The boat still sinks. Jack and Rose still ‘christen’ the car. And Cal is still an unimaginable bastard.
In fact, other than the most talked-about night sky in recent years, director James Cameron didn’t change a single thing for the 15-years-later re-issue of Titanic other than converting it to 3D in time to commemorate the centenary of the tragedy.
Even without the conversion, Titanic would still be among the more captivating movies of the year (all over again). With it, though, the experience becomes arguably even more riveting than it was the first time around. The expanse of the gargantuan engine room, for example, and the throngs of people gathered on the Southampton pier to wave goodbye seem much more massive with the added depth. At the same time trivial details that simply blended into the background of the original 1997 version are much more noticeable here. Plus the ability to now see Titanic via digital video results in a markedly crisper and more vibrant picture than its original, traditional film stock.
On the emotional side, fans of the 1997 film are now 15 years older and wiser and more able to connect to (and be moved by) a movie whose initial success was at least partially driven by (let’s face it) repeat viewings by adolescent girls who were just googly-eyed for pretty Leonardo DiCaprio.
Beyond all that, Titanic holds up remarkably well for today’s audiences all on its own. There’s no point at which you’ll think (other than perhaps at seeing Leo’s 22-year-old baby face) that it was filmed ‘so long ago’. The presentation is still timeless (though the screenplay is admittedly still just as cheesy in parts), the visual effects are still pretty darn spiffy, and, yes, James Horner’s score is still just as haunting today.
The movie may itself take longer to watch than it took for the ship to actually sink, but it’s well worth the trip to experience this history-making cinematic voyage all over again.
Or… for the first time.