Friday, December 12, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still

I am not one of these movie geeks that cry in outrage whenever remakes are made. Remakes can be a good thing, key words 'can be'. Not only movies but also ideas are 'remade' all the time, hardly anything is original anymore. It's what you do with the existing material that counts. One of my favorite movies of all time’ John Carpenter's The Thing' was a remake. The result was a better movie, not just a newer looking one. Look at 'The Ten Commandments' and 'Ben Hur', both huge movies and both remakes improving on the ideas of the originals.

When I saw the trailer for the new 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' the thought of 'unnecessary' didn't cross my mind, it was more like 'boring'. The last movie I cared about CGI blowing stuff up was 'Independence Day'. A preview of trucks and football stadiums disintegrating before my eyes, I just don't find cool anymore. So what drove me to see the new TDTESS? Curiosity.
It wasn't till last night that I saw the original TDTESS, which if you did not know is a science fiction classic from 1951. An alien with a mighty robot lands their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach. After seeing the movie, I can see why it is a classic. It was made during the atomic age; the whole movie is a message for peace and not nuclear war. Without doing any research, it was easy to see the huge influence it has had on other science fiction films. I did like the movie and think it holds up considering how old it is. I give the original a C+.

This afternoon I had the privilege to go see the new TDTESS. The new movie is much more darker and has a different message this time. Instead of peace, Klaatu sends us a message that Humans are destroying the earth because we haven't been 'green' enough. Too bad they didn’t pick a real problem with the world today. Is the new movie better than the original? I can't answer that; however, I will say it is very respectful of the original and makes ideas better. The robot GORT does not disappoint like some will think or say. The new GORT is bigger and has some new weapons to show off. His big scene at the end was a real let down, but for the most part I loved the new GORT just as much as the old classic GORT. In summery TDTESS is a great remake that sadly will never get the attention that it deserves. The better and not just newer TDTESS gets a C+! Enjoy!!!


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