David Thompson
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February 04, 2009

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alan b

Looks like Dr. Manhattan is a zero tolerance guy.

carbon based lifeform

"Can The Thing be improved upon?"

The original is b-movie genius. What could be better than this? :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TevQS4qgE_Q

David

I think the remake is actually a prequel – the story of what happens to the Norwegian team before the “dog” escapes. I watched the 1982 version again recently and was surprised by how well it holds up. Oddly enough, I think that’s due to the rather antiquated mechanical effects, stop-motion, etc. That’s part of its ingenuity and, um, charm.

Anna

Isn't the John Carpenter film already a remake of a fifties B-movie?

David

Yes, it’s a loose remake of Christian Nyby’s pretty humdrum “The Thing from Another World,” made in 1951…

http://www.moviefone.com/movie/the-thing-from-another-world-1951/26356/synopsis

…which is in turn loosely based on John W Campbell’s 1938 novella, “Who Goes There?”

http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Highrise/3756/jc/who/bonusid.htm

Carpenter’s film is by far the best version of the story. And the only one of his films I actually like.

Anna

"The body is taken to base headquarters, where it is inadvertently thawed out by an electric blanket… Dr. Carrington discerns that "The Thing" is not animal but a member of the carrot family, subsisting on blood."

One for rental then?

Horace Dunn

David

"And the only one of his films I actually like"

Surely you can't remain entirely unmoved by "Dark Star"?!

David

Horace,

“Surely you can’t remain entirely unmoved by ‘Dark Star’?!”

It’s okay, if memory serves, but it didn’t float my boat. Blasphemy, I know. I remember being taken to see “The Fog” as a kid, which I think I enjoyed. But I reckon Carpenter should have stopped making films quite some time ago. Before he made a pig’s ear of “Village of the Damned” and ventured into uniforms and lesbianism with “Ghosts of Mars,” which I’m still trying to forget.

AntiCitizenOne

> and ventured into uniforms and lesbianism with “Ghosts of Mars,”

I have to get this out, purely to see whether it's as bad as you say.

You believe me don't you?

David

Purely in the interests of research. You’ll be sorely disappointed, though. I fear I’ve made it sound much more thrilling than it is.

Horace Dunn

"But I reckon Carpenter should have stopped making films quite some time ago"

I'm afraid I haven't seen most of his films so can't have an opinion, though I've seen a couple that were certainly drab.

I wouldn't make high claims for "Dark Star" by the way. It's hardly great cinema. But it does have a down-at-heel charm and enough genuine originality (and humour) to bring a smile to the face. Mind you, it's many years since I've seen it. And when I saw it I was a student, if you get my drift.

I would say, though, that Carpenter should have refrained from scoring his films. His talents as a composer are mimimal and while the results are sporadically effective, they're more often simply distracting and irritating.

David

Yes, Carpenter has a wildly inflated opinion of his musical talents, and he seems to have a draining effect on other composers too. Ennio Morricone is credited as scoring “The Thing” and it’s one of his flattest, dullest and most repetitive soundtracks. Compared to the baroque visual effects, the music is incredibly unambitious.

Wonder Woman

Does the world really want [..] another Logan’s Run?
***

Only if they bring it back with the original wardrobe ;)

David

I quite liked the snug Sandman uniforms, but Ms Agutter’s slashed-to-the-armpit frock was a little flouncy for my taste. And not great on the insulation front...

http://www.geocities.com/anyjnny/Jenny_Agutter/Jenny_Agutter_009.jpg

James S

"And not great on the insulation front..."

It's drafty and impractical. Yet I cannot look away.

Luther McLeod

Jenny was such a young beauty in 'Walkabout'. My goodness, I had a crush on her for years.

sackcloth and ashes

I liked 'Dark Star', but I'm surprised to see no mention of the best John Carpenter film in existence - 'Assault on Precinct 13'.

Shoot me if I'm wrong.

Amos

High speed tele-dating!

http://io9.com/5151774/its-good-to-be-a-sandman----except-when-naked-chicks-are-sad

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