Tragic Waste

If only they had known…On March 31, 1909 workers gathered at Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast to begin construction of the largest, most luxurious ship in the world: RMS Titanic. In just over three years, all their blood, sweat, tears and hard work would be at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Titanic was the second of three planned sister ships, which were conceived … Continue reading Tragic Waste

Titanic: Part 4

Previously on Titanic: We were introduced to a whole slew of paper-thin characters and the ship hit the iceberg. Three times.

We back up yet again so we can visit the Wideners’ dinner party, where Georgiana is having a debate with Harry about how very stupid it is to do things just because that’s the way they’ve always been done. Yeah, she’s that character—rebellious rich girl. Not that we didn’t already know that, making this scene a bit pointless. Still, rules suck! Down with rules! She also mentions that Harry’s mom has invited them up to Newport while they’re in America. She suspects some matchmaking is at work and Harry acknowledges it, because he’s got a crush on Georgiana, for whatever reason. Probably because he likes ‘em feisty.

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Titanic: Parts 1-3

Ok, I’m just going to come out and say it: Julian Fellowes has to stop bragging about his own projects. Now, don’t get me wrong—I like him (or, rather, I’ve liked some of his work) but I think he’s getting a little high on himself post-Downton Abbey, and now he keeps talking about how his next project is going to be awesomer than anything that ever came before, and then it really doesn’t deliver. Case in point: I seem to recall reading about how Vera Bates was going to be this fascinating, complex character. Nothing could have been further from the truth. She was such a cartoon I’m surprised she didn’t start twirling a moustache. With his latest project, Titanic, he kept bragging about how this was going to be soooo much better than anything that came before. Certainly much better than the Cameron film (which, to be fair, is pretty to look at but awful to listen to) or a Night to Remember (which I took umbrage at, because that’s still my favorite Titanic film). Oh, no, these would pale in comparison with his work, which would be the only one to show all the different people on board. First: no it’s not. Not by a long shot. Second: it’s not good. At least, the bits I’ve seen aren’t. The characters are poorly drawn and even more poorly developed, and the storytelling technique—moving back and forth to tell the story from different people’s perspectives—is a bit confusing at times, unnecessarily repetitive, and makes certain characters just seem completely insane.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at it together.

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Titanic Drinking Game

In case you’ve missed the massive amount of pimping out this has received, it’s the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster this weekend.. Nobody’s missing a chance to cash in on this horrible tragedy, and that includes Julian Fellowes. His four-part Titanic-set miniseries, which has been airing in Britain for the past couple of weeks, finally debuts on ABC tonight, and from what I’ve seen, … Continue reading Titanic Drinking Game

Britannic

Hoping for better luck this time, on February 26, 1914 White Star Line launched its third and largest Olympic-class ship: Britannic, sister to the Titanic. Unfortunately for Britannic, a few other things happened in 1914, most notably, the start of World War I. The ship, designed for the transatlantic passenger trade, was instead made into a hospital ship and was sent to the Middle East. … Continue reading Britannic

Titanic: The Miniseries

Some time ago, I reported a rumor that Julian Fellowes was writing a miniseries based on the Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage. Turns out it was more than just a rumor: It’s been written, cast, and started shooting in Hungary. I was once on the fence about this miniseries, but I’m getting excited now. Once upon a time, I was a huge Titanic nerd. I knew … Continue reading Titanic: The Miniseries

Fun Fact!

Did you know that two British actors took multiple trips on the Titanic (and appeared in the ship-named James Cameron film in 1997)? It seems filmmakers can never quite get enough of this particular disaster–there have probably been about a dozen movies about it, starting as early as May 1912, when a 10-minute film starring real life passenger/actress Dorothy Gibson called Saved from the Titanic … Continue reading Fun Fact!

Downton Abbey: Backstairs Bitchery

I must have been insane when I decided to recap this. Yes, of course, it fits perfectly with this site and is a totally obvious choice, but the number of characters alone is slightly mind boggling, and trying to keep all the (similarly dressed) servants in order is likely to drive me slightly batty. Maybe a chart would help. I mentioned in the Gosford Park recap that GP and Downton Abbey have a few things in common, and this is one of them. You know how many times I had to watch GP before I could readily identify everyone? And to be honest, I still can’t remember the actual name of Lady Lavinia Meredith’s maid. I promise, everyone, I’ll try my best, but if I slip up, I do apologize. Please be kind in your comments.

We start with a close up on a wireless being tapped frantically, then move right to a steam train rolling through some beautiful countryside. The camera lingers lovingly on the train that probably cost them a fortune to rent and run for this one little scene, and eventually it comes to rest on a window, where a man with a round face, probably in his early to mid-forties, sits, looking out. The wireless chimes in again, and I was briefly tempted to really outdo myself and try to translate what was being said via the wireless, but admittedly, I don’t have the energy, and it was probably gibberish anyway. We learn what’s being said soon enough.

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