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post #1 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=234736&d=1327065901
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

85






Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 103 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Egerton, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen
Directed by: Matthijs Van Heijningen
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Written by: Eric Heisserer
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 31, 2012







"It's not human. Yet"



Film Synopsis:

When paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) travels to an isolated outpost in Antarctica for the expedition of a lifetime, she joins an international team that unearths a remarkable discovery. Their elation quickly turns to fear as they realize that their experiment has freed a mysterious being from its frozen prison. Paranoia spreads like an epidemic as a creature that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive and flourish in this spine-tingling thriller.



My Take:

I am a big fan of John Carpenter's classic 1982 remake/re-imaging of 1951's The Thing (from another world). The film's perfectly drawn characters fed by the escalating paranoia, fear and desolation surrounding their discovery of an alien entity capable of absorbing and identically replicating its hosts/victims is both suspenseful and engrossing. I love the (now dated but still very effective) execution of the story's sci-fi horror/action, excellent pacing, and spot on direction all of which make for a truly memorable thriller that is among my personal favorites. When I heard of this remake I was curious but didn't hold out much hope that it would outshine Carpenter's version. As a fan of the genre I went into the review with an open mind looking forward to seeing what it had to offer. This version isn't meant to be a remake but actually serves as a prelude to the events that occur in the 1982 film. Set in 1982, it begins with paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is offered a cryptically described opportunity which involved traveling to a desolate Antarctic region for the expedition of lifetime. Once there she joins a Norwegian scientific team that has stumbled across an extraterrestrial ship buried in the ice. Nearby they discover an organism that seems to have died after exiting the crashed ship eons ago. After a simple experiment they find that the organism is not only alive but has freed itself and begun attacking members of the expedition. Kate and the remaining crew members must join to keep it from killing them off one at a time. And in this vast, intense land, a parasite that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive and flourish.

As prelude to the 1982 film The Thing seems pretty unnecessary as the original stands extremely well on its own. Conceptually speaking I like the idea of seeing what happened at the Norwegian camp referenced in the early parts of the Carpenter's story (be sure to keep watching as the end credits begin to roll). Unfortunately the characters and performances here aren't as compelling and the horror/action feels rehashed. I also don't think the special effects are nearly as disturbing as the original's. Having said that I think that on its own this a perfectly watchable thriller, that for me as a fan of the classic '82 film, has reminiscent value along with a respectable script and a decent lead in Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I also appreciated the care that went into making this a viable companion to Carpenter's film. If you haven't seen John Carpenter's The Thing I highly recommend it. If you have and liked it this film will be of interest and is certainly worth checking out.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong creature violence and gore, disturbing images and language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

The Thing comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.

This film won't blow you away with a deep, vibrant color palette or glossy, razor sharp high definition images. It offers fair delineation, stable sharpness and crisp definition. Colors are limited to various shades of gray, blue, brown and green. Splashes of crimson are sprinkled throughout. This keeps it looking a little drab but not out of the ordinary based upon the subject matter. Depth during long rage camera views during the brightly lit exterior shots is superb while the limited perspective offered by the dim, gloomy settings featured in the film appear naturally innate. Blacks are black in most cases and detail in low light and shadowy backgrounds is quite good. I didn't detect any overt signs of video related anomalies or artifacts.

This is a solid DTS-HD Master Audio encoding that renders this soundtrack well. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren't foundation shaking but the subwoofer is kept busy as it works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the low level bass impact as dictated by the film's elements. Dynamic range is good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. For a film such as this I was a bit surprised at how front oriented the audio mix was however the entire system kicks in during the more active sequences.



Bonus Features:


  • Feature commentary with director Matthijs Van Heijningen

  • (HD) 7 deleted/extended scenes

  • (HD) The Thing evolves - 14 minute featurette

  • (HD) Fire and Ice - 4 minute FX featurette

  • U-Control - Universal's exclusive PiP in movie feature that lets viewers access interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and production facts featuring producers Marc Abrams and Eric Newman.

  • My Scenes bookmark feature

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled

  • pocket BLU

  • Bonus DVD of The Thing

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy


Final Thoughts:

The Thing is a prelude (and a bit of an homage) to John Carpenter's 1982 sci-fi horror classic of the same name. I appreciated the artistic intention and reminiscent value contained in the narrative but as a fan of the original found this effort to pale by comparison. True genre fans probably won't hold it in high regard but when you're in the mood for a little popcorn style guts/gore it isn't bad. The Thing makes its way to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring good high definition audio/video and middling but serviceable bonus supplements that includes Blu-ray exclusives. If you haven't seen John Carpenter's The Thing I highly recommend it. If you have and liked it this film will be of interest and is certainly worth checking out.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for the review, Ralph! I'm a big Mary Elizabeth Winstead fan, so I enjoyed watching this one.
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post #3 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 12:51 PM
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I LOVE the '82 version, The ending was so damn cool. They should have gotten Carpenter to make this one using the same visual effects and whatnot. I have a fleeting interest in seeing this one but i'm sure I will rent it.

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post #4 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 01:48 PM
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I knew it!!

After watching the trailer i had a feeling this remake just didn't do it for me. I've watched the John Carpenter version a few times and whenever there's a remake most of the time it falls short and Ralph confirmed it in his review.

Think i'm going to pass on this one.
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post #5 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 01:59 PM
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I remember seeing this movie back in 1982. I hope this new version is just as good.
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post #6 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 02:11 PM
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Thanks for the review, Ralph. The 1982 version is one of my favorite movies, so I was very skeptical when I heard about this new one (though I felt a little better when I heard it was a prequel rather than a remake). I was very pleasantly surprised; the new one holds up pretty well. For me the main deficiency was that the characters are not nearly as memorable, but the lack of 80's Kurt Russell pretty much guaranteed that. I definitely plan on purchasing this one.
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post #7 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chong67 View Post

I remember seeing this movie back in 1982. I hope this new version is just as good.

Unfortunately, it's nowhere near the original.
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post #8 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alougher View Post

Unfortunately, it's nowhere near the original.

Of course, that was also said about the Carpenter film when it was released. (And it was a box-office bomb as well, regrettably.) I don't expect this prequel to be in the same league as the 1982 version (I assume the creature is now CGI instead of practical), but I'd bet it's far more watchable than many other so-called horror films being released these days.

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post #9 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 03:31 PM
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I was hoping the audio would get a higher score. Being a fan I will still add this to my collection. Thanks, Ralph.

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post #10 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post

Of course, that was also said about the Carpenter film when it was released. (And it was a box-office bomb as well, regrettably.) I don't expect this prequel to be in the same league as the 1982 version (I assume the creature is now CGI instead of practical), but I'd bet it's far more watchable than many other so-called horror films being released these days.

Don't get me wrong, this is a higher than average horror flick and has a home in my library next to the original, but it is nowhere, absolutely nowhere near as good as Carpenter's. Totally different movies that just happen to share the same story.
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post #11 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 04:38 PM
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Big fan of the 82 original, came away from this one mildly depressed. Apparently the studio held a "focus group" screening of this prior to release and based on the feedback they received decided to axe most of the character development and "overwrite" the practical effects (more on that in a moment) with truly lackluster CG enhancement.

About the creature fx: there's an INCREDIBLE video (here) that's been making the rounds that shows the work the effects studio put into this project, and it truly makes you weep for what could have been.
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post #12 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

Big fan of the 82 original, came away from this one mildly depressed. Apparently the studio held a "focus group" screening of this prior to release and based on the feedback they received decided to axe most of the character development and "overwrite" the practical effects (more on that in a moment) with truly lackluster CG enhancement.

About the creature fx: there's an INCREDIBLE video (here) that's been making the rounds that shows the work the effects studio put into this project, and it truly makes you weep for what could have been.

Therein lies the problem: focus groups. The LAST people who should be telling filmmakers how their movies should play! And we've seen the result, both creatively and financially. Too many films suffer from studio interference and focus groups. From DAREDEVIL to GREEN LANTERN to this new THING. A shame they did not opt for a Director's Cut with the character development restored.

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I really LOVED the 1982 version, and I actually liked this version very much and thought it was well done. However, in reflection, it really is just more of the same. There was an opportunity for them to do something completely different, instead of the old "One of us is the monster!" (que blood curdling scream down the claustrophobic arctic station hallway).

But it was still lots of fun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

Big fan of the 82 original, came away from this one mildly depressed. Apparently the studio held a "focus group" screening of this prior to release and based on the feedback they received decided to axe most of the character development and "overwrite" the practical effects (more on that in a moment) with truly lackluster CG enhancement.

About the creature fx: there's an INCREDIBLE video (here) that's been making the rounds that shows the work the effects studio put into this project, and it truly makes you weep for what could have been.

That has Director's Cut written all over it.
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post #15 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waboman View Post

I was hoping the audio would get a higher score. Being a fan I will still add this to my collection. Thanks, Ralph.

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post #16 of 45 Old 01-20-2012, 07:33 PM
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One of my personal favorites in the top 10-12 movies I can watch and never tire of...was the 82 version of The Thing.

I'm going to go ahead and pick this up just because... I'll eventually get to it...I had high hopes for this..oh well.

Thanks King P...great review !
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post #17 of 45 Old 01-21-2012, 05:26 AM
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Was pleasantly surprised to watch this , they've gone to great lengths to tie it in to the original ( its a prequel not a remake) .

The CGI creature is very well executed...people have rose tinted specs about practical effects work ; only a handful of people in a ahandful of films made practical effects that were succesful and for every good shot there would be two failures either side.

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post #18 of 45 Old 01-21-2012, 07:02 AM
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Has anyone seen the 1951 version? It's truly excellent: a minor masterpiece that utilizes a taut script filled with uneasy humor and overlapping dialogue and suggestion to create suspense and an engrossing amount of tension; it's held up well, I think. IMO the 1982 version doesn't quite accomplish that and given that lack of any real suspense in any of todays movies it's not surprising that this newest version doesn't either. It's too bad that old (older) movies get lost in the shuffle.

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post #19 of 45 Old 01-21-2012, 07:09 AM
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I liked the prequel, if only as an inferior companion piece to Carpenter's movie, and will probably use the gift cards I received over the holidays to get this one.

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post #20 of 45 Old 01-21-2012, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Ken View Post

Thanks for the review, Ralph. The 1982 version is one of my favorite movies, so I was very skeptical when I heard about this new one (though I felt a little better when I heard it was a prequel rather than a remake). I was very pleasantly surprised; the new one holds up pretty well. For me the main deficiency was that the characters are not nearly as memorable, but the lack of 80's Kurt Russell pretty much guaranteed that. I definitely plan on purchasing this one.

I agree. It is inferior to the 1982 John Carpenter version in every way, BUT as a horror/sci-fi flick it was, for me anyway, very entertaining and quite suspenseful (especially the tense flame-thrower stand-off). Mary Elizabeth Winstead made a winning heroine in this too. A pretty good performance for this kind of flick. All in all, an enjoyable movie but inferior (in everyway - including effects) to the Carpenter version. I'd love to see a Director's Cut though!
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post #21 of 45 Old 01-21-2012, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

I agree about the Director's Cut and hope to see it come to fruition.


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post #22 of 45 Old 01-21-2012, 09:42 AM
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Thanks Ralph--looks like a rental for me.

Bob

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtaylor0 View Post

Has anyone seen the 1951 version?

Everyone in Haddonfield, Illinois was watching it on Halloween night 1978.
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post #24 of 45 Old 01-21-2012, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtaylor0 View Post

Has anyone seen the 1951 version? It's truly excellent: a minor masterpiece that utilizes a taut script filled with uneasy humor and overlapping dialogue and suggestion to create suspense and an engrossing amount of tension; it's held up well, I think. IMO the 1982 version doesn't quite accomplish that and given that lack of any real suspense in any of todays movies it's not surprising that this newest version doesn't either. It's too bad that old (older) movies get lost in the shuffle.

Yes. I liked it.

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post #25 of 45 Old 01-22-2012, 07:39 AM
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I own this movie in HD-DVD....is it worth double dipping given the 85 rating?

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post #26 of 45 Old 01-22-2012, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbase1 View Post

I own this movie in HD-DVD....is it worth double dipping given the 85 rating?

Greetings,

Actually this isn't the 1982 version but a brand new film. Take a look at the review..

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post #27 of 45 Old 01-22-2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 View Post

I knew it!!

After watching the trailer i had a feeling this remake just didn't do it for me. I've watched the John Carpenter version a few times and whenever there's a remake most of the time it falls short and Ralph confirmed it in his review.

Think i'm going to pass on this one.

Did you not read the review? It's not a remake, it's a prequel.

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Originally Posted by 73ChargerFan View Post

Everyone in Haddonfield, Illinois was watching it on Halloween night 1978.

Nice call!

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post #28 of 45 Old 01-22-2012, 03:35 PM
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its playing right now.
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post #29 of 45 Old 01-22-2012, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtaylor0 View Post

Has anyone seen the 1951 version? It's truly excellent: a minor masterpiece that utilizes a taut script filled with uneasy humor and overlapping dialogue and suggestion to create suspense and an engrossing amount of tension; it's held up well, I think. IMO the 1982 version doesn't quite accomplish that and given that lack of any real suspense in any of todays movies it's not surprising that this newest version doesn't either. It's too bad that old (older) movies get lost in the shuffle.

The 1951 version was good, but John Carpenter's version is much more like the original short story, "Who Goes There?".

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post #30 of 45 Old 01-23-2012, 08:34 AM
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When this came out, since I am a huge fan of the Carpenter version, I almost felt this is sacrilegious .. (BTW, the BD of Carpenters Thing is stunning) ..

I will give it a rental, since I trust Ralph and it seems at least worth a watch .. especially in comparison to some other newer films like "Cowboys/Aliens" ..

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