So my girlfriend (who, in 1997, had Leonardo DiCaprio posters covering her bedroom wall) and I went to go see Titanic in 3D over the weekend. Did I feel slightly weird feeding money into the 2nd highest grossing movie of all time’s recent cash grab? Sure, maybe a little. But I didn’t really mind too much.
I haven’t seen the film from start to finish since probably a year after it came out, on a VHS tape my parents bought. I’ve caught 10 minutes at a time here and there on TV since then, but haven’t seen the whole thing in over 10 years. I remember when I first saw it in theaters when I was a teenager, I’d probably have given it a 7.5 out of 10. That’s about the same score I’d give it now as well.
There are some things I do give it credit for. For a 3 hour film, it does flow pretty well. It goes by pretty quick. I’ve always thought the historical detail was (and still is) very impressive. And if you push the romance plot to the side, it proves to be a pretty good disaster movie. I’ve always kind of thought that the romance stuff was OK for what it was (a brilliant demographic bulls eye for young girls), but it was really good in the frantic destructo-meter department. I still felt a little emotion from all the death and destruction, it was a very sad amount of life lost.
There were technical things I noticed when I watched it as well. I had a more keen eye to wider angles of the ship, and while it looked incredible in 1997, if you look closer you can really notice how fake the CG people walking around the boat look. They look about on par with characters in The Sims. Also, I don’t know if it was the 3D, or the RPX big screen we saw it on, but I noticed a lot more fuzzy edges on the green screen shots. But still, overall, it’s an undeniable technical achievement.
The 3D conversion of the film wasn’t really anything all that special. Some of the water splashing about looked kind of neat, but *most* of it still looked flat. There were maybe 3 shots that were like “whoa, that sure was 3D…” moments. Again we saw this on RPX (Regal Premium Experience) and apparently they use brighter bulbs on those screens, so the 3D didn’t appear to ruin any of the cinematography from what I noticed. Still, not worth seeing just for the 3D. But I assume if you wanted to see Titanic again in theaters, you’d just go regardless of what D it was.
I once again got reminded of what a douchebag Billy Zane’s character was. He played a smirking hard-on pretty well in this. He was on a level of rich prickish self-entitlement that was often reserved for 80’s college comedies about jocks vs. geeks.
I still hate the end of the movie when the old lady throws the diamond into the water. What a selfish person. I get that it was closure for her and everything, but c’mon. That boat crew probably spent thousands of dollars to fly her onto their boat, hoping that she would help them in some way. They’ve been searching the ocean for three years, which I assume is costing them multiple millions of dollars, hoping to get a pay off, and she just throws it away like it’s nothing. Where’s the closure for the 80 people on the boat? Who I might add, were also pulling artifacts out of the Titanic and preserving them for their cultural significance. Why didn’t the old lady just sell it to them, and give the money to charity? Or to help her own family? She could have paid for college educations for the next 10 generations of her family. Now no one can reap the benefits of the diamond. As humorously quirky as it was, it still annoys the hell out of me. It did in 1997, and it still does now. Blarg!
God damn it, now it won’t stop bugging me. Actually, I don’t even see how it’s closure. The diamond essentially had no emotional connection to Jack, other than the fact she was wearing it when he drew her “like one of his French girls” (btw, Winslet boob in 3D, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! [nudges arms, winks creepily]). When you boil down to it, the diamond is essentially a gift (albeit a *really* expensive gift) from an abusive asshole of an ex-boyfriend. Why it would bring her closure for Jack, or her experiences on Titanic, doesn’t really make sense to me. If anything, it’s confusing why she would even want to hold on to it at all, if it didn’t really mean anything to her. The diamond’s connection to Jack was rather thin. She wore it during the sketching because she wanted to write that snarky burn of a note to Billy Zane when she put it back in the safe. She used it to insult her ex-boyfriend, and then gave it back to him because she didn’t want it.
She basically did the modern day equivalent of her boyfriend buying her a car, then meeting a new guy, banging him in it, taking some cell phone pictures of them banging in it, sending the old boyfriend those pictures, and then KEEPING the car for sentimental value of the NEW guy she’s banging. It doesn’t make sense. Unless she’s like a total bitch.
Did she completely forget who gave her the diamond? Did she completely forget that the diamond represents the opulent lifestyle that she left because she hated it? Does she 100% associate it with her romance with Jack? Why?
The diamond shouldn’t be a symbol of her love for Jack, it should be a reminder of how “awful” her life was *before* she met Jack.
Just sell it to Bill Paxton and leave the money to your great-grandchildren. Or to cancer research. Or to feed the homeless. Or to build the freaking Jack Dawson Memorial Children’s Hospital. Don’t just throw it in the ocean so no one can benefit from it, you selfish old bitty.
And what does throwing it in the ocean even mean? I’m sure it didn’t even land directly on the boat. It probably fell to the left or right of it after wafting down to the ocean floor. And then years of ocean currents will eventually make it be miles away from the Titanic. So you’re essentially throwing the BS symbol of your ex-boyfreind’s prickish wealth (that could FEED A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY mind you) to an eventual random spot in the ocean to give you selfish closure of the crazy week you had with that cool guy who taught you how to rebel against your upbringing.
And mind you, is Jack even the love of her life? She knew him for a great couple days (actually the last day or so was pretty emotionally scarring, I bet), and then she married some guy after that for multiple decades, and had a family with him. Isn’t that guy the love of her life? Or does he get second fiddle to Pretty Boy Leo? That must have been some legendary car sex.
I hope when your granddaughter took out all those huge student loans to get through college, or when your new husband worked a 9-to-5 job that he disliked for 40 years, you were holding that meaningless diamond real tight in your pocket there, Rose. Or for the 10th time – YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN THE FREAKING MONEY TO CHARITY IN MEMORY OF JACK.
Anyway, there was one thing I was really thinking about when I was watching the film again… hypothetically, do you think Titanic would have been as huge as it was if it was originally released in 2012…? I will say, Titanic was brilliant in its approach. Historically accurate for the history buffs, Leo romance for the teen girls, mayhem for the teen boys, and all of the epic spectacle one could have asked for in a tent pole picture. But what if Titanic never happened in 1997, and the same movie was getting released for the first time in the summer of this year?
I think it would be hard to argue that Titanic wasn’t driven heavily by the fact that it was just this HUGE special effects movie, a movie that had scale and detail that no one had seen before. But since 1997, we have seen many, many cases of epic movies being released. Lord of the Rings blows Titanic out of the park in terms of nuanced detail, and in epicness, AND in special effects. Even the Star Wars prequels drove the hype machine further than Titanic did. People have seen their share of hyped up, big movies in recent years, and they don’t always do so hot anymore (remember John Carter?). And what about comic book movies, and nerd culture? Would Titanic just get brushed aside as another Oscar-bait period piece like War Horse?
Titanic was an original screenplay, so it wouldn’t have the built-in audience of a book or comic book. I guess I’m saying that Titanic would struggle to find an angle of unique interest like it had in 1997, because it wouldn’t be *the* epic special effects movie of the decade, it would be one of *many* epic special effects films of the decade. Even with updated special effects, do you think Titanic would be enough for today’s audience? Do you think that because the special effects and scale wouldn’t be blowing people’s minds anymore, the love story/plot would be looked at much more critically in 2012?
Though, I suppose it would have one hyped up line to add to the trailers… “From the director of Avatar, the biggest movie of all time…” Is James Cameron alone enough to sell a movie?