Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the ship’s maiden (and only) voyage, Director James Cameron re-released his mega-blockbuster “Titanic” back into theaters in full “Real D” 3-D, IMAX 3-D and standard 2-D formats on April 4th 2012. Judging by early box-office estimates and a three-day tally of $15.5 million, the film formerly the all-time leading grosser could rake in ups of $25 million after Easter Sunday has closed. Not bad, considering that it took 60 weeks and $18 million to update via the 3-D process.
In a world where disasters like the partial sinking of cruise ship Costa Concordia still happen, the RMS Titanic is more relevant than ever. But attending a screening over the weekend in a near sold out afternoon 3-D IMAX viewing, I’m happy to say that the Cameron epic film is very much still in people’s hearts and minds as well.
As an avid filmgoer who isn’t really into the 3-D phenomenon, though very much into RMS Titanic lore it was a “must” for me to get out and see the re-release. It had been fifteen years since Titanic was on the big screen and I’d viewed it about six times during that original run, so for my viewing pleasure alone, I’d go and see one of my favorite films again.
This isn’t the “shooting things at your face” type of 3-D. What Cameron did here was very much like what he achieved in his current all-time box-office hit “Avatar;” giving depth to a world that is on a flat movie screen. For Titanic, this worked fantastically! In present day underwater scenes the oceanic debris seemed to trickle down in front of you like snow onto the destroyed ship’s hull. Flash into the past and take a scene like when Rose contemplated jumping into the icy Atlantic. As she hangs there looking over the end of the ship and the camera pans down at that water, the simplicity of added 3-D depth from her perspective utterly immerses and terrifies you. When Jack and Rose party under deck with Tommy, Fabrizio and the rest, you feel as though you too as sidling past people drinking and dancing.
For fans of the film, (like my admission above) this was just another excuse to come out and see one of your favorite movies again regardless of the re-release hook. But what I found upon examining the audience and listening to the people seated around me was that there were a lot of first timers. Parents were bringing their children. Groups of teen girls were excitedly coming in by the droves. Guys were there with their ladies to watch what arguably is one of the most engaging and iconic films of our lifetime.
I mean face it, we all know the boat sinks…that is a given, right? But it is how we get there that makes this 194 minute film so captivating. Though the romance of the film is at the forefront, it is undeniable that at right about the halfway point it takes a backseat and becomes a full-on disaster epic. There is truly something in this for everyone! So do yourself a favor, take some time out to put on those crazy 3-D glasses and get yourself some gorgeous Kate Winslet, retro-Leo-mania, huge boat sinking action.
Luckily for us, this is a voyage that we can – and want to – go on more than once.