In April next year, on the centenary of the legendary ship’s sinking and the 15th anniversary of the film, James Cameron‘s epic Titanic will return to cinemas, in ‘glorious’ 3D. And with this massive landmark, Cameron has treated us with a brand new trailer, littered with all the famous bits from the film, which for me means I don’t have to watch it again.
Despite its massive fan base, the near $2 billion box office gross and 11 Oscar wins, for me Titanic still remains one of the most, if not the most, over praised movie of the 90’s. It is a gigantic spectacle movie posing as a deep melodrama. Behind the insane special effects, which surprisingly don’t appear to have aged, and some memorable images (the image of the elderly couple kissing on the bed while the water gushes beneath them to this day remains stunning), there is literally nothing of merit.
Amid Cameron’s trademark atrocious dialogue, which we get a sample of in the trailer “When the boat docks, I’m getting off with you.”, we are treated to 3 hours of a bland romance story with stereotypes in complete abundance, with an array of performances varying from average to simply wooden. Kate Winslet tries her hardest, Kathy Bates chews the scenery, Bill Paxton comes across as nothing less than a posing idiot and despite the fact he is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean for the majority of the running time, nothing is wetter than Leonardo DiCaprio. And let’s not mention that bloody awful warbling garbage from Celine Dion.
The 3D smacks of serious contradiction of the entire Cameron philosophy. After saying periodically for the past 2 years that post conversion 3D is evil, now that he knows he can squeeze some more cash out of it, Cameron is suddenly on its side. Saying they spent x-amount of money and 60 weeks in a painstaking conversion process doesn’t even begin to convince me this is about ‘artistic integrity’.
Film is a business, first and foremost, I understand that, but if Cameron was so dedicated to the process of 3D as a form then he shouldn’t be releasing this back into the cinemas in 2D as well. If he was that confident he’d go all out and make it purely 3D. Of course I feel he has made himself the spokesperson for 3D by pure accident when he was marketing Avatar as the future of cinema, which was nothing more than a ploy to get bums on seats. After that film took so much money in, he is now obliged to defend stereoscopy at every event he turns up at.
That being said I do think Cameron is a sincere guy, he’s certainly not way down on Michael Bay‘s level. His female characters are consistently the stronger than the male characters, which is very unusual for a blockbuster director. In the past he has made some very good films, Aliens being the stand out. I just can’t get my hat on with Titanic, its primary register is bland and for all the spectacle he throws at the screen it simply washes over you as the film crawls its way through 3 hours of banality.
Titanic will land back in cinemas on April 6th, 2012.