Saturday, September 10, 2011

Klaatu barada nikto.

Ah, 1951, I remember you well. You were the year that Bobby Thomson hit the shot heard 'round the world. You were the year the pill was invented (jackpot!). Oddly enough, you were also the year my father turned one. More importantly, you were the year that The Day the Earth Stood Still was released into theaters.  Gee Mister, has it really been 60 years? Holy Mackerel! (that's the last 50's style dialogue, promise)

Gort has awesome pants.
So, my wife is out of town for the next five days (stripper convention/extra-marital affair, according to my friends). It's just me and my two-year old son. While he naps, I'm trying to watch short, quiet movies. Literally, The Day the Earth Stood Still is only movie I currently own that's both. Brushing aside the also-included remake starring "Ted" Theodore Logan, I decided to give the old-school version a spin.

So many movies today get by on their special-effects alone. I like cool-looking fake-shit as much as the next guy (but if you ever, ever call special-effects 'graphics' - you deserve to have your balls ripped off in front of a green screen), but heading back sixty years will mean that any real enjoyment out of this one will have to come from the story.

Not surprisingly, this movie rules. Michael Rennie, who plays Klaatu, is awesome. He's this great mix of courteous, genius and mysterious. His relationship with the kid, Bobby (of course), is a bit on the creepy side, as is his robot sidekick, Gort. But somehow, he's still quite charming (even though he is threatening to destroy the planet). Maybe it's his space diamonds. Or, maybe it's his leading-man hair. Either way, I love him.

Some moments of awesomeness:
Storm Shadow + Michael Jackson = This outfit.
  • The 30 minutes the earth loses all power? Great! Times square at a standstill? Creepy. Lady trying (unsuccessfully) to make a milkshake?  Horrifying!
  • The immediate shooting of Klaatu upon arrival to Earth (he was offering a gift)
  • Gort's off screen ass-kicking!
  • You can see the strings!
THE ULTIMATE AWESOMENESS: The phrase Klaatu barada nikto was totally stolen in Army of Darkness. I never knew that. I'm now smarter than like, six other people.

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