The Day the Earth Stood Still

Deal Score0
Deal Score0

Product Description

Genre: Action/Adventure
Rating: PG13
Release Date: 7-APR-2009
Media Type:
Impressive special effects are the key selling point for this big-budget remake of Robert Wise’s classic 1951 science fiction parable about an alien visitor who delivers a chilling ultimatum to the leaders of the world. Keanu Reeves, who seemed ideal at first blush but ultimately turns into another case of miscasting, steps i… More >>

The Day the Earth Stood Still

This site uses affiliate links and if you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a commission payment.

  1. Jennifer Connoly please return to something decent [THE HULK was/is great compared to this].

    Keanu – something ELSE please.

    This mess is just terrible and an insult to the original version.

    do not bother ……..
    Rating: 2 / 5

  2. If you ever needed to see why Hollywood is finished (like the human species of this story) look no further than this absolutely horrible remake of one of the very best of breed 50’s sci-fi films. Bad writing, bad casting, bad acting, but most of all some very, very bad directing (worthy of Director’s Hell forever-never to return)! I’m speechless that this film was even released to the general theaters – even straight to DVD could not save this rust heap of a movie. My favorite part (other than we really get to see how hollow Keanu Reeves is completely without direction) is the actor who plays T-Bag on Prison Break as the General in charge of the army – oh, and Kathy Bates of the Sec of Defense had me rolling on the floor with laughter – and how can one completely waste a gifted actresses like Jennifer Connelly is beyond me – you simply cannot make this stuff up! It is so bad it does not even rank as a guilty pleasure – and that is very bad!!!
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. First–yes, this remake is laughable. Can you imagine the pitch for this film? “Yeah, uh, let’s remake what many consider to be the single best sci fi film of all time, but totally ruin the plot, turn it into a dumbed-down computer animation crapfest and have it star the worst actor working today! Anyone like it?!?” Maybe they cast Keanu because “Keanu” sounds similar to “Klaatu.” Who knows.

    So Keanu shows up and Connelly tells him that people can love and a cartoon menace like “The Nothing” from The Neverending Story shows up and starts eating crap. Yawn. A lot of people, including the people who made this remake, do not seem to even really get the original movie. So enough about this putrid turd of a remake. What do people typically get wrong about the original?

    A lot of people seem to think the original movie was about peaceful aliens disgusted with our backward ways telling us we have to change or else. Not so. They weren’t peaceful. What does Klaatu actually say at the end of the movie? He says that they too were like us before they invented Gort. There are countless Gorts where he comes from, and, if you commit a crime, a Gort instantly shows up and obliterates you–guaranteed. Thus, nobody commits crimes. For a punishment to be effective it must be feared and it must invariably follow the act being punished. What Klaatu actually says then is that capital punishment does work and that what they did to themselves they have now come to do to us–to use force to make us change, or else. Klaatu did not come to earth to see if we can “love” or “change.” He simply gave us an ultimatum enforced by technologically superior police action, threatening instant death if noncompliance resulted.

    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. I haven’t seen it on blu-ray but I did see it in Imax, after watching this I wondered, WOW, I could’ve just spent $17 on a blu-ray… but definitely NOT this in blu-ray. This movie has probably, the worst plot in movie-making history. Alien leader (Keanu Reeves) plays the roll of trash compactor for mankind, sent to “renew the Earth,” by punishing those (everyone) whose rolls have f-ed up the world and its resources. With his AMAZING performance in acting as showing his serious side.. his more serious side… and his ‘ok… now I’m being serious’ side, Keanu delivers a horrid performance as an actor, but an astonishing performance as an emotionless alien being.

    The plot of this movie was too show the pigheadedness of humans and how what they don’t understand they maliciously assault, as seen by the army.

    But, beyond that, there was really no plot, it was as if I were watching an hour documentary on, The Stupidity of Film – What Not To Do.

    This film was interesting but not as much as it was INTENSELY boring…
    Rating: 2 / 5

  5. In many ways, producing a successful remake of an earlier film–especially one widely regarded as a classic–poses a more daunting challenge than making the first one ever would have. The new version must not merely be well-made, as any film seeking respectability must. It must tell a story that is fundamentally the same as the original, but do so in a way that is markedly fresh, so different as to not resemble the original except for its core concept. Assembling a film that is largely a shot-for-shot, scene-by-scene retelling of the old movie is not so much a remake but a carbon copy. Nor is it enough to rely on new and improved special effects that were unavailable to the filmmakers of the previous picture to drive a screenplay that is largely inert. Without successfully advancing a new approach to the material and delivering a new message, such endeavors, in the estimation of this reviewer, are completely pointless.

    With that basic guideline in mind, a few remakes have been unqualified successes. The famous story of Count Dracula has been translated to the screen a number of times, the two best-known being the all-time classic “Dracula” of 1931 (directed by Tod Browning) and a fantastic (in every sense of the word) reinterpretation in 1992 with the ultra-stylish “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (Francis Ford Coppola). William Shakespeare’s immortal tale of two doomed lovers, “Romeo and Juliet,” has seen several screen versions that are completely different from each other, the two most successful arguably being the standard-setting 1968 version by Franco Zeffirelli (itself a remake, it was the first to use actors true to the age of the actual characters, on top of being attractively shot using techniques that were quite contemporary at the time) and Baz Luhrmann’s bold and flamboyant reimagining of the story in 1997 (keeping the language but setting the action in a surreal landscape that is not only super-modern but in some respects looks somewhat futuristic).

    But, it seems that for every successful remake of a great story, there are several that are at best, mediocre if not downright disastrous: “War of the Worlds,” “Psycho,” “The Time Machine,” “The Planet of the Apes,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Omen,” “The Shining.” Given the apparent difficulty in effectively revamping a story in film, it is, perhaps, fortunate that they’re not often made (though the same basic ideas keep recurring over time, but that’s another story).

    Yet, here we are, with another questionable revamp of a classic film. This time the dubious honor goes to “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” the classic science fiction tale from 1951 directed by Robert Wise, of a space alien named Klaatu who visits Earth to warn against mankind’s ongoing hostilities, which stand to impact peaceful planets elsewhere. It’s a problem that cannot be allowed to continue. The aliens, who long ago learned to maintain peace at home, would ensure that, so long as the human race is a threat to other planets, the very survival of people on their own planet would be jeopardized. In a small supporting gesture, the electricity that is so essential in driving life on Earth suddenly ceases to exist, and, although people remain alive, their way of life comes to a dead standstill throughout the globe.

    The original was made in the style of many B-movies of its era featuring the usual trappings: a flying saucer made of streamlined metal; a huge metal robot with a slit that opens to reveal a destructive beam of light; a mysterious alien; chase sequences; acting that is somewhat wooden. Despite the styles of the storyline and aesthetics, this film is considered more significant and relevant than such a status would imply, due to its call for harmony in a time shortly after the horrors of a real-life world war, a continuing cold war and threats of nuclear armageddon. Ironically, if had not become such a classic, it probably would not have been remade.

    Fortunately, this year’s version–directed by Scott Derrickson from a script by David Scarpa, which, in turn, was based on the 1951 screenplay by Edmund H. North–avoids the scene-by-scene carbon-copying I described earlier. Less fortunately, it adds little of interest to the story and fills that void in the movie with special effects that, despite the potential for the immense detail, flexibility and intrigue today’s computer technology promises, come off as rather cold and empty. There are more sequences of action and suspense, but they mostly involve repetitious pursuits of Klaatu by the government and a desperate bid to save mankind from destruction that seems overextended to fill a running time that, at eleven minutes longer than the original, remains quite short but feels like an eternity. It’s almost as if the world is being wiped out in real-time.

    The key plot points remain more or less the same. Alien spaceships descend, settling in across the globe, including one in New York’s Central Park. Unlike in 1951, the spaceships are not metal saucers but towering spheres of light. Also unlike the fifties version, the story is set chiefly, not Washington, DC, but in New York City, presumably because New York’s destruction is considered more exciting than that of the capital city. Klaatu (Keanu Reeves, forever remembered for his role in “The Matrix” franchise, playing the character in a much colder and more mechanical fashion than Michael Rennie did in the original), appears from within and soon finds himself injured by military gunfire. A robot with essentially the same appearance as in the original film, but with fewer seams and rising as tall as the average Manhattan skyscraper (and completely realized by CGI–the actor Lock Martin originally wore a robot suit to play the machine named Gort), uses its red beam of light to defend Klaatu, with predictably destructive results.

    The alien, having survived and escaped his government prison, soon finds himself eluding the authorities, traveling through desolate woods with Dr Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly, in an uninspired reprisal of the role Patricia Neal once played) and her stepson, Jacob (Jaden Smith, whose screen personality was utterly adorable when last seen in “The Pursuit of Happyness,” but which the filmmakers here seem to have gone out of their way to unnecessarily morph into one of the most obnoxious little brats in recent memory, unlike the inquisitive kid played in the original by Billy Gray). Meanwhile, the US secretary of state has taken charge to find Klaatu and prevent the destruction of her species.

    Madame Secretary is played by the talented Kathy Bates, the only major performer in the film with a clear reputation for fine, distinguished acting but here–like the other actors–given little to do that would make her character more interesting. Jon Hamm (star of the hit television series Mad Men) portrays a colleague of Benson who helps with the ordeal. John Cleese portrays Professor Barnhardt (originally played by Sam Jaffe), who Klaatu and the Bensons meet in an effort to arrange an assembly of world leaders who Klaatu can relay his message to, much as in the original film. Unlike the original, however, this sequence is rendered pointless by later developments.

    Despite Benson’s pleas to Klaatu to spare the human race–“Please…” Connelly cries, “We can change! We can change!”–Earth is attacked, and not just with electrical blackouts. How? By a dark, impregnable, ever-expanding duststorm composed of microscopic, roach-like, mechanical creatures that not only devour anything they touch (with an especially large appetite for metal, glass and, of course, flesh–particularly from within one’s body) but rapidly clone themselves as high-rise buildings and speeding semi-trucks disintegrate in their wake. I suppose this could be an assertion that roaches will be the last species left on Earth, but in some ways it seems anticlimactic. Ironically, the landscape seems oddly depopulated at the time, as if most people had already somehow evacuated on their own. Or perhaps they were eaten from the inside out so quickly that I never noticed.

    The film ends abruptly. So does the original, relatively speaking, but at least it leaves viewers satisfied. This one just leaves them cold.
    Rating: 1 / 5

Leave a reply

Login/Register access is temporary disabled