Titanic 3D (2012)
Directed by James Cameron
“Are you ready to go back to Titanic?” It has been nearly 15 years since Titanic made its maiden voyage in theaters across the globe and earned more than any film that came before it. Since then, 9 films have reached over $1 billion in worldwide sales and director James Cameron has smashed his own box office record with Avatar. Now, Titanic is looking to capitalize on the 100th anniversary of the famous ship’s passage and reclaim the box office lead with a 3D re-release.
As Jack Dawson, a young Wisconsin native who—with a lucky hand of cards—won tickets to the most luxurious cruise imaginable, Leonardo DiCaprio solidified his Hollywood stardom. Though his acting didn’t receive love from the Academy (with a record 14 nominations, a titanic amount to be sure, his acting was one of the few things not to get noticed), Leo continues to star in popular and successful films from The Departed to Inception. Kate Winslet, who did receive an acting nomination for her role, starred as the upper-class Rose DeWitt, who feels trapped in her stuffy life of elegance. When the two meet on the fated journey, their love crosses social and economic bounds and defines itself as one of the most memorable movie romances of all time.
While Titanic’s 3D re-release may be an attempt by writer/director Cameron—already Forbes’ 27th richest celebrity in the world—to feed his knack for money-making, people don’t seem to mind. Titanic, which released midweek, made $4.7 million domestically before its opening weekend according to the Hollywood Reporter, and an estimated $25.7 million by Easter, according to Empire magazine. Those of us too young to see Titanic in theaters the first time around have a second chance to see the film that many have only seen in edited television spots. And in 3D, every detail is accentuated, the love is more passionate, and the heartbreaking ending—though I’ve seen it dozens of times—is even more tragic.
But those pesky 3D specs did have one or two negative effects on the viewing pleasure. The bright, exquisite grandeur of the film I’ve seen many times before seemed to be dimmed by the dark lenses of the glasses. And an $18 million dollar conversion to 3D did not quite pay off completely, as some of the scenes were blurred by the glasses to the point where I hoped for an instant that I could see the movie in 2D.
Doubters, though, should be assured; the 3D still receives two thumbs up. From the revamped opening credits, every second of Titanic shines in the personal, intimate feel of 3D, and every dramatic turn of events is more catastrophic with the feeling that you’re stuck right in the middle of it. Facial expressions come to life and the acting nominations (two; for Winslet and her older counterpart Gloria Stuart, who played an older Rose) that I had once thought undeserved now seemed vastly under-appreciated. In surround sound, James Horner’s epic score and original song intensified the peril and contributed to the viewing experience more than music ever has. And I hate to admit it, but those who may shed a tear at the film’s heartbreaking end will find it even harder to keep your eyes dry when you see it all in 3D.
Are you ready to go back to Titanic? The most epic of epics, Titanic’s wonder cannot be contained into two dimensions. If you’re in for something familiar and fresh at the same time, take a ride on the grandest ship of all. Once you think it can’t get any better, it does.