Daily Archives: 23 April 2009
I read no good reviews for the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, yet I always intended to see it anyway. Critical opinion is rarely a determinant of my viewing habits, and I generally like movies that others find ridiculous and a waste of time. In the case of this remake, I’m sad to say the reviewers were right.
The film is not entirely awful, actually. For the first hour I was fully engaged and intrigued and even entertained by the story and Keanu Reeves’s performance. I love that he knows his level of talent and takes the roles that showcase that best. Reeves was ideal as Klaatu, using his non-emotive style to portray a newly-human being adjusting to a foreign life. He did a fine job with no over-the-top posturing or delusions of grandeur. It was exactly what you would expect from Keanu Reeves, and I enjoyed the performance in its entirety. What causes the movie to fail is actually the film’s own posturing. As you might expect, the premise for a movie about earth’s destruction by an alien race leaves the door wide open for soapbox messages about environmental activism and how wretched and destructive is the human race. Once I realized this was the film’s justification for humanity’s total annihilation, I knew the “message” would be thrown at me again and again. Unfortunately, that takes up the entire final hour of the film.
As the movie set up the plot, I really did have high hopes for its success. And I absolutely loved the new incarnation of GORT. But the preachy screenplay and the lack of further substance brought the film to a screeching halt for me. I finally just wanted the film to end. That ending, sadly, left me with much the same feeling as The Happening — that kind of “That’s it? This is how it ends?” moment that never satisfies. So much more could have been done with this film, so much more could have been improved upon from the original. After this lame effort, though, I doubt anyone will want to tackle the story again.
These days, you’ll find me right here:
In the fifth week (or so) of Project New Website, this is where I am every minute of every waking hour. Usually, as tonight, it’s the wee hours of the morning, not because I enjoy working this way but simply because my body can’t seem to keep a normal sleeping schedule. You’ll notice a couple of unusual things about these particular days. First, that is no desk chair I’m sitting in but rather one from my living room. Even before this project began, my desk chair (which was actually an old wooden armchair) just collapsed on me and lost all its cushion and spring. I tried to continue, but two weeks in I had to switch chairs to avoid irreparable back issues. My only other option was this very old, very low, boxy living room chair. Which brings me to the second thing about this unusual setup: I have to use my keyboard and mouse on top of a lap desk. Because the chair is too low for my desk, I cannot comfortably sit up and work. So here I sit, day after day after night after night, with lap desk across the arms of the cushy chair, lumbar pillow against my back, feet curled under me, and monitor pulled close. It’s a rather ridiculous situation, I must say, but thankfully it’s temporary. With any blessing, this web project should be complete by month’s end. And I can return to occasional face time with my computer instead of living here.