The Establishing Shot: Are you ready to go back to the - Titanic 3D Review It’s EPIC!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

titanic 3dIt’s late and I have had to wait for Valentines Day to end before dashing my thought out about James Cameron's remastering and 3D conversion of his 1997 phenomenon Titanic. So please excuse any errors below as I really wanted to get my thoughts on Titanic 3D out as soon as possible.

I remember my first viewing of Titanic. I wasn't too keen on going to see it. This was after all a romantic tale from James Cameron - the man who brought us the all out action thrill rides of The Terminator, Aliens and The Abyss. But my extended family roped me into seeing it and predictably I was swept away by the tale of carefree but penniless Jack the lad Dawson and his pursuit of Rose DeWitt Bukater and how Jack comes to prove he is worth more than a damn.

At the time I remember feeling not entirely convinced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack and Kate Winslet’s performance at times seemed very stagey, but in its entirety Titanic was more than enough to win me over. Although I maintain that in a lot of the shots the ship looks too new and a little fake. Well last night as a surprise I took the lady to a special Valentine’s screening and we went back to the Titanic in 3D this time and were both bowled over.

     Video: Titanic 3D | Trailer | Official HD    

A couple of months ago I made some extra effort to ensure that I got to watch the preview footage of Titanic 3D at Empire’ Big Screen and I was really impressed. James Cameron’s eye for detail in full effect converting Titanic into an immersive 3D experience. The original piece can be read here! in situ or below:

Next up was another highlight of BIG SCREEN for me. We were treated to some footage from James Cameron’s re-mastered Titanic 3D. Titanic 3D A boy and girl from differing social backgrounds meet during the ill-fated maiden voyage of RMS Titanic.

I was struck by three things while watching the footage from Titanic 3D.

1. Wow! An almost unrecognizable Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio were young when they made Titanic.

2. The footage from Titanic 3D was absolutely phenomenal and I was awe struck along with the rest of the audience while watching the familiar scenes in a whole new way. James Cameron’s notorious attention to detail very clearly in full effect and Titanic 3D looks absolutely magnificent.

3. James Cameron, the richest man in the world is going to double, or triple his fortune with Titanic 3D. As everyone and their mother (including me) is going to be in the queue to see Titanic (3D) again.

Initially when I heard James Cameron was going to release Titanic 3D I thought it was some kind of error and that someone had mistaken Ghosts of the Abyss one of Cameron’s underwater 3D documentaries about the Titanic for Titanic the film. I couldn’t conceive that Titanic, not only one of the most successful films of all time but considered a classic by many a film that relies mainly on performances and atmosphere rather than the visual aspects. And sure James Cameron and his team put a lot of effort into making both the sets and CG elements of the film look authentic but I think we would all agree that the performances and way Jack and Rose’s romance rolls out are the heart of Titanic. So why convert that into 3D?

Well after watching the 3D footage I was again surprised by the maverick genius of James Cameron as he again takes a story with an ending we already know and make it a whole new experience for us to enjoy.

Titanic 3D is going to be absolutely awesome.

A couple of weeks ago I went along to Fox to see some more footage a well as hear Producer Jon Landau’s thoughts on the 3D conversion and re-release of Titanic as well as his thoughts on; the 3D format, post conversion vs shooting in 3D, Avatar 2 and the future of film. I’ll have a piece, expanding on this, up soon. Needless to say these new and extended scenes were a pleasure to take in and I was quite looking forward to seeing Titanic 3D when it made its way onto the screen. And what better opportunity to see the greatest love story ever made than as a Valentine’s treat?

Watching Titanic 3D felt like returning to somewhere familiar but being there for the first time. I guess you could call it nostalgia. From the moment the film starts with Brock Lovett’s (Bill Paxton) Snoop submersible discovering the Titanic to Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On kicking in Titanic is magnificent. 

The performances have improved with age and DiCaprio is incredibly compelling as Jack and you can’t help but be taken in by his boyish charm. The scenes and dialogue which I thought cheesy at the time are now meaningful and so much more tragic when played out with Kate’s poor little rich girl. But Kathy Bates as the unsinkable Molly Brown gives the piece a major lift in personality along with as Victor Garber as Thomas Andrews  the man who built the Titanic. I genuinely care about these characters and there is nothing disposable about them even though I know where it is all going.

Despite having seeing Titanic at least twice previously Cameron’s dual timeline story held me transfixed as it turned and twisted, surprising me with its simple but complex upstairs downstairs narrative weave. It is magical and although a lot of this was a revelatory experience for me Titanic was the biggest film in the world so I am pretty sure a lot people know this already.

 The ship still looks too new and fake but the visual spectacle of Titanic is utterly magnificent. Cameron's use of a slightly muted palette with yellow tones for the older Titanic timeline, gives it a golden era nostalgia when juxtaposed with the dark blue of the underwater scenes, and the crisp visuals of the modern day timeline. And they have stood the test of time with the visuals looking as fresh as they did on release.

With the 3D I did notice that with some of the faster motion scenes had a speed blur, that was a bit distracting. But the underwater 3D was mind blowing and I loved every bit of it, close up scenes especially actor’s faces are extraordinary and you can really see that effort and time has been put into the conversion.  Titanic 3D may be an incredible experience and wow you with it's stunning visuals but the story and the characters are still King.

There is some cynicism around Titanic being re-released and in 3D no less, but it is a sad indictment of our times if a genius cannot enhance and update his work and let the world see it. Titanic 3D is EPIC and very much ready for another visit if this is your first time buckle in as you are in for a ride. I highly recommend the 3D version but if you are unable or unwilling to enjoy 3D go see the 2D version and I guarantee you'll be swept away all over again.

Image: Titanic 3D Poster