Sneak Preview: Titanic 3-D

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Words: Matthew Cohen
Images: Liz McAvoy

In celebration of the 3-D re-release of Titanic, as well as the premiere of the NatGeo TV’s special Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron—which marks the 100-year anniversary of the famous ship’s ill-fated voyage—we were invited to a special ship-sinking soirée last night at National Geographic’s headquarters. Armed with our hautest 1920s attire and most stylish 3-D shades, we took in a screening of the tri-dimension film, a preview of the new TV special, and a special sneak peek of NatGeo’s new exhibit “Titanic: 100 Year Obsession”. Check out our exhibit roundup and 10 things we learned by watching the new film below the jump.

The exhibit features some fairly nifty pieces that are sure to excite history buffs and curio enthusiasts. Among the highlights are actual props used from James Cameron’s movie, interactive displays to that break down (NPI) the Titanic’s crash, and—most impressive— an enormous 18-foot, 1:48 scale model of the behemoth ship.

After a brief introduction from National Geographic Channel’s executive vice president of programming, Michael Cascio, it was showtime.

Inspired by this excellent Buzzfeed article, we’ve compiled a list of ten things we learned from the 3D re-release of Titanic:

10. Yes, the 3-D is absolutely pointless: In fact, it’s more than pointless, it’s downright terrible. At times it seems like characters in a single shot exist on a different geographic plane. Even the awe-inspiring long, tracking shots of the ship going down are muffled through the grating 3-D conversion.

9. There’s, like, an entire (forgotten) subplot set in modern times: For those who haven’t seen it since it was first in theaters and forgot (like us), there’s about a solid hour of the movie set in the present day in which a crew is exploring the Titanic wreckage trying to find some super valuable diamond. Also Bill Paxton is in that part, what ever happened to that guy?

8. Rose is kind of a bitch: Seriously, most of what she does in this movie is grating and annoying, even after she meets Jack and falls in love or whatever. The whole time she’s yelling at everyone in a fervent “You can’t tell me what to do, I’m going to do whatever I want!” tone. And then she spends half the movie doing whatever Leo tells her to do. After all that, it’s revealed at the end that she’s had the diamond the whole time. What does she do? Throws it in the ocean! Hell, donate it to NatGeo or something.

7. Jack is kind of a creeper: Some choice lines include: “So you wanna go to a real party?”; “That’s one of the good things about Paris: lots of girls willing to take their clothes off”; and this priceless exchange:

Rose: You liked this woman. You used her several times.
Jack: Well, she has beautiful hands, see?
Rose: I think you must have had a love affair with her.
Jack: No no no, just with her hands.

6. Billy Zane is still as terrifying as ever: You want to punch him in the face so bad, but those scenes where blows up in anger at Rose are still so terrifying.

5. The acting is actually pretty terrible: Kate and Leo may be Oscar-winning actors now, but their acting in this movie is, like, third-world soap opera-level bad at times. Hell, the whole movie is pretty much a crappy soap opera with a $200 million budget.

4. The corniness only gets worse over time: At the time of its release, the film garnered a lot of critical backlash for its bad dialogue and weak story. Like the actual Titanic ship, time has not been kind to much of dialogue as it’s pretty cringe-worthy.

3. It’s long. Really long: 3 hours and 14 minutes. 3 f’ing hours and 14 f’ing minutes! And in 3-D it seems even longer. Get ready for a fourth-dimension by the end of it: a searing migrane.

2. This is still the best part of the movie.

1. Despite all this, it’s still actually pretty awesome: Even with its many glaring flaws and that awful Celine Dion song that just ingrains itself in your brain and refuses to leave, the movie is endearing enough and serves as fitting time capsule of the ’90s. Back when Beanie Babies were still cool, people actually liked Limp Bizkit, and Clinton’s cigar “incident” made headlines daily. Ah, the ’90s we miss you so…

Titanic in 3D is now playing in theaters and Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. Titanic: 100 Year Obsession runs through July 8th at the National Geographic Museum at 1145 17th St., N.W.