Titanic Revealed
Wellspring // Unrated // $19.98 // February 15, 2005
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted July 3, 2005
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Graphical Version
The movie

Pretty much everything makes its way onto DVD nowadays, and that includes short television documentaries like Titanic Revealed. Originally shown on the National Geographic Channel, Titanic Revealed has enough of a hook in its subject matter to be of casual interest to a decent number of viewers, but it's not in-depth or content-rich enough to satisfy more than a mild sense of curiosity.

Titanic Revealed is not so much a program about the wreck of the Titanic itself, but a film focusing on certain aspects of its discovery and conservation. The program focuses on Dr. Robert Ballard, who discovered the site of the wreck in 1986. There's some attempt at drama here, as the documentary dwells on the "top secret" nature of Ballard's original mission, during which he discovered clues that would later lead him to the Titanic, but there's nothing really outstanding in this thread of the documentary.

The more interesting aspect of Titanic Revealed is its look at the current condition of the wreck. According to Ballard, "sea tourists" and salvagers have damaged the structure of the Titanic considerably. His 2004 trip to the site serves in part to document the damage that has occurred over the past twenty years, as well as to create a detailed photographic record of the entire ship.

At only 50 minutes in length, Titanic Revealed doesn't have a lot of time to get into details on any aspect of the subject. It does a reasonably good job of pointing out different perspectives on preserving the Titanic: should it be left untouched as a memorial, or should it be salvaged as much as possible for people to see in museums around the world?

Overall, Titanic Revealed is quite light-weight; its fairly tight focus on one aspect of the Titanic makes it less interesting for viewers who are looking for a more complete documentary on the ship, while its somewhat sensationalistic angle and lack of real depth puts it out of serious contention for viewers who are already familiar with the Titanic's history.

The DVD

Video

Titanic Revealed is presented in a nice anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85:1), even though the back cover doesn't mention anything about this. The image is soft, but clean and bright, and overall the appearance is quite attractive.

Audio

The Dolby 2.0 soundtrack conveys the various participants' voices clearly and cleanly.

Extras

The special features don't add a whole lot to the program. An 11-minute underwater montage provides additional "never before seen" footage of the Titanic, and there's also a photo gallery.

Final thoughts

Titanic Revealed is an adequate short documentary on one aspect of the sunken Titanic; it's a bit on the sensationalistic side at times, and doesn't have a whole lot of depth to it, but it does bring up a few interesting thoughts. I'd suggest it as a rental for viewers who are very interested in the Titanic.



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