Film Review: Titanic
● By Justin Buettner
I wonder if it is necessary to write a synopsis to the story of Titanic, hasn’t everyone already seen this movie? Just in case, it involves a love story between a rich girl and a stowaway poor boy on the doomed voyage of the Titanic. Once the ship crashes into the iceberg it becomes a mad dash for survival amongst the carnage and destruction.
Despite your personal feelings about the movie, it’s undeniable that Titanic is the best constructed film of all time. The combination of story elements and the execution of bringing this film to the screen is unmatched. Titanic is a movie that offered something for everyone and crossed gender and age boundaries. It accomplished this feat as a historical period film that has a running time of over 3 hours. The box office records it completely shattered still remain out of touch for every film with the exception of Avatar, indecently made by the same director, James Cameron.
It is no mistake that James Cameron owns these box office records either. No one is as efficient at manipulating an audience as he is. Combine that with the fact that no one even dreams of attempting a production on the scale that he does and you have a lethal mix. The amount of detail James Cameron put into the construction of the ship alone is amazing. He pretty much recreated the Titanic down to every minute detail. Cameron has made over 27 dives himself down to the wreckage of this ship and the amount of study he put into the technical aspects of this film are a marvel. It is no wonder that Titanic carried a price tag north of 200 million, at the time an unheard of budget for a film.
The process of transforming this movie into 3D was spared no expense too. This isn't your average conversion to 3D using a basic process. In some of the large crowd scenes they put each person on their own level of perspective, reaching in excess of over 100 levels of depth (the average movie conversion rarely passes 4 levels). Technically Titanic is one of the most complex 3D films in history. But was it needed? Probably no more than the next film. I always suggest only seeing movies in 3D that were shot with 3D cameras and were planned as exclusively 3D films, Titanic obviously was not.
So, do I like Titanic? I like aspects of the movie. Definitely the action scenes of the ship sinking are expertly crafted. The love story portion of the story comes across a bit silly to me but I won't argue that the overall story is crafted very well for mass consumption. The Great thing about James Cameron's writing is that he makes it very clear who we as an audience should root for and who the bad guys are. That is what makes him so great as a science fiction writer, where other writers of the science fiction genre get too caught up on complicating their stories. Although there are several scenes I thought lacked subtly in Titanic, the good parts of the movie certainly outweigh the bad.
Titanic, much like Avatar, is a movie that is made to be seen in a theater. The epic action of the ship sinking is so large in scale that a small, or even large screen TV does not do it justice. I have little to no desire to see Titanic again on home video but I think the cost of seeing a film as ambitious as this film is worth the extra cost. In addition it allows a whole new generation of movie goers to experience this film the way it was intended to be seen. Titanic was so well made almost 15 years ago it still stands up incredibly well against the effects driven films of today in terms of special effects technology. In short, Titanic is well worth the time and money to revisit again in a theater.
Films like Titanic: Avatar, Gone With the Wind, and Casablanca
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.