Monday, April 15, 2024

“Titanic” Is Coming Back, Hoping for “Lion King” Results


James Cameron‘s “Titanic” is coming back. This time, the 1997 film will be in 3D thanks to James Cameron, the PT Barnum of his generation. While it cost zillions to convert “Titanic” into 3D, it will likely pay off handsomely. “The Lion King 3D,” for example, has picked up $100 million in new shiny money since its (re)release. The new “Titanic” will be a spectacle of a release, no doubt, with lots of hype and hoopla. It also comes at a typically dead point in the release schedule–April 6th. It should be an interesting weekend. The other new films will be “American Pie Reunion,” with Jason Biggs and co. basically do “American Pie 2D”; the Farrelly Brothers’ modern big screen version of “The Three Stooges”–either the worst idea since “Valkyrie” or pure genius; and an actual original film–“The Cold Light of the Day” with future Superman Henry Cavill. Of those three. “Stooges” is my bet, because it’s filled with cameos from guest stars to ensure its curiosity factor.

And so “Titanic.” A box office phenom, the Cameron film is a visual circus. But it’s also still the same film it was when it opened in December 1997.

But it wasn’t nominated for any screenplay awards. That’s because it’s a shot by shot remake, in many instances, of previous movies “Titanic” (1953) and “A Night to Remember” (1958). It also shared an actor–Bernard Fox, who appeared in “Night” as well but is best remembered as Dr. Bombay on “Bewitched.” He’ll turn 85 next May.

“Titanic” won a lot of awards including Best Picture and Director for Cameron.  Gloria Stuart was nominated for best supporting actress.. Leonard DiCaprio wasn’t nominated for Best Actor even though Kate Winslet was up for Best Actress.

The 1998 Oscars, for 1997 films, were actually pretty interesting. Helen Hunt won Best Actress for “As Good As It Gets” principally because she was the only American nominated. She’s never been heard from again. The other actresses were much better– Winslet, Judi Dench for “Mrs. Brown,” Helena Bonham Carter for “Wings of the Dove,” and Julie Christie for “Afterglow.” But they all had accents.

Best Actor went to Jack Nicholson for “As Good As It Gets.” Robin Williams got Best Supporting Actor for “Good Will Hunting.” The big screenplay award for that year went also to “Good Will Hunting.”

The other nominated pictures were better films, but didn’t have the spectacle aspect–“As Good As It Gets,” “Good Will Hunting,” “L.A. Confidential,” and “The Full Monty.”

It was also the year of “Wag the Dog,” “Ulee’s Gold,” “Jackie Brown,” “The Apostle,” and “Men in Black.” A bumper crop, all the way around.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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