11 December 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still: Craptastic Film Of The Year

I don't even know where to begin. Last night I attended an early premier of Keanu Reeves' latest at the BFI Imax here in London.

I guess the best way to sum up this movie is to say this: Imagine if Al Gore, Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, and those idiots who posted the anti-Christmas atheist sign in Olympia had an unholy trinity/wrote a screenplay--the result of this union, of all that environmental moralizing would be the The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Don't see it. It's worse, even, than The Day After Tomorrow--another couple of hours of my life I wish I could have back.

A little background. Aliens have been monitoring our planet and finally decided that we don't deserve it, that we are about to deserve one of the few planets in the universe capable of sustaining life. So, we are to be terminated. Reeves is the chief executioner. He brings mini ark/globes that collect samples of every other species for preservation. Meanwhile, humanity is wiped away by an alien plague of locusts. Really.

Briefly, in bullet points:

- I didn't stick around long enough to see, but did the writers give credit to Favreau for half of their lines? Every other sentence between Jennifer Connelly Keanu Reeves' alien creature/character (yes, another one) has Connelly pleading with Reeves insisting that humanity can change, "we can change! We can do it!"

- At one point, Connelly's mentor, her "leader of the world," a professor of bioethics, no less, tells her that she has to appeal to Reeves not with reason, but with herself. One envisions the emotional, angry Obamaniac advocating for change with airy rhetoric that means nothing. Change. Hope. Whatever.

- The alien (Reeves) likes Bach--Bach, the soundtrack of the Enlightenment. Of course he does.

- The destroyer of humans and all things created by humankind? Alien locusts. No kidding. Instead of the God of the Old Testament bringing locusts to cow the Egyptions into submission, Reeves brings alien locusts to consume humans and everything they have created--including, and specifically, Giants stadium, the oil fields (which figured prominently), and half of downtown Manhattan.

- At one point, when Connelly has persuaded Reeves to give humankind another chance, he says something to the effect of, "it's going to require a serious change in your way of life." Seriously? Did they get an advance look at Obama's innaugural speech?

- Did I mention the prominence of images oil derricks? Every version imaginable plus refinerys plus car manufacturing plants--hey, hey, the warming gangs' all here.

- Connely drove a hybrid Honda Civic. I suppose I should just be glad it wasn't the totally cliche Prius. Toyota probably didn't want to pay the product placement fee.

- The President and Vice President have been hustled off to separate bunkers where they are completely out of touch with the outside world and have left the female SecDef to monitor and manage things. Hurricane Katrina, anyone? Give me a break.

- At one point, Reeves-alien was cornered by a scared police officer who wants to detain him. Reeves starts a car with his hand and sends it hurtling forward, killing the man. His reasoning, as told to Connelly, "He was an obstacle." Sure, he brought the man back to life with the alien goo in his pocket, but still, this is environmental morality. Obstacles must be removed.

- I can't remember if this was a discussion between Reeves and Connelly or Reeves and Bates, but one of the latter two asks Reeves why he's saving samples of every other creature except humans. Reeves response, 'humans are just one species.' This is how the enviro-nuts view humanity--just one species of a gazillion, all of which have equal claim on the earth, none more important than the other.

- Scanning the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, I noted that one critic complained that at no point in the film is the phrase "global warming" uttered. Really, Katey Rich of cinemablend.com, they needed to say the words "global warming" for you to know that's what the movie was all about? The multitudinous pictures of oil, oil derricks, drills, refineries, gas guzzling cars, car factories, etc., I'msureI'mforgettingsomeoilisbadcliche, weren't enough?

- Lots of typical Hollywood diatribe about American intervention abroad, torture, violence, etc.

I'm sure there's more, but this is all that occurs to me at the moment.

Let me take this moment to say how glad I am that 650 scientists are now standing up to the whole "global warming consensus." My suspicion is that we will look back at this fad and say that it hit its peak in 2006-07 and that 2008 was the beginning of the end (for the Church of the Holy Environment, not the planet).

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.