In the ongoing commitment of the Piker Press, wherever possible in these tough economic times, to supply opinions for our readers who have none of there own, I finally got around to seeing The Day the Earth Stood Still, the Keanu Reeves vehicle that was in theaters this past December and is now available on DVD.
The movie opens in 1920 something with an unnamed character that looks like Keanu Reeves who gets sucked out of his tent in the mountains by curiosity over a glowing object. The object eventually sucks the consciousness out of the Reeves-like character who sometime later wakes up with a kind of "it sucks to be me" expression on his face. This character is never seen again.
Now we are sucked into the present, where the government sucks Jennifer Connelly's character out of her home to join a hastily assembled task force of scientists who have been similarly sucked out of their homes to come up with some ideas for coping with the imminent impact of some kind of meteor-like object that is going to suck the life out of everything on earth. With only seventy-eight minutes to go, the whole group realizes there is nothing they can do, so they all put on a "it sucks to be me" expression and wait for the end. The end, however, doesn't come off as expected, because the object is really an enormous space ship (a larger version of the one in the opening sequence) which lands in Central Park where it immediately begins to generate fog. It is surrounded by police, soldiers, people in hazmat suits, and pigeons. Jennifer Connelly's character is closest to the space ship when an alien being emerges from the fog and immediately gets shot, where upon a really big robot comes out of the fog and starts blowing things up. The shot alien says "Klaatu barata nikto," which means "it sucks to be me." The really big robot stands down. The alien is sucked away into a government facility where a doctor takes out the bullet and finds that under the very alien looking exterior is a human that looks exactly like Keanu Reeves! Who knew? His name is Klaatu.
Anyway, Jennifer who loves Keanu/Klaatu, but not in that way, helps him escape and learns that he is here to destroy mankind because we are pigs and have trashed the earth. Jennifer, hoping to change Keanu/Klaatu's mind, takes him to see John Cleese, apparently reasoning that if Keanu/Klaatu could watch a few episodes of Monty Python, he would be convinced of mankind's worth and would stop this sketch. In the meantime, little space ships have been appearing all over the world and are sucking up all the animals two by two in anticipation of the destruction of mankind.
Cross town in a secret underground lab located in the desert near New York City, the really big robot who the government has named Gort ( a nickname given him by then President Bush I suspect), gets really pissed at being examined by government scientists, turns himself into a cloud of tiny metallic bugs, and goes off sucking up and eating everything in sight.
Suddenly Keanu/Klaatu, for reasons that are obscure and probably not relevant anyway, changes his mind about destroying mankind, stops the Gort/metal bug cloud, and leaves while Jennifer Connelly thinks that she is glad that didn't love him in that way because now she won't have to go to the doctor and sheepishly confess "Klaatu infecta clapto."
If you missed this one in the theaters, now is your chance to miss it on DVD.
In a word, this movie ... sucks.
Please feel free to use this opinion as your own, compliments of the Piker Press.
-- Bernie Pilarski