While searching the sunken wreckage of the Titanic for the Heart of the Ocean, Brock Lovett and his team come across an old drawing of a young woman wearing the beloved diamond necklace. To their surprise, a 101-year old woman comes forward informing Lovett that she's the one in the drawing. Once onboard, she shares her story about two unlikely lovers who come together in this tale of epic proportions.
Initially titled under the code name "Planet Ice," this film was the brainchild of famous Director - James Cameron, who wrote and directed the film. Not only was it one of the most expensive films ever produced at the time, it was predicted to become one of the greatest failures in Hollywood history. With this much pressure, all of the cast and crew worked diligently to make Titanic one of the greatest historic love stories ever told.
Viewers can watch as an unlikely pair finds one another on the infamous 'unsinkable' monstrosity known as, 'Titanic.' One is a spoiled little rich girl who can't stand being controlled and manipulated by her snooty mother. The other is a starving artist looking for a ride back to the States. The girl, of course, has her first-class ticket with her mother and extremely wealthy fiancée; and the other scores his ticket with a lucky hand of poker. Even though both groups are running a bit late getting on the ship, Jack and his good friend won't run into the spoiled little Rose just yet.
The two catch sight of one another early on, but neither takes much note of it. Jack, however, is love-struck by the sight of Rose. His friends suggest there’s no way those two could ever mingle due to their social classes. That and her fiancée’s personal body guard will make sure the two keep a healthy distance. It's not until Rose snaps like an old rubber band, and decides she must throw herself off the back of the ship just to get away from her mother's influence and fiancée’s dominant control. Luckily, Jack just happens to be having a smoke near the rear of the vessel at that time. As Rose climbs the rails in hopes to plunge into the icy water below, Jack catches her off guard with a simple, "Don't do it..." Rose presumes to judge the young Jack, and is obviously disgusted by his poor and humble appearance. After a few moments of conversation, she realizes Jack is more than just a low-class nobody. He actually cares about what may happen to her. As he coaches her into turning around to climb back over the railing she slips! With a swift catch Jack grasps her arm, and the two work together to pull her back on board. It's this moment their eyes truly meet, and the love blossoms.
The two confess that Rose accidently slipped, and if it wasn't for Jack being there, she would have fallen right off the ship. To the surprise of her mother and fiancée, they attempt to thank young Jack by asking him to accompany them to dinner. He graciously accepts. It doesn't take long for everyone to notice the two are infatuated with one another. From this point, everyone tries to keep the two apart. The more they try, however, the more they desperately want to be together. This Romeo and Juliet story will warm your heart as Jack and Rose break all the rules in the name of love. Unbeknownst to them, however, a great tragedy awaits in the icy waters ahead.
To deny the endless beauty of this film and its story would be practically impossible. Not only will viewers be stunned 'again' by the incredible story, they will be overjoyed to see it in High Definition and remastered in pristine 3D. Some may say the 3D is a gimmick, but I assure you this is a worthwhile release.
Let's take a look at what all this Blu-ray has to offer.
What some may find surprising is the fact there are two discs for the 3D version of this film. Disc 1 includes about one hour and forty-eight minutes of the film, and the second picks up where it left off. Once the disc reaches the end of the first half, viewers are prompted to insert the second disc.
The first thing viewers will see is the option to view the 3D disc in 3D or 2D. (Since the 2D version is included in this set, it's strongly suggested to choose 3D). At this point, viewers must put on their Active-Shutter or Passive 3D glasses to see the menu pop right out of the screen. Various clips will loop in the background, but the menu options literally float in front of the screen. The options on the 3D discs include: Play, Set Up, and Search. This seems limited, but there's no need to worry. There are two additional Blu-ray discs which include the wealth of extras. The 'Set Up' option allows viewers to choose from various Audio and Subtitle tracks. The Audio tracks included on this release are: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description. The Subtitle languages include: English, French and Spanish. The 'Scenes' option displays five chapters at a time. Each one is titled and includes a snapshot from the scene. There's also a timeline below the chapters which display how far into the film a particular chapter is.
The 2D version of the film comes on its own separate disc. The menu design is the same, but there are additional options. The options included are: Play, Set Up, Search, and Commentaries. The Audio and Subtitle languages are the same as the 3D discs, but the choice of Audio Commentary is a new and delightful feature. The Commentaries included are: Director Commentary by James Cameron (2005), Cast and Crew Commentary (2005), and Historical Commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall (2005). Each one of these is very insightful. For a technical side, I would suggest the Director version. For a behind-the-scenes perspective, I would go with the Cast and Crew one. If you are a history buff, I would strongly recommend the Historical one.
Special Features Blu-ray
This is a special limited edition of the epic film, which includes over two and a half hours of NEW bonus content! This doesn't include all of the hours of content seen in previous releases, which are also included in this set. Let's take a look at what all is included on this Special Features disc!
- Reflections On TITANIC (01:03:47 HD) - This lengthy feature covers a great amount of information from the cast, crew, Director, and Producers; as they look back to what life was like pre-production, production, and post-production. Viewers will discover the countless hurdles James Cameron and the rest were faced with during this massive undertaking. Every one involved will say it was completely worth it from beginning to end, because they all knew it would be a success.
- TITANIC: The Final Word (01:36:16 HD) - This feature is more than a half-hour longer than the first! It's a great documentary that covers the re-discovery of the lost vessel; and how the greatest historians as well as, Director James Cameron all came together to discuss how the ship truly sunk to the ocean floor. By the end of this feature, you'll feel like an expert on the sinking of the Titanic!
- Deleted Scenes (57:32 HD) - This is a collection of scenes that were removed from the final product. Viewers will have the option to listen to Director James Cameron alongside these clips. It's explained that some of these were full scenes, but were removed for pacing reasons. Their initial purpose was to explain something historical or further develop the relationship between Jack and Rose.
- Behind The Scenes (01:03:34 SD) - This feature takes a look at the behind the scenes of making the film. For those interested in underwater archaeology, this is a great clip to watch. There's also tons of additional behind the scenes footage of the sets, scenes, and interviews with the cast and crew.
- Construction Timelapse (4:20 SD) - This is a short clip that takes a look at the time-lapse of the creation of the exterior set for the Titanic along the ocean. This is a really neat clip to watch.
- Deep Dive Presentation Narrated by James Cameron (15:30 SD) - This is a narrated clip by the Writer/Director James Cameron. He talks about what he did to get the ball rolling for the film. This included going down to see the real Titanic and capture some footage of it.
- $200,000,001: A Ship's Odyssey (the TITANIC Crew Video) (17:52 SD) - This is a light-hearted extra that is unlike all the serious ones. It's a fun clip shows working on the set was a fun experience by all involved.
- Videomatics (3:18 SD) - This is a brief clip that's a low-res, and quick look at the ideas implemented in the final production of TITANIC.
- Visual Effects (7:50 SD) - This is a clip that displays live-action shots of the engine mechanics from another ship, large-scale green screen shots, wireframe design of the TITANIC, and more.
- Music Video "My Heart Will Go On" By Celine Dion
- TV Spots
- Still Galleries
- Titanic Parodies
- Credits (2005)
Now that's a lot of extras! Let's take a look at the technical side of this Blu-ray.
The 3D version of this film is displayed in 1080p HD has an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. This means it will fill your entire HDTV screen. To say it looks marvelous is an understatement. Having viewed several 3D films, this one is truly amazing. This is a 2D-to-3D conversion folks, and it looks if it was originally filmed in 3D. James Cameron did a spectacular job in remastering this film. Shots of the team floating around the wreckage of the Titanic display an astounding 3D image. There is a real sense of depth in this scene. In addition, the porthole windows of the submersible have depth within, making the crew inside appear completely three-dimensional. It almost looks like a scene from the 3D version of Avatar!
Not only does the overall image quality look incredible; the colors, contrasts, and variety of shades make the render to 3D pop right out of the screen. I will say there were some ghosting issues with certain objects outside the depth-of-field, but these are minor and seen primarily in the beginning of the film. Keep in mind my 3D HDTV setup is programmed to auto-correct 3D imagery, so there is a chance it was the hardware that needed some calibration early on. The only reason I suggest this is because these ghosting issues were not seen later on in the film.
Viewers with an Active-Shutter 3D setup can tell you the image darkens once the glasses are turned on in just about every 3D Blu-ray. In some 3D transfers, this can result in a much darker look compared to the 2D versions. This is not the case, however, for TITANIC in 3D. As mentioned above, the colors literally pop, the contrasts are vivid, and the black levels are incredible! Even the darkest scenes reveal a great amount of detail and clarity. An example of the black level quality can be seen in the shots of the Titanic as it strides across the Atlantic at night. The ocean is practically black, and the dimly lit horizon is the only thing that separates the ocean from blending with the night sky. All of the breaks of the water splashing along the ship can be seen as the Titanic charges on. It is a beautiful sight. Bravo!
The 2D version of this film is simply breathless. Fans of the film will certainly appreciate the quality of this transfer. The vibrancy of the colors display the intricate detail put forth by James Cameron and his crew. This can be seen in every set and prop in the film. The wood paneling is warm, the silver glistens, and the contrasts are always vivid. It is simply gorgeous! The 1080p HD transfer has an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, meaning it will have black bars along the top and bottom of the screen. This is without a doubt, the finest looking release of TITANIC. It can be argued that the 2D version looks better than the 3D version, but this is to be expected. The 2D version is damn near perfect in just about every way. The scenes during 1912 look amazing in both versions, but there are some dark and murky shots in the present time (underwater) that look a bit better in the 2D version. There's just a bit more detail and clarity to be seen in this version.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is equally as brilliant as the image quality. Perhaps even more-so. Viewers will be astounded by the flawless dialog, perfectly placed sound effects, and full use of all your surround sound speakers. There's not a burst of steam or the crash of a small wave missed in this transfer. Even the tensions on the wood of the life boats produce an eerie sound that is crisp and clear. With an unmistakable soundtrack, viewers will once again be blown away by its majestic tune. Even though we all know what's going to happen to the doomed vessel; the sound the ship makes as it crashes against the iceberg and slowly descends will still haunt viewers in this transfer. This is a spectacular sounding transfer.
Overall, TITANIC on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D is a must-have for all enthusiasts and collectors alike. The story is certainly compelling, and the audio/video quality is astounding. The 3D version will baffle viewers by its stellar appearance; leaving some wondering if the film was originally captured in 3D. Not only is this the best looking release of the film, there are hours upon hours of special features and extras included with this release. Those of you who have watched these extras on previous releases will be ecstatic at the fact there are more than two and a half hours of completely new extras in spectacular looking High Definition. There's no questioning whether you should add this one to your collection. Pick it up on Blu-ray today!