Titanic 3D (2012)

I have been obsessed with both the actual story of the Titanic and the movie Titanic since the film premiered in December 1997, when I was almost eleven years old, and to see it again on the big screen was definitely a treat.  Titanic's proof of success is that it reigned at the box office as the highest grossing film ever until, ironically, James Cameron's Avatar beat its record in 2009. The real question with the re-release of Titanic in 3D, as with most of these re-releases, then, is: should you pay to see it again in 3D?

In 1912, Titanic, aka "The Unsinkable Ship," is about to set sail for her maiden voyage, and everyone is excited to board it; everyone except Rose Dewitt Bukater (Kate Winslet, Contagion), that is, who calls it a "slave ship" that will take her back to America and to a life of privilege with her fiance, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane, The Confidant). Meanwhile, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar) and his friend Fabrizio win a Third Class ticket onto the Titanic in a game of poker five minutes before the ship is to depart, and they run through the crowded English streets trying to catch the ship before it leaves. Rose ends up making Jack's acquaintance in an unusual situation once on-board, and even Cal and his henchman (David Warner, Planet of the Apes) cannot tear them apart. The romance is tested, of course, when the ship hits an iceberg and it is revealed by the ship's architect Mr. Andrews (Victor Garber, TV's Alias) that Titanic will be at the bottom of the ocean within two hours.

The story starts out, however, with a crew led by Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton, Haywire) searching through the Titanic's remains, for one specific artifact: the Heart of the Ocean necklace, rumored to be one of the most expensive diamonds in the world. They find an old safe in the remnants of what was Cal Hockley's suite, and are excited, thinking that the necklace will be there - only to find nothing of value in the safe except for an old sketch. The twist, however, is that the woman in the sketch is wearing the necklace. Rose (Gloria Stuart, The Million Dollar Hotel), now almost 101 years old, sees an interview with Lovett and the drawing, and immediately places a phone call to him; she is the model in the drawing, and she hasn't seen it for the past 85 years.

Definitely see this film. Even though Titanic weighs in at a lengthy 3 hours and 14 minutes, the film still manages to keep you captivated the entire time. This is probably due to the fact, among others, that it mixes many genres: there's the classic rich girl/poor boy romance, the disaster movie theme, the fact that it's based on a real event, and the dynamics between the rich (First Class) and poor (Third Class), and this is why, fifteen years later, it's still able to fascinate us. James Cameron built an almost exact replica of the Titanic and was obsessed with historical accuracy, and these details really shine through in the movie; the love story is obviously fictional, but the rest of the movie is gorgeously historically accurate, down to the entrance to the First Class dining room to the staterooms and the ship itself. James Cameron decided that if he was going to make a movie about the Titanic, he would also use real footage from the wreck, as seen when a present-day Rose sees the footage on the computer screen. The acting, too, is phenomenal, and really boosted the careers of Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, two actors that are still very much in the public eye today; there's also some nice acting by Frances Fisher (Sedona), playing Winslet's mother, and Kathy Bates (TV's Harry's Law), in the role of Molly Brown, one of the only First Class people to still have a conscience, since she is from "new money." The classical score by James Horner, too, is very subtle but overall manages to enhance the film.

As for the 3D, I was overall impressed with it, but it was a bit shaky in some parts, noticeably so when there was a close-up of a person or in scenes when Rose and/or Jack are running through crowds or the ship. The 3D is more of the type that brings you into the scenes themselves than the kind where things "pop out" at you, and this was really nice; I felt like I was actually on the Titanic, which of course was fantastic until the ship started to sink. This film definitely didn't need the 3D to begin with, but it will most likely do well at the box office - people who haven't seen it will want to, and those that have already seen it will want to see it again. Titanic is one of my favorite movies, though I only watch it every five years or so because of its runtime, and I am hoping that with this re-release, a new generation of moviegoers will be encouraged to see it.

Titanic 3D is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 194 minutes, and is in theaters today, April 4th.
Story: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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