Saturday, April 16, 2011
Screen Gem Saturdays: Titanic
Today's post is a tribute to the tragedy that occurred over 99 years ago. Even today, the public is swept up by the true story of a luxury liner that was advertised as unsinkable and a modern technological marvel yet sunk on its very first voyage. With a false sense of security for the vulnerability of his ship, Captain Smith ordered that the Titanic travel at full speed in an area of icebergs because he felt pressured to break a record of speed for his company, The White Star Line. Built with too few lifeboats, even those weren't filled to capacity because so many of the guests on board didn't believe the Titanic would sink before help ever arrived.
James Cameron’s blockbuster movie “Titanic” received almost as much press before it was released as after. Any movie with a budget that soars out of control like this particular epic is sure to garner a place in the news as being plagued by trouble and other sundry sordid details. However, once released, “Titanic” fever hit the world as the box office went out of control. I still remember sitting in the theater, watching the beautiful imagery and noticing all of the authentic details that Cameron painstakingly included in his film.
I also remember the first time I watched it at home on a smaller TV in its first video incarnation. Without the huge splendor of a large screen, I was less than thrilled at watching the movie.
The poor writing was apparent and the inadequacy of Leo D’s character stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. For a period piece, Leo seemed like a Backstreet Boy stuck in a time warp; very out of place. I also felt that Gloria Stuart could have used a little more coaching on her part as well. Perhaps Cameron was swept up in the spectacle and forgot about the storytelling. Amazing what a big screen can do for a film.
For those of you that still have Titanic fever, you can visit a recreation of The Grand Staircase in Vegas at The Luxor Hotel:
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