Freakin’ Titanic

It’s day 5 of the 30 Day Geekgasm. One might wonder why I would include a blog about something I hate, but I’m a weirdo and I love discussing things I hate. Often as part of a quest to find out why people love it. Anyway. There are only two movies I couldn’t bring myself to finish, and those are Batman Returns (I felt violated) and Starship Troopers (They killed the wrong girl). But there is one movie that I sat through, and after years of reflection have decided offends me on a much deeper level than those other guys. That movie, is Titanic.

20121204104906!Titanic_poster

The film, written and directed by James Cameron, came out in 1997. It was a smash at the box office. My dad always describes it by saying there were ‘lines of white women going around the block’. While some part of me understands the mushy-mush allure this film may have had, every part of me hates it.

For sake of not taking up two years picking apart every freaking word in this godforsaken movie, I’ll just focus on a few things that really piss me off. And then I’ll give it a couple of praises, but there movie isn’t all bad.

The biggest thing that stands out: There was definitely room for two fucking people on the piece of debris (spoiler alert: the boat sinks). There are about a million beautiful ways they could have killed Leo, but hanging him off a giant piece of debris where the best logical option would be to huddle together and share heat just sort of ruins my life every time I think about it. It’s not like is was dry wood. It was part of the hull of a ship. or even part of the deck. i.e. it’s made to float and it’s made to carry weight.

But Jack had to die because that made it a tragedy. Because the actually story of the Titanic, apparently, wasn’t already a tragedy.

Now. For the actual story. Here’s what one person had to say about it:

“The story could not have been written better…The juxtaposition of rich and poor, the gender roles played out unto death (women first), the stoicism and nobility of a bygone age, the magnificence of the great ship matched in scale only by the folly of the men who drove her hell-bent through the darkness. And above all the lesson: that life is uncertain, the future unknowable…the unthinkable possible.”

Yeah, that’s was James Cameron. James Cameron the writer. I will admit, my hatred of this movie might be due largely to my hatred of him, but there is way more to it.

The story very well could have been written better. The ‘juxtaposition of rich and poor’ was more of a ‘toss poor guy in with rich people and see what happens’. Jack is in the only poor person who really has a part in the entire movie. The mother while the boat was sinking? Who still read there children a bed time story because she knew they wouldn’t get on a boat? What’s her story? There could have been way more contrast to show way more emotional material beyond the whole lovers dying thing. The viewers care about that woman immediately. Image what he could have done with that.

There are so many stories about the actual ship and the actual stories of people on that ship, there was a true historical movie to be found. Instead, we got this sort of tragic love story. Which also could have been great. But the entire plot is paint by numbers. Allow me to break it down for you.

A girl is already engaged to an asshole an then she meets this nice poor fellow who saves her life, so her asshole fiance invites him to dinner where they start becoming friends and then she starts to break the class lines by going to party in third class. She realizes Jack is a whole lot better than Cal and then Jack is a starving artist and then they have sex. So their in love now and then the fiancee is an asshole (yet slightly justified if you really think about it) and get’s Jack arrested. After the boat hits the iceberg. And then there is one really great ‘wow the shit really hit the fan’ sequence when the boat actually sinks. Then the lovers are separated by tragedy and somehow the one left is better for it.

This wasn’t the first time we got this story, and it certainly wasn’t the last. I guess we’ve come to the root of my issue with this movie. Everyone calls the story the most beautiful and groundbreaking love story ever, when it’s not. It’s safe and not unlike the other love stories out there. It’s not necessarily a bad movie, it’s just not nearly as good as people say, but it could have been as good as people say. And that pisses me off.

I hate James Cameron. But not because he’s an asshole or because i think he’s a bad filmmaker. On the contrary. He’s one of the best visual filmmakers out there. His films are beautiful to look at. But his scripts? His scripts don’t take the chances that he does visually, they don’t display the same beauty and effort and there’s this awful disconnect and it actually legitimately makes me angry.

What’s worse? This movie won best picture. I’m not saying it didn’t deserve awards. Again, it was beautiful to look at. But the story was not even comparable in greatness to L.A. Confidential or Amistad. Dear lord, don’t get me started on Amistad.

There you have it. My least favorite movie. Please, feel free to share your opinion. Or get me started on Amistad. Good day.

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9 comments

  1. I actually liked the Titanic. Mostly because it fascinates me (not Jack and Rose, but the actual shipwreck). I’ll admit, it did make me weep as the ship sank… but I start crying while watching Undercover Boss so that says more about me than the movie itself. xD

    1. I find the actual shipwreck and the actual people on the ship wreck to be incredibly fascinating. Haha I don’t typically cry watching movies. My sister called me a monster becasue I didn’t cry watching Schindler’s List. But she cried watching the Lion King. And she used to watch it every day, like something would change, and she’d cry every time. Are you like that?

      1. Well, I don’t watch movies repeatedly, like everyday, but yeah, I’ve seen the Titanic twice and cried both times. And if I cry once during a movie/show, I’ll cry every time I see it, most likely. But not because what’s happened is sad, but because the other characters are sad, usually. Like, I watch One Tree Hill, and (spoiler) one of the main characters die and I rewatched this episode several times and each time I cry because of how it affects the other characters. I don’t know if this makes sense, but… yeah. xD

  2. Please, do start on ‘Amistad’ 😀 I’ve never heard of it. What kind of film is it?

    I’ve also never seen ‘Titanic’. My mum can’t stand the film, so I guess that rubbed off on me. It’s so much in popular culture that I was already familiar with many of the themes and scenes just from hearing about it all the freaking time (though your summary still filled in some bits I didn’t know. Now I definitely don’t need to bother!). I’ve never felt like I’ve lost out on anything by not having seen it. Also, James Cameron’s quotation up there makes me want to vomit. What a piece of sexist crap. Just how are hackneyed, rigid gender roles any indication that the story is at all good? As for romanticising an age of all-encompassing, inescapable classism by calling it “noble” and “stoic”, don’t even get me STARTED. Bleh. I find that your evaluation of James Cameron’s skills – brilliant visual filmmaker, trite and clichéd storyteller – rings true for the only film of his I really know, which is ‘Avatar’. I love that film, but even I can admit that the story was 100% predictable and broke no new ground whatsoever. Which is all right as long as people don’t go around erroneously claiming that it did, like they do with ‘Titanic’. Yeah, I can understand your frustration with this film.

    1. Thank you! Well said, my friend.

      I am now going to get started on Amastad. In the future, I’m probably going to post a blog about it because everything about it makes me so mad. Because it’s one of the best movies ever. It’s kind of a slave movie, based on a true story. From director (and amazing storyteller) Steven Spielberg. The IMDb page says it’s ‘About a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt.’ Basically, slavery was still legal but it was illegal to go to Africa and kidnap people so they could be slaves. A Spanish vessel, La Amistad, did exactly that. The free Africans who were about to be sold into slavery were able to take over the ship and tried to get the captain and the other guy to take them back to Africa. The captain tried to trick them and steer them to Cuba, where they could be sold, but instead they landed on the coast of the United States, where they were all immediately seized. Most of the movie revolves around a young lawyer and a free black man trying to prove that the Africans are not slaves so they can be set free. It is wonderful. It includes one of my favorite scores from John Williams, and on the best performances ever by Djimon Hounsou, who should have WON the best actor Oscar that year. He wasn’t even nominated. He only had two lines in English, but it was a fucking travesty he wasn’t nominated. I would have given it to him over Jack Nicholson in ‘As Good as it Gets’. That was Jack being Jack. They could have awarded him any other year for being Jack. The only acting nomination was for Anthony Hopkins, due to the brilliant speech he gives at the end of the movie. The only nominations the movie got was for Anthony Hopkins (but he didn’t win), cinematography (Titanic won that one), costume design (also went to Titanic), best original score (went to Titanic). It should have been nominated for best picture, best actor, best actor in a supporting role, cinematography, costume design, screenplay, and best original score. And it should have won best original score, best actor, best screenplay, and costume design and best picture are debatable. It is a truly beautiful and groundbreaking film and it should have been recognized. But it was ignored. It was like The Color Purple all over again. The Oscars hate Spielberg and they dislike ‘controversial’ films about black people. Out of fucking Africa won instead of The Color Purple. Because the oscars are basically a political campaign and it makes me want to buy a firearm and create a massacre at the Kodak theater. Okay, that might be too much. But still! Amistad is one of the greatest movies ever, one of my favorite movies, and everyone ignored it! And it is such complete and utter bullshit that Titanic won that it just adds salt to the wound. I’m going to stop now.

      1. I definitely understand your frustration there :/ It sounds like an excellent film. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve now heard of that film and want to see it thanks to your rant :3

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