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Well, now...

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No, it's not The Phantom Menace. It's James Cameron's Titanic.

Why is James Cameron bringing Titanic back to theaters? I mean, sure, there's the whole 3-D thing. And the 100th anniversary of the sinking, I suppose. But the story has had its moment. What makes Cameron think there's still an audience? My guess: the "Draw me like one of your French girls" meme:

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If you can get the ADHD Facebook Armies of today to reference a film you made in 1997 (that's three centuries ago in Internet years), you've got some serious staying power. But what remains to be seen is if something so earnest can regain its emotional clout once it's been made into a joke.

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Still, until he stumbles, Cameron is very much the HMFIC, so here it comes:

Let's start with the opening shot, which tells us why Cameron made Titanic in the first place:

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The man likes underwater stuff. I mean, Avatar made that clear. But before Avatar, there was Aliens of the Deep and Ghosts of the Abyss. And before that, there was simply The Abyss. Journey with me now back to 1990, and let's listen in...

"Dammit, James, no more underwater movies! The Abyss cost what, $70 million? And pulled in $54 million domestic? We can't afford another flop like that!"

"But this is the wreck of the Titanic! The biggest ocean disaster ever! It's perfect!"

"James, this picture is going to be the biggest ocean disaster ever. Robot subs poking around a sunken ship looking for fancy china? At least throw in some treasure or something."

"Okay, fine. How about a great big jewel?"

"Good, but let's gussy it up. Let's make it part of a necklace or something. And hey, while we're at it, why don't we put in a girl who can wear the thing?

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And maybe a boy who can romance her?

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Hey, wasn't there a whole bunch of class tension on the ship? Wrong side of the tracks! The story writes itself!"

"Good, because I'm only interested in the big boat going down."

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The rest is history. Or at least a romantic approximation thereof.

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