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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "John Carpenter's The Thing" or "Das Ding aus einer anderen Welt")

directed by John Carpenter
USA 1982

Having a soft spot for his favourite director, Howard Hawks, John Carpenter had previously made a reversion of a Hawks film with “Assault on Precinct 13”, which Carpenter also edited, under the alias John T Chance: John Wayne’s name in the Hawks original, “Rio Bravo”, so if seemed almost a natural step for Carpenter to continue by making a reversion of “The Thing”.

When some Norwegians blow themselves up while attempting to shoot a dog at the US camp on the South Pole, the Americans investigate what could have lead to such behaviour and once they find out, they already are experiencing the same things on their base.

A reversion, rather than a remake, Carpenter uses the imitating quality of the monster to create suspense, as every scene is filmed as if everyone is a lurking monster. But despite superb technical skills, “The Thing” remains Carpenters most unsatisfying film to date.

The main problem with “The Thing” is that while the first two-thirds of the film is a tightrope walk of edge-of-the-seat suspense accompanied by, still today, some of the best SPFX, the last third becomes irrational and displays, what in b-films is know as, “obvious stupendous acting”: “look, the trail of blood leads into the dark, wait here while I go and investigate.” Where the film spends a lot of time building up its motif of paranoia, it let its grip go and becomes simple action. Holding these elements up against each other, one can only feel disappointed.

But despite its flaws, “The Thing” has survived and is today, alongside “Halloween”, Carpenters most celebrated film. It almost seems as the archetypical horror / sci-fi film of the eighties, where the masters of latex did their best and most impressive work, before CGI replaced them, and the work here is the most breathtaking and original ever made. And just like “Jaws”, which will evoke by its first two tunes, so “The Thing” with its two tunes. A masterpiece, no, a classic, yes.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 25, 1982

Reviews                                                   More Reviews                                             DVD Reviews

 Comparison:

Universal (Old CE) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Universal (CE) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal - Region A Blu-ray

Big thanks to Enrique B Chamorro and Henrik Sylow for the SD-DVD Screen Caps!

1) Universal (Old CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal (New CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region 'A' Blu-ray  - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal
Region 2,4 - PAL
Universal
Region 1 - NTSC
Universal
Region A 
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:48:24 1:44:06 (4% PAL speedup) 1:48:28 1:48:42
Video

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.89 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.28:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.68 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.95 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 single-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 21.3 Gig

1080P

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Universal (Old CE)

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal (New CE)

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

NO BITRATE GRAPH FOR BLU-RAY YET!

Audio English DD 5.1, French 2.0

5.1 DD English, 2.0 DD French surround stereo, 2.0 DD Italian stereo, 1.0 Spanish, Polish Mono

English DD 5.1, French 2.0

English DTS HD Master 5.1, DUB: French (Parisian) DTS 5.1

Subtitles English, Spanish, none English, French, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Czeck, Dutch, None English, French, Spanish, none English, French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• VOB file dates; NA
• Static Screen menus
• 8 Page foldout Insert
• Comm. by dir. John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell
• Documentary - Terror Takes Shape - 82 min.
• Note: Doc. has 8 chapter, English Subtitles and Music Only Audio Track
• Production Background Archive textscreens
• Cast Photos, Production Art and Storyboards
• Location Design, Production Archives
• The Saucer, Stills and Footage
• The Blairmonster, Stills and Footage
• Outtakes, Stills and Footage
• Post Production, Production Notes, Bios
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: 09/08/98
Plastic Keepcase

Chapters 37
 

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.28:1

Edition Details:
• Terror takes shape (1:20:34)
• Audio Commentary by John Carpenter and Kurt Russel
• Production background archive - slideshow (3:13)
• Cast production protographs - slideshow (1:31)
• Production art and storyboards - slideshow (5:13)
• Location design - slideshow (7:13)
• Production archives - slideshow (6:07)
• Outtakes (3:58)
• Post production - slideshow (2:55)
• Theatrical Trailer

 

DVD Release Date: 08/09/03
Keep case

Chapters 38

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• VOB file dates; 08/20/04
• Static Screen menus
• No Insert
• Comm. by dir. John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell
• Documentary - Terror Takes Shape - 82 min.
• Note: Doc. has 1 chapter, English, Spanish & French Subtitles ( NO Music Only Audio Track)
• Production Background Archive textscreens
• Cast Photos, Production Art and Storyboards
• Location Design, Production Archives
• The Saucer, Stills and Footage
• The Blairmonster, Stills and Footage
• Outtakes, Stills and Footage
• Post Production, Bios, (NO Production Notes)
• Theatrical Trailer

 

DVD Release Date: 10/26/04
Digipack Slipcase

Chapters 37

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

 

2.35:1 single-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 21.3 Gig

1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Comm. by dir. John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell
• U-Control - picture-in-picture

 

DVD Release Date: September 30th, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 37

 

Comments

ADDITION: Universal Blu-ray - September 08': NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

I'll try to be brief here. Firstly, the new Blu-ray (taking up 21.3 Gig of disc space for the feature) doesn't appear to dynamically advance upon the 2006 HD edition. In comparison to the older SD-DVDs this 1080P transfer obviously looks far superior. But how much? I suspect those willing to indulge should be sensitive to the artefacts present on the 04' Collector's Edition. I judge the newest SD-DVD to still be marginally boosted (far less than the first release though) and overall the high-definition transfer is demonstratively smoother with, expectantly, a greater level of detail. There is still some residual weakness but the film is over 25 years old now. Hopefully the clickable Blu-ray captures below will give you an idea of the competence of the new 1080P transfer.

NOTE: I not positive but strongly suspect this is a region-free Blu-ray.



Audio too - has a healthy boost to a DTS HD master track and it is best at demonstrating the metronomic bass of Ennio Morricone resonating score - which is absolutely perfect for Carpenter's The Thing. Top marks for the audio of this Blu-ray which sets the tone and mood very adeptly.

Extras: only the commentary survives from the SD-DVDs but you do get the U Control 'picture-in-picture' (interactive cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes footage - much previously seen on the SD supplements). This is good for those keen on indulging in that Blu-ray-unique option.

So buy? It probably boils down to how much you like the film. I always thought 82' version of The Thing was a decent sci-fi horror and Carpenter expands on some of the original film's themes and brings some new elements of distrust and paranoia into the narrative. Yeah, I was sold - liked it in my younger days and it's carried over reasonably well into my adult years. The Blu-ray and film are far from perfection, but it's a great way to spend a late Friday night - let me tell you.    

***

ON THE SD-DVDs: Disregarding the various degrees of cropping, the new anamorphic Region 1 DVD has the best image. They have, however, left off the music only audio track that was an option on the first NTSC edition. The new Region 1 version has better color balance, subtitles and contrast while the Region 2 counterpart is slightly hazy (why not anamorphic?). As usual the PAL edition offers multiple DUBs and subtitle options not available in the Region 1. We recommend the new NTSC version for its improved and superior image.

- Gary Tooze


Menus

(Universal (Old CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universal (New CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

Screen Captures

1) Universal (Old CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal (New CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region 'A' Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Universal (Old CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal (New CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region 'A' Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (Old CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal (New CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region 'A' Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (Old CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal (New CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region 'A' Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (Old CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal (New CE) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region 'A' Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 

 


A few more 'expandable' caps from the Blu-ray  

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray For U-Control
Menu: -

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal
Region 2,4 - PAL
Universal
Region 1 - NTSC
Universal
Region A 
Blu-ray




 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...