17.4.12

Titanic -vs- Battleship


With both Battleship and Titanic in 3D owning every bus stop, television commercial and heart currently in the western world, I felt it was of utmost importance that somebody compared and contrasted the two to make extra sure you didn’t end up in the wrong movie (that would be awkward now wouldn’t it) especially with their extremely close cinema release dates.

In case you’ve lived under a rock, Titanic (1997) is the story of the destruction of the cruise ship of the same name that crashed 100 years ago this year; there's also a love story in there somewhere too, which is now being re-released in 3D (because $1.8 billion wasn’t enough the first round). Battleship, based on the Hasbro board game, which somehow makes it a viable selling point (??), is Titanic meets Transformers. I don’t think I need to say much more on Battleship, really. Both are in the cinema now.

Always a good starting, and selling, point. Sex is really what it's all about here. Titanic takes on a classy and civilised idea to the concept and Romeo & Juliet's the shit out of the situation Jack (DiCaprio) and Rose (Winslet) find themselves in. The poor souls. Battleship, however, tries to turn it into some sort of Barbadian fetish-fest where guys wearing intsagramed images of Rihanna on white tees fall weak at the knees when seeing her all sweaty on billboards. She grunts, woots and holds her cap while swimming away from aliens. Cap stealing aliens I assume.

A strange choice for the singers maiden voyage into acting. The script hands her a line or a sound effect to remind people she is who she is and if she's lucky; two or three lines to string together. They could’ve given any woman a buzz and a cap and the difference would’ve been unnoticeable. Nothing against her acting as such, the script was the problem.


Old people. Yeah I know, how exactly are these two related? Well, if you’ve seen the ludicrous scene in Battleship you'd be giggling to yourselves as you read. Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) while on an old fashioned war ship says (something along the lines of) “how are we gonna control this thing?”, and a strange group of WWII veterans, encountered earlier on, step forward from various parts of the ship to patriotic pipe music. The audience we're stuck in a strange laughing/cringing state, a lot like watching two girls one cup, but with old people. So to sum it up, old people rock, weather its telling very long stories people couldn’t care less about or killing aliens while quoting 'curse words' straight out of a 50s swing bar.

Titanic isn’t so much a fictional story based during a factual event as it is a fictional story based on lies. Turns out, Titanic, like most major historical events, involved aliens. Battleship, which must be based on Titanic's iconic story, takes a classic twist to the ol' alien invasion aspect that worked so well for 2011s Oscar winners 'Battle: LA' and 'Skyline'.

I wonder if James Cameron’s Titanic would've ended differently if he knew about the aliens; as the necklace Rose drops in the ocean, at the end, lands on a piece of metal that slowly begins to light up * cut to black *. The obvious sequel still would’ve been better than Battleship. (note: straight to Syfy channel, 'Titanic II' is one of those films that makes you hate movies altogether). Also, Titanic's decoy title was the ironic Planet Ice! The plot thickens. More on H2O UFOs here.




In Titanic, Jack and Rose have an extremely complex relationship. He is a poor 3rd class artist and she; suicidal and upper class. You think 'It'll never work out', but, well, it doesn’t actually because Jack dies in the end. Either way, the class warfare is the 3rd person in their ménage à trois and seems to be the only thing keeping them apart at times. This can be said about Battleship also, to an extent. Hopper, the protagonist, is separated form his love by both Liam Neeson and aliens – not a good time. Liam Neeson, while not punching wolves in the face, is still bad ass and would easily put up a better fight against a couple of WWII vets than those wimpy aliens did. Personally, I think Liam Neeson should have punched them all in the face for making such a horrible movie. I can just pray for that sequel.


James Cameron is one of the figureheads of the 'blockbuster' and will join Lucas and Spielberg among others in film making heaven and will no-doubt have multiple re-release after re-release of his movies. The blockbuster however does nothing positive for film and it's medium at all. If anything it stunts its growth and credibility. Films like Battleship are perfect examples of the dribble companies have been reduced to all because of the bureaucracy that is the 'blockbuster'. Explosions, Rihanna and a big budget seems to be the way to make movies.

At a time when technology is democratizing film making once more like it did in the 60s, the big corporations are trying to separate what the every-man can make and what the 'professionals' can make. 3D is a perfect example of this and when reading interviews with James Cameron, he, at no point, makes any valid reason to reshow Titanic other than for those who havent seen it already. At least George Lucas when asked about Star Wars being released in 3D doesn’t dance around the fact its all for the money.

Of course horrible blockbusters are nothing new but as a film maker it's hard to sit back and watch people churn out typical, straight to dvd, crap when great films are being made and not even given enough attention to make it to dvd. However, It does make the future of film very unpredictable and exciting with the rapid growth of technology and global consciousness that seems to be turning the world, film related or otherwise, on its head.