"Titanic 3D" Sinks or Swims on the Charisma of Its Young Stars

A historical romance with a then-unheard-of price tag, James Cameron's 1997 Titanic was the nearest thing to a Gone With the Wind-style cinematic event that the millennials could call their own. Now Titanic has bobbed to the surface yet again in a 3-D re-release, making a play for an audience that its original viewers baby-sat. Rewatching the affair between Kate Winslet's rebellious haute-monde refugee, Rose, and Leonardo DiCaprio's free-spirited steerage passenger, Jack, it's hard to find a line that might resonate across generations like a "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." But the enormous success of Titanic didn't come through originality; it came from punching clichés across with a seldom-seen directness and sincerity that seemed pure of heart, old-fashioned, or plain corny, depending on your perspective. CGI spectacle doesn't age gracefully, not even with a 3-D facelift, so today, Titanic must float or sink on the enduring charisma of its young stars.

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