Titanic

Directed by James Cameron

I could of think of no better fit for our final entry than what was once the biggest movie of all-time: Titanic. I’ve stubbornly refused to watch it for 13 years, but in an effort to make this final day special I have finally relented. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed all of James Cameron’s other major releases so I saw no reason why I wouldn’t like this one. Now that I’ve finally seen it, I would say that I have very mixed feelings about it.

Like all of Cameron’s work, the special effects are fantastic and the hour or so the film spends on [SPOILER] the Titanic sinking is almost as exciting as anything else he has done. Seeing the ship go down and its desperate passengers leaping to their deaths is awe-inspiring. It’s impressive just how well the effects hold up after thirteen years.

Unfortunately, James Cameron the writer is also involved in this film and this creature runs amok subjecting the audience to a romance straight out of the brain of a 12 year old. Only a child would imagine a spitting lesson as a way to bring a couple closer together. It’s as if he drew from his experiences during recess at elementary school when he was trying to dream up ways for Leo and Kate to fall in love. However, Cameron’s greatest crime is the framing device he uses for this story. Subjecting us to Bill Paxton and his earring, that fat nerdy guy and a decrepit old hag is unrivaled in its cruelty.  When we return to Old Rose continuing to tell this story, which she has supposedly kept to herself for over eighty years, yet is able to recite as if she was reading from a book (she was nominated for an Academy Award for this?!?!), it is unbelievably jarring. However, it rises to a whole new level when she climbs up on that railing at the end and tosses the necklace overboard, in a fit of futile $40,000,000 symbolism (what, she can’t sell that thing and donate the money to cancer research or something?!).

It just makes me so frustrated that James Cameron the awesome action/adventure/sci-fi director constantly has to undermine himself with these pathetic attempts at melodrama. The entire point of these movies is spectacle and escapism, yet in almost every single Cameron film we are constantly removed from these fantasy worlds by the groans his scripts induce. As my friend Rob said, James Cameron is like Steven Spielberg after a severe head injury. He has all the technical talent in the world, but his attempts at humanism ring incredibly hollow and frightfully immature.

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Well, as The Mattress Man was eventually forced to say: that’s that! I’ll have a recap up sometime this week taking a glance back at the 30,000 or so words I’ve written over the summer and take a look ahead at what’s next.

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