John Carpenter - Underrated Film Genius...Or As Crap As Lucas? Page 3

  • semprini 19 Feb 2007 10:09:57 3,144 posts
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    caligari wrote:
    semprini wrote:
    I suppose the director with the best track record could be Hayao Miyazaki, as there's rarely a film I don't enjoy. Totoro, Mononoke and Spritied Away are all amazing, plus Laputa, Cagliostro, Nausica, Kiki's, and Howl's are all good too :-)
    Which reminds me...I have Cagliostro on DVD (noice Christmas present from a friend) but I still haven't watched it. Convince me that it's worth watching.
    Forgot to check back on this thread sorry Cali :-)
    I found Cagliostro was hard to watch at first, because the animation style is quite different from his other work. But once you're used to that, it's a good story and film worth watching.
  • terminalterror 19 Feb 2007 10:24:31 18,931 posts
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    JuanKerr wrote:
    Anyone else really like Robert Rodriguez? I know he's no Kubrick, but for consistently churning out quality entertainment, he's pretty damn good.

    Sin City was the bollocks.

    He's got quite a range too. Sin City and Spy Kids from the same bloke.
  • gazzy 19 Feb 2007 11:54:23 882 posts
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    John Carpenter's a fantastic director, his vision has never met the budget though.
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  • caligari 21 Oct 2007 23:15:50 17,945 posts
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    Watched THX 1138 for the first time in years the other night. Still as excellent as always (jah, I know that's Lucas...but he's also mentioned in the thread title).

    'They Live' is on in the background at the moment. I'd kill for a pair of shades like Roddy Piper's.
  • Inquisitor Moderator 21 Oct 2007 23:17:46 14,557 posts
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    He's done some of my favourites, the escape froms and the thing in particular.

    My favourite director though?

    Well that would be Terry Gilliam HANDS DOWN.
  • silentbob 22 Oct 2007 00:12:20 29,510 posts
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    caligari wrote:
    Watched THX 1138 for the first time in years the other night. Still as excellent as always (jah, I know that's Lucas...but he's also mentioned in the thread title).
    Were you watching the 're-mixed' DVD re-release? Lucas went back and souped up the effects, very subtley in most places though. I'm not a big fan of fiddling with older movies to update, but I think in this case it was a great success.
  • bivith 22 Oct 2007 09:34:42 2,469 posts
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    Inquisitor wrote:
    He's done some of my favourites, the escape froms and the thing in particular.

    My favourite director though?

    Well that would be Terry Gilliam HANDS DOWN.

    Brother's Grimm was horrible.
  • glaeken 22 Oct 2007 09:47:41 12,026 posts
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    Yeah Brothers Grimm was terrible. I guess Gilliam needed his retirement fund topped up or something. There was virtually no Gilliam'ness in the Brothers Grimm and the story was just arse achingly poor.
  • Sucram 22 Oct 2007 17:09:00 254 posts
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    Big Trouble in Little China is a film I love, I'm not sure if you can say it shows Carpenter to be a genius director though.

    That said The Thing is a genuinely fantastic film, utterly brilliant.


    Ghosts of Mars was not good, though it reminded me of being 10 years old and running around the garden with friends pretending to shoot imaginary bad guys.


    Best director ever though.. I don't know, in terms of who I'd like to have a masterclass in directing from: Kubrick or David Lean or maybe somebody with a stronger pulse.
  • Inquisitor Moderator 22 Oct 2007 17:46:23 14,557 posts
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    bivith wrote:
    Inquisitor wrote:
    He's done some of my favourites, the escape froms and the thing in particular.

    My favourite director though?

    Well that would be Terry Gilliam HANDS DOWN.

    Brother's Grimm was horrible.

    Never seen it.

    Every great director has a few tarnishes to their record though, people slated Baron Munchenhausen (spelling?) but I loved it as a kid.

    I've gone on from loving that to watching and enjoying Brazil, 12 monkeys and of course Fear and Loathing. Those 3 films could all make my top 10 films I reckon.

    Thats discounting the excellent work he did for the monty python films aswell!
  • octo 22 Oct 2007 17:52:56 980 posts
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    I even like his Memoirs of an Invisible Man.
  • AmericanTransvestite 23 Oct 2007 05:08:33 189 posts
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    I love Carpenter, In The Mouth of Madness was just a great movie, Escape from LA is one of the best action movies to watch if you just want a mindless romp, and The Fog is still an entertaining watch. The Thing is just a masterpiece.
  • Restart 23 Oct 2007 08:38:51 5,060 posts
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    Depends which decade your talking about really. Back in the 70's & 80's he was one of the best director's around, with movies such as: Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing & Big Trouble in Little China.

    Then the 90's came around, and he somewhat lost his touch, making rubbish like Vampires & Ghosts of Mars.

    So the answer is, that he is both. Hopefully he hasn't completely lost his touch, and can still produce some top quality horror, but I wouldn't hold out much hope.
  • speedofthepuma 23 Oct 2007 09:50:00 13,425 posts
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    The only director I have come across where his name means I will enjoy the film: Miyazaki.

    I love most of what is referenced here, but all of them have some duffers to their name.
  • caligari 15 Mar 2008 22:09:31 17,945 posts
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    Ickle bump for Casper! \o/

    edit: I mean Caspar.
  • polar 15 Mar 2008 22:16:01 1,098 posts
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    Carpenter was a genius. There's a great commentary with himself & Kurt on The Thing dvd. Just two guy watchin the movie and having a laugh.
  • Deleted user 15 March 2008 22:34:24
    John Carpenter's - The Thing is one of my all time favorite movies. Well above anything Lucas has done.
  • BanjoMan 15 Mar 2008 22:40:33 13,692 posts
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    caligari wrote:
    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.
    You forgot Dark Star.
  • Phattso 15 Mar 2008 22:46:58 24,665 posts
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    Just bough The Fog special edition for four quid in the Play Easter sale. Couldn't believe I didn't have it already, I have pretty much everything else the guy has directed. Including (*hoch spit*) Ghosts of Mars.

    Actually, there's an excellent bit on one of the extras for Ghosts of Mars. They're in the editing room tweaking the soundtrack, and he's sitting at the back of the room smoking a cigarette in a cloud of smoke, and you can just hear him mutter to himself "this is the worst fuckin' movie I've ever made." Class. :)
  • Deleted user 16 March 2008 12:47:46
    John Carpenter IS a fucking genius. It's not even debatable. Sure, he lost it in the mid-ninties, but what an astounding line-up of films. The Thing - a classic. Halloween - a classic. Big Trouble - a classic. Assault on Precint 13 - a classic. Even then his lesser films have that wonderful Carpenter oddness. Prince of Darkness is one I've got a lot of love for... Alice Cooper killing someone with a bicycle for gods sake! The old standard, The Carpenter Mob, might be reeled out time and time again but it just works. in his capable hands. In The Mouth of Madness is also terribly underrated. The Fog too, the intro to that has to count as on of the creepiest ever made.
  • Pac-man-ate-my-wife 16 Mar 2008 13:12:08 7,036 posts
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    I wouldn't say that John Carpenter is underrated. He's rightly seen as producing some of the most distinctive and genre-defining films of the 70s and early 80s.

    I'd argue that films such as Big Trouble In Little China, Escape From New York and They Live don't really stand up to criticism nowadays being somewhat sloppy, overblown and ridiculous BUT he has made four films that are lean, mean and rightly viewed as 'classics' (whatever that ludicrous label means) and they are The Thing, Assault On Precinct 13, Halloween and Dark Star (although this on is not so much 'mean' as 'stoned') .

    The Thing and Halloween helped to define modern horror.

    Assault is a taut, stipped down, tense film that is one of THE great films of the 70s up there with French Connection, Chinatown etc.

    Dark Star is counter-culture through and through and while rough around the edges (and the middle too come to think of if) that's part of it's absurd charm.

    He was a truly great director with a unique vision who has lost his way in recent years but then so many of his peers have too, just look at Coppola and Lucas. That shouldn't detract from the great films he's given us and he should be celebrated.
  • hulahoops 16 Mar 2008 13:41:30 2,305 posts
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    Favourite director? Probably Stanley Kubrick; his films are hit and not quite hit, but always captivating.

    John Carpenter... I don't think I could ever get past Ghosts of Mars. His reputation is forever tarnished for me. Prince of Darkness probably scared me more than any other film has since though.
  • Mordum 11 Jan 2009 05:55:17 259 posts
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    "Escape From New York" is one of my favourite (and one of my most watched) films of all time. "Halloween" is a bonified horror, and more importantly, slasher classic. "The Thing" is one of the best Sci-Fi horror films ever made (be it a retread). "Christine" I absolutely loved growing up, and still do today, plus "The Fog" is an enjoyable little creepy flick. "In The Mouth Of Madness" is a quality offering and "Vampires" makes me laugh every time I watch it. "Big Trouble In Little China" and "They Live" are a right hoot too... 'nuff said. I even enjoy "Escape From LA" (I know some of you want to shoot me) but the moment the 'I don't give a fuck' Plissken shuts down every power source on planet Earth, well... that perfectly sums up the character for me.
    Given the two slim options given... I'll choose the 'underrated genius' option. How can the second option even bare consideration?
  • Telepathic.Geometry 11 Jan 2009 06:49:54 12,422 posts
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    Considering that Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing and They Live are held in very high esteem in my eyes, I have to say that I like John Carpenter. But a friend of mine and I came to a conclusion about John Carpenter a long time ago which I believe to be true, and it's this:

    John Carpenter + money = bad.
  • Deleted user 11 January 2009 08:15:58
    I love the holy trinity Halloween - Escape from NY - The Thing. That plus the super cool fact that he scores his own movies makes him a fantastic director. IIRC I think he was supposed to score "Terminator" originally but something got in the way.

    I have "Dark Star" on a DVD I've copied from a friend but never got to watch it. How is it? :)
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