Klaatu Barada Stinko
On my last Friday at work, Santa gives a sci-fi fan the best present ever: The remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still has jumped the snark.
Klaatu barada stinko
If you’re looking for chuckles this holiday season, bypass the miserably unfunny “Four Christmases” and go where the real comedy is — “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” a clumsy, moronic remake of Robert Wise’s brilliant 1951 classic about an alien invader trying to save the human race from its own self-destructive impulses.
What did poor Wise do, incidentally, to deserve such treatment? His chilling horror masterpiece “The Haunting” was already put through the meat-grinder with an effects-heavy 1999 remake, and his thriller “The Andromeda Strain” was revisited with ill results in a SciFi Channel re-do earlier this year. What next — a hip-hop reinterpretation of “The Sound of Music”? (Granted, Queen Latifah could totally tear up “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” but still…)
The new “Day” can’t be bothered to include the thought-provoking dialogue of the original, choosing instead to bury the audience with special effects that are visually impressive but no substitute for an actual script. And what words do remain are so exquisitely awful that they provide some of the season’s biggest laughs.
My personal favorite? Astro-biologist Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) takes alien Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) to see a Nobel Prize–winning scientist and notes that her colleague was honored “for his work in biological altruism.” What would that entail, exactly? Helping frogs cross the street? [guffaws mine]
Yes, Hollywood, that is an excellent question—what did Robert Wise ever do to you? Why do you keep picking on his work? He’s one of my favorite directors of all time! Hands off of West Side Story! You just keep your grubby little committee red-tape we-gotta-update-it-for-the-youngsters, Far And Away-will-be-a-hit paws off of The Hindenburg and Blood on the Moon and Run Silent, Run Deep!
If you’re going to remake his films, why don’t you pick on his least admirable Star Trek: The Motionless Picture*?
Try this on for size: Star Trek: The Emo[tion] Picture
Kirk: George, I mean, Sulu, I wish you’d shut up about being gay. Just shut up about being gay, all right? For five seconds?
Sulu: Even if I’m referring to your jacket? Oh, excuse me—robe.
Sulu: Robe, captain. [Said so that it sounds like “Rogue captain.”] The belt is tied around your waist.
Kirk: That the particular cut of this jacket. It suits me better.
Sulu: Better get a bucket before you throw up!
Kirk: George, I’m just sick and tired of hearing about your sexuality all the time!
Sulu: Ohhhhh. You know what, Bill? It’s called having fans. Because I’m not the one [Kirk: That’s what I’m talking about! …Oh—hey, I have fans, too!] talking about my sexuality. They talk about my sexuality. I can help it if they talk about my sexuality. I don’t talk about my sexuality at all.
Kirk: Yes, and you don’t talk to me at all! You didn’t even invite me to your wedding. We [Sulu: I sent you that fucking invitation via FED EX! What, can’t see the ground over your beer-gut robe?] don’t communicate anymore! What do you have against me? Why don’t we talk anymore?
Sulu [giving up]: You don’t send me flowers, Randy Sally. [aside] He has fans, too.
Kirk: Because you didn’t invite me to your wedding!
Heh. I envision some spectacular special effects coming up after that.
*credit to Lenny Flank for the pun.