Category Archives: titanic

Titanic, The Evil Version

Titanic ~ This is not the Titanic you think it is, in fact, this is not any of the Titanics you might think it is. It’s not from 1997, 1953, or even 1915. I had never heard of this 1943 version until very recently, and it is a sad and very intriguing monument to the power of propaganda. This is the Nazi version.

This Titanic was made by the German film industry, controlled by the Nazis, in the midst of World War II. At a time when Germany was at war with Great Britain, this dramatic propaganda film showed the story of the Titanic sinking, not strictly because of an iceberg, but because of the greed and folly of the British ship’s owners.

In this Titanic, the upper class British passengers are all rich, careless, and decadent, with the Germans poor and heroic, in fact, the only German crew member is our hero. The skewed almost-Bizarro World version of history has to be seen to be believed.

This subtitled anti-British piece of work was never actually released as Nazi officials thought the scenes of chaos inboard the ship might panic German citizens who were under attack during wartime. For years it was thought lost, but occasionally shows up on TCM. Worth watching as a curiosity.

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Avatar ~ Movie fans have waited a long time for a new film from writer/director James Cameron, and I’m sure many haven’t been disappointed with his newest reputedly $280 million offering Avatar.

This is a good movie, a really good movie, but I think the hype may have killed it for me. I had friends rave when they initially saw the trailer. I read much about the money spent and the effects process involved. I was impressed, yes, but I’m unsure if the product really lives up to the hype. Based on box office (phenomenal, but surely not as phenomenal as the producers might have expected, or wanted), I have to wonder if I’m alone.

The plot has Cameron taking a pseudo-political stance, and its preachy bits are one of the places where he loses me. The human race in 2154 is strip-mining the planet Pandora where the indigenous population is psychically linked to every living thing on their world. A paraplegic takes on the role of one of the genetically created inhabitants to live among them and learn more about them – and eventually leads them against the human oppressors. I’m not giving much away, as predictability is one thing Avatar excels in. That’s not bad though, there’s a lot that makes up for it.

Other nitpicks would be that the deus ex machina at the end is a literal deus ex machina, which is a bit of a letdown. I like to see characters triumph against impossible odds on their own – after all, that’s what makes them heroes. And the prayer scenes almost made me break out in laughter as I was reminded of old kaiju eiga – the way they were chanting I kept waiting for Mothra to show up.

It’s not all bad though, by no means at all really. Visually, Avatar is stunning. The special effects of having actors shine through their CGI forms is mind-boggling. Truly alien constructs display and react as the real actors would and look like their puppet masters flawlessly while maintaining their fantasy forms. The backgrounds like the floating islands are staggering. I wouldn’t recommend not seeing this film in IMAX or 3D – it must be seen in full effect.

This is an outstanding film, a definite must-see for the eye candy alone, but the battle sequences go on much too long and my eyes really started rolling when the it got preachy. It’s no Terminator or Aliens or even Titanic. I’m glad I saw it, but in hindsight, I wish I’d seen Sherlock Holmes Christmas night instead, or maybe even The Squeakquel.

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Avatar – Sneak Peek

Here’s the new trailer for James Cameron’s first new film since Titanic. Avatar opens December 16th, 2009.

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