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David Poland

By David Poland

Titanic 3D

So… we went to a Valentine’s Night screening of Titanic 3D, which also seemed to be a chance for Paramount to do a reaction spot for TV.

My reaction is not much different than how I felt when I saw the T3D presentation at the studio months ago. Looks gorgeous in 4K on a big screen. No real need for the 3D.

I was happy that when we got to the theater, it turned out not to be IMAX 3D. Those glasses are ridiculous and I have only had one or two happy experiences with that specific format. (I quite like IMAX and don’t always dislike 3D.) So I didn’t get irritated by having the glasses on as we watched the hours of film roll by.

However… I found myself wanting to take the glasses off repeatedly. And here is why: it’s like watching the movie through a filter. Call it darkness, call it clarity… call it what you like. But for me, especially on Titanic, the slight facial fur and occasional acne under the make-up on Kate Winslet and the small pock marks on Leonardo DiCaprio’s face are a part of the intimacy of the movie. The movie takes such painstaking efforts to get every detail right… I want to see them, including the imperfections. And with those glasses on, I could not. Some might be happy not to see detail… to have the image smoothed out even more. But not me. These people are beautiful. They’re imperfections are beautiful.

It struck me that Titanic, which does include some CG, is really the last epic movie anywhere near this size that we are likely to ever see made on a set like this. I can’t speak for a mad genius like Jim Cameron… maybe if he made the film today, he’s still shoot it in a tank with smaller-than-scale but still humongous sets. But most studios, if they were going to make this film, would be CGing most of it… especially with such advances in quality. (One of my favorite things in the digitized version is that Cameron didn’t upgrade the CG of actors on the deck that were cutting edge back then and now look like Lego characters in some shots.)

There were, maybe, a half dozen shots in the whole movie in which the 3D made any difference of significance to me. And as I say, the glasses cost intimacy.

As for the movie itself… God… so much better from start to finish than I remember. Billy Zane is still the sore thumb (no fault of his), but not nearly as offensive as I remember his character being fifteen years ago. The pre-memory opening sequence is a little long and a little too coy about the real intent of the exploration. But somehow, the movie felt like it was 45 minutes shorter than it actually is as we watched it on Tuesday night. Cameron delivers so many beautiful moments. I mean, masterful, masterful filmmaking. One forgets, with years between films and Avatar being such an overwhelming visual experience, just how special this guy is as a teller of intimate stories.

I felt a universalism in Jack and Rose in this film that I didn’t feel 15 years ago. Maybe it’s the GOP primary battle playing out in the last few months, but the generational conflict of this film felt clearer, more one-sided, and more political than ever. Wealth is greedy and selfish and myopic. Youth is open and ambitious and alive. Molly Brown is the hinge for the wealthy. The middle-aged poor on the boat are the hinge for youth, suffering loss with a bit more perspective than Jack and the other young ones. But, it’s not all black and white. Cameron allows grace notes for the rich and some ugliness amongst the lower class… mostly young men working on the ship.

By the end of the tale, bodies everywhere and just over 700 on lifeboats, most viewers will probably feel that the world would be better off if most of those on the lifeboats – majority wealthy – were floating in the water and vice versa.

And when the Heart of the Ocean hits the water, we’re not just moved by the love still held by Rose for Jack, but it’s kind of a happy “fuck you” to Bill Paxton’s expedition of greed.

I’m sure a lot of this was there for many viewers back 15 years ago. But it all really hit me in this screening. And it felt like this could be a real phenomenon amongst a new generation of teenagers… not just an opportunity for people 30 and over to engage in a kitsch-fest from their not-so-long-ago youths.

I’d go again.

I probably will.

To a 2D screen this April.

35 Responses to “Titanic 3D”

  1. lazarus says:

    The last epic size on a scale like this?

    What about Gangs of New York five years later? Those were some pretty gigantic, elaborate sets that could easily have been CGI if done by someone else, and I can’t think of anything “real” on that scale since.

  2. JS Partisan says:

    The ending still kills this movie for me. Oh that ending, but it sucks the 3D comes across as a FILTER more than an enhancement. TPM’s 3D had the ability to make the star field look awesome and that’s about it. It sucks that post conversion is better for animation then it is for a film.

  3. movielocke says:

    Poseidon as well, those sets were insane to walk around, never seen anything like it.

    I’m not surprised that Titanic is better than you remember. Critics stopped being rational and reversed opinions when the movie hit a certain gross. And predictably, they did the exact same thing with Avatar. Then the false narrative that it only made money from teenage girls’ repeat viewings became popular and made it easy for sexists to attack/tear down/demean the movie.

    G.K. Chesterton is still correct, a hundred years later, and critic behavior hasn’t changed, even though the critics themselves have been through many generations: “By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece.”

    Titanic was always much better than its critics give it credit for, but the film is very threatening to the typical beta male film critic or internet man child so it has had it’s reputation slagged by fools who can’t see past their own nasty biases.

  4. leahnz says:

    nifty backlash to the backlash (to the backlash? how many titanic backlashes have their been…the flagellates would be envious) rant movielocke

  5. Paul D/Stella says:

    I like Titanic, but not enough to see it in theaters again. I have a hard enough time keeping up with new movies.

  6. bulldog68 says:

    On a side note: Went to an advanced screening of Ghost Rider 2 last night. I have to say, and I mean this absolutely in the most literal sense you could imagine, WORST FUCKING MOVIE EVERRRRRRRRRR.

  7. jesse says:

    LOVE Titanic but probably don’t need to see it theatrically again, or in 3D, although theatrically is obviously the best way to see it. I agree that it’s become weirdly underrated. It’s big-scale filmmaking, a little corny, but often masterful. Awesome movie. Totally deserved Best Picture over L.A. Confidential or Good Will Hunting. YEP I said it.

    Ooh! Bulldog! OK, I want to ask someone about this because I’d heard negative reactions to Ghost Rider 2 from that AICN festival back in December and I wanted to know more about them without getting spoiled or anything. So I have some questions for you, if you don’t mind!

    (1.) It sounds like you’d say the sequel was worse than the first one. Was it less coherent, had less action? What was going on with that?

    (2.) Do you like the Crank movies? That is, is that sort of gamer-y aesthetic an automatic drawback for you, or are you a Neveldine/Taylor fan who saw something that just doesn’t work despite their presence and/or because they didn’t deliver (like Gamer)?

    (3.) How do you feel about Cage in general? Like him but wish he’d do better movies? Love him in everything, even/especially genre trash?

    (4.) Filmmaking wise, was it worse than the first one? Were the performances as bad as Wes Bentley and Eva Mendes? (And I like Mendes a lot in general.) Was Cage sleepier than in, say, Season of the Witch?

    I ask because I love the Crank movies and Cage and thought this was a natural fit, even without an R rating. And I couldn’t quite get a bead on WHAT people were disliking about the new one. I can imagine it being bad, sure, but it’s hard for me to picture a movie that isn’t at least as good as the medicore first one.

  8. Paul D/Stella says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Neveldine/Taylor, but GR2 did seem like a good match of material and filmmakers. I figured they’d be able to make something more entertaining than Mark Steven Johnson. And it has Ciaran Hinds and Idris Elba in it. Dread Central and IGN loved it, for whatever that’s worth.

  9. jesse says:

    Yeah, that was my thinking: that even the not-so-great N/T+Cage+Elba+Hinds Ghost Rider 2 should be more fun than the first one (and even that one, as lame as it was, was silly and Cage-y enough for me to half-enjoy it while wishing it had been actually good). Frankly, I can’t imagine a movie with Cage being the worst ever because I find him inherently interesting.

  10. JKill says:

    When I heard about GHOST RIDER 2, I couldn’t imagine it being worse than the dreadful, lifeless original. The word of mouth out of BNAT was certainly bad, though. I respect Neveldine/Taylor and their interesting voice that has the avant garde meets low brow flavor of Troma, even though I’m mixed on their work so far (Love both CRANKs, despise GAMER). I was actually kinda looking forward to this, and have been let down by the response I’ve seen so far.

    (Also I think it’s perfect and awesome that half the team is adapting the PS1 game “Twisted Metal”!)

  11. Krillian says:

    True. Even the first GR and Wicker Man had the Cage wildness happening.

  12. storymark says:

    I loved Titanic when I saw it opening day, but I did get swept up in the backlash. Though for me, it was not really about the quality of the movie, but the insane over-saturation that came with it. Of course, I was working in a media store at the time, so it was wall-to-wall Titanic EVERYTHING for months on end. It took me over a decade to actually sit down and watch the film again.

  13. bulldog68 says:

    (1.) It sounds like you’d say the sequel was worse than the first one. Was it less coherent, had less action? What was going on with that? It was worse than the first one, and the first one really stunk up the joint. GR1 was actually more coherent, had more effects, had better captured the spirit of the rider than this lame lazy sedn up of a original that was not any good in the first place. In the sequel you’re supposed to raise the stakes, not have everything look like you leased the set of Mortal Kombat circa 1995, and did not even have the money foe a fresh coat of paint. And since when is The Devil such a fucking pussy?

    (2.) Do you like the Crank movies? That is, is that sort of gamer-y aesthetic an automatic drawback for you, or are you a Neveldine/Taylor fan who saw something that just doesn’t work despite their presence and/or because they didn’t deliver (like Gamer)? I am a fan of the Crank movies, not obsessively so, but they had the right type of energy that worked successively for the formula. Neveldine/Taylor have never been on my radar so I’m not going into something liking their ‘style’ per se. I did not like Gamer and Jonah Hex was in my mind a creative failure. I liked what they tried, but they didn’t quite pull it off.

    (3.) How do you feel about Cage in general? Like him but wish he’d do better movies? Love him in everything, even/especially genre trash? Like him but wish he’d do better movies. But that shit is wearing thin very fast.

    (4.) Filmmaking wise, was it worse than the first one? Were the performances as bad as Wes Bentley and Eva Mendes? (And I like Mendes a lot in general.) Was Cage sleepier than in, say, Season of the Witch? Worse than the first. Worse than Eva & Wes. Cage was comatose. And Idris Elba should realise that shit stains and while you want to collect a paycheck, you could do so much better.

  14. yancyskancy says:

    “I have to say, and I mean this absolutely in the most literal sense you could imagine, WORST FUCKING MOVIE EVERRRRRRRRRR.”

    In the most literal sense, it sounds like you’re saying the sex scenes are terrible. Or that maybe it’s the worst movie to have sex to. :)

  15. bulldog68 says:

    It did not even have a sex scene. :-)

  16. hcat says:

    I don’t think its fair to dismiss all criticism of Titanic as backlash. I was excited to see it when it came out and left the theater disappointed, have made some half-hearted attempts at rewatching it and never finished, but that doesn’t mean I’m an internet fan-child.

    But that being said I do find myself caught up when seeing the trailer for the 3D release. Good or bad, its such a MOVIE movie that aims spectacularly high and David is absolutly correct to lament that CGI means we might not see another big budget attempt like this again. Hell, with the possible exception of Pearl Harbor, when was the last time someone spent over a 100 million on a film where the core of the story was a romance?

  17. Triple Option says:

    I realize these are three mutually exclusive events, and I don’t want to appear as if I want something for free or can’t understand simple escalation of costs but I am upset by them nonetheless.

    1) Gas prices have risen up over $4/gallon.
    2) CBS & TBS just announced new pay fees for some NCAA Men’s Tourney Hoop games to be viewable online.
    3) Titanic, w no specific anniversary date, gets re-released theatrically…IN ***3D***!!!!

    I’m not saying these companies owe me anything. I’m not saying corporations don’t have a right to monetize their assets. It still feels like the mechanics of fear & greed rule over me (American public) far more than the supposed guiding principles of a free-market, supply & demand economy.

    Right now, there are very few movies I can think of that I’d pay to see a re-release unless in some like social gathering outing, like a midnight movie with some friends. Granted, I didn’t come close to loving Titanic. I’m sincerely happy that some of you experienced such joy from it. To me, there’s something rather insulting about the action. Despite the supposed glut of product released it still seems like studios are releasing far fewer movies each year. Maybe if it were one of 24 instead of one of 12 I wouldn’t be so bothered.

    **No need to go check the stats, I’m just saying that’s how it seems. If I’m completely off base w/my perception, then that should be another convo as to why.

  18. JKill says:

    “Hell, with the possible exception of Pearl Harbor, when was the last time someone spent over a 100 million on a film where the core of the story was a romance?”

    AUSTRALIA is the only similar movie that comes to mind. I agree. I love TITANIC, but even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t feel the need to fault such a big and ambitious and old fashioned epic.

  19. napa says:

    “Hell, with the possible exception of Pearl Harbor, when was the last time someone spent over a 100 million on a film where the core of the story was a romance?”

    The new Great Gatsby

  20. jesse says:

    Triple Option, the one these things that’s not like the other is that absolutely no one is being required to see Titanic in 3D (nor NCAA games, but obviously I can understand how fans are compelled as those games aren’t reproduced and the outcome is suspenseful). I don’t really see how making a movie available for theatrical viewing in 3D is this major economic affront. Hell, I love the movie, and but I don’t really want to pay $17 to see it so… I’m not going to! No harm, no foul, don’t really care if other people decide to; what’s wrong with that?

    Not least because the idea of rereleasing movies outside of the big-city midnight circuit is actually cool to me, not a cynical cash grab. If there were some nationwide releases of movies I missed either theatrically or entirely due to when I was born, I’d go (well, maybe not in 3D, depending on the movie), because for the past 10-20 years (only Disney really kept it up in the nineties), re-releases have been eliminated as pointless given home-video availability. But it is a cool way to see a movie, especially one like Titanic.

    If people go, how is that fear-based? People are AFRAID to go to anything but 3D rereleases? I don’t know, man — regardless of whether you wanted to see ’em, there were three other brand-new movies that grossed more than the Episode One rerelease last weekend… AND the Star Wars rerelease could *still* be called a hit. Indicating both interest in the rerelease and in a trio of new movies (none of which are very good, but hey, when have there ever been several new really good wide releases every weekend?).

    I’m not saying the studio system couldn’t use a little more variety, spice, risks, etc. But I don’t think theatrical rereleases, which actually speak more towards film history, are a problem.

  21. hcat says:

    Austrailia, of course, giant oversight on my part, I actually prefer that to Titanic. And like Titanic, Austrailia is wonderful in its scope while not IMO fully succeding, I would have loved to have seen the movie that Luhrman had going in his head. Can. not. wait. for Gatsby.

    Its actually reassuring to spend time with an ambitious movie that maybe doesn’t quite make it over the bar than a simply pleasant success that you feel like you’ve seen before (I feel this way about Proof of Life, which has all the elements of an incredible movie but just doesn’t gel together).

  22. torpid bunny says:

    Saying that Titanic deserved best picture is sort of like saying the Saturn 5 deserved Rocket Science Magazine’s Rocket of the year.

  23. movieman says:

    Bulldog- I’m not sure whether “GR 2″ is the worst movie ever, but it sure did suck!
    And yes. Definitely less coherent than the original (I had no idea what was going on most of the time), and there’s a dearth of both action and worth-the-upcharge 3-D imagery. (There were more noticeable 3-D effects in the “Wrath of the Titans” trailer that preceded it.)
    Maybe the PG-13 rating crippled Neveldine/Taylor (like JKill, I have a soft spot for “Crank 1″ and also despise “Gamer”): I have no idea.
    But what a brutally boring waste of some very good actors (Hinds, Elba, even, sigh, Cage), and an unseasonably lovely/even warm-ish mid-February afternoon here in NE Ohio.
    The nicest thing I can say about “GR2″ is that at least the kid (actor) was OK.

  24. movieman says:

    All the “Titanic” chatter compelled me to revisit the original NYT review.
    Janet Maslin was no Vincent Canby (still the greatest daily newspaper film critic ever in my book), but she definitely had her moments. And this review was definitely one of them.

    December 19, 1997
    FILM REVIEW; A Spectacle As Sweeping As the Sea

    The long-awaited advent of the most expensive movie ever made, the reportedly $200 million ”Titanic,” brings history to mind, and not just the legendary seafaring disaster of April 15, 1912. Think back also, exactly 58 years ago today, to the Dec. 19 New York premiere of another grand, transporting love story set against a backdrop of prideful excess, cataclysmic upheaval and character-defining trial by fire.

    Recall how that cultural landmark wowed audiences with its bravado, mad extravagance and state-of-the-art Hollywood showmanship, all fueled by one unstoppable filmmaker and his obsessive imagination. Just as David O. Selznick had Atlanta to burn, now James Cameron has a ship to sink, but he also has much more than calamity to explore in this gloriously retrograde new epic. Mr. Cameron’s magnificent ”Titanic” is the first spectacle in decades that honestly invites comparison to ”Gone With the Wind.”

    What a rarity that makes it in today’s world of meaningless gimmicks and short attention spans: a huge, thrilling three-and-a-quarter-hour experience that unerringly lures viewers into the beauty and heartbreak of its lost world. Astonishing technological advances are at work here, but only in the service of one spectacular illusion: that the ship is afloat again, and that the audience is intimately involved in its voyage.

    What’s more, Mr. Cameron succeeds magically in linking his film’s young lovers, played enchantingly by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, with established details of the ”Titanic” story. And let’s not forget the offscreen drama: delayed release and outrageous costs made ”Titanic” the joke of the summer. Now it’s the movie of the year.

    Though the tender moments in Mr. Cameron’s earlier films have mostly involved Arnold Schwarzenegger, graceful storytelling from this one-man army of a filmmaker (a director, a producer, a writer and an editor) is the biggest of many surprises here. Swept away by the romance of his subject matter, Mr. Cameron rises to the occasion with a simple, captivating narrative style, one that cares little for subtlety but overflows with wonderful, well-chosen Hollywood hokum. In its own sobering way, the film is forward-looking, too, as its early brashness gives way to near-religious humility when the moments of reckoning arrive. Ultimately a haunting tale of human nature, with endless displays of callousness, gallantry or cowardice, it offers an unforgettable vision of millennium-ready unease in the sight of passengers adrift in icy seas on that last, moonless night.

    That Mr. Cameron allowed flashlights into what should have been a pitch-black sequence is one of the rare times when ”Titanic” willingly departs from established fact. Otherwise, with an attention to detail that goes well beyond fanatical, the film flawlessly recreates its monument to Gilded Age excess. Behind-the-scenes details here, which prove no less fascinating than Selznick’s ”Gone With the Wind” memos, include Mr. Cameron’s having persuaded the original carpet manufacturer to make an 18,000-square-foot reproduction of its ”Titanic” weave and his having insisted that every sign, uniform and logo for the Southampton sailing sequence also be created in mirror image, so that the camera could reverse the apparent direction of the nearly life-size model ship.

    Sets match old photographs right down to the sculpture and woodwork; costumes incorporate fragments of vintage clothing; even the silver White Star Line ashtrays had to be right. A core group of 150 extras worked with an Edwardian etiquette coach throughout the filming, furthering the illusion that the privileged past had returned to life.

    ”Titanic” is no museum piece, however. It’s a film with tremendous momentum right from its deceptive, crass-looking start. The story opens in the present day, with a team of scientist-cowboys (led by Bill Paxton) hunting for lost treasure amid the Titanic wreckage. Though Mr. Cameron made his own journey to the ocean floor to film amazing glimpses of the ship, he treats these explorers as glib 90’s hotshots, the kind of macho daredevils who could just as easily be found tracking twisters or dinosaurs in a summer action film.

    ”Oops, somebody left the water running,” one of them wisecracks about the sunken ship.

    Then the film begins, ever so teasingly, to open its window to the past. A 101-year-old woman (played spiritedly by Gloria Stuart, an 87-year-old beauty who appeared in ”Gold Diggers of 1935”) hears of the expedition and says it has links to her own history. It seems that she, Rose, was the model for a nude sketch found by the present-day fortune hunters in a Titanic safe. It is the only thing of value to be retrieved there. The money in the safe has turned to mud.

    But where is the Heart of the Ocean, the egg-size blue diamond Rose wears in the drawing? Rose begins telling her story, and at long last 1912 is at hand. In an introductory sequence mounted on a colossal scale, Mr. Cameron shows the ship being boarded by its full economic range of passengers, from the haughty rich to the third-class passengers being checked for head lice.

    Young Rose (Ms. Winslet) arrives at the dock in the show-stopping plumage of Deborah L. Scott’s costume designs, and in the unfortunate company of Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), the tiresome snob whom she has agreed to marry, largely at the urging of her impecunious mother (Frances Fisher). The Rose-Cal story line, which is the weakest part of the film thanks to Cal’s unwavering odiousness, plays like Edith Wharton Lite.

    Meanwhile, in a nearby tavern, adorable Jack Dawson (Mr. DiCaprio) is winning a third-class Titanic ticket in a poker game. It won’t be long before Jack is bounding happily into steerage, showing off the boyish adventurousness that makes him such a cure for what’s ailing Rose. Aboard the ship of dreams, as the Titanic is often called here, Jack is one serious dreamboat.

    A bohemian artist (whose drawings were done by Mr. Cameron) who has spent the requisite time in Paris, he offers all the fun and flirtatiousness that Rose has been missing. This 20-year-old has also shown his share of worldly wisdom by the end of the story. It goes without saying that it’s Jack, not Cal, who is the film’s true gentleman. And that Mr. DiCaprio has made an inspired career move in so successfully meeting the biggest challenge for an actor of his generation: a traditional role.

    Among the many miracles of ”Titanic” is its way of creating a sweet, life-changing courtship between Jack and Rose in the course of only a few days. At the risk of turning into a women’s picture, ”Titanic” brings these two together through a dramatic meeting, an invitation for Jack at a formal first-class dinner, a dancing romp among steerage passengers and even enough intimate moments to give the love story heat. Splendid chemistry between the stars, along with much color from the supporting cast and careful foreshadowing from Mr. Cameron, keeps the romance buoyant even after the dread iceberg gets in its way.

    Comfortable even in suggesting that the ship’s lookouts missed the danger because they were busy watching lovestruck Jack and Rose, Mr. Cameron lets tragedy strike midway through the film. That way, the disaster can unfold in almost real time, with terrifying precision on a par with all the other details here.

    Not for ”Titanic” the shrill hysteria of ordinary disaster stories; this film is especially delicate in its slow way of letting the gravity of the situation become clear. Much scarier than any explosion-filled caper film is the simple assessment from the ship’s master builder, played with great dignity by Victor Garber: ”In an hour or so, all this will be at the bottom of the Atlantic.”

    As Mr. Cameron joked during production, about a film that pitilessly observes the different plights of the rich and the poor, ”We’re holding just short of Marxist dogma.” (A lavish ”Titanic” coffee table book from HarperCollins is filled with fascinating data about the film, from the director’s casual asides to accounts of the technological wizardry, like computerized hydraulics, that were devised for repeatedly sinking the ship.) By this point, the audience knows the ship so fully, from Cal and Rose’s elaborate suite to the depths of the boiler room, that the film is on shockingly familiar territory as Rose searches every newly waterlogged area for Jack.

    Very much to Mr. Cameron’s credit is the lack of logistical confusion. Indeed, the film’s modern-day characters even watch a computerized version of how the ship split and then rose vertically just before it plunged straight down, events that are later re-enacted with awesome power. Despite all this advance information and the revelation that Rose lives to be 101, ”Titanic” still sustains an extraordinary degree of suspense.

    Tiny, devastating touches — how the same doll whose face rests on the ocean floor in 1996 is clutched in the arms of a pretty little girl who idolizes Jack, or a four-hanky coda seen in Rose’s dream — work as well as the film’s big spectacle in giving the tragedy of ”Titanic” its full dramatic impact. Though many of the story’s minor characters are one-note (hardly the case with Kathy Bates’s hearty Molly Brown or Bernard Hill’s brave captain), the cumulative effect of their presence is anything but shallow.

    Beyond its romance, ”Titanic” offers an indelibly wrenching story of blind arrogance and its terrible consequences. It’s the rare Hollywood adventure film that brings mythic images of tragedy — the fall of Icarus, the ruin of Ozymandias — so easily to mind.

    The irony is that Mr. Cameron’s ”Titanic” is such a Titanic in its own right, a presumptuous reach for greatness against all reasonable odds. The film itself gambles everything on visual splendor and technological accomplishment, which is one reason its extravagance is fully justified on screen. But if Mr. Cameron’s own brazenness echoes that seen in his story, remember the essential difference. This ”Titanic” is too good to sink.

  25. I’d argue all three Spider-Man movies (especially the first two) were primarily about Peter Parker’s would-be relationship with Mary Jane, and that their romantic plot took precedence over the various evildoing in those pictures. And I’d argue that said emphasis was a big part of their appeal behind the hardcore comic/fantasy fanbase. Otherwise, the last Twilight film cost $110 million, although I’m not sure if that’s per-movie or if Breaking Dawn I and II cost $110m total.

    As for Titanic, yeah, was a friggin masterpiece in 1997 and still is today, and it’s a prime example of ‘blockbuster backlash’. I’m not sure if I’m going to have the time to check it out in 3D, but this discussion does make me want to toss the DVD in and watch it from start-to-finish again (I’ve seen bits and pieces countless times over the years on TNT and what-not).

  26. leahnz says:

    thanks for posting that bonza maslin review, movieman, it’s almost as titanic as the movie.

    (but it can only be a matter of time before some dipshit posts about how ‘badly written’ titanic is, confusing the mechanics of writing dialogue with the mechanics of story structure and writing a well-considered, layered screenplay)

  27. yancyskancy says:

    leah: I sometimes wish Oscar gave a separate Best Dialogue award to appease those folks that just don’t get that good writing also includes structure, theme, plot, etc.

  28. leahnz says:

    yeah man. who would would be worthy of such an award?…i’d have to mull that over, and i’m having a no-brainer stupid day. also with dialogue, so much depends on the delivery. well i’d nominate mamet’s dialogue for its unique cadence and timing, but often i find mamet’s style means the odd dichotomy of interesting, verbally challenging characters but sometimes they don’t engage and ‘connect’ with each other for me, very possibly due to his rather ‘formal’ (in the mamet way that is) sensibility – sort of a catch-22.

  29. Keil Shults says:

    I always thought Titanic was excellent, but my top films that year were Boogie Nights (which I was obsessed with), The Sweet Hereafter, and L.A. Confidential.

  30. christian says:

    Well, I was going to say something about Billy Zane’s Snidely Whiplash but now…exit portal left.

  31. movielocke says:

    Titanic is being released for an anniversary, btw, the 100th anniversary of its sinking

    WB announced a one night only screening of Casablanca around the country to celebrate their new 4k digital restoration of the film and its new bluray release (a release complete with price-jacking box of shittacular fauxorabilia).

    This is TERRIBLE news. Why? Because WB is NOT releasing a STUNNING 4K DCP to theatres. Nope, WB is releasing a 1080i sattelite stream of Casablanca to theatres via the evil Fathom events.

    That’s right, your current bluray, at 1080p, is higher quality than what WB is willing to have played in theatres.

    Btw, Casablanca will NOT even be given the dignity of being projected on the kickass digital projectors that the theatres use for films. Nope, Casablanca will be projected on the off the shelf cheap-ass projectors theatres use for Advertisements.

    This is how much WB doesn’t care about a film like Casablanca. They treat it like Dogshit and want it to look like skidmark on screen because they know that nobody cares about classic films.

  32. JS Partisan says:

    And now for something, completely different. Ghost Rider: SOV is hilarious. It’s one of the best shot and silly superhero movies… ever. It’s ridiculous. It’s in it’s own category, so see it to see some of the finest CRAZY NIC CAGE put to screen since Port of New Orleans!

  33. Triple Option says:

    @Jesse, it’s totally my fault but my truncated opinion needs more clarification than easily typed on a blog. Fear, from this stand point is more being so risk adverse it calls into question why you (they) are even in the business at hand.

    All three items are optional.

    Yes, people can choose to not go but there’s no voice. In short broad strokes, too many actions are based on the desire to make quarterly earnings. While not wanting to discount the intricacies of the financial models used in calculations, projections as a measure or indicator is such a singular function of determining company or industry health, the reaction to them are rather arbitrary.

    CBS wanted to expand the Tourney to 96 teams. Not sure if they were going to use the term “Super Regionals” but it was just an attempt to package more games for advertisers in make good compensation while also trying to reduce the per game license fees of the overall deal. Same thing happened w/bowl games in college football a little over a year ago. Basically package up leftovers or handmedowns at an increased cost to the consumer for what? At whose expense? Who ultimately benefits? When you’re sticking sub .500 teams in a tourney and 6-5 teams in a bowl game, [read: premium pricing] you are either bailing waste deep water or running a fleece PT Barnum never dreamed of. I’m voting greed.

    Sorry, I’d need a bar stool and maybe a couple of hours to better explain myself.

  34. Edward says:

    @movielock: Most theatres now show their Fathom events through the main projector.

  35. Joe Leydon says:

    Count me among those unimpressed by the dialogue.

    On the other hand, I enjoyed talking with Leo and Jimmy. Ane the Leo video even now gets a ridiculous number of hits.

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“With any character, the way I think about it is, you have the role on the page, you have the vision of the director and you have your life experience… I thought it was one of the foundations of the role for John Wick. I love his grief. For the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you.”
~ Keanu Reeves

“I was checking through stuff the other day for technical reasons. I came across The Duellists on Netflix and I was absolutely stunned to see that it was exquisitely graded. So, while I rarely look up my old stuff, I stopped to give it ten minutes. Bugger me, I was there for two hours. I was really fucking pleased with what it was and how the engine still worked within the equation and that engine was the insanity and stupidity of war. War between two men, in that case, who fight on thought they both eventually can’t remember the reason why. It was great, yeah. The great thing about these platforms now is that, one way or another, they’ll seek out and then put out the best possible form and the long form. Frequently, films get cut down because of that curse in which the studio felt or feels that they have to preview. And there’s nothing worse than a preview to diminish the original intent.Oh, yeah, how about every fucking time? And I’ve stewed about films later even more because when you tell the same joke 20 times the joke’s no longer funny. When you tell a bad joke once or twice? It’s fine. But come on, now. Here’s the key on the way I feel when I approach the movie: I try to keep myself as withdrawn from the project as possible once I’ve filmed it. And – this is all key on this – then getting a really excellent editor so I never have to sit in on editing. What happens if you sit in is you become stale and every passage or joke, metaphorically speaking, gets more and more tired. You start cutting it all back because of fatigue. So what you have to do is keep your distance and therefore, in a funny kind of way, you, as the director, should be the preview and that’s it.”
~ Sir Ridley Scott