Saturday, December 27, 2008

Standing Still

It's been awhile since a movie can surprise me and watching how The Earth Stood Still today did just that tonight. The irony of watching an environmental themed movie at The Gardens? Priceless.

For starters, almost everybody in the world who's seen this movie are giving it a bad review. Rightly so:
1) Bad writing
2) Poor acting from the stars
3) Choppy flow
4) Weak continuity
5) Weak chemistry between actors
6) The final scene depiction of the "standing still" time lacked impact

Do I really care? No. There're too many movies being made lately for the sake of cashflow, publicity to launch an actor's career, bad propaganda, politics, and the list just goes on. But I had a good feeling about this movie tonight. I think Scott Derrickson and his team did a good job to deliver the theme to the world that is too arrogant to care.

If the Earth dies, you die. If the human race dies, the Earth survives.

Can you dispute this statement? I can't. If you've seen An Inconvenient Truth, you'd get my meaning. We are just too complacent. We are just too ignorant. We will not care until we feel the threat itself.

I think the movie is about a message to the audience. When David Scarpa wrote the screenplay, he didn't have any Oscar in mind. I think he's a believer of Earth, and Derrickson his disciple. Both wanted to remind the human race that we are very fragile and if we don't stand still and start realizing, we will never change. So what better way to get the message through than using the most powerful tool in the world? Media. Movie. The Silver Screen.

The scene that captivated me the most was the one at Professor Barnhardt's house. I will try my best to re-construct the conversation that took place to the best of my memory:

Barnhardt: You have to give us a chance, we will change.

Klaatu: The decision is made. It is too late.

Helen: You gotta give us a chance.

Klaatu: We have, for a very long time now.

Barnhardt: You just have to give us more time. At the brink of destruction, at the edge of existence, only will we change...tell me, how did you get to where you are?

Klaatu: Our circumstances were different. Our sun was dying. We had to evolve.

Barnhardt: Exactly. You were at the precipice. Therefore, you changed. We are at ours now, do not take that chance away from us. We will change. Give us the time.

Klaatu: [stares at Helen] Your professor is right. At the precipice, we change.

There is your revelation. I realized that in almost everything we do daily, we tend to stick to our norms. Rarely do we really sit back, sit still and reflect on our actions and consequences. We simply do not have the will, as a human race. But when pushed to the edge and tested, we will overcome. When taunted, we will rise. When we reach our "precipice", we change.

Klaatu: I will try to stop it. But it will change things around here forever.

Klaatu's words just before he activated The Sphere and disabled the mechanical bugs and just about everything that is machine or electronic on Earth. That's when you get your the world stood still climax scene. I thought it was beautifully done. I was beginning to wonder how does the title relate to the movie. Well, save the best for last.

I'm not saying this is a really good movie. I'm just saying that this movie isn't that bad until it deserves getting criticized by almost everybody who's seen it. You're missing the point. Then again, who really cares?

By the way, this movie is a remake of Edmund H. North's 1951 screenplay. It was based on a nuclear destruction theme. During that time, nuclear threat was the world's most visible threat. As you can see 5 decades on, we have changed. WE are the biggest and most visible threat to the world now. Hence, the environmental theme. Isn't that relevant? But no, movie critiques had to shoot Derrickson and his team down for changing the theme. Please see the irony he's trying to communicate to us.

I believe we have to start asking ourselves serious questions about our way of life. It may be hard. It may be over-reaction. But isn't it inevitable? Will we allow ourselves to be the fore-fathers of our children and children's childrens' sufferings? Have we been standing still and idling? What's stopping us from acting now, little by little? When will we reach our respective precipices? When I do, will I act?

I challange you all to act. Most of you will fail.


Am said...

how u disseminate a movie into life lessons is good man. yah, i think will take up ur challenge. fyi, i like the movie too. something refreshing from all ur typical action movies lately.

cindy said...

yea Am, agreed;) Han did a good job here. In fact, he's d man to seek if u're in search for A-class movie reviews ;)

Han said...

Am: I disseminated a movie? Haha, never saw myself as a screenplay-surgeon before. Thanks for your comments and good luck heeding my challenge. Seriously, all it takes is a little everyday, everytime. Do visit the Plateau more often :)

Cindy: Yea, I agree with you agreeing with Am, ROFL! If I ever reach A-class status for movie critic, I promise you to sign up professionally and taking over all the useless, low-depth and incronguent critiques from The Star =)

yuin said...

Dont you think the movie would get its message out more effectively if ppl werent groaning and yawning in the cinema?
It was a noble effort i admit, but the delivery, fail. lol

*pls dont kell me*

Han said...

you meant people or yourself? haha. the delivery only failed in ur mind cuz ur mind is too flooded with high expectation of movies like ID4, Alien, Deep Impact, Armageddon, etc.

*ur dead*