My Heart Will Go On

Titanic is currently the 2nd highest grossing movie in the world (although it was #1 for a long time). As well as one of James Cameron’s finest filmmaking achievements. His fondness for water makes it a perfect fit. Of course everyone already knows the true story of the unsinkable ship that tragically sank. But did you know about the two star-crossed lovers who met and fell in love on this doomed vessel. I was first introduced to Titanic when I saw it in my parents VHS collection. You might recall that 3 hour movies used to come with two tapes instead of one. It wasn’t until about 7 years later that I finally decided to watch the movie. Like everyone else, I was blown away by the enormous visuals, captivating romance, and true sense of danger. Any problem is very minor and usually pointed out by everyone (I’ll get to the door scene). As far as its tremendous billion dollar box office gross is concerned, it still amazes me that a movie this long and romantic made so much money. Never underestimate the power of a female audience…

Titanic

Jack (left) teaches Rose (right) how to fly

Titanic actually opens in the modern day. With a salvage team searching the wreck of RMS Titanic for the Heart of the Ocean. A rare blue heart-shaped diamond necklace. These are the only scenes that feature Bill Paxton because he’s really more of a modern guy. The team doesn’t find the Heart, but they do find a drawing. An elderly woman named Rose recognises herself in the drawing and is thus invited to go back to the Titanic. This is where the movie really begins. Kate Winslet portrays Rose DeWitt Bukater. A wealthy young woman stuck with a horrible fiancé. Meanwhile Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Jack Dawson. A poor artist trying to live his best life (he’s “the king of the world!”). Their paths cross when Rose threatens to jump, but Jack saves her just in time. Which sets up a passionate relationship that includes dinner with the upper class and dancing with the lower class. Their romance is only strengthened by scenes such as “I’m flying,” where Jack holds Rose up to the front of the Titanic. As well as “I want you to draw me like one of your French girls.” Probably the most well-known scene of the two. Since Jack draws Rose when she’s fully naked (and the movie still received a PG-13 rating). Of course all this romance eventually leads to them making love in a steamy car. What makes Titanic truly well made is how James Cameron managed to seamlessly blend fictional characters with real life people and events. Jack and Rose are fictional, but people like “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” or the band that continued playing are not. The tragedy of the iceberg hitting the Titanic and its subsequent sinking are never glamorized. Their crucial parts of Jack and Rose’s original story. It’s just how their story ends that people can’t help but point out. SPOILER ALERT! When Jack lets Rose stay on the door, losing his life in the process. With “I’ll never let go Jack” being her final words to him. Jack’s death may have been preventable, but I can’t help but to cry everytime I see it. Titanic not only received financial success, but critical acclaim as well. Earning the movie 14 nominations and 11 wins! Most notably Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Song for Celine Dion’s hit song “My Heart Will Go On.” It’s definitely been played many times since its creation. Titanic is a disaster that will never be forgotten and a movie that we’ll never let go.

Titanic

The Titanic sinks

Everything else is Just a Toy

Small Soldiers is a hidden gem in a sea of forgotten late 90’s movies. The basic gist of Small Soldiers is that a group of toys come to life. Through the means of military grade microchips. One a group of monsters called the Gorgonites lead by Archer. The other a group of soldiers called the Commando Elite lead by Major Chip Hazard. Their small conflict soon becomes a battleground for a group of unsuspecting neighbors. Namely teenager Alan Abernathy and his lady friend Christy. I first saw Small Soldiers when I was 3 years old. Making it one of the first PG-13 movies I saw in theaters. And it is PG-13, despite being marketed (rather heavily) to children. I got all the merchandise too. Toys, board game, video game, coloring books, I still have most of it. So the movie does hold a special place in my heart. Which is why my brother and I watched Small Soldiers at least 10 times a day growing up. In my opinion, its got great cheesy action, disturbing but fun images, and a cool story that still holds up today. Another saving grace is that it’s the last movie with Phil Hartman. You may remember him from such roles as The Simpsons and Jingle All the Way. The only real problem is the dated CGI, but it was the 90’s so you can give it a pass. It’s really the animatronics that look good. Something director Joe Dante is no stranger to. In short, if you’re looking for an over-the-top action movie that may or may not be good for the kids, Small Soldiers is for you.

Small Soldiers

Archer (left) and Major Chip Hazard (right) get ready for battle