Another Thing…

anotherThingWhilst on the subject of John Carpenter movies (cunning link there to yesterday’s post) I’ve found myself pre-ordering another copy of The Thing, this time the 4K UHD edition that Universal are releasing in September. I don’t know how many times I’ve bought this film on a home video format: DVD twice, Blu-ray twice… actually I think it may have been three times on Blu-ray, and that is just plain insane even to me. But it’s The Thing, and it’s on 4K UHD, and it is surely the last copy of this film I will ever buy. Please, lord, the last time. I’m beginning to think the 4K format is the work of the Devil.

It is rather quietly ironic, in what is supposed to be the slow decline of physical media, that we can still be suckered into buying these new editions of films we’ve bought so many times before. Its likely no accident that Carpenter is so well-represented on 4K disc (Prince of Darkness, Halloween, Escape From New York, The Fog and They Live with more likely to follow before the disc replicators finally grind to a halt), as his films have always been very popular on home video formats. I remember back when VHS started here in the UK, Escape From New York was one of the first big ‘hits’ on rental in 1983, partly because its a good film but also because it sported, at the time, a pretty amazing stereo track the likes of which previously unheard of in the home. Of course it was on VHS in pan and scan/pain an’a scam format but hey, it was 1983 and our televisions tended to be still black and white even then, and absolutely 4:3. How times change, but some Things (see what I did there?) stay the same, sort of.

6 thoughts on “Another Thing…

  1. Matthew McKinnon

    I ordered this this week as well.
    I had to have a bit of a conversation with myself as to which edition to order…

    Not the box set, because I already have the soundtrack, the posters etc are worthless, and who wants a copy of the 2011 version as an extra?

    So the standard or the Steelbook? I prefer the standard cover but I went for the Steelbook because whenever the proper special edition comes out with all the whistles and bells in one place, a Steelbook resale will recoup more.

    Crazy that I’m factoring in resale value, but as you say – it’s The Thing. There’ll be another better edition along in a couple of years.

    1. I hope you’re wrong about a better edition later on, I’m banking on this being the last time I ever buy The Thing again. I went standard- the box is nice but after so many releases the tat is superfluous (I think I have three discs of the soundtrack already (original Varese, Howarth re-recording and the excellent Quartet remaster)). These tat boxes do seem to be the go-to release strategy for 4K now, certainly here in the UK.

      The steelbook looks nice but its too close to the artwork on the previous releases I own- the standard has something that looks good and looks very different, but mostly it came down to price. At this point I think I’ve spent more than enough on past releases and this 4K is my limit, I’ve only watched the last Arrow edition (and I had the tat box of that one) once, but I assume (haven’t checked) many of the Arrow extras will be exclusive to that edition so I didn’t waste my money (and that this being Universal it will just have the old laserdisc stuff).

      At this point the only tatbox edition I can imagine being suckered by would be a Blade Runner one, I just hope Warner aren’t paying attention- there’s a certain anniversary coming next year…

      1. Matthew McKinnon

        That box set next year would hopefully include all the different versions in 4K, and also 2049 in its IMAX version (with significantly more picture top and bottom for the entire film). I’d buy that,

        (But it’ll probably just be a new box and a couple of posters and a toy Spinner.)

      2. They have to come up with something novel to sucker me in this time around. I didn’t buy the briefcase edition, but did buy the one with the toy spinner, and the BR2049 4K with the cheap BR shot glasses. What’s possibly left other than a mini-VK with which to test those neighbours who don’t QUITE look human?

        Hey, do you realise we’ve just found a reason to look forward to 2022 with nervous trepidation: what’s in the BR 40th Anniversary tatbox…

  2. I’d told myself I wouldn’t buy this when the news began to filter through of its imminent release, because I haven’t watched the Arrow Blu-ray yet, and it was obvious his wasn’t going to carry over the extras so couldn’t be considered an upgrade, just an addition… then they went and announced the box set to match the StudioCanal 4K Carpenters, and I immediately caved.

    Well, at least I can sell my copy of the 2011 film and recoup, what, 50p?

    1. This is the last time we’ll ever buy a copy of The Thing. But I am getting a bit wary of these 4K releases of catalogue films… early word on the 4K streaming editions of the Star Trek films that are out in the wild on iTunes etc seems cause for alarm regards my 4K boxset pre-order and every time I see a clip of Lynch’s Dune I keep thinking I must be mad buying that in 4K, its looks terrible in HD as it is, what’s addl resolution and HDR going to do but make it look worse? So some pre-orders may be getting cancelled, but The Thing is an entirely different class of film. Who could possibly resist?

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