I'm making the most definitive list of favorite movies ever.

For every year, I'm listing every movie I've seen and compare them all to each other asking one question; Which movie do I like more. Movies that score in the 80th percentile or higher, advance to the next round: Favorite of the Decade. After each Decade is done, an All Time list will be formed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood in Awe of Remake Audacity.

I read this on Movie Blog, and Movies Online has more details, I'm just going to rant, a lot. We've know it's been in the works, and just the other night, Matt and I while killing eons on the phone, well Matt actually pointed out to me that Day was not on the imdb calender for December. In a moment of, "Whew, maybe they rethunk it.." I'd hope that the movie was dead.

I love the original. It was the first movie my son ever watched. He was maybe 6 months old, maybe not even... and he had woken up as babies do, and his favorite place to fall asleep was in this big bean bag chair with the TV on. He was very fond as an infant of Black and White movies. So I popped in DTESS to lull him to sleep. He watched the whole thing, and now at 6 it's still one of his favorite movies. That is the creamy decadent icing on my love of the original movie.

The problem with every remake, but to such a greater degree with this one, is one question; what do you second guess.

Keanu Reeves already answers part of that question.
Keanu has a lot of pluses: He LOOKS a FUCK OF A LOT like Michael Rennie, They raise the same eyebrow the same way.

Of course, Stephen Colbert has more than just a passing resemblance to Michael Rennie too. I love Keanu as an actor, he was awesome as John Constantine, a character to which he bore little physical resemblance. He was none, NONE of the reasons the Matrix sequels sucked. (Hell, off topic here, but the Wachowski brothers aren't entirely at fault. The Matrix Sequels sucked, cause you can't do just ONE movie any more. I doubt they thought they'd get a chance to do any more, so they put everything into the first one they could, and they ended with their character being a god. Oops. Try to do parts 2 & 3 after that. They could of killed their god hero, but he was the star. They were trapped in a franchise structure that begs for crap. Anyway...) Reeves, like Colbert, may look like and have a lot of similar physical qualities to Rennie, but neither are him.

Why cast an actor with such physical similarity and not a similar presence? The choice of John Cleese as Dr. Barnhart is certainly a choice of presence. It's a fine choice too, he's nothing like Sam Jaffe, and I hope that Cleese is allowed to play the role straight.
Jennifer Connelly, well at least your not gambling here. She could play a phone book and no one would complain, and a phone book, unfortunately has more depth than most female roles did in sci-fi back then. She's a fine choice, and far from a gamble.

The poster looks so, War of the Worlds, that the movie doesn't look like it's going to have the two most important visual elements have any loyalty at all to the source material. The ship, and GORT. Reeves could on his own strengths, save the role of Klaatu, I don't think he delivers a speech as well as some actors, but Micheal Douglas is a tad old to be Klaatu, as is Martin Sheen. But Gort is the center of the movie. He is cop, sent here to tell us to settle down...

BTW, why are we about to get our asses paddled without a cold war? What will Klaatu's speech be about in an age of arms reductions? Do they worry about proliferation to rouge states and commercialism of space flight? The combination of the two would be exactly why they were going to paddle our behinds to extinction in the first one.

Please. Remake it, but don't reimagine what doesn't need to be reimagined, and don't rethink better thoughts. Don't package a heartless brainless movie, into the title of a classic. We Sci-Fi fans have had few moments on the road to mainstream respectability. The Thing, and Day the Earth Stood Still, were our path to mainstream respect and acceptance. Star Wars, as much as I love it, moved Sci-Fi into the business of printing money. Even though A New Hope, was a pinnacle of quality and profitability, after Star Wars, quality couldn't make a dime. The next Sci-Fi movie to be worthy of a Best Picture nod, took decades for mainstream acceptance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just read yout article and have to say that, as a fan of the original movie I have all the rerspect for it but I am not a bit bothered because it is being remade, on the contrary. It's a very old movie with a message that can be important to audiences today. And those audiences would never accept an old movie with a man in a rubber suit playing a powerful robot. Plus, the original is absolutely pro-UN and that part of the story has no place in our globalized world today.

As for the main character, Michael Rennie was a good actor, not an outstanding one. His Klaatu was what it should be but IMO the character could even be improved. He personified the perfect AMERICAN male role model of the 50s and, funny, you chose ONE pic from Reeves to compare with Rennie but, really, they are VERY different physically. I am so glad they chose Keanu Reeves for the role as Reeves is clearly not white (is part Chinese/part English), not American and has the beauty and personality that can relate with people all around the world, as someone from another planet should be. Times changed and mixed races are a normal thing nowadays and Reeves reflects it in a perfect and charming way. He can be imposing too, you should watch him in The Gift Street Kings.

To finish it, the poster released is a TEASER poster, not the final one with characters in it. That one will probably be released later the year. And that teaser sure resembles Close Encounters what, IMO, is very close to the core of the original movie.

I am antecipating this movie and think Scott Derrickson is a very talented director. Real fans of the original should not fear a remake as, of course, the original will be there forever. And good stories need to be told for younger audiences and this one is worth it.