By Leah Quinn

There aren’t many on this planet that didn’t see or hear of James Cameron’s movie, Titanic, back in 1997 on its initial release. Therefore re-releasing it in 3D meant that its 3D effects were going to be under thorough scrutiny from any kind of movie fanatic. This year sees the Titanic’s sinking centenary and so it couldn’t be more apt that it returns to our screens with an even bigger and more effective performance through the recent flash in the pan craze that is 3D.

Having seen a few 3D movies and not having been overly wowed by the supposed magic that is having that actors hand emerge slightly more outwardly from the screen than normal, but while also having a history of (I have to admit) sheer Titanic and Leo obsession back in 1997 – I reckoned I was nicely poised on the fence in regards to scepticism on viewing this latest 3D instalment. I’m sorry to say that that fence is far in the distance now and there is nothing 3D about it.

Other than the uncomfortable feeling of wearing plastic 3D glasses for over three hours, I would have completed forgotten the movie was 3D at all. In fact our first taste of anything remotely three-dimensional is when Brock Lovett is exploring the wreck with his robotic camera and the fragments floating around seem to float slightly out from the screen – making you feel like you might need to clean your glasses rather than that you are sitting 12,000 feet below sea level on the wreck. After that only the odd faceless character’s head seemed to appear a little closer than usual as they walked past poor two dimensional Kate and Leo on the sinking deck.

You can’t blame James Cameron for potentially cashing in on the money-making machine that is the Titanic’s centenary, after all nowadays it is not often the ship itself is mentioned without a reference to his movie. But Mr. Cameron may not have heard of the phrase “if you are not going to do it right then please don’t do it at all”- as just because you dress a movie up as 3D doesn’t change the fact that it was made 14 years ago with no intention of being anything but two dimensional.

You can paint black and white stripes on a horse and call it a zebra but everyone is really just thinking “doesn’t that stripy horse look silly.” These days to shoot a movie with the intention from the outset that it will be 3D, you need to use specialised cameras, the appropriate software, and a 3D photographer, none of which was used for this movie back in 1997.

If my words are tinged with any sort of bitterness I apologise, as I did hope to fall back in love with a more awe-inspiring version of this movie. Instead I came away thinking it was nice to see that again in the cinema but I knew every line and that it would sink in the end, so the only unexpected surprise really was that I felt extremely old watching a baby-faced Leonardo DiCaprio.

I recommend you go to see this movie for the sheer reason that it is still a classic and does remain more impressive on the big screen rather then on its annual television screening at Christmas with your granny nattering over the best bits. But go for only this reason, because if you are looking to feel like you are on the ship or in the arms of Kate or Leo, then your disappointment will be deeper than the poor old Titanic itself.

About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle