Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where Do They Get Their Ideas From?

Hey, Klaatu barada frickin' nikto, Dude!

Where do Hollywood movie producers get those inspired ideas from? You just have to wonder how they can come up with stuff like this.

Via PZ Myers at Pharyngula, I learned tonight that another movie studio is going to shove another $100 million or so down another black hole:

They're remaking The Day the Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves! It looks very, very bad. What did they think they had to add to a SF classic? More special effects?


Calling this a bad idea is like calling sailing the Titanic near icebergs bad navigation. The original movie was a science fiction classic - charming, reasonably well acted, and profound. As Prof. Myers notes, the special effects weren't that great, but they were good enough to get across the idea. Any fan of Dr. Who can tell you that's as important as realism if the story's good.

Speaking of stories, Ain't It Cool News thinks it has a scoop on what the plot will look like. I hope they're wrong (need I mention that there are spoilers in here?):

Turns out that...because of Global Warming (and the destruction of our own planet with industrial waste and pollution)....the other galaxies deemed that we are not fit to survive. The glass spheres they sent down were to collect land and sea animal specimens to take back to their planet for study.
Needless-to-say, Earth goes through a violent energy field released through Klaatu's ship (wait a minute - wasn't Gort supposed to be the ultimate bad ass in this story?). But Earth survives, with Klaatu giving we humans a second chance as he dies - telling us that we must change our ways in order to survive, in a delivery that would rival Steven Segal's speech at the end of "On Deadly Ground."

No Gort!! No "Klaatu Barada Nikto"!! Uncapie Goes Postal On THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL Remake Script!!

[For those not familiar with AICN, that's the way they do their titles there. It's not a bad cut-and-paste job.]

Uncapie, the author of this article, notes one or two logic problems with the script. I have a more basic one - if humans are going to perish anyway, why go through so much trouble to save bits of the ecosystem? Any reasonably bright alien species ought to be able to figure out a way to do that surreptitiously. Heck, we cart away whole truckloads of our ecosystems every day. According to the story, they've had a spy on the planet for decades. Couldn't he come up with anything?

All this illogic, plus the basic illogic of doing a remake of such a fine film, not to mention the fact that Keanu Reeves has seldom managed to inspire me with his acting, lead me to the conclusion that this thing's going to suck big time.

Which gets us back to our original question: Where do they get these ideas from? There are plenty of good stories out there that are ready to be made into films. As Uncapie observes:

There are so many books out there just begging to be made into films, why does Fox have to remake a classic? Why not film Joe Haldeman's,"Forever Wars"? Or "Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination"? Or Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous With Rama"? Or "Childhood's End"? Or the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson? Or quit stalling Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" as a movie?

No Gort!! No "Klaatu Barada Nikto"!! Uncapie Goes Postal On THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL Remake Script!!

Of course, that's just what they could do based on recent science fiction books. How about a spin off from Babylon 5, Witchblade, or Strange Luck? (Hmmm. Looks like there might be a Witchblade movie, after all.) There have to be at least a half-dozen quality science fiction series that either had a bigger story than they ever got to tell, or had at least never had a satisfactory ending. The last Stargate movie made more sense than this thing, and it was about time travel!

Thankfully, it will be out on video soon, where it will no doubt provide a new generation inspiration for new drinking games.


Dana Hunter said...

This is just about on par with McCain's "inspiring" choice for VP.

Cynicism and the shock doctrine rule.

Substitute any reasonably-attractive piece of wood for Keanu, and no one would be able to tell the difference. I saw his mug in the trailer for this crapper of a remake, and I wanted to vomit. Why the hell do people think he's all that and a truckload of potato chips? He's not even cute!


Count me out for this one.

Cujo359 said...

There is certainly something about the way we pick both our leaders and entertainers that leaves one to wonder. If Dennis Kucinich looked better, do you think people would take him more seriously? Quite probably, I think. Once you dig into the criticisms of the guy there never seems to be much there. While his views are definitely left of average, they're not all that outrageous.

I'm all for eye candy on the screen, but it's not what gets me to sit in front of it. I suspect that latter clause is what differentiates me from Hollywood's target audience.