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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Thing, 2011

I went and saw The Thing directed by Heijningen yester aft, and was I disappointed.
I do not think I need to see it twice. Nothing escaped me.

I had read a number of reviews and I feel as if we had watched a different film. I should say that I saw Howard Hawks version from the early 1950's at least 6 times and John Carpenter's from the 1980's at least 4 times. I have also read John Campbell's Who Goes There? at least twice. I am well versed in studia illius rei ( studies of The Thing ).

The idea of doing a film of what happened in the Norwegian Antarctic camp a few days before John Carpenter's story began was a great idea that could run 45 minutes tops. Then there was nothing left but blood, gore, kill, shoot, and burn, all of which have been done and done well before now.

Carter, Russell, and Moffat in The Thing (1982)

The characters were not that interesting. Not much effort was spent on characters. No one was like Kurt Russell's MacReady. There was absolutely no one like Keith David's Childs, nor T.K.Carter's Nauls, or David Clennon's Palmer. And the characters of Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Wilfred Brimley, and Richard Dysart..... the list goes on; no one was allowed to stand out as an individual in the new film. They were just beards and frightened eyes.
Nor was there anyone such as were in the 1951 film: no one like Kenneth Tobey nor Margaret Sheridan nor Doug Spencer.

It came down to running around, burning, blowing things up, and that had all been done before, and there was nothing new or unique added to it.

The reviewers said homage a lot, which is a word I dislike. For me, an homage is an insiders' joke, and if you get it, fine; but if you do not get it, the film still moves along. There was no homage, there was grand larceny from people trying to patch a story together.
Even the alien's space ship resembles too, too much that of another Alien by H. Geiger.
The alien itself in the shot on the space ship when we see it with the face of the Norwegian mission leader is almost an exact duplicate of a monster from a movie made in the past 20 years whose name I cannot recall, but had something to do with a machine in the attic which could receive interdimensional waves of some sort, and the result was aliens intruding into our dimension like hemorrhoids from beyond!

Best Radio Operator in a series of films and re-makes:

Tex Richards, portrayed by Nicholas Byron (1951)


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