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One of the best movies I've seen in a couple of years.  Cameron once again demonstrates his gift as a storyteller.

The movie starts out in present day and a scientist describes in detail what happened to the ship after it hit the iceberg.  That little tidbit goes a long way toward removing The Poseidon Adventure quality.  The flashback to 1912 becomes a story about the characters and their relationships.  There are a couple of "how-are-they-going-to-get-away-from-the-water" scenes, but they flow well and don't feel episodic.

With today's technology, Cameron was really able to capture the feeling of what it must have been like those last few minutes as the ship sank and just after.  You see people falling from the stern as it sticks several hundred feet in the air.  And after its gone, there are hundreds of people splashing around.  A very sobering sight.

I recently saw a "Making of..." show.  There Cameron related a technique he used which I think made this such a successful story.  Cameron describes how he used the two main characters as a focal point to move through the ship before and after the accident.  Many noticeable incidents that happened around the characters are based on accounts from survivors.  For example, prior to the ship leaving port, a photographer captured a picture of a small boy playing with a top on the deck with his father nearby.  Cameron had DeCaprio's character walk past the boy near the beginning of the film.  Other events after the iceberg include passengers "playing soccer" with ice chunks on the deck, conversations between family members as the lifeboats were being loaded, the locations of many of the well-known people during the night.  All of these seemingly small details serves to add substantially to the verisimilitude of the film.

Cameron regulars in this film: Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein (Vasquez).

One of the best movies of the year. On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, rates Full Price with Popcorn and Drinks.

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