Monday, August 11, 2008

Gort and Klaatu's Excellent Adventure

I've wondered for years why the fifties movie,"The Day the Earth Stood Still" wasn't remade. After all, it was popular, came in handy to sooth and/or frighten a post-war world, and then there are the obvious and confirmed biblical relationships. And frankly, if you're ever to stand face-to-face with an alien, the tall Michael Rennie sort seemed a good choice over a four-foot gray entity who prefers the cold and clinical approach to conversations enjoyed in perfect English.

But, finally, the remake is on, due for release in December. Keanu Reeves in the lead role? Maybe he'll blow us away. I'm curious about how Gort will be portrayed. What will the ship look like inside? Will the obligatory child actor be annoying and able only to say things like "wow" and "gosh" every time he speaks? Will there be a plot twist this time where the phrase, "Gort, Klaatu Barada Nikto" actually means "Gort, Klaatu commands you to bite off every human head on the planet?"

I hope the movie turns out well and faithful to the original story and/or the 1951 motion picture, for I'm not crazy about Hollywood turning out another film about warm and fuzzy aliens and their robots, (and we have heard things about this new version -- Klaatu and Gort may be a couple of the harshest, no-nonsense dudes ever to traverse space fiction).

I bring this up only because I harken back to a phone conversation with the late Coral Lorenzen when the film, "E.T." came out, and how outraged she was that aliens were portrayed as kind and benign toward us -- because the real UFO evidence and terror involved with alleged abductions indicate quite another story. Maybe 2008's "The Day the Earth Stood Still" will reinforce the caution that encountering those things of alien identity isn't necessarily akin to winning the lottery. Experience the fictional alien. . . but absolutely beware the allegedly real one.