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8.8 20 10
FanMix August 15, 2012 5930
(Updated: September 05, 2012)
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April 10, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

Every year in April I dust off my Titanic movies and documentaries for watching on the lead-up to the night of the 14th/15th. I’ll select one of the movies to watch over the approximate time frame of the sinking. This year is a little different, since I had got it in my head that I wanted to find and own a copy of the 3 or 4 disc “complete” package of Cameron’s epic. Within minutes of starting my google search I discovered Imagine my glee at finding not only a complete Cameron “Titanic” but also the “Ship of Dreams” and the “Jack” edits! Talk about striking a motherlode!

So the “Jack” edit by boon23 is my first official complete DVD fanedit package. Others have expressed most of what I liked about it, so I’ll just hit one thing. The choice of perspective — focusing on Jack — makes for a totally different take on both the love-story and the sinking of the ship. Not to mention the relegation of many a solid supporting role into that of walk-on bit-players. In this I think CBB has hit a bases-loaded home-run. Whereas Cameron sold us the Jack & Rose love-story in order to be able to tell us the real love-story (his obsession with the ship), the “Jack” edit sells the viewer a scrappy Saturday-night high-adventure TV story of a young explorer of the the world who happens at the wrong place and wrong time to fall in love with the wrong girl…and paid in full-measure for that love.

It is really quite a strong piece of work, and makes for a perfect 2 hour movie. Very little drags in this version of the story — except perhaps the restored scene where Lovejoy pursues Jack & Rose at Hockley’s urging. That restored sceen could have had a minute trimmed out of it and been just as effective. By focusing half the running time on events during the collision, sinking and death-by-freezing in the water, the CBB “Jack” version of the story mirrors the pacing of the classic “A Night To Remember”, which uses the POV of 2nd officer Lightoller as it’s guideline.

I have to agree with the comment that ironically, in recrafting this manly, heroic, POV the love-story is actually of even greater-importance than before. But in a good way because now there’s more focused action and high-adventure, and the love-story drives everything that happens, rather than only 50% of it. Perhaps a cut to the final scene of Rose by herself claiming Dawson as her name would have been good. (Food for thought: I wonder if an equivalent strictly-imposed “Rose” POV edit would be as interesting. Certainly not as action-packed!)

I thought that technically this DVD was well-assembled. The bonus features were useful to watch first in order to establish what the faneditor was trying for. I was never quite able to get a decent widescreen on my TV that didn’t seem just ever-so-slightly squashed, but that may be me and my equipment. I shall try it again on another setup and see if that doesn’t fix it. My other issue with the film was that it seemed perhaps just a bit too video-compressed and lacking in crispness @ DVD5. Sort of like watching it on VHS. I’d like to see it in dual-layer DVD9 for comparison.

Still, those are minor quibbles. All things considered a very strong fanedit that makes me interested in having a go at a few things in my own DVD library. 10/10 for achieving the faneditor’s stated goals and perhaps 8/10 as a full-fledged DVD experience that would have been quite a delight to have arrive in my Netflix queue!
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