Once 2011 has ended, and I can say I proudly held up my 3D boycott for an entire year, I will lift it for 2012, and one of the movies […]
Once 2011 has ended, and I can say I proudly held up my 3D boycott for an entire year, I will lift it for 2012, and one of the movies I’ve already decided I will give a shot in 3D is the re-release of James Cameron‘s Titanic, which returns to theaters in April for the 15th anniversary of its original 1997 release, but more importantly, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the actual vessel. Nice round number, time to squeeze some more money out of the old gal! I mean…it’s in tribute! It’s in tribute. Totally honorable intentions from all involved.
Here is the hot-off-the-presses re-release trailer:
As always, I find the self-congratulating distasteful. Who are they to declare Titanic is the “World’s Most Beloved And Acclaimed Film”? Gimme an f’n break. If by beloved you mean highest-grossing, it isn’t even that anymore. By that standard, Avatar is the world’s most beloved film. Or, if you wanna adjust for inflation, Gone with the Wind is still the world’s most beloved film, and has been for 72 years. And though it won 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, Titanic isn’t even close to being the world’s most acclaimed film. Most of the big critics were outraged that L.A. Confidential didn’t win Best Picture and Director that year. I’m not among those people, but I can understand that point of view.
I also love the reverse-crediting, where on a trailer for a 1997 film, they say, “From James Cameron – The Visionary Director of Avatar”. That might be a first. Apparently they think nobody will be interested in seeing a movie that grossed $1.8 billion worldwide unless they know it was directed by the guy who did something even bigger they saw recently. Wait, are there really people who haven’t seen Titanic?
Why am I gonna see this again, let alone in 3D? For one, Cameron is one of the few filmmakers I trust to put out great 3D, and even though most post-converted 3D films have looked awful (or so I’ve read- I don’t see ’em), I continue to hear how Cameron is aware of post-conversion issues, and that his team has spent millions of dollars and several years working on the 3D conversion to Titanic. So I happen to trust that they’re gonna pull this off, because whether or not I like that Cameron is now the god of 3D, he clearly does care about it, especially in its application to his own films. I also happen to believe that, at least in this instance, there are a lot of scenes that will look pretty good in 3D.
Much more than any of that, I just want to see the movie on the big screen again. Titanic came out when I was 17, and has been one of the game-changing movies in my life. I was working at the theater at the time, and I couldn’t get enough of watching crowds watch that movie, especially the scenes with the ship sinking. You just don’t see that kind of thing much anymore, and I got to see it every night for a good 4 months while that film dominated the box office. I saw the movie in its entirety 5 times while it was out, but there are certain scenes I watched while working more than a hundred times, easy. Yeah, I know the romance is kinda sappy, but it’s still better than 90% of the romantic comedies you see today. The primary reason I love the film (I currently list it at #13 on my all-time favorite movies list), is because of the spectacle. I haven’t seen it in years, but I fully expect the visual effects to hold up just fine, mostly because unlike now, they didn’t do every effects shot with CGI back then. This is a lesson Cameron himself has long since forgotten. I also haven’t seen the film on Blu-ray, but from watching the HD version of this trailer, it looks like the HD transfer is also excellent.
I’ll be very interested to see just how much money this re-release brings in. I’ve seen a couple of pretty smart people predict it’ll take in another $200 million+ on this re-release, which would be huge. With the abundance of more expensive IMAX screenings and 3D surcharges across the board, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it bring in another $100-150 million, but to have a 15-year old movie outgross most of this year’s films? That would be impressive. Either way, Avatar should be safe from Titanic reclaiming the all-time worldwide box office record, as it’s still almost $940 million in the lead. Unless Titanic is able to harness the combined might of all of Twilight and Justin Bieber fans, it ain’t grossing another billion. Most of the girls my age, who were Leo-crazed teens in 1997, have families and kids of their own now, and most likely don’t have time for a nostalgic Girls Night Out Titanic viewing. But I’ve been wrong before.
For my part, I love Titanic, and I’m not ashamed of it. As a semi-purist who hates that technology has overtaken story as the number one priority for most of today’s filmmakers, I prefer to think of it this way; Titanic is probably the last majority live-action film James Cameron will ever make. It’s one of the last true epics. As such, it’s a timeless relic, just like the actual vessel sitting at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. I will be there opening day April 6, and if they do a midnight show, you can count me in. That said, I’m not looking forward to enduring Kate Winslet saying “Jack!” 78 fucking times again. Yes, that number is accurate.
Don’t believe me?
This will still be great 100 years from now.