Keanu Baracuda Nicotine

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Ezra Lb.
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Keanu Baracuda Nicotine

Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:10 pm

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS - POSSIBLE SPOILERS - POSSIBLE SPOILERS - POSSIBLE SPOILERS* - Mod.


I suppose I should be happy at my ability to still be drawn in, to not be so cynical that I dismiss a new movie without hoping that maybe…just maybe…

But no. The “reimagined” THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a glitter spangled turd with a brain the size of a walnut and no imagination that I could detect. I’m no psychic but seldom do I have my expectations so completely validated. Every scene in the original was…uh…reimagined to expand its special effects potential and any idea in Edmond North’s original script was excised with extreme prejudice and replaced with surface to air artillery and hugs.

The original movie is an anti-war parable set in a Cold War context. Only superficially dated (it was set in 1951 for christ’s sake), it still is frighteningly relevant with its dead on depiction of our mindless militarism, paranoia and fear of the unknown. The new version has Klaatu born again hard and taking names because of our pollution of the earth. But its conception and execution is so fundamentally incoherent that it undercuts its message.

The main problem is that the changes to the original were made without thinking through the implications of those changes. If you posit alien civilizations on nearby planets of our own solar system (still possible in 1951) it makes sense that they could be only slightly more advanced than we. But we know now that the other planets in our solar system are uninhabitable (at least by sentient creatures) and so any aliens will be visitors from the stars. But a star-faring civilization would be exponentially more advanced than we. And this simple realization undercuts the entire plot of the movie.

If you want to broadcast a warning to the peoples of the earth why land a single person in the middle of Central Park to walk out and wave at hundreds of machine guns handled by nervous trigger fingers when you could just as easily hijack our satellite communications system and broadcast a message to just about every home in the developed world?

And the eco-consciousness of the new movie is just goofy. You travel thousands of light years to wipe out the human race because we’re mean to the other animals? But if habitable planets are rare (as the movie has Klaatu say) then how much rarer must habitable planets with sentient life-forms be? And how could one of those rare sentient life-forms be so willing to wipe out another if they value life so fervently?

Global Warming is a function of the level of our technology. Instead of wiping us out why not share some of that extraterrestrial, shiny non-polluting Industrial Light & Magic technology with us?

The original movie is rightly considered a classic and frequently makes the top ten lists. The producers of the new version seem not to have ever sat down and thought about why the original is so considered and what makes it possible for a movie almost 60 years old to still have devoted fans. No they were too busy calculating how they could exploit that devotion. And who can question their wisdom as Mark 2 is at the top of the box office after its opening weekend?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

cynic
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Postby cynic » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:04 pm

hey ezra,
the visitor(in the original),has an omniscient,omnipotent,omnipresent "good guy"feel.did that carry through to the new version?

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:39 pm

What did you expect?

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:17 pm

I was skeptical the minute I heard this was being made, and when I found out Keanu Reeves of all people was to star, my heart sank.

Is there nothing they aren't capable of ruining?

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:41 am

Thank you Mr Moderator, I had just assumed that everyone in the known world had seen the original but you're right, there just might be somebody out there who hasn't. Anyway if somebody out there who hasn't seen the original read my post before you added the alert then my apologies.


Is there nothing they aren't capable of ruining?

In truth the original is beyond ruining at this point. Actually in tandem with the new release a new two disc version of the original has been released with a sumptuous B&W print and several neato documentaries, one on Harry Bates (who wrote the story on which the movie was based), one about the career of screenwriter Edmond North, and one about the flying saucer phenomenon which takes a reasonable and sceptical approach to the subject.

If the new version focuses attention on the original then it will have served its purpose and can be quickly forgotten.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter


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