Remake from Hell

Hollywood has remade THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, a film that is a personal favorite of mine.

I would not be overstating it to say I loved it, idolized it, had an unhealthy obsession with it, and watched it every morning before work and every evening before going to bed while wearing my Klaatu jammies. Yes, many people have memorized the phrase in space talk “Klaatu Barada Nikto!” but how many people have memorized the instruction Klaatu gives to his ship’s instruments to create the world-wide blackout: “Rem zir a opiglit har nuat ipiglit, etc.?”

Yes, I am someone who actually thinks the goofy Gort robot looks menacing. I know the name of the original robot in the short story, Gnut. That is geekdom beyond geekdom! Indeed, if Lion-O had possessed the Sword of Geekdom rather than the Sword of Omens, he would have looked through the holes in the hilts of the mystical blade and seen me, probably in my Klaatu pajamas.

So I great the news of a remake with the same hope and good will, the same expectation that Hollywood will equal, nay improve upon, the beloved classic with which Tichbourne looked forward a visit by Jack Ketch in the Tower of London.

He inscribed this on the wall of his cell while awaiting the headsman’s ax:

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my good is but vain hope of gain;
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

My tale was heard and yet it was not told,
My fruit is fallen and yet my leaves are green,
My youth is spent and yet I am not old,
I saw the world and yet I was not seen;

My thread is cut and yet it is not spun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.
I sought my death and found it in my womb,
I looked for life and saw it was a shade,

I trod the earth and know it was my tomb,
And now I die, and now I was but made;
My glass is full, and now my glass is run,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

The role immortalized by Michael Rene will now be played by … Keanu Reeves! We will get Jennifer Connelly (not the yummy young Jennifer we recall from LABYRINTH but the thin bony Jennifer we recall from Ang Lee’s HULK) instead of Patricia Neal. Instead of a warning tale against the folly of nuclear world war, this movie will probably be a Green Screed calculated to appeal to environmentally-minded Marxists.

Alas, alas. Those Hollywood types will not even be able to match the music.

Will they even be able to match the rock and roll version?

The badness of Hollywood drives me mad! Mad, I say! Only the dim, flickering memory of IRON MAN, and also INDIANA JONES, and also SPEED RACER, and also PRINCE CASPIAN, and also INCREDIBLE HULK, and the hope of DARK KNIGHT, not to mention WALL-E, and the new Bond flick, allows me to cling to sanity! And HANCOCK sounds pretty funny too.

Hollywood simply cannot make any good films anymore! What trash! What utter rubbish! They all stink! All of them! Except for the films I listed above, of course, not to mention FORBIDDEN KINGDOM and a few others. A few dozen others. More like fifty or a hundred others, if we are talking about the last five or ten years, SPIDERMAN and PIRATES and DARK CITY and MATRIX and LORD OF THE RINGS. I also really liked WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, but when was that made? Twenty years ago? I thought TRANSFORMERS was pretty cool. I also want to see GET SMART merely because I would see anything starring Anne Hathaway.

But !!! Aside from those films (which are really, really good) and aside from the films that are not great but I still enjoy them because I am a fanboy, aside from the good stuff, everything Hollywood turns out is bad.

Also, I want to see the G.I. JOE film when it comes out. Go, Joe! The posters look kinda cool. BUT THEN I AM SWEARING OFF EVIL HOLLYWOOD FOREVER! EVIL! EEEEEEEEEEEEEE—–VIL!! Oh, and I hear they will be making VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. That will be sweet! But that will absolutely be my last Hollywood film ever. Because Hollywood is EEEEEEEEEEEEEE—–VIL!!  And M. Night Shyamalan is going to make my favorite American Anime of all time, LAST AIRBENDER into a live-action! That will rock the Casbah!

Ahem. Except for those films, I am swearing off evil Hollywood forever! Forever, I say! Except for any film starring Jackie Chan. I’d go see him in just about anything. But not AROUND THE WORD IN EIGHTY DAYS. That was the remake from hell.

 I read this (hat-tip to Dirty Harry’s Place)

[Star Keanu] Reeves told us that Klaatu’s message to Earth was very different from the one in the original, that he was bringing with him a warning to stop destroying the environment. … 

“It’s … even more,” Derrickson explained. “I think that this film in some ways is an attempt to address a number of issues that are amongst the most pressing issues for the human race. The original being a Cold War film was addressing what was clearly the greatest threat for the human race at that time, mutual nuclear destruction, and that’s not the most pressing threat that we face now. It’s also man vs. man. We are destroying each other as well. Our country’s at war right now. There is certainly the issue being addressed in the movie of our treatment of one another on the planet. I think it’s a movie about human nature as much as anything else and how human nature is acting itself out in the world right now.”

My considered and thoughtful reaction upon contemplating the theatrical merit of remaking a beloved science fiction classic into a politically eco-sensitive environmental warning movie: