Science Fiction Movie Club

Joined: Aug 2004
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Oh, it's Alien vs. The Thing? Alien, unquestionably. The difference for me is in how the two movies present and define their characters. With The Thing, the movie rushes early on to establish its characters in the broadest strokes. As a result, they mostly end up being cardboard caricatures, and it's very clear from the beginning that Kurt Russell is our central antihero who's going to make it to the end, however ambiguous that ending may be. Alien never tips its hand that way. With Alien, the movie doesn't rush the character development. We're constantly learning more and more about them by how they learn about and react to the threat. In The Thing, none of the deaths or reveals were ever surprising or shocking to me because none of them involved Kurt Russell; he just reacted to them. In Alien, it's never really clear until the end who will survive, and there are a couple deaths/revelations that are really shocking.
Aug 24, 2017 12:45 AM
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If it just goes down to what I enjoy more, and what I'm more likely to put on at any given moment, The Thing is always going to be one of my favorites. But in regards to what I think is technically the better film, I tend to think Alien has much richer characters, a greater sense of mood and it manages to create nearly an entire world inside of the enclosed space of the Nostromo, and so give it the slightest of edges.
Aug 24, 2017 12:52 AM
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Thief12And I've said it before here, but I'm probably one of the few who would put 28 Weeks Later above Days.

I like 28 Weeks Later, but I feel like 28 Days Later has more merits and layers to it. Could you elaborate on both films though? I'm interested to hear what you think of them.
Aug 24, 2017 1:30 AM
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BadLieutenantOh, it's Alien vs. The Thing? Alien, unquestionably. The difference for me is in how the two movies present and define their characters. With The Thing, the movie rushes early on to establish its characters in the broadest strokes. As a result, they mostly end up being cardboard caricatures, and it's very clear from the beginning that Kurt Russell is our central antihero who's going to make it to the end, however ambiguous that ending may be. Alien never tips its hand that way. With Alien, the movie doesn't rush the character development. We're constantly learning more and more about them by how they learn about and react to the threat. In The Thing, none of the deaths or reveals were ever surprising or shocking to me because none of them involved Kurt Russell; he just reacted to them. In Alien, it's never really clear until the end who will survive, and there are a couple deaths/revelations that are really shocking.

I remember a scene early on in the film which showed MacReady playing a game of chess with a computer only to dump a cup of water into it, frying its circuits. I feel like one person hit the nail on the head when he mentioned that the film feels like MacReady playing a chess game with the other characters in terms of him fighting them when they become infected. I feel like him frying the computer's circuits represented him using a flamethrower. I also thought it was pretty cool how MacReady was the only one who ever burned an alien in the film. I felt like Carpenter intended to base the movie around him. It seemed to be about him fighting back more than it was about the other characters fighting back against the alien. I agree that it's clear MacReady will make it to the end from the beginning. However, I feel like Carpenter intended for the film to be like this due to the chess scene. I enjoyed this concept as it was an interesting idea to show how MacReady was the only main/primary character. You'd think that none of the deaths would be surprising as a result, but I think the movie made up for this with the well-done buildup and execution. A lot of the kills were unexpected such as the defibrillation and the blood test scenes. There were also several characters who I felt were infected, but the movie kept my anticipation high over when it was going to happen/if it was going to happen (this led to a few surprises). Anyways, this is why I don't have an issue with what you're talking about. I feel like both of these movies are brilliant, but I enjoyed The Thing slightly more.
Aug 24, 2017 2:06 AM
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I saw THX 1138 for the first time today, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I liked the technical aspects (visuals and sound) quite a bit. When the film wasn't giving us glimpses of what the city looked like, it bathed the scenery with a hypnotic white color which was used to the best effect during the prison scene. Despite being a plain color, the visuals never grew boring due to the mind-bending nature of the scene. Some people might find the white color pallet to be bland as it was used quite a bit, but I think Lucas selected it to show how boring life was in the city the film took place in. Also, the sound design felt absorbing in numerous scenes as it gave the film a slight mysterious feeling. Its story isn't too compelling, but I'm assuming Lucas was more concerned with the technical qualities, which were all impressive. My only other criticism was with the ending, because I feel like the movie should've offered some more insight on the current state of the world, so I could understand what THX is going to do now that he has escaped the city. Despite these issues, however, the film offered enough in terms of visuals and sound to keep me entertained.

6/10
Aug 31, 2017 3:35 PM
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THX1138 is a really trippy movie. Love it.
Aug 31, 2017 5:56 PM
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Can I join the clubs?

Never seen THX1138 but it has been on my radar for years.

edit- I just now got into American Graffiti and it was fun to see THX 138 on the license plate on the yellow car.
Aug 31, 2017 6:04 PM
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Those of you who enjoy a brain-bender are encouraged to check out The Frame. The premise is kind of hard to describe without causing confusion, so just go in blind like I did. I haven't decided if it was successful, but I enjoyed it while it was happening, despite not being clear on a few things.

(on Amazon Prime)
Sep 5, 2017 12:46 PM
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The Time Machine (1960) - 7/10

This is a great sci-fi film with an eerie depiction of the future as it shows how cannibals (referred to as "Murlocks") have taken over what appears to be the last of mankind far into the future. I liked how the humans (referred to as "Eloi's") seemed to have given up on life as they interacted with each other very little and obeyed the Murlocks willingly. I also feel like the final act was a fitting way to end the film. Overall, I'd say it was pretty intriguing in terms of its story. I also liked the time lapse effects as they were pretty creative. However, I've seen a lot of people criticize them for being dated. They don't look impressive by today's standards, sure, but to my knowledge, they looked just fine for 1960. In my opinion, CGI/practical effects should be judged by how they looked at the time the film they were from was released, not over 50 years later after numerous technical advancements had been made. My only issue with the film was that the romance between George and Weena was predictable right after their very first encounter. I still enjoyed it a lot though. It's worth watching.
Sep 8, 2017 1:36 AM
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I've technically seen THX-1138 but I got to get around to seeing the theatrical version, hopefully ripped from a LaserDisc or somethin', so I'm not distracted by all that CGI. overall: images more memorable than the ideas but still a lot of good images.

and one can only wonder what kind of movies Lucas would have made if Star Wars didn't become The Most Popular Movie Ever.
Sep 8, 2017 4:12 AM
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The Thing was the first time I watched a movie front to back and thought "this is perfect, I wouldn't change a second"

I can't say the same about Alien, despite it's advantages in overall production value. This is also one of the few times I give a huge advantage to dogs over cats. It's worth noting that I watched Alien for the first time not too long ago, but I wouldn't see my opinion changing back in the day. John Carpenter is the ultimate hero
Sep 8, 2017 5:00 AM
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Silent Running (1972) - 4/10

I couldn't get into this movie that much. I think most of this has to do with the handling of Lowell as his character wasn't that interesting. After killing his crewmates, he didn't undergo any haunting character arcs, he didn't life in fear of being discovered all throughout the film, he didn't grow to fear the drones he was with, he didn't do, well, pretty much anything that I found compelling. He just sort of found ways to pass the time and, occasionally, dealt with a problem. The few scenes where the movie would show flashbacks of his crew hinted at him feeling remorse or the starting stages of guilt, but the movie didn't go anywhere with that. Things just seemed to happen around him. Contrariwise, however, I enjoyed the setting (some people said the setting looks dated nowadays, but I already responded to that argument in my review of The Time Machine, so I won't dwell on that again), the music, and Bruce Dern's acting. Also, its ending connected with me. I didn't enjoy it that much though.
Sep 23, 2017 1:24 AM
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Sorcerer Supreme NamelessThe Thing was the first time I watched a movie front to back and thought "this is perfect, I wouldn't change a second"

So I'm assuming you haven't seen Tarkovsky's Solaris?
Sep 23, 2017 3:27 AM
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last splash
Sorcerer Supreme NamelessThe Thing was the first time I watched a movie front to back and thought "this is perfect, I wouldn't change a second"

So I'm assuming you haven't seen Tarkovsky's [b]Solaris/b]?

Maybe he watched The Thing before he watched Solaris.

On a side note, Stalker is my favorite Tarkovsky film. In fact, it also happens to be my favorite film of all time. As for Solaris, I need to watch it again soon, because when I first saw it, I was still getting use to slow pacing, so I had difficulty getting into it. If I were to watch it again, however, I feel like I'd like it much more.
Sep 23, 2017 3:33 AM
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Sorcerer Supreme NamelessThe Thing was the first time I watched a movie front to back and thought "this is perfect, I wouldn't change a second"

So I'm assuming you haven't seen Tarkovsky's Solaris?

I bought that shit on DVD for $30 from a record store when I was 18! Gawd I was so pretentious ;)

No, Solaris is amazing, don't you even... The Thing just represents everything and all I want in a movie. I mean, it doesn't fill me with the empty void of existential nothingness... to an extent... so that's good!

WHAT WAS THAT DRIVING SCENE WHICH KEEPS FLIPPING FROM COLOUR TO BLACK AND WHITE? Seriously, Tarkovsky is a genius beyond me. All it takes is for him to pull that shit and I just sit there stunned and humbled as the rest of the film happens
Sep 23, 2017 3:42 AM
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The only scene in Solaris I consider to be flawed is the driving sequence, because it didn't look futuristic at all. It felt pretty out of place, and I'm still not sure what to make of it. The city in Stalker was designed better as it looked like a run down, industrial environment.
Sep 23, 2017 3:55 AM
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Popcorn ReviewsThe only scene in Solaris I consider to be flawed is the driving sequence, because it didn't look futuristic at all. It felt pretty out of place, and I'm still not sure what to make of it. The city in Stalker was designed better as it looked like a run down, industrial environment.

What's what I can't get over, it's like a completely different thing from a completely different dimension and that car is, like, driving INTO YOUR MIND
Sep 23, 2017 5:10 AM
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I mean, it's the contrast of the old and the young, of course, because, like, colour photography, b and w photography... old guy driving, kid in the passenger seat. But it's a short film in the middle of that movie. It's so WOAH
Sep 23, 2017 5:11 AM
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Sep 23, 2017 5:12 AM
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sefgerg
Sep 23, 2017 5:12 AM
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