- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: N0t Rated
- Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray )
- Run Time: 187 Mins.
- Studio: Entertainment One
- Blu-ray Release Date: April 24, 2012
- List Price: $34.98
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Emblazoned on the cover of Titanic is the proclamation, “from the acclaimed writer of Downton Abbey.” Not surprisingly, then, this four-part mini-series that professes to be about that fateful journey across the North Atlantic is no more than a melodramatic television drama, the likes of which you might come across on Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel. Focused mainly on the class distinctions of the early-Twentieth Century that play out aboard the lavish luxury liner, Titanic hones in on the personal lives of a few passengers from each “class,” first class, second class, and steerage, as well as the servants, each heading towards America for different reasons. Some are simply returning home after travel abroad, some are traveling to America for a visit, while some are going to escape the inability to move ahead in Europe, instead preferring to seek the American dream. Love, scandals, and romances abound while the ship hurtles towards its ultimate doom. Each episode replays this tragedy, before restarting from a different perspective in the next episode until ending in the finale with what we all know to be the end result.
The Titanic mini-series was shot on the Arri Alexa cinematographic HD camera and arrives in a solid 1080p/24 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from Entertainment One. It has a rather clean looking image overall. Like a lot of television shows shot in HD, the look isn’t quite cinematic. The detail is strong, but not very textured and lighting lacks a bit of nuance. Blacks are deep but are prone to some slight crush. Flesh tones look natural and contrast is good.
Audio is offered in lossless English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) and lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1. The lossless 5.1 mix is very straightforward and very much a typical, television drama mix. The surrounds are quite subtly used for mild, low-level atmospherics and the rest of the sound is strictly from the front three channels with dialogue dead-on in the center. Dynamic range doesn’t expand much, except during the obvious iceberg scenes, but, even then, it is mildly expanded at best with a little weight in the LFE.
The bulk of extras reside on the second supplemental Blu-ray Disc, which includes an excellent documentary on the three ships in the Titanic line that all sank.
- Episode 1 Audio Commentary with Julian Fellowes, Nigel Stafford-Clark and Jon Jones
- Trailer (1.78:1; SD)
- Making-of Featurettes:
- Production Team
- The Script
- The Tank & The Set
- The Costumes
- The Cast
- Titanic: Behind the Production (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:30:37)
- The Curse of the Titanic Sisters Documentary (1.78:1; SD; 00:47:33) – A documentary on the entire line of cruise ships, the design of which the Titanic was based on, and all of which sank, mainly the Titanic and Britanic.
- Photo Gallery (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:44)
- Time Lapse Set Build (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:00:52)
- Character Profiles (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:57)
The Definitive Word
More melodrama than docudrama, this mini-series, Titanic, suffers dearly from a lack of genuine emotion and is plagued with cliché. I daresay that even James Cameron’s cinematic blockbuster might be more enjoyable, though neither reaches the level of the classic A Night to Remember. Never fear, though, this set isn’t a total loss. The 45-minute documentary that resides on the second disc is actually rather interesting, although I don’t know that this standard definition extra is worth the price of entry for the entire set.
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