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Titanic in 3D: Movie Review

James Cameron has officially stated that 1997's "Titanic" 3D conversion costed $18 million and a total of 60 weeks to complete. The effort alone is astounding considering that they had to digitize the original, clean it up and fix it frame-by-frame - clearly, James Cameron is not only "cashing in" on the 3D trend. But after all the huge conversion budget and the man hours involved, the final product seems to be quite underwhelming. Of course, there's no denying that "Titanic in 3D" is a beautiful and amazing experience but the real question to ask is this, "Is it due to the 3D conversion or simply because the original was perfectly-made?". Sadly, the obvious answer is the latter.

It is 1996 and a treasure hunter and his team are trying to find a lost necklace (named Heart of the Ocean) which is believed to be lost within the remains of the RMS Titanic. When they find the safe of its owner, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), they think they have hit pay dirt but instead they find a sketch of a nude girl wearing the necklace. As news goes out about the discovery, an elderly woman named Rose Calvert (Gloria Stuart) introduces herself as the nude woman. Rose then tells her story aboard the RMS Titanic, how her 17 year old self (Kate Winslet) found the love of her life with a third class passenger named Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and how the fateful disaster changed her life.

Judging "Titanic in 3D" as simply being a film, we have to say that it has definitely aged gracefully - not only visually but as a whole package. Even after 15 years and after several sittings, the magic, the glamour, the drama and the thrill has not changed, not a single bit. Even at a long running time of almost 200 minutes (and just knowing what will eventually happen), the film never felt long or dragging. This is no thanks to a great story and with great characters and even greater acting. It is perfectly paced and equally portioned to not only present the awe and wonder the RMS Titanic brought to the world a century ago but also to showcase the ugly side of the tragedy.

Now, judging "Titanic in 3D" as a 3D converted film, things look a lot bleaker. Simply put, we don't see the value of making "Titanic" into 3D. Yes, there are scenes were the 3D pops up. The boiler scene for example was "Hugo"-ish and probably the best converted scene. But most of these instances are hard to come by and rarely seen throughout the 3 hour run time. Even the scenes where the Titanic sinks were disappointingly lackluster in 3D and we thought those should be the film's money shot. There are also some inconsistencies with its quality particularly the scene where Jack and Rose first meet. One person pops out too brightly while the other is too dark making it look like a 2D pop-out book rather than a 3dimensional scene. If there's one thing that the 3D conversion did good for the film is that it cleaned it up significantly. - but they could have done this even if the film was a 2D re-release right? For old fans and even new ones who wants to relive and experience the wonder the "Titanic" brought more than a decade ago, this is the perfect version to watch. But for everyone else, it's better to save your money against the 3D version premium.

Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- This is still the same "Titanic" with a more noticeable gleam than the previous time around

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the 3D conversion effort, sad to say, isn't enough to warrant another casual watch
- the premium price of 3D isn't justified

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