Friday Flicks: What’s So Different About Titanic in 3D?

Grab some popcorn! Check out the movies you should see (or avoid) this weekend.

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Titanic (in 3D)

Tagline: Nothing On Earth Could Come Between Them.

At this point, is there anything even left to say about Titanic? You can even make a case that the story of the making of the 1997 movie (the crew got pneumonia!) gets mentioned almost as much as the actual events which took place exactly 100 years ago. And in case you’ve been under a rock – or indeed iceberg – Cameron’s fictional retelling thrusts rich girl Rose (Kate Winslet) into the world of the distinctly lower class Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), under the jealous eye of Billy Zane’s Cal (“Your excursions below decks were no doubt exhausting.”)

So what bang do we get for our 2012 buck? Cameron had gone on record saying that he wouldn’t change a single frame of the original (and with a running time of 195 minutes, there were plenty of them) and that the boat still sinks. But, naturally, the re-release has been converted to 3D (at a cost of $18 million which took 60 weeks of work). But he couldn’t end up resisting one tweak: at the suggestion of the astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, who questioned the position of the stars during the climax, Cameron conceded, “All right, you son of a bitch, send me the right stars for the exact time, 4:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, and I’ll put it in the movie.”

SPECIALTIME Commemorative Reissue “A Titanic Discovery”

So all the stars onscreen are aligned. What do the freshest reviews make of it? According to the New York Post, Cameron “judiciously — and sometimes with great subtlety — uses the technology to make a great film even greater.” At least the McClatchy-Tribune News Service had the good grace to findthe length tedious, some of the dialogue eye-rolling and some of the digital effects lacking,” but nevertheless concluded that “those quibbles fade with time.” TIME’s Richard Corliss is (still) a rare dissenting voice, “baffled by its appeal.” But the Miami Herald believes that “here is a rare opportunity to return to something you once loved, and discover it still holds up, no apologies necessary.” Apologies? When it comes to anything James Cameron-related, that’s the last word that springs to mind.

PHOTOS: 100 Years Later: A Snapshot of Life on the Titanic

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