Movie Review: "Titanic 3D"

By Carolyn Williams

Senior Writer

There has been much speculation about the return of James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster “Titanic” to theaters in 3D this spring. The purported reasoning behind the new launch of the beloved classic is a memorial of the disaster’s 100th anniversary. Since its original release, “Titanic” has achieved cult status, catapulted Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio into overnight stardom, and held the title of highest grossing film of all time until it was overtaken by Cameron’s latest vehicle, “Avatar”. In case you’ve been living under a rock since 1997, here’s the basic plot rundown.

In 1996, a treasure hunter is combing the underwater wreck of the RMS Titanic for the fabled “Heart of the Ocean,” a fabulous stone which supposedly went down with the ship. His expedition attracts the attention of an elderly woman who, it turns out, wore the stone the night of the sinking, and the story is told in a series of flashbacks to her experience on the ship more than 80 years before.

Rose DeWitt Bukater (Winslet) is our narrator, and her story begins when, at 17 years old, she boards the Titanic with her mother and wealthy fiancée. Dissatisfied with her elitist circle, Rose attempts suicide by almost jumping overboard, but is convinced to live by the charming and artistic drifter Jack Dawson (DiCaprio). The two begin a love affair that defies class and prior commitments, but which is violently interrupted when, as we all knew must eventually happen, the ship strikes an iceberg, transforming the second half of the film from a period romance to a disaster thriller.

There is no denying the greatness of “Titanic.” It won Best Picture and Best Director in one fell swoop. It made the careers of two of today’s critically acclaimed actors. It’s on TV practically once a week. But, we must admit, it is not perfect. The disparity between first and third classes is a little overdone, and Cameron’s dialogue at times seems forced, taking away from the terrific acting and truly fantastic plot. Still, we can’t help but be riveted.

Putting it in 3D, as strange as it may seem, only increases the movie’s staying power. The fact that a film released 15 years ago can still fill theaters is remarkable in and of itself, but “Titanic” in 3D is a completely different experience. The change in medium is a little jarring at first, but once you’ve acclimated, it’s impressive. The haunting scenes of the wreck are that much more heart-wrenching. The third-class party becomes more vibrant than before. And the actual sinking is made all the more real by the greater clarity. Falling stacks of china and people jumping overboard in an attempt to expedite the inevitable are brought home in a brand new way. This massive tragedy is just that–a tragedy, and the 3D does not let you forget it for a second.

And especially for those of us who were too young to see “Titanic” in theaters the first time, it is absolutely worth the price of admission. Cameron’s vision has been made to realize heretofore unknown potential. “Titanic” in 3D is entirely epic.

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