Titanic (1997)

DVD Cover (Paramount Reissue)
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Overall Rating 77%
Overall Rating
Ranked #48
...out of 19,063 movies
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Connections: Titanic

Deep on the bottom of the sea, some 3800 meters below the surface of the freezing Atlantic Ocean, lies the wreckage of a ship. It is the unmistakable figure of the Titanic, once man's greatest mechanical achievement, now stripped of its former glory. Almost a century later, Brock Lovett, a modern treasure hunter intrigued by Titanic's hidden riches, and his well-equipped technical crew are digging for answers for the past three years; nevertheless, without any success. But, when Rose Calvert, one of Titanic's few survivors, learns about Lovett's crusade, she will begin to unfold her incredible, heartfelt and utterly tragic story that intertwines King Louis XVI's deep-blue "Heart of the Ocean" diamond, with her unlikely romance with the young bohemian vagabond, Jack Dawson. Can the past's mistakes teach a lesson in humility to both paupers and royalty? --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: January 16, 2009
Overrated? Perhaps, but there has to be something special about a film to bring home eleven Oscars, four Golden Globes, the coveted Blimp from the Kids' Choice Awards, a worldwide gross of $1,200,000,000 (zeroes written out to show just how much freaking money it raked in), and of course, let's not forget the countless number of "Best movie ever" lists that this little number has popped up over the years. However, I thought that it'd be nice to revisit this one now that all of the hype has passed and see just how well it stood the test of time. The verdict? Well, the plot first, as if someone out there hasn't seen it yet.

Kicking things off is the obligatory character introductions, and we soon learn to love Rose Bukater (Kate Winslet), a young lady who was born into a wealthy family and who is set to marry the equally-wealthy Cal Hockley (Billy Zane) in an arranged marriage. The problem is that she's not very happy with these arrangements: the two have absolutely nothing in common and want entirely different things out of life, but because she doesn't want to upset her mother (and for other reasons which will be revealed later), she nevertheless agrees to marry this man.

On the other side of the fence is Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a free-spirited drifter who has managed to win two tickets to board the Titanic on its maiden voyage. Jack, as he will later explain, is one of those guys who hates to settle down in one place for too long: he'll put his artistic talents to work in Paris for a while, move on to a manual labor job in Ireland, travel back to America to see the sights, and then repeat the whole process over again. He eventually meets Rose on the deck of this ill-fated ship, and much to the chagrin of her future husband, the two start to fall for one another regardless of their radically-different social statuses. Of course, we all know what happens to the Titanic during its first outing, and this tragedy will soon test their love for one another. How sweet.

One of the chief complaints that those wise-ass kids in the crowd had back then (and up to today) was that we already know the ending before we even buy the ticket or the DVD: "The boat sinks, I just saved you eight bucks!" See, that's true, but we're not paying to unravel some grand mystery here - we're paying to witness the ship go down for ourselves and to see just how these people react to it, and of course, we're also here to see a love story unfold between two actors who were on top of their game during the shooting of this film. That is what we pay for, that is what we get, and that is a thing of beauty.

The film clocks in at just over three hours, and thus, the love story receives more attention than the actual sinking of the ship. Had I known that before I stepped into the theater on release day, I may have reconsidered my options, but I'm certainly glad that I did get a chance to see it on the big screen. You see, the film may run for the length of two standard-length movies, but it certainly doesn't feel like it; the film is just getting started at the ninety minute mark, and at that point, it feels like a grand total of twenty minutes have went by. This movie just flies by thanks to a picture-perfect script, unbelievably good performances by everyone involved, and sets that make you feel like you're genuinely aboard that infamous ship. Three hours? I could have easily sat through four or even five.

Speaking of the sets, I really couldn't get over how realistic everything looked, especially considering that there was a lot of CGI wizardry on display. Sure, the filmmakers built a real ship for their set... but they only built half of a ship. One would think that using that much computer graphics would lead to a film that looks fake (especially from a film that is over ten years old now), but that is not the case: had I not read about how they pulled this stunt off, I would have sworn that they were using an honest-to-goodness ship. Then, when the thing finally plows into that iceberg and goes down? Pure eye-candy, and I loved every minute of it.

There's really not much more that I can say. This is one of those rare films that got hyped to hell and back, and not only did it live up to the hype, but it actually managed to exceed those high expectations. Whatever you look for in a film, be it engaging storylines, top-notch acting, special effects, tension, tear-jerking scenes, musical score, or any of the other countless elements of a classic film, you will find it here. Overrated? Some would say so, but not me. 10/10.
Greg Follender #1: Greg Follender - added 01/16/2009, 09:36 PM
I am proudly one of those folks that you referred to in your review...

Over-bloated pap of the highest order, 6/10...
7/10 if fancy CGI easily distracts you from the puerile dialogue and cliche'-ridden script.

Sorry to sound harsh... but this thing really rubbed me the wrong way.
Just not my cup of tea...
But then, that means more for the rest of you, right?
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 01/16/2009, 11:31 PM
When this came out, it was mainly my generation of girls that saw this 5+ times. And honestly, I don't blame them a bit. This was the ultimate love movie, and I have seen it at least 10 times. Never fails to make yours truly shed a few tears.

Greg Follender #3: Greg Follender - added 01/17/2009, 03:35 AM
George Snow #4: George Snow - added 01/17/2009, 12:20 PM
I love this movie, especially for Kate Winslet who I've wanted to have sex with since Heavenly Creatures.
BuryMeAlive #5: BuryMeAlive - added 01/17/2009, 06:36 PM
Review should have ended with the first word... Overrated
Optimus Prime #6: Optimus Prime - added 01/19/2009, 06:44 PM
It's hard to sit through all the way through... that's really the only problem with it. Kinda major, but hey... still good. 8/10
Shakes #7: Shakes - added 01/22/2009, 11:22 AM
i saw it 15 times in theatre. I probably wont be seeing again though, i burnt myself out i guess. favorite scene: Rose: "I'll never let go, Jack, I'll never let go..." *Lets go of Jack's hand, thus plummeting him to an icy cold death.* That was (unintentionally) hilarious. C'mon, i KNOW you agree with me. 10/10
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