The Day the Earth Stood for Anything

In a New York Times opinion piece, a writer gives a side-by-side comparison of two versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still and the cultures that received them.

I compared the two earlier this month, watching the vintage version for the first time in at least 25 years. I was reminded of how deeply it had insinuated itself into the DNA of popular culture. I also thought of Norma Desmond, the fallen movie idol in “Sunset Boulevard,” who said of her spent career: “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”

[Thanks to David Klaus and Andrew Porter for the link.]

One thought on “The Day the Earth Stood for Anything

  1. I loved Roger Ebert’s review (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081210/REVIEWS/812109993): “[The original film’s] message, timely for the nuclear age, is that mankind would be exterminated if we didn’t stop killing one another. The message of the 2008 version is that we should have voted for Al Gore… Actually, Klaatu is non-partisan and doesn’t name names, but his message is clear: Planets capable of sustaining life are so rare that the aliens cannot allow us to destroy life on this one. So they’ll have to kill us.”

    “Keanu Reeves is often low-key in his roles, but in this movie, his piano has no keys at all. He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.”

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