If there’s two things we don’t do here at MITC Productions, it’s run and fact check. This is probably pretty obvious for the regular listeners, as they allow Robert and Matt to speak winded words into their microphones on a weekly (usually) basis. For the causal listener, this week is no different. Join your hosts as they discuss the things that don’t really matter to most of this world, at least this week. Rarely correct and usually awkward, it’s time for another episode of Useless Drivel – A Podcast Without a Point.
So, after growing up a die-hard Star Wars fan and loving all manner of science fiction movies my entire life, I find it a personal tragedy that I have yet to really sink my teeth into a Sci-Fi tabletop RPG. Sure, I’ve played any number of video games with a Sci-Fi slant (Mass Effect has been good to me) and have even rolled up some Star Wars Second Edition characters in the past (they were AWESOME), but the cards have not been in my favor of getting the chance to play what is probably the best genre of roleplaying settings.
After waiting for three years, I finally got to “Discover the Secret.” Whedonists around the world are rejoicing as Joss’s The Cabin in the Woods finally hit the big screen this Friday the 13th. When MGM was sold, the Cabin was stuck sitting on a shelf… until it was picked up by Lions Gate.
Do you enjoy feel-good movies that leave you with a sense of warm, fuzzy gooeyness from you head down to your toes? You do?? Then definitely DO NOT go see the newly released The Thing. If, however, you enjoy movies full of shocking gore, edge of your seat suspense and a feeling of desperate hopelessness, you, my friend, are in luck.
Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., and written by Eric Heisserer and Ronald D. Moore, this month’s release of The Thing is not a re-make of the 1982 John Carpenter classic. Instead, it a prequel, telling the story of the doomed Thule Station, a Norwegian research station in the desolate frosts of Antarctica. Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton, 2011’s The Thing is set three days before the start of the original film. Telling the tale of a groundbreaking discovery of alien life gone horribly wrong, The Thing is a nerve wracking gorefest chock full of paranoia and trigger happy scientists wielding flamethrowers. FLAMETHROWERS!!!!
I’m not going to go into details and spoil the movie for those of you that haven’t seen it already, but I will point out a couple of highlights that I found impressive. First was continuity. If you’ve seen the original, you’ll notice that the 2011 team stayed true aspects of the original film, particularly scenes from ’82 when Kurt Russell‘s character, R.J. MacReady is investigating the charred remains of Thule Station. Equally successful was the prequels capturing the sense of abject horror and paranoia so prevalent in the original. Winstead’s character, Kate, channels her own inner Ellen Ripley, taking the role of heroine in the film, leaving Edgerton’s very Kurt-Russelish-looking Carter to play the supporting hero role. It’s good to see hot tough chicks taking it to face shredding aliens again!
My biggest, I won’t say disappointment but rather “meh” about the film, comes from the alien Thing itself. As is par for the course in plenty of movies now, the creature is done primarily with CG. It reminds me of the Necromorphs from the Dead Space video games, which makes it sufficiently creepy. We all know how horrible I am when it comes to finishing video games, but Dead Space was successful in freaking me out enough to not be able to play too long without losing sleep. It was probably the whole play-at-night-with-all-the-lights-off-and-with-headphones-so-I’m-totally-immersed approach.
Anyway, for my money nothing beats practical special effects, especially for graphically horrific dog-melting, double amputation and disembodied heads running around on spider-legs…. Speaking of which, I’m off to watch the original on Blu-ray right now. Sleep tight boys and girls!