Tags: 20th Century FOX, Bernard Hill, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, Danny Nucci, David Warner, Digital Copy, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, James Cameron, James Horner, Jason Barry, Joan Gruffudd, Jonathan Hyde, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Leonardo Dicaprio, Lewis Abernathy, Paramount Home Entertainment, Suzy Amis, Suzy Amis-Cameron, THX Certified, Titanic, Victor Garber
has an average rating of 7.6 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 MA & Dolby Digital 2.0
include around 6 hours of content!
– 194 minutes
– Paramount / FOX
Disc 1 uses 44.6GB for the movie out of 46.6GB total
Disc 2 uses 44.6GB total for bonus material.
Street Date: September 10th, 2012
Overall Verdict – Highly Recommended
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was written, directed, produced and edited by James Cameron. Before this film Cameron was best known for writing & directing the films “The Terminator” (1984), “Aliens” (1986), “The Abyss” (1989), “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) and “True Lies” (1994). This was his first drama and he chose to base it on the actual historic events that surrounded the ship the RMS “Titanic” and its eventual sinking on April 14th 1912. He originally pitched the film to the folks at FOX by simply showing them a painting his friend had done of the ship sinking and telling them to picture “Romeo & Juliet” on that. It didn’t take much convincing. The main characters here are fictional but there are some real-life characters featured in the film that were actual passengers on the Titanic.
The story starts out in present day and at first focuses on a treasure hunter by the name of “Brock Lovett” (played by Bill Paxton) who is on an expedition along the bottom of the sea searching the wreckage of the RMS Titanic. He’s using a group of submersible vehicles as well as ROV units to explore deep inside the wreckage of the ship. It’s after a while when he discovers a safe and it’s brought back to the surface of his salvage ship to search its contents that we discover he is searching for an extremely valuable necklace called “The Heart of the Ocean.” This necklace was last said to have been on board the boat. He doesn’t manage to find the diamond necklace but he does find a sketch of a nude woman wearing the necklace, dated April 14 1912 — the night the boat sank — with the initials J.D. signed. He has no clue who this woman was, nor who the artist (“J.D.”) was.
After making his discovery of the sketch and other items Brock Lovett goes on some news programs and discusses his findings which strikes the attention of an elderly woman. She decides to go about trying to get in contact with Mr. Lovett as she has something she would like to tell him. Eventually the 101-year-old woman named “Rose Dawson Calvert” (played at this point by Gloria Stuart) gets in contact via telephone with Lovett. She reveals to him that the sketch he found is actually of her and that she was a survivor of the Titanic. He immediately has her brought aboard his salvage ship via helicopter with her granddaughter and dog. Once she arrives she’s shown some items they had found such as a hairpin and mirror which actually belonged to her — so she claims. There’s a bit of doubt at first if she’s telling the truth amongst the crew of Lovett’s ship but that soon changes when she goes in to very, very lengthy detail about her experiences on the RMS Titanic at age 17. At this point she went by the name of “Rose DeWitt Bukater” and we flash back to that point where she’s played by Kate Winslet. She tells of how she boarded the ship on April 10th 1912 in Southampton with her fiancé “Cal” (played by Billy Zane) and her mother “Ruth DeWitt Bukater” (played by Frances Fisher). Her fiancé Cal was a man of great wealth and her mother stressed very heavily on her marrying him to solve the family financial problems, despite her not really liking the man.
Rose eventually gets fed up with being stuck on this ship with a man she clearly doesn’t love and hates to imagine the idea of having to marry him. Something happens though that will end up meaning she meets a third class passenger by the name of “Jack Dawson” (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who will in a matter of speaking and literally end up saving her. Jack actually managed to win his tickets for him and his friend “Fabrizio” (played by Danny Nucci) in a card game. He and his friend rushed straight from their card game to board the ship. He had seen Rose earlier that day or so when she came out to stand on the deck. He couldn’t take his eyes off her and she offered a few glances his way, that is before her fiancé came along and took her away. Despite Rose being of upper class and engaged the two end up striking up a friendship. Jack shows Rose some of his drawings and tells her that he had been trying his hand at being an artist in Paris France with no success. She thinks his art is marvelous and this makes Jack very thankful someone appreciates his work. Their unlikely friendship eventually turns into a bit more than friendship, in fact it turns into a forbidden love affair. This all is happening on a boat that is a matter of days away from hitting an iceberg and sinking. That’s really all I’ll discuss about the film and its plot as to not really spoil it for those who actually may have not ever seen it. Let’s just say it’s a very moving story and obviously ends with a very climactic series of events.
“Titanic” now fifteen years later holds up rather nicely itself and is just as entertaining and epic as it was back in 1997. The film as most everyone knows by now went on to be the highest grossing film of its time making over 2 billion dollars at the worldwide box office. It also had the highest budget of its time at 200 million dollars. This all can be confirmed and read in further detail on Box Office Mojo. The only film to ever top it in terms of grossing the most at the worldwide box office would ironically enough be another film by James Cameron, “Avatar” in 2009, which made 2.7 billion dollars. The film also was nominated for a total of fourteen Academy Awards (“Oscars“) and ended up winning a whopping ELEVEN total. At that time only one other film (“Ben-Hur“) had achieved that many wins at the Academy Awards. The movie ended up making as much history as it did an excellent job of recreating history.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The choice to keep (maintain) the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio that the film was presented in back in 1997 for the 2D presentation is one that I’m very happy with and I’m sure videophiles and/or purists will be happy with as well. However it should be noted that the Blu-ray 3D version of the film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio that actually shows more than can be seen in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Still, as I said, it’s very likely that people will want to see the film in 2D exactly how they saw it originally in theaters and that has to have been why they stuck with that aspect ratio.
The movie was shot on Super 35MM film using primarily the Panavision Panaflex Gold II and Panavision Panaflex Platinum cameras. The underwater scenes — namely at the beginning of the film — were shot using a special camera system able of withstanding the pressure of the deep seas in the Techniscope cinematographic process. The black level here is solid. The color palette is vibrant and fleshtones are accurate. The Hi-Def digital transfer presented here has a very nice amount of film grain to it that has been left intact and some scenes seem to show it off more than others. For instance, two particular scenes that take place during sunsets show off the film grain quite well. Namely that iconic scene with Jack and Rose on the front of the ship. There’s an excellent amount of detail here and especially in close-ups, which prove to be very impressive. This new digitally remastered version of the film presented in Hi-Def in 2D is sure to impress and is well worthy of a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio as well as in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @224kbps. By far one of the biggest highlights to this film is the original music composed by James Horner. Horner’s original Score gets delivered very nicely via the lossless 5.1 mix through primarily the front left and right channel speakers with a good amount of rear channel presence and at times very impressive amounts of LFE (bass). It carries a good bit of the film at times and sets the mood perfectly. Sound effects too obviously offer up some very nice moments of LFE and make use of the 5.1 soundscape. Around 13 minutes or so when the helicopter bringing “Old Rose” to the salvage ship is approaching you’ll get one of the first highlights of the sound effects. There’s get LFE here and some decent pan across the rear channels. Dialogue is delivered through the center channel very distinctly and I’m very happy to report that it doesn’t ever become overpowered by any of the music or sound effects. No need at all here for volume adjustments.
25:30 when the Titanic is being boarded in Southampton you’ll notice the original Score making great use of the rear channels as well as the crowds cheering and other sound effects which all come across very nicely. Once the boat leaves port you’ll notice a great amount of LFE and yet again in the short scene inside the ship’s engine room. At times when Jack and Rose are on the deck of the ship you’ll hear the sound of waves crashing getting a slight bit of presence in the rear channels. When we get to witness the party in 3rd class with the Irish music playing you’ll notice the 5.1 mix can get pretty upbeat and have it’s impressive elements. Nothing so much intense as it is just fitting with a scene such as that. James Horner’s original music here can go from subtle to intense at the drop of a hat, when it needs to. The musical version of the song “My Heart Will Go On” playing sounds beautiful here with mostly the front left and right channels getting the piano part delivered as well as a bit of LFE and rear channel presence. There will be moments where it doesn’t really come across that intense, I know. It’s after the ship hits the iceberg that things really start to get intense in terms of sound. You’ll hear more hectic sound effects from the engine room than you have before and the original Score will get more bold and assertive. Things will also go from intense to quite for a short bit but don’t let that fool you, you’re in for even more. The sound coming from the engines once the passengers start boarding the lifeboats and the sound of the crowds’ panic is quite unsettling but effective. Eventually when the water goes from just slowly flooding to downright breaking down doors you’ll see what I mean about intense. That part will showcase a large amount of LFE. The end of the film features a lot of sequences really worth deeming “demo material” as the ship sinks.
This mix really sounds downright excellent even though it has some more subtle parts in terms of sound during the beginning but it totally makes up for it at the end when things get really loud. This THX certified 5.1 lossless mix earns itself a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality and it certainly does the film complete justice. Lastly, I’ll say it’s nice to see that a Stereo mix was included, even if it is lossy. This is good I guess for those who prefer stereo — even though the film was never actually shown in theaters with anything less than surround sound. I guess it’s just there for those old fashioned types who think 5.1 is “overkill” or such. Just don’t expect too much from that Dolby Digital stereo mix. The lossless 5.1 mix is the impressive one.
Bonus Materials on this release are ALL presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @224kbps sound — unless otherwise noted below.
Blu-ray Disc #1 includes:
- Director Audio Commentary by James Cameron (2005)
- Cast and Crew Audio Commentary (2005) includes Rae Sanchini (Executive Producer), Jon Landau (Producer), Bill Paxton (“Brock Lovett“), Gloria Stuart (“Old Rose“), Lewis Abernathy (“Lewis Bodine“), Kate Winslet (“Rose“), Danny Nucci (“Fabrizio“), James Horner (Composer), Jonathan Hyde (“Bruce Ismay“), Jason Barry (“Tommy Ryan“), Billy Zane (“Cal“) and Kathy Bates (“Molly Brown“).
- Historial Audio Commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall (2005)
Blu-ray Disc #2 includes:
- “Reflections on “Titanic” (1:03:47 – HD) is an ALL-NEW documentary and is split into four parts total but includes a “play all” function. It starts out with quotes from critics and members of press regarding the film from back in 1997. There are new interviews here with James Cameron (writer/director), Jon Landau (Producer), Kate Winslet (“Rose“), Joseph McBride (Critic/Film Historian), David Lubin (Wake Forest University / Author “BFI Modern Classics: Titanic”), Kathy Bates (“Molly Brown“), Don Lynch (Titanic Historian), Suzy Amis-Cameron (“Lizzy Calvert“), Ken Marschall (Titanic Visual Historian), Bill Paxton (“Brock Lovett“), Billy Zane (“Cal“), Joan Gruffudd (“Fifth Officer Lowe“), Parks Stephenson LCDR USN (Ret.) (Titanic Forensic Analyst), Victor Garber (“Thomas Andrews“), Bernard Hill (“Captain Smith“), Danny Nucci (“Fabrizio“), Rae Snchini (Executive Producer), Geoff Burdick (Lightstorm VP Production Services & Technology), Bob Gazzle (AFI President & CEO), Tom Sherak (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2009-2012), James Horner (Composer) as well as 2005 interviews with Kate Winslet, Peter Chernin (President & COO of News Corporation 1997-2009), Celine Dion (Musical Artist). There’s lots of behind-the-scenes footage on the set shown here, as well as on set photos, footage from the 1997 Tokyo Film Festival premier, footage from the 2012 London 3D premier. There’s also discussion of how well the film did at the box office, the records it broke, the 14 Academy Awards it was nominated for, the 11 Academy Awards it won and footage from the 1998 Academy Awards such as James Cameron’s acceptance speech. Obviously there’s some retrospective-type discussion looking back on the film now some 15 years later. We get a bit of discussion about the choice by James Cameron to bring the film to 3D for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship. We get some behind-the-scenes glimpses at how the folks at Stereo D went about doing the 2D to 3D conversion as well as an interview with William Sherak (President of Stereo D). Lastly we see some more footage from the 2012 London 3D premier at Royal Albert Hall.
- “Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron” (1:36:16 – HD) features Dolby Digital 5.1 @640kbps audio. This is a ALL-NEW 2012 documentary that was done for the National Geographic Channel. It focuses on how the ship sank and on what details the 1997 film got incorrect. It plays a bit like a forensic analysis, debate, discussion, historical look back and glimpse at the underwater expeditions to the ship’s wreckage from 1985 up to 2012. There’s a panel here of eight experts which include Ken Marschall (Artist, Visual Historian), PH Nargeolet (Director of Underwater Operations, RMS Titanic Inc.), Bill Sauder (Director of Research, RMS Titanic Inc.), Parks Stephenson (Naval Systems Engineer), Don Lynch (Chief Historian, Titanic Historical Society), David Gallo (Director of Special Projects at W.H.O.I.), Commander Jeffrey Stettler (Naval Architect, US Naval Academy) and Brian Thomas (Naval Architect and Salvage Engineer, US Coast Guard). You’ll see footage from James Cameron’s 2012, 2001 and 1995 dives to the wreckage. In fact Cameron claims to have shot hundreds of hours of footage inside the wreck over a span of 33 dives total. You’ll also get footage from the 1985 expedition led by Bob Ballard as well as a short bit from his press conference. There’s tons of theories thrown around as to how the wreckage got to be the way it was and this all leads to them using the theories that the 9 agree on to create an updated CG animation that recreates the sinking of the Titanic. This documentary proves to be both very informative and entertaining and is worth the watch to any fan of the history of the Titanic.
- “Behind The Scenes” (1:03:34 – HD) serves a bit as a “making of” featurette, well more like 60 featurettes.
- “Construction Timelapse (4:20 – HD) shows the set being built where a majority of the film was shot. This includes optional audio commentary with Ed Marsh.
- “Deep Dive Presentation Narrated by James Cameron (15:30 – HD) gives us the 1995 dive footage in a widescreen “framed” presentation with black bars all around — sadly.
- “200,000,001: A Ship’s Odyssey – The Titanic Crew Video” (17:52 – HD) serves a bit like a “gag reel” at times as well as yet another look behind-the-scenes at the making of the film.
- “Videomatics” (3:18 – HD) includes “Videomatics Introductions” (by Jon Landau), “Sinking Sequence” & “Deep Dive”.
- “Visual Effects” (7:50 – HD) includes “VFX Shot Breakdown: Engine Room”, “VFX How-To For I’m Flying”, “VFX How-To For First Class Lounge” & “Titanic Sinking Simulation”.
- Music Video “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion (4:46 – HD)
Deleted Scenes (57:32 – HD) features Dolby Digital 5.1 @640kbps audio. This includes a total of 30 delete scenes with optional audio commentary by James Cameron as well as an audio introduction.
- Trailers include:
- “Still Galleries” include:
- “Titanic Parodies” include:
Other bonus materials:
- A DVD with “Part One” of the film in standard definition.
- A DVD with “Part Two” of the film in standard definition.
- A Digital Copy of the film is included via a URL and redemption code included a paper insert — this is compatible with both iTunes and Windows Media portable devices, both Mac and PC.
Overall the bonus materials here are downright overwhelming for a reviewer and sure to be downright awesome for fans. You get over 2 and a half hours of ALL-NEW content in the form of the two documentaries. You also get another good 3 and a half hours or so of the original 2005 bonus materials all ported over and presented in Hi-Def. Those original DVD bonus materials include 30 deleted scenes, over 60 behind-the-scenes featurettes, over 2,000 photos and more. You even have the 3 audio commentaries from the 2005 DVD release presented on the Blu-ray for the 2D version of the film. The addition of a Digital Copy of the film is very nice to see included and there’s also the DVD version spanning across two discs. At roughly around 6 Hours of bonus materials I don’t think really anyone will find much to complain about here. The only thing missing is obviously involvement from co-star Leonardo DiCaprio but I think there’s some reason he’s never been involved with any of the previous home video releases. Regardless, fans will be absolutely pleased and will especially enjoy the new retrospective documentary and history fans will love the documentary James Cameron did for National Geographic. This is one great set of supplemental material put together here that earns itself a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall bonus materials.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.