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No brains
2011-09-27, 04:36 AM
WARNING: some inappropriate language.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Fpj-tmRiE
This is not the trailer, but 00:18 captured my initial thoughts perfectly.

Before I fly off on a crowbar-wielding Metrocop rampage, some thoughts-

The Good: Possibly the story of the Norwegian team from the original.

The Bad: Totally unnecessary in every way.

The Ugly: The CGI effects. Not the monster, but the quality of the non-Stan-Winston-puppet effects.

What does everyone else thingk? Tell me when I get back from the studio, k?:smallsmile:

:furious::furious::furious::furious::furious: Neodammerung 4:11 :furious::furious::furious::furious::furious:

The Succubus
2011-09-27, 04:39 AM
Wow, what a bold and imaginative story! No-one's ever done a...how you say....*remake* of a film before.These are truly creative and inventive times we live in!

Lurkmoar
2011-09-27, 04:45 AM
CGI Thing? Pass. CGI is making Hollywood lazy as hell. I'm waiting for the first CGI zombie flick.

But seriously, there's no reason to remake it. Didn't anyone in Hollywood learn their lesson with Psycho? I'm struggling to think of a good remake... I think I've seen one, but I'm not sure.

No brains
2011-09-27, 04:45 AM
Wow, what a bold and imaginative story! No-one's ever done a...how you say....*remake* of a film before.These are truly creative and inventive times we live in!

To be as Frank as a throwing axe jammed in a Roman forehead, Carpenter theoretically did a remake of an earlier movie which took the original story and sprayed some foul alien juice all over it. If "Who Goes There?" needed a concrete example of its monster, it was already done perfectly.

The Succubus
2011-09-27, 04:50 AM
CGI Thing? Pass. CGI is making Hollywood lazy as hell. I'm waiting for the first CGI zombie flick.

But seriously, there's no reason to remake it. Didn't anyone in Hollywood learn their lesson with Psycho? I'm struggling to think of a good remake... I think I've seen one, but I'm not sure.

Evil Dead 2 was technically a remake rather than a direct sequel to the first. It was freaking awesome. The Batman "reboot" has been going pretty well as well so far, although I now need to shove my mouth in an autoclave for using that word.

Phishfood
2011-09-27, 07:42 AM
CGI Thing? Pass. CGI is making Hollywood lazy as hell. I'm waiting for the first CGI zombie flick.

But seriously, there's no reason to remake it. Didn't anyone in Hollywood learn their lesson with Psycho? I'm struggling to think of a good remake... I think I've seen one, but I'm not sure.

Eh, spiderman 1, batman begins.

Walking dead.

But definately not one that needs to be remade, it was perfect as it was leave it alone. I have no interest in seeing this at all.

H Birchgrove
2011-09-27, 07:53 AM
One funny thing is that the original short story had a positive message about humans cooperating.
Which the Carpenter film didn't (which still was a great film in it's own right, with the ambience etc), and which the prequel highly likely won't have.

Which reminds me how the various adaptations of The Body Snatchers changed the ending (from the original novel, in which the invaders left Earth realising that human resistance would be too strong)... Well, I suppose it's a change from how Hollywood usually gives dark stories happy endings?

hamlet
2011-09-27, 09:55 AM
A movie I'll certainly end up seeing in theaters, but I live in dread of running gun battles, gun time, and massive CGI effects in place of good story telling, good direction, and good script.

It's Lucas Syndrome - the belief that awesome special effects and lots of action will distract the audience long enough so that they don't notice how trully terrible the movie really is.

hamlet
2011-09-27, 10:27 AM
DP. Sorry.

McStabbington
2011-09-27, 12:03 PM
David Foster Wallace already dubbed it the Inverse Cost and Quality Law (http://www.badgerinternet.com/~bobkat/waterstone.html) (ICQL): the larger the movie's FX budget, the crappier the movie will be.

As a side note, this is not a remake; it's a prequel. At the very beginning of Carpenter's The Thing, the American camp is attacked (more or less) by Norwegians. This is the story of that Norwegian team. As far as movie ideas go, it's actually not a bad one at all. Whether or not it will be anywhere near as effective as Carpenter's film remains to be seen, but given that they seem to be doing substantially less hide-the-ball work than Carpenter's film, signs are that the execution will not be anywhere near as good.

Dr.Epic
2011-09-27, 03:03 PM
CGI Thing? Pass. CGI is making Hollywood lazy as hell. I'm waiting for the first CGI zombie flick.

And I'm hoping that Pixar makes it.:smallwink:

irenicObserver
2011-09-27, 05:13 PM
Yeah, there's a lot of remakes going around. There are far too many going around, all in 3D. I would rather watch a throwback than a remake. But, hearing that it won't be a direct remake makes me feel a lot better.

and yes, Pixar making a zombie flick would be so many kinds of awesome.

Dr.Epic
2011-09-27, 05:23 PM
and yes, Pixar making a zombie flick would be so many kinds of awesome.

They could call it "Zomb-Bees". Wait, that sounds more the type of things Dreamworks would make.

Also, weren't the vampires zombies infected whatever from I am Legend CGI or at least motion captured?

Tiki Snakes
2011-09-27, 09:13 PM
Also, weren't the vampires zombies infected whatever from I am Legend CGI or at least motion captured?

Um. Unless they are using motion capture data for Ray Harryhausen stop-motion puppets, that would still be CGI, wouldn't it?

No brains
2011-09-28, 05:00 PM
Another thing to hate about a CGI Thing is that it takes an exsanguinating dysentery dump all over the legacy of the first. The Thing was considered a turning point in makeup and puppetry effects- the beginning of the age of 'real' monsters.

IF the prequel was being made to show off how CGI has finally reached the point where the monsters created through this process had become totally believable, it would actually be a pretty clever call back to the first movie. However, from the commercials I've seen, CGI is still in there era of having everything look like the aforementioned dump.

FunnyMattress
2011-09-28, 06:30 PM
No. Just, no.

What warranted this? What? What pure-nightmare, drug-fueled corporate meeting spawned this remake? There is no Kurt Russell.

I DEMAND R.J. MACCREADY.

shadow_archmagi
2011-09-28, 06:59 PM
Of course, the difficulty is that we already know that the norwegian team is alive at the end of the movie, and that the monster is a dog at the end, and that they're all going to die a stupid, pointless death because of a language barrier.

No brains
2011-09-28, 07:18 PM
Of course, the difficulty is that we already know that the norwegian team is alive at the end of the movie, and that the monster is a dog at the end, and that they're all going to die a stupid, pointless death because of a language barrier.

And a slashing suicide. And two people burn. And one guy fumbles a grenade. And a Thingn'.

Those other four people are going to have to keep this movie running all by themselves.

Lurkmoar
2011-09-28, 07:27 PM
Just watched the trailer. The creature didn't seem to have any... weight. I'm not judging the film before I see it, but still. The effects from the 1982 version still give me the creeps. When I saw it as a teen, the Thing terrified me, and when a friend of mine pointed out that the thing could still be alive at the end... brr.

Winter_Wolf
2011-09-29, 09:44 PM
I'm looking forward to this movie. As for knowing how it ends, well I haven't seen Carpenter's The Thing in a few months, sometimes have spotty memory, and just because I know how something has to end doesn't necessarily kill my enjoyment of it. Even when it's supposed to be suspense/horror/whatever genre this one falls into. But it's probably a matinee movie instead of a full priced one, and only in 2D. Hate, hate, hate 3D movies.

No brains
2011-09-29, 09:49 PM
*snip* and only in 2D. Hate, hate, hate 3D movies.

Hmph. Touche. :smallannoyed:

Puppets are still better than polygons. Nyaaaa!:smallyuk:

Ravens_cry
2011-09-29, 10:18 PM
CGI allows us to show creatures like never before. For certain kinds of films, this works, like films about superheroes.
Unfortunately, a lot of effective horror is had by not showing the creature.
The Carpenter film has already told this story, very, very well, so I frankly don't see what modern cinema wizardry would add to that.

MunsterJujus
2011-09-29, 10:30 PM
If my information ring is up to snuff, the movie is a prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing.
So thats one thing they get "right" even if it is a completely unnecessary movie that will be tarnish the name of the original.

Also, my 2 cents, CGI never has and probably never will instill the the amount of horror in me that Walton's puppets do.

No brains
2011-09-29, 10:38 PM
CGI allows us to show creatures like never before. For certain kinds of films, this works, like films about superheroes.
Unfortunately, a lot of effective horror is had by not showing the creature.
The Carpenter film has already told this story, very, very well, so I frankly don't see what modern cinema wizardry would add to that.

The one possible way CGI could improve upon The Thing is to have a creature continuously being mutated and mutilated in real time.

Suppose we had a gib-fest where someone was shredding the monster with an M60. CGI could have the monster's limbs growing, severing, and retreating or re-assimilating in a single cut.

The psychedelic gore rainbow that would ensue would certainly distract the audience from the fact the creature really wasn't there, and it would play into one of the strengths CGI has over puppetry: you won't spend six months to get a monster to look exactly one way before sacrificing your work to the drama.

Ravens_cry
2011-09-30, 03:03 PM
Yes, a "gib-fest", which is all too often a very different thing than actual horror. Oh sure, it can have some of the trappings of horror, but it isn't the same thing at all. You can have tension and fear with very little open violence at all. Look at several Alfred Hitchcock films. Not much violence in the sense of gore, yet still emotionally tense and gripping.

No brains
2011-09-30, 04:04 PM
Carnage and horror can actually meet in a military scenario.

Remember in Aliens when Gorman realizes he's dropped the ball and his men are getting slaughtered? That was a little 'horrific' to me. It comes from the same slowly dawning sense that you are powerless (all the more frightening when power is your specialty) to stop the inevitable.

But again, that's not what The Thing is about. Sure the Antarctic team just happened to have three flamethrowers (wut?), but their fear was from being confined with someone who may be an invisible threat. The chain of command and practice sleeping in shifts (not to mention a logical ration of flamethrowers) would make the threat from The Thing much easier to deal with.

Kindablue
2011-09-30, 06:12 PM
CGI allows us to show creatures like never before. For certain kinds of films, this works, like films about superheroes.
Unfortunately, a lot of effective horror is had by not showing the creature.
The Carpenter film has already told this story, very, very well, so I frankly don't see what modern cinema wizardry would add to that.

Not saying I even disagree with you, but you could change two words in that statement, send it back to 1981, and use it to attack the upcoming John Carpenter remake of the Howard Hawks movie. Really, what's the difference between CGI and physical effects? What Carpenter did was certainly modern cinema wizardry at the time, and he showed the monster a lot more than Hawks did.

No brains
2011-09-30, 08:41 PM
Not saying I even disagree with you, but you could change two words in that statement, send it back to 1981, and use it to attack the upcoming John Carpenter remake of the Howard Hawks movie. Really, what's the difference between CGI and physical effects? What Carpenter did was certainly modern cinema wizardry at the time, and he showed the monster a lot more than Hawks did.

:smallannoyed:Except that Howard Hawks made a film about a carrot man that fed blood to tubers and only impersonated a cowboy actor. That movie was similar to "Who Goes There?" until they open the ship. Carpenter actually bothered to follow through with most of the original material past the first act.

:smallcool:The difference between CGI and physical effects is physical effects are actually there. The actors react to them more naturally. Also, smearing makeup snot on a plastic puppet can much more perfectly imitate a bloody, gooey monster than all of the refinement of programming that has gone into CGI for as long as it has been around. Even some of the best CGI effects can still be discerned as such. Animatronics at in that time could wonderfully imitate human's perception of life, and when that life is a twisted sack of flesh, it could very well be that life no one has perceived before.

:smallamused:Also worth noting is that Carpenter showed 'the monster' in almost every scene with actors, because once again his monster was actually a shape-shifter!

Dr.Epic
2011-09-30, 08:49 PM
People, let's remember the important thing here:

At least they're not remaking Citizen Kane starring Shia LaBeouf.:smalleek:

No brains
2011-09-30, 08:59 PM
If they did that and they were terrorized by shape-shifting alien played by a puppet, it would be better than if they did it with a shape-shifting alien played by pixels, but worse than if they did it at all even if everyone were played by a puppet being terrorized by the crappiness of a shape-shifter played by pixels.

Kindablue
2011-09-30, 09:19 PM
:smallannoyed:Except that Howard Hawks made a film about a carrot man that fed blood to tubers and only impersonated a cowboy actor. That movie was similar to "Who Goes There?" until they open the ship. Carpenter actually bothered to follow through with most of the original material past the first act.
Why do adaptions have to be faithful? That just seems so arbitrary to me. If it's a good movie, it's a good movie, and nothing else matters.* I like the Hawks film, and I don't see a point in arguing taste, but come on. It was an awesome carrot man. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsADtGpAsXY) :smalltongue:



:smallcool:The difference between CGI and physical effects is physical effects are actually there. The actors react to them more naturally. Also, smearing makeup snot on a plastic puppet can much more perfectly imitate a bloody, gooey monster than all of the refinement of programming that has gone into CGI for as long as it has been around. Even some of the best CGI effects can still be discerned as such. Animatronics at in that time could wonderfully imitate human's perception of life, and when that life is a twisted sack of flesh, it could very well be that life no one has perceived before.
I have to disagree with you. I saw The Thing when I was 9 or 10 and it was very obvious to me (a child who knew nothing about how movies were made) that they were using puppets. It was not life like to me; but that didn't matter to me, because it was badass. And I've seen plenty of CGI movies that I've had the same reaction to (District 9, Sin City, the Hellboy films, even Avatar), and maybe this one could be the same. I don't know--I haven't even seen the trailer, and I have no interest in watching this film because there won't be any giant, blind penguins in it.

And again, I'd say that the only thing that matters is what ends up on screen. The process is inconsequential to the viewer, so it doesn't matter if the actors physically interacted with the monster as long as their performances made you believe they did.

*I've also never read the book, and I know almost nothing about it. Is it just an At the Mountains of Madness ripoff or is it worth a checking out? I stand by that point, though, and I can name tons of film adaptions I liked that ignored source material I was familiar with.

McStabbington
2011-09-30, 09:38 PM
If they did that and they were terrorized by shape-shifting alien played by a puppet, it would be better than if they did it with a shape-shifting alien played by pixels, but worse than if they did it at all even if everyone were played by a puppet being terrorized by the crappiness of a shape-shifter played by pixels.

I get your love for The Thing. One of my most cherished memories is watching the Hawks version with my father when I was about five, I've got the Hawks' version on DVD, and I can quote the entire Carpenter version from memory. But throttle back on the nerd rage at least until we get a good idea of how good this movie is going to be. As far as stories go that are faithful to the original, this is about as faithful a concept as Hollywood can make it, and I've actually heard the exact same idea pitched as a "really cool concept" on other fan sites long before the movie actually went into production.

I realize that passion about certain obscure things is what makes geeks geeks, but I really think geeks as a group need to get over the "Don't Touch My Toys" syndrome. When Hollywood comes across an idea that is potentially profitable, it's going to get used. Rather than bemoaning the inevitable, maybe we should direct our energy into ensuring that those ideas are used well rather than poorly, that the good adaptation should not be seen as the enemy of the perfect, and that we're willing to withhold our collective fire on a project until we see that it's a bad implementation of a good geek idea.

No brains
2011-09-30, 09:43 PM
I like the Hawks film, and I don't see a point in arguing taste, but come on. It was an awesome carrot man. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsADtGpAsXY) :smalltongue:

The point of arguing taste is that dog tastes better than carrots. :smalltongue:/:smallyuk:

The hunter has become the hunted!

:smallwink:Seriously though, I get your point. I tend to be obnoxiously obstinate in demanding that one honors their creative sources, but the source is already something to enjoy itself and artists should be free to build their own ideas with a modicum of inspiration.

I can't recall off hand (the citation kiss of death in internet discussion), but I remember seeing some puppets that proved the uncanny valley was "low enough to keep me from you, babe!" I'll provide links if I can find them again.

As for "Who Goes There?", it's a very solid work on its own and I suggest checking it out. :smallbiggrin:

Winter_Wolf
2011-09-30, 10:36 PM
Hmph. Touche. :smallannoyed:

Puppets are still better than polygons. Nyaaaa!:smallyuk:

Er, what? :smallconfused: Touche to what, exactly? I prefer props to CGI. My main gripes with 3D movies are that I wear glasses, so the 3D glasses don't fit right; 3D movies give me massive headaches; and they cost more than a 2D movie for no benefit but rather detriment to me.

No brains
2011-09-30, 10:43 PM
Er, what? :smallconfused: Touche to what, exactly? I prefer props to CGI. My main gripes with 3D movies are that I wear glasses, so the 3D glasses don't fit right; 3D movies give me massive headaches; and they cost more than a 2D movie for no benefit but rather detriment to me.

I'm sorry that joke didn't quite click.:smallfrown: I too am glad it's not "IN Dee-De-Dee!!!", I just wanted to seem like I was upset I couldn't continue griping.:smalltongue:

Comrade
2011-09-30, 11:28 PM
I recall watching the 1982 The Thing when I was....a bit too young to watch such films >_> Still no idea how I managed, at that age, to watch it. But it scared the ever-loving **** out of me.

No brains
2011-10-02, 09:32 PM
So tonight I got to see the Hawkes version. I don't see why the film is a national treasure.

Some parts of the film were pretty clever. The door ambush was worth a jump and I enjoyed the arc pun at the end. The outward opening door barricaded from the inside was hilarious.

I didn't like the characters. They were all too cliche for the time, and none too likable. I particularly disliked the lead, who swung his military clout around when it benefited him, but ultimately chickened out of his orders in the end. Not only do these cardboard cutouts make bad characters, they also seem to dumb down the 'imposter' dynamic of the original story in favor of post-war glory ranting.

The monster was probably the best character. He was played well, but if it had wall-shredding claws and was bullet-resistant, why did he need a 4x4 to confront the humans at the end?

comicshorse
2011-10-02, 09:40 PM
*I've also never read the book, and I know almost nothing about it. Is it just an At the Mountains of Madness ripoff or is it worth a checking out? I stand by that point, though, and I can name tons of film adaptions I liked that ignored source material I was familiar with.

Its based on a short story 'Who Goes There' which was written in the 50's and really shows it. None of the characters seemed more than cardboard cut-outs and it didn't have any really interesting ideas ( at least from a 21th Century perspective). I really wouldn't recommend it

H Birchgrove
2011-10-03, 05:54 AM
Its based on a short story 'Who Goes There' which was written in the 50's and really shows it. None of the characters seemed more than cardboard cut-outs and it didn't have any really interesting ideas ( at least from a 21th Century perspective). I really wouldn't recommend it

1938, actually. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Goes_There%3F)

I strongly recommend reading it, and it can be found in A New Dawn. The Complete Don A. Stuart Stories by John W. Campbell Jr published by NESFA Press. He's more famous as an editor of Astounding Science-Fiction (later Analog Science Fiction and Fact), who influenced and helped authors like Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein and A.E. van Vogt. (Later, authors like Poul Anderson and the ever popular Frank Herbert were published in his magazine.) He's almost as responsible as Isaac Asimov for creating the Robotic Laws, and he probably had a say or influence in the creation of the antagonist "Mule" in The Foundation stories, who without the The Foundation series would have ended due to lack of ideas.

Yora
2011-10-03, 06:11 AM
Of course, the difficulty is that we already know that the norwegian team is alive at the end of the movie, and that the monster is a dog at the end, and that they're all going to die a stupid, pointless death because of a language barrier.

I don't think that's too much of a problem, since we already know that every horror movie can only end with 0 to 1 survivors and the monster isn't really dead, and I actually like the idea of making a movie about the norwegians discovering the thing in the ice.

The problem is, that this is not the early 80s anymore. I think 30 years later, you won't find any norwegian who graduated school who does not speak english reasonably well. And with scientists it just would seem rediculous. And I have my doubts that they will try to make a modern movie that is set in 1982. Just think of the chess computer. :smallbiggrin:

However, the language barrier isn't actually a critical point for the plot. Garry hears explosions and gunfire, looks out a window and sees a stranger shot one of his men, so he kills him. Even if the norwegian did speak english, Garry would still have shot him before he could explain anything.

I recall watching the 1982 The Thing when I was....a bit too young to watch such films >_> Still no idea how I managed, at that age, to watch it. But it scared the ever-loving **** out of me.
The movie is still **** crazy if you look it now and have seen it three times before. It just is that good. :smallbiggrin:

I've seen The Thing From Another World a few years ago, and I liked it. Yes, the acting is quite bad, but just as bad as it was in all movies in the 50s. I guess they were just doing stage acting on screen and had not figured out that it doesn't work so well.
But aside from that, I think the film has really a lot of good ideas.

Killer Angel
2011-10-05, 02:25 AM
As a side note, this is not a remake; it's a prequel. At the very beginning of Carpenter's The Thing, the American camp is attacked (more or less) by Norwegians. This is the story of that Norwegian team. As far as movie ideas go, it's actually not a bad one at all.

Yep, this is the only thing vaguely interesting. But, judgin' from the trailer, I see some scenes alarmingly similar to ones in Carpenter's.


Of course, the difficulty is that we already know that the norwegian team is alive at the end of the movie, and that the monster is a dog at the end, and that they're all going to die a stupid, pointless death because of a language barrier.

Not only this: i cannot guess how you can show a different story. If you change only the team, but the story is the same, with the same feeling of "we cannot trust each other", it's kinda unimaginative.

Amiel
2011-10-05, 02:33 AM
Well, you know how Hollywood is: they can't be overly creative, or else the general public will think something is up, so they endlessly churn out remakes. And profit handsomely.

This remake could be either be great or fail horribly; it might actually be scary.

hamlet
2011-10-05, 07:18 AM
This remake could be either be great or fail horribly; it might actually be scary.

I honestly doubt it. Judging by the previews I've seen, it appears that they've completely lost sight of what made the original (both originals actually) scary. It isn't the creature effects, though they were remarkable in Carpenter's version, it's the good acting, the mounting tension, the ambiguity, etc.

I prophesize that this movie will be full of ultra-violence, running gun battles, and will most likely include at least one "adult scene" to appeal to the wholly peurile demographic.

Carpenter's The Thing was visceral and surprisingly cerebral. This appears to have dropped the second half of that combination.

Of course, I might be wrong, but I highly doubt it.

No brains
2011-10-05, 06:04 PM
I honestly doubt it. Judging by the previews I've seen, it appears that they've completely lost sight of what made the original (both originals actually) scary. It isn't the creature effects, though they were remarkable in Carpenter's version, it's the good acting, the mounting tension, the ambiguity, etc.

I prophesize that this movie will be full of ultra-violence, running gun battles, and will most likely include at least one "adult scene" to appeal to the wholly peurile demographic.

Carpenter's The Thing was visceral and surprisingly cerebral. This appears to have dropped the second half of that combination.

Of course, I might be wrong, but I highly doubt it.

You ninja'd my brain right there. When I go to see it I'll take a list and see how many points you hit.

Bhu
2011-10-06, 01:28 AM
*I've also never read the book, and I know almost nothing about it. Is it just an At the Mountains of Madness ripoff or is it worth a checking out? I stand by that point, though, and I can name tons of film adaptions I liked that ignored source material I was familiar with.

http://www.outpost31.com/books/who.txt

you can read it here

hamlet
2011-10-06, 08:02 AM
The book is actually quite good, in its way. It's not a ripoff of Mountains of Madness since it was pretty much contemporary with it. About two years apart. Its possible, but honestly less likely. Just because they both happen to be set in Antarctica doesn't make one a ripoff of the other.

The biggest problem of the book is that it is EXTREMELY dated. I read it not long ago and the science in it made me laugh till my sides hurt. That really threw out a lot of the horror inherent in the story.

However, it was good in that it brought up the possibility that those infected wouldn't even know if they were, except on a very basic instinctual level. The best impersonator is the one who doesn't even realize he's impersonating somebody.

No brains
2011-10-11, 06:59 PM
The movie comes out Friday. Hoping to see it and pass judgement like the ignorant human being I am. It will be at least a little bit better than now where I am judging something I know little about.

Kindablue
2011-10-12, 01:05 AM
The book is actually quite good, in its way. It's not a ripoff of Mountains of Madness since it was pretty much contemporary with it. About two years apart. Its possible, but honestly less likely. Just because they both happen to be set in Antarctica doesn't make one a ripoff of the other.
At the Mountains of Madness was, like Who Goes There?, published in Astounding Stories (Mountains in '36 and Who in '38), which is the magazine that would, just a few years later, hire a certain Mr. John W. Campbell, Jr. to be its editor, and that's enough for me to assume he read it before writing his own story.

I will read Who Goes There? later, and I'm not passing any judgement on it, it's just that their premises seem very similar to me. More than that they're both set in Antarctica, too. To me, The Thing feels like a movie based on the part in Mountains when the Elder Things thaw out, (spoiler) get attacked by the dogs, then kill everyone in the camp.

turkishproverb
2011-10-12, 01:45 AM
So tonight I got to see the Hawkes version. I don't see why the film is a national treasure.

Some parts of the film were pretty clever. The door ambush was worth a jump and I enjoyed the arc pun at the end. The outward opening door barricaded from the inside was hilarious.

I didn't like the characters. They were all too cliche for the time, and none too likable. I particularly disliked the lead, who swung his military clout around when it benefited him, but ultimately chickened out of his orders in the end. Not only do these cardboard cutouts make bad characters, they also seem to dumb down the 'imposter' dynamic of the original story in favor of post-war glory ranting.

The monster was probably the best character. He was played well, but if it had wall-shredding claws and was bullet-resistant, why did he need a 4x4 to confront the humans at the end?

Humans are weak vs. blunt damage?

Well, when a movie is that old, things start looking Cliche even if they were original or extremely well done. It was well made for the time, influential, and had political and social connotations similar to Body-snatchers, though the short story may have had more of a racial subtext to it.



And the short story is great, if a bit predictable today. Then again, so is Shakespeare.

hamlet
2011-10-12, 08:07 AM
At the Mountains of Madness was, like Who Goes There?, published in Astounding Stories (Mountains in '36 and Who in '38), which is the magazine that would, just a few years later, hire a certain Mr. John W. Campbell, Jr. to be its editor, and that's enough for me to assume he read it before writing his own story.

I will read Who Goes There? later, and I'm not passing any judgement on it, it's just that their premises seem very similar to me. More than that they're both set in Antarctica, too. To me, The Thing feels like a movie based on the part in Mountains when the Elder Things thaw out, (spoiler) get attacked by the dogs, then kill everyone in the camp.

Yeah, that's just the thing. The premises are not really that similar beyond "aliens in Antarctica."

You want to argue one influenced the other, then yeah, of course. But one is a copy of the other is not really an argument you can make.

Kindablue
2011-10-12, 08:10 AM
Yeah, that's just the thing. The premises are not really that similar beyond "aliens in Antarctica."

You want to argue one influenced the other, then yeah, of course. But one is a copy of the other is not really an argument you can make.

Again, you're probably right. I haven't read it.

Yora
2011-10-12, 04:00 PM
Antarctica was all the rage back then. In 1911 two expeditions set out to the south pole, one returning with photos of places no human had ever been before, and the other didn't return at all. And until the 50s, it wasn't done again. So in the 30s, Antarctica was the most mysterious place on earth, with only a few photoes of a strange landscape and almost nothing of the continent explored. If you were writing a story about ancient things that had been hidden for hundred thousands or millions of years, Antarctica was the setting you'd use. And that everything there would be deep frozen certainly helped a lot.

hamlet
2011-10-13, 07:14 AM
Show hits theaters tomorrow. I'm going to attempt to see it at some point this weekend, though schedule will be tight.

I'm thinking of pulling out the Carpenter version tonight, just to remind myself what a decent movie it is before jumping into this dross.

Bhu
2011-10-13, 10:11 PM
Just read some of the early opening night reviews. One described it as a boring gore-fest.

This does not bode well :smallfrown:

Yora
2011-10-14, 08:31 AM
What's the movies name anyway?

Lurkmoar
2011-10-14, 12:14 PM
The Thing.

No snazzy subtitle, unless you count them saying "From the producers of Dawn of the Dead" something.

I don't.

Bhu
2011-10-14, 06:59 PM
just got back from the Thing and am in the process of writing a review. Will link as soon as tis done.

No brains
2011-10-14, 08:59 PM
just got back from the Thing and am in the process of writing a review. Will link as soon as tis done.

Don't leave us hanging! I want to know if it is tolerable or godawful.

Seraph
2011-10-14, 10:41 PM
I thought it was pretty decent. It was far more in the spirit of Carpenter's movie than I was expecting from a prequel involving none of the same crew. In general, it feels far more like something made by die-hard fans of the 80's film rather than a soulless cash-in, for better or for worse.

also, for those curious, here is a small, ultimately inconsequential spoiler from which you can gauge your expectations:

The Black dude does not, in fact, die first, and the trope is directly set-up and subverted when The Thing first goes active. take from this what you will.

Bhu
2011-10-15, 12:39 AM
mini review wif possible spoilers

The original film was based on a feeling of isolation and quickly developing paranoia. In the prequel you don't really feel isolated or claustrophobic until maybe half way through. The paranoia quickly hits then, but subsides because the third act is more of an action film than a horror film.

The original took some criticism because people perceived a lack of character development. But all of the originals were veteran character actors, and you could see their characters develop by their reactions to the situation. In this film there's no time for that and you quickly separate them into heavily bearded norwegians, non bearded americans, and lightly bearded pompous norwegian bastards.

In the first film the monster wasn't seen as much, nor did you see what it did to assimilate people. Leaving it to the imagination helped develop the paranoia more. In this film it's available in graphic detail along with the inside of the alien ship. Instead of character development most of the first hour is exposition detailing stuff you already know, stuff that would be obvious even if you hadn't seen the first movie, or that fills in all the gaps from the original thereby demythologizing it somewhat.


All in all, this was originally supposed to be a remake, and even though they tweaked the script, it still feels like a remake, even with the scene after the end credits tieing it to the first film. It has the autopsy, the blood tests, the flamethrowers, etc. Speaking of which the last 20 minutes of the film the mousey scientist girl quickly becomes the 'badass chick with a flamethrower gunning down Aliens' cliche. It also leaves open a sequel at a nearby russian base.

So all in all the monster of the film is like a metaphor for the movie itself. It makes an imperfect copy of it's target that doesn't stand up to serious scrutiny. The initial effects are pretty good, but when the monster spends the third act almost continuously on screen, the quality of the cgi shots vary from place to place. Much of what made the original special is gone, and you are left with only an imperfect copy without the soul of it's predecessor.


On the other hand if you just want a rampaging lovecraftian critter, its ok to see. Not absolutely godawful, but still a shadow of what it could have been.

No brains
2011-10-15, 08:03 AM
Whining; contains spoilers about new movie.
You saying there's another base nearby? I guess no one was actually isolated in any of the movies...:smalltongue:

TheArsenal
2011-10-15, 08:19 AM
Spoony made a good review of the remake.

Bhu
2011-10-15, 04:50 PM
Whining; contains spoilers about new movie.
You saying there's another base nearby? I guess no one was actually isolated in any of the movies...:smalltongue:

There's a russian base 50 miles away from the norwegian one. The American pilot is telling the main PC they can go there instead of the american base.

hayabusa
2011-10-15, 05:37 PM
Well, I went to go see it today and there wasn't very many people there to see it. I have to say that just a mile away there were 72,000 people watching a football game, so that may have had something to do with it.

I went into it expecting it to absolutely suck, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was and wasn't similar to the 1982 John Carpenter classic, something that I enjoyed. The creature effects were awesome, especially what ends up being found in the original movie.

That said, I do feel that some parts of the ending felt kind of shoehorned in to meet the beginning of the 1982 film, rather than logically planned to meet. Otherwise, it was a pretty good movie.

Bhu
2011-10-15, 05:55 PM
http://unfilmable.blogspot.com/2011/10/uncle-kitty-vs-thing.html

Link to my fully fleshed out review

Since Arsenal mentioned Spoony i watched his review and it was dead on target so I included a linky. I'll have to watch spoony more often.

McStabbington
2011-10-15, 08:28 PM
I think Spoony covered all the same points that I thought of, but I didn't have quite the same vehemence that he did. Basically, I think the prequel was clearly made by someone who watched and loved Carpenter's The Thing, and they very clearly were trying to create a labor of love rather than simply cashing in on the name of the first movie. It would have been easy to have a "Mac wakes up out of a coma at McMurdo" style sequel using a different actor that would have been terrible and ridiculous. The plot of this movie, however, shows that they are trying really, really hard to make this a seamless fit with the other film. They don't succeed, since there are several fairly significant plot holes, but they're trying.

My problem, however, is that while I'd give them a B+ for effort, I'd give them a C- for execution. The first time I watched Carpenter's The Thing, not only did I jump out of my chair several times, but I actually had to stop the film twice and walk around my apartment for 10 minutes because the tension was just unbearable. In that film, the Thing is above all patient, methodical, silent and deadly. It's waited for 100,000 years to break out of the ice, it can wait until you sleep to rip you open and take you over. So the film becomes a game of trying to watch absolutely everything on screen for a clue as to who is real and who is the Thing, and then it keeps tightening that screw until you feel like you're about to burst from the strain. The only film I've ever seen that compares to Carpenter's The Thing in terms of sheer tension is Cameron's Aliens.

Here, however, the director either doesn't know how to take his time, or he wasn't allowed to take his time (one thing that makes Carpenter's The Thing so different from normal horror films is that it doesn't bother with the usual action beat pacing of a typical horror film). So rather than a tense game of cat and mouse, with humans clearly being the flame-wielding mice, we get regularly-spaced action beats that just deflate the tension. What's worse, the director and script writer didn't do a very good job with the time they had: unlike Carpenter's The Thing, which (again, like Aliens) was great at creating the sense of a team with each cast member having a clear role and personality even without a backstory, here you never get a good feel for any character, even the main.

So yeah. I didn't think much of the film on its own: never jumped once nor was I ever particularly scared. But I also felt quite clearly that while they could phone it in, they didn't. The director and script writer, whatever you may say about their ability, clearly loved Carpenter's The Thing, and they were clearly trying to create a film that would honor that film. As a result, I basically feel sort of like how I do when I watch S1 or 2 of Voyager: back before the cast just gave up, you could see them week by week trying desperately to save scripts that had clearly had no thought put into them. While they rarely succeeded, they usually went down swinging rather than just giving up. Here, the direction and screenwriting is a case of "going down swinging" rather than just giving up.

No brains
2011-10-17, 08:36 PM
MOAR reviews.
http://www.somethingawful.com/d/current-movie-reviews/footloose-thing-guard.php?page=2

Aside, one theory I had about 82's Thing was that while the creature was good at imitating things, it wasn't really 'smart'. When infected people talk, they usually have a really simple structure to their sentences. Their lines were simple things like "look here", "I'm better", and "swearing". I got the impression that while biological mimicry was easy for the thing, social nuance was not as easy to execute. Either that' a result of the extraordinary biological coding of social cues and experiences, or maybe, just maybe, the Thing wasn't completely suited to being the thing, and maybe it was unwillingly mutated into what it was.

Another thing to ponder is that Jenova from FF7 shares a remarkable number of traits with the thing, such as shapeshifitng, ancient arctic residence, looking ugly, and (supposedly) conquering of entire worlds. Imagine the fleshy dog-pile sprouting the pissed off cabbage as Sephiroth says "Mmmmmmoooooooommmmmyyyyyyyyy!"