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Titanic
10th Anniversary Edition

review by Zach B.

 

 

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For Disaster Related Peril and Violence, Nudity, Sensuality and Brief Language)

Running Time: 194 Minutes

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, Gloria Stuart, David Warner, Victor Garber and Bill Paxton

Written and Directed by: James Cameron

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Audio Commentary with Writer/Director James Cameron, Audio Commentary with Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart, Lewis Abernathy, Producer Jon Landau and Rae Sanchini, Audio Commentary with Don Lynch and Ken Marschall, Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes, Alternate Ending with Optional Commentary with James Cameron, "My Heart Will Go On" Music Video

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital EX 5.1, English DTS ES 6.1, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Surround, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (64 Scenes)

Released: November 20th, 2007

 

 

"Titanic" is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, and this is a lovely transfer. The print used for the transfer is pretty pristine, and only little flaws get in the way here and there: the slight edge enhancement, bits of noise, edge halos, some artifacting and a bit of grain in some shots. Everything else is dazzling though: black levels are spot-on, fleshtones are supremely accurate ad detail is excellent. Color saturation is also fantastic: the transfer keeps up with the movie's variety of hues and tints (particuarly the classical interiors of Titanic, and the icey blues of the ocean), and there is no smearing. It's not perfect, but this transfer does the job nicely. This is a very sharp transfer overall, and one that really comes alive.

 

Let me state the obvious: a sinking ship makes for one great sound mix. Even better though, we're given two mixes. It only seemed appropriate that "Titanic" would be given a Dolby Digital Surround EX mix, as well as a DTS ES 6.1 mix. The results are some of the best mixes available on DVD, and will show off the power of your home theater. Imaging and panning of surrounds are rich, dynamic range is powerful and wide, and bass is really deep. All the sound effects are seemingly mixed with the utmost care and attention to detail, and it results in two tracks that are creatively layered make you feel like you are aboard the doomed luxury liner. Everything here is discrete: small effects like clinking of glasses, background screams and footsteps, and the obvious ones, like waves crashing in, people falling to their doom and the ship dropping down into the ocean. You will certainly feel submerged, and maybe lucky to survive. Each track is haunting and outstanding, but of the two, the edge goes to the DTS. I found the subwoofer to be a bit more powerful there, and it to be a sharper and more tighter track.

But even with all the sound effects, the other sound components are terrific too: dialogue is very crisp and easy to hear, and James Horner's beautiful score is well-mixed through the proceedings - and certainly adds to the film's majesty. Each mix is reference quality, and certainly puts you into all the emotions and action the characters face.

Dolby Surround tracks in English, French and Spanish are also included. There are also subtitles and closed captioning in English. 

 



Don't be fooled by the "10th Anniversary Edition" and "Collector's Set" banners - there are no new supplements here. Rather, this is really just the bulk of the first two discs from the film's last edition on DVD. For those unfamiliar with that 2005 release though, rest assured you get a lot of goodies.

Running the course of the film are a trio of Audio Commentary tracks: one with writer/director James Cameron, one with Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart, Lewis Abernathy, producer Jon Landau and Rae Sanchini, and a third "historical" commentary with Don Lynch and Ken Marschall. With these commentaries, you get all sorts of perspectives in what it took to craft this epic - as well as how it compares to the history of the real Titanic. There's a load of information to gain from each of these tracks, but my favorite was the one with Cameron - who is remarkably detailed, and offers a lot of stories about the production. Cameron doesn't offer a dead spot throughout the three-plus hours, and mentions things that probably never even crossed your mind while watching the film. Still, you can't go wrong with any of these commentaries. If you saw "Titanic" a few times in the theater, then sitting through it another 3 times is probably no big deal to you.

Behind The Scenes Mode is basically 61 featurettes - called "pods" - that you have the option to view during the movie, or separately on their own. It basically forms one giant documentary, covering so many details about making the film: costumes, makeup, special effects, storyboards and even a brief look at making the Celine Dion music video. As brief as some of them are, they're all wonderfully put together. There's a plethora of information, so feel free to go nuts here. If you make it through everything, you can probably be considered an expert on the making of the film.

Finally, the second disc features an Alternate Ending with optional commentary from James Cameron, and that famous Celine Dion Music Video for the song "My Heart Will Go On" (which looks like a VHS copy - dagnabit, couldn't they have at least put it in anamorphic widescreen?).

 

If you already own the 3-disc Special Collector's Edition of "Titanic" from 2005, there's nothing new to see here - this is essentially that edition's first two discs. If you failed to pick that version up though, and couldn't care less for a whole other disc of extras, then this 10th anniversary edition is for you. Just like last time, the transfer is quite good and the Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES mixes are phenomenal. It's a shame that nothing new was added to this re-release (what about the marketing materials that were kept off last time, but appeared on foreign editions?) - but as you can probably tell, this is really just another way to cash in on the biggest movie of all time.