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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Titanic 3D Review

Titanic 3D Review
2012 (originally released in 1997), 194 minutes
Rated PG-13 for disaster related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality, and brief language

Titanic is one of the greatest films ever made.  James Cameron, with a bottomless budget, a phenomenal cast, and a vision made a worldwide phenomenon, the second highest-grossing film ever made, and an 11-time Oscar-winner.  He melded together a romance story, a historical drama, and a disaster story.  With every cliché in the book and a melodramatic plot, why does this movie work and why have hoards of people flocked to the theatre to relive the experience of the film?  This will not be a critical evaluation of the film, but more of a discussion as to why this film has achieved the success it did and why I love it.

Titanic has something for everyone.  If you like romance, you can view this movie as the romance of the century.  If you like history, you can view this as a historical film.  And, if you like special effects and action, then the entire second half of this movie will be more than suiting.  This movie worked so well for me and excelled where Cameron's next record-breaking hit Avatar failed.  In Avatar, I could not have cared less about the characters.  They were not relatable and the story behind them was recycled.  In Titanic, Cameron builds three-dimensional characters of Jack and Rose and I cared for them every second of the movie.  When the ship starts to sink, I truly wanted for them to survive.  Yes, their star-crossed love story has been told thousands of times, but the history behind their love story is fascinating.  The sinking of the Titanic was an interesting and horrifically tragic event and seeing it reenacted is mind-blowing.  Another place where Titanic excels over Avatar is in terms of Cameron's passion for the story.  In Avatar, it seemed as if he was trying too hard in conveying an environmental message and too focused on the effects that he forgot about everything else.  In Titanic, it is obvious that Cameron knows the extent of the tragedy and tries his hardest to show in all its horror the cost of human life.  During some heart-wrenching scenes while the ship is sinking, he focuses in on certain individuals holding on to their last moments of life such as an older couple in bed with the water seeping in around them.  The passion was obviously there when James Cameron made this film and created the scenes, whereas in Avatar, the passion was caught elsewhere.

The second half of the movie where the Titanic sinks is one of the most compelling and horrifying scenes in film history.  Rendered with nearly flawless special effects by Cameron and crew, they show the full terror of the sinking.  Hardly anything looks fake and he makes sure that you see the size of the ship.  She was massive.  Absolutely massive.  The way Cameron wove the special effects with the human actors and the set are unreally good.  Though the film is 15 years old, it has not aged at all.  The 3D is also very good, adding depth to the film and truly making it feel as if you are in the movie.  Was it necessary?  No.  But, is it good?  Yes.

As I type this review, 100 years ago to the minute, the Titanic was sinking into the depths of the Atlantic ocean.  1514 people died simply because there were not enough lifeboats and that the crew did not load the lifeboats to capacity.  To remember those people, see Titanic.  It is a film for the ages and one that is necessary to see on the big screen.  R.I.P. those that lost their lives with the Titanic.  

-Joshua Handler

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