(In theaters, December 2008) Hollywood really should know better than to attempt remakes of decent films, because this latest snore-fest is the perfect example of why some things shouldn’t be revived. Cold War parables can’t always be adapted to modern sensibilities, and Hollywood now often seems dumber than ever: taken together, both of those truth hints at why this remake is so unbelievably dull. It’s most obvious with Keanu Reeves (who manages to portray alienness so successfully that he feels more robotic than the actual robot), but the script he’s got to work with is utter trash, with leaps of logic and incoherent plotting. While the film can’t avoid a few nice moments (the nano-cloud effects are good, and so are some of the early scenes of impending doom), it seems determined to annoy the maximum number of people with unsupportable performances by Kathy Bates and Jaden Smith. Again, see the script for the problems with their roles. Muddled morals, tepid pacing and superficial intellectual content are hallmarks of our era. The film ends up being a powerful argument for the extermination of our species. Recommendation for Hollywood: Don’t mess with what’s not broken, because you will make it worse.