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The Thing - 28/11/2011 12:06:24 PM   
Empire Admin

 

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Post #: 1
The Proof is in the Mutation Pudding - 28/11/2011 12:06:24 PM   
Artificial Luddite

 

Posts: 8
Joined: 8/11/2011
Some opportunities are too good to miss, and of recent times, grave-digging in 1980s film archives has proven a lucrative business for greasy producers and bloated directors. Did we really need to behold the power of a Crystal Skull, watch Gordan Gekko adjust to modern life, or follow a Vietnam veteran as he rips out larynx's across Burma? John Carpenter's The Thing had so many memorable ideas that most are used again in Matthijs van Heijningen Jr's The Thing (Doesn't really have the same ring to it). I guess somethings (like flamethrowers, fonts and freaky spider-beasts) can't be topped, so let's just keep them in there. What is most disappointing about this film, aside from the lack of tension and isolation that was intrinsic to the original, is the visual effects, confirming our beliefs that twenty year old models and puppets look more realistic than Jar-Jar Binks ever could. As mentioned in Chris Hewitt's review, the abundance of bearded characters makes it impossible to differentiate who's who when the shit hits the fan (quite early), and there was no way to keep track of how many were alive by the final sequence. However, that's not to say the movie is all bad. It's quite pacey, has enough decent acting and a great score (reminiscent of Jonny Greenwood's ominous strings in There Will Be Blood), making it fairly entertaining. But was it worth confusing Google search engines to find out almost nothing that the original didn't teach us?

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Post #: 2
- 28/11/2011 3:27:25 PM   
loafroaster


Posts: 127
Joined: 10/5/2006
From: Ireland
That this wasn't God-awful came a big surprise to me. Actually, you know what? It wasn't half bad.

Not a patch on the original, but compared to recent efforts in the sub-genre, it was a solid enough monster movie, delivering some genuinely creepy moments - like how the two-headed Thing came to be.

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Post #: 3
RE: The Thing - 28/11/2011 5:42:27 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14563
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From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
After reading the review, the rating looks like a cop out, quite frankly. There's no suspense, it doesn't answer any questions, it's a box-ticking film that steals the beats of Carpenter's film, no characterisation and the creature is poorly realised - yet still three stars? Hm.

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RE: The Thing - 28/11/2011 5:59:48 PM   
Gazz


Posts: 873
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Amended review

< Message edited by Gazz -- 19/11/2012 7:48:45 PM >

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Post #: 5
RE: The Thing - 28/11/2011 8:17:05 PM   
MuckyMuckMan

 

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i posted about this film at beginning of Nov.

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Post #: 6
a complete pile of cgi shit - 29/11/2011 6:37:46 PM   
Gram Woods

 

Posts: 58
Joined: 18/3/2010
I just watched this and I'm so disappointed again by the lack of imagination hollywood has to offer. A lot of the scenes are ripped off straight from the original, there is no suspense, it's not even slightly creepy and the thing is just more sloppy CGI. Why cant hollywood come up with something new? or at least, if they insist on remakes, remake something that deserves it, "night of the comet" for instance is a prime candidate. I was looking forward to this film but just feel let down again, this one will certainly not be joining Carpenter's masterpiece on my DVD shelf, I have filed it under "trash"

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Post #: 7
Too Much CGI - 30/11/2011 11:24:55 AM   
burtbondy


Posts: 167
Joined: 16/11/2007
We were promised from the beginning that it would say faithful to Carpenter and use minimal CGI. After watching the film I believe they said that just to lure people into seeing it. The CGI was appalling and the gore was also toned down by half. There is no bravery left in these studios anymore. Other than that it was alright.

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Post #: 8
not all bad - 30/11/2011 5:35:45 PM   
mclane1


Posts: 370
Joined: 7/2/2009
to be fair the cinematography was ok, the mutations were entertaining and the closing scenes (SPOILER) were a very close match to the original. what it lacked was of course a real lead which empire didnt touch. not one of the characters had enough charisma to lead the film and thus make you root for anyone. i went straight home and put on the original and whilst it all follows nicely you then see kurt and realise its a different league all together. the last 20mins was AvP like and cartoonish. ultimately not a a patch on carpenters but i suppose we never thought it would be. good for a bit of entertainment for fans at best

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Post #: 9
- 1/12/2011 2:27:07 PM   
archie119

 

Posts: 26
Joined: 20/4/2010
I thought it was ok, why does everyone moan about cgi? Of course its gonna be used, there is no way you could do the movie as it was in 1982 it would look awful now. This movie is no masterpiece but I don't think anybody expected it to be but it wasn't a bad effort and it did at least make an attempt to tie-in with the original. Incidentally do you think it would of been better if directed by carpenter himself, I don't think so.

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Post #: 10
No. It isn't better than you hope. - 1/12/2011 11:49:11 PM   
groovymite

 

Posts: 10
Joined: 13/7/2008
erm...if you've watched The Thing watch The Thing not The Thing because after 20minutes you'll just be wishing you were watching The Thing instead.


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Post #: 11
Better than I expected - 2/12/2011 2:19:51 PM   
Fizzsnap_X

 

Posts: 7
Joined: 11/11/2011
From: Sheffield
I was in two minds as to weather to see the thing or not. But i'm glad I did, it goes without saying that it's not as good as the original. But I still enjoyed it, the cgi work is not as bad as it could have been.

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Post #: 12
Not bad - 3/12/2011 9:41:48 PM   
sephiroth7

 

Posts: 152
Joined: 14/10/2009
Wasn't the train wreck it could so easily have been but the characters were far too bland. Still I was reasonably well entertained. Was never gonna rival JC's move.

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Post #: 13
Not at all bad.... - 4/12/2011 11:16:08 AM   
Jim Bob


Posts: 178
Joined: 8/10/2005
From: Rotherham
...although not a patch on Carpenter's flick, I thought this made a half-decent companion piece.

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Post #: 14
RE: Not at all bad.... - 5/12/2011 8:36:11 AM  1 votes
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3980
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Antarctica, 1982. Three Norwegian scientists are in a snow cat are following a signal when a crack in the snow causes the vehicle to fall into a fissure in the ice and gets wedged. The lights from the snow cat reveal a spaceship.   Palaeontologist Kate Lloyd is asked to go to Antarctica to assist, and travels with her colleague Adam Finch to the remote Norwegian camp.  There, she is shown an organism frozen in ice.  Against her wishes, a tissue sample is taken and, while the group is partying, reveals it is from an alien.  The ice thaws out and the campís dog is agitated and wants to get out of his cage.  Two of the team visit the ice block and just about see something escaping.  The dog kennel is discovered to have no dog, just some fur and lots of blood.  A terrifying monster is around, one that can replicate human beingsÖ..


Another day, another dollar, and another bleeding remake of a film that is loved by many.  I personally consider the 1982 the Thing, which seems to be now called John Carpenterís The Thing nowadays, an almost flawless movie and one of the greatest science fiction/horror films ever made.  I would imagine most folks reading this review will have seen that movie, but if you havenít I really urge to check it out!  Now there has been some pretty lousy remakes of late, with Conan The Barbarian and Straw Dogs being the first two that come to mind, and those that havenít been lousy have mostly been pointless.  I would put The Thing in the second category.  Itís not that poor a film, itís just extremely uninspired and a pale shadow of its predecessor.  It claims to be a prequel of the í82 film, but comes across as just another remake, and did we really need the story of the Norwegians that were there before Macready and his team visited the camp?  No we didnít, the whole movie is a story that does not need to be told.  So the film needs to be judged more as a remake, and on that level it fails miserably.  I am possibly guilty, in my reviews, of sometimes comparing a remake to its original too much and not judging it as its own entity.  Unfortunately, The Thing  tries to be so similar to John Carpenterís matchless masterpiece, that I think one canít help but compare it.  As much as entertaining [or should I say trying to entertain] a modern audience wanting some jump scares, gore and the like, it also seems to try to please fans of the original, but does it in a half hearted way.

Certainly it begins well.  Carpenterís style is reasonably well approximated, with the cutting nice and leisurely and the camerawork slowly panning over the camp, or across empty corridors, though thereís no real feeling of dread, and this isnít good!  Anyway, we soon have the discovery of the ship, which is nicely handled, and then Kateís joining the team.  Sadly, except for Kate, none of the characters really register very much.  Bill Lancasterís brilliant script for Carpenterís movie concisely let us know the personalities of everyone with just a few lines, or the way they act and do things.  Eric Heissererís pretty poor script for this effort gives most of the characters far more dialogue, but the characters remain uninteresting and just donít really register much all.  Still, the relatively slow but steady pace of the original [though of course the í82 film is itself a remake, albeit of a more different film The Thing From Another World from 1951 so maybe I shouldnít refer to it as Ďthe originalí!] is replicated here, and though the film fails to build much suspense, I, for one, couldnít help but get a bit excited, because they have made giant strides in special effects since the Ď80s and CG is wonderful because it can do everything.  Actually Iím being sarcastic there, but nonetheless, I reckon many people would get pretty thrilled at the idea of a CGI team let loose on the concept of The Thing.  Just think of the great visuals they could come up with, just think of the invention!

Actually, we end up being given neither of those two things.  The effects seem content to merely provide variations of effects of the í82 film.  Stomachs opening up.  Bodies sprouting legs. Tentacles coming out.  Big deal. Consider how ground breaking the originalís effects were, and youíll probably agree that they missed a major opportunity with this film.  I know they wanted some consistency, but just think of the possibilities!  Frankly, they botched it, and even worse so because the CG is often really poor.  Itís mostly okay in the first half, and itís nice to see a little bit more of what the Thing is like in its original form, but the CG gets worse and worse, and when we start to have a creature that consists of two people joined together [which makes little sense, o hang on! Itís because we briefly see one in the original] with spider legs rampaging around, I couldnít help but think of the Scorpion King at the climax of The Mummy Returns. Think about it.  The idea of two men joined together as one walking about on spider legs is both blackly funny and pretty horrific, but here itís not horrific and only funny because it looks so bad.  Watching this movie, I had even more admiration for what Rob Bottin and his amazing crew did back in í82 with things like strawberry jam, mayonnaise and gelatin.  What really winds me up is that a while back I read an interview about this movie and how they were going mostly for the practical approach.  What crap!!

Of course there are non-CG effects and they mostly work well, but it seems to me that the skill of creating special effects that are not computerised is a dying skill, and I find it incredibly sad.  Still, The Thing is reasonable if taken on its own.  Itís not especially good, but not crap either. The final third ramps up the pace in a way Carpenterís movie did not do, it didnít need to, but itís something that works quite well for this version, and there is a terrific scene towards the end taking place inside the Thingís spaceship.  By that time, I was hardly on the edge of my seat, but I was acutely aware how important sound can be to a film, because the variety of quite subtle noises in that specific scene is very skilfully employed and I imagine would work wonders with somebody who is really Ďintoí the film.  Sadly, this critic wasnít.  The film wastes time paying homage to the original but just doesnít develop enough of a distinct personality all its own.  Considering that it has no real reason to exist, you would think that it may go for broke and attempt some explanation of things that the í82 flick refused to answer.  Sadly, except for mechanically setting up a few unimportant things Ė o look, thatís how the axe got there Ė it doesnít bother.  We are still none the wiser about the alien, where it is from, what it wants, etc.  The sheer laziness of the scripting, considering this has been a project for years in varying forms, is astounding.  Of course great scenes from the original are copied, with for example a variation of the blood testing scene, but never as well.

The cast all do okay.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead does pretty good as the obligatory tough heroine who exhibits Ripley characteristics when need to, but is symptomatic of this movieís falling back into the hoariest of cliches when it decides to briefly stop being a copy of the original.  This is director Matthijs van Heijningenís first feature film, and he reasonably emulates Carpenterís style while treating the action stuff with the obligatory fast cutting; in short, he shows little style of his own, but faced with such general conceptual idiocy, itís understandable if he didnít really try. The score, by the always impressive Marco Beltrami, is often very effective and mixes in the odd sound from the Ennio Morricone/John Carpenter score from Carpenterís film.  He does it quite subtly, but being a film score fan, those bits stood out for me and made me even more wish I was watching the Carpenter film.  Taken on its own, this The Thing does just about pass muster.  Its dreadful box office performance in the US isnít entirely justified.   Itís nothing special either though, and as a supposed addition to The Thing mythos, itís pretty pathetic and pointless.  Seriously, what was the point?
Rating: 5/10

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Underwhelming, And Very Uninteresting - 5/12/2011 10:57:36 AM   
blaud


Posts: 721
Joined: 13/12/2007
I honestly don't think I've ever seen a film in which so much happens and yet is soooooo uninteresting. The story plays out like a standard sci-fi movie, with the creature from The Thing making several brief appearances. Really, that's all you need to know. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is miscast, the dialogue is goopy, the story is predictable, and with the use of CGI for the monster effects instead of the robotics used in the first movie, it's nowhere near as scary or as interesting. I wasn't exactly holding out high hopes for this film, but I expected it to be better than this.

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RE: Underwhelming, And Very Uninteresting - 5/12/2011 12:40:26 PM   
Cool Breeze


Posts: 2351
Joined: 9/11/2011
From: The Internet
Typical,i havnt been to the cinema in months cos theres nothing interesting on,this is a film im interested in seeing and its playing nowhere near me.The cinemas are just full of Twishite,and 3d kids movies.

Have to wait for the dvd i guess!


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Post #: 17
RE: The Thing - 5/12/2011 12:54:27 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots
Not too bad. I think it couldn't make up its mind if it wanted to be a remake or a prequel though, that ending seemed tacked on. As a standalone film, it's good but it should have stayed a remake and shouldn't have tried so hard to tie in Carpenter's film. Also, I actually think you'd be better watching Carpenter's film first. It works better being reminded of the events of Carpenter's film watching this than watching the '82 one first and thinking- 'I already knew that'.

2.5/5.


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Post #: 18
just about okay - 5/12/2011 3:02:41 PM   
bretty

 

Posts: 202
Joined: 6/10/2005
Answered some of the questions raised by the original JC The Thing and quite nice to look at, but it didn't really as much. Quite enjoyed the Norweigan aspect both otherwise okay but forgetable.

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Post #: 19
RE: just about okay - 7/12/2011 6:23:59 PM   
fugaziuk


Posts: 168
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: Rotherham
Don't know if this is true but found this on another forum. It explains why there was so much CGI instead of the more traditional effects we were promised.

SPOILERS AHOY!!!


quote:

Universal hired Matthijs van Heijningen, a first time director to exert control over him. By all accounts he did a massive job researching the project. Most of the effects were done practically with some CGI to enhance the finished product. Physical effects were done by Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. (ADI). CGI work done by Image Engine.

The theatrical release (DVD/Blu) is the b*****d version. And may very well be the only version we ever see (since it bombed at the box office).

The film had a test screening which resulted in the butchering. The audience didn't react at all, silence. The studio thought it was the effects and had all the practical effects overlayed with CGI. Add to that, they cut out character development and pushed the creature's appearance sooner.

This is why I hate test screenings, the concept is fine. I agree with that. But the audience you get is random. You need horror fans for horror movies. RomComs for romantic comedies and so. The results you get are inaccurate.

The rec room scene where one of characters has his face melted into another was done practically. The effect took almost four months to complete. NONE of that is in the final film.

Gone is the bleak ending where Kate is dead. She survived, but will freeze to death (there is no snowcat left, the single vehicle was destroyed killing the beast). The ending now is... ambiguous.

I enjoyed the movie, but I'll be honest. It sucks that we didn't get the see the film as it was intended.

Worse yet, there are some reports that the 'director's cut' was lost. We only have the theatrical. This is 2011, how the hell can a current movie become lost? I guess that could happen it was store TOTALLY digital and that hard drive crashed. But why wouldn't there be additional copies?


One question I have is are to expect that Winsteads character went to this other russian base at the end of the film?

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Post #: 20
RE: just about okay - 7/12/2011 8:30:07 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6722
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
The Thing serves as a prelude to John Carpenter's classic 1982 film of the same name,IE it's about those pesky Norwegians.Now i know some are shouting it's another bloody remake,that it's lame as a duck,and is just not needed even as a back story.Well maybe but critics were wrong about the original movie back in 1982,they panned it for too much gore,wooden acting and dull script.And it bombed at the box office bug time too,which seemed to prove the point,yet they where wrong big time,and they are wrong about this one too.By no means is it better,or even as awesome visually as Carpenters classic,which was a remake of Howard Hawks classic B Movie The Thing From Another World.A film Carpenter loved,and going by this film Van Heijningen is a huge fan of Carpenters film,and tries to mimic the themes of paranoia and isolation,and the gore/monster effects.I think for a first time feature film he has made a decent horrific, tense and well-paced film,and aided by current technology the effects are quite good.He also avoids the new modern approach of filling this movie full of lame jittery camera angles and a faster pace,which seems to fill every horror film now.

Now there are problems with this film and the main one is,that compared to Carpenters classic,there is nortting orginal in both script and effects terms.It is no where near as chilling,and though they incorporated a lot of Danish and Norwegian actors,it still feels too American/Hollywood run of the mill acting.It pays homage to the original, yet the studio heads are too scared to sever the umbilical,and do something new with this classic Sci/Fi tale.Don't get me wrong there are a few shocks and queasy effects,all work quite well,but never reaches that wow!! factor of the original.And unless you've never seen Carpenters film,this is always going to be a sticking point,as in look and feel this is a clone of THE THING 1982,including the films score.

Now maybe i was just glad to see a Sci/Fi horror film on the big screen,but overall i enjoyed this entertaining if overall flawed clone.They succeeded in being reasonably respectful to Johns classic,and the gore was there by the bucketful,plus the pacing was spot on with a terrific final reel in the THINGS spacecraft.And this scene alone helped put to rest my doubts about it being a decent remake/prequel,because that was the one scene i'd of loved to have seen in the original.So for at least being better than the last batch of shit remakes,and for at least trying to look and feel like a Carpenter film,and for a nights entertainment on the big screen i'll go for 3.5/5.

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Post #: 21
RE: just about okay - 7/12/2011 8:31:54 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots
SPOILERS

quote:

ORIGINAL: fugaziuk

One question I have is are to expect that Winsteads character went to this other russian base at the end of the film?


Yes, the 'she froze to death' bit in the quote you posted is bollocks. She will make it to the Russian camp, leaving it open for a sequel.The ending is to make you think she may or may not be infected as she is going to head to the Russian camp. Which, technically, it already has. That quote seems confused- wasn't there another snowcat? She was sitting in it, wasn't she?

That's what I got from it anyway. I could be wrong. Besides, they didn't find a female dead body in a snowcat in Carpenter's film


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Post #: 22
RE: just about okay - 8/12/2011 12:29:24 PM   
Wild about Wilder


Posts: 1657
Joined: 9/4/2010
From: Hertfordshire
It wasn't as bad as i'd 1st feared yet I think they made a mistake going for a prequel rather than a sequel imagine it being set 20+ years later with the rise in global warming you could have another Thing being unearthed & you could have had Russell & David turning up as they'd be the only known people with any knowledge of the Alien.

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Post #: 23
RE: just about okay - 8/12/2011 3:56:02 PM   
sroey


Posts: 1473
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: fugaziuk

Don't know if this is true but found this on another forum. It explains why there was so much CGI instead of the more traditional effects we were promised.

SPOILERS AHOY!!!


quote:

Universal hired Matthijs van Heijningen, a first time director to exert control over him. By all accounts he did a massive job researching the project. Most of the effects were done practically with some CGI to enhance the finished product. Physical effects were done by Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. (ADI). CGI work done by Image Engine.

The theatrical release (DVD/Blu) is the b*****d version. And may very well be the only version we ever see (since it bombed at the box office).

The film had a test screening which resulted in the butchering. The audience didn't react at all, silence. The studio thought it was the effects and had all the practical effects overlayed with CGI. Add to that, they cut out character development and pushed the creature's appearance sooner.

This is why I hate test screenings, the concept is fine. I agree with that. But the audience you get is random. You need horror fans for horror movies. RomComs for romantic comedies and so. The results you get are inaccurate.

The rec room scene where one of characters has his face melted into another was done practically. The effect took almost four months to complete. NONE of that is in the final film.

Gone is the bleak ending where Kate is dead. She survived, but will freeze to death (there is no snowcat left, the single vehicle was destroyed killing the beast). The ending now is... ambiguous.

I enjoyed the movie, but I'll be honest. It sucks that we didn't get the see the film as it was intended.

Worse yet, there are some reports that the 'director's cut' was lost. We only have the theatrical. This is 2011, how the hell can a current movie become lost? I guess that could happen it was store TOTALLY digital and that hard drive crashed. But why wouldn't there be additional copies?


One question I have is are to expect that Winsteads character went to this other russian base at the end of the film?


Could you provide a link for this? I too was expecting a good throwback to practical effects - hell, they were promised during the build up to the films release. Not say the effects werent good, they were solid and well done - but to spend 4 months creating a practical effect and to have it cut completely? I find that sums up everything that is wrong with the film industry today.

My other major problem with the film is the inclusion of Winsteads character (and Winstead herself). Just a dull character. End of.


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Post #: 24
RE: just about okay - 9/12/2011 10:33:10 AM   
hector

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 24/12/2005
Having now seen the film I don't think it was that bad, Obviously not as good as the 1982 version, but it looks like the studio interfered too much.
I read an interview with the screen writer where he discuss the practical effects and the ending:

http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/26758



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Post #: 25
RE: just about okay - 9/12/2011 8:04:33 PM   
Scruffybobby

 

Posts: 4336
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: My House
Wagwan? My review has disappeared. Here it is again.

The Thing is fine as it goes, but it's ultimately a little too confused between being a prequel or a remake. There's some effective scenes - like the impromptu dental health checks - but overall there's too many beats that follow Carpenter's film

There's also a lack of any real suspense and an over reliance on "BOO!" type scares (one literal). It's also hard to care about most of the characters given that they're mostly interchangable guys in chunky jumpers and big beards. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is fine if a little uninspring and Joel Edgerton is solid but kinda dull

There are some nice nods to the 1982 film - like the final scenes that segue into the opening of the earlier film. Overall though it's just a bit.."meh".



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Post #: 26
RE: just about okay - 12/12/2011 3:23:41 PM   
talpacino


Posts: 3685
Joined: 15/11/2005
From: The Royal County
I thought it was ok. I was kind of expecting it to be crap so maybe that helped me enjoy it more somehow. The effects are decent enough and worked well most of the time. Biggest problem for me is probably the characters, there's just nobody like MacReady or Childs.

Don't write it off just because it may be sacrilege to even attempt to make this. It's decent enough and worth a watch if you're a fan of the original.

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Post #: 27
the thing - 14/12/2011 9:57:02 PM   
HERMES_67

 

Posts: 93
Joined: 1/10/2005
this aint the original or anything like it. the characters dont string together as sucessfully as the original - that said i liked this film and think its well worth a watch in its own right....enjoy....

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Post #: 28
RE: the thing - 15/12/2011 11:15:39 PM   
jcthefirst


Posts: 4425
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: Bangor
Just back from this. Thought it was grand. No better or worse than the original, except it did need a stronger protagonist. 

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Post #: 29
RE: the thing - 16/12/2011 7:16:02 PM   
porntrooper

 

Posts: 2616
Joined: 6/9/2006
From: Sheffield
Regarding those practical effects?? Well, take a look here;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0FOUF8DhJQ&feature=youtu.be

WHy they chose to dump all this in favour of the CG work is a fucking mystery. This stuff looks pretty damn solid!

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"I've got an idea for a special infiltration technique. It involves draining a man of his blood and replacing it with Tizer."

(in reply to jcthefirst)
Post #: 30
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