This Week at the Movies: Titanic 3D

Last weekend marked the re-release of James Cameron’s Titanic, accompanied by 3D conversion. One would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Titanic. The 194-minute film falls un-der the rather busy cross-genre of “epic-romantic-disaster film,” as it takes place on the glorious but doomed ship (epic) where a high-class woman meets and falls in love with a poor artist (romantic) and the pair have to fight to be together, all while the ship sinks around them (disaster). The film launched Leonardo DiCaprio, not only to stardom, but also into the hearts of every teenage girl of the late 90s. It went on to win a record 11 Academy Awards, includ-ing Best Picture, and grossed over $1 bil-lion to boot. No wonder James Cameron yelled the film’s infamous line, “I’m king of the world!” after he won Best Director.

Titanic 3D follows a growing string of movies being re-released in 3D, with the last few months seeing the re-release of The Lion King, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phan-tom Menace and Beauty and the Beast. Is this a new trend in movies? Will other such popular movies follow in the footsteps of Titanic? At an estimated $19 million to convert the epic into 3D, not all studios may think it would be worth it. That being said, it took James Cameron’s other ridiculously successful mov-ie, Avatar, to dethrone Titanic as the highest grossing film of all time. Keep in mind Ti-tanic kept that place for over 10 years without even adjusting for inflation. Clearly, this film of star-crossed lovers on a sinking ship has stayed in people’s hearts over the years. The question is, how many people love it enough to pay for the expensive 3D ticket?

The film is clearly a fantastic one. It has action, romance, nudity, historical ac-curacy, life and death situations – every-thing someone could possibly want in a movie. That alone could make someone go back and see it again (or for the first time) in theaters. The constant re-runs on TNT may not be enough for some. But I believe what will draw more viewers is nostalgia. This movie set the new standard for a film romance and made what I can only assume to be thousands of people stand at the bow of a ship and scream “I’m king of the world!” The sink-ing of the Titanic itself is both heart-wrenching and epic. To be sure, 3D only adds to a movie that 15 years ago didn’t need any third dimension to have eye-popping shots of the ship. Based on Cameron’s typical thorough-ness, there is no doubt that the conversion was carefully and well done. And, of course, who doesn’t want to hear Celine Dion’s song once again accompany Kate and Leo’s romance?

One thing that is sometimes overshad-owed by the romance in this film is Cam-eron’s dedication to historical accuracy. He holds a fascination with shipwrecks and deep sea and, for the film, did several dives to the Titanic itself to gather footage and infor-mation. Cameron also spent six months re-searching all the crew and passengers of the ship, creating an excruciatingly detailed time-line of the few days of the ship’s voyage at sea. Unsurprisingly, he used all this information to pay meticulous attention to detail during the film’s production. He wanted to create a film that felt as if it were living history. For actual filming, the production team used original blueprints to re-create the ship – to scale. The interior rooms were reproduced exactly as originally built using photographs and blueprints. Cameron even hired Titanic historians to make sure everything down to the picture frame hooks used were accurate. As I said, the man is thorough.

With amazing production, direction, acting, set design, chemistry between the leads – the list goes on and on – Titanic is a timeless and simply epic film. In-deed, it is much more worthwhile to see than many other movies that demand the pricey 3D ticket price. So, if you’re feel-ing nostalgic about the 90s or for a time when Leo DiCaprio actually cracked a smile in his movies, head down to Ti-tanic 3D. It seems this film’s heart – and moneymaking capability – will go on for a while more.

Contact Margaretta Burdick at

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