All reviews by Stafford Christensen.
Film is a powerful but subjective medium; this is a personal take on movies both classic and contemporary....
Friday, July 15, 2011
Something For Everyone
- In case any reader has:
A.) been living in a remote part of the world over the last decade
B.) been in a coma for over a decade ---- or
C.) not left the house, not talked to anyone, not turned on the TV or radio, or have not surfed the net anytime in over a decade....
.... The 1997 Academy Award-wining film Titanic is stunningly crafted by director James Cameron and incorporates many ground-breaking special effects for its day (that still hold up well, by the way), telling the story of Rose and Jack's romance aboard the infamous RMS Titanic.
Leads Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack) and Kate Winslet (Rose) may have already been established talents before Titanic (each having been in some notable films and receiving Oscar nominations) but this is the film that catapulted them into super-stardom. Both actors are very good - DiCaprio hardly blinks an eye at his multi-talented everyman hunk role and Winslet really shines in every scene she steps into. The film is filled with other great character actor roles that really stand out to me: Victor Garber as the ship's designer, Bernard Hill as the ship's Captain, Gloria Stuart as the 1990s Rose, Frances Fisher as Rose's selfish and material-minded mother, Billy Zane as Rose's evil rich fiancé Cal, David Warner as Cal's henchman-like gentleman's gentleman (easily my favorite performance in the film), Kathy Bates as the gold-hearted common sense-dishing "new money" Molly Brown, and Bill Paxton as a deep-sea explorer.
Director James Cameron has a lot to work with (and by that I mean, he had a lot of money to work with) and assembles Titanic very well. The film was pelted with money from the studio and you can tell - the production values are high and the special effects are fantastic. But the film is more than stars and money, Cameron also manages to fill the film with emotion.
Titanic is the #1 grossing film of all-time for a reason (besides the ridiculous amount of teenage girls who flocked to the film for LEO): It is simply a well-crafted film on a technical level with good acting that has something for everybody. There is romance for the ladies, destruction and violence for the guys, a cool Celtic-fueled score for music lovers, young starlet heartthrobs in love for the teeny-boppers, stage-experienced character actors for drama-enthusiasts, a little bit of female nudity for the horn-dogs, cowardly chauvinistic male bastard characters for the feminists and class warfare for the Marxists. It's freaking film potpourri!