Thing, The (Blu-ray) (2011)
Deleted Scenes-Deleted/Extended Scenes
Featurette-The Thing Evolves
Featurette-Fire and Ice
Audio Commentary-Director Matthijs van Heijningen and producer Eric Newman
|Year Of Production||2011|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.|
Universal Pictures Home Video
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Eric Christian Olsen
Trond Espen Seim
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (3254Kb/s)
French dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
German dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Spanish dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Portuguese dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Action during first part of closing credits|
"In a place where there is nothing, they found something"
If you've seen John Carpenter's 1982 classic The Thing, then you'll have a fair idea of what to expect in this 2011 prequel. This story begins a few days before the 1982 version, and in doing so answers a number of questions that were not covered by Carpenter's original. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Kate Lloyd, an American paleontologist who is flown to the Norwegian Antarctic base after scientists discover what seems to be an alien structure within the ice. Kate and her colleague Adam Finch (Eric Christian Olsen) travel with Norwegian scientists to the structure, and find that it seems to be a spaceship containing an organism encased in ice. They decide to remove the organism and ship it back to the camp for investigation. Chief Norwegian scientist, Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) decides to take a tissue sample from the enclosed object using a exploratory drill. Kate argues with Sander that this is not a good idea until they take precautionary measures. Sander however angrily overrides her and removes a sample.
Meanwhile in the camp the rest of the scientific team become aware that they might have discovered an alien life form. As they party into the evening the ice block containing the organism progressively melts and, in an ominous sign, one of the camp husky dogs begins barking and scratching frantically in its cage. Those familiar with the 1982 movie will recognise that this is not a good sign. When the thing wakes up and breaks free of its icy coffin the scientists realise that they are dealing with a deadly life form which seeks their destruction, and has the ability to mimic anything it touches. With everyone not already dead becoming a suspect host to the parasite, it falls on Kate and helicopter pilot Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton) to fight the thing before it consumes everyone and escapes into the wilderness.
As a stand-alone movie The Thing is quite good entertainment with plenty of shocks and a story which, although formulaic, is nonetheless quite interesting. When compared however to the 1982 classic, this modern prequel pales as a poor imitation. What John Carpenter's version lacked in technical advancements was more than made up for with the intelligent use of music and atmosphere to build tension so that when the thing finally appears it is truly horrific. The 2011 thing however bursts into the screen with lack of subtlety that plays most of its cards too early. Perhaps we've become a bit jaded by modern CGI wizardry, because even the creature itself does not have the same impact as the original thing. As in Jaws most of the fear and tension is built on the unseen threat, so that when the menace materialises some of that tension is lost. Leaving aside the numerous plot holes including why Kate is the only intelligent scientist on the base, and a supporting cast only useful as gormless creature fodder, The Thing manages to entertain for most of its modest play time. In the acting stakes Mary Elizabeth Winstead is quite solid as the glamorous scientist/heroine however Joel Edgerton is no Kurt Russell. The final sequences superimposed with the initial closing credits will, however, bring back fond memories for lovers of Carpenter's original classic.
This is a dual layer 50gb disc but I could not see the layer change using my equipment.
This audio track is reference quality.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu featured looping audio with background scenes from the movie.
Director Matthijs van Heijningen and producer Eric Newman with a better than average commentary which doesn't focus on the screen action but instead offers anecdotes, filming issues, and technical details. Well worth a listen.
HD 2.40:1 video aspect with 2.0 Dolby Digital audio at 192 Kb/s.
Seven scenes - "2 Phone Calls," "It's True," "That's Not Karl," "Colin," "Two-Heads," "Start the Helicopter Now" and "Come in, Over!"
HD 1.78:1 video aspect with 2.0 Dolby Digital audio at 256 Kb/s. Behind the scenes with cast and crew paying a lot of homage to the original Carpenter film.
HD 1.78:1 video aspect with 2.0 Dolby Digital audio at 256 Kb/s. Visual effects for the ice and fire scenes.
PiP material during 15 of the disc's 20 chapters including production info and behind-the-scenes footage. Quite a worthy effort if you feel the need to revisit the film.
Downloadable trailers and bonus content.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This Blu-ray appears to be identical to the region 2 UK version and the US version. Also available is a two disc combo with Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy; a two Blu-ray "collectors" edition which includes both the 2011 and 1982 movies. There is also a Blu-ray with digital copy combo.
The Thing is a reasonable horror movie which unfortunately does not match up to the 1982 original. If you are expecting to bask in reflective nostalgia with this disc then you'll be disappointed. If you've never seen Carpenter's version then you'll probably be pretty satisfied. Nevertheless even this Carpenter fan got plenty of fun out of The Thing 2011, even though it's not destined to be a classic.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is outstanding.
Extras are good but meagre for Blu-ray.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output|
|Display||Panasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||denon AVR-4311 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp|
|Speakers||B&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub, Definitive Technology Supercube II Sub|