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The Thing (2011)
I pretty much agree with brwinner35's review.
I pretty much agree with brwinner35's review. This film did everything in its power to remain true to Carpenter's version. They even hinted at Carpenterian background music. It wasn't a perfect film, but it was far better than most being made today, and deserves mad respect for not screwing things up or adding some lame twist. I think that the problem with any prequel is that it removes a lot of mystery, but it was cool that they tried to keep you guessing as to whether or not a lame twist was coming. I liked that the female characters weren't cliché heroines. The technology in the film was accurate, i.e. 1980's keyboards and monitors. Also, everyone had great beards, which is totally necessary for any hardcore fan, haha!!! The story was awesome and realistically explained how the first film begins--as the credits roll you will want to throw in Carpenter's version and pick up where you left off. Honestly, I would have given this film a 7 or an 8, but it deserves a 9 because it is probably one of the best prequels out there, at least based on a 1980's classic.
The Mist (2007)
Loved everything but the new ending
In my opinion, "The Mist" is one of King's best short stories, and happens to be my personal favorite. Darabont is an awesome writer and director, and for the most part the film itself is awesome. The character development is effective, casting is good, the special effects and creature design are excellent, and the film is well-directed. Probably Marcia Gay Harden's best performance. Thomas Jane did well, too, and the supporting cast was wonderful.
If you've never read the original short story, you'll probably love everything about this film. I was a little disappointed that David and Amanda's sexual encounter was removed (it seemed to de-King things for me) but this is something easily gotten over. However, the new ending is AWFUL in my opinion. At the end of the movie, I felt like someone made me a flawless ice cream sundae and then spit in it for no good reason.
First of all, you have to realize that the scariest aspect of the original story is that there was no end, no easy solution, no happy ending. The story ended, but in your mind the characters kept going--off into who knows what. No one was in control and survival was the only goal. On the other hand, Darabont's ending, which was an annoying "gotcha" twist, ruined this part of the story. We learn the ultimate fate of the main characters. We learn the ultimate fate of the world: government has things under control. "The Mist" went from being a never-ending, mysterious horror to a temporary disaster, essentially stripping it of its power and imagination.
That brings me to my next point: the original story is pretty cynical towards the status quo. The military-industrial complex causes a problem that it cannot fix. Akin to nuclear or biological war, our government has basically destroyed the world beyond comprehension. So, there was a moral to King's version. Unfortunately, the new ending also denies us this moral. Darabont's ending shows the government in control, regaining some moral high ground, cleaning up its mess and restoring law and order. Anarchy was never there. This more nationalistic ending will be very disappointing for people who loved the original.
Third, it really goes against the character development to have an ending where all the survivalists commit suicide. We're led to believe that these people have courage, skills, intelligence, etc., and we witness them using these abilities to escape both monsters and a human mob...only to kill themselves when they run out of gas? I think it's more likely that they would make a run for a building or remember to fill up...
I know that King endorsed the new ending, but I don't care. Sorry--he's simply wrong about this one in my opinion, and anyone who loved reading "The Mist" will probably agree. Darabont: (You have redeemed yourself with The Walking Dead) we still love you, but what were you thinking? I was hoping they'd release a DVD with an alternate ending, but I haven't seen one to date, so this is what I recommend to make this film go from OK to AMAZING. Just turn the television off a few minutes early. Watch the film, love every minute of it, daydream that a sex scene happened, and then be ready to turn it off as the truck drives off into the mist in absolute uncertainty, just like it did in the original story...
Predators: insulting our intelligence since 2010
As someone who loves the Predator films, I expected much more out of this one, especially since it involved a great actor like Adrien Brody (not to mention Fishburne, who also rocks). While the overall concept was OK, this film generally lacked the intelligence of the first two Predator films, and all too often Antal resorted to CGI-candy, lame hack and slash action, and cliché scenarios. The story ended up seeming piecemeal and the character development was weak. This might appeal to younger fans (many of whom probably didn't make it through the movie without sending a few text messages) but I wouldn't recommend it if you're a fan of the earlier films, or if you have a higher IQ. "Noland" (Fishburne) was probably the most disappointing character for me, not because of bad acting, but because of poor writing/directing. In summary, I would say that this film is more akin to the AvP movies: fun to watch, but lacking the virtue of the originals. Let's hope they come out with a Predator III and tuck this one into a boxed set for giggles.