Most helpful critical review
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Many THINGS to consider...
on December 12, 2011
The reviews were very interesting and there are some good points.
I'll start by saying I was only 12 when I saw "John Carpenter's The Thing" in the theater. Obviously it made a huge impression (through slightly closed fingers). I was at that point already a HUGE horror/sci-fi movie fan and even at 12 LOVED the original 1951 "The Thing From Another World". I still love the old B/W movies and it's too bad more people don't appreciate that. With that said movies need to advance...Lord of the Rings, Jurrasic Park...great CGI.
Now if you are a true Fan of JC's version of "The Thing", you will know two main thngs:
1.) This is a pretty faithful version of the short story ALL of them are based on, John W. Campbell, Jr. "Who Goes There?" The original 1951 (although awesome) was not. Keep in mind, JC did a wonderful job giving a nod to the 1951 movie. Not to mention featuring it as the movie the kids are watching in "Halloween".
2.) You will have seen the extensive behind the scenes featrues on the Collector's Version DVD and know it was like the stars aligned and the circumstances worked very well to create an almost once in a lifetime movie. Now with that said, the cast, acting, direction, mood of the movie, etc was still executed at a truly phenominal level.
I am 41 now and was interested to hear about the prequel. That is the intension of this movie. Although as many pointed out, there are a great number of parallel comparisons to how the characters are and how the storyline is. I was always interested to see what SPECIFICALLY happened at the Norweigan camp and the general backstory. Was it "necessary" - no. But it's still fun to see. So here is a quick rundown of why I think this movie is a little better than OK.
1.) The detail to reverse engineer from JC's The Thing is pretty impressive and is fun to match up. If nothing else it is worth seeing for this.
2.) It provides a fun story and the acting is good. I did feel the tension at times.
3.) I never expected this to be better than either the 1951 or 1982 versions so my expectations were low.
1.) They should have used more tension and carefully selected when and how to show "The Thing". Things (no pun inteneded) did come together pretty quick so I did feel they rushed the story more than they should have. It is basically a quick add on to tell a little more on a great story.
2.) It's too bad they did overdo it at times on CGI. This is a case where a mix could have gone a long way. There IS a mix with physical FX and some of the scenes (two-head) really needed CGI.
3.) I wanted to see "The Thing" in a few more original, case-by-case forms, but they kinda stuck with a general "buggy/mouthy" idea.
It's still kinda fun. Especially the "credit's scenes". I have to say I was a little giggy when I saw that part.
Now given the general story line, I suppose "The Thing" would look and act differently the first shot out of the ice compared to having already battled a group of humans and how it learned to be more careful. I have watched the DVD (saw it in the theater on opening day), and in listening to the featrues and watching it a few times with "fresh eyes" I do like it better as, I suppose, I am a bit more forgiving. I still think the general idea was "make alien go fast"! They did really want to pay homage to JC's classic (in watching the features) so kudos to them.
The Thing From Another World is a genuine classic.
John Carpenter's The Thing is a masterpiece.
The Thing 2011 is fun and they do pay their respect in their own way. They just didn't (or "couldn't")go ALL the way.
If nothing else, the newest version will definetly make people want to watch the John Carpenter version (hopefully) and if they haven't seen it, they're in for a real treat.
I suppose that's all you need to know.