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‘Ship of dreams’: Award-winner makes 3-D debut

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For the centennial celebration of the voyage of the RMS Titanic, James Cameron’s heart-swelling masterpiece, originally released in 1997, was re-released in select theaters — this time in 3-D.

“Titanic” is remembered for many things — the sentimental romance between Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet), the lengthy run-time of more than three hours and the tear-jerking dialogue in the final scenes as Jack and Rose wait for the rescue boats to return for them. But the powerful images of the lavish, legendary boat plummeting to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean within hours as its passengers fight for survival are surely aspects of the film that cannot be easily forgotten.

It seems undeniable that Cameron relies a great deal on spectacle to tell the story of “Titanic.” So the question becomes: Is that spectacle better in 3-D?

Digitally retouched and then enhanced with 3-D technology, “Titanic” — years after the original became the second-highest grossing movie of all time — was re-released in IMAX and Real D 3-D theaters on Friday, April 6. “Titanic” is not being offered in theaters with an option for a 2-D viewing at regular ticket price. Therefore, viewers must cough up the extra change for a 3D ticket in order to see the film, but to some, it may not be worth the steep ticket prices.

Seeing “Titanic” in its newest form is a truly chilling experience; however, possibly, credit for this need not be given to the 3-D technology. As a college student born in 1989, I was just 8 years old when “Titanic” was first released, and, because it is not much of a children’s movie, I did not have the privilege of viewing the film in theaters.

Years later, it is truly a gift to be given a second opportunity to watch the film on the colossal screens in the cinema. The story does not hit home quite as much when told from a 19-inch Toshiba.

With the entrancing background music by Celine Dion and the soft sound of ocean waves filling the theater, it is difficult not to get completely sucked into the world of the RMS Titanic and the love affair between Jack and Rose. Audiences see these memorable characters with much more clarity, with even the actors’ pores and stray hairs visible. It is almost impossible to leave this world even for a second with distractions from a talking neighbor, the beeping of a cell phone, or to get lost in thoughts of an impending to-do list.

The film is totally encompassing and completely entrancing, offering the full effect of what audiences expect. However, more often than not, it was difficult to find the 3-D aspects of the film. There were segments, chiefly the shots with a great deal of depth, that definitely stood out as 3-D, and the effect was an amazing addition to a previously blasé spectacle.

The opening scene is filled with people loading onto the RMS Titanic for departure; lice inspections are being carried out, and we are first introduced to Rose and her family. Cameron did a fabulous job at capturing the attention of the audience right away, because this scene is very captivating with a third dimension, thanks to the depth of the crowd shots.

Sure, the film looked fabulously re-touched, but 3-D? Not so much. “Titanic” is definitely worth seeing, especially for those, like myself, who may have been too young to catch the original viewing in theaters.

Don’t let the ship sail again before experiencing the story of the RMS Titanic in theaters because the story has never been so powerful — whether to the credit of the 3-D technology or not.

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