This day we braved foul weather and a multi-cineplexatholeseum to see Keanu Reeves as Klaatu T. Spaceman in The Day the Earth Just Stood There. We enjoyed the remake of the ol’ sci-fi clunker well enough, I guess, but TDTEJST is the sort of film that’s more fun to watch at home where everyone can make wisecracks, invent dialogue and throw things at the screen.
Plot in a nutshell: An eons-cooler-than-us-Earthlings guy lands on our planet with a stern warning: We must change our wicked ways or his pet robot, Gort, will fix our wagons. Fifty years ago we were told to stop lobbing A-bombs. Okay. Fine. Now the super-alien demands we stop polluting. It seems we can never make him happy. In both films Mr. Goody Hyper-evolved heads home without either correcting our bad habits or annihilating us, so you have to wonder why he… Oh, look, it’s Gort Junior! Hi, Gort!
So. You want to know if Day the Earth is any good. Ah, um, well, it’s like this: Just as the original Michael Rennie TDTEJST is good and bad the way old movies are good and bad, the new Keanu Reeves TDTEJST is bad and good the way current movies are bad and good. The original is hokey — but it’s a crisply told tale. The new one is incoherent — but it looks jazzy. Plus, T-Bag is in it! Hi, T-Bag!
The two TDTEJSTs complement each other. If you combined the economical story-telling of the Rennie with the whiz-bang production of the Keanu, you might get a pretty nice show.