Tuesday, April 3, 2012


On April 12, 1912 the "unsinkable" behemoth RMS Titanic departed on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, never to see land again and dragging over 1,500 souls down to the bottom of the ocean with it. 100 years later, we still remain fascinated by the history and takes surrounding the mythical ship. James Cameron's immensely successful telling of the disaster is also celebrating an anniversary (15th), and it is being rereleased theatrically with a 3D update. Although I did not wish to pay for this new version, I decided to rewatch the film at home in honor of the occasion.
What strikes me about Cameron's film is just how bad or off so many elements about it are. The main culprit, which is the case in most of the movies he scripts, is the putrid and insufferable dialogue. Good actors are given just the worst material possible and their characters are drawn in the most broad of terms. Also class depictions are given the most simplistic rendering and we are given only snooty rich snobs and noble peasantry down below.  Aside from Kate Winslet, none of the actor's stand out. Leo is too boyish, Billy Zane is a cartoon, Bill Paxton is irritating, and Gloria Stuart, I apologize, is insufferable (there's that word again). Her final scene of the movie is gag worthy. And I didn't even mention the soundtrack yet. Then, about 2/3rds into the film, the boat broadsides the iceberg and the remaining hour or so of the film is absolutely riveting, if not preposterous in Zane's pursuits of Kate and Leo. (I found a sequence depicting the band, the captain, and others involved with the creation of the ship deciding to remain on board particularly touching). "Titanic" moves swiftly and the sinking segment makes it worthwhile, but the film does not live up to its reputation.