Has it really been ten years since Titanic hit theaters? Oh yeah, no one was counting. I thought Titanic was great when it came out, but now I realize just how overblown this film was. It’s still a good movie, but an Oscar powerhouse, I think not. Titanic is just a bit too mainstream for its own good, and any movie that can’t get an Oscar-worthy performance out of Leonardo DiCaprio has a few issues. That being said, no one can fault James Cameron for making one of the most critically and financially successful films of all time.
But that’s not what this article is about. Titanic: 10th Anniversary Edition is coming to DVD on Tuesday, November 20, 2007, and I have a copy of the two-disc collector’s set. For those of you who don’t own Titanic, the Best Picture winner is certainly worth owning, but what about all of you who already own it? Is it worth buying a new version, especially when the DVD format is going to be obsolete in a year?
The answer is a clear no. The movie is split across two discs, which is annoying enough, and it’s probably split across two discs because the movie has three different commentaries (one by James Cameron, another by Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart, Lewis Abernathy, Jon Landau and Rae Sanchini, and a third, historical commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall, whoever those people are) and behind-the-scenes featurettes built into the flow. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a commentary guy (and I would probably only listen if Leonardo DiCaprio was involved), and I am definitely not a big fan of special features that I can only access when I actually watch the movie. If I’m watching the movie, I want to watch the movie; if I want to watch special features, I want to watch special features… I don’t want to do one to do the other, and vice versa.
The historical commentary might be interesting.
The only real interesting part of the DVD set is an alternate ending that looks more at the modern day cast and wraps their stories up a bit more. Since no one cared about Bill Paxton’s character or anyone outside the scope of the narrative, it’s no surprise that a lot of this stuff got cut. In addition, the actual ending and the way the old woman (Rose) tosses the diamond over the side of the ship is a lot cheesier here, as she does so in the presence of most of the other characters. Paxton goes off his rocker in a rather goofy way, and the fat comic relief guy takes away any dramatic impact of the scene.
While I was never a fan of any of the modern day sections in Titanic, the version that actually appeared in the theatrical release is much better. Still, it’s interesting to see what might have been.
Overall, if you really like feature commentaries, Titanic: 10-Year Anniversary Edition might be for you, but otherwise, it will be a complete waste of money. In reality, the DVD doesn’t have many special features whatsoever.