'Titanic' is back in theaters for a limited time. You couldn't pay me to see it again

“Titanic” is coming back to the big screen which, if you must watch, is the best place to see it. In 3D, no less.

Big ship, big iceberg, big collision, big movie, all that.

But why would you want to see it at all? For one thing, you probably have, and likely more than once. “Titanic” was the first movie to gross more than $1 billion at the box office, it won 11 Oscars and it is still the third-highest grossing movie of all time worldwide.

Its director, James Cameron, also has the No. 1 film worldwide with “Avatar” and No. 4 with “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

The glass-half-full view of this would be to think of “Titanic” as only the second most-overrated film Cameron has made. But I don’t know — at least we realize a lot that’s going on in “Avatar” is fake on purpose.

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Cameron is a great director, but 'Titanic' is filmmaking as sledgehammer

The return to the big screen is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Titanic.” Or maybe Cameron needs a new submarine or something. Whatever the case, it’s back for a limited time, and scads of people will doubtless file into theaters to see it. Again.

What they will see is a simplistic love story that struggles to be a stand-in for a statement on class warfare. Rich equals bad, poor equals good. The social hierarchy part of the film is not presented in black and white. It’s presented in crayons.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack and Kate Winslet is Rose in an iconic moment from "Titanic."
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack and Kate Winslet is Rose in an iconic moment from "Titanic."

Clearly I am in the minority here. Cameron is a skilled, if heavy-handed, filmmaker. “Titanic” is a great example of this. It’s filmmaking as blunt instrument, hitting you over the head with everything.

I love some of Cameron’s movies — “The Terminator,” “Aliens,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “True Lies” — but “Titanic” just isn’t one of them. I rewatched it recently to make sure I wasn’t holding some undue grudge.

I was not.

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If nothing else, 'Titanic' made superstars of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet

As a disaster movie, sure, it works OK — “Towering Inferno” on the high seas. And it unquestionably made superstars out of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Deservedly so, considering what they did with the dialog and story here.

At one point DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson, a street-urchin artist with a heart of gold and the wisdom of Solomon, is handcuffed to a pipe as the ocean begins to swallow the ship, something he can see as he looks out the porthole window. His response?

“This could be bad.”

You think?

Earlier, when he is playing poker for a chance to make the voyage, he says, “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” Forget crawling inside a dead bear or whatever in “The Revenant.” Give DiCaprio all the Oscars for making this dreck almost work.

Winslet, meanwhile, makes what she can out of the role of Rose, the spoiled woman who is oblivious to the plight of others (even as she and her scheming mother plan for her to marry rich because the family money has run dry), but who will be shown the way by Jack.

“I’ll never let go, Jack” she says, while literally letting go of his hands near the end of the film, as he sinks to the bottom of the sea, frozen like a Creamsicle.

Oh, spoiler alert, 25 years later (or nearly 110 years later, actually): The ship sinks. Sorry.

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But 'Titanic' did Billy Zane dirty

If you really want to laugh, though, just spend a few minutes with Billy Zane. He’s a good actor saddled with the role of Cal Hockley, a rich schmuck whose various sins include, but are not limited to, using an abandoned baby to try to secure a spot on a lifeboat (women and children first) and, once ensconced on said lifeboat, uses an oar to whack at desperate passengers trapped in freezing waters to keep them away.

Nice guy. All he lacks is a mustache to twirl.

Zane is called upon to say a lot of stupid things. But my favorite is when he and Rose are talking about the art collection they’ve brought along for the journey. She is particularly taken by Monet and by an artist named Picasso.

“Something Picasso,” Cal sneers. “He won’t amount to a thing. Trust me.”

We actually understood Cal to be a philistine already. But Cameron, who wrote and directed the movie, just can’t help himself. He does not trust the audience to pick up on anything that he has not personally led them to.

The last hour of 'Titanic' is a full-on disaster movie

Credit where it’s due. The last hour or so of the film, as desperate crew and passengers seek safety, and which checks in at a whopping 3 hours and 14 minutes, is first-rate disaster movie filmmaking.

It’s also another movie, so much so that when we see Jack and Rose again, it’s like, oh yeah, them.

Look, I get it. “Titanic” means a lot to a lot of people. If you want to see it again, by all means, enjoy. And if I’m being too harsh, it’s just a matter of it being so overrated. Mostly. It’s also just not all that great.

Although it is better than its Oscar-winning song, the loathsome “My Heart Will Go On,” bludgeoned by Celine Dion. I hate that song.

But that’s another story.

How to see 'Titanic' in 3D in theaters

"Titanic" is in theaters starting Feb. 10 for one week only, though some theaters are offering early Feb. 9 screenings. Harkins, AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark will show "Titanic" in metro Phoenix. Check theater websites for details.

Reach Goodykoontz at bill.goodykoontz@arizonarepublic.com. Facebook: facebook.com/GoodyOnFilm. Twitter: @goodyk.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: 'Titanic' in 3D is returning to the big screen. Here's why I'll pass