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Bloviating Zeppelin: The Day The Earth Stood Still

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still

I'll immediately "cut to the chase" regarding the newly-released remake of the classic 1951 science fiction film starring Michael Rennie: avoid the remake. It is terrible.

The original film is a science fiction classic; in my opinion easily one of the five best SF movies ever made. Director Robert Wise (1914 - 2005; editor, Citizen Kane, director, Run Silent, Run Deep; West Side Story; The Haunting; The Sound of Music; The Sand Pebbles; The Andromeda Strain; Star Trek: The Motion Picture to name but a few) incorporated some remarkable things in this film, to include Bernard Herrmann's captivating score (first ever to use the theremin), its stark black-and-white aspect, simple but incredibly-convincing special effects (the shadow of Klaatu's ship following perfectly underneath to its landing point in the park), and a robot that was and still is ominous and believeable.

Whereas Klaatu in the 1951 original came to warn Earth about the dangers of war, nuclear arms and spreading our planet's violence into space -- what do you suppose is the new theme of Klaatu's warning?

Take a moment. Time's up.

Yes: Global Warming.

Klaatu says the planet is not ours -- though he fails to say quite precisely to whom it does belong if not its inhabitants.

I'm sorry, that's just the final straw, folks. The producers have taken a wonderful tale, mashed it with over-the-top special effects, limp performances, a kid you'll hate in an instant and, at the end of one hour and fifty minutes, you'll ask yourself why you spent the $10+ dollars.

There is no one in this film in which to relate, least of all Klaatu. Perhaps the best I can say is that Keanu Reeves hit his marks; he is, after all, in focus. That is the best I can write of Mr. Reeves.

I am so tired of "alien space craft" being portrayed as balls of light. I am so tired of special effects trotted across the screen for little other meaning than their simple presence; the character of Gort was completely digitized and slaughtered -- along with the "plot." The panderingly-obvious "product placement" is even worse. And then this mangled, bleeding lump is plopped at the religious altar of Global Warming.

For those of you who are devotees of the original film: stay away, as you will be angered. For all others: save your money. Rent or purchase the original The Day The Earth Stood Still. Mr. Wise did so much more with so much less -- and it is so much more enjoyable.

See videos of the original here and here, please.



Blogger Gayle said...

The original movie was excellent, BZ, and I thank you profusedly for the warning, because my husband loves sci-fi and would have probably wanted to watch this one, then he would have gotten totally ticked off. Now he will be spared that. :)

Sun Dec 14, 03:10:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Up to about five minutes into the film I SO wanted to like it. The disappointment began almost immediately. Save your time and money; stick with the original classics. If you absolutely HAVE to see it, rent it a few months from now; trust me, it will disappear in a few weeks. It's made whatever it will make up front. Its buckage will drop precipitously due to word of mouth.


Sun Dec 14, 05:21:00 PM PST  
Blogger Rivka said...

Won't see it. Mike from Mike's America said the same as you. He saw it and was just as dissapointed.

This Global warming religion has got to stop. I am so tired of seeing the commercials on t.v. and especially on the kids' cartoon channels and next week our kids' school is having a Christmas play called, "Santa's goin' green". Sheez!

It is a leftist religion, plain and simple. The other day, we watched the nick channel with our boys and a green commercial came on. My boys go, "Gosh, mom everyone believes the lie!"

Mon Dec 15, 03:10:00 AM PST  
Blogger The Unseen One said...

So the message is "Don't destroy the planet or we will destroy your planet?"

Mon Dec 15, 08:52:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Gary said...

Word on the street is 'Chains required' today... dang global warming :)

Mon Dec 15, 02:55:00 PM PST  
Blogger shoprat said...

I don't plan to even bother to see it.

Mon Dec 15, 02:55:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Gary: thanks for visiting my blog, thanks for commenting, and please come back anytime!

TUO: you are SPOT on!


Mon Dec 15, 03:45:00 PM PST  
Blogger Dee said...

I was just going to repeat what Rivka said. I knew I had just read another blogger's review who didn't like it as well and it was Mike. Sounds like the rest of us don't need to waste our time.

Someone told me the movie I just watched was good and I didn't like it at all, you can never tell.

Tue Dec 16, 08:58:00 PM PST  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I never saw the original; but will. I have zero interest in seeing the remake.

In general, I hate remakes, anyway. Re-imaginings, even worse (think, Planet of the Apes).

Tue Dec 16, 09:44:00 PM PST  
Blogger NEO, SOC said...

Thanks for the heads up, BZ. I have the original at home and was going to watch it before going to the movie, but I will wait until it hits the dollar-theatre.

I had a bit of apprehension about the film. Interesting....

Wed Dec 17, 06:23:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another remake! Geez hollyweird, is there an original idea in there anywhere? So the theme is catastrophic global warming ey, well that's a real shock isn't it.

Thanks for the warning, you've just saved some of us the money and the effort.

Wed Dec 17, 12:05:00 PM PST  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

It was the global warming them you objected to.

Previews looked to me like some no talent clown started drooling when he thought about the green screen and all the CGI effects and the action editing for the Ritalin crowd.

Global warming seemed the lesser of its offenses.

Wed Dec 17, 01:32:00 PM PST  

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