“Titanic” may be forever known as an epic chick flick — and the film that turned James Cameron into “King of the World” at Oscar time — but Par’s three-disc special edition manages to build interest in so much more than that. The set packs on 10 hours of extras, more than making up for the studio’s original bare-bones release, one of the first discs to pass the 1 million unit mark. Bonus material is extensive but stays relevant without any of the over-extravagance that defined its namesake.
The set includes three commentaries: with Cameron, with Kate Winslet, producer Jon Landau and other cast and crew members and with the film’s historians. Also tucked in is an alternate ending, 45-minutes of deleted scenes (including one with the elegant first class dining room steadily sinking), a documentary, featurettes, and dozens upon dozens of set photos. The only absence is a commentary by Leonardo DiCaprio, which was planned but scrapped because of scheduling issues.
Par uses mostly newly created features mixed in with some older material — a Fox doc made to promote the original theatrical release and packaged under the surprisingly honest “Marketing” heading and Celine Dion’s musicvideo.
Branching lets viewers click on a sinking Titanic icon at different points in the film to get historical perspective or making-of info, most of which tell how producers tried to keep the film as historically accurate as possible.
The commentaries include behind-the-scenes tidbits, and together serve as an ersatz documentary retrospective absent from the DVD: Cameron confesses he didn’t want to cast Winslet — then known as “Corset Kate” — because of all her work in period pieces at the time, while Winslet says it took so many takes to get the famous scene with her and DiCaprio on the ship’s bow that by the time it got the public’s attention, “We were so over it.”