: Worth another ten bucks.

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