Jan 07, 2024

Titanic 4K 3D: your heart and its box office returns will go on, and on...

"ARE you ready to go back to Titanic?" Well, come aboard, because James Cameron's 1997 Oscar-winning blockbuster is back on the big screen for a limited run in freshly restored 4K quality and all-new 3D too.

While converting films that weren't actually shot as 3D to the format doesn't always work very well, Cameron did an absolutely incredible job of adding an extra dimension to his 1991 sci-fi action classic Terminator 2 for its 25th anniversary re-release.

The director has done a great job with Titanic too: while it doesn't quite have the same immersive, 'step into the scene' feel that T2-3D conjured, you'll still feel closer to the film's sea-bound action, romance and mounting terror than ever before.

Uber fans of Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) may even want to upgrade their experience with the extra bells and whistles of the 4DX version playing at Cineworld theatres: this adds moving/vibrating seats and 'screen realistic' climate control – blasts of cool air, water squirts and even fake fog and snow – into the mix to make audiences feel truly involved in the on-screen proceedings, though thankfully it stops short of dumping gallons of freezing sea water over their heads.

It's great fun and may be a boon for keeping younger kids engaged with a 12A-rated film that, for all its disaster movie trappings, is essentially quite a talky drama about a doomed romance for long stretches of its near three-hour running time.

You may well have forgotten that Titanic's 1912 story is framed as a present day 'flashback', as the 101-year-old Rose played by Gloria Stuart – kudos to Cameron for not doing a George Lucas and grafting on a digitally aged version of Winslet's visage for this re-visit – recounts her fateful voyage to deep sea treasure hunter Brock Lovett (the late and much missed Bill Paxton) and crew who have ventured out to the wreck of the Belfast-built ship in search of her priceless Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace.

The opening 15 minutes are mainly concerned with Lovett's underwater explorations and the 4DX experience does a nice job of making you feel like you're floating right alongside his camera-equipped remote submersible as it explores the gloom of wrecked liner's remarkably intact interior. In fact, it's so well done that Cameron fans will be clamouring for a 4K 3D re-release of his 1989 subaquatic sci-fi epic The Abyss.

Titanic was released in the wake of a string of top-drawer action-based films from the director, stretching from 1984's The Terminator through 1986's Aliens – let's have a 4K3D version of that masterpiece for its 40th birthday, please – The Abyss, Terminator 2 and 1994's True Lies, and many of Cameron's mainly male devotees weren't quite on-board with his genre jump to sweeping romance at the time.

Had social media been invented, there would surely have been a serious outpouring of furious fanboy outrage.

However, the film was a real passion project for the director, a self-confessed 'Titanic geek', so the fact the 1997 picture went on to make cinematic history by becoming the highest grossing film of all time – a record this re-release will surely help bolster – while also nabbing Cameron his only Oscars to date for Best Director and Best Picture among its 11-strong haul means he probably didn't lose much sleep over this.

Revisiting the film 26 years on, it still feels like an anomaly in his canon, but there is no denying the cinematic power of its still incredible special effects, the moving central performances from its fresh-faced leads or the effectiveness of the ticking clock story device as the ill-fated White Star liner nears its date with disaster.

Those final 30 minutes of the actual sinking are still as spectacular and harrowing as ever, and now that science has thoroughly disproved the long-held fan theory that there actually was room for both Jack and Rose on that wooden panel, you can return to Titanic in 4K 3D safe in the knowledge that your heart, and its box office returns, will indeed go on (and on and on and on).

:: Titanic 4K3D is out now and available in 4DX at Cineworld theatres. See for details

:: Titanic 4K3D is out now and available in 4DX at Cineworld theatres. See for details