Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How d'ya like them apples?

Yes, yes, I know that title's not grammatically correct, but it was the punch-line to something that happened last night … which, in hindsight, might not actually be that funny if you weren't there. But hey-ho - let's carry on regardless!

So, on and off over the last few years me and a few friends have chosen a film around Christmas and gotten a group together to go see it. It all started with the Lord of the Ri- …

Oh sorry, I seem to have drifted off to sleep for a while there. Are the walking trees done yet?

Where was I? Oh yeah: it all started with the Lord of the Rings movies, followed by Peter Jackson's monkey-based snoozefest King Kong, then that silly Jim Carrey film which I'm currently confusing with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which it can't be because that's a Brad Pitt movie and it's not out till next year, but it had an equally silly and lengthy title and a very stylised look which made it look like it had been dipped in The Addams Family and slapped by Tim Burton. Anyway, this year's film of choice was The Day the Earth Stood Still, a remake of the 1950s sci-fi classic, but with 100% added Keanu. Which might explain why only five of us attended…

So, we strutted up to Shepherds Bush cinema in timely fashion, whereupon I made the first tragic mistake of the evening. Well, actually it was the cashier's fault, because she charged Yazzle Dazzle for both our tickets. I didn't have any cash on me, see, and had planned to put my ticket on my card. Faced with owing Yazzle Dazzle a smidgeon under a tenner, though, I said - blissfully ignorant of the signs scattered around the foyer saying 'ONLY FOOD AND DRINK PURCHASED HERE MAY BE CONSUMED ON THE PREMISES' - "well I can get it out of the cash machine downstairs if you're going to go buy a drink in Morrisons."

Yazzle glared at me a bit like how I'd later discover the big robot Gort glares at jet fighters when they try to fire missiles at him.

Fortunately, the cashier was either a tad speshul or highly amused by our comedy antics and didn't point us out to beverage security as we headed for the screen.

So what was The Next Day the Earth Stood Still like? Well, it's been a long time since I saw the first one, but this was … well, it was a bit ridiculous, really. And I don't mean that in a good way. It was ridiculously ridiculous.

First of all, everyone totally seemed to be phoning in their roles. I know Keanu was playing an alien, but he looked completely bemused throughout the whole thing, as if he'd literally just woken up and didn't have a clue where he was. I was praying for his Klatu to do *something* - anything - interesting! Learn kung-fu, air guitar Bill and Ted stylee! But no, he just got Jennifer Connelly to chauffeur him around so he could go touch some balls in the countryside.

Keanu touches balls in the wilderness. FACT.

Keanu I can kind of forgive because he's never exactly been a worry to Sir Lawrence Olivier, and he's been dead a few years. But Academy Award winner Kathy Bates? Shame on you! I didn't turn away from the screen when you flashed your pendulous titties at me in About Schmidt, and this is how you reward me?! RUDE.

Jennifer Connelly also didn't do much except frown a lot, babble some incoherent sciencey stuff, and tell Klatu-Keanu that the human race could change. In fact, she said it so much that **SPOILER ALERT - ROLL CURSOR OVER TEXT TO REVEAL ALL!!** in the end he basically said "OK I'll let you guys live if you just shut the f**K up!" although obviously in a lot less enthusiastic, more half-asleep fashion **END SPOILERS!!**

Who else…? Oh yeah, Jaden Smith, the diminutive offspring off the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I don't really have much to say about him except that he resembled Micah from Heroes, but with bigger budget hair.

I seem to remember that I read somewhere that Keanu said Jaden Smith put in a great performance, which I think would be a compliment coming from anyone else. As it is, I think it should've been Jaden advising Keanu on technique.

What else was there? Oh yeah - some horrific product placement. Just because the camera lingers on Jennifer Connelly's LG phone and Citizen watch does not mean I will go buy either of them at any point after seeing the movie, OK?

So, was there anything good in it? Yeah - to be honest, I actually quite enjoyed it when I realised that it was a hopelessly awful movie. There's something quite spectacular about a studio throwing millions of dollars at a movie and then allowing a global audience watch it crash and burn on opening weekend. And I did like the new version of Gort, even if he was a pretty poor visual effect. He was freakin' huge, and quite angry when the crazy military stereotypes fired badly CGI'd missiles at him.

I'm pretty sure if I was going to make a massive robot using badly-realised computer-generated effects it would look something like this.

Gort should totally get his own spin-off. He acted the tits off Keanu.

Perhaps my favourite moment in The Day After the Earth Stood Still Before occurred during a scene in which, for no apparent reason whatsoever, Jennifer Connelly drove Keanu-Klatu to see her old professor friend played by John Cleese, who inexplicably still expects us to take him seriously when all we want to do is see him do a funny walk and whack a car with tree-parts. In this scene, Professor Cleese leans in toward Keanu-Klatu and says earnestly "there's so much I want to ask you…"

To which I leaned over to Yazzle Dazzle and said "like: 'why aren't I funny anymore?'"

To which she responded: "And: how d'ya like them apples."

I found this inexplicably hilarious, and spent the next 10 minutes crying while trying to prevent myself  from laughing incredibly loudly in case I was thrown out. Which would've been rather ironic as, seeing as I often complain about kids messing around in the cinema, we'd gone to see an over-18's only showing that guaranteed us a civilized and peaceful movie experience…


All in all, then, the original version still rules the roost. Even if it wasn't an infinitely better film with a coherent plot, I'd still rate it higher just for the fact it's got a proper honest-to-god flying saucer rather than a ridiculous CGI energy sphere. I've had my fill of ridiculous energy spheres.

Holy crap - does Klatu have a bit of an alien-chubby going on here?


CyberPete said...

It all went downhill for Keanu after that movie he did with Diane Wiest back in the 80s.

I had a near getting thrown out of the cinema for laughing experience too once while watching Sunshine. You had to be there and even those people didn't get it except my mate.

Tara said...

I love having to stifle laughter so hard that I'm crying. It's awesome. In fact, it kind of happened to me today while shopping.

Anyway, I partly expected the movie to be a big budget that went nowhere. But I like Keanu and still might go.

the projectivist said...

oh that is some good reading right there! excellent synopsis Mr Tim.

frankly i've never liked that Keanu fellow. not in anything - he just plays the same person in each film, doesn't even bother changing his hairstyle, let-alone his acting style.

ps. Klatu's pants do look highly suspicious.

missy&chrissy. said...

hah...if the movie is even half as entertaining as your review of it was, we are so going to have to go see it!

Devine Dora said...

Oh, it's a chubby alright....he can't wait to nail some human bitches.

At least with Tom Cruise around Keanu looks at least 50% less freaky and weird.












WV = motom

Tim said...

Cyberpete - How did you start laughing during Sunshine!? It was an awesome - and very serious! - movie!

Tara - I know, I do too. In fact, I'm still laughing at the memory of Yazzle saying "how d'ya like them apples?" to me.

Definitely go see it - if only to think of the "how d'ya like them apples?" incident in the Cleese scene!

The Projectivist - He does, doesn't he? He's done a few good movies - I did like Speed and Point Break, but the Matrix sequels bored me stupid.

Missy&Chrissy - Go see it! And report back!!

Devine Dora - Naughty Klatu, coming here and stealing our Earth women! Maybe Tom Cruise is a Klatu-like being from space sent to save us … SAVE ME TOM CRUISE!

CyberPete said...

It was really silly, it was the opening of the movie when it went from very bright to very dark.

My mate leaned over and whispered

"wow it got really dark, didn't it?"

Then it switched to bright and she leaned over again

"wow it got really bright, didn't it?"

That happened a few times and then I asked if she was going to keep saying that and she said yes. So when it got really dark again I said

"wow it got really dark, didn't it"

And we were both laughing so hard that I'm sure everyone around us thought we were ready for the loony bin.

Good times! You had to be one of us to get it though, it seems really weird even for me, reading it now. It was hilarious at the time though, trust me.

Tim said...

That makes no more, or no less, sense than me laughing at "how d'ya like them apples."

Good times.

T-Bird said...

I can't see the robot chubby! I WANT TO SEE THE CHUBBY!!11!!

Tim said...


M said...

Well ... I was sorry I missed it because of Keanu, now I'm sorry I missed it because of applegate :(