Welcome to the first edition of Film Buffet...
100 years after the sinking of the most massive ship ever built, a vessel once viewed as “unsinkable”, James Cameron seemed to take a break with Avatar 2 (hopefully?!) and re-released his proudest work prior to our vacation on planet Pandora. I am talking about Titanic, which I had not seen until now. While most of the world is so familiar with this work that the world may be in shock that I, a modest lover of film had not seen the movie. And lucky me, I get to see it in 3D, of course there is the question of motive so I will come clean; this was a date night and it was totally Krist's idea. Not to say I wasn't eventually wowed by what would grace my eyes and ears.
Though the film is over a decade old, there isn't much that has changed in the past 15 years that aged Titanic. Regardless of this, the film definitely needed an upgrade so for our extra four bucks we get to see the movie in 3D. Still, I would still have to project myself to the time when this flick was God and King of the box office and raked in millions of dollars from people seeing it multiple times. I remember 1997 and cannot recall a moment that I truly was excited to see Titanic. I only seem to remember NOT having a girlfriend and hating the idea of seeing a romantic epic at my young angry years. I was merely a boy and so what if this was the same director of Terminator, I hated love stories. The house lights lowered and I felt my gal's arm wrap around mine and heard her voice tickle my ear and say, “I think your gonna like this movie, babe.”.
The film opens with beautiful sepia tones of old film footage showing the Titanic taking its initial passengers on its ill-fated maiden voyage to New York. As history tells us, before the boat could crash into the statue of liberty and blame New York for its misfortune, it hit an iceberg instead. 1,500 people lost their lives; mostly the poor and causes of death were mostly hypothermia from being in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. Though as the minutes go on, we're introduced to a group of modern scientific treasure hunters on the hunt for a famous jewel aboard the now-sunken ship. Their only hope to recover anything is to bring to the project the last remaining survivor of that, the largest ship wreak, a 101 year old woman who wore the jewel herself and was rescued when all went to hell.
As the epic moves on, Titanic tells a romantic tale of a woman choosing between an unpredictable, poor, but sweet man, or a secure, but pompous rich asshole. Kate Winslet plays Rose, the damsel in distress; a woman forced to marry a total turn of the century douchebag. Leonardo DiCaprio is Jack, a nomadic adventure seeker with a love for art but not even two dimes to rub together. They fall in love, the boat sinks and... you get it. Most everyone is familiar with the lovemaking and death of Jack in the freezing waters after totally being denied the right to a spot on that damn floating platform. But for a first timer it was all so new and so moving. We are introduced to a girl that is choosing what makes her happy, we witness a rivalry of classes and the measure of a good man and ultimately see the depths of love by showing the lengths we go to pursue it.
The film practically rebuilt the Titanic in 1997 in movie set form, and the 200 million dollar budget is spent well to show us what the people of Titanic were seeing when they first stepped aboard the vessel. The sinking of the ship is milked of every moment, from the time the iceberg was hit, to the moment she hit the floor of the sea. This new version gives us all this in 3D; which I hate to say, brings little to the show. But regardless, I finally get to see an amazing cast at a time when we barely knew them; Leonardo has the charisma we love in a leading man. Kate is sensational and takes the roll with class and zeal that we continue to see to this day. Seeing Kathy Bates as a streetwise new blood millionaire is a treat to see, especially when she is revealed as a voice of reason when the rear section of the ship is plunging fast. Cameron did his homework on the history of this short voyage.
I left the theater that night feeling a new appreciation for film, Director James Cameron, the history of the Titanic, and most importantly my fiance. I won't bog this down with any questions to myself of what I would do if I was aboard the ship with my girl, though it is tempting to break that scenario down. Rather, I now see that this movie was merely off my list for the wrong reasons; I no longer loathe Leo, nor do I fear a love story. This movie wins and its not because of the eye trickery of 3D glasses.