Usually, I get a really bad feeling when a classic movie is remade or reinvisioned or rebooted for the modern-day audience: better to leave the classic alone and just make a new movie that can stand on its own merits (or collapse without them). Case in point: the Star Trek reboot movie. Looks. Like. Rubbish.
However, I am open to the possibility that such things could turn out well: take, for example, the Doctor Who series, in its current incarnation with David Tennant as the Doctor, or the new James Bond movies with Daniel Craig. I was a fan of both since…uh, well, for a really long time. So, I’m not just some person who thinks Ye Olde Tymes were the best, and nobody should ever try to revisit or modernize them.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is one of the best science fiction movies; even after half a century, its themes of humans spreading and escalating their violent nature still seems relevent. So I am rather interested about the new version with Keanu Reeves (scheduled to hit theaters on December 12th). Of course, they are changing stuff: instead of nuclear proliferation, humanity’s threat seems to be to the environment. Also, in the original, Klaatu was a good guy, on a mission to help humanity; in this one, he seems to be significantly more callous towards us poor hominids. “If the earth dies, you die,” he says. “If you die, the earth survives.”
Hopefully, this won’t be just another alien invasion movie. Hopefully it won’t end with humanity defeating the aliens (an outcome just as likely as an ant defeating a human. Oh, it could happen, but really…). Hopefully, it will have a similar ending to the first one: a message that humanity can change its ways, but if we don’t straighten up, we’re fscked, and we won’t be saved by saying those three magic words.
Klaatu…Barada…Nectar? Nickel? It’s an “N” word, it’s definitely an “N” word…