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Still shot from the movie: Titanic.

Titanic

Titanic sails again as the film re-releases to home video in 3D. Concentrating more on fiction than fact, Director James Cameron's Titanic depicts the catastrophic voyage of the unsinkable ship through the eyes of young lovers Jack and Rose (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet).

Overall Grade: C
Violence: C
Sexual Content: D
Language: C-
Drugs/Alcohol: C
Release Date: 04 Apr 2012
Run Time: 194
MPAA Rating: PG-13

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In-Depth Review

It’s amazing how Hollywood can convert disaster into dollars time and time again. James Cameron, the creator of Titanic turned the biggest ship and sea tragedy into one of the greatest money making film of all time—and didn’t even have a moment in the closing credits to dedicate his windfall to the memory of those who perished. Just a minor oversight.

I acknowledge Titanic as one of the most technically advanced and visually awe inspiring movies ever made. Cameron’s task in directing this production is in a league with the skills and organization required to run a small country. After all, Titanic’s grosses far exceed the GNP of a small nation. But why would he choose to take a story chock full of amazing feats of heroism and tragedy, and instead create two fictional characters to be the main focus of the film?

Perhaps Cameron and the two studios supporting this project figured they knew what would really sell. I suspect they reasoned that facts are for documentaries and hardly necessary with a heartthrob like Leonard DiCaprio on board. Banking on swooning teens coming to see one of the steamiest PG-13 films to date, many of the target audience actually left convinced Jack and Rose (Kate Winslet) were as real as the frigid waters of that fateful night.

The film contains unnecessary frontal female nudity, implied intercourse complete with orgasmic comments, language I think would even offend the steerage class, and glamorization of gambling, drinking, and smoking. Applauded by adoring fans, this young lovers’ story also teaches that an opportunity for sex is something you should grasp now—just in case your ship sinks.

In an opening scene, Rose, now 101 years old, accuses an exploration team of not getting the Titanic experience—but Cameron missed the boat too. Just like the treasure-hunting crew he portrays, this motion picture has mined catastrophe for cash profits—and thrown the sanctity of life and moral responsibility aside.

Original Theatrical Release:December 13, 1997

Note for April 2012 3D Release Titanic sails back into theaters in a remastered digital 3D version that gives the film an even great sense of visual amazement. Definitely the best 3D conversion of a 2D shot film to date, the depth perception is magnified with the clarity and detail now visible on the screen. Of course the content that possibly left 1990s parents concerned about showing this otherwise amazing movie to their kids is still in this edition, as detailed in my original review.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

Pushing the limits of the PG-13 rating, Titanic includes multiple views of a woman’s naked breasts (as she poses for an artist), a sexual encounter between an unmarried teen couple (some activity shown), a sexual expletive along with other mild and moderate profanities, and glamorization of gambling, drinking and smoking. As well, suicide is contemplated and violent threats against life are made. The peril and trauma of the passengers on board the fated ship may also be disturbing to some viewers.

Violence:

- Infrequent portrayals of hand-to-hand violence.v

- Frequent portrayals of violent death and corpses (some involving children).

-A character contemplates suicide.

Sexual Content:

- Breast nudity in a non-sexual context.

- Implied sexual relations.

Language:

- One use of the sexual expletive in a non-sexual context, and one crude hand gesture.

- Frequent use of scatological slang and cursing.

- Infrequent use of profanity and mild sexual slang.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

- Frequent portrayals of tobacco and alcohol use.

Other:

- Depictions of gambling.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

Why do you think the scriptwriters of this film chose to focus more on fiction than fact? If you were to tackle this topic, how would you handle it?

Touted as “unsinkable,” the passengers aboard the Titanic were at first slow to respond to the seriousness of their situation. Can you think of other instances when apathy has caused people to neglect warnings? How did things change when the reality of the danger began to dawn? How did the “every man for himself” attitude adversely affect the survival rate? What things could have been done differently?

Video alternatives

James Cameron returned to the subject of the Titanic for another film project—this time a documentary exploring the wreck at the bottom of the ocean called .

Home Video Notes

Home Video Notes: Titanic

Release Date: 10 September 2012

After a successful re-launch of the Titanic on theatrical screens in April of 2012, this movie is being released to the home video market in Blu-ray (Blu-ray/DVD/UV Digital Copy) and 3D (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/UV Digital Copy). Both editions offer the following bonus extras:

- In-depth exploration of the film with James Cameron

- Documentary footage produced by National Geographic with James Cameron that brings the world’s leading RMS Titanic experts together to discuss why and how the ship sank

- Three audio commentaries

- Sixty behind-the-scenes featurettes

- Featurette on the visual effects

- Thirty deleted scenes

- Over 2,000 archival photographs

DVD Notes: Titanic

Release Date: 25 October 2005

Paramount Home Entertainment enshrines this epic film in a three-disc Special Collector’s Edition. The over three hours movie will be spit onto two of those DVDs, along with commentaries by Director James Cameron and cast (Kate Winslet & Gloria Stuart) and crewmembers (Producer Jon Landau and Executive Producer Rae Sanchini). Historical background and a visual effects breakdown of the stunts are also provided.

The third disc offers on opportunity to watch 29 deleted scenes (46 minutes worth of them) and an alternate ending. Other bonuses include behind-the-scenes and making-of footage, more historical tidbits, and the Celine Dion music video of My Heart Will Go On.

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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