Philip S (sayblack)
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The sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic is one of the most talked about tragedies in the history of transportation. The ship, said to be unsinkable, went down on its maiden voyage in 1912. Over a century after that doomed cruise, that tragic event remains at the forefront of so many people's minds. That is thanks in large part to the countless documentaries and movies that have been churned out by movie studios and television networks over the past half century, the least of which being 1997's story of a doomed romance, Titanic. Thankfully there have been more enjoyable stories such as the famous The Band Played On and the 1980 drama that was Raise The Titanic. Now twenty-four years after that movie debuted, it has been resurrected for the masses by itv Studios and Shout! Factory. The movie, based on author Clive Cussler's novel by the same name, uses the Cold War as a backdrop for its plot. It's just part of the writing that makes this movie worth watching at least once. The movie's script is just part of what makes Raise The Titanic worth at least one watch. The movie's soundtrack is another important aspect of the overall presentation. John Williams' score captures and creates so much emotion throughout the story. And the special effects used throughout the movie are minimalist at best. It actually makes the movie that much better. It's discussed in the bonus "Making of" featurette that's included in this re-issue. Each of the noted factors plays a role in the success of Raise The Titanic especially now in its new life. Together, they make this a movie that any classic movie buff will want to check out at least once.
The first aspect of Raise The Titanic that audiences will agree to be a positive is the movie's script. Theories about what led to the Titanic's sinking and how to potentially raise the ship have run rampant for ages. However author Clive Cussler's book based on those theories was the first of its kind to gain major success. The same can be said of the final product crafted by screenwriter Adam Kennedy and his writing partner Eric Hughes. To that extent, it can be argued that both the book and the script that it spawned were both quite original in their own right. In hindsight, it's interesting to see how prophetic this story turned out to be, even if it did change some things from Cussler's original book. Not that many years ago, the Costa Concordia wrecked off the Italian coast. It sat there until recently when means were undertaken to lift the half-sunken ship and get it away from its crash site. In the same way that many of the theories on how to raise the Titanic were deemed impossible (among other words), the method ultimately used to raise the Costa Concordia seemed impossible until one of those theories worked. Having seen the Costa Concordia raised from its wreck site, one can't help but wonder if it could be the foundation of a way to raise other ships as impossible as it might seem.
Raise The Titanic's script is an important piece of the whole that is the movie's success. Just as important to the movie's overal enjoyment is its music. Legendary composer and maestro John Williams created a score for the movie that captures and creates so much emotion. Nowhere is this truer than the scene in which the Titanic finally breaks the surface of the North Atlantic waters. The moments as it makes its way into New York's harbor are just as emotional, musically speaking. Williams more than exhibits his ability to interpret any scene with these moments alone. They are but a pair of moments that show how important the movie's score is to the whole presentation. There are far more moments throughout the movie's near two-hour run time that exhibit just as much of Williams' talent and that of the musicians that bring the movie's soundtrack to life. Audiences will find their own favorite moments when they buy or order the movie's new Blu-ray/DVD combo pack re-issue from Shout! Factory.
The script and the soundtrack of Raise The Titanic both play pivotal roles in the movie's success. There is one more aspect of this movie that could be argued to trump those previously noted aspects. That aspect is the movie's special effects. Watching this movie, one can't help but make a quick comparison to the likes of The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide, and to a lesser degree, The Abyss. The latter of that trio is perhaps the closest comparison. The difference is that where James Cameron went completely overboard with his special effects, Raise The Titanic used minimalist special effects for even its biggest scene. A couple prime examples of this less-is-more approach are the subs used to find the Titanic and the ship itself. It turns out that the subs used in the movie were actually r/c subs. The mock-up of the Titanic, it turns out, was actually a fifty-five foot "model" that weighed roughly ten tons. And the methods used to raise the ship were just as interesting. That minimalist approach to its special effects actually made the movie even more enjoyable because it forced its writers to focus on story development. The end result was a movie that is just as rich in its special effects as it is in its story. It makes Raise The Titanic a movie worth at least one watch by anyone that has never seen it before.
The special effects used throughout Raise The Titanic played a big role in the movie's success thanks to the less-is-more approach taken by those behind the special effects. There is much more worth noting, including the in-depth commentary on the movie shared in its bonus "Making of" featurette. The commentary includes a rather damning statement regarding the over use of special effects in today's major motion pictures. The statement in question is made by one of the individuals that helped bring the movie's special effects to life. Fans can check out this statement and more when they purchase or order the movie now from Shout! Factory's online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/node/218884. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and "Like" it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil's Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.
Philip's Favorite Movies
This is possibly one of the best movies of all time in any genre. With the exception of the first five minutes of the film, the entire thing took place in a jury room. There are likely books written on the different aspects of it. One could say that perhaps ithe heat of the room and the weather outside caused the conflict. Perhps it was the differences of the 12 jurors. Pehaps it was something else. But the conflict flt entirely real. What's more is that none of the men gave doubt a chance until one man stood up and cast doubt on the case. That was one of the any storylines that go on in that little jury room. The wonderfully interwoven storylines, combined with the odd absence of a soundtrack make the movie so fully enjoyable. The lack of that soundtrack with the exception of the beginning and the end disprove the need for muisc throughout a movie to make it good. Not only that, but all the cast and crew had to work with was that single jury room. Yet the movie was so enjoyable. That is proof that so many modern movies far too often go over the top with special effects and soundtracks. One could go on and on about this movie. But the fact of the matter is that it is not only the original legal drama, but one of the best movies of all time, next to Citizen Kane.
So much has been said and written about The Wizard of Oz since its debut way back on August 25, 1939. It's one of the longest running movies on tv every holiday season. And it's one of the most discussed movies both among moviegoers, and students of the theater and film arts. The discussions range from topics such as choreography, music, and cinematography, to the infamous conspiracy theory about the alleged death of one of the munchkins, among others. Yes, it's largely different from the book from which it was adapted. But that aside, it's still one of the most outstanding movies that's ever been created. It's been over seventy years since The Wizard of Oz originally debuted. That it still generates so much discussion on so many topics proves how much of a landmark movie it is. One of the main discussion topics that it still creates to this day is the alleged death of one of the munchkins. So to start off, that myth needs to be debunked, for those who still believe it. The myth in question is that one of the munchkins committed suicide in one scene. That never happened. Here's the reality of that old myth: There was a large bird walking around in the scene that introduces the Tin Man. It looked like a pelican, or some such. Later in that scene, as he, Dorothy, and the Scarecrow are readying to get back to their journey again, that same bird (or a second one), is seen in the far background moving around. What looks like a munchkin comitting suicide is actually just the bird in question flying around far off in the background. So what is possibly one of the greatest mysteries in film history has now been solved, much to the distate of probably thousands of audiences. But there's the answer. Speaking of the bird being far off in the scenery, the scenery is another reason for the success of The Wizard of Oz. The scenery/set art, and costumes create a lot of discussion among theater students at college campuses nationwide. The people behind the scenes obviously paid a lot of attention to the detail of both. For a movie of that time to so smoothly mix actual physical scenery with painted backdrops took a lot of skill. Not to mention, making them so colorful to match what heads of the movie wanted. The costumes had to have taken as much time as the sets (if not more) to create because of the amount of detail for each character's outfit. The sets and costumes were only one part of what made The Wizard of Oz as great as it is. The music and choreography add their own enjoyment to the movie. It is a musical, after all. So, these two are just as important as, if not more than, the costumes and sets. Probably the most time intensive scene for choreography was the initial scene when Dorothy first landed in Munchkinland. Considering the size of the cast in that scene, one can only imagine how much time and effort went into choreographing the dancing, and making sure everyone sang together. The movie is loaded with lots of other scenes that had to have required immense planning. But this was easily the biggest one of them all. The music, choreography and sets used in The Wizard of Oz are some of the most impressive of any musical to date. But they aren't the only factors that have made this movie as timeless as it is. It's created discussions on each of the aforementioned topics. But there are other topics that have been born from the story. The most well known discussion topic is that of industrialism versus agriculturalism. In the discussion, the Scarecrow supposedly represents agriculturalism. And the Tin man is supposed to represent industrialism. Some people argue that the Tin Man not having a heart is the basis for that. The Scarecrow's kind personality, but lack of a brain is argued to represent how farmers were seen by the industrial leaders at the time. And the Wizard himself is argued by some to represent the political figureheads that the ordinary people would talk about, but rarely ever get close enough to, in order to talk to them. Whether or not any of these arguments hold water, the fact that they still happen so many decades later shows just how much staying power The Wizard of Oz has. It's been over seventy years since The Wizard of Oz debuted. Since that time, few films have managed the success that it's managed. It serves as a beacon for theater students thanks to its music and choreography. The discussion topics generated from its story are more than enough for any film studies course, or for discussion among any group of film afficianados. And most of all, it's one of the greatest family friendly films of all time. It may not be the greatest movie of all time. Though it definitely is among that list. But it goes without saying that it is the single greatest summer movie of all time.
Philip's Favorite Actors