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Post 0

Thursday, August 4, 2005 - 8:41pmSanction this postReply
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This is a great flick!



Post 1

Thursday, August 4, 2005 - 9:36pmSanction this postReply
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I like your idea of the "Thing" as a collectivist metaphor.  He-he. :) 



Post 2

Friday, August 5, 2005 - 5:10amSanction this postReply
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I liked the way the movie opened up -- if I remember this exactly -- with the man in the helicopter chasing the dog.  It seems so unfair, that nice dog being relentlessly pursued by the men in the chopper with the one shooting with a hunting rifle.

Like all art movies have to be somewhat contrived because of the limitations in any medium and in this case, the copter crashes.  If they killed dog, there might be a brief scientific seminar and that would be it: an eight-minute movie that ends with a lecture on exo-biology.  As it was, the movie was gripping.  I liked just about all of it, and my heart was really beating when the guys got paranoid enough to lock Kurt Russell outside.  I mean, he had to get back in or the movie would be shorter and depressing, but that struck home so deeply: that they were all so scared that the hero got attacked.  I mean, this is b-a-d bad news. 

And, yes, they deal with it rationally, logically, empirically, and bravely.  They are after all, scientists and they chose the Antarctic. They probably had to compete to get there.  So, this is all very much two hours of Extreme Objectivism.




Post 3

Friday, August 5, 2005 - 6:01amSanction this postReply
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I always loved Carpenter's The Thing.

Michael Marotta remembers correctly: the whole opening misdirection is genius, with the Disney dog being chased through the snow by malevolent-sounding foreigners in helicopters, only to be rescued by our kindly American Antarctic crew...

The film is a Hawks homage, natch, but his standard-issue tough guys are mutated with modernist paranoia. I like it way better than the Hawks original. For me it came at a time where I was really ready for it, having overdosed on Carpenter's hilarious, delirious B-movie "Escape From New York", and his genre-inventing "Halloween". It's the sort of mindfuck cinema was made for - the dog with whipping red tentacles, the head with crayfish legs scuttling under the table, the human ribcage that opens into a pair of jaws. The Thing's appalling fecundity is even better set against the vast sterile icescape. The cast is great, the script is great, the Morricone score is great - what's not to like?

Collectivist metaphor? Possibly. I tend to think its more psychological, like the uncontrollable Freudian Id in 'Forbidden Planet'. But your guess is as good as mine.

- Daniel






Post 4

Friday, August 5, 2005 - 1:54pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,
 A quick and very minor correction. At the start of the movie the helicopter doesn't crash. It safely lands just outside the US camp, but when one of the Norwegian's gets out and attempts to throw a hand grenade at the dog it slips out oh his hand and the helicopter and it's pilot are blown into little bits. The surviving Norwegian then opens fire towards the dog and shoots one of the US scientists. The leader of the US base returns fire and kills the Norwegian man before anyone has any idea what's happening. Some of the scientists at the US outpost assume the Norwegian camp members went "stir crazy".




Post 5

Friday, August 5, 2005 - 1:56pmSanction this postReply
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Collectivist metaphor? Possibly. I tend to think its more psychological, like the uncontrollable Freudian Id in 'Forbidden Planet'. But your guess is as good as mine.

 
Well, there is that, as well, the Forbidden Planet id, yes...  But in this case, there were some problems with the monster in The Thing and to me they originated in the ontological difficulties in reifying society. 

When I watched John Carpenter's The Thing that the monster was a collective was not lost on me -- in fact, it hit me between the eyes.




Post 6

Saturday, August 6, 2005 - 8:20amSanction this postReply
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I think it is definitely collective, but more in terms of a collective unconscious archetype, just like in many other cool horror movies. The Thing was definitely a step forward in creature flicks- when it came out, there had been nothing close to that in technical execution alone.



Post 7

Saturday, August 6, 2005 - 9:04amSanction this postReply
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This was indeed a good flix with libertarian actor Kurt Russell, though I like the look, atmosphere and production of the 1951 original with James Arness. Also, Forbidden Planet was a great classic with an imaginative script, reputedly based on Shakespeare's Tempest.



Post 8

Saturday, August 6, 2005 - 10:07pmSanction this postReply
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   I've liked pretty well all of Carpenter's stories (except Escape From NY) as well as most of Russell's movies (except EFNY). Usually I compare 'remakes', but there's really nothing to fundamentally compare re this version and Hawks' '51 version. I consider both to be classics on their own terms: a well-made apple, and a well-formed orange.

   Granted, the remake is much closer-to-home re John Campbell's original novel(la?) "Who Goes There?" in it's science-detective angle of determining 'who are the imposters in this group?' whereas the scientist in the original movie came off as a progenitor of today's "Can't we all just get along?" apologists of rabid killers. However, both are great in their chronic...and slow...buildup (in their own ways) of suspense, with the original being the ancestor of Alien-movie use of  'beeper'-signals of the closeness of  'it,' while the remake adds focus on paranoia.

   And having Morricone do the score for the remake sure didn't hurt.

   However, I still haven't finished the video-game, dammit.

J-D

(Edited by John Dailey on 8/06, 10:16pm)

(Edited by John Dailey on 8/06, 10:18pm)




Post 9

Sunday, August 7, 2005 - 5:23amSanction this postReply
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What was the movie based upon?  Was it a book?  There was a comic book series featuring a 'thing', but having not seen the movie, I am not sure if it is related.



Post 10

Sunday, August 7, 2005 - 12:06pmSanction this postReply
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The movies "The Thing from Another World" and it's remake, "The Thing," are both based on John W. Campbell's story "Who Goes There?"




Post 11

Sunday, August 7, 2005 - 4:12pmSanction this postReply
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R. John Galt,
 There's a small link at the top of the page, near the picture of the movie box, that will take you to the review I wrote for the film.




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