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Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I think there’s a solid argument to be made that involving a fictional romance as part of a tragedy overshadows the latter, but for my money Cameron did exactly what he set out to do: involve the audience and make them truly comprehend the disaster through characters they’ve just come to love over an hour. It’s a really intricate film but one that isn’t totally upfront about its intricacies. More than worthy of being labeled ‘the biggest film in history’. (I know that Avatar hasn’t really seemed to age well in the public mindset and it remains to be seen if Endgame will keep the monster status it had from the hype surrounding it before its release. Titanic meanwhile seems to remain one of those “must-watch” films for all generations that have come after its release.)
 

JudasMyGuide

The resident saudade aficionado
Oh, for sure. I like his biggest hits, financially, least of his movies, but every time he seems to pick a market and craft a piece perfectly designed for them, and it makes tons of cash. It's honestly impressive as hell.

Well, I'll even admit this - sure, in hindisight you can see all the flaws in Avatar (and there are many and have been beaten do death over all these years), but honestly, watching it for the first time in the cinema in 3D.... That was a helluva experience, an unforgettable one, at least for me.

Never going to be my favourite movie, but I want to give credit where credit's due, that's some fine craft there.

Same goes for Aliens - I'm probably one of the very few people who prefer 1 and 3 over 2, but the fact he turned it into a completely different genre, gave it a completely different feel, made it completely his movie... and yet it totally fits the series, is still thought about as one of the best sequels ever and for many people it is the favourite installment, that's a no mean feat.

Heck, "best sequels" - again, I like Terminator 1 more than the second one... But darn if what he did with the sequel wasn't impressive af.

I think there’s a solid argument to be made that involving a fictional romance as part of a tragedy overshadows the latter, but for my money Cameron did exactly what he set out to do: involve the audience and make them truly comprehend the disaster through characters they’ve just come to love over an hour. It’s a really intricate film but one that isn’t totally upfront about its intricacies. More than worthy of being labeled ‘the biggest film in history’. (I know that Avatar hasn’t really seemed to age well in the public mindset and it remains to be seen if Endgame will keep the monster status it had from the hype surrounding it before its release. Titanic meanwhile seems to remain one of those “must-watch” films for all generations that have come after its release.)

Yep, I'd say that doing a disaster movie and picking a symbolic, representative storyline is legit. Though I'm not quite sure what makes me love Titanic and hate Remember Me, but there must be some fundamental difference there...
 

Jer

Yes, Yes, Another Beer!
I like Terminator 1 more than the second one... But darn if what he did with the sequel wasn't impressive af.
It would have been even better if the marketing hadn’t immediately blown the twist that Ah-nold was the good guy in the second movie. The first 20 minutes or so of the film play out completely differently if you’re assuming he’s bad, and then he whips out the shotgun and saves John Connor instead of killing him. Imagine how much more impact that would have had if they’d kept it a secret...
 

Perun

In the labyrinth of eternity
Staff member
I don’t think I’ve ever properly watched Titanic from start to end but if it’s this good...

The ship sinks in the end. There, spoiled it for you.

Well, I'll even admit this - sure, in hindisight you can see all the flaws in Avatar (and there are many and have been beaten do death over all these years), but honestly, watching it for the first time in the cinema in 3D.... That was a helluva experience, an unforgettable one, at least for me.

Well, my experience with it was somewhat different. I only ever saw the film once, in the cinema, and I've never had the desire to go back to it, for two reasons. Basically, I remember predicting virtually everything that would happen in the film accurately, even minor details. It was such a transparently constructed plot. And I don't meant the obvious "It's an LSD vision of Dances With Wolves played by smurfs" argument (no matter how true it is, and it's absolutely true), but the fact that I could predict the way every plot device would be used later in the film from the moment it was introduced. The only thing I didn't predict was the gung-ho sarge ending up sitting in a battle robot, because I didn't expect the film to resort to that kind of cliché.
The other thing I kept thinking was, "wow, this is gonna look so old in ten years". I couldn't get myself immersed in the visuals because I'm just too cynical about CGI. All that came to mind back then was, "this isn't real, it was all rendered on a computer and it's gonna look as dated in ten years as Phantom Menace looks now". And that's actually the only reason why I would be interested in re-watching the film at some point, to see if I was right about that.

So yeah, I couldn't get immersed plot-wise and I couldn't get immersed in all this world-building stuff, so there just wasn't anything for me in this film.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
The ship sinks in the end. There, spoiled it for you.
One more thing that makes Titanic really great is the fact that it doesn't matter if one knows the plot or not, the experience is still just as incredible. Like beyond the actual sinking of it. There is so much in this film that is a given up front.

Just in case so I don't actual spoil it: You know right from the beginning that:

1. The ship hits an iceberg and sinks. It does not get away. They don't manage to turn it time. It's fucking toast.
2. You know inherently that Rose survives because she is the one telling the story.
3. You also know that Jack dies because no one else can make any connections to him (and because if he lives then there's no real reason for her to be telling this story).

And a lot of the iconic moments too. She gets painted in the nude. The door only has enough room for one of them (yeah I know there's a debate but who cares), and she has to - ironically - let go of Jack to hold on to her promise. And I also knew that the film would close with Celine Dion singing "My Heart Will Go On" (which hits far more potently once you've seen the film). I knew all this upfront and thought that nothing about the film would surprise me,
and I still burst out into tears at least four separate times during my viewing of it. It's just powerful.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
When it comes to Titanic, I think knowing the beats of the ending enhances the story. You can feel excited for Rose without feeling worried that she survives or not. The other characters take on greater questions. It works very, very well, and Cameron understood that intrinsically. By experiencing the entire journey with Rose safe as an anchor, you can invest greater in others.

I think Avatar's easily predictable plot serves the same thing. You know almost right away how it's going to go, and well, you're right. For some people that is very fulfilling. Add in the spectacle of a very good technical achievement?

For reference, I'm in the Perun camp. I saw it in theatres and I have no intention of seeing 2, 3, 4 or ever watching the movie again. It is a non-entity. Titanic I can watch every few years happily.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
When it comes to Titanic, I think knowing the beats of the ending enhances the story. You can feel excited for Rose without feeling worried that she survives or not. The other characters take on greater questions. It works very, very well, and Cameron understood that intrinsically. By experiencing the entire journey with Rose safe as an anchor, you can invest greater in others.
Yep. Here's what happens, now let's find out how it happened. Filling in the details.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Not a fan of Titanic at all. As pure entertainment it's okay, but I find it over-glossy and unrealistic for a depiction of history, and assigns very modern attitudes and sentiments to some of the characters.
 

Black Abyss Babe

Quantum weather butterfly
assigns very modern attitudes and sentiments to some of the characters.
Yes but that's deliberate. Jack and Rose are deliberately anachronistic because they are our window into the story - they ask the questions we want to ask. (Questions which were actually asked at the time too ...) I don't know if it's an unrealistic portrayal of history because as far as I could see all the historical characters were very well drawn. Of course he had to make some judgement calls because as he himself put it "people have reasons for remembering things a certain way" and consequently a fair amount of the eye witness testimony was contradictory. But on the whole my impression was he tried very hard to be fair.
 

Perun

In the labyrinth of eternity
Staff member
assigns very modern attitudes and sentiments to some of the characters.

I'm not so sure about this, although I'd be interested in hearing which ones you mean in particular.
Thing is, 1912 isn't all that long ago. There were a lot of progressive sentiments around that seem astonishingly modern in the present day. Whether they would have been concentrated on one ship the way the film shows is of course another question.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Honestly, a perfect recreation of the Titanic and her fatal journey would be likely quite boring for anyone except hardcore Titanic nerds (they do exist). But the movie isn't really supposed to be, it's absolutely anachronistic and it's absolutely an amalgam of the way James Cameron wants you to feel so you'll see the movie 10 times in theatres.

Like I said, the guy's a genius. Good Canadian kid.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Rally knobhead rams the guy out of his lane in the middle of the city, then runs away from the police, so he wouldn't miss the race.


Casual assault on a police officer at 1 minute mark.
 

Travis The Dragon

"Can you see them riding. Riding next to you!"
A series on youtube I really recommend is The Psycho Series from a user name McJuggernuggets. It's a very long watch since there are 655 videos total ranging from 3 minutes to at least an hour each and there are some where nothing much happens, but it's still worth watching every minute so you can really get to know everyone. You may have seen a video from it where a kid's dad destroys his video games with a riding lawn mower, but as you can see from how long it is, there is much more than that.

The Complete Psycho Series
 
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