3D Blu-ray Review “Titanic: Limited 3D Edition”

Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet
Number of discs: 4
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Paramount Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 10, 2012
Running Time: 194 minutes

Titanic 3D: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

When you hear the word 3D conversion, most avid film-goers will cringe. Though you can relax with this film since the 3D is nothing short of amazing and breathtaking. The film looks like it was even originally shot in 3D. The 1080p presentation is easily one of the best on the Blu-ray format. As is the film’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, definitely the highest of high definition audio presentations. I mean what else did you expect honestly from Mr. James Cameron. The film is the second highest grossing film to Cameron’s latest “Avatar” and deserves such an amazing presentation. Within this four-disc combo pack, the breakdown of the discs are as follows: Disc one is the Blu-ray 3D movie- part one, Disc two is the Blu-ray 3D movie- Part Two, disc three contains a standard Blu-ray (with the film in 2D) + three filmmaker commentaries and disc four includes the bulk of the special features with never before seen footage. Lastly there is also a Digital Copy included (wish it was Ultraviolet though).

To be honest knowing how much love that Cameron put into this 3D conversion that there are no 3D bonus content included on the 3D discs. Nonetheless this release is extremely jam-packed with special features. The first disc including the three audio commentary tracks, all from 2005. I guess everything was said well the first time so no need to revisit it for this release. I would have liked to seen Cameron do a track just on the 3D of the film. On disc three, we get three commentary tracks. The first is with James Cameron and he covers all aspects of the film from beginning to end. This is obviously a must-listen commentary track, no question. Next up. there is an audio commentary from Historians Don Lynch and Ken Marschal. This is a very technical and thorough commentary track but still a must for all people interested in the history of the Titanic.

Lastly, there is an packed audio commentary with a crazy amount of cast and crew, also from 2005. This is single biggest commentary track that I have ever seen, so I going to try and split it up. There are 15 members of the cast participated, including primary cast of Gloria Stuart, Kate Winslet, Frances Fisher, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates. Also included is Bernard Hill, Danny Nucci, Ioan Gruffudd, Lewis Abernathy, Jason Barry, Jeanette Goldstein, Jonathan Hyde, Suzy Amis and Victor Garber. On the production side there is Executive Producer Rae Sanchini, Producer John Landau, Second Unit Director Steve Quale, First Assistant Director Josh McLaglen, Camera Operator/Steadicam Jimmy Muro, Director of Photography Russell Carpenter, Costume Designer Deborah Scott, 4-Ward/VFX Supervisor Robert Skotak, Art Director Martin Laing, Production Designer Peter Lamont, Unit Production Manager Kevin De La Noy, Digital Domain-VFX Supervisor Rob Legato and Stunt Coordinator Simon Crane. Composer James Horner, Music Editor Joe Rand, Re-Recording Mixer Gary Rydstrom and Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer Christopher Boyes cover the sound of the film, as well as its music and score. Some miscellaneous crew including Deep Dive Technology Coordinator Ralph White, Core Extra Ellen Mower, Core Extra Judy Prestininzi and Etiquette Coach Lynne Hockney. Most had been recorded separately and later edited together, but they are well edited and works well.

Moving on to disc four, we get the bulk of the special features starting off with two fantastic documentaries.  The first is called “Reflections on Titanic”, runs just over an hour long.  It is a four-part look at the this epic film. Cast and crew speak on setting the sinking of the ship against a classic romance. The feature covers the film before it’s release, during its releases and evening leading into its 3D conversion and 3D premiere. Easily one of my favorite features.  Next up with have “Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron”, which runs just over an hour and a half.  I had watched this prior on the Bio Channel, I believe.  I wasn’t a big fan of it but it still deserves to be checked out. It features James Cameron and eight other field  experts discussing what really happened to the RMS Titanic.

There are about an hour of deleted and extended scenes, all which include optional commentary from James Cameron.  These also are the last of the extras to be presented in HD.  The rest are all in 480p standard definition. There are 31 production behind-the-scenes short featurettes, each running about 1-3 minutes. Included are “Upside Down Wreck Miniature”, “1912 Morph Transition VFX”, “Digital People”, and “Iceberg/Deck VFX”, just to name a few of my favorites. Continuing with the production side of the extras, “Construction Timelapse” is a look into the making of the ship with optional Ed Marsh commentary. “Deep Dive Presentation” is a narrated tour with James Cameron through the wreckage of the Titanic. “$200,000,001: A Ship’s Odyssey” is a montage of behind-the-scenes footage from the crew, basically a long gag reel. There are three featurettes on the “Videomatics” including an intro, “Sinking Sequence” and “Deep Dive”.  There are also four short but sweet featurettes focusing on the “Visual Effects” with “VFX Shot Breakdown: “Engine Room””, “VFX How-To For “I’m Flying”” and “VFX How-To For “First Class Lounge”” and lastly, “Titanic Sinking Simulation”.

Rounding up these astounding amount of extras, we get to some of the archive material.  There is a music video for “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.  There are many trailers and TV spots included as well as a still gallery. There is a reproduction of his script included, storyboards, photographs, as well as concept posters and one sheets from both the 1997 and 2012 releases. Lastly there are Titanic Parodies including the MTV’s ‘1998 Movie Awards’ Skit, Saturday Night Live’ Skit from January 9, 1999 and ‘Titanic’ in 30 Seconds. So overall, this release is obviously a MUST-PURCHASE!!! One of my favorite releases of the entire year! I can finally enjoy the film in not only HD but also 3D, while not having to worry about getting up many times to use the bathroom.

 

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