April 7, 2012

The Case NOT Against Titanic 3D

simul-posted here: http://www.themovieadvocate.com/

I haven't seen Titanic since I was a teenager.  I watched it with my mother, which, if you remember a certain shirtless scene, was incredibly awkward and I mostly blocked it out.  So I have no idea if I thought it was a good movie.  I also have no strong inclination to see it again, 3D or not, so I may never know whether or not I would like it.  But whether or not I like it is irrelevant when discussing whether or not it should have been re-released with added bits that make it appear to pop from the screen, so you can really "sympathize" with the plummeting passengers...

As a music blog, let's start of with a comparison. There are people who will disagree with popular opinion, regardless of what that opinion actually is, to come off as aloof, cultured, or maybe simply intelligent.  It's a power trip to think others respect you for your supposed superior insight.  These are the people who, when an indie rock darling wins an award, or their songs show up in Hummer commercials, they jump ship, saying they only really liked the first EP, and past that it's all commercial garbage.  When you talk to them about that band, they ask if you just heard about them after they won the award, and talk down to you if this is the case.  Their correct response should be "oh awesome! I liked them too, though don't enjoy their more recent releases.  Have you heard their old stuff?" or something like that.

Many variations on this type of person exist in the movie world as well.  The one that saw that movie you just heard about when it came through at the local festival.  The one that saw that movie you just heard about when he was in Cali and met the director of photography.  The one that hasn't ever seen a Michael Bay movie.  These people are jerks.  They're also the ones who claim that Titanic 3D should not exist.

I've seen a lot of these arguments against Titanic 3D's existence. That it's just a cash in.  That Hollywood's efforts should be focused on creating new, equally titillating movies.  That it's not just a cash in, but a cheap, exploitative cash in on people who are "dumb" enough to go to 3D movies.

I have a few questions for people making these statements.  Have you ever gone to see a showing of an older movie?  I'm not just talking a movie that's made it's run and is now at the dollar theater, but also one that may be a classic Scorsese, or Kubrick, or Godard?  Have you ever gone to see a showing of an older movie that was recently reprinted on brand new 35mm film?  Or one that's been Digitally Remastered, or touched up in any way, shape, or form?  These things may feel different, but I argue that they absolutely are not.  Adding 3D to Titanic in post-production is basically the same thing as digitally remastering Barbarella and releasing it on Blu-ray.

From where I'm sitting, Titanic is not a "cool" movie.  But it is, if anything, a popular movie.  And the best counterpoint to any argument against Titanic 3D is the fact that the market supported it.  Like it or not, it's apparently something the people wanted.  And, frankly, it was a risk to put it out.  Other than the Star Wars re-releases, there hasn't been a whole lot of precedence for this sort of thing, and I'm not so sure everyone thought SW3D would pay off like it did (I know I was sure as heck surprised).

Let's not get confused here, I want to not want it to exist.  I would also like Hollywood to let sleeping movies lie, and I also think it is a pretty blatant cash-grab. But I don't really have a huge problem with it's release, and it's release doesn't really shock or surprise me in the least.  I think it is lazy, and manipulative.  But I don't feel comfortable saying that it's a fully negative thing.  It's encouraging people's love of movies.  It's getting people out to the theater, supporting a dying activity.  At the end of the day, it's also simply making people happy.

Titanic is at least one person's favorite movie.  And I can't say I'd turn down seeing a beautifully restored remastered version of my favorite movie.  So, if anything, for that one person, I stand up and firmly say "Titanic 3D shouldn't not exist."

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