'Titanic' in 3-D worth the trip

Leonardo DiCaprio, in character as Jack, holds Kate

Leonardo DiCaprio, in character as Jack, holds Kate Winslet, as Rose, as the ship sinks in the epic drama "Titanic." (Credit: AP)

Nearly 15 years after Kate and Leo went down with the Titanic, and almost 100 years after the real-life ship sank in the North Atlantic, fans around the country gathered Tuesday night for a sneak preview of the 3-D version of James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster, "Titanic."

Tickets came with gold-colored "Titanic" 3-D glasses and a limited-edition lithograph. The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as Jack and Rose, passengers who fall in love across the class divide, opens officially Wednesday.

Painstakingly converted to 3-D over 60 weeks at a cost of roughly $18 million, "Titanic" is sure to stack up favorably against the hasty conversions studios have rushed into theaters in recent years. The effects in "Titanic" are seamless during detailed scenes of the massive boat's disintegration and during quieter sequences involving large crowds and ornate interior sets. But Cameron also reins in the 3-D, leaving many intimate scenes imperceptibly altered if at all.

Though "Titanic" became the top-grossing movie in history -- a record broken only by "Avatar" in 2010 -- the 3-D version may not generate the same excitement. Tuesday night's screening at the Regal E-Walk in Times Square looked to be only about two-thirds full.

But it wasn't hard to find sniffling viewers. "For me, it was a huge difference," said Joanna Finkle, 28, of Washington Heights, who praised the 3-D effects. "When the boat goes underwater, I felt like, 'Oh, I'm on the deck.' I thought it was really effective."

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