Titanic in 3D Review


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April 15th marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Because of this anniversary, director James Cameron and Paramount have re-released the massively successful film in theaters, post-converted to 3D.

Titanic is one of the most successful films ever made, and this re-release has pushed its worldwide box office gross over the $2 billion mark. Titanic was such an enormous sensation throughout the world that it’s probably hard to find a person that has yet to see the movie.

This success makes explaining the plot of the film downright irrelevant. If you somehow haven’t seen it yet, Titanic includes documentary footage, romantic melodrama, epic disaster, and much more.

Titanic in 3D (as is being called) is still the same movie. You probably either love it or hate it. Next to nothing has been changed in this re release. This, however, doesn’t mean the movie was rushed back into theaters with 3D slapped on. James Cameron, a pioneer in 3D and special effects, made sure that the conversion was done properly. The re-mastering and frame-by-frame post-conversion process took over one year to complete. The result is one of the best looking 3D movies so far.

The experience is far more immersive, which is precisely what matters in a movie like this. It places you on that ship with those characters, something the movie already did extremely well in regular 2D.

However, if you simply don’t like 3D, Titanic in 3D probably won’t change your mind on the technology. And while the sense of immersion is improved, the bright colors and cinematography take a hit, as the 3D glasses make the movie a lot murkier.

And the flaws in the film are still here. The dialogue, especially in the second half is cheesy and repetitive, and many characters are completely two-dimensional. And yes, that Celine Dion song will be stuck in your head for weeks.

That said, what was good about Titanic before is good again. The production design, including sets, costumes and makeup, the beautiful music score by James Horner, and the cinematography and editing are all top-notch. And the romance between Jack and Rose at the center of the story is believable and compelling.

But of course, the best part of Titanic will always be the incredible third act of the sinking of the enormous ship, especially because the special effects still hold up remarkably well. They are as convincing as ever. One of the smartest directorial choices that Cameron makes is first showing a short computer simulation that explains how and why the ship sank. Therefore, we in the audience get a blueprint for the entire third act of the film and allows Cameron to add dozens of character beats and story lines. It helps us understand where characters are at all times, and it also increases the tension significantly since we know how much time characters might have, or how some could get killed.

Even though we know for a fact that the ship will hit the iceberg and sink, we still experience that moment when we think it just might miss and everything will be okay, or that a certain character will make it out alive. This is why Cameron is such a good director, and why even with all its flaws, Titanic is a great film.

This is one of those movies that is definitely worth seeing in theaters again, 3D or not. If you have never seen it on the big screen, this is your chance.


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