Viewed – 20 July 2008 DVD & revisited 27 July 2013 Blu-ray
Picked this up rather cheap recently, and thought it really deserved a review. James (Avatar) Cameron’s 1997 epic disaster movie / love story took no less than 11 Oscars at the time, and once you have sat through the 3hr+ movie, it’s not hard to see why. Everything about this grand spectacle reeks of class. The production design is outstanding, fully recreating one of the most famous ships in history, and with a credible cast, some of the finest special effects I’ve ever seen, and a second half that always leaves me shaken & stirred – this movie deserves to go down (no pun intended) in history as a cinematic icon.
Ok, that love story may not be based on fact but leads Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio give it their all, and make for a very romantic pairing, their attraction never in doubt. I have heard some criticize this movie for its slushiness – and yes, sometimes it is laid on a bit thick, but without it, it would be a journey of hopelessness and doom … not exactly audience grabbing entertainment. Cameron was right to not have the sinking as the film’s focus, and with that achieves a ‘classic Hollywood’ feel comparable to Gone With The Wind, and all the schmaltz that comes with it. I’m guessing the cover is a nod to that much admired classic of yester-year. Even the over-blown camp of Billy Zane’s scorned fiance can’t spoil this. On reflection having watched this movie several times, I feel DiCaprio is a little too arrogant, whilst Kate Winslet (has she ever looked more beautiful?) at times manages to look unsure of herself, despite her likability. Yet it has to be said what Cameron put them through to capture some of the scenes here, especially during the sinking is nothing short of incredible – that even if they aren’t perfect, the physical demands of this must be applauded.
The Blu-ray is damn pretty. The movie has a slight softness to it but close up detail is exceptional and the photography hit me as quite jaw-dropping. There is a distinct layer of grain that gives the movie a very film-like look, and along with a bassey 5.1 sound track that brings James Horner’s emotional score to life – this is every bit the HD treatment fans could have wished for. The 2 disk Blu-ray boast 3 commentaries (one by the director, another from cast & crew, and a third from Titanic experts / historians). We also get several in-depth documentaries including the new ‘reflections on Titanic’, an exhaustive photo gallery as well as deleted scenes and outtakes. A superb package for what is one of the most enduring movies of all time. Essential.
(the movie) 5 /5
(the Blu-ray) 5 /5
- Titanic (myoldaddiction2.wordpress.com)
- Unexpected Love (arvielynmontanez.wordpress.com)
- Kate Winslet is defined by her career not her children (newstatesman.com)