Retro trip worth taking
TITANIC 3D ( M)
Director: James Cameron ( Avatar ) Stars: Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Bill Paxton, Gloria Stuart
Even the best ideas deserve a re- sink TODAY’S class starts with a small movie mathematics test. Pencils at the ready, OK? Your time starts . . . now.
Poor boy plus posh girl. Multiplied by an overwhelming mutual attraction. Divided by a ship unsinkable, doing the unthinkable.
Pencils down. There can only be one possible answer: Titanic.
Released in late 1997 with the whole world ready to give it the thumbs down, filmmaker James Cameron’s oceanic opus went on to break every box- office record going.
Now here we are in 2012, a year marking the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s first and last voyage. To commemorate the occasion – and yes, cynics, scoop- up some extra bucks as well – Cameron has renavigated the indisputably unique Titanic experience into the 3D zone.
Did he absolutely have to? No, not really. The original 2D version drew more repeat business from individual viewers than any other first- release film in history.
Subsequent rollouts on VHS ( still going strong in the late ’ 90s!), DVD and TV have meant most Titanic fanatics have seen their favourite disaster epic many, many times. ( But if you have ever watched
Titanic on a computer, tablet or phone, I hold grave fears for your moviegoing mental health. And your eyesight as well, come to think of it.)
So, what is in it for you with a 3D version of Titanic ?
I mean, there are no new scenes. And the bits that did not work before – the clunky dialogue, the syrupy storytelling in the first half, and that wrong- wrongwrong song by Celine Dion – are not about to start working now.
Well, to Cameron’s credit, he has achieved another minor miracle with the 3D reboot. Every single frame of the film has been perfectly remastered, achieving a dazzling image quality that makes the original version look as if it was shot through a used handkerchief.
I’m not kidding. In an era when so many murky 2D- to- 3D upgrades can reduce one’s will to live, Cameron’s painstaking work here is cause for celebration – particularly once the Titanic scrapes the side of that famously unforeseen iceberg, and all aboard are handed a one- way ticket to the drink.
The closing hour of Titanic remains one of the finest in mainstream movies, capturing the full scale of a monumental human tragedy in minute detail.
The 3D enhancement of the action does not diminish any of the intense emotional power harnessed by Cameron and his cast and crew. Remarkably, though it concludes on such an utterly chilling note,
Titanic 3D is a warmly familiar trip well worth the re- taking.