Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Reflections on my New Years Tradition

First and foremost, I've got that promised review of Sweeny Todd up. Head on over to the main page to check it out!

So, I just finished my completely arbitrary and made-up New Years tradition. I watched Titanic. What can I say? Around three or four years ago, I found myself home alone on New Years Day. Bored out of my mind, I pulled it out of my home video library and watched it. And, as the VHS was rewinding, I thought to myself, "Hey! I should turn this into an arbitrary and made-up New Years tradition!" And I did.

But yeah, the fun thing about having the super-special edition DVD is, after the film, I go into the bonus features and watch the original ending. I'm sure I've blogged about this in the past.

In the original ending, what happens is our present day treasure hunter Brock Lovett, played by Bill Paxton, catches Old Rose as she's about to toss the diamond into the ocean. As Brock pleads for the diamond, Old Rose gives him a speech about how money isn't everything, and he should live life to the fullest, cuz if he doesn't he'll wind up like that dastardly Cal. Old Rose then tosses the diamond into the ocean, Brock is able to let it go, and he starts putting the moves on Rose's granddaughter.

In the deleted scene's running commentary, director James Cameron explains why he cut it. Firstly, he thought that, after the three hour epic, people got the message, and that Old Rose's speech was kind of preachy. Secondly, in test screenings, he found that, by the end of the film, the audience had become so invested in the Jack and Rose romance that people just didn't care about Brock and his search for the diamond anymore. But I was one of those people who still cared about Brock's search, so the alternate ending provides me with the closure I need.

Actually, this reminds me. If I ever head out to Halifax, I'm going to have to see Jack Dawson's grave. You've heard this story, right? Just outside of Halifax is a cemetery where all the unclaimed bodies of Titanic's victims were buried. One of the headstones is labeled "J. Dawson." Many fans of the film (who can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy) think that it's the grave of Jack Dawson - the character that Leonardo diCaprio played. As we all know, there was no Jack Dawson. Historians say that the "J. Dawson" is most likely Joseph Dawson, who shoveled coal in the engine room. But still, that doesn't stop lovestruck young women from leaving flowers, gifts, and even their undergarments, on J. Dawson's grave. As the cemetery's caretaker once commented to the press, "Poor bugger's probably doing better in death than he ever did in life." James Cameron even briefly mentions this in Titanic's running commentary, saying that he'd never heard of the guy.

After watching Titanic, I felt compelled to watch Apollo 13. I always felt that Titanic and Apollo 13 share similar themes. I mean, both are about mighty vessels that were considered to be unsinkable, only to run into unprecidented disasters. Hell, James Horner's scores for each film are strikingly similar.

But I don't have Apollo 13 on DVD, and my VHS copy is still home in Entwistle. I don't know why I don't own it on DVD yet. It was released in a very nice, 2-disc 10th anniversary edition a few years back...I could probably fish it out of a discount bin now.

I'm dwelling on this now. I'm going over my VHS collection in my mind and my DVDs...there's probably three films in my collection that I haven't bought on DVD yet: Apollo 13, The X-Files Movie, and the American Godzilla. When I first got my DVD player, I swore that I would not buy movies a second time, unless the DVD has enough bonus features that it demands me buying it again. I still use the same rule when it comes to the DVD double dip.

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