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It’s the end of the world – everyone duck and cover

“Klaatu barada nikto!”

Pop quiz hot shot, what is the story with the gibberish? Why is it referenced in classic science fiction literature, TV, and film including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Tron, Star Wars, Farscape, The Simpsons, Galaxy Quest, Men In Black and Army of Darkness? Why is it listed as the title of Mozilla Firefox’s page about:robots? And why has it been called “one of the most famous commands in science fiction”? A long answer would take a thousand words, so here’s the short answer.

Yep, in 1951 “Klaatu barada nikto!” was immortalized in science fiction in The Day the Earth Stood Still. When the alien robot Gort intends to destroy Earth, uttering this phrase saved us all. Now, 57 years later, I am excited to see how many technological travesties I can avoid by applying its linguistic mojo. So, while I’m screaming at vending machines and parking meters, listen to what people have to say about the remake.

“Since Keanu Reeves has all the expressiveness of a toaster, why is he starring in the new The Day the Earth Stood Still as human-looking alien Klaatu rather than giant robot Gort?” Nick Schager Slant Magazine

A fair question. Probably because his movies continue to make money off his toasteriffic acting abilities.

Beware my Act-Fu!

“Many fans of the original will hate it. A pity. Because it redecorates the tale while remaining true to its theme. Keanu Reeves plays Klaatu with all the expressiveness of a wok. I have never seen a wok better portrayed.” Victor Olliver Teletext

Were reviewers hungry while they watched this movie? I love kitchen implements as much as the next guy, but I don’t daydream about toasters and woks when I see Keanu. Enough about Ted Theodore Logan, what about the movie?

“The Day the Earth Barely Even Notices We’re on the Brink of Doom, and Why Don’t Those Damn Hippies Just Shut Up About Global Warming Already?” MaryAnn Johanson Flick Filosopher

First Of All, You Need To Review Capitalization Rules. Second Of All, The Reason Hippies Won’t Shut Up (And Shouldn’t) Is Because Reducing A Global Problem To Something Only Hippies Worry About Spells Doom For Everyone.

“Fox has sucked all the color out of The Day The Earth Stood Still…” Uncle Creepy Dread Central

I see what you did there. Since the original was black and white, it’s ironic that a modern version would lack color. Clever.

Even the original poster is superior

“Like a skydiver whose parachute never opens, plummeting towards an ending that basically says, ‘Humans: Awful at Environmentalism, Great at Hugging.'” Matt Pais Metromix.com

Hey, at least we’re great at something. Does the movie accomplish any other backward successes?

“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.” Alonso Duralde MSNBC

There’s nothing funny about being a toaster

Sometimes unintentional comedy is better than the real thing. When I saw Punisher: War Zone last week, I laughed harder at one scene than I have at most comedies. Just to clarify: being a remake of something good does not make it something worth spending your holiday dollars on (The Day the Earth Stood Still – 24%).

“[A] very, very bad film.” Tim Robey Daily Telegraph

“I hate myself for sitting through the entire film.” Devin Faraci CHUD

Self-loathing aside, this is the type of movie designed for people with low expectations. Also, it’s the only major mainstream movie being released this weekend (unless you count Nothing Like the Holidays (51%)or Delgo (14%). So, desperate filmgoers should avoid plunking down what’s left of their Black Friday piggybanks on a movie that might do THIS to you:

“Add to that some unimpressive CGI and a bizarrely abrupt ending and you have the day your buttocks went to sleep, your brain melted and your will to live evaporated.” David Edwards Daily Mirror [UK]

If this movie melts you brain, I recommend suing the theater and/or screaming “Klaatu barada nikto” at the projector, cash register and any other piece of technology responsible. What’s the worst that could happen?

PDJ

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2 Responses

  1. -The Day My Toaster Stood Still
    -The Day Your Mom Stood Still
    -The Day (in a completely metaphorical sense) Stood Still
    -The Day Someone Stole My Jessica Beal Still From My Wallet (NOOOO!)
    -The Day the Distillery Lost Its Shiny Still

  2. First Of All, You Need To Review Capitalization Rules. Second Of All, The Reason Hippies Won’t Shut Up (And Shouldn’t) Is Because Reducing A Global Problem To Something Only Hippies Worry About Spells Doom For Everyone.

    Hey there. Can you tell me what rules of capitalization I need to review? I’d love to know. Also: you appear to have entirely missed the point of my snark. Of course no one should shut up about global warming… but the movie appears to think they should. I was complaining about the film’s attitude, not espousing it myself. Though I suspect you didn’t actually read my review…

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