Roger Ebert, David Poland Think ‘Titanic 3D’ Looks Like Crap

Tuesday, February 21 by
 

The news of James Cameron’s 3D re-release of Titanic divided moviegoers into two camps. One lot accused the move of being a shameless cashgrab devised to get fans to pay higher ticket prices to see one of most successful films ever yet again. Then there’s the other group that dismissed the first group as cynical. After all, this is a production from James Cameron. He’s the leading pioneer in modern 3D filmmaking and wouldn’t settle for a subpar post-conversion.

Well, now that second group look like real dickweeds.

Paramount and Fox hosted a few Valentine’s Day previews of the re-release and made the mistake of allowing critics to see it.

Roger Ebert commented:

Cameron has justly been praised for being one of the few directors to use 3D usefully, in Avatar. But Titanic was not shot for 3D, and just as you cannot gild a pig, you cannot make 2D into 3D. [...] There’s more to it than that. 3D causes a noticeable loss in the brightness coming from the screen. Some say as much as 20 percent. If you saw an ordinary film dimmed that much, you might complain to the management. Here you’re supposed to be grateful you had the opportunity to pay a surcharge for this defacement. If you’re alert to it, you’ll notice that many shots and sequences in this version are not in 3D at all, but remain in 2D. If you take off your glasses, they’ll pop off the screen with dramatically improved brightness. I know why the film is in 3D. It’s to justify the extra charge. That’s a shabby way to treat a masterpiece.

In the case that you feel  haters gonna hate, 3D friendly critic David Poland had this to say:

I was happy that when we got to the theater, it turned out not to be IMAX 3D. Those glasses are ridiculous and I have only had one or two happy experiences with that specific format. (I quite like IMAX and don’t always dislike 3D.) So I didn’t get irritated by having the glasses on as we watched the hours of film roll by.

However… I found myself wanting to take the glasses off repeatedly. And here is why: it’s like watching the movie through a filter. Call it darkness, call it clarity… call it what you like. But for me, especially on Titanic, the slight facial fur and occasional acne under the make-up on Kate Winslet and the small pock marks on Leonardo DiCaprio’s face are a part of the intimacy of the movie. The movie takes such painstaking efforts to get every detail right… I want to see them, including the imperfections. And with those glasses on, I could not. Some might be happy not to see detail… to have the image smoothed out even more. But not me. These people are beautiful. Their imperfections are beautiful.

I think the best move here is to simply re-release a non-3D version of the film. It won’t earn Cameron enough to fund the purchase of his own private ocean, but it will seem way less schisty.

Also, why not hook us up with a 3D Terminator 2: Judgement Day? Because that would be rad. (MovieLine)

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