Friday, December 19, 2008


It was rainy again Thursday, so Judy and I decided to take in a movie at The Pinnacle in Knoxville’s Turkey Creek shopping area. It was our first IMAX adventure for just a regular movie. However, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is not a “regular” movie. It is the remake of one of my favorite movies of all time!

Here are the original and remake trailers:

I will say no more about the new movie until later in this post.

When you see this…“SPOILER ALERT”…

Read no further if you intend to see the movie!

I will give you my opinion on the remake later.

The Pinnacle is a beautiful theater, with a large concessions and entertainment area. This theater is where most IMAX premieres of movies made either about Knoxville, East Tennessee, or by local celebrities occur. The theater is very clean and beautifully decorated. This includes the restrooms…even at the risk of Judy fussing at me; I took a couple of photos! I just love the new hand dryers!

They not only have the intense XLERATORs, they also are trying out the ultra-modern dyson airblade! I’ve been fascinated by the Xlerator since our Key West trip to the Green Parrot! My first thought was that my hands are going to be blown off!

After the movie, Judy and I made a stop at the restroom, and when we met outside, I had discovered a “Friday the 13th” poster. I couldn’t resist getting her in the shot!

We then made other stops at Bath and Body Works (my aftershave), Wal-Mart, and even all the way over to West Town Mall for some blush…not for me!

Then it was time for a late/early lunch/dinner at Wild Wings! I had been “Jonesing” for spicy wings for some time!

Yuengling 12 oz. drafts were going for $1, so we indulged, and Judy made her “shandies”!

I got smart with the waitress, saying I wanted a regular size beer, and she had to prove to me the cup contents would fill a 12 oz. glass! I apologized, but look at the photo…doesn’t seem likely does it?

Now this is when the movie discussion began…between bites of hot wings and wiping our faces, we talked about the movie. It soon dawned on me that Judy had slept through a key event in the movie, an event that occurred about 10-15 minutes into the film!

She has a tendency to dose off watching TV, and I rarely know it until the show is over. If we are watching a recorded program, I realize she’s asleep when I have to wake her to advance through the commercials. I had no idea she would dose off in an IMAX movie, which cost a few dollars more than normal movies!

I was somewhat upset for two reasons: I once took a girl out to an expensive steak dinner, only to discover when we got home that she was bulimic and in the bathroom throwing up my money! I kind of related this to Judy’s falling asleep in this expensive movie!

Secondly, I assumed she had been anticipating the movie as much as I was. We had just watched the 1951 version a few days prior to going, so I was looking forward to comparing notes and impressions!

I liked the remake a lot. As a matter of fact, I went to the movie not wanting to like it. I loved the simplicity of the original movie and the concept, so I doubted that Scott Derrickson could out direct Robert Wise! I also seriously doubted that GORT or Klaatu could be improved! However, here’s the thing – they are based on the same theme, but are two completely different interpretations!


First, the spaceships are different! The original was saucer-like, making the eerie whirring noise that you have heard in movies for decades! The new ship is a sphere, with multiple smaller spheres, or arks (you’ll eventually understand this term if you see the movie), appearing in various places around the globe.

In the remake, Klaatu is shot almost immediately and whisked off to a government controlled facility for surgery, examination, and interrogation. GORT comes out at the shot and waves his hand over Klaatu, and Klaatu speaks to him (unintelligible) and he then assumes the position…like in the original. There is no “klaatu barada nikto” exchange in this movie! So, don’t go expecting it for nostalgia sake, and don’t dislike the movie because of it! To do so is to short change yourself, and overlook the updated storyline and very creative circumstances surrounding it.

No, Keanu Reeves is no Michael Rennie, but he does do a good job of depicting a non-sympathic alien, devoid of human feeling. True, it’s basically Keanu’s normal acting style, but it comes off well as the Klaatu of the 21 century! Klaatu’s appearance, which is that of a human, is simply an acceptable disguise hiding an alien shape, and allows mankind to look upon him without fear. Therefore, to show human feelings would be totally out of context – he’s almost Spock-like in this version. (Some say God came as a man (Jesus) to prevent us from being afraid too!)

In the original, Klaatu is not shot until toward the end, and it requires the heroine to interact with GORT to save the world.

In the remake, the world is not to be destroyed…just mankind and all he has made…the spheres are arks for the other living creatures that are to be saved!

Klaatu can stop the annihilation, but not as easily as he did in the original, and there is a terrible cost to mankind for being saved! To me, this is the only loose end in the movie…if things are left in place, what’s keeping mankind from cranking them up again!?

The “earth stood still” for 30 minutes in the first movie; it stands still much longer in the second, and that’s where it leaves us.

I remember Klaatu saying the “creator” in the first movie, giving hope to the world that God existed. The remake offers no such hope…Klaatu only says he cannot bring back the dead, however, there was no rapture of the living and/or dead believers prior to the wrath of GORT, nor was there any type of interference from a superior being!

One last spoiler – Klaatu never calls the robot GORT…it is an acronym assigned to the entity by the government!

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the modern version! It stayed close to the intent of the original movie, only instead of trying to save us and the universe from nuclear disaster, it came to get rid of a species that was not only determined to destroy its own kind, but other species right down to the very planet beneath their feet.

In the original, the “universe police” were trying to protect themselves by destroying everything, but this time they endeavor to save the planet and every living thing except mankind. If you live, the planet dies. If you die, the planet lives,” Klaatu explains.

The Day the Earth Stood Still” is the ultimate “save the planet” movie, and, if you believe in a “higher being” and an “end time”, I suppose that one day this same scenario will play out along a similar storyline.


Pat Houseworth said...

Like I said...oldest son saw it, but he never saw the, I'll take your "spoiler alert" to heart, and go to a afternoon showing this week. I'll report back!

Les Becker said...

I haven't seen the re-make yet, and I doubt I'll get a chance at it in the theatre, but I'm looking forward to the dvd.

Ever hear of the band "Klaatu", from the late seventies, early 80's or thereabouts? They did a really cool song called "Mrs. Toad's Cookies". I can't find them ANYWHERE online, and that just sucks.

BRUNO said...

I'll leave the movies to you experts. I'm more familiar with the "facilities"!

I'd be afraid of gettin' my hands caught in that dryer. That, and what else someone might've dried in it, before!

Almost as appealing as a public bidet...!

Becky said...

I haven't seen the original and I think we're going to wait to see this one on DVD. I fall asleep all the time watching TV at home (esp. after 9 p.m.) I'm not sure I could fall asleep in an IMAX -- it's so loud!

Mushy said...

LES - A special person introduced me to Klaatu years favorite was "Little Neutrino"!

BRUNO - The beauty of these new dryers is that you don't have to touch anything! They're pretty cool really!

BECKY - Loved the IMAX sound!

Shrinky said...

My lil' sis went to see this movie last week - your feedback is a hell of a lot more informative than hers was! Sounds my type of movie, cheers for that Mushy (I ignored the spoiler alert, I like to know what I'm about to see)!

I doze off all the time watching movies on the telly which drives hubby nuts. That's only because he usually needs me around to explain the plot to him though. Grin.

Scotty said...

thanks for the review of the theater and the movie ... i saw this movie last weekend and enjoyed it, though a different experience than the original (which i last saw about twenty years ago) still entertaining...

cheers and happy holidays!


deerslayer said...

Funny thing Mushy; have you stopped to realize that both these movies came out during poor economic times. Great reviews on the movies and the bathroom. Sounds like you and Judy had a real enjoyable evening out.

Shea said...

yeah, I love Keanu, but really, he's the same guy in every movie, but so likable

FHB said...

Loved the old one, Have it here somewhere on VHS. Can't wait to see the new one. Just saw the Bond flick, so we're behind the curve. That dryer looks interesting. Wonder how many guys have tried to put their dick in it?