Last night, I went to see Titanic 3D with one of my friends. Better yet, we did 3D IMAX at 10 p.m., in a theater that was maybe half-full. While the experience wasn’t the same as the catcalls at a Twilight midnight screening, it was still one of those communal moviegoing experiences where you all laugh and talk back to the screen. I probably wouldn’t have gone if my friend hadn’t urged me, but I’m really glad I did, because the all-encompassing format of 3D and IMAX grabs you and pulls you into James Cameron‘s sweeping epic.
I never saw the movie in theaters, because I was only eight when it came out in 1997. I haven’t watched Titanic since it played on TBS at least five years ago, so I had actually forgotten several plot points. This temporary amnesia made the movie more fun, because I couldn’t remember if Cal lived or died, or whether Rose is reunited with her family in New York. My friend was actually envious, since he wished he could’ve had that same experience of rediscovery.
The 3D enhanced some parts better than others — I agree with previous critics’ complaints that a few scenes appear darker — but overall it’s a thrilling update that reminds us why we fell in love with this movie 15 years ago. Also, it’s really well paced! With that in mind, I’ll go through each facet of the film in its new 3D form.
Treasure Hunters Plotline
One of the most recent IMAX films I’ve seen was Cameron’s underwater thriller Sanctum. It was mostly awful, with cringing dialogue and several slow parts. But the underwater dives were incredible, so immersive that you find yourself shivering as if you’re actually below the surface. That same experience comes to mind in the very beginning of Titanic 3D, as we follow the treasure hunters in their deep sea divers down to the real Titanic wreck.
With the 3D, it’s as if the dust and debris is flying into your face; you can see algae waving in the wake of the sub. Even though we already knew it was the real wreck, something about having it right in your face makes it that much more emotional.
The Ship Itself
The technological updates enhance the grandeur of the Titanic, from the first shot of passengers streaming on while their loved ones wave and cry, to the opulent dinners among the first class, to Cal’s bodyguard Lovejoy chasing Rose and Jack through the lower decks and the engine room. Everything is shinier, more sparkling, more powerful.