John Carpenter - Underrated Film Genius...Or As Crap As Lucas?

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  • caligari 12 Feb 2007 03:01:22 17,931 posts
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    KIDDING! I love George Lucas...really I do. American Graffiti is 'da bomb'.

    Anyway, it has just dawned on me (whilst watching Escape From New York) that John Carpenter is probably my favourite film director of all time.

    Whenever I get asked 'who is your favourite director?', I panic and try to name someone 'uber-cool' like Lynch or Kubrick...but I only ever seem to be watching and enjoying JC's movies.

    Look at this list and TELL ME that he's not your favourite director too:

    Assault On Precinct 13

    Halloween

    The Fog

    Escape From New York

    The Thing

    Christine (no really, it's great!)

    Big Trouble In Little China

    They Live

    Sure he's made a few 'duds', but no more so than your Bergmans and Fellinis.

    Any other directors that you guys love that others like to sneer upon?

    (I'll high five the first person to say John Hughes)

    edit: very late edit to say that I finally watched Dark Star a few months ago. Deem is correct - it is rather awesome, and I should be ashamed for leaving it off the original list.
  • Khanivor 12 Feb 2007 03:04:42 43,951 posts
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    I emplore you to listen to the commentary for BTiLC. Carpenter and Russel having a right old laugh. There's a lot of genuinely interesting film stuff in there as well as loads of friendly reminiscing.

    Anyway, er, John Hughes!

    /wallowed in Uncle Buck over xmas.

    Er...
  • caligari 12 Feb 2007 03:07:29 17,931 posts
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    Khanivor wrote:
    I emplore you to listen to the commentary for BTiLC. Carpenter and Russel having a right old laugh. There's a lot of genuinely interesting film stuff in there as well as loads of friendly reminiscing.

    Anyway, er, John Hughes!

    /wallowed in Uncle Buck over xmas.

    Er...

    /high fives Khav

    I KNEW you were a Hughes-er too. ;)

    I still haven't listened to the commentary on the BTiLC DVD, so that'll be something to do next week, I remember that the commentary on the excellent DVD for The Thing was much the same.

    /goes off to see if there are any commentaries with Roddy Piper on the They Live DVD
  • quantumsheep 12 Feb 2007 03:19:05 3,128 posts
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    Carpenter is a legend!

    Kurt Russel is a GOD!!!

    That is all

    =)
  • Introspectre 12 Feb 2007 03:30:30 3,274 posts
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    Some of his movies are above average. Vampires was a laugh. Wish he didn't get his name in before the title on some of his later stuff though.
  • caligari 12 Feb 2007 03:36:00 17,931 posts
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    Introspectre wrote:
    Some of his movies are above average. Vampires was a laugh. Wish he didn't get his name in before the title on some of his later stuff though.

    Shhh, we don't like to mention the 'later stuff'. ;)
  • saysomething 12 Feb 2007 03:39:39 1,245 posts
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    [Norris' head grows legs and tries to walk away]
    Palmer: You gotta be fucking kidding.

    I just love that part.

    And everything else about this movie.
  • absolutezero 12 Feb 2007 03:48:13 7,952 posts
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    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079103/

    Best Carpenter film ever. :p
  • manuel_garcia 12 Feb 2007 04:02:28 4,079 posts
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    Halloween, The Thing and Big Trouble in little China are all great films. Only three though and no genuine classic there...
  • caligari 12 Feb 2007 04:05:11 17,931 posts
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    manuel_garcia wrote:
    Halloween, The Thing and Big Trouble in little China are all great films. Only three though and no genuine classic there...

    :-o

    No genuine classics?

    I'm...I'm not going to sleep well tonight.
  • Scimarad 12 Feb 2007 06:32:47 9,534 posts
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    /goes off to see if there are any commentaries with Roddy Piper on the They Live DVD

    There certainly is, and it's much as you describe for the others:-)

    Edited by Scimarad at 06:33:17 12-02-2007
  • manuel_garcia 12 Feb 2007 06:36:56 4,079 posts
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    caligari wrote:
    manuel_garcia wrote:
    Halloween, The Thing and Big Trouble in little China are all great films. Only three though and no genuine classic there...

    :-o

    No genuine classics?

    I'm...I'm not going to sleep well tonight.

    heh

    Well i'd put The Thing up into almost-classic territory I guess, I need to watch it again though, haven't seen it in years.
  • Poorandugly 12 Feb 2007 06:42:41 573 posts
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    Halloween is as classic as they come...? I'd say escape from new york is pretty respected as a classic as well.

    /tries to be somewhat of an authority
  • manuel_garcia 12 Feb 2007 07:32:41 4,079 posts
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    See I just didnt get Escape from New York.

    Not a bad film by any stretch and it has a good cheesiness factor to it, but as an actual film it always seemed well... crap.

    I know that might be the whole point but it just never struck me as a film i'd want to watch more than once.

    Edited by manuel_garcia at 07:33:01 12-02-2007
  • Dynamize 12 Feb 2007 07:34:03 1,672 posts
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    I think Carpenter's a great director. The Thing, Big Trouble, Prince of Darkness, The Escapes are great films. Not too keen on Halloween meself.

    The commentaries on the DVDs are among the best.
    I recently listened to the Aliens commentary again and christ is that tedious (bar the actors' contributions; the whole production staff are utterly boring). I suppose it's good if you're into knowing what millimeter of film was used and all that technical stuff; but comparing it to Carpenter and Kurt Russell on The Thing, no contest. The Thing's commentary is so cosy. When two people show how much fun and enthusiasm they had for something, it just rubs off of you.

    So yeah, I rank Carpenter highly in the entertainment stakes. I wouldn't say he's my favourite director of all time, but he's certainly a big slice of the pie-chart that is "favourite films by director".
  • PearOfAnguish 12 Feb 2007 10:21:03 7,573 posts
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    manuel_garcia wrote:
    Halloween, The Thing and Big Trouble in little China are all great films. Only three though and no genuine classic there...

    All of those are classics. So is Assault on Precinct 13.

    It's just a shame everything he's done in the last few years has been such utter dreck (Ghosts of Mars, anyone?)
  • nickthegun 12 Feb 2007 10:30:49 76,188 posts
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    Hes one of those people who if, like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, he had been assasinated at the end of the 80's he would now, quite rightly, be regarded as a genius.

    Carpenter made some of my favourite movies of all time and was largely responsible for me wanting to be a film director for a while (until I realised I wasnt talented enough).

    He is, however, responsible for Ghosts of Mars and Vampires which are, collectively, 3 hours of my life I will never get back.

    Oh, and while people quite rightly recogise his genius behind the lens, he is also a very talented composer. The scores for his earlier films are still very influential.

    Edited by nickthegun at 10:31:36 12-02-2007
  • Tonka 12 Feb 2007 10:30:52 28,854 posts
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    caligari wrote:
    Any other directors that you guys love that others like to sneer upon?

    Kevin Costner.

    Waterworld (uncredited but still)
    Postman
    Open Range

    The man is a legend in my book. The fact that he mad two post-apocalyptic movies in a row is proof that he has balls of steel.
  • nickthegun 12 Feb 2007 10:38:13 76,188 posts
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    CrispyXUK wrote:
    Average director who has moments of brilliance

    Thats the thing. His highs are pretty much untouchable (the thing, halloween, etc) but the lows are unbelievably *low* (Ghosts of Mars), really taking a hammer to his batting average.
  • Deleted user 12 February 2007 10:38:48
    I'm gay for Gondry. Watched his latest one last night, The Science of Sleep. Awesome.
  • Tonka 12 Feb 2007 10:43:17 28,854 posts
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    Everybody lov es Gondry though.
  • octo 12 Feb 2007 10:55:02 980 posts
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    Anything Carpenter post They-Live has been absolutely shite. I am a massive early Carpenter fan. Personally I would like to know how a man who can make entertaining genre films for over ten years can suddenly piss everything up the wall. I mean what happened? Did he just stop listening to those around him? Did he listen too much?
  • Gollum860 12 Feb 2007 11:05:38 22 posts
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    How about a bit of In the Mouth of Madness?

    H.P. Lovecraft influences? Sam Neill covered in marker-penned crosses? Charlton Heston!

    Powerful Stuff.
  • quantumsheep 12 Feb 2007 11:06:52 3,128 posts
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    Gollum860 wrote:
    How about a bit of In the Mouth of Madness?

    H.P. Lovecraft influences? Sam Neill covered in marker-penned crosses? Charlton Heston!

    Powerful Stuff.

    I actually really love that film, though it was vastly underrated I reckon!
  • Gollum860 12 Feb 2007 11:09:56 22 posts
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    Very much his last half decent film, I figure.

    Must get around to watching the two episodes of Masters of Horror he's directed.

    I see one of them has Udo Kier in it. Can't beat a bit of European wierdy-ness.
  • Deleted user 12 February 2007 11:21:39
    I've seen Escape From New York, The Fog, Big Trouble in Little China and Assault on Precinct 13 and, to be honest, i think he's no more than average at best.

    I really don't understand the fuss made about Escape From NY. It's a not-too-bad straight-to-video film. The less said about Big Trouble the better.
  • nickthegun 12 Feb 2007 11:26:37 76,188 posts
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    Gollum860 wrote:
    Must get around to watching the two episodes of Masters of Horror he's directed.

    They are about the best ones, which to be honest isnt saying much as the series, on the whole, is shit.
  • quantumsheep 12 Feb 2007 11:44:58 3,128 posts
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    Fozzie_bear wrote:
    I've seen Escape From New York, The Fog, Big Trouble in Little China and Assault on Precinct 13 and, to be honest, i think he's no more than average at best.

    I really don't understand the fuss made about Escape From NY. It's a not-too-bad straight-to-video film. The less said about Big Trouble the better.

    You are dead to me now.

    Dead.

    =(


    ;)
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