Catching the Classics: The Thing

thingSince 1998, I have been maintaining a list of movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes these are all-time classics that passed me by, sometimes they’re genre classics that interest me. The list is updated regularly and is currently more than 1700 movies long. Fogs has gone through and hand-picked several classic films for me to “fast-track” and review here. This is one of those films.

I don’t recall when I first heard about The Thing, but it had to have been a decade or more ago. I’ve known more about its reception than about the film itself; I knew that it wasn’t a major success initially, but that it is one of a number of films to have its stature grow over time to the point where it’s considered a classic of science fiction. Of course, I did know some details. I knew it was about a shapeshifting alien beast in the Antarctic. I knew it was directed by John Carpenter, who directed the horror classic Halloween. And I knew it starred Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley, who are among my favorite actors and character actors, respectively. All of those seemed like perfectly valid reasons to check the film out. Continue reading

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The Top Ten Remakes

BT-Top-10-May-2012Remakes tend to get kicked around a lot, because Hollywood has a propensity for churning them out without concern for their quality. With the built-in awareness that comes along with remaking a previous film, studios often can’t help themselves but to crank out cheap, unworthy movies that capitalize on the fact that there’s a pre-existing fanbase ready to buy tickets.

RemakesThere are exceptions, however. Remakes that turn out to be great movies. In many cases, better than the original! Every time we want to curse out and swear off remakes forever, these are the movies that makes us say, “Yeah, but…”

Click through to check out the Top Ten!

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “The Thing”

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Fuchs: There’s something wrong with Blair. He’s locked himself in his room and he won’t answer the door to me or anyone. So I took one of his notebooks from the lab.
MacReady: Yeah… and?
Fuchs: Listen: “It could have imitated a million life forms on a million planets. It could change into any one of them at any time. Now, it wants life forms on Earth.”
MacReady: It’s getting cold in here Fuchs, and I haven’t slept for two days.
Fuchs: Wait, there’s more… “It needs to be alone and in close proximity to a life form in order for it to be absorbed. The chameleon strikes in the dark.”
MacReady: So is Blair cracking up or what?
Fuchs: Damn it, MacReady! Listen! “There is still cellular activity in these burned remains. They’re not dead yet!”

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The Thing

Soooo…                                                                                                                            So you think you can tell                                                                                           Heaven from Hell,
Blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field                                                                                               From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
Did they get you to trade                                                                                               Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange                                                                                                     A walk on part in the war                                                                                                For a lead role in a cage?

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2011 Fall Movie Season Preview

“And I can tell you
My love for you will still be strong
After the movies of summer have gone…”

God. I’ve GOT to stop doing that! Why anybody comes back to this blog when I keep doling out such HAM is beyond me.

It’s true though. The movies of summer have gone. This weekend brings “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark”, “Our Idiot Brother” and “Colombiana”, after which the summer season will be officially deemed closed.

BIG movies begin to come back during the “Holiday Movie Season”, which begins the week before Thanksgiving. This year the Holiday season will kick off with “Happy Feet Two”, “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” and (thankfully) “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” starring Gary Oldman. Once those movies hit, the ball is officially rolling, as Turkey Day weekend itself brings us “The Muppets” and Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo”.

The fall is pretty much the lowest profile time of the year for movies. Blockbusters come out in the Summer, the Holidays, and early March. Oscar contenders are typically released in January to stay fresh in voters minds. With the exception of Halloween, which often brings high-profile horror movies, the fall pretty much has a reputation for being a dumping ground.  

Still, there are movies on my radar (of course). Movies that I’m looking forward to to varying degrees. Click through to see the ten movies I’m looking forward to the most between now and the Holiday Movie Season.

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