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TITANIC's glorious arrival in 4K UHD

TITANIC in 4K UHD is available at retailers everywhere and can be purchased on by clicking the image above!

Review by John Larkin

For physical media collectors, there have been a handful of James Cameron catalog titles we have been patiently waiting to see get the 4K treatmeant. In fact, two of his biggest titles have yet to even have a blu-ray upgrade from DVD: THE ABYSS AND TRUE LIES. Well now our ship has finally sailed in! (pun intended). Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits first reported last month that Cameron's titles, ALIENS, THE ABYSS and TRUE LIES are finally coming to 4K early next year. It was cause for celebration for Cameron fans and A/V geeks alike.

Igniting the fuse of long-awaited Cameron 4K releases is TITANIC, which as a long-time fan of the film, was fittingly released on December 5th, my birthday. Seeing TITANIC when it was first released was one of the most memorable experiences of my early life. I was only 10 years old when my parents pounced on the opening buzz of the cinematic phenomenon and took me and my sisters to the first showing we could all attend. We got there late and had to sit in the very first row of a huge theater. With my body sunken deep into my seat and my neck tilted up nintey degrees, I experienced a spectacle that effected me deeply. It didn't matter how bad the seats were, for three hours I was glued to the screen and transfixed by the engrossing storytelling and technical wonder alike. I realize now how formative that experience was, and after my recent rewatch, I only have more appreciation for the sense of wonder and expert craftsmenship the film displays. It may be the last major Hollywood production to have used hundreds of extras without CGI.

Nine months later, in September 1998, the VHS would be released and I hounded my parents to buy the spectacular Double VHS box set, so our family could own it. And now after 25 years, comes the real most spectacular presentation one could ever hope for in a home viewing environment.

Cameron's famous meticilousness has paid off in spades as the resulting image quality is nothing short of stunning. I was going in hearing rumblings that there was a high level of DNR (digital noise reduction) applied to the image, but thankfully that is not the case*. The level of film grain is just right, the colors are bold and the contrast is perfect. My experience of rewatching it in 4K was even more powerful than my first time seeing it on the big screen.

The Dolby Atmos mix gave my my JBL soundbar and subwoofer a workout it hadn't had in a long time. Overall, this is a reference quality disc.

There's a blu-ray disc chocked full of extras both legacy and brand new. The featurettes TITANIC: STORIES FROM THE HEART and TITANIC: 25 YEARS LATER WITH JAMES CAMERON were made specificlaly for this release and feature never before seen behind the scenes footage and brand new interviews with James Cameron and Kate Winslet.

The full list of extras include:

  • Titanic: Stories from the Heart (HD – 35:58)

  • Reflections on Titanic (HD – 4 parts – 63:46 in all)

  • Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron (HD – 42:06)

  • Deleted Scenes with James Cameron Introduction and Optional Commentary

  • Behind-the-Scenes Presentation Hosted by Jon Landau (HD – 34:13)

  • Additional Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes (SD – 35 featurettes – 34:54 in all)

  • Deep Dive Presentation Narrated by James Cameron (SD – 15:31)

  • $200,000,001: A Ship’s Odyssey (The Titanic Crew Video) (SD – 17:54)

  • Videomatics (SD – 3 segments – 3:14 in all)

  • Visual Effects (SD – 4 segments – 7:46 in all)

  • Trailer Presentation Hosted by Jon Landau (HD – 8:16)

  • Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” Music Video (SD – 4:45)

  • Still Galleries (HD)

  • Titanic Scriptment by James Cameron

  • Storyboard Sequences (9 galleries)

  • Production Artwork (3 galleries)

  • Photographs (9 galleries)

  • Ken Marschall’s Painting Gallery

  • Concept Posters and One Sheets (3 galleries including new Fan Poster Art)

This has been a huge year for exceptional 4K releases and TITANIC is easily one of the finest. I highly recommend picking up this astounding release and adding it to your collection today!

*Oddly enough the 4K version playing on Apple TV looks like it has DNR applied and has a resulting waxy and overly sharp image, that appears different than the disc version. Not sure what's going on there.


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