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Titanic 3D: Movie Review

By tvnz.co.nz's Darren Bevan

Published: 12:07PM Tuesday April 03, 2012

Titanic 3D

Rating: 6/10

Cast:
Leonardo diCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, a ship, an iceberg
Director: James Cameron

"Are you ready to go back to Titanic?"

Can there really be anyone who's not witnessed the film phenomenon that is Titanic?

It took mega billions (well, around 1.8 billion to be precise) at the global box office and made a star out of Leonardo di Caprio 15 years ago when it first set sail into the cinemas and our collective movie going hearts.

Now, with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic, it was inevitable the story would get a re-release - and perhaps, no surprise, a 3D makeover.

If you were one of the 12 people on the whole planet who didn't see this film, then you'll want to know the plot. (Such as it exists).

Di Caprio is Jack Dawson, a pauper who wins a ticket to the first ever sailing of the RMS Titanic; on board are Kate Winslet's Rose, a woman trapped in a loveless relationship with Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). When the pair's paths cross, it's love at first sight as Dawson offers Rose a chance to live and love again, and offers also, a chance of freedom from the repression of the tyranny of a society which has forced her to take up with Cal to return some honour to her family.

But in true star crossed lovers' way, the pair are forbidden to see each other; and this only serves to fuel their passion. Sadly, though, an iceberg is about to cool everything down - permanently.

What to say about Titanic that hasn't been said before and by so many - and to an audience which has already made this film such a massive commercial success the first time around?

Yes, it's still bum numbingly long at 190 minutes long and yes, there are still moments which appal (on both fronts) as well as moments which appeal.

First up, the 3D is the real reason for the re-release of this film; and to be honest, it's a little bit of a mixed bag.

Granted, Cameron's retooling of the flick and some 60 weeks of toil has rendered some scenes simply incredible - such as the horrifying moment when the ship splits in half. Whereas this was tragic in its original incarnation, this latest tweak of it has captured the full breath taking horror of what the passengers faced; the depth which the 3D gives is nothing short of jaw dropping breathtaking appallingness. The scope and scale of the destruction and hopelessness of the reality is still emotionally stunning and really does prove to be the real reason for the disaster movie to work so well. Likewise, sweeping aerial shots and 3D sequences inside the Titanic give the rooms depth and the boat a scale of grandeur that was denied it during its 2D release - so for that, Cameron and his team deserve recognition and praise.

Not quite as successful perhaps are the shots around the rest of the drama - because the film wasn't made for 3D, the post conversion really does add little to the whole spectacle of what unfolds around; except to say that the added extra dimension can't add to the one dimensional corny dialogue and characters housed within the very big boat.

DiCaprio turns in a good performance though his "I'm king of the world" moment is as cringeworthy and still grates as much as it did a decade and a half ago; equally all that's missing from Billy Zane's performance is a moustache to twirl and maniacal laugh as he carries out his dastardly ways. Thankfully, Winslet's still got a presence and performance which is captivating from the get go.

Cameron's said he wanted to release this again to allow people to remember what happened - and on the eve of the 100th anniversary, that's an admirable intention.

Ultimately, though, I still can't fault the audacity and sheer spectacle of this love story in the middle of a disaster movie - and there's no doubting that there's still a massive audience to see this and experience it again. There will be people who will fall in love with the cheeseball love story all over again; and there will be others who will feel like they're being dragged along against every fibre of their being.

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