The Day The Earth Stood Still is a must watch because we only get a few movies that have aliens trying to conquer the world and actually wanting to save us. Before we hit the review here are a few stories about aliens who were out to protect the universe.
Klaatu and All Other Space Faring Species (The Day the Earth Stood Still) Reason for Conquest: In the original film, to prevent humanity from nuking other species and wreaking general havoc on the universe. Method of Conquest: They don’t actually conquer the Earth, but
they make it clear that robot enforcers like Gort are more than capable
of dealing with humanity. Outcome: Warning. Klaatu tells the humans to mend their war-like ways or face certain destruction.
The Alien Planners (Plan 9 From Outer Space) Reason for Conquest: To prevent humans from discovering a doomsday weapon that will cause sunlight to explode and destroy the universe. Method of Conquest: Raising the dead to distract humans and sow the seeds of chaos. Outcome: Failure. After faltering in Plan 9 and Plan 9B, one
of the aliens finally fesses up that they just want to keep humanity
from destroying the universe, the human hero of the piece punches him
in the face. And their spaceship explodes.
The Overlords (Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke) Reason for Conquest: The Overlords seek to usher humanity into a golden age, and then into its next stage of evolution. Method of Conquest: Under the general (but not complete)
agreement of humanity, the Overlords exert dominion over Earth,
granting humans peace and prosperity but forbidding them from pursuing
certain creative and scientific activities, such as space travel. Outcome: Success. Despite some early dissent, humanity comes
to accept the Overlords, who help a new generation of humans reach a
new level of existence. Things are less happy for the parents of these
new humans, who largely commit suicide, and for members of an
anti-Overlord sect, which nukes itself.
The Puppet Masters (The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein) Reason for Conquest: According to them, they want to bring humanity the peace and joy of nirvana. Method of Conquest: Infiltration and assimilation. The sluggy aliens attach themselves to humans, taking over their bodies. Outcome: Backfire. A resistance movement of free humans
discovers a disease that kills the slugs. And once they have finished
infecting the population on Earth, a small group takes the battle to
the alien’s home, Titan, planning to wipe out the entire species.
The Monitors (The Monitors) Reason for Conquest: To police humanity and save it from its own terrible impulses. Method of Conquest: Aside from setting up a government and
police force led by polite fellows in bowler hats, they attempt to win
over the public by flooding the airwaves with testimonials and
obnoxious jingles. Outcome: Failure. Humanity might like cleaner streets and less
crime, but won’t abide the Monitors’ ban on politics, sex, and
violence. But when humans oust the Monitors, they’re still oppressed,
just by other corrupt humans rather than benevolent but controlling
Now to the review:
One of the huge hunks of coolness that everybody is anticipating when
The Day the Earth Stood Still lands in theaters this Friday is
eco-conscious alien Klaatu's sidekick, the deadly bot Gort. In the
original 1950s flick, Gort was a smooth, silver menace with a
cylon-style eye glowing out of his wrap-around visor. In the remake
he's also giant, and one of his updated powers reflects today's
cutting-edge research in robotics.
The movie starts out with character development of supporting actors and main actress Jennifer Connely who might I add, is a stunning piece of work. She sort of reminds me of a Tea Leoni but in a less abrassive manner. Anyway she is suddenly picked up by the Government's super science team that consists of several other smart people who come together to figure out a way to deal with the impending apocalypse that their space monitors have picked up. That's right, something coming at Earth's way and it doesn't look pretty.
To their surprise, and (relief?), the object that lands on Earth doesn't anhilate everyone in an instant. Instead out comes a "green man" and being idiots, some one shot the alien. So they take him back to their lab only to find that his space suit was actually very fetus like protecting him from everything except bullets.
The excitement starts when Gort gets all defensive and unarms every weaponry, because later explained in the show, the aliens have hacked into all the satellites giving them control over whatever weaponry that humans have to use as defense over the impending threat.
Jennifer Connely's character then forms a bond with the alien, because, why not? She's hot and Keanu's not ugly at all so over the course of the show I was thinking some alien sex would have been the best qualities the show can incorporate but obviously I'm asking too much.
One piece of great trivia is the incorporation of the possible technology that Gort uses to fight. One of the ways that Gort fights when he goes into offensive mode is
that his entire huge body breaks down into a swarm of self-replicating
microbots that look like metal insects. These microbots are tiny, but
visible to the naked eye, and they fly in a giant formation, breaking
down all organic substances in their path (buildings, trucks, humans).
Basically they seem like a flying gray goo, or a nanotech disaster that
eats everything. But they aren't. They are actually more like swarming
microbots, a technology that's being developed in several labs across
the world right now.
Most microbots look something like this one, a model used in the i-Swarm project
where many tiny robots move in tandem and communicate with each other.
Bots like this are the size of an insect, and are intended to behave
like them too. They contain a microchip and can walk or fly,
communicate via radio with each other or a home base, and may contain
sensors that measure everything from the visual field to movement and
sound. Right now, these kinds of swarming bots could be used as
surveillance devices - scatter them over a wide area of enemy
territory, and they can sense the movements of tanks or troops. Or they
could be used in a disaster area to climb inside hard-to-reach areas to
find out if there are any survivors.
Other types of swarming microbots, such as the magnetic swarming bots being developed at Carnegie Mellon, could easily become the tiny components of a giant robot like Gort. These bots, which you can see in the video from New Scientist
below, can bond together to form any shape using magnets along their
edges that they can turn on and off at will. So sometimes thousands of
them might bond together into a giant robot shape. Then they could turn
off their magnets and break into a million tiny pieces that eat through
hardened military bases the way Gort does. Or that fly through Central
Park in a massive, self-replicating swarm.
Gort is also based on the theoretical idea of a bot swarm that produces
what's called a "utility fog," proposed by molecular manufacturing
researcher J Storrs Hall and others. Basically a utility fog is a
highly-advanced version of the magnetic swarming bots. But instead of
magnets, they are covered in tiny robotic arms that can link many
individual bots (called foglets) together in a lattice structure. The
bots are small enough that when they link together they would create
what appears to be a smooth surface - just like Gort's smooth, silvery
As for Klaatu, his character is pretty much that of an insensitive dick, until he realizes that humanity's fate is at its tipping point, and only at the end was this really an impetus to change.
The suspense of this show kept me glued to my seat long enough to finish an entire popcorn by myself. Though action was kept at minimal while politics and conspiracy had their way around with everyone else. The only characters that turned me off were really Kathy Bates and that black dude from 24 who Jack Bauer shot because he had a vendetta against some terrorist turned good. Eventhough his role was minimal, I could say that his appearance in the show was concern for me to turn away for a few seconds.
So go watch this if you haven't already. And in comparison with the 1951 version, this one will rock your socks off because of the awesome computer graphic effects that's just literally swarming all over the place. And as for Keanu Reeves, you can expect him to deliver his awesome woodeness persona to light up your part of the silver screen.
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