James Cameron's epic sets course for the deep blu sea

When Cameron described Titanic’s 3D conversion as “endless” he could have been quoting anyone who tired of his long film and its reissues aeons ago. Yet 15 years on, freed from pop-cultural omnipresence and ‘size matters’ influence on lesser ’90s flicks, cynicism surrounding this tarted-up reissue is disarmed by the twin engines of Cameron’s grand ambition: sincerity and passion.

The retreating corridors and cliff-edge ship’s plunge merit the depth and detail of Blu-ray when you can’t catch them on their natural big-screen home. It’s there in the voyage’s rapturous launch and heart-in-mouth horrorshow climax, these extremes Cameron’s purest expression of his career-long gravitation to the peaks and troughs of interactions between nature and technology.

Mostly, it’s in Rose and Jack’s romance. They could have reduced tragedy to tween simpering but Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet energise a potentially baggy plot and inject sparking life into the script. You’d have to be on crack to call Cameron a poet but at least he (mostly...) casts actors able to invest blunt-tool dialogue with life. What of Billy Zane’s villainous eyebrows? Flaws remain in any dimension, ranging from naff name-dropping (Picasso! Freud!) to the soggiest of sex scenes.

But as Cameron ushers us from ghost ship to dazzling resurrection, love to death, luck to loss, ambition to endgame, Titanic’s old-school passion – paraphrasing Brock Lovett – still gets us every time. The only major bummer? That endless Céline Dion song...

Extras are a mix of old and new, the latter including Cameron and a fleet of Titanic experts pondering why/how the unsinkable ship actually sank.


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