Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Mothering & Things

Does anyone know the movie which featured Donald Moffat yelling the following line?

"I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time, I'd rather not
spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH! "

Geeks and fans of horror films may recognise that this came from the cult John Carpenter alien-on-the loose slasher flick The Thing, where a group of scientists on an Antarctic research site encounter a shape shifting monster with rather stomach churning results.
The film was not a hit at the time, but its tense storyline and state of the art special effects coupled with a mean and moody hero in the shape of Kurt Russell gave it cult status on video and on tv, so it was with some interest that I watched the 2011 prequel, which was also rather confusingly entitled   The Thing 

Stig Henrik Hoff just of the "lumberjacks"
The prequel is in fact just a remake of the original, with the Norwegian scientists glimpsed at the beginning of the Carpenter movie taking on the American scientists roles.

Instead of a mean and moody Mr Russell, the remake gives us the more politically correct female warrior hero in the capable hands of Mary Elizabeth Winstead but thankfully as the research station was filled to the gunnels with Nordic viking types, there was plenty of hunky lumberjacks to keep me happy, especially as the film was a little disappointing!
Joel Edgerton (swoon)

On the other hand, the other dvd I watched this week is a must see
We Need to Talk About Kevin is the filmed version of the acclaimed novel by Lionel Shriver
and tells the story of Eva, a middle aged woman who in a whole series of flashbacks reviews incidents in the upbringing of her imprisoned son which chronicle his decent into a psychopathic behaviour and murder.
The strength of this film lies in it's total ambiguity when appointing blame for Kevin's antisocial tendencies
Eva's lack of emotional warmth towards her son may have have caused his problems, then again it is hinted that physical illness may have caused the damage, whatever it is, Eva ( played by a haunted looking and icy Tilda Swinton) is left with the terrible guilt of her son's crimes and the terrifying burden of trying to work out whether it was nature or nurture that irrevocably damaged him.

Its not an easy film to watch, especially as Swinton plays a rather complicated and at times unsympathetic character, but she is truly compelling as the world weary Eva and should have won an Oscar for her performance.


  1. So we're spotting a beard thing going on here. I'm not sure it suits Tilda Swinton.

  2. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was the hot chick with pink hair in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World... definitely a draw for me!

  3. The Thing - 1982 ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwNCuGpZ5b8

  4. The best I could manage (emotionally) this past couple of days was Doc Martin - the movie...sorry John!

  5. Sorry, John, but I didn't find anything endearing about either show in your review. Perhaps next weekend.

  6. I was traumatized by watching the original Howard Hawks 1950 version of The Thing. I was only ten at the time. I have seen both subsequent remakes and Kurt Russell's 1982 is my favorite. For a Science Fiction lover like me, they are all worth watching.

  7. I don't do well with scary movies or terribly violent ones, so must give these a miss, methinks.

  8. Mr Carpenter's little home movies were always just a tad too uncomfortably violent for my tastes - there's something the cold, nasty edginess of his action that tells me more about his psyche and personal problems than I want to know...

    That said, I love the "for crying out loud" opening scenes of The Thing. Oooh look - a few fellow pragmatic and demonstrably sane field scientists like ourselves have taken the trouble to arm themselves, get a helicopter in the air and chase a dog for fifty miles, desperately shooting at it and calling to us. We have guns ourselves, let us look puzzled and indecisive and welcome the dog and fuss over it like a puppy...

    Doh! Take the flaming hint, idiots!

  9. Thank goodness for the sexy lumberjacks!

  10. I too don't like horror films ~ far too scary for me! The first one I saw was back in 1974 (I think) called It's Alive and my boyfriend had to take me home part-way through because I couldn't stand all the blood and gore ~ mind you, I was only 13 at the time ;-) I think the last one I saw was probably Carrie and that scared me too so since then I've avoided 'em LOL

  11. I also liked We Need To Talk About Kevin. As you say, not an easy film to watch but it really gets you thinking about why some kids grow up to be such monsters.


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