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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Klaatu Barada Stinko

In the poetic justice department:

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.
Kirk: Jacket.
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.

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Blogger breakerslion said...

Hmmm. "Biological altruism."

Scientist to young Intern: "Ok, but I'm only doing this for you" (takes off clothes and gets into bed).

Wait, I have it! He won the prize for being a sperm donor! Who wouldn't want to bear the child of a future Nobel Prize winner?

'Til next time, "Clog Dance, Barretta, Neck Tie!"

December 15, 2008 7:38 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Yeah, I can't figure out "biological altruism" either. How about:

Mammal to dinosaur: "After you!"

Cuckoo to egg-laying warbler: "Allow me."

Evolution to creationist: "This is going to hurt me more than it will you."


"Clog Dance, Barretta, Neck Tie!"


December 15, 2008 10:06 PM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitur said...

Did the movie "jump the snark" or more "Nuke the Fridge". I suppose someone must have a phrase for a remake that falls short of living up to the origional but euphemisms about - they call them all kinds of things like "reworks" "adaptions", "Jumpstart" or "reboot".

Get ready for a "jumpstart" of the Partridge Family TV series.

December 16, 2008 4:21 PM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitur said...

Impromtu, Stigmata, Elbow

December 16, 2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thaks for the heads up about "Day the Earth Stood Still." I'll see it, but not at a first run theater.
I didn't see the original until 1982, after I had seen "E. T." It was impressed upon me that ET's "resurrection" was nothing new, Klaatu got the treatment in the original movie. Of course, the idea of resurrection wasn't new even two thousand years ago. It dates back at least a couple more thousand to the tales of Horus, Isis, and Osiris.

December 18, 2008 4:40 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I suppose I'll watch it, too.

When it's on DVD - at Nicollet Village Video (4 movies, 4 nights, 4 bucks).

So I can fast-foward through it. Sheesh.

BTW, Shatner didn't do another "Let's try to contact Harry Houdini on Halloween" show again this year. Aw, drat. The robe/jacket thing comes from The Search for Houdini, 1987. Jacket? Robe? Your guess is as good as mine! (He actually looks skinny there now.)

December 22, 2008 4:26 PM  
Anonymous reindeer386sx said...

I'm afraid there is no fast forwarding for this one. It starts out okay, and then that's about it. Fast forwarding is no help for this movie!

December 23, 2008 1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How often do you have sex?


January 02, 2009 3:59 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...


Eat your heart out.

January 03, 2009 10:55 AM  
Anonymous 386sx said...

Actually this movie wasn't too bad if people would forget that there was an earlier (better) version. And if it didn't have Kathy Bates in it, then it wouldn't seem so bad too.

Just forget that Kathy Bates is in it, and think of it as not a remake. Then it's not so bad, after all.

February 17, 2009 7:58 PM  

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