The Thing
Universal / 1982 / 104 Mins / Rated M15+

This Review is sponsored by 
Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video


MOVIE
Well here it is, one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies. Directed by John Carpenter, this was one of the scarier movies made in the early eighties. The Thing centers around a group of American Antarctic researchers. One day a group of Norwegian researchers come to the American base trying to shoot an innocent dog, realizing they are threat the one Norwegian is shot and there helicopter blows up. 

Wondering what happened to them, Kurt Russell decides to take a trip to there base, while there they stumble across the crash site of an alien ship. But there's one small problem. They have brought back the remains of an alien who looks like several different species. Meanwhile the dog that originally came to the camp has mutated into human form and now is slowly taking on the identity of everyone around. Not knowing who is who, the men turn on each other until the final outcome. Man vs. Alien.

VIDEO
Pretty poor quality actually. From what I hear this transfer was taken from an early laser disc print. That would explain the lack of 16:9 enhancement as well. This movie is full of film artifacts, this is the fault of the original master not this DVD transfer. 

There were no MPEG artifacts were present in the movie, colors in the movie are quite acceptable and well rendered.

The Thing is framed at 2:35:1 and is not 16:9 enhanced.

This is an RSDL disc. The layer change occurs at 88:20.

AUDIO

Sound is definitely better than the video transfer. The Thing has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and it sounds mighty fine too, but more on that later. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 French soundtrack, and Italian 2.0 stereo mix and a Dolby Digital 1.0 sound mix in Spanish and Polish. There is also a commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0

For a movie remixed in Dolby Digital 5.1, Universal certainly have done an excellent job. Even though the movie mainly centers towards the front of the soundstage, there is a moderate use of the surrounds in the movie and when they are used they are used effectively. The .1 was not used.

The dialog was clean and clear throughout.

EXTRAS
This is yet another Universal collectors edition disc and is loaded with extras

Feature: An 80 minute documentary called "The Thing Takes Shape". This is a great documentary and is more than worth a watch after the movie.

Audio Commentary: This is a commentary featuring John Carpenter and Kurt Russell. This is a very good track and you can tell they are very excited about watching the movie again right off the bat.

Theatrical Trailer: Your bog standard trailer in DD2.0 sound in 4:3 format. Not very exciting by today's standards.

The other extras contain the following:

Outtakes
Storyboards & Production Art
Production Photos
Location Design
Production Archives
Production Notes
Post Production
Cast & Crew Notes

A Good package of extras.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The Thing is a classic horror movie. The Video quality sucks, plus it's not 16:9 enhanced. The audio is above average and the extras are aplenty.

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:

PLOT:
OVERALL:

REVIEW EQUIPMENT

Display: 48" Sony RPTV.
DVD Player:
Panasonic A350 Player using S-Video Cables.
Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D508 Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Speakers:
Accusound speaker system.

Copyright 2000 by [Roger Ward].
Revised: 25 May 2000 22:43:12 +1100 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 4
No of Discs: 1
OFLC Rating M15+
Running Time: 104 Mins
Case Type: Keep Case
Release Date: 15/4/1999
Catalog Number: DU30363
List Price: $39.95
Distributor: Columbia/Tri-Star
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: PAL
Disc Type: Picture Disc
Disc Format: SS-RSDL
Chapters: 37
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: WAMO
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
Anamorphic: Yes
Film Format: 35mm
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround
2.0 Surround

DTS: None
PCM Stereo: None
Other: None
Languages: English
Subtitles: Yes
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: Yes
Theatrical Trailer: Yes
Teaser Trailer: Yes
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: None
Documentary: Yes
Cast & Crew Bios: Yes
Deleted Scenes: Yes
Music Videos: None
DVD Rom Content: None
Collectable Booklet: None
Scene Access: Yes
Animated Menus: None
Production Notes: Yes
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INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE INFO
OFFICIAL WEB SITE
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VIEW TRAILER
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