140 of 145 people found the following review helpful
"Gorror"/suspense classic comes to Blu-ray September 30th, 2008 - Updates on features, quality,
This review is from: The Thing [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Though The Thing shocked with its new level of gore when it came out in 1982, popular taste has pretty well caught up to the gore factor. Now fans will be able to see it all in Blu-ray high-def.
The Thing takes its title from the influential 1951 sci-fi classic The Thing from Another World, a film it otherwise resembles only in similarity of location and a few plot points. (If you're interested in a less scary, more campy, funnier black-and-white version, with women in it, check out the older one.) The location is an isolated antarctic research station, cut off from radio contact with the outside world, where Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David and several other men unknowingly take in an alien creature that can adopt the form of members of the crew as it destroys them. They quickly find themselves in a desperate and paranoia-inducing situation, each not knowing who among the others might be an alien waiting to kill him. Internal organs are spread into view in various creative ways, while violence and tension build.
Director John Carpenter specializes in gritty, intense, violent suspense, and he doesn't disappoint here. Though it didn't do very well when it came out, maybe because it was up against the much cheerier alien E.T., it has become a favorite since.
The movie has already been released in HD at the same 1080p resolution the Blu-ray will have, so the transfer should be of similar quality. The HD transfer is very good, with strong color and good detail and sharpness, definitely improved over the standard DVD. The sound will be English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, with French DTS 5.1. There will be English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. *Update* 19 September: The early reviews verify that the transfer is high quality, as expected, with excellent picture and good sound (not much surround in a movie this old).
*Update* Universal has said in its promotional material that this release will include the extra material from the current DVD, but according to the early reviews, that isn't true. First, here are the special features announced in the main press release:
-- audio commentary with star Kurt Russell and director John Carpenter
-- U Control Picture in Picture
-- U Control tutorial
In addition, most of the 84-minute making-of documentary from the older DVD has been incorporated into the Picture in Picture (PIP) feature, meaning that you watch it in pieces in a window along with the movie. The rest of the special features from the older DVD aren't included. Just as a reminder of what those old features are, missing here:
-- deleted stop-motion animation
-- work-in-progress visual effects footage
-- behind-the-scenes location footage
-- behind-the-scenes photos
-- storyboard and conceptual art
-- annotated production archive
-- original theatrical trailer
Again, those are old features that Universal has *not* included on the Blu-ray.
I'm not into gore, but the suspense is well done here, and Kurt Russell is in his element. Fine video transfer and good commentary make for a good package, but the missing features from the older DVD mean you may want to keep the old one too.
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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 18, 2008 5:56:57 PM PDT
E. Busch says:
Hold onto your SD-DVD of THE THING. Only the commentary track is being ported over. None of the other special features will be on the Blu-ray. I found this out yesterday, a day after I sold my SD-DVD:(
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2008 6:16:01 AM PDT
The documentary is also included, in the PIP feature, but do hold onto the old DVD if you like the other extras!
Posted on Sep 29, 2008 8:29:01 AM PDT
Danny Takacs says:
I can't believe that they left out all the special features from the SD DVD. I know the doc is in the PIP feature, but I wouldn't want to watch it like that. Ugh, looks like I'll just have to hold on to the old DVD and get this as well.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 3:32:33 PM PDT
On Stranger Tides says:
Perhaps this is a way for studios to not take responsibility for being accused of constant "double dipping."
This way, the first one you bought still has some value/worth.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2008 2:23:37 PM PDT
W. Kunert says:
Or more likely Universal's already planning for a triple-dip, or quadruple-dip, depending on how you're counting.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2008 6:12:20 AM PDT
ugh...that's retarded. What's wrong with the people at Universal. First, the Friday the 13th dvd set is all effed up, and now this. What a disappointment...
At least I heard the picture is much clearer in this edition, that's why I'm buying. I guess I won't be selling the dvd for now.
Posted on Oct 23, 2008 8:58:14 AM PDT
MICHAEL GROVE says:
Thanks a lot for the detailed review. Please can you tell me if this is a region-free release?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2008 9:41:51 AM PDT
It's labeled Region A, but I've seen reports that it's actually region-free:
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2008 3:44:34 PM PDT
MICHAEL GROVE says:
Cheers, I appreciate it!
Posted on Aug 27, 2009 3:15:07 PM PDT
R. Hanley says:
John Carpenter credits this film as being based on the book "Who Goes There" by John W. Campbell. He does use some film clips from the 1951 movie "The Thing From Another Planet". It is true that the Blu-Ray version only has the commentary track and has no special features.