Friday, April 13, 2012

Titanic in 3-D

Movie poster for re-release in 2012
On Monday I took Elizabeth to see Titanic in 3-D. We balked a little at the $17.25 ticket price, but, as it was her 20th birthday, we decided to go for it. And I am so glad we did. With this week marking the centennial of Titanic's maiden and final voyage, it seemed appropriate to go see the film. I was a bit concerned regarding the 3-D effects making me motion-sick as even watching the boys play X-Box can make me feel ill, but I was thrilled to find that my fears were unfounded.

  Titanic is simply one of those movies that must be viewed on the big screen at least once in one's lifetime. It is meant to be seen in the theater, and watching it more times than I can count on television was nothing compared to viewing it in a movie theater.

Seeing Titanic on the big screen revealed how epic the film truly is. It shone with life and death, with vibrancy and drama, the colours deep and rich and the details finely tuned. Simply, Titanic sparkled on the big screen. But the 3-D effects, which I feared would be distracting, gently enhanced the film. The most striking effects were at the beginning of the film with the robotic camera shots of the shipwreck, especially the small bits floating in the water as captured by the lights and cameras. Even the scientists grouped in the small sub were amazing in 3-D; the simplest conversations glowed gently with the 3-D effects which brought the characters to life in such a realistic manner.

 In fact, the 3-D effects brought the drama, both the personal and the tragic, beautifully and poignantly to life in a way that was not distracting at all. The three hours and seventeen minutes flew by as we were mesmerized by the romance between Rose and Jack as well as the tragic story of the doomed luxury liner and the 1500 lives lost in the icy waters of the Atlantic.

The original movie poster of 1997
All of the actors shone in this 3-D version, but none so much as Gloria Stuart who died in 2010 at the age of 100. Stuart portrayed the modern-day Rose who, as a result of the events aboard Titanic, lived a very different life than she was trapped in when she boarded the passenger ship. Kate Winslet, long one of my favorite actors, became the 17-year-old Rose beautifully as she fought against the boring life laid out before her: marrying a wealthy man of her class after the death of her father who left Rose and her mother with "a good name hiding many debts."

 By marrying cold-hearted but wealthy Cal, Rose would "save" her and her mother's lifestyle. But once she met passionate Jack, a poor wanderer who won his berth on Titanic in a poker game ten minutes before the ship left England, Rose was exposed to "real life"--the life of adventure and love that she yearned so much for.

 As we watch their romance bloom, the Titanic draws ever nearer to its tragic demise, one that we watch with horror as we are sucked into the drama of the sinking ship and the graphic loss of life. When the people unable to secure one of the too-few seats in the lifeboats bobbed about in their life vests, the water lapping against them looked as if it would suck us in; I shivered with cold as if I, too, were in the black waters of the Atlantic.

 Watching Titanic in 3-D was an amazing experience, so much so that it felt so strange to walk out of the theater, as if I were being returned from 1912 to 2012 via time travel. It's been a century since the Titanic disappeared below the glassy dark waters of the icy Atlantic, but on Monday afternoon in a small theater in nondescript El Cajon, California, the "ship of dreams" sailed and sank once all its three-dimensional glory. 

Watching Titanic in 3-D was truly an event of a lifetime...I cannot recommend seeing it highly enough. 


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