So Paramount and associated companies laid out quite the event the other night for Valentine’s Day by giving a select few audiences a sneak peek at the re-release of Titanic in April, newly upgraded to 3D.
Now before you heave that sigh, and say 3D, really?? Titanic??
The one thing one needs to remember about the film, besides how incredibly hot Kate Winslet is, is that it was written and directed by James Cameron. Now no matter what one thinks of Avatar (wasn’t a fan) technically it was a great achievement, showing that 3D didn’t have to be gimmicky with things lunging out of the screen at you. It can be used to enhance the actual film-going experience, to add visual depths to the film.
But I’m starting to get ahead of myself.
On arriving we were directed to the upper floor of the AMC24 at Yonge and Dundas, where we were greeted by a plethora of folk milling about and enjoying everything that had been arranged for us.
First off there was a photo-op against a Titanic backdrop with a couple in fancy dress referring to themselves as Jack and Rose. But the picture turned out great, and we’ll post it when we find it!
We also realized we were in first class, not only because we got free popcorn and drinks, but there was a quartet playing away in the corner, making sure we had music to down to.
While we wandered about, we noticed that there were also sketch artists on hand to do portraits while you wait, happily no one decided to strip down and re-enact Kate’s performance in that scene, but both artists did wonderful work.
Finally when we wandered into the theater, we were issued first class boarding passes, special Titanic 3D glasses (I do love cool swag) and then settled into our seats.
I knew going in that the conversion of the film would have to be amazing, otherwise Cameron would never have okayed the re-issue.
But I was simply stunned by how amazing it looks!
You wouldn’t believe looking at it that this film was 15 years old, and hadn’t been shot in 3D the first time around. As the underwater submersibles emerge and descend into the darkness surrounding the ship, the layers worked into the film become readily apparent, there is detritus floating all about, but all at different depths in the picture.
It’s a gorgeous transfer, and it makes the experience truly unique. There’s an added emotional impact when she sinks. The masses of people in the water seem absolutely incredible, and then in turn dwarfed by the sinking hulk towering over them. Another sequence where you could truly see the layers of a 3D film establishing depth, is Rose’s arrival in America while it’s raining, the rain has layer upon layer, not a single sheet… I can only imagine the work that went into converting this film to 3D… was it necessary? No. Does it actually enhance the theater going experience… Yes.
Of course it’s a simple story, much in the same vein of Avatar, a simple tale set against an intricate technical achievement. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet still shine in the roles that helped launch them to super-stardom, and despite it’s simplicity, it’s still engaging as you wait to watch the disaster that you know is inevitable (unless you’re completely unaware of historic events – which apparently some of the people in our audience were, they remarked a number of times, “It’s sinking! The boat is sinking!”).
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the music, James Horner’s score is as always fantastic, he uses a lot of percussion and horns, and of course a stirring use of piano motifs as he incorporates an instrumental version of THAT song.
It’s sad that My Heart Will Go On has descended into the realm of cliché because it really is a gorgeous song,course, it would also have been better if they hadn’t used Celine either. But that’s neither here nor there.
I enjoyed going back to Titanic, but that song at the end now just jars you right out of the experience. It’s too bad that it hasn’t weathered the years as well as the film.
Titanic returns to theaters this April, and if you aren’t opposed to the three hour run time, though it certainly didn’t feel like three hours, course, that is three hours in Kate’s company… Indulge your inner romantic, take a friend, your sweetie, or your gal pals…It makes for a nice evening out.
It was for us, and we also got to walk away with some cool swag, as we were all presented with gift bags on our way out.