The Day the Earth Stood Still

2008

Drama / Sci-Fi

Synopsis


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July 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Cast

Keanu Reeves as Klaatu
Jennifer Connelly as Helen Benson
Kathy Bates as Regina Jackson
Jaden Smith as Jacob Benson
720p 1080p
751.75 MB
1280*544
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
1hr 44 min
P/S 8 / 27
1.55 GB
1920*816
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
1hr 44 min
P/S 18 / 51

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BruddanChrist 5 / 10

A soon-to-be forgotten remake of a timeless classic

The 2008 version starts off somewhat promising. Unlike the original, there is a build-up to the first encounter with Klaatu, which is sort of effective in eliciting both wonder and fear. It's reminiscent of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Independence Day. It proceeds down a similar path to the original for a while afterward, embellishing a bit in some areas.

While Michael Rennie's Klaatu was a complicated character, simultaneously coming off as creepy and trustworthy, Keanu Reeves's Klaatu is hardly more than a robot. He is completely inexpressive and undynamic. There's no way the audience can identify with him, so his fate seems ultimately unimportant. Also, his purpose is largely unclear in this version. He was a messenger in the original; the closest thing he can be related to in this version is a harbinger of death...

Which brings me to my biggest complaint with the movie. Robert Wise's version had a clear underlying message to its audience; Scott Derrickson's version doesn't. Though the "big issue" that the film deals with has been changed from the nuclear arms race to global warming, it is hardly touched upon. The destruction of the human race is triggered with little more than a few lines of explanation.

Not to undermine the efforts of the 1951 classic's film crew, but The Day The Earth Stood Still is a classic because of its message, a message that easily still applies today. Derrickson's version of The Day The Earth Stood Still could have been a marvelous way of touching modern audiences with an old truth. Instead, it focuses more on thrills and special effects. Klaatu would be disappointed...

Reviewed by Jamie Ward 6 / 10

Mildly entertains, but never reaches its potential.

The epic science fiction blockbuster is slowly but surely becoming a dying form of cinematic entertainment. Not since the days of cold war paranoia and the initial splurge of CGI technology back in the nineties has the genre seen much love either from its core enthusiasts or those looking for something big but different. Yet there are numerous obvious reasons for its decline in demand, most of which are unavoidably apparent in this, the latest and arguably first of its kind for over a year now, The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Based upon a movie from the genre's heyday, director Scott Derrickson's version lacks the same sense of awe, conviction and relevancy to our current social climate. Bombarded with underdeveloped themes, an incoherent plot and extremely rough characterisation, the movie suffers not just from a lack of significance in its arrival, but also in its implementation. Most disappointing of all however is that in spite of the many technical flaws present, the biggest let down is that the movie simply doesn't convince; the effects are impressive and the story can be gripping through its thick layer of foreboding atmosphere from time to time, but an overall lack of substance hurts the film's ability to truly draw you in and take off. It's a routinely enjoyable experience sure enough, but an over reliance on this safe-play structure stops the feature from excelling beyond mere light entertainment.

Telling a first contact story that involves rather heavy handed themes of a doomsday like prophecy, like most good science fiction movies big to small, The Day the Earth Stood Still retains a sense of wonder and mystique to its tale, particularly early on. During these initial moments of exposition which come to an eventual climax of contact with an alien presence visiting Earth for unknown reasons, the movie achieves its only real piece of coherent and engaging drama; the way in which it unfolds is magnificent and capitalises on the movie's big effects budget in ways that feel impressive and yet substantially eerie at the same time- there are moments when this big shot sci-fi movie actually feels like a genuine product of imagination and heart.

Disappointingly however, this does not last very long. From here on in the feature slowly but surely declines in both mystique and interest, culminating in a third act which is about as convincing as it is exciting; which believe it or not, isn't much at all. It's around this point that things take a drastic turn from intelligent and insightful science-fiction to big dumb blockbuster action movie; the themes that are brought up during the movie's initial stages are belittled to a deux ex machina that never quite seems justified, and the climax –if you can call it that- feels stunted and perfunctory for the sake of giving a clean feeling of catharsis. It's perhaps the biggest reason why most major productions based on sci-fi scripts never seem to work; the balancing act between catering to the mass public and those wanting intelligent drama is a hard one to pull off, and nobody here seems quite sure how to do such a thing.

If there is one thing that I can praise the movie for, outside of its opening act that is, it would simply be within its excellent aesthetic design. From the dynamic score penned by Tyler Bates to the often endlessly interesting photography of David Tattersall, The Day the Earth Stood Still gets most of its outer shell right, even if everything that lies underneath is a less than inspiring mess. One also has to draw attention to lead star Keanu Reeves who plays Klaatu, the alien/human hybrid visitor and mediator who is welcomed to Earth with a less than hospitable, but terribly human introduction. Reeves is an actor known for his alien-like, wooden style- which is why he is so often found in these kinds of films- and it suits his character adequately enough here. Co-star Jennifer Connelly holds her own too, and while she isn't given much to work with throughout, she does a fine job in playing as Keanu's contrived human sociology lesson.

When the credits roll however, despite the movie's impressive effects, imaginative premise and somewhat entertaining moments, The Day the Earth Stood Still simply feels like an empty experience. As science fiction, the movie conjures up some intelligent questions and yet David Scarpa never seems quite up to the task of taking them any further; and as popcorn fodder, the movie simply doesn't do enough rule-breaking to come off as anything but standard fare. This awkward need to balance both crowds irrevocably results in a feature that indeed avoids polarising, but only to the point where mostly everyone will leave feeling under-stimulated. It has its fair share of compelling and visionary moments, but a distinct lack of development, coherency and substance stops The Day the Earth Stood Still from being one worth remembering. Light sci-fi with a dash of social intrigue that mildly entertains, but never reaches its potential.

- A review by Jamie Robert Ward (http://www.invocus.net)

Reviewed by Joseph Belanger (joseph.belanger@gmail.com) 4 / 10

I couldn't sit still, let alone stand.

I don't know about the earth standing still but I certainly had a hard time moving after this one finished. I think I may have been in shock. I didn't know they still made movies as bad as this. That's me, I guess; the eternal optimist, thinking one day Hollywood will see the error of their ways. I'm starting to think there's a greater chance of aliens landing in Manhattan though. You don't take a highly regarded classic like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and update it for no reason other than to make a few bucks. Sure, you can pretend there is purpose; you can cash in on the current environmental crisis fears by insinuating that aliens have come to earth to save the planet from the horrifically unappreciative human race. When you make a film with such disregard for quality though, you can't do anything to convince me that you actually care about what you're trying to say.

I will give Hollywood this though; they have finally found the perfect vehicle for the now- veteran Hollywood actor, Keanu Reeves. Reeves plays Klaatu, an alien in human form who has no capacity of expressing human emotion or understanding the intricacies of human nature and interaction. It might as well say that at the top of Reeves's resume so this is Reeves in his element. Honestly though, this is the first time I can say that Reeves's presence in a film has absolutely nothing to do with why it is unwatchable. You know you have a problem when dialogue is so bad that it even drags Reeves's acting down. In fact, having the familiar Reeves on board for this uneventful journey, alongside the strikingly beautiful, Jennifer Connelly, at least gives us something pretty to distract us from the banality of the entire affair. Klaatu certainly rocks that three-piece suit though.

The earth is supposed to stand still on this particular day because aliens have descended upon Central Park in a giant weather sphere of sorts. It is a momentous occasion, one that could be the sign of the end of days. Yet, in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, panic hardly seems to be in the air. Panic comes from a fear of the unknown and an inability to see a solution to your problems but David Scarpa's script is so painstakingly obvious and formulaic that you can see right through to the end at all times. I hope I'm not giving anything away here but as if this film would finish with humanity's extinction. And when the devices used to create the melodrama are so laughably contrived (who knew that a white step mom and a black step son could have such hard times getting along?), at least you have the special effects to revel in. Mind you, when the special effects are even more ridiculous than the ensuing melodrama in a big sci-fi pic like this, what is there to keep you sitting still, let along standing?

You'll never believe this but humanity, or at least the American government run portion of humanity, take immediate military action against the alien invaders before giving them the chance to make their case. This next bit is even more shocking. Apparently, violence is not the answer to solving our problems. I swear, I learned so many hard life lessons watching this movie. Perhaps the most important lesson though is that humanity will never learn. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL represents the same disposable and commercial interests that are the root of our environmental problems. Yet, here is it preaching against the very values that justify its existence. For that reason alone, I would consider this film to be one of the most hopeless (and hapless) films of the year. We're essentially doomed so I say you can take it, Klaatu. Earth is all yours. We clearly don't deserve it.

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