April 20, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still

This movie probably doesn’t deserve a review, but it’s about my two main topics: UFO’s and the apocalypse. The interesting thing about this movie is it follows the premise of my own novel, as I outline in this depressing post, that the only way (possibly) to save the planet is to kill off the people who are killing it. And that’s different than the premise of the original "Day the Earth Stood Still" – which is killing off the human race before they can take their warfare into space via an atomic rocket.

So DTESS #1 is about the cold war and stopping our childish ways so we can progress as a species. DTESS #2 is about global warming and how we need to curb what we’re doing to the environment if we hope to survive. #2 could have added the fear of the other element, because there are so many parallels between paranoia about Russia and terrorism, though I’ll admit people might’ve believed that the Russians could land here in a spaceship. No one’s going to believe that Al Qaeda has any type of advanced technology.

So they went with global warming instead. SPOILER: in the first movie the day the earth stood still is a warning about what the alien race can achieve with its technology – shut all electricity down for a half hour – so people will pay attention to what Klaatu has to say. In the second movie, it’s the movie’s last image: all electricity shuts down permanently because that’s the only way to save the planet. That’s an interesting update.

The movie was criticized because the CGI was bad. There’s really not that much CGI till the end, which makes it more interesting than another “Independence Day,” which is what I’d been expecting. The thing that bugs me is that Keanu Reeves comes to understand that humans are A-OK and shouldn’t be destroyed by witnessing Jennifer Connely and her son for a couple of days. A son who keeps fucking things up, by the way. Is that Will Smith’s kid? Checking...yes. As if an advanced alien race wouldn’t have boned up on the human race before deciding to destroy it. He meets with a guy and they talk for five minutes - in a McDonald's - about how humans suck but are worth saving. Why exactly was the guy on earth for 70 years if not to shed some light on what humans are capable of. The entire climax of the movie rests on Keanu Reeves having a sudden change of heart, which isn’t in the first movie and has very little logic in the second.

Why bother: this is a basically-stupid B-movie that doesn’t really deserve this much attention here, but I find the subject of alien life and the apocalypse more interesting than most everything else, so I’m going on. So much potential there, annoying to see it wasted.

And this is how much the internet rules. You can watch the 1951 version in its entirety online (starts immediately).


Brian said...

I just wish Will's kid had gotten to say "Welcome to Earff!" and then punched Keanu in the face. Would've been a nice homage.

Henry said...

Here's something to give you epilepsy: http://welcometoearfalien.ytmnd.com

Damon said...

The thing that most intrigued/horrified me out 'bout DTESS #2, though, was the depiction of nanotechnology-gone-amuck in the "grey goo" that spouts from Klaatu. Richard Posner--of all people--described it in his book Catastrophe. That concept creeps me out and seems terrifyingly possible.

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