James Cameron, the writer and director of Titanic
, and Bill Paxton, the co-star of that film, accompany an expedition of scientists and historians to the great ship’s watery grave with IMAX 3-D cameras strapped to their submersible craft. Titanic
may be a soggy soap opera, but without its success, this film couldn’t have happened, and this one’s worth it. Cameron’s video drones cruise the depths of the ship, recording sights unseen by human eyes for 91 years, superimposing re-enacted scenes from the voyage and sinking, and juxtaposing photos (many of Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic) that have been digitally altered to make them 3-D. In the process, he brings the ship to haunting life and makes us see it as a tomb, as hallowed ground, and in such a vivid form that we feel, in more ways than one, as if we could reach out and touch it.