‘Titanic 3D’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 6th, 2012 at 1:12 pm,

Titanic 3D Movie Ship Titanic 3D Review

Screen Rant’s Ben Kendrick reviews Titanic 3D

Following the success of Avatar, James Cameron became the poster child for modern 3D in Hollywood – setting the gold standard for how filmmakers could approach the format artistically (i.e., subtle depth as opposed to gimmicky pop-out effects). As a result, more and more directors are coming around to the 3D format, and delivering their own enjoyable implementations of the effect (such as in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo).

However, while Cameron may have opened the eyes of directors and producers – not just money hungry studios – to the benefits of shooting in 3D, many moviegoers are still skeptical of films that are presented with post-converted 3D. Non-native 3D offerings are a mixed bag with unnecessary (My Soul to Take) or flat-out ugly (Clash of the Titans) conversions, not to mention underwhelming applications of the format to re-releases (Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace). Can Cameron once again set the bar – this time for post-conversion – with Titanic 3D?

NOTE: As with previous 3D rerelease reviews, we’ll be focusing on whether or not Titanic 3D is worth the price of admission, instead of revisiting prior criticisms that have been routinely brought-up over the fifteen years since the Titanic‘s original release (the lengthy run-time (3 hours and 15 minutes) and an (at times) overly melodramatic romance, etc). While moviegoers no doubt responded to some of the film’s characters and plights, Titanic relied heavily on spectacle. But is that spectacle even better in 3D?

Titanic Kate Winslet Leonardo DiCaprio Titanic 3D Review

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Titanic'

Unsurprisingly, the answer is yes. However, before addressing the 3D, it’s worth mentioning that Cameron and his team not only retrofitted the film for three-dimensional visuals, they also polished up the footage pre-conversion. As a result, Titanic 3D offers a noticeably sharp picture (at least compared to other re-releases from the late 90′s) and could, aside from a few shots where the CGI looks slightly dated, stand toe-to-toe with modern digital films.

Unlike Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace 3D, which really played-up the “experience it in 3D” angle, the Titanic 3D marketing has been a bit more subtle (i.e. revisit Titanic - now enhanced with 3D) which fits with Cameron’s approach to the format, in general. Despite mostly solid performances from the leading and supporting players alike, some audience members (now older in age) may find some character moments to be a bit more stilted and hammy than they might have remembered. Overall, though, the film still delivers a beautiful and at times chilling theatrical experience. Fans, as well as moviegoers who never had the chance to catch Titanic on the big screen, are likely to be pleased with the results even if it was offered in 2D, since the movie still presents well-rounded theater entertainment. That said, Titanic is only getting a 3D rerelease with no official 2D showings – which means that if you want to see the film, you’ll have to be ready to splurge on the upgraded ticket price. Fortunately, Titanic is worth the price of that 3D admission, as it employs the same subtle “style” of presentation as Avatar.

At first, audiences may be underwhelmed by the 3D – as the scenes on Brock Lovett’s treasure-hunting ship, as well as those on the seafloor, are  surprisingly flat. However, as soon as Rose takes the audience “back to Titanic,” it becomes immediately clear why Cameron chose to present this particular film as an example of post-3D conversion done right. The Southampton Port scene is filled with eye-popping (not eye-hurting) 3D visuals that successfully add to the frantic energy and anticipation of the moment – from the massive crowd vibrating with excitement to the loading of a Renault motorcar. Like Cameron’s prior 3D efforts, the effect is extremely subtle – and, as a result, very natural and immersive. Even in the non-action scenes, where the camera might merely pan around a dinner table, the extravagant sets, costumes, and depth of field make even the most familiar moments fresh and captivating.

Titanic 3D Movie Sinking Titanic 3D Review

The RMS Titanic sinking in 3D

Calm 3D shots of passengers strolling on the deck or engineers monitoring the enormous cylinders in the engine room offer plenty of immersive visuals; however, unsurprisingly, the effects really take hold in Titanic’s latter half – as the character drama shifts into an epic disaster film. As mentioned the effect is subtle, but plenty of scenes are enhanced by Cameron’s 3D choices, dialing up the tension or, at the very least, outright visual spectacle in a number of memorable moments – such as Captain Edward John Smith’s window view on the sunken bridge, the flooding of E Deck, or the lifting (and subsequent sinking) of the stern – not to mention the frozen ocean graveyard.

The success of the post-conversion rests heavily on Cameron’s pre-commercial 3D skills as a visual filmmaker, which were readily on display in Titanic. This includes his attention to detail (painstakingly recreating the ornate particulars of Titanic and her passengers) as well as utilization of the full depth of field (both inside and outside of the ship’s hull). Very few of the film’s shots are ever uninteresting, as there’s nearly always something in the background worth having in the frame (whether it’s the static but elaborate details of Hockley’s stateroom or living breathing Irish immigrants dancing at the third-class party). As a result, anyone hoping for the kind of eye-popping visuals featured in Michael Bay’s shot-in-3D action spectacle Transformers: Dark of the Moon might be a bit underwhelmed, as the effect is rarely “in your face.” However, in this case, that’s actually a relief – since Cameron wasn’t as interested in outright wowing audiences with crazy visuals as he was in immersing them with the stories of the RMS Titanic.

Titanic 3D is easily the best example of post-conversion 3D to date. It might lack some of the creative synergy that could have been explored had the film actually been shot with 3D in mind (15 years ago) and it’s likely that some viewers, looking for non-stop 3D eye candy, could be underwhelmed by the film’s subtle effect. However, with plenty already going for it and a fresh polish from the pre-3D remastering, the post-conversion in Titanic 3D successfully enhances an already sharp big screen experience.

If you’re still on the fence about Titanic 3D, check out the trailer below:

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Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick - and let us know what you thought of the film below.

Titanic 3D is rated PG-13 for disaster related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality and brief language. Now playing in 3D theaters.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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TAGS: titanic

57 Comments

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  1. Be careful Cameron, as it appears you are heading in Lucas’ direction. There is NO NEED to continually revisit, change, and update your prior work. Just let it go. Let…it…go.

    • Any revisions are only for the better. Things that you couldn’t notice on a full screen VHS, but could on widescreen DVD. All he did was make his movie flawless.

      • Flawless? From whose point of view? By my thinking, writing a fictional love story into the true story of the Titanic was a flaw.

        • I do apologize. By “flawless” I meant “as good as a fictional love story in the true story of RMS Titanic can be.”

    • The film is the exact same as it was released 15 years ago. The only thing that Cameron changed were the position of the stars when Titanic sank and adding 3D. So same visual effects, same love story, same cringe worthy dialogue

      • Actually, they changed the stars, added black to the top of the tank they used for the falling smoke stack (you couldn’t tell in full screen VHS, but it showed in widescreen DVD), they took away the surface of the water by the window when Jack is handcuffed (the window was supposed to be far under water by then), and edited out the wire pulling the cup from the mantle in the smoking room.

        At least, those were the changes I noticed. Haha. Either way, there was nothing “added”, only improvements made to make the movie perfect.

    • A) Don’t even compare Cameron to Lucas, who constantly goes back and updates his cash cow franchise with unneeded effects, substituting things that really don’t need to be touched, and THEN remastering on 3D. All Cameron did was to update the film stock and post-convert it to 3D.

      B) This is the FIRST time he’s ever done something like this, unlike Lucas. Also, Cameron really doesn’t seem to be trying to make more money off of the conversion and re-release. To me, it looks like he’s just trying to show a new generation of people one of his greatest films in the in demand format, and it happened to work.

      • It’s the first time he’s re-released one of his films in 3D as it was the first time Lucas re-released Star Wars in 3D in February. Cameron also re-released Avatar in theaters with a few minutes extra footage, then re-released the film again on Blu-ray with more footage. The same thing Lucas has done with Star Wars. I’m not hating on Cameron, but you’re lying to yourself if you think Cameron hasn’t gone the George Lucas route before.

        • James cameron only released an extended cut of Avatar; he didn’t change the sounds that the Na’vi make, or add more animals in the forest, or make Jake yell “NO” when he fights the guy at the end. Not hating on George or James… Just saying.

        • Adding cut scenes is not the same as adding cgi to film stock shot over decades ago. Lots of movies have been re-released in theaters with added material, like The Exorcist, etc. In no way has Cameron gone the Lucas route.

        • The footage on Avatar was added BACK into the movie the same year it was made -probably removed in the first place only due to an already extremely long running time. It was NOT newly created CGI footage edited in 25 years later onto a classic.

    • Comparing Cameron with Lucas when it comes to re-releases is a joke. Lucas only has Star Wars going for him, and he has tinkered endlessly with it, and will continue to do so. Since when has Cameron ‘continually revisted, changed and updated’ his prior work? At least Cameron has a good excuse to rerelease Titanic, and did he NEED to do it? No, but he has because he CAN, and i’m glad he did it. Not only to show Hollywood that 3d conversion can work if done right, but also because it’s a classic movie that deserves, yes even NEEDS, to be seen on the big screen again. Couple that with the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s demise, and you a couple of pretty d*mn good reasons to rerelease this movie.

  2. I heard that he corrected the night sky star formations to be in line with 1912. Apparently Neil DeGrasse Tyson complained about the original :)

  3. I loved the Titanic part of the movie, but I always feel unaffected by 3D movies. I feel that he could have just re-released Titanic as sharper and it would have been fine, the 3D effect didn’t do much for the movie. 3D movies should be saved for sci-fi or adventure, not romance dramas.

    • Titanic was DEFINITELY an adventure

      • ad·ven·ture/adˈvenCHər/
        Noun:
        An unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity

        • I did not mean to put that commercial on there. DO NOT WATCH THAT

  4. Well let’s see – we all paid admission to see this probably more than once back in 1997 – we bought the video tape then the DVD and now we are asked to pay again at the 3-D price? I would have thought this movie made enough money back in the day and I have no plans to put more in their pocket just to watch a 3-D version of a movie I have seen on TV 10 times already.

    • I think the re-release of this movie is not so much a money grab as it is for 2 reasons, firstly, the 100 yr anniversary of the sinking, and secondly James Cameron want to demonstrate how good a post convert could be if the time is taken to do it right…

    • Yeah, I mean what could a meticulously restored and stereo-converted film, in a theatre, with overwhelming sound and visuals offer that a version on VHS, DVD or cable-of-yesteryear couldn’t?

      Films are made for the silver screen. Not televisions. Not ipads. Theaters. Cameron gets that. You clearly don’t.

      • Right on!

    • Oh,yeah…like watching TITANIC on your television screen at home compares to seeing it in IMAX 3D! This movie was made for big screen theatre viewing due to its amazing spectacle. No way you get the same effect on even a 60″ television screen at home.

  5. Awesome review. This is quite simply my favorite movie of all time. I’m excited for it, and I’m glad to hear its been done well.

  6. “So the new Titanic 3D is out. Maybe, they’ll see the f*cking iceberg this time.”

    More Comments from Titanic 3D http://bit.ly/HCuknp

    • This is one of the most hilarious comments on a movie review ever…I actually fell off my chair laughing!

  7. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say it was the best 3D I’ve ever seen!

    I actually said “holy crap!” out loud when I saw the first shot of the sub.

  8. The only reason this would be worth anything is to see Kate Winslet in 3-d.

    I fell asleep on the movie the last time. The dialogue and plot are cringe worthy.

    Good visuals without good dialogue, believable characters, and good plot do not make a good movie. Otherwise Sky Captain World of Tomorrow would be considered a classic.

    • I guess that’s why it won 11 Oscars including Best Picture…?

      • Don’t waste your money. Just watch again on TNT .im in the theatre as we speak watching it(well texting)

      • Don’t waste your money. Just watch again on TNT .im in the theatre as we speak watching it while texting

        • Get off your phone stupid.

          • I m stupid for pay 13.00 to watch titantic again. Omg. This lady in my row was crying hysterically in the movies …….really?how many times have you seen this movie lady…stop crying….

            • texting while in a movie theatre is a capital offense in my book.

              and having no respect at all for other peoples’ taste or preferences, is just a clear sign of you not being a good person.

              grow up and stop judging other people.

    • You pick your top five favorite movies and I know I can point out all the cringe worthy dialogue in them, and why they are crap. You can do it with every movie ever made. Not that hard really.

  9. i personally didnt like the 3D version. i didnt see much of a difference. i took my glasses off periodically cause the movie was brighter. too dark with the glasses. i want to see it in 2D in the theater instead. did they put that out this time around?

  10. HOLY **** That was so good! The 3D was the best 3D Iv’e seen! It didn’t get my eyes tired at all, like other 3D and the freaking story ofcourse is epic. I LOVED IT! There was many people crying as well, it was great. It was dead silence at the end. Just wow, guys its worth it. GO SEE IT! :D

  11. 3D is here to stay.

  12. I remember Titanic for another reason that probably (Hopefully) helped the 3D process. The film was released in 2.20 aspect ratio for those fans of letterbox and the theatrical experience (IMDB is wrong), but for the “fans” of fullscreen, you actually did get more of the vertical screen as well. Cameron’s use of Super35 during the non-underwater scenes made this happen and he knew what he was doing for the HV market when he shot this film.
    Now, did this help the 3D? I hope so when I see it later this week.

    -CJ

  13. Absolutely loved the movie. The 3d was very enhancing, and never overwhelming. People are so focused on seeing this as a cash cow effort. It is in fact for the 100 year anniversary, and as I see it, it’s one of those movies that everyone should see. Hammy at times, yes, but can you really tell me that while watching this movie, at some point you forget that they are on a doomed voyage. The story is captivating, and inspirational. It also gives us a good look as to how far some of the actors have come since then. This movie is a must see in the theaters.

  14. They should’ve (re)released the movie on the 15th to mark the centenary of the incident. But I guess it’s close enough.

  15. Omg what a waste of money , you might as well just it on DVD , really disappointed it cost me nearly £24.00

  16. I just saw this today and let me tell you, IT IS BRILLIANT.
    A lot of times, when a 2D film is converted to 3D, it looks kind of artificial, like a pop-up book. This, however, almost looks as if it was actually filmed in 3D.
    The film itself is great; an epic story of doomed and forbidden love (sounds like another Leonardo DiCaprio romance, doesn’t it?) which quickly shifts into a disaster as the ship sinks on its maiden voyage, and the 3D just intensifies the experience, pulling you further into the film, further into the tragedy, and I have to tell you, it’s really effective.
    Most of the time, directors are compelled to make changes in a re-release *coughgeorgelucascough*, but James Cameron has held off on the changes, the only changes being fixing the night stars so they match what would have been visible on the Titanic and changing the subtitles slightly. It has also been remastered to 4K resolution.
    The effect of all this is that this 15-year-old film looks almost brand-new, and I honestly can’t find a single fault, not even in its 3 hour and 15 minute running time, because Titanic 3D is not a film, it’s an experience.
    5/5. If there’s a cinema near you showing this, go watch it. You won’t regret it, even if (like me) you don’t like this sort of film.

  17. Well What can I say if you saw the origonal be content with that.There was so little 3D to see it was hardly worth unwrapping the glasses.Not worth the time or money, Want to see it again buy the movie it will cost you alot less.

  18. This is my all time favourite movie you are talking sh*t about.
    If u cringed on watching it the first time, why did u go to watch it again?
    On the other hand, thumbs up to the review, i loved the movie too :)

  19. Titanic was more than a movie. It was a phenomenon. A total package. The music ensemble blended perfectly with the raw emotions of the movie and accentuated it. Leo was exceptional. The fact that the Titanic sinking did happen only made the mood deeper.

    I was in college then and I still remember that it was the only movie that sobered the school (at least those that watched it at the cinema) for awhile and was talked about for weeks. I guess for those who watched it a few years after it premiered or were too young, the feeling may not have been the same.

    The story was so real and almost palpable. In 3D, I can only imagine the feeling…I need to watch it.

  20. In my honest opinion, I was still a little disappointed with the 3D results. The beginning looked great and just wowed me to the floor knowing the fact that so much time and money was spent to make the movie look great. But within 15 minutes into the movie, I felt like the artists decided to say, “Ok, we already proved that we can make a 2D movie look great into 3D so let’s go and take a break and don’t need to work so hard anymore on the rest of the film”. In other words, the 3D conversion was just not consistent throughout the film. Some scenes obviously were worked on longer and these were the ones that looked the best (e.g. closeup shots, scenes that had water) while most of the movie looked rushed and it really shows. The actors looked like cardboard cutouts in many of the poorer converted scenes. For me, I like 3D movies if they’re done well and properly and perhaps I was probably expecting too much from the 3D conversion. Overall, it’s still a good effort but could be improved.

    • I would have to disagree. I thought the 3D was done very well. They got a very natural relaxed 3D feel, which I like a whole lot better than the movies that try to “show off” 3D. Definitely the best 3d conversion I have seen (The Phantom Menace was terrible).

  21. I LOVE this movie but I want my $$$ back for the 3D scam. Out of the 3+ hours, I probably impressively noticed it for a good minute. It is extremely clear they did this just to make money out of the hype. I am so extremely disappointed, as this is my first 3D experience. You could have watched MANY scenes in the movie without the glasses and it was just as good, or better. I cannot understand how this got positive reviews.

  22. Some scenes obviously were worked on longer and these were the ones that looked the best (e.g. closeup shots, scenes that had water) while most of the movie looked rushed and it really shows. The actors looked like cardboard cutouts in many of the poorer converted scenes.

  23. Well, i live in india.
    Here a 3d movie costs me the same as a normal one. Around 1.25 $.
    So i have no regrets and you people should cut it some slack too.
    The 3d effects are good enough given how old the movie is. And the picture quality was much better too. As for the movie itself, its timeless. The pairing is excellent and kate winslet looks just gorgeous. Thumbs up to it again.

  24. Watched the film today on the 100th anniversary with my daughter. The 3D rendition was spectacular! Compaired to 3D release of Star Was Episode I, which in comparison was an extreme disappointment and a complete waste of money. This is definitely the correct way to convert a standard film to 3D, frame by frame.

    Looks like I may have to start an online petition to persuade James Cameron to convert my all time favorite of his films, Aliens – imagine what an experience seeing Aliens in 3D on the big screen would be!

  25. I thought the 3d was supposed to make this movie better. My wfie dragged me to see it, and the 3D really just made this movie crappier than the first time I saw it. You might as well have made “The English Patient” in 3D as well.

  26. The 3-D was as good as any post-conversion could get. The only two technical drawbacks I found with the movie are 1. The aged Rose bears no resemble to the younger one (Kate Winslet) 2. The stars in the background sky looked so fake. Other than these, it is worth the money.

  27. 3d jasam

  28. Awesome movie i love both the film of James Cameron Avatar and Titanic, on both version normal and 3D really loves this movie….:)

  29. humans sucks
    lucas ( and im not a star wars fan!)was a great director!
    has creadit a lot of fan base with back in the day a lot of orginal story’s movie’s etc.
    now because its 2012 we are saying he only has his star wars movies?damn thats respectless!
    thank him for the originals
    and those who liked the ading movies

    cameron is great too all do im not realy a fan of avatar the whole thing is hypted like creasy
    but thats not cameron’s fauld
    its a great movie.

    i know my english sucks so i think there will be bad reactions on it.
    but can people just not get a long in a forum etc
    be decent for a chanhe!!

    not calling names and be so blund

    • Sorry, but I can’t someone seriously who calls George Lucas a “good” director while using poor spelling and grammar. Sounds to me like you’re the only human that sucks.