Showing posts with label john carpenter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label john carpenter. Show all posts

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Stranger Things at SDCC

A year ago this was the eve of Star Wars Celebration Europe and Stranger Things' debut on Netflix. The Duffer brothers homage to the 1980s caught the imagination of geeks (myself included) the world over, and I was held spellbound by its callbacks to John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg masterworks.

Earlier this week Netflix announced the second season begins streaming 27th October. Alongside this exciting news an amazing poster, that conveys The War of the Worlds meets The Goonies, was unveiled.

The new season is set in 1984, a year after the events depicted in season one, so expect pop culture references from that year including Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. Personally, it was the year my folks gifted me a Commodore 64, which I still own, and I religiously listened to Frankie Goes to Hollywood whilst playing the Sabreman trilogy with childhood friends.

Stranger Things will be at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in Hall H.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Stranger Things is a spellbinding homage to the 1980s!

Stranger Things from director brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, now streaming on Netflix, is a mini-series gem fashioned from the cinematic touchstones of Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter, and the pages of supernatural author Stephen King.

With a side order of John Hughes, James Cameron and David Cronenberg for good measure. This is a delicious buffet served with the utmost care for film geeks.

The Netflix series premiered during Star Wars Celebration Europe and the stars aligned...

The tale begins during a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Shortly thereafter a child goes missing and there's a monster prowling the woods of small-town Indiana in 1983.

Not since JJ Abrams' Super 8 have I been so enthralled by a Nancy Drew mystery peopled by characters that would have been my childhood friends growing up in suburbia.

A superlative young cast, ably supported by teenage crush Winona Ryder, David Harbour and Matthew Modine, and otherworldly cinematography that perfectly distills the zeitgeist of 1980s suburban Americana; tapping into our nostalgia-heavy era where Star Wars and Ghostbusters once again reign supreme on the silver screen, and the NES is making a comeback this holiday season.

The Guardian asked chief executive Reed Hastings if Netflix would commission another series in the wake of critical success.

He said: “Because we don’t have advertising we are under a whole different model to not compare all the shows and rank other shows, because it kind of doesn’t matter what everybody loves the most, it matters what you or I love most.

“You can get approximations ... if you look on IMDB the most popular TV show right now it’s Stranger Things, so that’s a reasonable proxy. It’s not that there’s no data, just that we don’t give out our data.”

Whilst we wait for confirmation of a sequel series. Netflix has announced the evocative synth soundtrack will be made available soon.

Have you seen Stranger Things? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Review: The Thing (2011)

Finally watched The Thing (2011) last night after eschewing the theatrical release last October. 120 Microsoft Points came in handy for this weekend's Reel Deal on Xbox LIVE!

Author John W. Campbell Jr's Who Goes There? has been the source for several classic science fiction adaptations. The Thing from Another World (1951), John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) and television's Doctor Who hasn't been shy with the Tom Baker serial Horror of Fang Rock (1977).

The Thing prequel/remake of a remake is an oddity! It's not entirely without merit and the production team holds John Carpenter's classic chiller with the utmost reverence; to the point of slavishly reprising scenes shot for shot; floating cameras are always welcome.

However, the titular shapeshifter has evidently escaped from Men in Black and brought facehuggers along for an Arctic adventure filled with generic scares. The overused CGI falls far short of Rob Bottin's artistry, oftentimes scenes are too dark to discern any action and the spaceship's interior is a Xeroxed copy of HR Giger's derelict ship from Alien (1979).

Aside from a director at the top of his game. John Carpenter's The Thing boasted a charismatic cast led by Kurt Russell in a career-defining role: beard + flamethrower = epic win.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the prequel's dry, paleontological, protagonist and the supporting cast deliver serviceable performances as they battle the alien threat with, you've guessed it, flamethrowers.

The Thing would've benefitted from some postmodern self-awareness as popularised by the mid 1990s slasher genre renaissance. What would Joss Whedon have done?

Unlike the upcoming Prometheus. The Thing prequel isn't at all ambitious and adds nothing to the canon, nor does it diminish it, which fans of John Carpenter's The Thing will be thankful for.