Music to Drown by. Now I Know I’m in First Class.
I was really perplexed by today’s request from my friend Loni. I typically review movies and video games, and have only rarely reviewed random things like hair dye. But, I said I’d review anything and I meant it. Today’s review is for the Titanic, or more officially the RMS Titanic, built by Thomas Andrews and the Harland and Wolff shipyard, and captained by John Smith. I couldn’t do any personal research on this boat, but everything I’ve read about this boat leads me to decide that I cannot recommend this boat. Sure, it was big and pretty when it first came out, but it has not held up well. It’s practically a pile of rust on the bottom of the ocean by now!
I think I drained that joke for all it was worth, and that was not much. I’m guessing (based mainly on the fact that Loni has a vagina) that she was requesting that I review the MOVIE Titanic. I had seen this movie already because I’m a member of the human species, and it’s viewed as a requirement. I was dragged to see this movie because I grew up in a household of women and it could not be avoided. But, though I had already seen this movie, I really didn’t remember that much about it. What I remembered about the movie was more accurately what I remembered about the actual Titanic. So when it was requested of me, the only thing that made me delay the review for as long as I did is not having the desire to dedicate a large fraction of my day to watching a movie. I finally decided that it’s time had come. Thus, here is my review of Titanic, written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, David Warner, Victor Garber, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, Jason Barry, Suzy Amis, and Ioan Gruffudd. Also, it should be noted that I will not entertain the notion that spoilers are possible in this movie. Even if you’re one of the three people in the world who hasn’t seen this movie, I’m sure you have heard plenty about it. And if you’ve managed to avoid that, then I’m sure you know about the actual event. And if you don’t know that, then you’re an idiot and you haven’t understood half of the words I’ve used.
In 1996, Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his crew are searching the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, looking for a valuable diamond that was last seen aboard the ship known as Le Coeur de la Mer (the Heart of the Ocean). They get excited when they find a safe, thinking it would contain the diamond, but find only papers inside. But, as they are cleaning the papers, they find one of them to be a drawing of a naked chick wearing the diamond. When it’s shown on the news, 100-year-old Rose Dawson Calvert (Gloria Stuart) sees the picture and calls Lovett, revealing that the girl in the picture was her back when she was young and extremely fuckable. Lovett flies her and her granddaughter (Suzy Amis) to their boat above the wreckage and Rose unfolds her life story to a group of people that just want to know where she left her jewelry. The story then turns to Rose back when her name was Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) who boards the Titanic on its maiden voyage with her fiancé Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane) and her mother Ruth DeWitt Bukater (Frances Fisher). She starts a love affair with a drifter/artist named Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio). Later, the boat hits an iceberg, Jack dies, and Rose is rescued by Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd).
Yes, I did only decide to tell the entire story of the movie so that I could make a joke about Mr. Fantastic saving Rose. …WORTH IT!!! And here’s another thing: this movie is WAAAAAY too long, but ultimately it is also worth it. I feel like I had a very masculine reaction to this movie, but I was not totally against the female, lovey-dovey parts. The love story occupied the bulk of the movie, and tended to make the movie feel a little slow and drawn out to me, but I liked that it was vaguely Romeo-and-Juliet-esque in how the two of them were like star-crossed lovers whose status was trying to keep them apart. Also, we know that their relationship is probably not going to end well. Speaking of which, though I thought the love story part of the movie was fine, I admittedly didn’t really get interested until things started going wrong and people started dying. That’s when the movie got exciting and, sometimes, a little funny. C’mon! You tellin’ me that you didn’t snicker at all when that CG dude fell off the vertical sinking ship and hit the handrails, sending him into a crazy spin until he hit the water? If you didn’t laugh, you just don’t know funny when you see it. I didn’t find that quite as funny as the fact that it seemed as if Cameron was trying to build suspense right before the Titanic hit the iceberg. Fer real, dude? You want me to wonder whether or not the boat’s going to hit the iceberg? I probably knew that was coming before I knew anything else about the movie, including who James Cameron, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kate Winslet were. But I suppose it’s what a filmmaker was inclined to do, and I’m not sure just how much of my generation actually paid any attention to what the Titanic was before this movie made it a household name again. And I can’t deny that I got a little choked up at the end of the movie. It didn’t reach tears, but it got close. And I also like the message of the movie. The bulk of the movie is just about how classes are bad, but that message doesn’t go quite as far with me. The one that resonated with me was what showed up at the end of the movie as the camera panned over the pictures from Rose’s life that she had endeavored to live to the fullest because of her promise to Jack. Although it seems like something you should always have on your mind, sometimes I do need a movie to remind me that life is finite and you should really try to live it.
There’s not a whole lot to say about the look of this movie. It goes for epic and it blows epic out of the water. The launching and the sinking of the Titanic were both as epic as they should have been. They even had some impressive transitions, like how they morphed the corroded image of the sunken ship’s bow into the recreation of the brand new ship. Of course, there’s one thing that cannot be ignored when talking about this movie and that’s that Céline Dion song, “My Heart Will Go On.” I remember finding that song somewhat annoying around the release of this movie, but it was really more due to the fact that it was entirely overplayed. I feel prepared to say right now that it is a good song. And I don’t care how gay it makes me. It sets a great mood, and it’s actually fairly versatile, which you can tell by how often they used it in the movie. Sometimes it was the score and sometimes it was the version with Dion singing, played fast and up tempo or slow and melodic. But it does make me laugh on the few occasions when I see a movie that does this kind of thing. Some movies just like the song they picked so much that they beat the audience over the head with it, demanding that they like it too. Armageddon did it with that Aerosmith song, and I think one of the Transformers movies did it with a Linkin Park song. At least this movie bothered to change the tempo on the song to change the mood.
I couldn’t think of much of anything to say about the performances in the movie. I didn’t particularly find anyone that mind-blowing, but they all did very well. And I think we all know the performance that stood out for me. Was it the Academy Award nominated old broad? Nah. She did fine. Was it Mr. Fantastic in his pivotal tiny cameo role? Nope. I’m more of a Human Torch person. Obviously it was Kate Winslet’s boobs. I could look at that lady naked all day. And I have. I also think there’s a chance that they revealed that Winslet would be nude in the end of the movie early on so that the male audience would sit through all the lovey crap to see the boobs. It would’ve been off-putting at first because we’d be thinking that the nudity they were hinting at with that sketch was going to be that old lady, but then that old lady turns into Kate Winslet. Alright, I’ll stick around for an hour or two, but you better deliver, movie!
So there’s a really long review to accompany a really long movie. I would say Titanic holds up as one of the most watchable chick flick type movies that I know of. You do have to sit through a good deal of a romance novel (albeit a decently written one) to get to the boobs and mayhem, but if you give it a chance it actually pays off in a way that surprised me with the expectations I had going in. It’s mainly hindered by its ridiculous length, much like the Titanic itself. I don’t know if that metaphor makes any sense, but I do know I will be saying that Titanic is a good movie. Go check it out. Titanic gets “It’s over a hundred feet longer than the Mauritania, and far more luxurious” out of “That’s one of the good things about Paris: lots of girls willing to take their clothes off.”
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