I've just finished watching The Day the Earth Stood Still, which I thought a fine film as far as modern science fiction goes. I didn't know what to expect but I can see now the source of some people's objections to it. It never fails to amaze me how people can smear something so passive aggressively. For example, there are fine actors that will always be called poor actors by some simply because they have spoken up about certain political, social, economic, and even environmental realities. Critics of film seem, by and large, to value their own reputations enough to avoid this trapping, as fine acting will always be discernible. Some, like Sean Penn and George Clooney, enjoyed very high approval among the movie going public until they tried to use their influence to affect positive, cross-cultural change. I know people, personally, that cannot any longer admit that Penn, for instance, is any good at all and these same people felt very differently before the man took any kind of a political stance.

Did his social awareness somehow, mysteriously diminish his acting ability or is it a simple matter of pettiness, like the look I am bound to draw from someone if they hear any middle eastern music emanating from my home, as if only the enemy would acknowledge that another with whom we have differences is capable of anything good?

It's called demonization and it was a rhetorical question, by the way.

I find critiques of The Day the Earth Stood Still to be largely devoid of any merit. While this film is by no means some bastion of fine acting, it is up to par with the better Hollywood blockbusters and would have enjoyed much higher appreciation if Bruce Willis had been in it and the day had been saved, instead, by some oil engineers or space cowboys or some other facsimile of the rugged American male. I am sure that the earth being saved by compassion itself doesn't sit well with real men.

I do really wish folks would grow up already.


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