Titanic II

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by bigdaddyhorse, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    It was only a matter of time before reviewing would turn awful, and on cue, The Asylum sent a package to my webmaster who gave em to me. Titanic 2, can't wait for 3! Here's my full review from mondo

    Wow, this may be the first Asylum title I’ve seen that isn’t trying to cash in on something recent. Now I’ve tried a few Asylum titles, and to be nice, I haven’t cared for many (although Mega-Piranha is B-movie cheesy gold, straight up!) so my hopes for this started low. I’m so torn as how to even write a review for it. Should I look for good things (not as much fun) or just rip the parts that deserve ripping? Should I even bother commenting on the story, or laugh at its existence? I’m still not sure, so maybe I’ll try to cover everything in fewer words.

    First off, if you’ve been living under a rock outside the video store, you may not have heard of The Asylum. They are a budget DVD company, and by all means are a modern day Roger Corman operation. They make no excuses about their “tie-ins” (others call them “mockbusters” or dupes) and usually try to capitalize on big studio movies, releasing similarly titled/themed films within weeks of the majors. So props on this somewhat original idea, although, isn’t Cameron supposed to be 3-D’ng Titanic and releasing it in 2012? I read that somewhere, but can’t say for sure if it’s true. Guess that’s the tie-in, 2 just came early.

    The thing is, and I can’t even say why, they just don’t have the charm of Corman films. Maybe it’s due to Corman having better talent. Not to be a dick, but I highly doubt we’ll be singing the praises of any of these actors or crew members 20 years down the road. There’s no great discoveries happening, just money being made (and kudos to them for living their dreams and supporting themselves doing this; there’s obviously a market or they’d be done by now). I just don’t think these films will ever be regarded as anything but what they are.

    So, Titanic II? I must confess, I laughed when I heard the title and knew right away where it came from. There are a few other budget companies, but this screamed Asylum. Having grown up in the 80’s, and also having stopped growing mentally then, anything “2” instantly gets tagged “Electric Boogaloo”, a joke that will never stop being at least amusing (if sober) or painfully funny (if on shrooms). Titanic 2: Electric Boogaloo has a nice ring don’t it? To be as fair as possible, I’m watching the movie a second time while writing this. A few impressions remain from yesterday’s viewing, but I needed to be sure.

    We start with some cool aerial shots of a cold and snowy locale, mingled with a dude putting on a surf-suit and credits. A sweeping score adds to the opening; has Asylum morphed into something else? This looks like a real movie right here, and my hope just jumped a few levels. It’s well shot and in focus, and doesn’t look like stock footage, although it must be as we’ll find out soon enough. Huge waves here (Greenland is mentioned later) from the crumbling icebergs making for great surf, until a big piece falls off and dude is fucked. The ice and water effects here are at least very good, and I have so much more hope for this film already. I’m used to really bad water effects; that and fire always show what level a film is working on, and this is way better than anything I’ve seen from Asylum yet. Even the set-ups and exposition are looking professional. Is this a new breed of Asylum?

    No, it’s a better breed, but still very much the same. Cheap effects of the actors on the iceberg are just laughable and took me right out of the film. Not sure if this is roto-scoping or just pisspoor rear projection. I understand they couldn’t take the cast and crew somewhere snowy, but there has to be a better effect that wouldn’t look so phony, and this is distracting. From here on out, it is back to feeling like an Asylum film, i.e. cheap and fake.

    Does anyone care what the story is? It loses itself to so many disaster movie clichés it does get funny. So there’s, what, a few hundred people minimum on this ship. All we care about are 3 of them. There are some good tricks and effects when the first wave/iceberg hits the doomed ship, but there are also lots of stupid moves and impossible situations for our leads to navigate through. This is what I hate about all disaster flicks, no matter the budget. When people get in situations that mean certain death for anyone (usually after trained marines or whatnot fall victim to the same, like those fucking baby Godzillas), but somehow walk away unscathed from them, it ruins every disaster movie I’ve ever seen!

    All in all, this is a small step-up for a company I had been avoiding after a few too many shitfests. There are some elements of this that are cleaver and work, like filming some outside the Queen Victoria (the sister ship of the Titanic). They have a convincing hotel lobby for the ship’s lobby, and none of the actors suck. Some aren’t great, but there are no terrible performances. If they could beef up the effects, this could’ve been good. I just can’t get over really bad effects, especially for simple things like water or location. A few less of these and I could’ve kept grooving, but they kept reminding me I was watching a low-budget film.

    The director is also the lead actor ((usually a recipe for disaster (rim-shot biatch!)), but this is Shane Van Dyke, not some rank amateur! I did check out the making of featurette, and it looked like this was fun to work on. It has parts that are fun to watch too (did I really just say that? Holy shit! The end of days IS upon us!), but in the end I laughed at more than I enjoyed. I can’t really recommend this, but if you see it for cheap it’s not a waste of 90 minutes. The final act did bug me to no end, as it spent too much time focusing on the two remaining leads and their situation, while forgetting about everything else (the sinking ship, the bigger wave coming, all the people in lifeboats which Bruce Davison assured us are completely fucked). This could’ve happened anywhere and really slammed it into a lower gear when the film begged to be opened up. It also could’ve used at least some gore or nudity; I don’t think there’s anything on the DVD that couldn’t be played on the Sci-Fi channel.


    If I can't find a store who has this in their system to sell to (they sent the real dvd for a screener, but not in FYE's computer at all) then it's probably going to whoever wins the football pool!:D

    It was worth watching and laughing at once, but is not bad enough to watch over and over like House of the Dead and certainly not good enough to watch again either.
     
  2. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    I'll watch that before I watch James Cameron's Titanic.
     
  3. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    I used to feel the same way, but trust me, Cameron's is way more enjoyable and realistic.
    Oh yeah, and it had nudity and gore, both missing from 2.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Closet SCREAM fan

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    I know a guy here in Hollywood who was offered a three-picture contract with The Asylum. As he told me, he inquired about how much money was involved. The company rep who was trying to hire him said the amount was $15,000 per picture. To which this director replied that $15,000 a movie was not very good compensation for a director of his experience. To which the Asylum rep said, "No no, you misunderstand. Total budget per movie is $15,000". Which pretty much ended the conversation I'd imagine.

    Even something as cheap as Titanic II clearly cost more than $15,000, so I can only wonder at what The Asylum was trying to accomplish with $45,000 for three movies.
     
  5. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    Wow, I knew they were cheap, but I've had drinking binges with bigger budgets I'm pretty sure.
    Ironicaly, $15,000 is probably about the budget for #1 Cheerleader Camp (the other screener I got from Asylum), and that was at least 10 times more enjoyable than Titanic 2. Replace bad CGI with real titties and it gets so much better!:D
     
  6. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    I would have said the same thing, but I watched Titanic last winter and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It has every cliche possible but I have to admit they were done well enough to be acceptable.

    Although I'd now watch Titanic 2 over Cameron's just to see it once, overall I think I'd rather watch 90 minutes of Cameron's (like say the last 90 minutes) instead.
     
  7. fceurich39

    fceurich39 Well-Known Member

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    agreed over time and recently i got the OOP 3 disc dvd of james camerons film and i actually like it alot now and a 5 disc blu-ray is coming out sept 14th with a rumored extended edition!
     
  8. evildeadfan123

    evildeadfan123 Sam & Dean Winchester

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    I also have the 3 DVD set of Titanic, and the 5 Disc Blu-Ray, I hope, also will include the 3D re-release that is currently at the theaters.
     
  9. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    I can see the appeal of Cameron's Titanic for some. But I find it one of the most offensive and misguided films ever. Using a tragedy that cost 1500+ people their lives as the launching pad for a soap opera story is irresponsible at best. Something about it really bothers me.

    Knowing that so many people lost fathers and husbands made it impossible for me to care about Cameron's ill-fated couple. There was more than enough genuine drama on that night. It's ridiculous that Cameron thought he had to invent some. I'm honestly mystified that it resonated with so many people.

    I've been a Titanic buff since I read Walter Lord's excellent book A Night To Remember as a young child. For a much more authentic cinematic account of the tragedy I'd recommend checking out the British film adaptation. It's gut-wrenching without being maudlin and melodramatic.
     
  10. fceurich39

    fceurich39 Well-Known Member

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    been confirmed here about sept 14th editions http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8528
     
  11. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's a fantastic movie. i haven't watched Cameron's Titanic in years, but my memory is of thinking that it had some of the worst dialogue i'd ever heard. it is kind of an impressive feat, though - not every movie can become a cliche in it's entirety.
     
  12. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    I've been a Titanic buff since I was a kid as well, and everything Titanic has been popping up everywhere because of the disaster's centennial. I admit, I went to see Titanic in 3-D this week and while the 3-D wasn't bad, but I think I've found a new perspective in trying to understand the melodramatic aspect of the film.

    While I've always said that I've seen Titanic a couple times, but I've seen the last half about fifteen, I actually found the first half more interesting this time. I'd still still say the last half is better than the first, but I've understood why I find the movie so captivatingly frustrating. It has nothing to do with the Jack and Rose storyline, but rather the WAY we are told the story.

    It in some ways goes back to the narratives found in the writing of Edith Wharton at the turn of the century. Lily Bart in The House of Mirth succumbs to the lavish, shallow, class-based traditions of her old society. She is unable to break free and thus dies because her old-world ideals no longer fit in with the modernizing society. Rose as a character is able to break free. She says in the beginning that she felt the Titanic was "a slave ship, taking me back to America in chains", and if not for the inevitable catastrophe, she would have been doomed to HER own fate. Thus, Rose and the ship itself are REALLY the two main characters. Jack is still important, since he seems to represent the progressive ideology. This is the modernizing world that is, in the beginning, lying beyond Rose's grasp.

    Therefore, the fated liner becomes immobile when it is doomed to an eternity on the ocean floor and Rose becomes the object of mobility and is set free from the "gilded" society that is slowly "dooming" her.

    I don't wanna ramble on about why I found the move more enjoyable (because I really don't have the time to write a novel right now) but paralleling Rose's maiden voyage (really into a new live - also never realized how much it is made obvious that Rose is still a virgin) to that of the doomed vessel provides a literary scope into the Titanic's effect on the world that followed it. Cameron just didn't need to beat us over the head with such foreshadowing.

    ~Matt
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

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