TITANIC: BLOOD & STEEL
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
The idea of a “Titanic” sequel made a lot of people scoff, including myself. When it was first rumored, I suppose it was taken as a joke, especially if it were presented as a theatrical release to cash in on the 1997 award-winner.
I’m not sure if “Titanic: Blood & Steel” is what emerged from those rumors, or if it came of its own volition, but I suppose the miniseries was the way to go for something like this. The ten-hour miniseries is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, on a three-disc set.
Rather than being the subject of the drama, Titanic is the backdrop for a greater story. The majority of the miniseries takes place in Belfast in 1909 while the infamous ship was being built. A young metallurgist with a secret past comes on board to improve the quality of the ship. Meanwhile, there are labor disputes in the streets, with people facing poverty and the oncoming revolution.
The cast is certainly big enough for a miniseries, looking at the upstairs/downstairs nature of society at the time. Along with labor disputes, issues touched on include religious differences and immigration as well. Quite a few familiar faces show up in the mix – including Neve Campbell, Derek Jacobi and Chris Noth.
But make no mistake. The modern visual effects and high definition presentation aside, this is a typical miniseries with a soap opera angle to it. It reminds me of the historical miniseries my parents watched when I was a kid. It’s not grand and sweeping like “Roots” or “The Winds of War.” It falls more in line with “The First Olympics: Athens 1896,” which gave a historical context to the classic games. It’s not going to live on in memory but it will be enjoyable for the casual viewer and Titanic enthusiast.
In this sense, “Titanic: Blood & Steel” drags. That works for the miniseries or soap opera element, but throughout the somewhat titanic 634-minute running time, I just felt things didn’t move forward very well. On home video, it takes a bit too long, and there are meandering elements of the plot that distract from the overall story (if there really is one). still, the lengthy miniseries does deliver plenty of hours for anyone interesting in purchasing the set for long-term watching.
This ten-hour miniseries features only two additional featurettes, which is okay for the amount of content that comes from the length of the show itself. These featurettes include “The Visual Effects of Titanic: Blood & Steel” and “Making of Titanic: Blood & Steel.”