Fans of Jack and Rose (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) needn’t worry that James Cameron has tinkered with their story of love, loss and icebergs. His massive 3D redo of “Titanic” hasn’t altered the movie as much as enhanced what was already there. There are no extra scenes, Kate Winslet’s American accent is still dodgy, and yes, Celine still croons the that ear-wormy song, but the movie works better now than it did when it rode the top of the box office charts for fifteen weeks in 1997.
The first hour remains as clunky as ever with its wooden dialogue and manipulative story, but once the ship starts to sink the power of the movie becomes clear. Cameron’s crew of 3D artists has breathed new life into the film by meticulously remastering every frame of the picture. Unlike the shoddy 3D retrofits of films like “Clash of the Titans”—which Cameron has very publicly railed against—which tend to be dark and feel soft focused, the “Titanic” upgrade is a triumph. It’s bright, in sharp focus and beautiful.
The 3D ups the drama and terror inherent to the story. As the ship hits the iceberg water gushes everywhere in a way that 2D simply can’t convey and the scenes of the dead and dying floating in the cold waters of the Atlantic really, well, come to life.
Standout moments include Rose’s suicide threat—the sense of depth as she looks over the railing is startling—the swirling camera work on the grand staircase and, of course, Winslet’s nude scene is more eye-popping than ever.
You may have already seen “Titanic.” It grossed $1.8 billion so chances are good many of you saw it more than once, but you’ve never seen it like this.