Saturday, April 14, 2012

"You Unimaginable Bastard!:" Titanic

Film Foray RETROspective no. Onze: Titanic


I have never enjoyed Titanic, it had been fifteen years since I had seen that film. If I had been lucky, I probably would never have seen it again. Needless to say, such schmaltz does not go far with the man whose heart is comprised solely of coal. With that being said, I was dragged kicking and screaming to the local multiplex. To make matters worse, the showing was in ultra glorious super fantastic 3-D! For those wondering, this was my first 3-D and I was wholly unimpressed by this fad of a "technology" but I am getting ahead of myself. While this was not too surprising, the fact that the film was not as horrible as my past self remembers certainly was astounding.

Titanic tells the ill fated tale of love between seemingly wealthy Rose DeWitt Butaker (Kate Winslet) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a poverty stricken gent who chances his way on to the "ship of dreams." Rose sees Jack as her way out of a loveless betrothal to Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), an heir to a steel fortune who treats her as chattel. This love was not meant to be since an iceberg had different plans for the "unsinkable" ship's maid voyage. Of course, life is not without its little ironies and the iceberg sank the Titanic. While awaiting rescue, Jack dies from hypothermia while to clinging to a door and Rose is one of six people rescued from the wreckage of RMS Titanic.

While my disdain for this film has waned as I moved further into adulthood, it is still far from a perfect film or James Cameron's best. It is a pretty well made film and many of its eleven Academy Awards were justified. As someone who cared little for the "emotional power" or story of the film (besides the bit with iceberg), I was blown away by the small things. Namely, the sound editing on Titanic was quite good and the special effects have held up quite well for a film that is about to turn fifteen. Honestly, Titanic is less a film about lovers thrown into a situation to fight for survival than an example of solid film making.

I bet you are curious as to how sweet Titanic looked in the "third dimension?" The answer is that 3-D made the film look something outside of a ride at Disneyland. At points, it made the film kind of unwatchable. This really makes me wonder what is the appeal for this method of film presentation. It does nothing to enhance the experience of the viewer. Granted, this film was not shot in 3-D but I still remain skeptical of this "technology." Did it make me enjoy the film because of it? No. I found that whole aspect to be distracting and there is nothing like being coerced into seeing a movie in 3-D since there was only one 2-D showing at the crack of dawn.

In spite of the horrendous 3-D, Titanic was not that bad of a film.


  1. Wow...I'm shocked. Didn't really expect this review from you.

  2. Want to know the real horrendous thought? This being your first 3D film and all...The 3D in this film actually wasn't horrendous at all, it's some of the better 3D you'll see, sadly...Avatar and Hugo had better 3D, but I can't remember another film that better treatment. It used it as a way to try and layer depth to the images and not be a gimmick device, and it didn't try to over-do it. That all being said I still don't like 3D, and this film certainly didn't change my mind, the supposed layer of depth takes away from the actual true 3D depth of field the camera creates without the added element. Plus the dimness, that's a real problem, and it's one you CAN'T get over, no matter how high you jack up the projector. Give me the Imax treatment anyway.

    Oh, and Titanic, for all I made fun of it, is an awesome movie. I sort of got over what I didn't like about it, and respect it now for the grand scale it tries to reach and does grab hold of. That last hour is some great action/suspense set-pieces thrown together by that perfectionist arsehole James Cameron.