, , , , ,

I can’t help it, I love this fucking movie. I face much ridicule over it. I’ve had my “man card” revoked because of it. But, my opinion remains unchanged: Titanic is one of the best movies ever made.

Originally released in December of 1997, Titanic  ranks near the middle of the top 20 biggest budgeted films of all time. With that budget, estimated at some $200 million, James Cameron was able to recreate a time and an event we all thought we knew well.

I was nine years old when I first saw Titanic in the theater. Needless-to-say, this film holds many firsts for me:

  • It was the first three-hour film I had ever seen.
  • It was the first film I had seen in theaters with an intermission. (The second was Gods and Generals and the third was Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)
  • It was the first time I had seen boobs on the big screen.

Best day ever. Period.

This film sparked something inside me. It sparked a desire to read not only about this particular subject, but on history in general. I took to looking for more interesting stories and I haven’t stopped since, some 15 years later. Because of this film, I found that history will, more often than not, hold stories bigger and better than those you see in any movie or on any television screen.

When I heard that Titanic was going to be re-released in 3-D, I wasn’t very excited. “Here we go again,” I thought. “Here’s James Cameron trying to make another buck.”

But, I was willing to get it a try. What’s another opportunity to see Titanic on the big screen anyway? It couldn’t be worse than Clash of the Titans in 3-D, right?

All-in-all, it was a pretty nice experience. The film was restored and rendered in what is known as 4K resolution, or, as I’ve gathered from reading about it, SUPER FUCKING HD, which gave the film a very crisp and sharp image base to lay the 3-D over. The 3-D was then added to give the film more depth as opposed to trying to make the RMS Titanic sail off the screen and into your lap or Kate Winslet’s boobs fly from her chest and into your face.

What does this do for the audience?

I’m glad you asked! If you allow yourself to be swept away in movie magic, like any true fan of film should, the 3-D should make you feel as if you are right there on the ship with everyone. As for me, I felt like I was in that steamy car with Jack and Rose. Well, less Jack and more Rose.

In that same scene, when Rose asks Jack, “Are you nervous,” I nearly dropped my soda and my wife glared at me. Never to be one caught off guard, I said, “Whew! You know I am!”

Laughter abounded! 3-D successful!

Unlike most reviews, I’m not here to discuss the plot, a topic that deserves its own separate posting. But, we all know the story well: Rich Girl + Poor Guy = The live-action Lady and the Tramp, minus the spagetti scene and more breast. (Again with the boobs?)

So, here are two reasons why I think you should see this movie:

1. Titanic was is a great example of “movie magic.” In 1997, CGI was on the rise but it was not dominating. James Cameron was able to incorporate CGI as a compliment to top-notch set building. In a sense, as the RMS Titanic was the last great ship of a bygone era, so too was Cameron’s Titanic. After this film, CGI began to rise. Within a decade, we’d see films that relied more and more on CGI and less on conventional set building. Don’t get me wrong, I like CGI, but there are times when a good built set will take a scene much farther than a green screen. This film is an example as to how CGI should be used as the garnish on the plate and not the main course.

2. I thought George Lucas had ruined the concept of the re-release for me. If I hadn’t read anything into Titanic in 3-D before I went to see it, I would have come to expect a completely different film, one full of new graphics, extended scenes and more Jar Jar Binks. James Cameron, unlike George Lucas, knows when to leave well enough alone. He spent $18 million dollars to render a new cut of the film, restored and enhanced with the best digital resolution possible. Cameron did, however, digitally fix one shot in the film. But, I’ll let that one slide. This is how a re-release should be.

Okay, I will admit, those aren’t very good reasons. That’s all I had without mentioning the love story, which is good, but nerds and geeks often refuse to relate to. If I were a good movie reviewer, I’d appeal to that. But, what if I proposed a final reason that could appeal to your nerdiness?  An alternate plot perhaps?…