The Thing. 1982.
The second in series of requested by Ko-FI blogs comes from Kevin McCluskey, who asked me to write something on my favourite John Carpenter film.
Which is quite a challenge. Though the final choice will be kind of obvious from the title, John Carpenter is second only to Hitchcock as my favourite director of all time. That’s despite a career that has had some sever ups and down.
From a completely objective viewpoint, I think Halloween (no, not that Halloween. Or that one. The original) would probably be his masterpiece. But there’s one that, personally, does a lot more things for me.
As a kid growing up in the 80’s, the John Carpenter film I saw a lot was of course Big Trouble in Little China (I think Starman was on a fair bit as well, but that’s one I can’t remember anything about at this point), which is a tremendously fun film, but, isn’t in quite the top tier of his work. So it was the 90’s and late night screenings of various classics that really got me into his work. Especially around the time of Escape From L.A. and Halloween H20 when there was a bit of a push for video releases and channel 4 screenings. I still particularly remember the next day at school after seeing Halloween (no, not that one. Or that one) for the first time, walking through the surprisingly American style avenue behind the school with my best mate, “DA-DA-DA-DAing” the theme at full volume.
My first exposure to The Thing though didn’t come from the film. But from the first season X-Files episode Ice. Which is a completely and utterly shameless rip-off, and equally brilliant and the moment I became a massive fan of the series.
And of course, Deep Space Nine did it as well for its third season finale. As have a lot of series. Which I think is down to a combination of the film’s status having increased so much over the years to full on influential classic, and it being quite a cheap episode of TV to make (none of them go for the big monster aspect of the film) that lets often easily bored actors go all out at shouting at one another.
Another death that has hit me hard, I talk about the greatest ever actor to work with Kristian Schmidt. RIP Sir Christopher.
Slightly later than planned, my video looking at:
Action Force the Movie.
What on Earth is the flag Duke is waving in the poster supposed to be?
Another YouTube video, this time centred on the Doctor who seemed to have been purposefully created to provide a trick "How many Doctor Whos have their been?" trick question for pub quizes (in the days before Richard Hurdnall, John Hurt and two David Tennant's confused things). It's the Cushing Dalek Movies!
Is this the end of Optimus Prime? Or like some sort of less alien Noel Edmunds does he have something surprising in his box?
It's all in the second deadly dymamic part of my look at:
A special and amazingly put together video looking at the original film. But which mainly mocks Hart to Hart. I wouldn't want to be Lionel Stander in the morning when he reads this.
All in The Transformers: The Movie.
It's a case of three times the pleasure this week as I not only finish off Target: 2006, and not only cover the comic adaptation of the film, but also the ultra rare and hyper obscure movie poster magazine!
This is an event that can only be celebrated with a picture of Masterpiece prowl looking disapprovingly at Masterpiece Grimlock.
Target: 2006 Epilogue.
Winter Special 1986
Transformers The Poster Magazine.
Of all the characters Marvel has been carefully plotting to bring to the big screen individually before getting them all together for The Avengers, Thor was always going to be the most difficult sell for the non-comic fan audience. He looks silly, speaks silly, and isn't even as well known as either Iron Man or Captain America were before their films.
The smart move Marvel Pictures made was to appoint Kenneth Branagh as director. Not an obvious big action movie choice, but throughout their work to create their cinematic Universe Marvel have repeatedly shown enough faith in the pull of the characters themselves to get people involved who wouldn't have gotten near a Summer Blockbuster tm at the time. It worked with Robert Downey Jr. and John Faveau on Iron Man in spades, and Branagh was a perfect choice here for what is a very Shakespearean set up in the Asgard portions of the film. He knows how to get large performances from the actors without it feeling too OTT or hammy.
They gave her back to me, Scotty.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture is, in retrospect, on of the strangest films ever made, pretty much by any standards. It doesn't feel very much like a post-Star Wars sci-fi blockbuster, feels at odds with the following original cast Trek films and by being one of the very first films based on an American TV series it's missing most of what would subsequently become the standard rules for translating something from the small to the big screen. So much of it feels very, very odd.
Now of course, it's slightly unfair to call a film odd just because no one had yet decided that the best way to do a TV based film was to completely recast it, throw in some heavy irony and give the original actors tokenistic cameo roles (the '09 film, despite not technically being a remake, otherwise shows how to do that sort of thing right). Nor to criticise it for not being more like Trek films as yet unmade. But, for me, this is one of the things I enjoy most about the film, it's different and a type of movie that would never, ever be made today. Arguably with good reason as it's deeply flawed in many ways, but at least that makes it more interesting to watch.
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.