If they're going to remake a movie...

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:39 pm

Well I guess I ain't gonna win any converts to Carpenter here, but I gotta say I really don't see the third-act-fuck up to the same extent as you guys. Didn't notice it in HalloweenorThe FogorThe ThingorThey Live. Sure, Prince of Darkness could have used a more creative resolution, but it didn't wreck the film for me. So I wouldn't even include him under that particular definition of hack, which to me always just meant incompetent.

Having said all that, the original Thing is one of my favourites, though I haven't seen it years. Almost makes me wish I'd grown up in the fifties. . .

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Postby robochrist » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:44 am

They Live REALLY fell apart, as Carpenter allowed good ideas and a great satire to succumb to dumb-ass Swartzenegger-type cliches.

And THAT'S my FAVORITE Carpenter, regardless of the flaws!

I THINK I mentioned this, but I consider Halloween one of Carpenter's few exceptions. It was consistently well-crafted.

So was Starman.

But overall, almost everytime I'd see a Carpenter flick I'd be shaking my fine royal head! I rarely see him do full justice to his own ideas.

Final note about The Thing: It's been a REALLY long time since I'd seen last, but what I remember now - the BIGGEST problem I had with the movie - is that I didn't care about the characters. I didn't like ANYONE (except for Kurt Russel, who's often pretty good at whatever he does), and I therefore didn't give a shit WHO got it!

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Postby robochrist » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:47 am

I don't recall being impressed by The Fog at ALL.

I thought it was overall a very lame movie - again with some good ideas falling apart.

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:27 pm

The Fog Lame? Dead sailors returning from the grave to haunt a small seaside town with fishhooks: what's not to love? Oh Rob, we're just not gonna see eye to eye on this guy are we?

Let's talk about Them! then, one of the greatest films of all time.

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Postby robochrist » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:33 am

This is a perfect example (well, we're gonna CALL it that!) of my argument (well, we're gonna CALL it that!):

The PREMISE for THE FOG is GREAT; but, typically, as I see it, Carpenter kept it fathoms below what COULD have been a goddamn classic.

I rented The Fog in the 90's, BECAUSE I DID like the premise and I wanted to see what he'd do with it. It's been too long now since I'd seen it, so all I recall is rolling my eyes LOTSA times. Yeah...I think "lame" is the word I used back then when it was over.

It wasn't a critical success and I could see why.

Again: GREAT ideas, but without the talent to do them full justice.

Romero's Night of the Living Dead is a far better model to show how crucial a consistent narrative and interesting character development are to delivering an unforgettable nightmare.

Carpenter pulled this off in Halloween. I don't think EVER came close to that again.

Turning to his first outing, Dark Star, I used to be a big fan of what was built from his USC student project; I looked at it again a few years ago, and, while still amusing as hell at the high points, I found sections dragging too much. I don't venerate that one any more.

Yeah, for me, Carpenter is just too often a let-down: GREAT ideas, but short on the talent to do them full justice.

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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:28 pm

Let's talk about Them! then, one of the greatest films of all time.

Yes sir! The desert is as spooky as the ocean. The scene at the ambulance when the trilling sound makes the little girl sit up never fails to send shivers up my spine.

I love the way they use the shock treatment on the poor little girl too. Shock'er back to her senses! Now that's accepted medical treatment!

You're right Steve. THE classic monster flick of the 50s.

The only way it could have been better would to have let Ray Harryhausen do the giant ants.
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Postby robochrist » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:07 pm

Listen, to this DAY I'm amazed by the excellence of those mechanical ants!

Maybe the stop-motion technique would have added something, maybe not.

I just know, seeing that ant very convincingly rise from the desert, and drop the skull of the missing cop to the ground, and watching the skull roll down to meet a heap of what little remained of that cop, was unforgettable.

This was one of the few times from that era I didn't NEED the stop-motion stuff.

Given the documentary feel of the film, I don't think a single frame was wasted.

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Postby Moderator » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:58 pm

THEM! is a film that holds up to this day.

We recently drove to Las Vegas with some friends who have never seen a desert before.

There was a high wind blowing, and at several areas of the desert we saw sandstorms being blasted into large clouds and then traveling across the desert. All of this from a safe distance, but fascinating to watch.

Both of our friends had seen THEM!, and as I offered to take them off the interstate and onto "local" roads -- through the sunblasted terrain known as "The Devil's Playground" -- I mentioned that we had to keep our eyes out for giant ants.

The decision was made to remain on the interstate from that point on...

Yeah. Great, great movie.

Very sad that we recently lost James Whitmore.
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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:23 pm

Friday the 13th making 55 million--shameful. I blame Barber.

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:24 pm

Now they are going to remake Last House On The Left. I guess we never tire of cut up women. Youse knows thas' all them bitches deeserve. Burp.

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Postby Moderator » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:59 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Friday the 13th making 55 million--shameful. I blame Barber.


Hey, hold it! I haven't even seen the first one.

I'm strictly a Nightmare on Elm Street slasher fan.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:13 pm

Steve Barber,

Couldn't agree more about Whitmore. I always like him a LOT.

Sadly, I can't express the same in your behalf: MUST you be such a pussy for fear of getting your ass eaten by a big stupid ant? I'd get out and take him on like a Hoboken Whore!

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:47 pm

Fog! Lights! Music! Ancient curses and hidden gold! Hal Hollbrook! Aye aye aye, I give up!

Moving right along:

The early scene, where the one cop stays behind in the wrecked house. And night falls. And the wind blows. And he hears. . .

something.

And he goes outside to check. And we see his shadow passing along the wall.

TWO SHOTS! SCREAM!

End of scene.

THAT is artistry! That is what horror/monster movies are all about! And that is what completely eludes horror directors today. 99.9% of them.

(Which is one of the reasons I'll defend Carpenter 'till the end).

If they remade that today, it'd be filled with CGI and blood and wouldn't a shred of the impact.

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Postby Tom C » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:04 pm

Can't say I love everything John Carpenter has done but anyone who produced Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and They Live is A-OK in my book.

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:19 pm

Returning to the "remakes" motif, an interesting story source would be Voyage of the Space Beagle by A. E. Van Vogt. Made first as the old 1950's B-flick, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, and arguably remade as Alien, both leaving out two-thirds of the novel, the original story itself would justify a faithful movie adaptation, with AWESOME possibilities.

It's reasons like this I gripe CONSTANTLY about the remake frenzy for the quick buck.


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