Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Day the Earth Stood Still |
3-Disc Special Edition
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith, John Cleese
Director: Scott Derrickson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Genre: Action/Adventure Rating: PG13 Release Date: 7-APR-2009 Media Type: Blu-Ray
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Member Movie Reviews
Debby M. from BOWMAN, GA
Reviewed on 2/24/2010...
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
FX Do Not A Picture Make
Martin Asiner | Jersey City, NJ | 12/14/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There is a reason why the original DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) is a classic and the remake (2008) is not. The FX of 1951 were minimal, but the emphasis on plot, acting, allegory, and scripting combined (as they so rarely do) to produce a film that is watchable even after many viewings. Where Keanu Reeves sleepwalks through his role as Klaatu, Michael Rennie invests his with a riveting performance as a pseudo-human who slowly and naturally learns what it means to be human. Hugh Marlowe in the original is totally believable as the weasly love interest for Patricia Neal. Marlowe's sliminess paired off well with Rennie's saintliness. In the remake, there is no one, except perhaps in a collective sense, who can distract the audience long enough to see Reeves as anything more than a mobile pained automaton who is only slightly more interesting than Gort.
Rennie causes the earth to stand still in a manner that emhasizes his godlike powers. His assumed name of Carpenter further allies himself as one who must suffer, die, and be reborn himself so as to save humanity from itself. Reeves arrives on earth determined to exterminate human life as a prerequisite for maintaining it in its supposed pristine state. His argument that John Cleese artfully exposes that Klaatu's own race avoided self-immolation only after arriving at a precipitous tipping point is exposed as a sophomoric inability to connect one moral thread of one race to a similar thread of another.
In the original, director Robert Wise uses deliberately blurred camera angles to present Rennie as one whose true nature can be only slowly revealed. Recall Rennie's introduction when he arrives at the boarding house to seek a room. Compare that masterly hiding of face and form with Scott Derrickson's inability or unwillingness to show Reeves' face as no more than a perpetual scowl. Kathy Bates as the Secretary of State manages to invest her role with the film's only note of authenticity as she correctly notes the inevitable results that occur when a technologically advanced culture collides with a significantly less advanced one.
Unless the audience manages to care about the lead (it does with Rennie but not with Reeves), then the director has no place to go but with FX. And for the umpteenth time, the revised version of TDTESS proves that the lack of acting and scripting cannot elevate a film to the point that FX can salvage."
The Two Hours My Brain Stood Still
S. Stevenson | 12/14/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Okay. I really like sci-fi movies. Even some stupid ones that are just about the action and a shoot-em-up storyline. I also like some of the thinking-person sci-fi bits too though. Technically, I am the target audience for the Keanu Reeves / Jennifer Connelly film THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. I really wanted to like it too. I tried hard, but as the plot progressed, I found myself throwing my hands in the air and shouting, "Are you kidding me?" at the movie screen. I've always read about people who said that they got up and walked out during a movie, but I never actually knew what that felt like until I watched this film. But, knowing that I paid a hard-earned ten bucks to see it, I stayed through to the end, gritting my teeth and just telling myself that maybe -- maybe -- it would redeem itself. But no. It never did.
I will admit I knew next to nothing about the movie. All I did know was that the earth was being threatened, and that this was a remake of a 1950's sci-fi classic. But what I never expected was the way the director used this story as pure propaganda. The whole message of the movie centered around aliens coming to earth to try and save those life-forms (aka animals) who had not damaged the earth. The aliens decide that humans need to be wiped off the face of the planet -- allowing evolution to start its process all over again -- because humans have senselessly been destroying the planet.
The government is portrayed as trigger-happy idiots who just want to blow things up -- no matter the cost. Kathy Bates is literally a dressed up "hand of military vengeance." Even when she tries to argue with the unseen president, who is obviously supposed to be George W. Bush, the president tells her to have the military blow everything up -- the alien, his space craft, even the ark meant to save humanity.
Then there is the insanely annoying little step-son of Dr. Benson (Connelly). The film makers tried to make his emotional battle over the loss of his father really tug at the audience, but all it did was drive me crazy. Mainly because the boy pretty much hated his step-mom -- but not in a "tortured by the loss of my father" way -- just an annoying "I don't want to listen to you" way. One minute the kid was crying his eyes out over his dead father (killed in the Iraqi war -- propaganda anyone?) to happily slashing baddies on World of Warcraft.
And that's the other thing. This is one of the heaviest product placement movies I have seen in forever. I couldn't even begin to count the amount of logos that were shown for a few seconds just to show the logo. It's one thing if the characters are using the items or products within the context of their world, but this film showed just senseless amounts of products -- everything from Apple to Honda to McDonald's to Coke and the list goes on and on.
I felt like throwing up at the end of the movie after Dr. Benson tells Klaatu (Reeves) that he has to stop the destruction of the earth the aliens have planned. She tells him repeatedly, "We can change. We can change!" Never does she say what this change would look like or how it would work or what it even is. He blindly trusts her and stops the destruction of the people. And then -- the horrible montage begins where the aliens shut down all electricity and literally people are shown slightly smiling as they open the blinds to their windows to let the sunlight come in. The worst doesn't happen however until a shot is shown of an oil drill stopping and standing desolate in a wasteland. "For real?" was all I could mutter by that time.
** End Spoiler Alert**
I really like both Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly as actors. They usually do a somewhat decent job in the roles given to them. But what made them want to jump in on this flop baffles me. I really actually feel bad for both of them for getting dealt such horrible roles in such an awful movie.
The only thing I will say that was slightly all right was the cinematography was decent. Not amazing, but decent. There were some interesting shots and sets, but that's about the only good thing I can say about THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.
I really don't mind it when a movie wants to get a message across. I really don't. I don't mind dramatic situations with family issues. I love sci-fi movies. But when the propaganda is so horrible that it's beating you across the head every five seconds with how just obvious it is -- I can't stand that. I'd rather let the art do it's thing and show it to me much more subtlely -- the best messages always seem to go down that way when it comes to art. But this? This was outright shove-it-down-my-throat--let's-nuke-some-people-and-save-the-earth-even-though-after-the-aliens-are-through-with-us-then-everything-will-be-dead nonsense.
In the end, all I can say is, "Curse the day I ever thought I would enjoy something so brainless as this.""
Uneven, preachy, and way too much "cute kid"
Thucydides 1 | USA | 04/11/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I've been beaten to the punch by a lot of really fine, insightful reviews. I'll only add that, like so many movies we seem to see today, this is one that could have been so much better.
It is poorly paced, and miserably directed, with such an imbalance of emphasis between Klaatu's heavy-hearted, planet-wide mission, and the irritating, recurrent focus on the "cute kid" character (Jaden Smith) who becomes as welcome in the story as an insect at a picnic.
Jennifer Connelly is wholly unbelievable as a "world class" super-scientist, but at least the director resisted the temptation to create some smarmy love-affair concoction between she and Klaatu. Given how uninteresting the rest of the story was, I was afraid that he might resort to such a technique to breathe life into this otherwise prosaic rendering of the original science fiction classic.
The special effects... well, yes, they were good. It's 2009. The special effects always ought to be good. But as we've all known for a long time, good special effects do not necessarily make a good movie.