NOTE: This review regards the 3D reissue.
Bottom Line: Titanic 3D is even more amazing, vivid on the big screen.
“I’m the king of the world!!” –Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, Gloria Stuart, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio
Beautiful romance epic opens with an elderly Rose (played by Gloria Stuart) phoning investigators of the 1912 shipwreck of the RMS Titanic. She informs them that she is a survivor of the shipwreck, and gives them the tale from a personal standpoint. Years behind in her memory, she shares with us the story of herself in a much younger age (played now by Kate Winslet). She has boarded the ship, which she initially sees as a “slave ship”, as a first-class passenger with her mother (Frances Fisher), her fiancé (Billy Zane), and other relatives. Her experience changes drastically when she meets Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a third-class passenger who has made his way to the ship by a very lucky poker hand.
TITANIC may be over three hours long, but it does not at all feel like it. The plot, visuals, and acting leads to a feeling of it being half as long. If I were to compile the most engaging movies over three hours in length, this would easily rank number one. It’s also great seeing TITANIC in 3-D, on the big screen. It’s nice seeing the film on video and when they air it on TV till your eyes bleed, but seeing it this way is a much, much different experience. It’s James Cameron (who also used 3-D technology splendidly with 2009’s AVATAR) accomplishing what he couldn’t at the time of the film’s 1997 release, using modern technology. It cost approximately $18 million just to convert this masterpiece into 3-D, and more often than not, it’s well worth the cost. Especially in the final scenes of shipwreck, when there is water flooding, sparks flying, and distress signals shooting off into the air, the technique is incredibly effective. Though from a glance the re-release may seem like a headache, never could there ever be a more vivid and thoughtful way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the best-known shipwreck.
“That’s one of the good things about Paris. Lots of girls willing to take their clothes off.” –Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson
Seeing this in theaters again, we are also reminded of what we have forgotten from this cinematic grandeur. The best of these are the performances, especially of DiCaprio as Jack, Winslet as Rose, and Zane as her possessive fiancé. DiCaprio has too many memorable quotes for me to list; among his best are the unforgettable, “I’m the king of the world!!”, and, “That’s one of the good things about Paris. Lots of girls willing to take their clothes off.” His and Winslet’s performances both grow stronger and more endearing toward the end. I always tear up whenever I hear either one of them deliver the line, “Never let go.” Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” adds heavily to the poignant sequences like that, as well. Billy Zane has such an aggravated, impatient character it’s hard to see him as the charmer he looks like. The scene in which he overturns a table and demands his fiancée’s respect is so shocking it hurts.
“I’ll never let go, Jack. I promise.” –Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater
TITANIC has aged 15 years and it looks better with its new release. My first thought with this was, “Why can’t I just rent it at home and see it in 2-D?” Now I have to think of anybody who dares to say that aloud as downright crazy. When you have an epic, touching love story like James Cameron’s TITANIC, about the worst thing you can do is sit down in front of a television and watch it on DVD. You want to experience the splendor Cameron wishes to present, go to the movies, and come in contact with this lifelike refurbishment. The best compliment I can give it is that I felt as if I were actually there during various scenes.