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Old 04-19-2017, 02:17 PM
 
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Which movie do you think is better? I just rewatched both after a while and it's tough to decide, as they both have their pros and cons.

Starting off with The Thing, I feel that John Carpenter over foreshadows and gives away too much in the first act possibly. The opening shot is off a space ship, and so you immediately know the movie is about an alien. So later, when the Antarctica crew finds the spaceshift wreckage, it doesn't come as a surprise at all, since you already saw a spaceshift fly towards Earth in the opening shot.

I admit I like Predator and didn't mind the opening spaceship shot there, but with Predator, there was no spaceship found later, if I recall, so it's not like a surprise was being ruined as much, per say.

Also in The Thing, the dog is concentrated on too much, constantly observing what is going on, and looking concerned when the helicopter flies away to check out what happened. Then the dog goes into a room with a shadowy figure that looks just like Norris, in shadow shape... then the screen fades to black. So we know that something bad happened to Norris, and it therefore, is no surprise later, when Norris turns out to be one of the Things.

When Clark takes the dob back to the cage outside and locks the dog up, we see a close up shot of the dog transform, and I felt this gave away too much, too soon as well, cause we are seeing so much from the alien's perspective and less from the humans perspective.

It would have been much more mysterious and scary, if we saw it from the human's point of view. They hear the dogs barking, go outside to see what's wrong, and then see the alien holding a dog captive.

It just would have been more exciting for us to only see what the human are prevy to seeing, from their point of view, making it more mysterious.

I also feel that Blair figured out that the Thing was an imitator, way too soon. Then the whole crew knows The Thing can imitate anyone, yet they keep splitting off in separate directions instead of sticking together. It would have been more exciting if the crew didn't know until later, and was more clueless therefore.

So I feel that Carpenter just overshadows too much. Where as in Alien, they show everything from the human's point of view the whole way, which makes it a lot more mysterious and exciting in it's build up, rather than blowing it's load early per say.

However, Alien doesn't have near as sophisticated as a plot as Alien and does turn into a basic haunted house thriller formula, that is set in space. Some argue that the haunted house/slasher formula was not a cliche at the time, but the movie did come after Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so it does feel like that same formula, at least to me. Not that it's necessarily a bad formula, but it seems to abandon it's plot somewhat and then retreads to a formulaic repetition perhaps, if that makes sense.

Where as you could argue that The Thing, has much more of a guessing plot with more twists and turns, since you do not know who is what.

However, there may have been too many twists, with some of them being thrown in just for the sake of twists in The Thing, as a couple of them felt gimmicky, just thrown in their, cause the writers' could perhaps, where as the others were good.

What do you think?
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Maine
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I love both, but THE THING is one of those movies I like to watch every few years. And that's enough. ALIEN I find myself rewatching every few months. It is a perfect movie. Not a flaw in it. THE THING is like most of Carpenter's best work: a very flawed masterpiece.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
I love both, but THE THING is one of those movies I like to watch every few years. And that's enough. ALIEN I find myself rewatching every few months. It is a perfect movie. Not a flaw in it. THE THING is like most of Carpenter's best work: a very flawed masterpiece.
Interesting. I concur Alien may be the "better movie," but I don't think The Thing is less watchable. Both films were like nothing else before them. Classics. The Thing has the better score (Morricone), but I do like Alien's (Goldsmith).
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Originally Posted by AFtrEFkt View Post
Interesting. I concur Alien may be the "better movie," but I don't think The Thing is less watchable. Both films were like nothing else before them. Classics.
Yup. Ridley Scott is a better visual director, and he is a master of combining the visual with music, sound effects, etc. to create the perfect mood onscreen. No one does it better. Kubrick was good too, but Kubrick's mood was all psyche, no heart. Scott gets both.

But Carpenter is a better storyteller with a much better instinct for characters. Ridley Scott wouldn't know a good script if it was inside an AC unit that fell on his head from a fifth floor window. But with ALIEN, Scott had a great script to begin with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AFtrEFkt View Post
The Thing has the better score (Morricone), but I do like Alien's (Goldsmith).
Morricone is the greatest film composer of all time. But Goldsmith runs a real, real close second, and his work on ALIEN was one of his best.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
Morricone is the greatest film composer of all time. But Goldsmith runs a real, real close second, and his work on ALIEN was one of his best.
And somehow Basil Poledouris composed the greatest orchestral score of all time.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:47 AM
 
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Can't pick one, love them both
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFtrEFkt View Post
And somehow Basil Poledouris composed the greatest orchestral score of all time.
I cannot possibly agree with that any more than I already do.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeZL2R9jDJM
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:33 PM
 
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Dat's right, bay-bee!
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:14 AM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
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Both excellent movies! I could watch them both again and have seen them many times.

Tough question. The Thing just builds that sense of dread from the very beginning with the music.

I remember my boss used to laugh at me when I said "The Thing was a classic." I was not joking and this was several years ago.

I can't WAIT to see the new Alien movie though. The Thing remake was . . . disappointing.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:31 AM
 
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Personally I like neither. While I love sci-fi, these aren't really sci-fi stories, but much more like either the slasher flick or horror movie that happens to be set in a sci-fi world. If I want basic flash and dazzle sci-fi, I'll watch Star Wars. But if I want deep thought sci-fi, it has to be read. Movies are just too short to fit in the details that create good sci-fi.
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