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  1. #1
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    A DVD REVIEW: JOHN CARPENTER'S THE THING - COLLECTOR'S EDITION (Universal)

    "Someone in this camp aint who he appears to be.....right now thats one or two of us, by Spring it might by all of us........"
    -Kurt Russell, John Carpenter's The Thing

    To have your name, as a director or author, affixed to the title of a work, you must be a master at what you do --- I mean, as much as guys like Spielberg and Scorsese are spitting out massively well done motion pictures, you don't see "Martin Scorsese's Casino" or "Steven Spielberg's ET" and thats NOT because they are not masters at what they do......its just that there is a certain MAGIC about director John Carpenter's work that wouldnt be the same without his name legally affixed to all his motion pictures; its what we associate his films with --- his own name.

    And so in and around 1982, Carpenter decided to do a remake of this classic Antartica-based alien story, but much gorier and creepier this time around. Out of most of his works, The Thing has always been a fan favorite amongst Carpenter afficionados (and believe me, I dont know if Ive ever seen another director more fan-oriented than Carpenter --- his fans are completely over the top for his films and Im among them). This may well indeed be the best horror remake in the history of cinema, although it does change the story a bit (well, what remake doesnt?); this film also does so many things right, especially in the special effects department (thanks to master Rob Bottin) that it is one of the goriest horror films in the history of cinema as well, next to special effects fests like David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly. It is a horror masterpiece that is replete with memorable gore scenes like the "spider head" sequence and the "splitting dogs"; to this day, I cannot eat anything while watching Carpenter's The Thing, much like I cant eat anything while watching The Fly because of the gore factor in these films; can you believe that?

    Based on a short story called "Who Goes There?" Carpenter's remake of The Thing has Kurt Russell (fresh off of Disney fame in just about his first major role in a serious film and then becoming a Carpenter favorite) in the role of RJ McReady, a helicopter pilot stationed in a US research center in Antartica. The film opens with shots of a helicopter chasing a Siberian Husky dog with someone hanging out of the helicopter with a rifle trying to shoot the dog. The dog makes it to the US research camp, where Russell and the rest of the team come out to see what is going on with this helicopter shooting at a dog. A Norwegian man comes out of the helicopter, after it lands in front of the US camp, and begins shooting whoever gets in his way of killing this dog; the station manager uses his pistol and shoots the crazy Norwegian in the head, ending the mayhem.

    What we soon learn is that this dog is not what it appears to be, and the Norwegians, camped miles away from the US research center, were trying to kill it for a good reason. That same night, locked away with other Siberian dogs in a kennel in the US camp, the stray dog turns into a menacing, gory creature that attacks the other dogs in the kennel, forcing Russell and Keith David's character to use a blowtorch to burn the weird dog-creature. It is soon discovered that there was an alien life form of some kind that crash landed on Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago, and the Norwegians stumbled upon it and unleashed it in the ice where it was frozen in its space ship (shown flying into Earth in the very opening credits of the film). This alien has the ability to consume whatever life form it wants --- dog, human, whatever --- and then immitate it perfectly so you would never know if the person or animal were alien or human. This was Carpenter's twist on the original Thing story. Eventually, Russell and a doctor in the research team fly a helicopter to the Norwegian camp, where they discover the grotesque frozen form of what appears to be a man --- but is more like a frozen transforming "Thing". They bring the creature back to their camp (stupid mistake) thinking they have made the "find of the century" where the alien thaws out once again and begins taking over the men in the US camp, slowly turning each of them into grotesque creatures if they are discovered before they have a chance to "immitate" the person it's attacking and absorbing.

    Eventually, none of the men trust one another because they simply dont know who's a "thing" and who isnt; a perfect immitation could be standing right next to them and they wouldnt know it until they were attacked by one of these "things"; one of the most shocking scenes in the film --- and perhaps in all of special effects horror film history --- comes when one of the characters appears to be having a heart attack, but the team doesnt know its an immitation alien of the man.....upon trying to revive him with chest electrodes, one of the doctors in the group gets his arms chopped off as the man/alien's chest opens up to expose a row of sharp teeth, while his torso opens up and explodes into swirling tentacles, from which a giant immitation "spider head" creature explodes from the man's chest, with a face that looks just like his own --- while the men are in total chaos watching this creature, Russell begins blow torching it to kill it, but they didnt see the actual head of the man come unattached from his body, spring a giant tongue, pull itself under a desk, sprout crab-like legs, and then walk away.....one of the characters, named "Palmer", watches this "spider head" walking away and turns around and says "You gotta be ****in kidding......." as Russell blasts it with the flamethrower. It is one of the most SHOCKING moments in horror special effects history, and its a scene that makes this film so talked about in the horror community.

    After another member of the team turns into a "thing" once getting a blood serum test done, nobody knows who to trust at all --- and the remaining survivors who are human go below the surface of the camp looking for the head scientist who has gone crazy and dissapeared (played by Wilfred Brimley). But Brimley has already become a "thing" and by the time he is done killing the rest of the team and only Russell is left, he has transformed into a massive snake-like creature with half a human face and half a face with sharp teeth.....another awesome Rob Bottin creation. As this "Blair Creature" as it is known explodes from under the surface of the ice, Russell throws dynamite at it and screams "YEAH, **** YOU, TOO!!" as the entire camp explodes into a fireball.

    It seems Russell survived the explosion, and that he appears to be the only survivor....that is, until Keith David's character shows up. At this point, the film ends with the two men sitting amongst the burning research station in a snowstorm, wondering if either of them are a "thing"......it is a great ending by Carpenter because it really leaves us wondering if one of them were human, or either.

    This was a landmark horror flick, one that has become legendary in the halls of greusome cinema; recently (well, around last Halloween) Universal Home Video re-released this title in a brand new anamorphically enhanced version, but according to sources I know and what I have read, the exact same Dolby Digital audio and bundle of extras carried over to this new version from the Collector's Edition I reviewed here; I dont know if the new version's transfer is BRAND NEW and digitally remastered, but it IS anamorphic, which this disc, sadly, is not.

    VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS:
    DUAL LAYER NON-ANAMORPHIC 2:35:1 WIDESCREEN TRANSFER

    For a title this old, Carpenter's The Thing looks pretty good on a widescreen set, yet doesnt at the same time; because this was a non-anamorphic release by Universal (I dont understand why), I needed to use my Mitsubishi screen's EXPAND mode to fill in the massive letterboxing. This exposed, like usual, flaws in the transfer print. I dont know......while The Thing looks good for a film of its age, as I said, and the fact that this was its first time on DVD, something just didnt look right about this transfer......maybe it was the lack of anamorphic enhancement, I dont know.....but, to be honest, this looked like a good VHS transfer rather than something on DVD; it did not have that "smooth" of a look to it, but I dont know if this updated anamorphic version of the DVD improves these problems at all. There is no horribly distracting grain or anything like that (the much newer-released Crimson Tide non-anamorphic DVD actually looks worse), its just that the look of the transfer is off somewhere.....not that smooth, as I said, and probably suffering from lack of anamorphic enhancement.

    AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS:
    ENGLISH DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1, FRENCH DOLBY SURROUND, ENGLISH CAPTIONS, SPANISH SUBTITLES

    Believe it or not, this 5.1 mix is VERY active for a film of this vintage --- active, but very dated-sounding; from the moment the film begins, there is a nice fly-by right into the surrounds of the spaceship hitting Earth, and then the whole opening scene with the Norwegians in their helicopter wraps around the soundstage very fully --- you can hear the chopper pass through the surrounds at almost every moment in the scene. The problem is, the audio sounds, as I said, "dated" and old, and yet at the same time, there is a lot of activity on this surround mix......explosions sound kind of thin and dull at times, but they RIP into the surrounds when appropriate. Alien noises and cries fill the soundstage, as well, and then there is the awesome, haunting score for this film by Ennio Morricone, which is a simple, thumping bass note that resonates through the entire film.....this sounds great in 5.1.

    But the track does have its problems, as I said.....there is a definite lack of dynamic range here, so explosions and active panning and such is going to sound a bit dull and dated....plus, of course, the track does not possess much volume power, so you're gonna need to crank this one up when watching it to get fully engrossed in the picture. But, as I said, there are very constant moments of surround usage, which was a nice touch by Universal, whether it be the whipping of helicopter blades blaring in the surrounds or the gentle whipping of the Antartica wind in the rear channels --- it just seems like some audio remastering needed to be done here to make this mix "breathe" a bit better because it does sound, as I have said, somewhat dated. I dont know if DTS is in order here, but it may help this landmark horror film. As for that new version with the anamorphic transfer, I have been told by Universal's press people that this was a carryover Dolby 5.1 mix, so I dont think they did any work to the audio stems on this film. A pity. I would have to demo the disc myself, because Universal said the same thing to me about their new Casino: Anniversary Edition and that it was a carryover Dolby 5.1 mix from the old disc, yet I was clearly able to hear some improvements on this new version.

    As befitting a COLLECTOR'S EDITION DVD, Universal went all-out on the making of this gory horror chiller with these special features:

    -Running Commentary with Kurt Russell and Director John Carpenter
    -John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape: An 80 minute original documentary featuring interviews with John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, special effects makeup designer Rob Bottin, legendary matte artist Albert Whitlock, plus other members of the cast, crew and special effects team
    -Also Featuring: Never Before Seen Stop Motion Animation Footage Cut From The Thing, Exclusive Work-in-Progress Visual Effects Footage, Behind The Scenes Location Footage
    -Original Theatrical Trailer
    -Outtakes From the Film
    -Behind the Scenes Photographs
    -Storyboards and Conceptual Art
    -Annotated Production Archive

    There is interesting trivia about the making of this film, too, covered in the special features on the disc, notably that during the filming (which was not shot, believe it or not, in an Antartic region on location but in one of Universal's lots making it LOOK and APPEAR like an Antartic region), Kurt Russell got very ill because of the constant temperature changes during the filming --- the picture was shot in the Los Angeles summer months, but the inside set of the film was below freezing for effect, so there were tremendous temperature sweeps going on which put a big strain on the cast; this is covered in better detail in the special features.

    As for which disc to buy --- this Collector's Edition, or the new anamorphically enhanced one --- I dont know, but I will say this.....first, I dont even know if this Collector's Edition that I own is still available on the market, and second, it seems like some video remastering could have definitely been done to this print, so perhaps it will be worth the upgrade to this new anamorphic Collector's version down the road for me, and for you fans as well.

  2. #2
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Could be my fav top 10 movie. The org thing from another planet. I have it on dvd. Imo,way better then the remake but different from each other. Dewey Martin,one of my fav's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Could be my fav top 10 movie. The org thing from another planet. I have it on dvd. Imo,way better then the remake but different from each other. Dewey Martin,one of my fav's.
    Yes, The Thing From Another Planet IS a completely different approach and animal from this short story-based Carpenter remake, and in my opinion, cant hold a candle to Carpenter's vision of aliens immitating human life forms.

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    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    For 1951,pretty dam good and if you think about it,way more likly a single person spacecraft. I just never thought to much of the remake.
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    "I just never thought to much of the remake."

    Surprising; if you go online a do a Google search, you will find dozens of fan sites devoted to Carpenter's The Thing complete with discussions about who was an alien first in the team, if Russell and David were in fact "things" at the end of the picture, and endless discussions about the makeup effects used for the "spider head" sequence.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    Just because there is a fan site and just because some people like the new one better than the roiginal and just because you agree with them -- does not make it an objective fact. This is the same thing about Jurassic park. I know of not a SINGLE serious art historian or Film Critic that views JP as anything other than popcorn entertainment. Many would not even consider it a decent movie let alone a good one.

    The Thing having Carpenter's name on it means nothing other than to let people know he directed it so it migh not tank at the box office. Really everything he did after the Thing was pretty weak - Escape from LA and the Vampire movie were some of the worst piles of Dung I've ever had the misfortune to sit through.

    The Thing (1982 Carpenter Version) happens to be one of my top 13 for halloween and follows the short story closer than the original film did. I understand why people prefer the original but the 1982 version was a hoot. The gore put some people off and gore has a tendancy to take away the suspense and it does here. Still there is enough left to propel the film forward and the gore was well done. The musical score was irritating other than the driving Bass thumps which begins the film and enters consistantly.

    This was a very good DVD and a heckuva lot of fun. It gets re-released in theaters here most every Halloween as part of a five film showing. Usually, The Exorcist, The Shining, The Thing, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and A Clockwork Orange.

    The Thing (1982) ***1/2 / *****

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    "Just because there is a fan site and just because some people like the new one better than the roiginal and just because you agree with them -- does not make it an objective fact."

    I never said it was; I simply said to me, the original cannot hold a candle to the remake.

    "This is the same thing about Jurassic park. I know of not a SINGLE serious art historian or Film Critic that views JP as anything other than popcorn entertainment. Many would not even consider it a decent movie let alone a good one."

    Well, I KNOW OF MANY film critics and people I graduated film history school with who DISAGREE COMPLETELY with your views and what you are stating here regarding Jurassic Park; ANYONE I HAVE EVER discussed this film with have ALWAYS been wowed by the scene when the Brontos are first on screen and consider it monumental filmmaking.

    "The Thing having Carpenter's name on it means nothing other than to let people know he directed it so it migh not tank at the box office."

    Absolutely not true. I had the honor of speaking with Carpenter once at an Escape From New York fan convention, and there are MANY reasons he sighted why his name is affixed to the front of his films. What is this comment above mean, YOUR opinion of Carpenter and WHY his name is affixed to his work? So what does THAT mean? I actually spoke with John (who is a great guy) and his name has NOTHING TO DO with the fact that a given film may "tank" or "not tank" at the box office --- where did you get this information from?


    "Really everything he did after the Thing was pretty weak - Escape from LA and the Vampire movie were some of the worst piles of Dung I've ever had the misfortune to sit through."

    Well, thats YOUR opinion, once again, and I whole heartedly disagree in the most EXTREME sense, save for GHOSTS OF MARS, which was his most horrendous work to date. If you didnt get Escape From LA --- you just DONT understand John Carpenter and what he was going for; his EXACT copy of Escape From New York was the WHOLE POINT of that film, and real Carpenter fans understand that. Escape From L.A., to REAL Carpenter fans, was a tremendous success as a sequel --- not box office wise, because it did tank, but to people like me who UNDERSTAND what Carpenter was going for in this sequel; as a matter of fact, read my in-depth review of the DVD on Home Theater Discussion.com, where I am senior writer and reviewer on the staff there.

    "The Thing (1982 Carpenter Version) happens to be one of my top 13 for halloween and follows the short story closer than the original film did. I understand why people prefer the original but the 1982 version was a hoot. The gore put some people off and gore has a tendancy to take away the suspense and it does here. Still there is enough left to propel the film forward and the gore was well done. The musical score was irritating other than the driving Bass thumps which begins the film and enters consistantly."

    Man, do you have some sore issues with cinema.....you thought Ennicone's score was IRRITATING????? This is what MADE the film, no matter how you slice it.....the thumping beat score is what made The Thing so suspenseful and gave the picture that sense of paranoia amongst the camp members and the feelings of isolation in the Antartic; the score was BRILLIANT for this film. By the way, did you ever read the short story Who Goes There? on which Carpenter's visions were based, being that you make so many derrogatory comments about this vision?

    "This was a very good DVD and a heckuva lot of fun."

    Well, as my review stated, it needed work in some areas, ESPECIALLY the fact that it was NOT anamorphically enhanced, but the special features were fascinating and a heckuva lot of fun, as you say. I am tempted to pick up this new Collector's Edition of The Thing that Universal released last Halloween.


    "It gets re-released in theaters here most every Halloween as part of a five film showing. Usually, The Exorcist, The Shining, The Thing, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and A Clockwork Orange."

    Now thats pretty cool.....I wish they would do that in theaters here......thats just ****ing cool.....

  8. #8
    RGA
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    First the reason I discussed the name was your entire first paragraph with "......its just that there is a certain MAGIC about director John Carpenter's work that wouldnt be the same without his name legally affixed to all his motion pictures; its what we associate his films with --- his own name."

    What does this have to do with anything. Every director of every motion picture has their name on the film. No offense but John Carpenter just isn't an elite director. He has three notable films - Halloween, The Thing and Escape From New York. Halloween set the standard withg Psycho as the greatest slasher films ever created. Halloween at the time was absolutely brilliant with it's use of camera and music to create an incredibly scary film with little to no gore. And the Thing is also on my list of the best 13 horror films. But it has problems. Many professional critics note the problem with the score and if you read what I wrote I saud the score OTHER than the bass beats. The bass beats were fantastic -- it is the REST of the score which is a failure and most pro-critics have noted it. It's not like it ruined the movie but it sure didn't help anything.

    Escape from New York was a good but not great movie and Escape from LA does have some interesting ideas and a story...but it's a complete disaster on film with atrocious special effects.

    http://www.movieline.com/reviews/escape_from_la.shtml

    It doesn;t work as satire nor does it work as political commentary because it falls into what it tries to mock and just becomes schlock.

    You must have went to a pretty lame school for 22 year olds who would call an entire film a classic becuase of the opening scene of a film which is a CGI shot. I'll give you it could be a classic monster movie or the best dinosaur movie - but there ain;t many of them that are very good. It's certainly an entertaining movie and it was certainly brilliant visually when it came out but a classic has to be more than that.

    Most of the pro critics are here and I don't see any of them raving about the quality of the performacnes or the story or calling it a classic. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/jurassic_park/

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    "What does this have to do with anything. Every director of every motion picture has their name on the film"

    No offense back, but are you smoking crack? Where does it say in the beginning of ANY other film "SO AND SO's" and the name of the film? Carpenter is the only director to have this moniker affixed to the FRONT OF THE TITLE OF THE FILM.

    "No offense but John Carpenter just isn't an elite director. He has three notable films - Halloween, The Thing and Escape From New York. Halloween set the standard withg Psycho as the greatest slasher films ever created. Halloween at the time was absolutely brilliant with it's use of camera and music to create an incredibly scary film with little to no gore. And the Thing is also on my list of the best 13 horror films. But it has problems. Many professional critics note the problem with the score and if you read what I wrote I saud the score OTHER than the bass beats. The bass beats were fantastic -- it is the REST of the score which is a failure and most pro-critics have noted it. It's not like it ruined the movie but it sure didn't help anything."

    Absolutely not agreed by me. I believe he IS an elite director, and all the comments you made regarding the score is simply untrue; Ennino Morricone's score is a saving grace of The Thing --- ask any self respected THING fan, and he or she will tell you (I dont care what these so-called critics you keep on bringing up say) that the score adds to the PARANOIA and ISOLATION the characters are experiencing in the film --- which is the point of The Thing --- these guys dont know who to trust and the score supplements this PERFECTLY; you are simply not concentrating on this aspect of the film and the thumping, simple score as it relates to what is going on up on that screen for some reason. It is a BRILLIANT piece of score for this gory sci fi/horror classic.

    I am so glad you made your comments regarding Halloween in the method you did, because I was going to have to rip on you for that if you didnt --- Halloween is DOWNRIGHT MONUMENTAL in the way it chilled and shocked without much gore and with the reliance of Carpenter's classic piano score co-themed by Alan Howarth.

    "Escape from New York was a good but not great movie and Escape from LA does have some interesting ideas and a story...but it's a complete disaster on film with atrocious special effects."

    What does that review you provided prove? I dont agree, nor do other Escape From New York and LA fans; Escape From New York WAS a GREAT film --- and you are right about ONE thing with regard to Escape From L.A., which I talk about on Home Theater Discussion.com during my review --- the CGI that accompanies this film is a COMPLETE DISASTER and Carpenter just didnt know how to deal with the technology; the special effects DO look horrible, and it almost seems cartoonish on screen. You are right. Escape From L.A. goes beyond interesting ideas....it shows the buried ruins of downtown LA, a Universal Studios logo sign underwater, and other great Los Angeles landmarks like the Capitol Records building crushed to rubble....but the effects are terrible looking, correct.

    "It doesn;t work as satire nor does it work as political commentary because it falls into what it tries to mock and just becomes schlock."

    Yeah, in SOMEONE ELSE'S opinion.

    "You must have went to a pretty lame school for 22 year olds"

    Absolutely unfair and rude to say without knowing me or the school I went to, and untrue. Adelphi University's film school division, as well as New York's Hofstra University where I went for follow-up film history classes, are both renowned for their professor staff and graduation success with regard to those who professionally go into the film industry; I didnt......I centered my talents on WRITING, of which I hold a Masters Degree in Expository Writing, but I DID study film on a level which I believe you are being way too harsh on without knowing me personally or my classmates who were well-respected.


    "who would call an entire film a classic becuase of the opening scene of a film which is a CGI shot. I'll give you it could be a classic monster movie or the best dinosaur movie - but there ain;t many of them that are very good. It's certainly an entertaining movie and it was certainly brilliant visually when it came out but a classic has to be more than that."

    It was classic, again, for reasons you dont either A) cannot or B) refuse to understand; as I contend, the film was monumental because it made audience's mouths drop open in those opening shots --- and every theater I went to to discuss this film with people coming out of the cinemas said the same thing: an absolute Spielberg-classic-to-be.....

    "Most of the pro critics are here and I don't see any of them raving about the quality of the performacnes or the story or calling it a classic."

    THATS A LAUGH.....you put stock in ANYONE from Rotten Tomatoes? That is a BIG mistake, my friend, believe me.....I know a lot of these guys and they wouldnt know celluloid from a roll of toilet paper, trust me.

  10. #10
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Nothing against Carpenter but Howard Hawks not a bad Dir. either and not bad for his only Sci Fi flick. Imo,when the thing comes into the room and they set it on fire is one of the best 30 seconds of action in a movie for its time.
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    Red face Good call there....

    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Nothing against Carpenter but Howard Hawks not a bad Dir. either and not bad for his only Sci Fi flick. Imo,when the thing comes into the room and they set it on fire is one of the best 30 seconds of action in a movie for its time.
    We know that Hawks directed this, it bears all his trademarks.... particularly the excellent cross dialogue I love so much. But there really is no comparing the two films. They're as different as two films could be from one another and still have the same name. J.C.'s The
    Thing is NOT a movie I can watch easily. There are things in it that move me to the point of revulsion. If it's on and I'm NOT in the mood I cannot watch it. The original on the other hand I will watch over and over again with glee.

    Don't get me wrong, the remake is an amazing film, but it's a little too amazing in the gore category if you catch my drift. I may own it someday, but I ain't rushing out to get it.

    Da Worfster

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    Kam
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    RGA, i'd personally add Big Trouble in Little China as one of Carpenter's best, and the completion of his Kurt Russel trilogy. I thought this movie was a lot of great fun and cheesy over the top melodramatic characters, with Jack Burton my fav kurt russel character to date.

    i hated escape from la so i dont include that in The thing / Escape from ny / Btilc trilogy, nor elvis, his tv movie with carpenter.

    also Lexmark, it all depends on your definition of "elite director" if you're going to include carpenter in that category. if it's your own subjective defintion of 'elite' than you can obviously include whoever you want. if it's an industry definition of "A" list directors, then carpenter is not amongst them. if it's a historical look at great directors, personally, i dont believe carpenter's body of work stands up to the likes of Lean, Kurasawa, Hitchcock, Satyajit Ray, Scorcese, Spielberg, Coppola, Kubrick, Mel Brooks, etc.

    its always tough to discuss the merits of a subjective form, one person's trash is another's treasure.
    /create

  13. #13
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    "What does this have to do with anything. Every director of every motion picture has their name on the film"

    No offense back, but are you smoking crack? Where does it say in the beginning of ANY other film "SO AND SO's" and the name of the film? Carpenter is the only director to have this moniker affixed to the FRONT OF THE TITLE OF THE FILM.

    "No offense but John Carpenter just isn't an elite director. He has three notable films - Halloween, The Thing and Escape From New York. Halloween set the standard withg Psycho as the greatest slasher films ever created. Halloween at the time was absolutely brilliant with it's use of camera and music to create an incredibly scary film with little to no gore. And the Thing is also on my list of the best 13 horror films. But it has problems. Many professional critics note the problem with the score and if you read what I wrote I saud the score OTHER than the bass beats. The bass beats were fantastic -- it is the REST of the score which is a failure and most pro-critics have noted it. It's not like it ruined the movie but it sure didn't help anything."

    Absolutely not agreed by me. I believe he IS an elite director, and all the comments you made regarding the score is simply untrue; Ennino Morricone's score is a saving grace of The Thing --- ask any self respected THING fan, and he or she will tell you (I dont care what these so-called critics you keep on bringing up say) that the score adds to the PARANOIA and ISOLATION the characters are experiencing in the film --- which is the point of The Thing --- these guys dont know who to trust and the score supplements this PERFECTLY; you are simply not concentrating on this aspect of the film and the thumping, simple score as it relates to what is going on up on that screen for some reason. It is a BRILLIANT piece of score for this gory sci fi/horror classic.

    I am so glad you made your comments regarding Halloween in the method you did, because I was going to have to rip on you for that if you didnt --- Halloween is DOWNRIGHT MONUMENTAL in the way it chilled and shocked without much gore and with the reliance of Carpenter's classic piano score co-themed by Alan Howarth.

    "Escape from New York was a good but not great movie and Escape from LA does have some interesting ideas and a story...but it's a complete disaster on film with atrocious special effects."

    What does that review you provided prove? I dont agree, nor do other Escape From New York and LA fans; Escape From New York WAS a GREAT film --- and you are right about ONE thing with regard to Escape From L.A., which I talk about on Home Theater Discussion.com during my review --- the CGI that accompanies this film is a COMPLETE DISASTER and Carpenter just didnt know how to deal with the technology; the special effects DO look horrible, and it almost seems cartoonish on screen. You are right. Escape From L.A. goes beyond interesting ideas....it shows the buried ruins of downtown LA, a Universal Studios logo sign underwater, and other great Los Angeles landmarks like the Capitol Records building crushed to rubble....but the effects are terrible looking, correct.

    "It doesn;t work as satire nor does it work as political commentary because it falls into what it tries to mock and just becomes schlock."

    Yeah, in SOMEONE ELSE'S opinion.

    "You must have went to a pretty lame school for 22 year olds"

    Absolutely unfair and rude to say without knowing me or the school I went to, and untrue. Adelphi University's film school division, as well as New York's Hofstra University where I went for follow-up film history classes, are both renowned for their professor staff and graduation success with regard to those who professionally go into the film industry; I didnt......I centered my talents on WRITING, of which I hold a Masters Degree in Expository Writing, but I DID study film on a level which I believe you are being way too harsh on without knowing me personally or my classmates who were well-respected.


    "who would call an entire film a classic becuase of the opening scene of a film which is a CGI shot. I'll give you it could be a classic monster movie or the best dinosaur movie - but there ain;t many of them that are very good. It's certainly an entertaining movie and it was certainly brilliant visually when it came out but a classic has to be more than that."

    It was classic, again, for reasons you dont either A) cannot or B) refuse to understand; as I contend, the film was monumental because it made audience's mouths drop open in those opening shots --- and every theater I went to to discuss this film with people coming out of the cinemas said the same thing: an absolute Spielberg-classic-to-be.....

    "Most of the pro critics are here and I don't see any of them raving about the quality of the performacnes or the story or calling it a classic."

    THATS A LAUGH.....you put stock in ANYONE from Rotten Tomatoes? That is a BIG mistake, my friend, believe me.....I know a lot of these guys and they wouldnt know celluloid from a roll of toilet paper, trust me.
    I'm sorry for the comment I made about the university, it didn;t come out the way I intended but from the movies you've been posting here they do not seem to represent a single serious film but popcorn entertainments. I don't see La Grande Illusion, Lawrence of Arabbia, Schindler's List, 400 blows, The Seven Samarai, the three colours trilogy or a host of other "real" classics. Instead I'm seeing action movies and CGI movies like Under seige and Jurassic Park. If JP is a classic then we need a new and better word for what Schindler's List is because there is zero comparison between which of the two is truly a monumental work of film making.

    Please give me the name of the pofessor of the school and his e-mail or phone number -- I want to ask him if he is teaching students that JP is a classic film and why. If therewas some sort of credible reason as a classic of special effects as historical note then I can see it. A Master's Degree student should be able to completley rip the dialog of that film and the plot to shreds in my view.

    Your comments about asking fans of a movie whether something is a classic makes absolutely no sense. I am sure fans of Ace Ventura Pet Detective will be spouiting off that it's a classic too --- WHAT ELSE would a FAN say? The reason someone is a fan is because they love the movie. But there are plenty of crappy films that people are fans of and to THEM it may be a classic which is fine by me.

    I have the Thing as one of my favorite 13 horror movies. And I would give you "cult-classic" standing. But this film does not get, by any serious film critic, very high marks that a Citizen Kane tyupically musters. Not everything is a classic just cause you and some friends of yours like a movie. I recommend lots of films but they are not all classics. In fact I'm amazed that a serious film class would spend time on Jurassic Park -- No film school I know of considers that film a classic or even a GOOD movie. John J Puccio teaches film school at a major California University and I've discsussed a number of films with him

    "Jurassic Park" is an adventure film par excellence, at times short on logic and certainly short on plot, but long on thrills and amazement. Once you see (and hear) the dinosaurs, they're tough to forget. In addition, it's hard to resist Sam Neill's transformation from a hater of children to a protector of them. It adds a touch of poignancy to what is otherwise just an opulent thrill ride. In the final analysis, "Jurassic Park" is a film worth watching again and again, which is what a home-theater library of DVDs is all about."

    I guess if you read what film professors had to say virtually ALL of them say the exact same thing as John is saying -- a lot of fun great visuals weak plot lacks logic. John is actually friendlier to it than many.

    I suppose I should have started with my view of what a Classic is...and why I hate this WORD from being thrown around for every single film that someone likes. A true classic is somethinng that stands the test of time. So when a movie like Cinderella man comes out and people say things like it is a modern classic (or any such current film) it makes no sense. May as well be predicting Aliens will land next year. A film must last through a considerable amount of time IMO at least a generation or preferably two or three. FIlms from the 70s people can start addressing as classics not 1990s because no one knows that in the year 2025 if anyone is going to continue to like the plot and story and performances and heart of a motion picture.

    I can tell you it is a LOT easier to predict a period piece drama as standing the test of time than ANY special effects movie. Special effects have the luster to attract current audience with great effects but that is shallow and in the year 2025 when the effects look completely crappy by the standards of the furture. So a film BETTER have a terrific plot, terrific dialog, profound ideas because the wonder of the Bronto ain't gonna hold wonder anymore. Even the effects of T2 or the Abyss which at the time were staggerringly brilliant for visual just are not that great by today's standards and these films are not even 20 years old.

    The critics all praise, as I have done, the visuals and thrill ride aspect of JP, but all of us note the lame dialoge thin logic and weak plot. It's like the Movie Superman -- it just doesn't hold the same wonder it did when it came out because the effects look really bad when one compares it to either Spiderman. Superman holds up reasonably well because of the writing and charm of the characters and the tongue in cheek nature.

    We'll have to agree to disagree on this -- To me classics should be reserved for a very select few masterpiece films and JP to me is just not the MacBeth of the film world - it's a comic book.

  14. #14
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kam
    RGA, i'd personally add Big Trouble in Little China as one of Carpenter's best, and the completion of his Kurt Russel trilogy. I thought this movie was a lot of great fun and cheesy over the top melodramatic characters, with Jack Burton my fav kurt russel character to date.

    i hated escape from la so i dont include that in The thing / Escape from ny / Btilc trilogy, nor elvis, his tv movie with carpenter.

    also Lexmark, it all depends on your definition of "elite director" if you're going to include carpenter in that category. if it's your own subjective defintion of 'elite' than you can obviously include whoever you want. if it's an industry definition of "A" list directors, then carpenter is not amongst them. if it's a historical look at great directors, personally, i dont believe carpenter's body of work stands up to the likes of Lean, Kurasawa, Hitchcock, Satyajit Ray, Scorcese, Spielberg, Coppola, Kubrick, Mel Brooks, etc.

    its always tough to discuss the merits of a subjective form, one person's trash is another's treasure.
    I think this is where there is confusion. I don't think Carpenter is anywhere in league with the list you just mentioned. But I think most of us could agree on a Qualifier such as saying that Carpenter is an "Elite" horror film director. Halloween is certainly a masterpiece in the horror genre and that film is good enough to carry some of the other weaker films on its coat tails. And Carpenter still has more movies to come I'm sure.

    I am a big Spielberg supporter and he gets blasted by many of those in the art-house film community. So it's ironic that I'm getting on JP's case and the dowright idiotic, utterly boring War of the Worlds. To me JP is a weak Spielberg film which still makes it better than most other director's crowning achievement - only two Carpenter films that I hhave seen better it and one of them, The Thing, most probably would not agree with me on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I think this is where there is confusion. I don't think Carpenter is anywhere in league with the list you just mentioned. But I think most of us could agree on a Qualifier such as saying that Carpenter is an "Elite" horror film director. Halloween is certainly a masterpiece in the horror genre and that film is good enough to carry some of the other weaker films on its coat tails. And Carpenter still has more movies to come I'm sure.

    I am a big Spielberg supporter and he gets blasted by many of those in the art-house film community. So it's ironic that I'm getting on JP's case and the dowright idiotic, utterly boring War of the Worlds. To me JP is a weak Spielberg film which still makes it better than most other director's crowning achievement - only two Carpenter films that I hhave seen better it and one of them, The Thing, most probably would not agree with me on.
    agreed, that was my point, carpenter is NOT in the same league as those directors, imo and according to the industry. and yep, carpenter is in production on his latest horror movie to come out next year called "Psychopath" or... "John Carpenter's Pyschopath" and he's a producer on the updated The Fog coming out next year as well.
    /create

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    "J.C.'s The Thing is NOT a movie I can watch easily. There are things in it that move me to the point of revulsion. If it's on and I'm NOT in the mood I cannot watch it. The original on the other hand I will watch over and over again with glee."

    Agreed about Carpenter's THE THING --- and THATS why I said I CANNOT EAT anything while this film is playing --- especially during the spider head sequence.

    "Don't get me wrong, the remake is an amazing film, but it's a little too amazing in the gore category if you catch my drift."

    It was a landmark in special effects makeup technology for the time --- I did an interview with Rob Bottin, special effects coordinator for the film for Home Theater magazine once, and the WORK that went into this film --- chronicled in the extra features on the DVD --- was just exhaustively awesome.

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    "i'd personally add Big Trouble in Little China as one of Carpenter's best"

    Oh god, a real Carpenter fan would disagree with this with loads of cheese on top......

    "I thought this movie was a lot of great fun and cheesy over the top melodramatic characters, with Jack Burton my fav kurt russel character to date."

    Ughhhhhhhhh.....give me Snake Plissken any day of the week over this character.

    "i hated escape from la so i dont include that in The thing / Escape from ny / Btilc trilogy, nor elvis, his tv movie with carpenter."

    Well, you hated Escape From LA because you didnt understand what Carpenter was going for, as I did, as I spoke with him about the ideas he had for it, as I said, during an Escape From New York fan convention in Madison Square Garden.

    "also Lexmark, it all depends on your definition of "elite director" if you're going to include carpenter in that category. if it's your own subjective defintion of 'elite' than you can obviously include whoever you want. if it's an industry definition of "A" list directors, then carpenter is not amongst them. if it's a historical look at great directors, personally, i dont believe carpenter's body of work stands up to the likes of Lean, Kurasawa, Hitchcock, Satyajit Ray, Scorcese, Spielberg, Coppola, Kubrick, Mel Brooks, etc."

    When exactly did I call him an "elite director"? He happens to be a brilliant director, IN MY OWN OPINION, and puts out some of my favorite work on celluloid --- no one can tell ME that I DIDNT LIKE Christine, The Fog, The Thing, Halloween, Escape From New York.....I disagree with what you say about his works not standing up to those men you mention.....I believe his works DO stand up to those men for the audience core and genre he is directing for. Mel Brooks? Pluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuleeeeeeeeeeeeeze........ ...

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    "I'm sorry for the comment I made about the university, it didn;t come out the way I intended"

    If your "intentions" are judged and merited by the comment you make below, I cannot believe your sincerity in apologizing:

    "but from the movies you've been posting here they do not seem to represent a single serious film but popcorn entertainments. I don't see La Grande Illusion, Lawrence of Arabbia, Schindler's List, 400 blows, The Seven Samarai, the three colours trilogy or a host of other "real" classics. Instead I'm seeing action movies and CGI movies like Under seige and Jurassic Park. If JP is a classic then we need a new and better word for what Schindler's List is because there is zero comparison between which of the two is truly a monumental work of film making."

    First of all, you have NO idea what you are talking about here: I AM DOING DVD REVIEWS PLAIN AND SIMPLE as I pull discs off my shelf and watch them and then REVIEW them ---- I AM NOT TRYING TO SAY ANY OF THESE ARE CLASSICS BY DOING REVIEWS ON THEM; as a matter of fact, as I said, I am trying to get the site to allow me to set up JUST a DVD review section so we can separate talking about CINEMA and talking about raw technical DVD reviews --- I think you are missing my point for reviewing these discs. They are JUST FOR INFORMATION for you guys --- THATS WHY there are old titles being reviewed and posted.....I am not posting for ANY OTHER REASON.....they're just meant for review purposes, and not for comparing "Jurassic Park" to "Lawrence of Arrabia". And, IF YOU READ THE PURPOSE OF THIS THREAD FORUM CAREFULLY, IT SAYS "DISCUSS ANYTHING MOVIE-RELATED"......so that's what Im doing.....DVD reviews constitute "anything MOVIE RELATED", my friend.

    "Please give me the name of the pofessor of the school and his e-mail or phone number -- I want to ask him if he is teaching students that JP is a classic film and why."

    Professor Scott F. Johnson, cell phone number 702-308-1908, Professor and Doctorate Administration Head of Adelphi's School of Arts and Cinematic Studies. I am giving you his Nevada cell phone number because he actually has a house very close to where my family lives in Henderson, Nevada, where he resides in the summer months, and the best place to reach him is via this number, although I myself have trouble reaching him here even when I try just to say hello! For some reason, I never got his New York cell exchange, which I think he changed to Nevada anyway after he moved out here because he was a friend of my parents' as well, and so he bought a house in the town of Henderson.


    "If therewas some sort of credible reason as a classic of special effects as historical note then I can see it. A Master's Degree student should be able to completley rip the dialog of that film and the plot to shreds in my view."

    Not true. My Masters Degree is in EXPOSITORY WRITING if you read my original post......so what are you talking about?

    "Your comments about asking fans of a movie whether something is a classic makes absolutely no sense. I am sure fans of Ace Ventura Pet Detective will be spouiting off that it's a classic too --- WHAT ELSE would a FAN say? The reason someone is a fan is because they love the movie. But there are plenty of crappy films that people are fans of and to THEM it may be a classic which is fine by me."

    It DOES make sense by your own definition, dont you understand that? And who is to judge what a CLASSIC is then --- your good friends at Rotten Tomatoes or Ebert? THATS a laugh, man, it really is.

    "I have the Thing as one of my favorite 13 horror movies. And I would give you "cult-classic" standing. But this film does not get, by any serious film critic, very high marks that a Citizen Kane tyupically musters. Not everything is a classic just cause you and some friends of yours like a movie."

    Serious film critics? Who are these people? They are PEOPLE just like me and you who may find what THEY feel are classics to be classics, nothing more, because THEY like the movie --- so another words, THEIR word is law because they are a CRITIC? Doesnt fly be me, and thats the first thing I learned in film history school. Dont listen to these so-called "critics".....judge film on your own merits and with your own heart and love the film for the emotional response it explodes from within you.

    "I recommend lots of films but they are not all classics. In fact I'm amazed that a serious film class would spend time on Jurassic Park -- No film school I know of considers that film a classic or even a GOOD movie. John J Puccio teaches film school at a major California University and I've discsussed a number of films with him"

    First of all, you are getting COMPLETELY FIXATED on this Jurassic Park issue with regard to the film school I graduated from; all I was saying was that MOST of the people I graduated with felt this was a landmark Spielberg film for so many reasons that seem to be beyond your comprehension for some reason or because you are simply NOT OPEN to this possibility whatsoever --- thats okay, but doesnt make you RIGHT. The film schools you have discussed Jurassic Park with may have not thought it a good film, but the ones I HAVE DID find the opposite, so you are right, then?

    ""Jurassic Park" is an adventure film par excellence, at times short on logic and certainly short on plot"

    Again, I completely disagree.

    "but long on thrills and amazement. Once you see (and hear) the dinosaurs, they're tough to forget."

    That was my point.

    "In addition, it's hard to resist Sam Neill's transformation from a hater of children to a protector of them."

    Well, didnt think so much of this aspect of the film, but okay, if you say so......

    "It adds a touch of poignancy to what is otherwise just an opulent thrill ride. In the final analysis, "Jurassic Park" is a film worth watching again and again, which is what a home-theater library of DVDs is all about.""

    True. What I was saying with regard to looking at my library of discs --- now topping close to almost 2,000 (that's TWO THOUSAND) DVD titles --- is that when I look at Jaws and Jurassic Park I get the same warm fuzzies inside regarding the fact that I know I will be looking at a Spielberg classic, either way, in MY opinion.

    "I guess if you read what film professors had to say virtually ALL of them say the exact same thing as John is saying -- a lot of fun great visuals weak plot lacks logic. John is actually friendlier to it than many."

    Not the ones I have spoken with or have experience with.


    "The critics all praise, as I have done, the visuals and thrill ride aspect of JP, but all of us note the lame dialoge thin logic and weak plot."

    Who's "all of us"? The people in here and the folks YOU site? That makes it the final verdict, huh?


    "We'll have to agree to disagree on this -- To me classics should be reserved for a very select few masterpiece films and JP to me is just not the MacBeth of the film world - it's a comic book."

    I would never compare Jurassic Park to Mac Beth or Romeo and Juliet; thats TWO different animals. You are missing completely what I am trying to say about the VALUE of this Spielberg film, so lets just drop it.
    Last edited by Lexmark3200; 07-11-2005 at 02:39 PM.

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    "I don't think Carpenter is anywhere in league with the list you just mentioned."

    Some may wholeheartedly disagree with this view, believe me, because Im one of them, for many, many reasons not being understood here.

    "But I think most of us could agree on a Qualifier such as saying that Carpenter is an "Elite" horror film director. Halloween is certainly a masterpiece in the horror genre and that film is good enough to carry some of the other weaker films on its coat tails. And Carpenter still has more movies to come I'm sure."

    Oh you are DAMN Skippy about Halloween --- a masterpiece it is that paved the way for slasher films (although some say Hitchcock's Psycho did that --- I dont want to get into a debate about that because that IS a classic film too). I think, though, and I am a huge Carpenter buff, that poor John has unfortunately run out of steam......once Ghosts of Mars came out, I was convinced he may have lost his edge in cinema making.......

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    "agreed, that was my point, carpenter is NOT in the same league as those directors, imo and according to the industry"

    Why put so much stock in these guys who are arbitrarily stating something about a film? A director is to US what we MAKE him or her out to be and how GOOD his or her work is TO US PERSONALLY.....Carpenter, to me, is beyond the leauge of those directors in the visions he has of a concept --- especially book-to-film, such as Christine, co-supervised by Stephen King.

    "and yep, carpenter is in production on his latest horror movie to come out next year called "Psychopath" or... "John Carpenter's Pyschopath" and he's a producer on the updated The Fog coming out next year as well."

    I CANNOT BELIEVE they are making a remake of THE FOG.....this is going to be a travesty probably worse than the TOTALLY INACCURATE and UNTRUE rendering of the AMITYVILLE HORROR remake; why was it NECESSARY to re-do Carpenter's The Fog? Why not re-do ANYTHING for that matter, then? Re do Halloween, Christine, Escape From New York while theyre at it.......
    Last edited by Lexmark3200; 07-11-2005 at 02:09 PM.

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    Cool

    For me( the thing) is one of the best movies of its kind ever made! and also i, do agree that( big trouble in little china) is also one his best & perhaps most underrated of his films.

    great review !

    mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by steamboy 2
    For me( the thing) is one of the best movies of its kind ever made! and also i, do agree that( big trouble in little china) is also one his best & perhaps most underrated of his films.

    great review !

    mike
    Thanks a MILLION for your kind words on the review, Mike! I appreciate that a great deal!

    Although, as a diehard Carpenter fan, I have three films which top my "worst of Carpenter" list, and that is, They Live!, Big Trouble in Little China and Ghosts of Mars.

    But thank you for reading the review and replying in a kind, human manner! Glad you enjoyed the review, and keep your eyes out for that new anamorphic version of the DVD because Im not sure if the video was improved from this version I reviewed.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    My degree is in English - though not my particular preference but a neceissity for the other degree I'm working on. What the problem is in our discourse is revolving around the subjective versus objective view of art. A slippery slope I agree. There are tens of thousands of films as there are miliions upon millions of novels. Not all of them can be classics and not all of them are classics because I say so or you say so. The same goes with writers or directors who are considered the great writers in the history of the world. Many people love and buy harlequin(Sp?) Romance novels or Stephen King novels and we may very much love a given novel they produce but they are not "great" writers nor are their novels going to be canonized in the halls of literature as pieces of art.

    That does not mean they have no value, I have enjoyed King as wonderful brain candy. There is an objective element here as to what gets canonized and it's not -- well I like the movie The Thing therefore it's a classic or I know 42 people who agree with me that it's a classic. One needs to define the word before throwing it around is my main point. I don't mind if someone thinks JP will become a classic or The Thing, but it needs a qualifier. Why and how? When I look at the body of Spielberg work when thinking of the word classic one could make cases from many of his movies. But serious filmmaking with all the tools bang on or as bang on as it can get would in my view go to Schindler's List. It needs no quantifier.

    I would say E.T. is a classic but with the quantifier of "a Classic Family movie", Raiders of the Lost Ark, a classic adventure film maybe JP as a classic thrill ride adventure movie.

    When youmeet the people in the industry that can bias your opinion of their work. You keep saying no one understands what John carpenter was going for and that you asked him. Good movies do not NEED the director to explain the film and what he was going for and how great an idea he had. The ONLY thing that has any relevance at all on the film is what shows up on the screen when you buys your ticket. There are many films that have super ideas that just don't work. They may be based off a great screenplay and have a wonderful cast and ends up tanking because it comes off preachy or silly.


    And incidentally George Romero's name also gets billing on his films "George A Romero's Land of the Dead." I like George Romero as the maestro of the Zombie movie -- but Spielberg,Kubrick, Kirosawa ihe ain't.

    As for this site why not create a web-site and simply post a link here to it rather than spamming this site with piles of DVD reivews that have been reviewed already by such sites as DVD town http://www.dvdtown.com/reviews/

    Incidentally, I liked JP and saw it three times in the theater. and maybe I'm being hard on it because many of Spielberg's other films are so much better than this one. But that may just be more of a compliment to Spielberg than a knock on JP.

    You should post the JP DVD review on Audioasylum's film board (no registering required). If you can convince them that this is a good movie I'd be impressed. http://www.videoasylum.com/films/bbs.html

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    "My degree is in English - though not my particular preference but a neceissity for the other degree I'm working on."

    Well, English is a good course to begin with as far as a major --- especially if you want to go into the written arts, as I did.....what is the other degree you're working on? I graduated with what Adelphi University calls a Masters in "Expository Writing" which is pretty much creative writing.

    "What the problem is in our discourse is revolving around the subjective versus objective view of art. A slippery slope I agree. There are tens of thousands of films as there are miliions upon millions of novels. Not all of them can be classics and not all of them are classics because I say so or you say so. The same goes with writers or directors who are considered the great writers in the history of the world. Many people love and buy harlequin(Sp?) Romance novels or Stephen King novels and we may very much love a given novel they produce but they are not "great" writers nor are their novels going to be canonized in the halls of literature as pieces of art."

    True.

    "That does not mean they have no value, I have enjoyed King as wonderful brain candy. There is an objective element here as to what gets canonized and it's not -- well I like the movie The Thing therefore it's a classic or I know 42 people who agree with me that it's a classic. One needs to define the word before throwing it around is my main point. I don't mind if someone thinks JP will become a classic or The Thing, but it needs a qualifier. Why and how? When I look at the body of Spielberg work when thinking of the word classic one could make cases from many of his movies. But serious filmmaking with all the tools bang on or as bang on as it can get would in my view go to Schindler's List. It needs no quantifier."

    Okay; I can agree with most of this.....but WHY does it need a qualifier is what I would like to know....I simply believe and enjoy these aforementioned titles (The Thing and Jurassic Park) as classics in their respective genres, thats all.....like you said, its how the word is thrown around. You may think of Schilndlers List as one of Spielberg's CLASSICS ---- and it IS an absolutely superbly done piece of cinema --- but I feel the same way about Jurassic Park (THE FIRST ONE ONLY) for completely different reasons than I do Schindlers or perhaps Saving Private Ryan.

    "I would say E.T. is a classic but with the quantifier of "a Classic Family movie", Raiders of the Lost Ark, a classic adventure film maybe JP as a classic thrill ride adventure movie."

    Okay.

    "When youmeet the people in the industry that can bias your opinion of their work. You keep saying no one understands what John carpenter was going for and that you asked him."

    Yes I did, and this below statement makes no sense to me:

    "Good movies do not NEED the director to explain the film and what he was going for and how great an idea he had."

    Why is this so? John was laughing when he told me how nobody really understood what he was going for in ESCAPE FROM L.A. and that it was SUPPOSED to be looked at as a DIRECT satire copy of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK --- when I explained to him that people were walking out of the theaters after seeing ESCAPE FROM L.A. scratching their heads and wondering what they just saw, John explained to me that it was because they "just didnt get it" and probably never saw ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.....why isnt he allowed to explain the creative memories or input that made the cinematic experience what it was? After all, the man DOES have his name affixed to the title of the picture.....

    "The ONLY thing that has any relevance at all on the film is what shows up on the screen when you buys your ticket."

    Where did you learn this, Im just curious?

    "And incidentally George Romero's name also gets billing on his films "George A Romero's Land of the Dead." I like George Romero as the maestro of the Zombie movie -- but Spielberg,Kubrick, Kirosawa ihe ain't"

    That is true --- aside from Carpenter, it is perhaps Romero that is one of the only directors that gets his name affixed to the title of his films.

    "As for this site why not create a web-site and simply post a link here to it rather than spamming this site with piles of DVD reivews that have been reviewed already by such sites as DVD town http://www.dvdtown.com/reviews/"

    Big deal about DVD town.com; I have read all their reviews, and would like to share my OWN views on these DVDs with you folks just so we have our own reference corner here for DVD discussions --- other members seem to enjoy the reviews, if you read some of their replies.....but your suggestion of creating my own website for reviews is something I am in the process of doing believe it or not, I just dont know how to go about starting it --- do you have ANY information as to starting up a website and who I could contact? I dont think you're labeling of my VERY lengthy and time consuming reviews as SPAM is very nice or civil, and I know you are a civil human being at heart; I mean, come on man, Im not even doing this for pay --- I am doing this to share some results of what I am finding when watching some Digital Versatile Discs in my collection (and some I rent and will be renting) with you good folks in here; and as I have said, RGA, look at SOME of the replies from the other members regarding my reviews: MOST of them say "great review" or "thank you and Worf for reviewing films in here for us".......so please cut me some slack here. Thank you. I would be more than happy to work with you on setting up a review site of my own so that it can link from here for strictly DVD reviews.

    "Incidentally, I liked JP and saw it three times in the theater. and maybe I'm being hard on it because many of Spielberg's other films are so much better than this one. But that may just be more of a compliment to Spielberg than a knock on JP."

    Okay; it didnt come across that you liked it that much, but all I was saying was some of the folks I analyzed this film with in school and discuss it with in public all seem to feel the same way about it --- that in some offbeat, odd way, it has become a "classic" (depending, like we said, on how the individual INTERPRETS that word) in the Spielberg vaults as well as in cinema in general for different reasons COMPLETELY than, say, Citizen Kane is a classic.

    "You should post the JP DVD review on Audioasylum's film board (no registering required). If you can convince them that this is a good movie I'd be impressed. http://www.videoasylum.com/films/bbs.html"

    Again, you are out of your realm of what you are talking about --- or what WE are talking about.....FIRST OF ALL, I NEVER DID A REVIEW ON THE ORIGINAL JURASSIC PARK......the review, if you look on this board, is of JURASSIC PARK III and I NEVER EVER made it out to be anywhere near a good film; I thought the DTS soundtrack was awesome, thats all. Where do you keep coming up with trying to make me prove to the world that the ORIGINAL JURASSIC PARK was a good film? This debate, if I am not mistaken, began over my review of THE THIRD film in the franchise, which I NEVER EVER thought was a classic or good in any way. What is your point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    When exactly did I call him an "elite director"? He happens to be a brilliant director, IN MY OWN OPINION, and puts out some of my favorite work on celluloid --- no one can tell ME that I DIDNT LIKE Christine, The Fog, The Thing, Halloween, Escape From New York.....I disagree with what you say about his works not standing up to those men you mention.....I believe his works DO stand up to those men for the audience core and genre he is directing for. Mel Brooks? Pluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuleeeeeeeeeeeeeze........ ...
    In post #9 at around 9:07am (the time listed as i log in, EST) above you said: "Absolutely not agreed by me. I believe he IS an elite director, and all the comments you made regarding the score is simply untrue;"

    And that was my point: If, in your opinion, he's an elite director, than awesome, good for you, i've read your arguments and just don't agree with them, it's a difference in opinion. I consider Mel Brooks an elite director IMO, if you disagree with that, hey, no problem. The industry however, (am not talking critics here, (although they do too)am talking the people who work with Mel) consider him an elite director as well. Maybe he needs to come with a caveat ala an elite comedic director, but i just think he's genius, and personally, from my own experience in the industry, comedy is FAR FAR FAR harder than drama.

    And i put stock in the industry that pays the people in that industry. Someone may not say that Shaq is an "Elite" center, but look at how he's paid compared to other centers and it will give you some idea of his current status in the basketball industry. Look at his stats and give time to see how he stacks up in history to other centers. That's my point with why i look at how the industry treats Carpenter compared to the other people on my list as "Elite Directors."

    On the issue of the only thing that matters is what's on the screen:
    Since you have studied creative writing, you should know that the creator never has a verbal 'gimme' to explain what he meant other than what is written on the page. One of the first writing classes i have taken made the writer sit quietly and listen to all the criticism of the work, without a chance to "explain what he REALLY meant to do." Until after, when the writer can say, "Ok, this is what i wanted to do...." to find out specifics as to WHY that didn't come across. And then can go back and change the script to get across exactly what he wanted in the first place, ON THE PAGE.

    If your point isn't translated across on the page, than you didnt do your job. I write as well, and if an editor comes back with a WTF is going on here? I can always explain what i "meant" to do, but i obviously didn't do it. I have to go back and do it better. If Escape From La has to come with a big caveat and explanation intro from Carpenter, than he didnt accomplish what he wanted to do, at least to me or anyone else i know that has seen the movie. I didnt see it as a satire of Escape From New York. If other people did, on their viewings sans benefit of carpenter's personal insights, than he accomplished what he set out to do with them. If the only way anyone understood what he was trying to accomplish was with his own personal viewpoint told, then... IMO, he failed in accomplishing what he wanted to do.


    and in the end, its just a difference of opinion is all, not that carpenter is better or worse than any other director, because it's all about being entertained, and i know that he has certainly made some entertaining movies that i've enjoyed. (including Big Trouble in Little China!!!)
    /create

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