I am a devoted fan of Science Fiction. One of the classics of Science Fiction is the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. A flying saucer lands on the mall of Washington, D.C. and out pops a alien being named Klaatu. Klaatu has come to delivers us a message from the grand brotherhood of outer space that we shouldn't be so cavalier with our development/use of nuclear weapons. Failing to keep ourselves under control will mean that the aforementioned "grand brotherhood" would take care of the problem for us. For a more detailed plot description, try Wikipedia.
On Friday, a "reimagining" of The Day The Earth Stood Still (DESS) will be released starring Keanu Reeves (sigh) and Jennifer Connelly (pitter patter). From all of the commercials I am seeing, they have ruined a classic of the genre. While I am sure that the visual effects are first rate, they have screwed up two other aspects of the film. First, they chose Keanu Reeves for the lead. Next time, choose someone who can act his way out of a paper bag. Better yet, don't let there be a next time -- leave excellence (1951) alone. Second, and the bigger gripe that I have, changing the plot of the film.
The new plot of the 2008 DESS is that Klaatu has come to destroy human kind because humans are on the verge of destroying the Earth environmentally. In the original, Klaatu came peacefully and had planned to discuss the development of nuclear technology peaceably. It is only after he is shot by a nervous soldier that Klaatu becomes (justifiably) aggravated. In the 1951 DESS, the plot driver is the very real concern about nuclear power and its military use. There is no denying that such concerns were indeed real. As the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union (link provided for those too young to remember) escalated, the general public's concerns grew as well. After all, it was during the 1950s that school children were taught to get under their school desks after seeing an atomic blast. The anxieties were real, the threat was real. My problem with the new plot is that environmental extremists have NO evidence that there is any long-term or short-term effects of pollution or any other such atmospheric phenomena. We cannot reliably predict the next day's weather let alone try to predict the medium- to large-scale effects over any appreciable geographical range. I mean, REALLY, the level of pollution has been generally decreasing since the late 1970s -- since we have been conscious of atmospheric pollution. I could understand if we had seen any effects from pollution during the Industrial Revolution then maybe I would be willing to listen less antagonistically. The worst pollution I have heard of in my lifetime has been that which occurred in the former Warsaw Pact nations. In that case, the effects of said pollution were very noticeable, but localized. After the fall of the Warsaw Pact, and the reduction of pollution in those areas, the localized effects cleared up. And yet we still have environmentalists crying, "the sky is falling!"
So called "Global Warming" is silly to begin with, but now they're taking down a classic work of Science Fiction... with fictional science. Ironic. And sad.
I won't be going to see this travesty of a movie. Nor will I buy it on DVD... Blu Ray or otherwise. I hope you won't either.