Titanic

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: James Cameron

REVIEWED: 11-23-98

At this point, I don't suppose there's anything I could possibly say that would sway your decision whether to rent or buy the highly anticipated video release of Titanic, but because I'm a glutton for punishment and possibly an egomaniac as well, I'll offer up my opinion anyway. Personally, I can't think of many better ways to spend 31/2 hours than watching some of Titanic's best scenes. To wit: 1,500 ice-covered dead bodies bobbing up and down in Cameron's faux-Atlantic. Those little rats scurrying to get off the ship before it goes down. The impressive bit where the sinking ship splits in half (hope I didn't spoil the plot for you). Kate Winslet naked. Billy Zane's acting. And of course, Leonardo DiCaprio's now-famous line, shouted from the bow of the ship in defiance, "I'm the king of the world! Woo hoo!" This remark became a bit of a mantra for everyone involved with the movie, a right-place-at-the-right-time affair that will hold most of cinema's records for the next 20 years. Is Titanic any good? It doesn't really matter any more, and I'm not sure that anyone even knows. Like it or not, Titanic is a piece of Americana now, and if you didn't see it on the big screen, you need to see it on video (but be warned that the visual effects are essentially worthless on TV). Titanic is simply going to cause waves in the American cinema and the American psyche for decades, so it's a must-see. Hey, maybe I'm the king of the world.

--Christopher Null

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