On the night of April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after hitting an iceberg. It is a disaster which still lingers in the minds of people 100 years later. James Cameron made a film which captured the human drama and raw intensity of Titanic’s awe and horror. After its release in 1997, it eventually became the highest grossing film of all time only to be beaten by Cameron’s own Avatar 12 years later. Titanic is a moving love story set against a thrilling action film. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the actual disaster, Paramount Pictures has released the film in a special Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray 2D/Digital Copy combo pack so audiences can weep all over again.
If you aren’t familiar with the epic masterpiece that is Titanic, then it’s time you became aware of the story. The film takes place on the famous doomed ship which left port from London and was meant to dock in New York. That part was real and so was the sinking. The bulk of the film’s story is fictionalized and focuses on two young lovebirds Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio). Rose is an uptight upperclass girl who is supposed to marry jerk steel tycoon Cal (Billy Zane). She meets penniless free spirit artist Jack and sparks begin to fly. Their romance blossoms just as Titanic founders.
As usual, James Cameron has delivered a top notch film here. The man certainly knows what he’s doing with every picture he gets involved in. Every aspect of Titanic has his expert touch written all over it. Obviously his expertise is in the action genre and this has been apparent ever since 1984’s The Terminator. His camerawork is furious and his writing is extraordinary. White knuckles, goosebumps and being at the edge of your seat are guaranteed when viewing a Cameron film.
Having said that, Cameron is an expert at action filmmaking, Titanic is half that and half romance. There is a beautiful balance of both genres in Titanic. The love story between Rose and Jack is simply heartwarming. It seems so real through both the dialogue and of course the acting. Both Winslet and DiCaprio were in their early twenties at the time of the film but their performances seemed like they were much older. Titanic paved the way for both of these terrific actors and thankfully, their talent is still being utilized today.
Titanic is not only about people. It is obviously also about the sinking of the ship and the sinking was recreated here in vivid detail. Using a set, minatures, computer-generated imagery and a vast array of other technological tools, Titanic sank all over again. The crew on Titanic made the sinking of the ship look extremely realistic, mesmerized audiences and caught the attention of the voters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film won a boatload of Oscars for technical wizardry not to mention the coveted prizes for Best Picture and Best Director tying 1959’s Ben Hur for most wins (11).
With 3D technology now commonplace with theatrical and home video releases, films are not just watched, they are experienced. Titanic, while a beautiful film in many ways, 3D doesn’t really enhance the film all that much. The 3D moments aren’t very awe inspiring and are basically just limited to the current day Titanic underwater expedition led by a mediocre Bill Paxton which weaves in and out of the main story. Cameron has given audiences a real treat with Titanic. It is a film which transcends normal filmmaking and leaves viewers breathless with every shot. The gorgeous score by James Horner adds layers upon layers of emotion and the end result is not just a film about a dying ship but about a love between two characters which will live forever.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The bonus features for Titanic are, well titanic. There are three commentaries by cast, crew and Cameron. There is Reflections on Titanic, Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron. There are 30 deleted scenes, 60 behind-the-scenes featurettes, and much more.