Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Review: Titanic (1997) ***

Hello from the year 1999.

I have only ever seen this movie the way God intended it: on two VHS tapes that are so tight in their printed cardboard box that they give a gently vibrating vwoop sliding out of the case, along with a puff of plastic smell.

The second tape got mangled in a VHS player when we were trying to do a speedy rewind, but it’s okay. Mostly because I held up the tape to the light and sort of absorbed the second half via light osmosis. But also because the second half is all Action Movie Titanic (or so I’m told) and that’s very stressful for me.

Luckily of course the first VHS is the Good VHS and that’s the only one we must regard for this viewing.

It is amazing how gorgeous the costuming is, as far as I can tell on my CRT television. Sometimes I get close enough that the static tickles my nose and I can smell ozone but I see more details. The embroidery on Rose’s dresses are amazing. The Titanic sets are incredibly realistic to history.

That boy who plays Jack seems a little arrogant but I am sure that such a lush period piece centering his beauty will do nothing to his ego over the course of his career. Maybe I should check in on him?

The love affair with the pretty redheaded actress is very good and sweet. Boy, does their charisma work. That Leonardo Dicaprio sure knew how to have chemistry with a 22-year-old woman! He’s surely grown out of that more than twenty-five years later.

The obvious greatest performance comes from Billy Zane, who I am SO CONFIDENT will be the major breakout star of the film. His anger is incandescent. He looks like he wants to eat Jack half the time. He knows how to wear a suit. Yes, Billy Zane is going places, even if he has to eat a bit of crow right at the Actual End of the Movie when he realizes Jack and Rose are together.

Also the ship bumps into a big chunk of ice at the end of Titanic, but right before it cuts off, they’re looking at some blueprints, so it’s probably fine. I bet they spend the last hour and a half fixing it. Maybe they reunite Old Rose with Old Jack? That’s the only thing that makes sense really.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

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