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Day the Earth Stood Still

The 2008 sci-fi remake directed by Scott Derrickson.

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The day the Earth stood...Stupid

  • Dec 22, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+2
Yes! Everyone who watches this 2008 rendition is now dumber for having seen it. Remember the old adage...the enemy of my enemy is my friend? Well, this film expands on it with...a remake of a remake should be avoided. Before we dissect the modern version...let us probe its roots. The original had an excellent cast: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffee and Hugh Marlowe played the leads...it was directed by Robert Wise...and had a compelling story: Klaatu, an advanced human and his guarding robot Gort come to Earth on a mission of peace during the Cold War and deliver a warning: "If humans bring their violence into space, neighboring worlds will destroy them" It seems the inhabitants of Earth are on the verge of destroying their own planet. Proving that his message is valid, Klaatu halts all electricity on the planet...this sends the world into escalating chaos. The original captures these emotions flawlessly and how it projects the fear and uncertainty of this warning and its deliverer creates one of the best sci-fi films of all time. Let us now proceed with the autopsy of its modern remake, shall we?

Every aspect that made the original great this film fails to utilize. Keanu Reeves does play the emotionless role of Klaatu fairly well...and Jennifer Connelly does an adequate job playing the sensible yet cautious voice of reason. However, neither are able to invite the audience into the film and overall, deliver flat performances. The film begins in the cold, inhospitable Karakoram Mountains of India in 1928...here we meet the human vessel Klaatu will later inhabit. The film never tells us why he his here? Maybe a research project? Maybe decided to just go for a stroll? Anyway, alone and with very little equipment he traverses the peak and discovers a small frozen orb...after chipping away a layer of ice, he reveals a small, Jupiter-like sphere that brands him and the symbiote relationship begins. Fast forward to Princeton University - modern day and we meet Jennifer Connelly who is giving a lecture on micro-organisms and possible existence on the Jovian moon Callisto. Callisto? Not Europa...Not the newly visited Titan, but boring Callisto. Anyway, let us continue...

A mysterious orb lands in Central Park and an equally mysterious vistor emerges...Klaatu. Now this is the only realistic part of the movie...the US military, out of fear, opens fire wounding the alien...forcing the giant robot guardian to neutralize the situation. Klaatu is brought to Ft. Linwood Military Academy for interrogation and observation...where he requested a meeting with Earth's leaders...Kathy Bates, acting as the president's advisor, denies his request and orders him to be drugged for evaluation. Well, Klaatu escapes and develops a relationship with Connelly and after about an hour we finally learn why he is here. I won't go any further but will add...at no point in the film did it project any of the fears and uncertainties that made the original so good onto the viewer. The world is being invaded, a giant robot has the capabilities to destroy the human race, the earth is in the grasp of impending doom, and people are acting like it's just an ordinary day. If you take only one thing from my review, make it this: save your money and watch the original.
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March 06, 2009
All good points, but I've got to say that Keanu Reeves speaking Chinese was one of the funniest things I saw all year.
 
January 26, 2009
No problem! I don't think Gort himself could force me to watch this travesty.
 
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More The Day the Earth Stood Still ... reviews
review by . December 13, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
As someone who has yet to see the original The Day The Earth Stood Still, I thought that the remake was a pretty decent movie.  It was suspenseful and I literally had chills going down my spine throughout most of it.  The special effects were impressive.      Jennifer Connelly played the character of Helen Benson beautifully, and the matching of Keanu Reeves to his character Klaatu was a match made in heaven.  If lifeless, emotionless alien was what he was going …
review by . February 27, 2011
posted in SF Signal
Where to begin? As one of the most vocal critics of the concept of 'remakes', I felt that it was only fair to the new version of TDTESS, and to everyone else who's put up with my incessant reminders to watch the original, to actually watch the remake itself. My opinions hold no water if I take the stance of refusing to watch the remake on the grounds that it is such an affront to the original, to serious fans of science fiction film and etc., etc. I almost did fall into that trap: the …
review by . February 25, 2011
This remake of a classic SF movie (which I can’t comment on since I’ve never seen it) completely blows. Fundamentalist aliens come to earth to play God and vanquish humanity for its sin against the earth with grey goo. I don’t have per se a problem with aliens trying to kill humanity because of their ideology (as a plot device), but the movie tries to sell it as if the aliens have the higher moral ground, which I found dubious to say the least. Any culture that accepts mass murder …
review by . November 17, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
The original 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still is without question one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.  I'm not usually opposed to a remake of a film.  I believe in letting remakes stand on their own two feet without having to be compared to the original.  Yet for whatever reason even when viewing movies through this kind of lens remakes are almost never good.  Not because they don't measure up to the creations they're trying to recreate, but …
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This is not the worst movie I have ever seen, but it was bad enough for me to remember that it was bad. For the kind of story that it is, the movie could have been a whole lot more compelling or chilling, but it wasn't. It was a flat movie with bad cgi and bad acting.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Boring, boring, boring, I think I feel asleep twice during the film which never happens to me. Skip at all costs and save yourself 2+ hours.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I rarely leave a movie theater with a very empty feeling, but I did leave The Day the Earth Stood Still with that kind of feeling. It has a few amazing special effects but it's very rare that a film doesn't have some other redeeming quality. Here you're getting some good special effects (the majority of which don't come out until the very end of the film) but aside from that there isn't much to write home about with The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I love end of the world style films and this one was good one. Sure, it flopped but I liked it
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
not what i expected at all. i didnt even want to sit through the whole thing in the theater, it was slow, boring, and very predictiable.
review by . April 10, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
decimation scene
Remakes are a dime-a-dozen as I've said before. I do have to acknowledge that sometimes, a remake may be necessary to cater to a new generation. It has been some years ago since last I saw Robert Wise's 1951 original and I have to admit I didn't re-watch it before exposing myself to this 2008 remake helmed by Scott Derrickson. Many have considered the 1951 original film to be a true masterpiece, and belongs in the ranks of the most celebrated motion pictures ever made with "The Godfather", "Citizen …
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Justyn Joe Richardson ()
My name is Justyn Richardson but I go by the name Shoyu - after joining the on-line gaming site, Pogo, I have reverted back to my childhood nickname of Tasteless Joe. I first acquired the name when I … more
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The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 2008 American science fiction film, a remake of the 1951 film of the same name. Directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, the film updates the Cold War theme of nuclear warfare to the contemporary issue of humankind's environmental damage to the planet. It was released on a rollout schedule beginning December 12, 2008, screening in both conventional theaters and IMAX screens.

In 1928, a mountaineer (Keanu Reeves) encounters a glowing sphere while on an expedition in the snowy mountains of India. He then finds himself awakening after a sudden loss of consciousness, with the sphere now gone and a scar on his hand. In the present day, Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly), a Princeton professor, and other scientists are hastily assembled by the government in order to formulate a survival plan when it is feared that a large unknown object with a speed of 3x107m/s is on a crash course to the Earth, due to impact Manhattan in just over an hour. Nothing can be done about it because a vital military satellite has been disabled. However, the object is a large spherical biological spaceship, which slows down and lands gently in Central Park. A being (taking on the appearance of the man from the opening scene of the film) named Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) emerges from the sphere while accompanied by a large robot. Klaatu, a representative of a group of alien races, has come to assess whether humanity can reverse the ...

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Details

Director: Scott Derrickson
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Release Date: April 7, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: David Scarpa, Edmund H. North
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009
Runtime: 104 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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