Saturday, April 28, 2012

123) Titanic (1997)

123) Titanic (1997) Dir: James Cameron Date Released: December 14, 1997 and later April 4, 2012 Date Seen: April 15, 2012 Rating: 3/5

By now, I can't help but selectively react to baggage surrounding this film, which has become something of a cultural artifact since its release, as much as the film itself. The two things are the same thing now, I guess. So some scattered thoughts:

  • The 3D post-conversion of this film is really good. I think that if all 3D post-converted films looked this good, the seemingly terminally stalled conversation about 3D's worth could progress.
  • Billy Zane was not as bad as I'd been told. It's the role, guys.
  • Leonardo Dicaprio is not as bad as my mother has always led me to believe. It's the role, mom.
  • Kate Winslet is as dead sexy as I've been led to believe. People who say otherwise are pinheads. There's one scene I've fixated on where Winslet is nekkid and she's standing in the extreme left foreground of the camera's frame. And in the post-converted 3D version, the side of her right hip gets all up in my face. Me want. More so than the 3D Kate Winslet breasticles I was promised. Those were fine. But 3D side-hip: WHOA. 
  • I'm kind of charmed by Cameron's lame approach to filming history like the Colonoial Williamsburg style re-enact history. Characters info-dump at great length the contextualizing trivia that Cameron wants us to know--and they do it all with a straight face! Which is funny, really, but it's mostly just cute for how sincerely cheesy it is.
  • Really good special effects, especially when the ship goes tits up. I was also pretty scared during that one scene where Kate is trudging back to free Leo with axe in hand. 
  • I greatly resent the bizarre disconnect between the film's implied message--of how all life is worth living, we should live every day as if it were our last and that nothing else matters--and the way that Cameron actively condemns many of the film's stiff upper-class characters. His hypocritical us v. them delineation is annoying when it's just a class warfare thing. But that kind of mentality is even more infuriating later in the film, when the perfidious nature of Zane's character is confirmed when he desperately tries to bribe people to let him into a lifeboat/ Didn't we JUST establish that wanting to live is a good thing? How can you condemn survivors, even the ones in the lifeboats that were afraid of taking on more passengers, for making the wrong decision at the wrong time? Fuck that.

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