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Blu-ray Review: Titanic

4
Posted September 27, 2012 by Jennifer McShane in Action
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Rating

Ramp Rating
 
 
 
 
 


Overview

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Release Date: September 14th, 2012
 

Pros:

The spectacle is still as wondrous as ever.
 

Cons:

The bulk of the extra features were already included on a 2005 Special Edition.
 

Just released on Blu-ray, Titanic isn’t showing its age. Jenny McShane revisits Cameron’s epic.

by Jennifer McShane
Full Article

Unless you live under some kind of (wet) rock, you’ll have heard of and seen Titanic. The majority of us have shed a few tears at and been wowed by the visual spectacle that makes up the second biggest selling movie of all time (ahead of director James Cameron’s 2009 smash Avatar). Few could have foreseen the impact the doomed ship’s tale would have on pop culture. Grossing over two billion dollars worldwide, nominated for a staggering 11 Oscars and making us feel a certain dislike for that Celine Dion track, the film sails onto Blu-ray fifteen years after its release and really is just as impressive now as it was then.

This has been quite a year for the Titanic. 2012 marks the centenary of the sinking and so it seemed only apt to finally give the film the treatment it deserves on high definition Blu-ray. Critics have suggested that the re-release is merely a big money-making scam, taking the sentiment and respect out of the anniversary. Viewing the film with a fresh perspective, it’s easy to see that this genuinely wasn’t Cameron’s intent.

The Blu-ray boasts over six and a half very impressive hours of bonus material, which includes two new documentaries: a retrospective of the making of the film and a National Geographic special called The Final Word. It’s here that we see just what a perfectionist Cameron is. A deep-sea dive fanatic, he has made a staggering 30 dives to the wreck and cites this as what piqued his interest in making the film. He used the film, he says, so he could visit the wreck ‘for real’. These shots are visible in the opening scenes. He really did put so much care, time and effort into the historical accuracy of the film and this is something that can only be appreciated by watching the documentaries.

Titanic’s story centers around the upper-class Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), and her passionate romance with third class passenger Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) as they embark for America on luxury liner Titanic. From truly different worlds, their love story unfolds against the odds as the ship sails towards its doom. Cameron’s storytelling strength lies in how much we care about the characters. The dialogue is excellent, and every scenario between Cameron’s (historical or otherwise) characters seems entirely plausible.

The viewer, of course, knows how the tragedy will unfold, and this is what heightens the impact on the audience. Clocking in at just over 3 hours, the film packs an emotional punch right from the get-go, so much so that you won’t notice the time passing.  It’s truly a spectacle, and never has this been more apparent than on Blu-ray. The film has been restored so those lavish and colorful sets look better now than they ever have. As the ship sinks, the effects (which were way ahead of their time) are top notch. It seems the film hasn’t aged a day and we get to enjoy our favorite (sometimes cheesy) moments over and over again, without having to change discs at the half way point.

Special Features:

You can get two versions of the film on Blu-ray: one standard version in a double disc format and a 3D version, which is spread over an extra two discs. The stand outs are the two documentaries mentioned above, but there’s a treasure trove of delights for any Titanic fan. Over 30 deleted scenes, tons of ‘behind the scenes’ featurettes, three commentaries from historians, cast and crew and Cameron himself (this is the best of the lot – every tiny detail per shot is spoken about) and an array of photographs, blooper reels and other bits and pieces from the archive – you’ll need a day just to get through the lot!

The only negative aspect is that the bulk of this content has been released before. Most of the features were already included on a 2005 Special Edition, four disc version of the DVD (which is out of print now), so if you had already bought this, the added content is fairly lacklustre. It’s worth it just to have the new documentaries and the film in a HD format as it was intended to be seen.


About the Author

Jennifer McShane

Journalist, Writer and Pop Culture enthusiast. I ramble about movies and plenty of other stuff on occasion and am very happy to be here.

  • http://twitter.com/notRuairi Rú Hickson

    Among all the unfortunate wandering heart business, it’s easy to forget that Titanic is, in fact, a very good film. Totally agree with the 4.5

    • Jennifer_McShane

      I think many tend to foget about the quality of the film itself, thanks to the massive hype machine that was hard at work when it was originally released. It is well worthy of the praise that had been lavished upon it, and I’ll take it over ‘Avatar’ any day of the week.

      • http://twitter.com/notRuairi Rú Hickson

        Cameron is an incredibly accomplished film maker. Even Avatar had more good about it than bad. Titanic *was* hyped more than The Strokes, though.

        • Jennifer_McShane

          I have to agree with you on Cameron: he is a master craftsman. I enjoyed Avatar. I don’t love it like some of his previous work, but it looks incredible and is definitely not his worst.

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