Peter Chu’s review:
Re-watched in 3D:
James Cameron may not be a good writer, but he is one heck of a director. Titanic overcomes its weakness with great storytelling, acting and tremendous craftsmanship. Technically, this is probably close to perfect.
The biggest challenge for Cameron is to tell a story where everyone knows how it's going to end. So he chooses a pretty simple story: A star cross romance between the poor, easy going Jack and the rich, uptight Rose, add a bunch of obstacle in their way. Let the audience root for the couple and enhanced the impact in the end. It's the right strategy, you don't need anything too complex.
I am still surprised that Leo didn't receive an academy nomination for his role as Jack Dawson. One can make an argument it's his best performance. I remember a critic compare Leo's performance to Clark Gable's performance in Gone With The Wind. Leo's Jack is the one that audience falls for, he is brave, charming, fun, and a great looking guy. Cameron's sometime clumsy dialogue provide challenges to many actors, but Leo delivers them with such conviction. I have a feeling that Cameron envision himself as Jack, a poor underdog who has to fight every step of the way.
The last hour of Titanic is a heart-wrenching thrill ride. Like any great director, Cameron knows when and how to play with the audience's emotions. It has excellent action set pieces, mix with tender moments, and horrific deaths.
The 3D conversion is fine, but unnecessary. I was so absorbed by the movie once again, that I didn't even remember I had the 3D glasses on. I watched it in a full theater and half of the people were sniffling (and one girl was crying really loud), and I bet none of them will talk about the 3D conversion.