Since everybody else is revisiting Titanic, I guess I will too. Today on Jacksonville public radio they had on the author of 101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic…But Didn’t. It was interesting enough, although at this point the things I don’t know about the Titanic fall generally into the category of things I don’t care to know. But listeners were lighting up the phone lines. A hundred years later, people still can’t get enough.Disaster-wise, maybe it’s time to move on. But let’s take another look at the movie. Right up front: I loved it. Yes, it was grandiose and maudlin and Celine Dion’s rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” has begun to seem almost comically over the top. But to me the movie still stands as something of a masterpiece. The casting, the story, the direction, the music, and those once state-of-the-art special effects — they all added up to a spectacular theater experience, the like of which I’ve not seen since. Avatar, that other James Cameron blockbuster, made more money but didn’t come close to Titanic in terms of pure entertainment. Titanic was certainly Cameron’s high-water mark, and probably Hollywood’s too.
That’s not to say it’s the best movie ever made. Far from it. But it’s the best Big Movie, the best blockbuster. It’s one of those precious few where I emerged from the theater thinking my money had been wisely spent. Somewhere around here we have Titanic on two VHS cassettes, but we’d never watch them even if we still had a VHS player. This movie is big-screen only, and definitely not one you want to watch on your phone.
That said, I think I’ll skip the new 3D version. I’ve been mentally replaying the parts I remember best, and so far haven’t discovered any moment that would be greatly enhanced by the illusion of depth. Kate Winslet’s breasts, maybe, but that’s being sophomoric.
In some ways, Titanic is like Forrest Gump: People either love it or despise it. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. (Except for me: I liked Forrest Gump, sort of.) How about you? Anybody seen the 3D version yet, or plan to? Have I overlooked a lot of reasons to hate this thing? Finally, who else is waiting for the new 3D version of My Dinner With Andre?