James Cameron’s Titanic returns to cinemas in the US and UK this week with a 3D makeover to coincide with the centenary of the disaster. But what of the critics’ claims that this 2012 rendering into 3D of the 1997 movie is a shameless money spinner? After all, nothing has been rewritten. Nothing has been reshot. It’s exactly the same movie now utilizing the latest in 3D technology.
Is it enough to get people flocking to the cinemas to see The Titanic in 3D when they may well have seen exactly the same movie in 2D a few years ago?
“You’ve got a gift, Jack. You see people,” says Kate Winslet’s Rose DeWitt Bukater to Leonardo DiCaprio’s starving artist Jack Dawson. “I see you,” Jack replies, pointedly.
Those who like the idea of this new 3D Titanic movie say that this idea of seeing is at the crux of the issue.
In the 3D format, supporters say, an audience can more easily understand how huge the ship was and how monumental the disaster was, making it a more powerful movie.
The first 25 minutes of the movie are spent going over the real barnacle-encrusted wreck of the Titanic with Bill Paxton’s treasure hunter.
Back in 1997, CGI was used sparingly, where it absolutely had to be used. And the same could be said of the use of 3D in 2012. Scenes that would benefit from the added perspective of 3D are in 3D, where other, more intimate moments aren’t. Oh hang on, is that another reason not to like this new movie because it would have a lot of exactly the same scenes, not using 3D?
So, 15 years after the original, we can appreciate what has become a classic Hollywood epic. It has aged well. Kate and Leonardo missed out on Best Actor and Actress Oscars that year, though. They went to Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt for As Good As It Gets.
But Titanic established Cameron’s reputation as a classic Hollywood megalomaniac. So it’s kind of fitting that this $18 million 3D conversion took longer to add in than the original movie took to shoot.
So, I don’t know if the 3D technology will ram home the enormous scale of the Titanic tragedy in its centenary year, or help us feel closer to the people and their terror. But I will probably go along to find out…and I bet there will be plenty more like me