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The Thing (2011)
Enjoyed many THINGS about this film.
I remember seeing John Carpenter's "The Thing" in the movies opening weekend back in 1982. It was fun, yet bleak, shocking and, at times, over the top. I really liked it. But a lot of critics slammed it. And for many years it became this underground cult favorite. Now, many years later, it's considered a classic.
I didn't go into Matthijs van Heijningen's "The Thing (2011)" with a lot of expectations. I saw the trailer. Liked what I saw. Learned Mary Elizabeth Winstead was cast in the lead. Thought that was interesting, a little different. Heard it was a prequel, thought that was VERY interesting. So I went to the film to relax, have a good time, let it wash over me, much the way I did when I went to Carpenter's film back in 1982.
I saw it the first day it opened, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011. Had fun. Thought it was more of a popcorn film than Carpenter's. Liked Winstead. And the "Lars" character. A fan of movie monsters, I got a kick out of this "Thing," a creature that was all business. I came out of it with a bounce in my step, talking about it.
There's a lot to like here. And I was glad it wasn't a carbon copy of Carpenter's film (even though some critics have accused it of being just that).
The characters are a different lot from the one's in Carpenter's film. And some are memorable. Winstead is fine in the lead. It was refreshing to see someone who wasn't a "MacReady" dealing with this situation. Since this was a different film, I really wanted to follow someone else through the adventure. Unlike Kurt Russell's chess-playing, booze swilling helicopter pilot, Winstead's "Kate" is a young career-minded woman trying to make her way in a man's world. She's in the minority in this group, and is put in her place a time or two in the first reel. This makes the "who's in charge" game in the second act fun to watch.
While Carpenter's film is a fascinating study of dark hallways and isolation, this Thing's got more scope. It's a "bigger" film. Some of the major action sequences are rather ambitious. And they work very well (I'm staying away from spoilers here). There are some very cool special effects. And the CG isn't the worst in the world. Carpenter, no doubt, would have employed some if he had the chance back in 1982. Did anyone ever see the stop-motion "Blair Monster" footage he scrapped? Carpenter was always looking out on the horizon for new ways to bring his creations to life. Nothing wrong with that. I thought the creature effects in the new "Thing" were pretty good, had personality and showed us how dangerous this "Thing" could be in a snap.
There was also a lot of care put into "The Thing (2011)" to make you believe it was made in the same universe as Carpenter's film. There are a bunch of similarities. Font styles over the credits. The layout of the Norwegian camp. Lens flares (sounds obsessive on my part, but when lights or flame throwers were burning during exteriors, the lens flares looked very similar to those in Carpenter's film).
Like Carpenter's film, I think "The Thing (2011)" will become a cult classic in its own right. People will find it on home video, revisit it and talk about it.
A brief introduction to "Corinn," the low-rent mercenary known as "The .40 Caliber Mouse" who is featured in a series of novels by Stephen Pytak.
This was my first film, which features actress Victoria Vaughn of Fairfax, Va. as "Corinn," a low-rent mercenary known as "The .40 Caliber Mouse." Shot on a low budget in Pottsville, Pa. and Washington D.C., it's primarily a music video for a song I wrote along with a blues musician named Soji O. It's titled "Stick Around." Soji appears in the video and performs the track. The song is taken from the point of view of someone who cares about "Corinn" and disapproves of her lifestyle. The ending of the video was shot at The Black Cat night club in Washington D.C. and features "The Carrion Crow," one of the characters I developed for my third novel, "The Wild Damned (2010)." Considering the low budget and time constraints on this project, I really want to commend the people who helped me put it together. I love the shot in which Victoria spins around, brandishing her pistol. The girl's got talent.