Relive the tragic magic of Titanic, re-released in 3D to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking. (20th Century Fox)
1. It was kind of a thing once, and that was only in 2D!
Exactly how did an adolescent love story set in 1912 on a famously ill-fated luxury ocean liner become the biggest box-office grosser ever, at least until a later movie about alien rainforest super-Smurfs came along from the same director? No one really knows, but now you can pay extra for another, deeper look. And didn’t you always wish you could have sailed on the Titanic? (Well, except for that last part.)
2. It’s a period piece—from the future!
Just as Titanic the boat may seem a relic from an earlier era, so does Titanic the movie. But that wily James Cameron—ocean enthusiast, old-fashioned Hollywood showman, stager of spectacles, and tacky Oscar speech quoter of his own mediocre dialogue—always has known a thing or two about human destiny. Even in 1997 he foresaw how 21st century audiences would want to be entertained: by wasting many hours staring at a screen, envying other people’s make-believe status, and witnessing an EPIC FAIL. It’s only just now that 3D technology has at last caught up with this visionary.
3. You missed it the first time!
Well, it’s possible. All of us were busy in the ’90s. Younger, fresher, more willing to go out and try new things. (There wasn’t really much Internet to speak of then.) Maybe you had other stuff going on, and just never got around to it. Or maybe you gave Titanic a pass because you knew how it ends. Well, you still know how it ends. Or do you? Stay past the credits for a surprise. No, just kidding. Same deal: It sinks, he dies, her heart goes on. Look, it’s about the journey.
4. Now with even more morbid curiosity!
Actually, the poignancy of retrospect always was a big part of this movie’s appeal. Now it has more. Ah, to think of a time when Kate Winslet didn’t try so hard and Leonardo DiCaprio still did. They were so impossibly young then, before the body image issues and the coke-bloat, respectively, just the wistful beauty from Heavenly Creatures and the Future Great Actor who’d outgrown “Growing Pains” together in the salty breeze, surfing that tsunami of Celine Dion. So poignant it makes you a little seasick.
5. It’s time to send those Hollywood fat cats a message regarding the shameless commerce of 3D-retrofitted former blockbusters!
No, this is not some adorable little scrap-opus in need of IndieGoGo funding. And indeed not many of us can afford to have submarines custom made for ourselves in order to visit the ocean floor just in time for the re-release of an already ludicrously profitable movie we made 15 years ago, but apparently it’s either this or the Star Wars prequels. Well played, Cameron.