Titanic * 1/2

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Director: James Cameron.
Screenplay: James Cameron.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Frances Fisher, Kathy Bates, David Warner, Danny Nucci, Victor Garber, Gloria Stuart, Bernard Hill, Bernard Fox, Jonathan Hyde, Suzy Amis, Bill Paxton.

Woohoo! “Titanic“, the 1997 romantic epic that won 11 Academy Awards, has been re-released on an even grander scale. We are, once again, treated to over three hours of the most wearisome and banal piece of cinema to ever grace our screens. But wait… it’s in 3D. I’m so happy, I could shit myself.

An old woman, Rose DeWitt Bukater (Gloria Stuart) recounts her past to April, 1912 when she boarded the most advanced liner ever built – the Royal Mail Ship Titanic. It departed from Southampton with over 2,000 passengers aboard and we are taken back to when she was a younger woman (Kate Winslet), due to be married to aristocrat Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). On board though, she meets young, adventurous artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) who she falls in love with. But there is trouble ahead, in the shape of a giant iceberg that forces the ship and it’s passengers into desperate survival.

This, for me, stands as the most ridiculous and overrated of films. Amongst the (unwarranted) awards it received, there is only one that it could truly justify: Best Visual Effects. How the triteness of this film could overshadow the superb and labyrinthine “L.A. Confidential” during awards season, is beyond me. Anyone familiar with British pulp romantic novels, will known what I mean when I say, this is just “Mills & Boon” on a boat – the chivalrous Jack pursuing the chastised damsel Rose. The only thing that’s missing, is the gardener with a rippling torso. DiCaprio and Winslet are fine actors and two that I admire greatly but they totally ham it up in this absolute peace of trash. It’s very stereotypical in everything it does; the impoverished Irish, dance a jig below deck; the band plays on when everyone else is panicking; the steamed-up car, were Jack and Rose consummate their relationship; even Jack’s little Italian friend get’s to shout the obligatory “Bastardo”, as the shit is about to hit the propellers. The characterisation is frankly insulting and for the most part, the film is uneventful. That is, until the long-awaited Iceberg makes a welcome appearance. When it does, Cameron’s use of visual effects really kick-in and they’re undeniably impressive but by this point, I couldn’t care less. If anything, it was quite enjoyable watching the irritating and underwritten characters plummet and drown to a slow and painful death. Shame the footage of this film couldn’t have went down with the ship also.

Originally released in 1997, James Cameron then followed it up in 2003 with documentary “Ghosts Of The Abyss” and now we get it again in 3D. Really James, let it go man… let it go.

Woefully Bad. Even the film’s caption “Nothing on earth could come between them” is misleading. For a start, a massive Iceberg didn’t find it too difficult, not to mention a makeshift raft that wasn’t big enough to hold them both. A * 1/2 star rating for the visuals and a solid supporting performance from the large glacial deposit. But being dazzled with special effects and technical achievements, ultimately doesn’t change anything. You still can’t polish a turd.

Mark Walker

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40 Responses to “Titanic * 1/2”

  1. You can’t polish a turd, no. But you can roll it in glitter.

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    • You are very correct my friend. And that’s exactly what Cameron has done here. He’s tarted up a turd and sold it en masse. You know what they say… “Bullshit baffles brains”.

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  2. I like Titanic, but I can definitely see where people could dislike it intensely. They should have hired someone else to write the dialog.

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    • I understand that people took this to be harking back to old fashioned filmmaking but as you say, the dialogue is a problem. Cameron ain’t no Shakespeare that’s for sure.

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      • I guess its the technical aspects of movie that I really like — special effects, etc.

        Cameron hasn’t made a gritty action movie since T-2. He used to be my favorite, but he’s been moving down my list lately. I’ve always looked forward to his movies, but I’ve always wished that he would scrap the overblown special effects and make a bare-bones, gritty action move a-la “Breakdown” — in other words, something not requiring 8 years of post-production — something involving REAL special effects with real human beings.

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      • I actually like Cameron’s Sci-fi stuff. Aliens is one of my all time faves and the two Terminators are great. Shit, even The Abyss was rather good bit I have to agree with you, he’s going down in my estimation.

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  3. Hahaha, excellent

    I still want to see this while it’s in theaters for some reason…

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    • When I first saw it years ago, the majority of the audience in the cinema, actually applauded. I couldn’t believe what i was hearing. I, however, was doubled up in fits of laughter. My stomach hurt. It was so bad.

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  4. Wow, Mark. Very intense review. You REALLY hate this movie! This is one of the most polarizing films ever, I think. But I’m on the other side. I absolutely adore it.

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    • I really don’t like it Fernando. I think * 1/2 stars was a generous rating. That was given for the visuals. I find that this is probably the most hyped film ever made. I know there are many who will disagree but I really think Cameron got away with murder on this one.

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  5. Frank Womble Says:

    Mark,

    And I thought I was the only person who believes Titanic is the most over-rated film of all time! I’ll be skipping the 3D remake.

    BTW — if you thought Titantic was trite, then do yourself a favor and don’t watch “We Bought a Zoo.” Awful. Sweet enough to induce diabetic coma.

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  6. Oh, gosh…you and I have disagreed before, but never this much. I love this movie. Seeing it in theaters, in 3D, just made me love it so much more than I already did. Here’s my review:

    http://themoviefreakblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/review-titanic-3d/

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    • It looks to me ( much as it did with The Muppets) that I will be in the minority again with this one. However, my reviews and opinions are always honest. I can’t pretend to like something because everyone seems to. I actually appreciate other people’s reviews I have read recently. They make some good positive points but this just wasn’t for me. I’ll have a peek at your review soon.

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      • Thanks, I appreciate it. Did you originally give it half a star? I saw that in the email blast and it REALLY threw me over. I guess I can see where you didn’t like it. It can tend to be a sappy romance.

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      • I did originally give it 1/2 star but thought I was being slightly unfair, so I gave a full * star for the visuals and 1/2 star for the Iceberg delivering the best performance in the entire film. I don’t mind the occasional romantic drama but it has to have something more. Perfect Sense was a cracker that I seen of late. It’s well worth checking out.

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  7. Titanic was OK, but it launched many careers of people who have since acted in many great films (DiCaprio, Winslet, Zane). Nobody can deny that.

    However, I think it’s a disgrace that Titanic was chosen over “Good Will Hunting” for Best Picture. The dialogue in Titanic does not hold a candle to Matt Damon’s one liners, and the park-bench monologue by Robin Williams.

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    • I think DiCaprio and Winslet would have made it in their careers without the help of Titantic. DiCaprio in particular was doing some great low-key Indie stuff before he became a heartthrob. I actually blame Titanic for robbing us of more of these performances. He had such a status after this film that his smaller projects were never going to happen again. I agree about Good Will Hunting. A great film, but I still think L.a. Confidential was robbed.

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      • L.A. Confidential was excellent. And I believe Kim Basinger won for Best Supporting Actress, so it wasn’t totally robbed.

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      • Yes, Basinger did win best supporting actress, but let’s face it… It was a token gesture. Basinger wasn’t that good! Spacey, Pearce and especially Crowe were far better. It did, however, win Best adapted screenplay which it thoroughly deserved. Best film, should have followed though. It wasn’t only th best film if this year, but it has been the best ( and most deserving) of films of recent years that have shamefully been overlooked.

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  8. You’re a fucking idiot. It’s the second highest-grossing film of all time. Obviously for reasons contrary to your opinion. Dumb fuck.

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    • So I’m a dumb fuck, because I have an opinion that’s different from most then Brian? Get a fuckin’ grip of yourself. I see you’re quite passionate about Titanic. It’s not my intention to convert people to my views and im not out to upset anyone but in your case I’m glad. You’re obviously a buffoon, to even post a comment like that. Beat it!

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    • By the way Brian, why don’t you enlighten me with your vast critical facilities? Is the fact that Titanic made of loads of money a benchmark for it being a good film? Michael Bay is a director I loathe but his films make money. Does that then mean, that Transformers is good? You’re a fuckin’ imbecile that had only posted a comment to be, none other than, an arsehole with nothing to say. Where’s your review? Where’s your comments? Stick it right up your arse and give me something constructive, you fuckin’ coward!
      A big man with nothing to say eh? Away back to you’re play-pen little boy.

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    • sanclementejedi Says:

      damn son who pissed in your cornflakes lol

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  9. sanclementejedi Says:

    Mark I enjoy your hate for this film and am glad to see you did not follow the rampant group think as far as reviews. I may be one of the last people to never see this movie and I am to keep it that way.
    nice post!

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    • Cheers buddy. I appreciate your support. You’re not missing much from this film man. I’d continue to avoid it, If i were you. But, that is only my opinion (which some have strongly disagreed with) ;-)

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  10. sanclementejedi Says:

    I was just reading your comment section and I almost spit my pint out on my monitor, …. good stuff !!! lol

    Like

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  12. Glad I read through the comments, too. I wouldnt have wanted to miss the one where the guy calls you a “Dumb Fuck” LOL.

    Setting the debate as to your intellectual prowess aside for the moment (He DOES make an intriguing point, Mark! :D LOL), uh… you are being overly harsh here.

    You have an aversion to the trite sentimentality, which is understandable, but a vast vast vast number of people eat that shit up. Now, I’m not one of them, but I obviously have more tolerance than you. There’s ingenious, populist storytelling at work here. Note the “populist” qualification there… this is a movie with insane mass apeal. A passionate romance, easy to understand characters who symbolize concepts that get people’s blood boiling, impending doom, and then great visuals of the tragedy.

    Is it my cup of tea? No. But cmon man. A star and a half is just pure “Hatin’ ” ;)

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    • LOL! Why is when you say “Dumb Fuck”, it sounds so much nicer Fogs? :-D Yeah, maybe I was (and still am) overly harsh on this film and I can totally see the appeal that this would have on people. The masses! But that’s exactly why I had to shoot it down. The masses should hear that not everyone shares their view. I don’t rate a film by it’s box office takings, or even how good a visual spectacle it is. I rate it on it’s substance and this has nothing that reflects that. Okay, maybe even the appeal was Cameron harking back to old fashioned filmmaking but if I want that, I’ll go back to an old classic not something that pretends to be one. Some old classics have their faults as well but at least they had a soul man. Such a shame, as I normally like Cameron and I have a lot of respect for DiCaprio and Winslet but this really didn’t fool me.
      “Hate” is a very strong word but in this case it’s justified. Although, you made many a good point in your review Fogs, I will never be convinced and I know many would agree with you before they do me. I can live with that though. LOL. ;-)

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      • I understand… I do.

        But I do always give some credit to the box office, if for nothing else than an indicator of popularity.

        And appeal to a broad range of people IS an indicator of “Greatness”, with one meaning of the word “great” being related to size and scope.

        Gots to be taken into consideration.

        And it was the quotation marks. They soften anything, you “Stupid Bastard”.

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      • LOL. D’you know what’s the most revealing thing with the masses though? As soon as you disagree with them, they turn. It’s actually quite pleasant to watch. ;-)

        You’ve just gave me an idea. From now on in, I’m gonna refer everyone to my Titanic page as soon as they want to hate on me. If they have anything to post that’s negative toward me in any way, I’m going to redirect them to this page. LOL. Cheers Fogs! You always brighten up my day my friend. ;-)

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      • LOL. :D this page can be your “Troll filter” I like it.

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      • Troll Filter, nice one man. In fact, if you come across any vitriol either send them over here. I’ll take the flak for ye. LOL. This comments section could become quite interesting. ;-)

        Like

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