I am a huge fan of Titanic. The movie, the RMS Titanic herself, the arrogance and elegance of the Edwardians. So given all that and the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking, I guess you really have to imagine that I've been swamped with things to do such that I did not have a chance to see the re-release of Titanic in any format in April.
So now it's summer, I've no classes and Mrs. Dr. Phil is in Esteli, Nicaragua. So I'm going to catch up on some movies. When I started to check on times, I found out that Wednesday and Thursday were the last days to see Titanic and The Hunger Games in IMAX.
Titanic 3D in IMAX [PG-13]
Celebration North IMAX Theatre, Seat A14(13), 3:00pm, 1×$15.00
Huh. They've just started doing assigned seating in our IMAX theatre. I wanted first row center -- the ticket seller had a seating chart, but pointed at the wrong row. Okay, the seating chart doesn't actually have labels for FRONT or REAR, but I'm pretty sure in any theatre I've ever been in, ROW L is not the first row. And then the screen could only slowly scroll up. This is going to get old when people are stacked up in line, as opposed to a Wednesday afternoon in May while school is still in session.
I picked A14, but A13 is "better". Why first row? So I can stretch my leg out at will.
But what about the movie! I hear you shout.
Look, James Cameron's three hour and seventeen minute Titanic is an epic. It begs to be seen projected on a big screen. It's been fourteen years since it's been first run in theatres, and while movies have changed a lot in fourteen years, Titanic holds up exceedingly well. Oh sure, the bad dialogue and bad characters are still front and center, but all the impressive parts of the film are still there. And we didn't have an IMAX in Grand Rapids yet fourteen years ago.
After Avatar, one is sure that Cameron wouldn't let the 3D conversion look bad. Fact is, if I didn't know better, I would have sworn Titanic was filmed in IMAX 3D -- it's that good. (1) There's a quiet scene when Rose's Monets are getting drowned and the surface of the water is a rippling shimmer. In 3D it's full of depth, even in the far lower left corner, 'cause I checked. (2) They actually converted too far. TV screens should not be in 3D, though I'll concede that in "Snoop Vision" from the ROV robots in the wreck, that the video feed might be in 3D for the pilot's binocular vision. (3) Some of the full screen full on faces seem a bit flattened, but I think that's just the much larger than life effect. (4) The 3D depth created by bubbles and floating bits of debris in submerged shots in every bit as astounding as some of the floaters in Avatar.
Cameron's nearly full-size sets have bulk and solidness. Indeed, it's only when you get that first exterior shot of the bow almost to the water that you finally believe that such a solid ship is really going to sink -- the same emotional feeling I had back in December 1997.
During the 100th anniversary specials, Cameron reexamined the evidence and changed his mind about that 90° pitch angle of the stern as it went down, but said he wasn't changing the film. However... I did spot one update to the film, and I'll have to do some checking with my astronomy software. But there was one howler in the original with a circular constellation in the night sky -- and plenty of people, myself included, wondered why the hell Cameron didn't have the correct night sky. Well, as Rose is looking up floating on that chunk of wood, the howler is gone and replaced with the Milky Way. Now I have to check to see if that's right. (grin)
I'm glad I finally got a chance to see it this way.