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Amy & Paul chart a course through 1998's epic tragedy Titanic! They marvel at the film's structure and use of geography, discuss whether the Titanic backlash was deserved, and count how many times Jack & Rose say each other's names. Plus: Danny Nucci, aka Fabrizio!, shares stories from the set, and what it was like to work with the legendarily intense James Cameron.

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I know a lot of people here don't like Titanic. I think it's a good movie but I'm not sure it is in the top 100 American films good though. I think my issue with it is, as the caller said, it feels like a movie written by someone who has never been in love. Amy and Paul talk about the foreshadowing and plot structure and so forth. I obviously want a well made, well planned movie, but, to me, Titanic feels too calculated. On the other hand, it is so well calculated that it still worked on me every time I saw it.

 

I'm curious how many times every one here saw Titanic since they bring it up and Titanic is kind of known for people seeing it so many times in theatres. I saw it once in theatres and once on VHS.

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...and count how many times Jack & Rose say each other's names.

 

Oh my God! This was so annoying! You two dorks are alone in a room together! There’s no confusion in regards to whom you are addressing! It’s weird. Only robots use proper nouns in every sentence. If you told me that this was a prequel to The Terminator franchise and it was actually a love story between two T-800s, I think I might buy it.

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I'm curious how many times every one here saw Titanic since they bring it up and Titanic is kind of known for people seeing it so many times in theatres. I saw it once in theatres and once on VHS.

 

Once in the theater and once yesterday (with many breaks).

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I'm curious how many times every one here saw Titanic since they bring it up and Titanic is kind of known for people seeing it so many times in theatres. I saw it once in theatres and once on VHS.

 

I saw it once, in the theater. It's an impressive movie, to be sure, but I can't imagine enduring the slog more than once.

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I'm curious how many times every one here saw Titanic since they bring it up and Titanic is kind of known for people seeing it so many times in theatres. I saw it once in theatres and once on VHS.

 

Once in theaters as a family then my mom bought it on VHS and her and my sister watched it many times after with me drifting in and out of them watching it many times. Mostly coming in for the second tape.

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I'm curious how many times every one here saw Titanic since they bring it up and Titanic is kind of known for people seeing it so many times in theatres. I saw it once in theatres and once on VHS.

3 times in 1997 and then once again when it was remastered.

 

That's right... I made my mom take me to see Titanic 3 times as a 7 year old and she complied every time. Just recently when I reminded her of how hard I cried at the third viewing when the movie started she said, "I wasn't a good mother."

 

We got it on VHS and I remember watching it quite often but definitely not as much as I would have if it had been on only one tape. Rewinding the first tape before you could even get to the second half of the movie was a fuckin hassle THAT KIDS THESE DAYS WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND! Buuut I do also have it on DVD now.

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We got it on VHS and I remember watching it quite often but definitely not as much as I would have if it had been on only one tape. Rewinding the first tape before you could even get to the second half of the movie was a fuckin hassle THAT KIDS THESE DAYS WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND! Buuut I do also have it on DVD now.

Sounds like someone needed a VHS rewinder to use while you started the second tape.

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I saw Titanic in the theaters once. I thought that was it, but watching again yesterday -- some of the scenes were so engrained that I think I watched it once on TV at some point. Then, yesterday. So, 3 times now.

 

Anyway, yea, I don't love Titanic. Besides the laughable dialogue, though, I was having trouble figuring out why. Because as others said above, it is well made, well calculated, hits all the notes. I like Kate and Leo. And Amy & Paul definitely made me think more highly of the film (and even bump my rating up half a star).

 

But I think what it comes down to in the end is that Titanic has many aspects to it, but none of them feel like they are enough. For example, yes, it is romantic, but it's just not romantic enough for me to feel it. Rose learning to spit and escape Cal isn't enough for me to feel any romance. Same with the thrills/disaster-side of it, which, maybe because I know the ending, but basically it's just running from water -- which isn't really that thrilling. I'll cry at movies too, but Titanic has never even come close for me in this way. Again, it just doesn't quite get there.

 

I guess I wish a GREAT screenwriter jumped in and enhanced the story and all its parts, because obviously the ideas and execution are amazing.

 

I noticed this buried deep in the Titanic wiki page and found it intriguing, but it claims that some of the film's popularity is due to it hitting similar notes of Bollywood movies. I'm hardly an expert in those films, but I am half-Indian and have seen a few and that nails it! Those movies throw everything at the audience (love, death, dancing, evil parents, class issues, on and on) all purely for emotional manipulation more than story.

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Please no one say simpsons reference every comedy in 90s did this

 

You can't tell me what to do!

 

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Sounds like someone needed a VHS rewinder to use while you started the second tape.

Listen that sounds like something rich people had while we had our box TV from 1993 that we got second hand from the Military Exchange and it had a VCR already attached to it.

 

That TV was a damn fine TV tho and it literally lasted me until I transferred away to university in 2010.

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I'm curious how many times every one here saw Titanic since they bring it up and Titanic is kind of known for people seeing it so many times in theatres. I saw it once in theatres and once on VHS.

 

Several times, partially, on the TV. Never ( that i remember ) from start to finish.

 

Maybe it got on to the top100 list because of its huge success? Although it is very well made, everything about it always felt too artificial to me, very much packaged/programmed to hit all the right buttons and to get Oscars. And, i mean, they nailed that part...

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Although it is very well made, everything about it always felt too artificial to me, very much packaged/programmed to hit all the right buttons and to get Oscars.

 

Yeah, it's too calculated. Nothing visceral -- Cameron doesn't seem to work that way. I'd argue that Kubrick didn't, too (and that post-Jaws Spielberg doesn't either).

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I didn't actually get a chance to rewatch this before listening but listening to clips they play just makes me really want to watch this again. I'm like Amy in that this is definitely one of my movies. Now I will admit that it's not one that I would jump to say that I rewatch it whenever I can because it is so long (and I usually say my go to rewatch is Clueless anyway) but ugh do I love this movie.

 

EDIT: Okay just got to this part but totally disagree with Amy about Cameron being our greatest modern director... Nah nah nope no way jose.

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Yeah, it's too calculated. Nothing visceral -- Cameron doesn't seem to work that way. I'd argue that Kubrick didn't, too (and that post-Jaws Spielberg doesn't either).

I wouldn't draw the line that early for Spielberg. He still had stuff like ET and Raiders to come which still have some visceral emotion in them. You've definitely nailed what I've never been able to figure out what's missing from modern Spielberg. Bridge Of Spies has some of it but it's more nuanced than 70s or 80s Spielberg.

 

I didn't actually get a chance to rewatch this before listening but listening to clips they play just makes me really want to watch this again. I'm like Amy in that this is definitely one of my movies. Now I will admit that it's not one that I would jump to say that I rewatch it whenever I can because it is so long (and I usually say my go to rewatch is Clueless anyway) but ugh do I love this movie.

This for sure. I know I said I'd never watch this again, but they kind of made me want to.

 

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I wouldn't draw the line that early for Spielberg. He still had stuff like ET and Raiders to come which still have some visceral emotion in them.

 

Fair enough. He was hungry, though, when he made Jaws, and it shows -- even moreso when you learn about the genius improvisational decisions he was forced to make while filming and editing. To me, with Jaws, it seems he hit upon his formula for success, and (echoing what Amy said) he seemed to follow that blueprint moving forward. I feel like Raiders and ET were the result of Spielberg upping his game after the flack he got for 1941, and that in them you can see the last glimmers of sincerity in his work. But the die had already been cast. Such is the cost of success!

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I’m not sold on the assertion that the Titanic backlash has anything to do with the public’s perception of James Cameron, or for that matter, the rise of the Internet. It just doesn’t track for me. It just seems weird that people would say, “James Cameron is such a douche; I guess I hate Titanic now. But let’s 100% go see Avatar.” And the fact that the New York Times was flooded with letters in support of Titanic suggests that large groups of people are capable of holding strong opinions without the collective consciousness of the Internet whipping them up into a frenzy. And while I can’t speak for everyone, before now, I have never discussed nor sought out message boards for or against Titanic. I also never heard any of those unflattering stories James Cameron stories until today.

 

I just feel like broad generalizations come off as an effort to delegitimize valid criticism without argument. It suggests that the people who say they don’t like a movie actually do (or would) but aren’t capable of making an informed opinion and that their complaints are the result of outside influencers

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these things had no effect or weren’t contributors, I just don’t think it had a large enough impact to attribute the majority of backlash to it.

 

However, in this movie’s defense, people who bitch about the floating door are lame. The movie clearly shows them both try to get on it, but it flips over. I got the impression that it could have held them afloat, but it would have been underwater. So, while they might not drown, they would still would die from hypothermia. Jack just gave her a fighting chance.

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I also never heard any of those unflattering stories James Cameron stories until today.

Oh man that means you missed the SOLID burn by Amy and Tina at the Golden Globes

 

“I haven’t been really following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty, but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady [Kathryn Bigelow] who spent three years married to James Cameron.”

—Amy Poehler, 2013

 

Also Jessica Chastain's perfect reaction

 

golden-globes-3.gif

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One of the things that annoyed me about Titanic was that the so much of the dialogue seemed to be variations of "Jack" and/or "Rose," Forrest Gumpian name drops ("Picasso...something"), and clunky exposition ("Hey, we don't seem to have enough life boats..." "Funny you should bring that up, let me tell you about that...")

 

I get that this information is important and helps the audience understand what's going on, but it just comes off so hackneyed. I think another pass at the script (or some fresh eyes) could have helped ameliorate this issue.

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3x in the theater here, but I'll be honest once I was completely drunk. Like BLACKOUT drunk.

 

I was in college when this came out and this movie played in my small town theater (we had two theaters in town with 2 screens each) for over a month. Toward the end, the theater opened it up one night for a late showing for college students (it may have been free and paid for by the college or maybe a dollar or two). Me and two friends decided to go AFTER we have been drinking for a couple of hours. So we walked to the theater (just a couple of blocks) and the only seats available were front row, dead center. So three, extremely drunk guys (who shouldn't have been allowed in) seated front row center decided to Mystery Science Theater 3000 this film. That we didn't get kicked out is a miracle.

 

One more Titanic related story. I was studying radio and television communications at the time (with an eye at becoming a director, one of the reasons I saw this) and we were getting requests for My Heart Will Go On all the time. I think we were playing that song once every 30 minutes or an hour on our college radio station, and it still wasn't enough. We would get requests for it even during our specialty shows (i.e. the three hour country show, the three hour rap show, the three hour Christian rock show). So a buddy of mine, who was doing the "alternative/indie" show promised that he would play My Heart Will Go On at a certain time. And he did, layered in with sound effects of fog horns, cries, screams and "look out for the iceburg".

 

He got threats for playing that.

 

Okay, so on topic, does Titanic need to be on the AFI Top 100? PROBABLY because it is a technological amazement, a nice mixture of practical and breaking edge computer (but is it really any more technological ground breaking than say Jurassic Park?) I can think of a half dozen films that deserve to be on the list that aren't, but I could also probably find six other films on the list who don't deserve to be on the list.

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I’m not sold on the assertion that the Titanic backlash has anything to do with the public’s perception of James Cameron, or for that matter, the rise of the Internet. It just doesn’t track for me. It just seems weird that people would say, “James Cameron is such a douche; I guess I hate Titanic now. But let’s 100% go see Avatar.” And the fact that the New York Times was flooded with letters in support of Titanic suggests that large groups of people are capable of holding strong opinions without the collective consciousness of the Internet whipping them up into a frenzy. And while I can’t speak for everyone, before now, I have never discussed nor sought out message boards for or against Titanic. I also never heard any of those unflattering stories James Cameron stories until today.

 

I just feel like broad generalizations come off as an effort to delegitimize valid criticism without argument. It suggests that the people who say they don’t like a movie actually do or would but aren’t capable of making an informed opinion and that their complaints are only the result of outside influencers

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these things had no effect or weren’t contributors, I just don’t think it had a large enough of an impact to attribute the majority of backlash to it.

 

However, in this movie’s defense, people who bitch about the floating door are lame. The movie clearly shows them both try to get on it, but it flips over. I got the impression that it could have held them afloat, but it would have been underwater. So, while they might not drown, they would still would die from hypothermia. Jack just gave her a fighting chance.

I don't know that I would chalk up the response to hated of James Cameron except maybe movie insiders. Does the average person know about James Cameron as a tyrant enough to affect their taste in one movie? I'd argue that no, they don't. Certainly not in 1997/98 the way we do now.

 

As I recall, Mythbusters did an episode on whether Jack could fit in the door. The door want buoyant enough to hold two people.

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Can I just say, I agree with Paul and Amy that it's Twizzlers all day long. Fuck Red Vines :D

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Can I just say, I agree with Paul and Amy that it's Twizzlers all day long. Fuck Red Vines :D/>

Listen. I'm team Twizzlers ALL DAY EVERY DAY but Red Vines are fine.

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Listen. I'm team Twizzlers ALL DAY EVERY DAY but Red Vines are fine.

 

I've tried, I just can't enjoy them. I mean if it's a choice between Red Vines or just popcorn in my popcorn, I'm going Red Vines but Twizzlers all day long (except for the weird single wrapped ones that you get a Halloween)

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