THE THING (2011): Discussion, Spoilers, Reviews

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trekker4747, Oct 14, 2011.

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Grade THE THING

  1. Excellent

    5 vote(s)
    20.8%
  2. Good

    14 vote(s)
    58.3%
  3. Average

    5 vote(s)
    20.8%
  4. Bad

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Terrible

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. OsmiumJohnnycake

    OsmiumJohnnycake Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I know there are rules or laws with which I'm not familiar with that dictate when people get credit. And I suppose some frozen corpses and person in a winter outfit shooting at a dog might not constitute a "based on characters created by" credit. I can't recall if Aliens credited H.R. Giger or if he was involved in any way beyond the first film. I know I've seen a "based on a screenplay by" credit before. I'm just curious what makes those kinds of credits pop up sometimes and not here (again, unless I missed something).
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Spoony and Brad were unnecessarily harsh on it and seemed going in either expecting too much or with too high of an opinion of the "original." I mean I love the original and its a classic movie in its own right but it's hardly flawless. This movie is hardly perfect and, yeah, probably doesn't compare to the "original" but, for me, it was good entertainment and I really liked how it ties in to the original with all of the hints, beats, and cues.

    I'd say it's well worth catching in the theater.

    I do agree with Spoony that this movie fails to really deliver the sense of isolation and bitter, terrible, cold of Antarctica. But the first movie was hardly consistent there either, there's a couple of scenes where the characters are outside, at night, with -40 temperatures and they're either just pulling on their coats as they get outside or wearing them opened up. There's a scene where one of the guys goes outside to investigate a noise and discovers McReady's jumpsuit and his coat isn't zipped closed and his wearing no eye/face/head protection. This is during the time the storm was supposedly hitting them hard according to McReady's log he did just moments earlier.

    I think Spoony also points out the movie did little to establish it as being in the 1980s but I think I sort of like that. Most movies that want to over-establish themselves in the past will go overboard with to many wink-winks at the audience and the time. I mean, did we need to see someone in the hall of Katie's lab talking on a Zach Morris style phone going, "Dude! I'm talking on a CELL PHONE!" Should Katie have had the one-sided pony tail while chewing on bubble gum?

    How much "establishment" do you need to set the time period? The clothing looked to not be much different than what the guys in the original wear and no piece of equipment stuck out to me as being out of place or time. Sure the movie didn't go out of its way to say "Hey! This is 1982!" but it didn't do anything that said "Hey, this is sort-of 2011-y!" either. It stood out, to me, as being "null time." The original stands out as being 1982 mostly from the use of the equipment (the computers, TV, VCR) but only because back then that was common equipment. Today I think it'd just stand out as the movie makers going, "Hey! It's 1982! Michael Jackson is still black!"

    I also think the "suspense" of things was muted mostly on purpose. Fans of the original are going to know what's going to happen, what the thing does, etc. So there's nothing to build suspense about. We already know and are even shown that things aren't right here and out of place. We're shown them drilling into the ice block and we know as movie viewers that's not a good idea. In the original there's more suspense because the audience isn't clued in to anything being a miss simply beyond them determining the Norwegian pilot/gunman had possibly going mad.

    Nope, I really liked this movie.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  3. Kail

    Kail Commodore Commodore

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    I just found the lyrics to the song the Norwegians were singing in the bar. It goes like this...
    "We just found an alien and now we're going to die!" Look for it on iTunes.
     
  4. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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  5. Moodib

    Moodib Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    1982's movie was NOT THE ORIGINAL!

    The original was made in 1951 called The Thing from Another World, while that movie was good it was a poor adaptation of the book "Who Goes There" by John Campbell because they had to make it a bit romantic and they didn't have the right technology for special effects to make the creature a shapeshifter, instead we got a killer carrot vampire alien.

    1982's version had better improved technology and was the quintessential faithful adaptation of the novel as it finally had the shapeshifter including the characters from the book.
     
  6. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed.:techman:
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Why, thank you Captain Pedantic!

    For the purposes of this movie and this discussion Carpenter's version is "the original" as this movie is direct prequel to it and the 1950s movie is immaterial and irrelevant to this discussion, hell it's irrelevant to any discussion about Carpenter's version. In fact, as you noted, the two movies are so different that comparing the two is, well, silly.

    For all intents and purposes -especially in this conversation- Carpenter's movie is "the original." Also, note in my post the use of quotes around "original" which should imply that I'm acknowledging that the Carpenter '82 version isn't the original but it is in the context of this discussion.

    I like this idea, but at the same time I'm not sure how they'd pull off having Childs and McReady in any possible future movie without re-casting the parts or using an obviously very aged Russell and Keith David and, frankly, I don't think you can recast Russell.
     
  8. OsmiumJohnnycake

    OsmiumJohnnycake Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Every time I referred to Carpenter's version as "the original" in the back of my mind I wondered if someone was going to object to that. But yeah, in this context, discussing a prequel, I think it's fair to call Carpenter's version the original. The 2011 version is not even remotely interested in the 1950s version and treats the 1982 film as the original.
     
  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I'd say for all intents and purposes the Carpenter one is "the original", the 1950s one is hardly related at all and can pretty much be considered a completely different movie/"franchise."

    I mean if we're really going to get nitpicky about something not being original because some movie was made half a century ago for teenagers to neck to then there's a lot of movies that aren't "originals."
     
  10. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can I put in my "I liked all three" vote now or do we all need to kvetch about this some more?
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hawks' movie was considerably more sophisticated than drive-in fare, kid.
     
  12. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know why, but for some reason I've always seen Carpenter's movie as being a sort of vague sequel to the 1950s movie, with the Norwegian camp standing in for the camp of the original movie.

    Especially when we see that video footage of them standing around the spaceship like that.

    Not sure if that was Carpenter's intention, but it certainly feels that way to me.
     
  13. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. It is well-written and acted, fast-paced, drop-dead funny in some moments and all-round great fifties sci-fi. The only thing the 1982 movie has over it is a faithfulness to the original story. If that's all you care about, fine, but the lack of faithfulness doesn't mean The Thing From Another World is irrelevant to any conversation.
     
  14. getpat2

    getpat2 Cadet Newbie

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    Hi all, saw THE THING last night. Hoping someone on the forum can explain a few things to me.

    (SPOILER ALERTS BEWARE)


    At the end, the woman is about to get into the helicopter with the pilot to go to the Russian base.

    1) She then blasts him with a flamer because she knew he was an alien because the "earring was in the wrong ear." (did I hear that correctly?) If this is so, 1) why did she head with him in the ice mover to the spacecraft location in the first place? 2) and, if the pilot was an alien, why did he save her from one of the creatures while underground near the spacecraft? 3) and if the pilot were alien, then after she doused him with the flamer, why didn't the alien emerge from the body (albeit on fire) as it was torched? or 4) are we to believe that SHE was the alien and just torched the pilot?

    And then she jumps into the other ice mover and leaves. What became of her?

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I did enjoy the movie but must say the "original-original" THING, 1951, is my all-time favorite movie. For what it was when it was, it is a classic!

    Thanks!
     
  15. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Exactly. I enjoy both movies very much, albeit for different reasons.

    It's annoying to keep having to qualify it just to keep pedants at bay.

    On a related subject, people who insist on pointing out that Frankenstein is the scientist and not the monster need a few thousand volts, themselves.
     
  16. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Yeah, I know. I was being more broad in my statements that was probably necessary.
     
  17. Mike Farley

    Mike Farley Commodore Commodore

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    It wasn't that the earring was in the wrong ear, it was MISSING because the Thing couldn't duplicate non-organic material. Her suspicions were double confirmed when she asked about the earring and he reached for the wrong ear.

    He wasn't taken over by the alien until after they entered the alien ship.

    As written, Kate was supposed to unambiguously die, walking off into the freezing wasteland. The studio changed it to leave her fate up in the air, presumably for a possible sequel.
     
  18. OsmiumJohnnycake

    OsmiumJohnnycake Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought he was wearing the earring when they got in the snowcat (or whatever those things are - it wasn't a helicopter) and during the time they got separated, something happened. True, he didn't squeal or anything. Maybe she was wrong about him. At that point she wasn't taking any chances.

    And it wasn't the Russian base they were headed to, it was the spaceship so they could kill the Thing before they died, basically.

    Afterwards, who knows? If she's human, she likely dies (unless she can survive until the Norwegians send out a search party for the helicopter they sent out at the end*). If she's an alien, she can't make it far before she freezes. If there's a sequel, she's who the Russians are going to find in the ice.

    *Which is possibly the only flaw I see that the prequel introduces - in the 1982 film, one assumes the helicopter seen at the beginning is just one that's normally at the Norwegian base. In the prequel, they show it's one that arrives to pick up the woman (I guess?) and take her back to some other base where she'll catch a flight home. Yet there is no search party for that helicopter, which I guess you can blame on the storm in the 1982 version. So right there I answered my own question and it's not a hole and nevermind.

    Edited to add: Mike Farley is right about the earring. It's that it was missing and there was no noticeable tear which would be there if it had been ripped out or hole if he had taken it out. Although there's no reason I can see why an alien couldn't intentionally duplicate the hole at least, unless its ability to shapeshift is limited only to the DNA and shifting/mixing the stuff it absorbs and it isn't able to make slight alterations. But again, she wasn't taking any chances.
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    She was getting into a snow-tank/tuck with him not a helicopter.

    When she first gets into the truck with him the camera is just behind is ear, showing the earring, and we see her in the B/G noticing this and getting into the truck. At the end we're shown that he no longer has the earring indicating he is now a Thing, this is when she talks to him and blasts him away.


    The things show themselves to be very adaptable and deceitful. This is mostly noteworthy in the original as the things try to convince others they're fine. This is probably most noteworthy with Blair who tries to talk his way back inside while at the same time building a spaceship under the shack. The alien may have been trying to gain MEW's trust to further its goals.

    The alien may have been trying to continue its ruse or maybe we're to believe that he really was the actual guy but the aura of distrust and horror of events had soured MEW to everything and she had torched an innocent man.

    I doubt we're supposed to believe this and there's little evidence in the movie she was ever killed or duplicated.

    We don't know at this point. One one hand we can say her fate is as unknown as what happens to Giles and MacReady after the Carpenter movie. On the other hand its inferred the snow-trucks have the gas to reach a nearby Russian base which she'd probably head for and we'd see the results of that in a sequel if one is to be made.

    Traveling 50 miles in that truck, depending on its speed and terrain, probably would have taken a couple of hours and that's assuming she even has a direction to go in. She's probably there by the time the Carpenter movie "starts" and whatever adventure or events happens there would occur during the course of the first movie's time line (spanning several days.) It's possible, that the events could be times to allow also for the survivors of the Carpenter movie to meet up with her and the Russian base.
     
  20. getpat2

    getpat2 Cadet Newbie

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    Geez, since I don't recall that we see him being taken over by the alien after they entered the spacecraft, is it just her coming to that conclusion as they were getting ready to get back into the helicopter and she didn't see an earring? And so, I still wonder why, after she torched him, didn't the alien break out of the body as it was burning? Thanks!