Apr. 5th, 2012

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Because James Cameron needs to make a payment on his personal submarine and in honor of the boat sinking's 100 years ago (next week), "Titanic" was reissued yesterday in a limited engagement so people can see Kate Winslet's 20-year-old boobs in 3D.

A lot of ladies remember the movie fondly and boy is it ever a fevered fan fic come to life, but I'd never been caught up in "Titanic" fever. On the one hand, on a technical level Cameron never sucks. Other girls swoon over the romance and gush over the costumes. As far as I'm concerned, the best part of the movie is when the boat sinks. Supposedly, Cameron timed the sinking so that it matched the same amount of time it took the real boat to sink but that might or might not be an urban legend. Not only was the pace of the escape well done, but some of the scenes are downright horrifying. My dad jokingly said after seeing the film, "Let's go on a cruise!" Well, if I learned anything from the film, I'll stick to only the Caribbean or the Mexican Riviera. Maybe.

I knew I should've gone to Puerto Vallarta!

One has to appreciate Cameron's OCD attention to detail, making the Titanic look just as it did in 1912, and using National Geographic's extensive article on the wreckage's discovery from 1985 (I had that issue!).

The only thing is for me, I was 28 when I saw the film and I could see every button getting pushed. I knew when I sat in that multiplex theater on December 26, 1997, it was going all of the way for a touchdown. As "Avatar" showed a couple of years ago, Cameron has a talent for making people think they've just seen The Best Movie EVAR and I could tell the audience--especially the chicks--was eating it up.

Now I have to add that while "Titanic" made Leonardo DiCaprio a star--the Justin Bieber of the late '90s--I think that it was Kate Winslet who really sold the movie. Why? On paper, Rose is one self-centered, whiny, spoiled, immature twit. Winslet's winning personalty made people forgive Rose's flaws. She also had to hump an actor who looked about 10 years younger than her. Obviously, she sold that too. Not to diminish Leo here, but had Cameron got his first choice for Rose, Gwyneth Paltrow, I think people watching the movie would have been throwing themselves into the freezing Atlantic before long.

My biggest issue with the big T is that it's too long and I felt that with its $300 million budget, it was rather self-indulgent filmmaking. By gum, you're going to watch those engine gears over and over! Not one moment of Rose and Jack mooning over each other will be spared! Issue #2 is that, as with "Avatar," a lot of the characters were one-dimensional, even stereotypical. Cal was nothing but a mustache-twirling villain and Rose's mother was nothing more than a snobby gold digger. The "ethnics" were typically "ethnic." And one of the "historical" characters in the film was basically smeared. Issue #3 is how Rose's story is resolved and the message it sends. Not so much that Jack croaks; I KNEW that was going to happen. My problem is Rose only finds happiness by making her mother believe she's dead, which is cruel and cowardly. I'd have more respect for Rose if she had the testicular fortitude to tell her mother that from now on, she was going to live the life she wants. But Cameron gives Rose the easy but dishonorable way out. Then when old Rose dies, after throwing away a $100 million necklace for no good reason, does she remember fondly the person she eventually married, had children with, and lived with for decades? No! He was sloppy seconds, whoever he was! His only value was producing a granddaughter who had to listen to Rose's ramblings and got to hook up with the director once he unloaded Linda Hamilton. Rose would rather spend eternity with some fella she shagged nearly a century beforehand and knew for about a couple of days.

Then came what really annoyed me about "Titanic": Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." In the winter of 1998, I couldn't get away from that frickin' song. One time at work, when I was in a room when somebody had the radio on all day, I heard it EIGHT TIMES. I'm convinced that song is on Hell's Jukebox.

The last straw is when it topped ANH in the all-time box office list, one year to the day after ANH regained the top spot, even though I knew it was going to happen. No, wait...THE last straw was James Cameron's douchey acceptance speech at the Oscars. "Let's have a moment of silence...I'm King of the World!!" Sheesh.

Still, the film's success pointed to the power of estro-cinema so long as someone is skilled enough to grab 'em by the ovaries. Just ask the folks sitting atop piles of money made from "Twilight" and "Hunger Games."

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