Rewind Commentary- A Home Video Trend I Hope to See Continue

The Day the Earth Stood Still (20th Century Fox)

As those who know me, and if such a person exists, cyberstalk me, know I created this blog after writing on another site, which shall remain nameless, for a while. The point is, I have material sitting around waiting to be re-used on occasion I will re-post them here. Some of those articles may have been extemporaneous at the time but are slightly random now, hence the new title and little intro, regardless enjoy! And in this one it’s something I haven’t seen followed through.

Recently The Day the Earth Stood Still, the remake, was released on DVD. I did not see the movie. It was one of those instances where I saw no need for the film to be rehashed. How the work of the fantastic Robert Wise could be modernized or improved upon was something I never understood.

How an intelligent science fiction classic could be turned into something that looked like Independence Day turned my stomach. It follows a pattern in film and society, which I will likely comment further on in upcoming columns, that what exists just isn’t good enough. The permanency of film, which I think is part of its beauty, just doesn’t cut it. People don’t want to see The Day the Earth Stood Still from the 50s…or maybe there is hope. Maybe we’re just not discerning and we’ll see whatever slop the studios throw in front of us.

In releasing its DVD of the remake Fox has included, at no additional charge, a copy of the classic version of The Day the Earth Stood Still. This is a marketing strategy I could deal with, and knowing this is part of the scheme ahead of time I might not be as averse to the rash of remakes.

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t believe there’s altruistic intent in this move. They want to appease disgruntled fans and try to sell DVDs. Why not have it both ways though? Why not always do this? If you’re going to remake, update, re-imagine, reboot (call it what you will) a classic and introduce a new audience to it, raking in a ton of cash regardless, why not show them where the idea came from. After all as a studio, Fox in this case, both films are your product, so why not promote both? As a studio you are not a Johnny Come-Lately looking to hock electronics for the ADD generation you have a veritable arsenal of product ready-made at your disposal so put it out there, enlightening people on film history and commerce can go hand-in-hand just look at Turner’s Forbidden Hollywood deal with Warner. These are films that only really have historical relevance but are now exposed, packaged and available for purchase.

Remakes won’t stop but at least they can start to serve some purpose aside from just generating income from a public unaware or unexposed to the source material. Hopefully, this title won’t be the last to be packaged this way.