Cameron's Titanic Please read

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"Few acting performences besides old rose and Victor Garber? I thought Kate Winslets performence was outstanding as Rose."

We see differently on that. The biggest revelation to me the second go round was how atrocious she was, which may stem more from the fact the worst dialogue in the film is uttered by her in the opening 90 minutes. I have never seen a character who is supposed to elicit the audience's sympathy produce an opposite reaction in me with her condescending know-it-all comments about Picasso and Freud and the lifeboats etc. (and that was just one of many problems from my standpoint)

"And about you whinning about the love story well thats what you are supposed to focus on. Its a love story placed in a historical background."

Quite true, but here is my biggest problem. Not that this a fictional story, but it is a *bad* fictional story. To me, these characters are one-dimensional and shallow in the extreme, uttering some of the worst dialogue ever written for the screen. It is because the fictional story fails to ring with any authenticity to the times whatsoever that it fails so miserably IMO, and in the end serves as a major distraction when something about the real Titanic does in a rare moment get depicted wonderfully. Frankly, as bad as the CBS miniseries was, I think from a comparative standpoint their fictional soap opera stories were better (save Tim Curry's demonic steward which was a disgrace of the highest order, though in Cameron's film, stewards just settle for being depicted as whiny cowards)

"I would have liked a documentery better but he wouldn't have made any money."

My argument again is not that the film should have been pure documentary (though I would argue that we have plenty of precedent for that kind of formula working big, like Apollo 13) but that if it had to be fictional, a better story was in order. Some characters with some complexity and who were true to the time and not 1990s people transposed in the world of the Titanic. Why not the story of a young newlywed couple parted by the Titanic tragedy? Or if a class barrier romance than why not have the steerage passenger be something like an ambitious immigrant and not a loser-drifter like Jack Dawson? Those to me are the biggest flaws in the end.

Would you not concede that the script is the film's weakest point? It's failure to even get an Oscar nomination in that category I think says it all.
 
you say you don't like Winlsets performences because of know it all commits on Freud and Picasso. Well, thats not Winslets fault, thats the character she is acting. These aren't Kate Winslet's opinions, they are what she is told to act, which I think she did a fabulous job doing. Look, Cameron must have done something right to get the most successful movie in history.
 
As I said, it may be mostly the script and the bad dialogue she is forced to utter (and the Freud and Picasso comments weren't the only problems I had), but sometimes an actor can rise above that and make you sympathize in spite of that and Winslet just didn't do that IMO. OTOH, I saw an effort at trying to be more than one-dimensional on Billy Zane's part as Cal, but his problem was that he was stuck with a script that forced him to do such horrible things every five minutes that would keep any second dimension from breaking out.

I don't judge a film's goodness or badness based on its box office take. I've seen plenty of magnificent movies that were not all time box office champs ("A Night To Remember" which for me is the winner and still champion of Titanic movies), and I have seen plenty of hits that were riddled with problems (Jar-Jar Binks anyone? In fact, that's Titanic's problem with me. Instead of one Jar-Jar, we've got five of them in Rose, Jack, Cal, Mother, and Spicer.)
 
Yeah, every one I know asked me that question: Why if Titanic got eleven Oscars, wasn't the script even nominated? There are just too many flaws that only a writer would catch, but as Eric said, the main reason is because of all the loose ends. No matter how visually beautiful (in par with "Gone With the Wind"), no matter how successful the actors were in portraying their characters AS THE DIRECTOR/WRITER COMMANDED THEM (and believe me, anyone who has worked with Cameron will tell you he is dictatorial), no matter how accurate the sets, costumes, continuity, etc., the script got in the way and tripped over itself so many times it's a wonder everyone didn't get seasick from it while repeating their lines. It's to the actors' credit that they were able to project their lines with straight faces and find a way to inject some believability to the masses to win the audience's sympathy and concern for them. As the old saying goes, those who can - do, those who can't - teach. I've been on both sides, both as an actor and a writer, and I know what the actors had to go through, especially with the writer being the director, and the director being James Cameron to boot! So do not judge the actors so harshly. Yes, a good actor (even the extras with no lines and most of them on the cutting room floor) will research his/her character to a great extent, but in the end, no matter how the actor argues for the truth, the director has the final say, and actors hate to be replaced, so directors get their way. Truthfully, it's just a movie. It's entertainment. Movies are never meant to be oracles of truth. Movies are the vision of the writer first, the producers second, and the director third. At the end of the day, it's about making money - lots and lots and lots of money. Will it draw crowds at the box office? Will it sell videos and DVDs? Will it sell toothpaste when it hits television? That's what studios care about. That's why they campaign so heavily to win Oscars. Did "Titanic" deserve to win eleven Oscars? In my professional opinion, absolutely. Why? Because it achieved excellence in its CRAFT, not because it achieved excellence in its authenticity. Movies are an artist's vision, not a photograph. Do you criticize Picasso for his vision of a woman? Or Van Gogh for his depiction of a starry night? No. Then for the same reason, you must understand that this is also art, and film is only a canvas. It's all about perception. Cameron's perception has changed, and expanded to a level where he has gone back to Titanic and made another movie, which promises to tell the truth (hopefully). I've never - NEVER!!! - known any other director/writer in Hollywood of his caliber to do that. For that, you should all give him credit and move on to critique something else. This puppy has run its course and is ready for beddy-bye.

All the best,
Kyrila
 
Don, are you sure you got those ages right? Bill is old enough to be Josh's father. And Josh, you know Uncle Bill is all bark and no bite. Come sit by Mummy, dear, and drink your hot lemonade. Bill, you know how sensitive the boy is. Take it easy on him. We don't want him to have an accident.

Kyrila
 
Josh,
You are absolutely right, I do have a way with words man, that's because I don't need to write a book to get my point across...or compliment the ladies or put someone in their place....I could write a book to do it, ya know, a little drama leading up to the meat of the "movie"..life is a movie and we're all the actors in it. The Titanic was part of the movie but in our case, the drama happened very early on in the picture so we kinda missed it but I would, if given the chance to, go back to that period and just watch the drama unfold, I am sure Cameron's film captured some of the horror but I am willing to bet it was nothing like what really happened, not even close.

Eric,
"TITANIC" was nothing less than spectacular in the FX and dramtization of the sinking, what also made it what it was was the music, music makes a film go, just ask John Carpenter when he presented HALLOWEEN without music, no one was interested until he added that haunting score, it became a landmark film of the Genre...TITANIC is more than just the music, it is a piece of history, which like I stated to Josh, cannot possibly convey the sheer horror of what actually happened that night. We cannot sit and judge if it is truly historically accurate down to the last gulp because we will never know for sure abate the survivors who told the story a million times...there are just too many variables involved. I take the movie the way it is presented, along with all the documentaries about the expeditions and I am happy with that. There are very few other Titanic films that do it for me, ANTR is one of the ones that always will because I believe that they really tried to capture the horror of what happened that night and they did it in such a way that keeps me coming back to see that movie again and again.
Whether I am right or wrong in what I have just said, this is my opinion based on how I see it, I know others have other views that differ but unlike some here, I would never try to convince anyone that I am toally right and they are wrong. BUT what I am really trying to say here is if you look at the big picture and forget the little nuances that annoyed you, this picture truly deserved the status it achieved.

Kyrila,
TITANIC did indeed deserve 11 oscars, it set records that I was positively astounded by week after week, granted alot of that were repeat viewers who went numerous times I, being one of them who went 5 times with different people everytime, I think alot of people judge this film too harshly based on either accuracy, which I discussed earlkier on in this post, or the acting...now I will admit that when I first learned that Leonardo DiCaprio was going to play one of the leads, my first response was "Who the hell is Leonardo DiCaprio?"...never heard of the kid but then when my wife told me that he played the r~~~~~ in "Who is eating Gilbert Grape", I cringed because I really didn't like his acting ability and after TITANIC, I still didn't like him and probably never will, I think Matthew (Irish last name that I can't spell for beans) would have been a much better choice for a leading man. Leo did nothing for that film in my opinion and he was one of the problems I had with it. Another problem I have is why did they cut all the scenes that they did?..Okay for the time factor, I can understand, no one these days, including me, wants to sit in a theater for over 4 hours but he could have at least, when the DVD came out, added a second DVD that had the movie in it's complete state with all scenes intact, this way you could either watch the original theatrical version or the other one with scenes not shown in theaters. I, for one, would enjoy seeing the film this way, I like the film as it is now but I would really like to see this movie with every scene in it. And I truly believe that one day, Cameron will do just that, maybe on the 10th Anniversary of the movie, one can only hope.

In other news Kyrila, I will take it easy on Josh because I don't want him to have an accident because I have been freed of my "ball & chain" so to speak and until I get my strength up, I am privvy to such accidents myself.

Okay, my nickel just ran out......my time is up and I am outta here.

Regards,
Bill
Who could easily vie for the longest post in this thread to date
 
"if you look at the big picture and forget the little nuances that annoyed you, this picture truly deserved the status it achieved."

This is my problem, William. In a movie of three hours length, concern over the appalling weakness of the principal characters and the script is no longer one of the "nuances" of the movie, it's the very backbone and foundation. If those dimensions are the weakest part, then we've got a serious problem IMO. And the script and characters are the weakest I have seen in *any* Titanic dramatization. Old Rose and Thomas Andrews were the only ones who came across as more than one-dimensional cardboard cutouts.

A deadhead script in an special effects movie is something I've been long used to, especially in movies like "Armageddon" etc. but I'm usually able to be more forgiving of a movie like that and appreciate as you put it the "nuances" because those kinds of movies don't take themselves so seriously with the kind of high-minded pretentiousness that literally reeks off every paragraph of dialogue in Cameron's script. If this were a fictional ship and not the Titanic, I think I could be a lot more forgiving to the script than I ultimately can be. But when such an unreal script and unreal characters are interrupted by these too deadly real recreations of the real Titanic (and don't get me wrong, the film earned its technical nominations) then the effect is far too jarring for me.

James Horner's score was adequate but contained too many instances of his unfortunate penchant for plagiarizing his past work (especially his best score, "Star Trek II") and in this case the work of others (one part of the music during the collision contains an almost verbatim lift from Jerry Goldsmith's "Capricorn One"). His overuse of synths I also felt struck the wrong atmosphere and I would have preferred to see a full orchestral score throughout the entire movie (and don't get me started on "My Heart Will Go On"!)

I haven't posted this much about the movie in years but seeing it all the way through with a critical eye yesterday for the first time since it opened in 1997 has compelled me to analyze it further more than ever, so if it seems that I'm posting a bit too much on the subject that's the explanation.
 
Come sit by Mummy, dear, and drink your hot lemonade. Bill, you know how sensitive the boy is. Take it easy on him. We don't want him to have an accident.

*Sticks tongue out at Bill and sips his drink*

Josh.
 
Eric,
I rather liked some of the themes James Horner used for Titanic. Despite using some cues from his Braveheart score, I think Titanic was well done. His Star Trek music was great, though I personally preferred The Search For Spock over The Wrath of Khan. Unfortunatelly, much of the Star Trek scores was lifted from Battle Beyond the Stars. Horner has definate talent, he just apply it enough.

I would much rather have heard Sarah Brightman's take on My Heart Will Go On (Il Mio Cuore Va). Brightman's version is a much lovlier piece, and being sung in Italian, conjures up a greater feeling of romance.

Josh.
 
Eric, I didn't say Horner was God, I said: "what also made it what it was was the music, music makes a film go"....if you listen to or watch Deep Impact, you can hear some TITANIC riffs in the score....Horner is good and I agree with Josh, ST III has a better score than ST II but try watching ANY action or Drama or Sci-Fi/Horror movie without music.

Everyone here likes to discuss Titanic and most are true fanatics but we also will be critical about anything we don't like in anything TITANIC also.

Remember: Horner is good, I didn't say he was great...Now John Williams?, he's great...I can only imagine what TITANIC would have sounded like if he did the score.

Regards,
Bill
 
Bill,
I agree with you completelly about John Williams. He's done some truely awesome scores. I just purchased the Star Wars Episode II soundtrack. Excellent music there. But I was less than impressed with his Harry Potter score. It was a rehashing of previous work. The tournament scene reeks of the podrace from Star Wars I.

Josh
 
Well, Bill, if you say so. But my friends who are classical music aficionados consider John Williams a "hack." You can hear echoes of the theme from "Superman" in "Star Wars," too, if you listen close enough. But then, all classically trained composers have their "signature riffs." You can always tell it's a Jim Steinman song whether it's sung by Meat Loaf or Air Supply or Bonnie Raitt, just by the familiar chord progressions or choral riffs that find their way into each song. Even the Beatles, as hard as they worked to make each song sound different, had their signature style stamped in their music. Students of music know exactly what I'm talking about.

Kyrila
 
I like 'Hymn to the Sea' from Titanic. Its such a haunting piece of music.
I have to agree with Eric though because the score for 'Raise The Titanic' is a great piece of music. Best bit about the entire film!
 
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