Paramount Home Media Distribution has packaged James Cameron’s “Titanic” in a Limited Collectors Edition with a 4k Blu-ray presentation of the feature film and a 2k Blu-ray containing over 15 hours of bonus content. The 2-disc Collectors Edition and 2-disc standard 4k Blu-ray edition both arrive on December 5, 2023, celebrating 25 years since the film’s debut.
For this long-awaited re-release of “Titanic,” the movie was restored and remastered in 4K with Dolby Vision/HDR10 and Dolby Atmos. The soundtrack is also offered in the original English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track, as well as French in Spanish in Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitles are offered in English, SDH, French, in Spanish.
“Titanic” (1997) is one of those films that rarely appeals to all audiences (what’s referred to as a “four-quadrant” movie) and was Cameron’s highest-earning title until “Avatar” released in 2009. The historically-inspired drama stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as two passengers with different backgrounds who meet and fall in love just before disaster strikes. The movie’s technical aspects, sound design and music, and performances by its cast were praised by critics and fans alike, many of whom have made watching “Titanic” a yearly ritual. The movie was nominated for a total of 14 Academy Awards and won 11 including Best Picture and Best Director. In 2017, the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
“Titanic” 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
This is a gorgeous packaged media edition from Paramount that harkens back to when studios really cared about physical media and the collectibility of the object. Along with the two discs, one 4K Blu-ray (BD-100) and the other a Blu-ray (BD-50), the Collector’s Edition includes a perfect bound hardcover book with photos and details about making the film. It also contains an exclusive ship schematic that was inspired by the actual Titanic blueprint and contains 10 key scenes with movie quotes. There are also collectible reproductions of movie props such as a boarding pass and the note Jack wrote to Rose during dinner in first class (without the folds). In addition, there is sheet music for the song “My Heart Will Go On” recorded by Celine Dion.
The collectible edition is all housed within a plastic slipcover that upon removing reveals a beautiful picture of Jack and Rose on a hard cover case. The slipcover serves as protection for the hard case inside, an allows a place to stick the spec sheet on the back. Inside the case is the White Starline ticket envelope with the movie memorabilia reproductions and the hardcover book that contains two inserts for the discs. Unfortunately, as the spec sheet indicates, there should be a code to redeem Digital Copy. But the insert was missing.
“Titanic” has finally been remastered in 4K, and this edition presents the movie in 2160p at 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio with High Dynamic Range color depth (up to 10-bits) provided via Dolby Vision and HDR10. The film played at variable bitrates averaging in the 40Mbps to 50Mbps range, although some peaks were noticed around 80Mbps.
To say “Titanic” in 4k is an improvement over 2k Blu-ray would be an understatement. There is so much detail revealed in 4k and with the added color depth from HDR that you have to see it to believe it. One example of missed detail is the scene in which Rose is about to jump from the Titanic. Closeups reveal dried tear drops down her cheek, and hair that whisps across her lips. Another scene that gains huge benefits from 4k/HDR is the engine room that has layers upon layers of detail (much of the scene was composed, by the way, but in such high quality it’s hard to notice).
The sunset shots of Jack and Rose render beautifully in HDR and are not overly done with color (just be sure your TV is set to “Cinematic” or “Film” mode rather than “Sports” or “Dynamic” because the color could get out of hand). Grain is perfect. There is no noise reduction or sharpening done to this video image. And, while being digital still maintains its analog feel.
The soundtrack to “Titanic” is offered in a brand new Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel mix as well as in the original English DTS–HD Master Audio 2.0 track. Other languages including French in Spanish are supplied in Dolby Digital 5.1. And, subtitles are offered in English, SDH, French, in Spanish.
The soundtrack to “Titanic” played a huge role in the movie’s success, winning Oscars for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score (James Horner), Best Music, Original Song (James Horner, which ended up being the award-winning pop song “My Heart Will Go On” performed by Celine Dion), Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing, and Best Sound overall.
How does the 4k Blu-ray sound? While “Titanic” still holds a “screen-projected” audio quality, meaning most sound and almost all dialogue projects from the image area, there are noticeable changes to the surround sound beyond what the 5.1 mix did. The Dolby Atmos extends some of the sound from the engine room, so you can hear individual components running. In addition, the Titanic’s propellers dive into side in rear speakers with deep bass resonance.
Low-frequency effects are sparse in the first part of the film, but as the end of the second act nears and the Titanic begins to sink the subwoofers become more active. The sounds of iron bending and water rushing really immerses the viewer in the action, and the breaking of the giant ship at mid-section roars. The Dolby Atmos track is certainly an improvement, but appropriately not a mix to show off your height speakers. Rather, the soundtrack gradually builds up to the climax of the film just as the visuals do.
Over 15 hours of bonus features are included with the Collector’s Editions, loaded on the 2k Blu-ray Disc. New extras include “Stories From the Heart” with Director James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and actress Kate Winslet sharing memories and challenges of making the movie with film clips, photos and behind-the-scenes moments.
Landau also introduces a series of behind-the-scenes segments showcasing the making of “Titanic,” as well as a trailer presentation that gives viewers an insider’s look at how the 4-minute trailer overseen by the filmmakers was delivered to theaters. In addition, new “Fan Poster Art” has been added to the extras.
Legacy bonus materials are also included such as “Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron,” the 4-part “Reflections on Titanic,” deleted scenes, a look at the film’s visual effects, and more.
If you read any of the text above you’ll already know that we highly recommend this 4k Blu-ray for your library. As far as movie production, box office revenue, and reception over the last 25 years the movie is just as the movie’s title implies, “Titanic.” The physical media releases reflect the massive success of the movie, even more so the Collection’s Edition which you’ll no doubt cherish in your library for years. Owning the movie on 4k Blu-ray, in either edition, is the best way to experience James Cameron’s masterpiece of moviemaking at home.