Sunday, March 2, 2014

03/02: Titanic (1997)

Welp....tonight was the Academy Awards for 2013, so apologies for making this post late. It was just announced that 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture (as some newspapers predicted). So, I'm going to go ahead and finally write about one of my favorite guilty pleasures of all-time, Titanic! Titanic needs no introduction; it is the king of the world! (Pun intended)

Just about all of us are aware and were taught about the historical real-life sinking of the Titanic ship which happened more than a century ago. But what is the main fictional part of the movie is of course the love story between Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt. It is a classic love tale that blends so many elements. Sure, its nothing we probably haven't seen before; girl is forced to marry for security reasons, meets better guy who is poorer, rich guy turns aggressive...yeah, we all have seen that somewhere. However, this is all put together uniquely by James Cameron as it is all set on a huge cruise ship during a classic time in history.

Besides the sinking, one of the many things that I did like about the movie was how it did bring about people who were actually on board during the ill-fated voyage. From the famous people at the time to the not-so famous. The wealthy John Jacob Astor is arguably the most famous victim, as he is portrayed in one scene. It also showed 'the unsinkable Molly Brown' which was well-done by Kathy Bates. Several characters make this film unique as it is. I could go on....

Though the film is close to 3 hours long, I know James Cameron did what he could to try to squeeze it all into one. It would be cool to get at least a more in-depth look at what happened and more into the story. But I know the film would have to be at least a few hours longer in order to do so! While I do find the disaster genre a bit depressing, this one I would have to leave as an exception.

So was Titanic perfect? Yes, in some of my standards. Where else can you find something that brings so much imagination of an incident, where hardly anyone was alive to tell about anymore, to the big screen? With that, the combination of a love story, which also told us a tale about class divisions, along with the great performances of several of the actors. Even the people who were part of the ship's production (captain, owner, designer) were well-put in the story. You can argue if anything was really true about what really happened to them in real life. I know, there were several technical and other goofs that one obsessive person would write a book about. So, on the other hand, it surely can't be that perfect. For most of us that remember more than 15 years ago right before this movie came out, Cameron's destiny wasn't always clear. People, both critics and movie-goers, thought this movie would tank. It was doomed for failure, for various reasons. Remember the due dates? Remember the budget? But James Cameron and his cast and crew hung in there, and he did more than prove everyone wrong. And he did that several years later with Avatar. I can still remember, right before I saw it with my family at the theater, girls in my Sunday school class yelled out, 'Go see it! Go see it!'. And I'm glad I did.

This is an excellent picture, and as noted, it can't be perfect, but to me, this is my generation's Godfather. For those not familiar with how I judge movies, its very rare I give a film a '10'.

My rating: 10 out of 10

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