James Cameron, when he made "Avatar", is the one American filmmaker who has truly knocked the 3D ball out of the park. So perhaps it's no surprise that with "Titanic 3D", Cameron has once again engineered the rare effective and even tasteful use of 3D technology. The 3D images here don’t jolt you; they have a bold sculptural clarity. Of course, that might also be because no movie ever needed 3D less than "Titanic". I recommend "Titanic 3D" not so much to experience this landmark movie with an added dimension but to see, once again on the big screen, the only disaster film in history that can truly be called a work of art.
We hardly have the vocabulary to describe a cornball love story, built around images of catastrophe startling enough to make your eyes pop, that isn't just swoony or awesome but, in fact, profound -- one that hits us on a primal level. That’s "Titanic". There are two ways that the film now looks different. Fifteen years ago, the class-war theme seemed a fairly standard old-movie trope. One global economic meltdown later, it seems to speak to the rise of our own gilded one percent. The other way that "Titanic" has changed with the years is that it's all but impossible to watch the sinking of the Titanic itself without thinking of 9/11. It’s more potently clear than ever that the levels of dread and tragedy that Cameron packed into this movie cannot just be consigned to some iconic historic event from 1912.
Then there's that love story. Some have called it callow, but I implore you to go back and see Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in this movie and watch how dazzlingly spontaneous their chemistry is. DiCaprio seemed so much lighter then -- not because he was less filled out, but because he didn't have the weight of superstardom hanging on him. And Winslet, as Rose, is heartbreakingly lovely and determined. She’s an angel on fire. Jack's death scene in the water has the shuddery majesty of the greatest silent films, because it's a moment that touches how vulnerable and precious life really is.
To watch "Titanic" again is to do nothing less than enter a movie and come out the other side, with one's spirit feeling just a little bit larger.