Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 103 minutes
Rated PG-13 (for sci-fi violence and disastrous imagery)
Directed by Scott Derrickson (who also directed Hellraiser 5: Inferno and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I am very curious about his next project, titled Paradise Lost, as it is about Lucifer's fall from Heaven and Adam & Eve!)
Written by David Scarpa (who also wrote The Last Castle)
*based on the 1951 screenplay written by Edmund H. North
Keanu Reeves (Ted "Theodore" Logan from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey! :-) and of course Neo from The Matrix Trilogy. He is also in Point Break, The Devil's Advocate, etc)
Jennifer Connelly (Labyrinth, The Rocketeer, Dark City, Ang Lee's Hulk, etc)
Jaden Smith (Son of Will Smith - he was also in The Pursuit of Happyness)
Kathy Bates (Misery, Fried Green Tomatoes, Dolores Claiborne, Failure to Launch, etc)
John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) also has a meaningful appearance in the film
Rating: 4 Skulls
A re-make of the classic 1951 sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visits Earth.
Where do I begin with this one?
I am not a huge fan of re-makes, and I feel that the majority of re-makes chosen are pretty pointless. [Have you heard that Hollywood has just given fifty-five re-makes the green light?!? FIFTY-FIVE! I mean, c'mon - originality has its place guys!] If a re-make is going to be made, I have no problem with re-making a film that didn't necessarily have a budget at the time, or a perhaps unknown film, but a Classic?!?
However, every now and then a re-make works [I'm thinking of John Carpenter's The Thing here] and I feel that, in this case, this one worked as well. [oh man, I can feel the ire of the purists now - I'm thinking of you Jack!]
After the disastrous re-make [in my opinion] of War of the Worlds, in 2005, I was a little leery when I first found out about this film - though when I saw the 1st trailer, a few months ago, I began to get excited, and I am happy to report that I was not disappointed [necessarily]
I saw the original of this film, for the first time, only about ten or so years ago, and have maybe only seen it one other time since then. I was tempted to watch it again, before watching this one, but I decided against it. [If I am going to watch a re-make, I generally look forward to seeing the director's vision/spin on the story without comparing it to the original - even though that is sometimes hard to do]
One of the things that I loved about the original was the fact that it started off things right away - no build up needed! As for the re-make - to me, it had a pointless beginning [that took place in 1928]
I still do not understand the point of that beginning. However, once it jumped to the present, with the massive mobilization of military personnel, scientists, etc I was psyched!
Where the original was more political, and had to do with nuclear weapons and our nature as a violent race [which this one touched on as well] this one was geared more to our mistreating nature and our environment [which I liked better]
Things that I loved about this movie:
#1) Gort [the robot] I believe it stands for Gentically Organized Robotic Technology[?]
In the original, Gort was played by an actor who was literally some seven feet tall.
In this one [obviously, CGI - though great CGI] he is twenty some feet tall! [I could not find a picture]
#2) The spaceship, which was some sort of biological sphere [see below]
#3) I thought that Keanu Reeves was fantastic as Klaatu! I'm not sure what it was - some sort of 'twitchiness' about him or something - you could just tell that he wasn't human, which I loved!
There were several other things which I loved, such as the purpose of the mini-spheres, Klaatu's arrival [you'll see what I mean] and others things that I cannot say, as they would be spoilers.What I didn't like about the film - and this one is a biggee [though perhaps a bit nitpicky] is that the classic line, Klaatu barada nikto, was never uttered! :-(
I also felt that the film's biggest flaw was the ending - letting us survive - Klaatu was way too quick to change his mind - unfortunately, I do not believe that we will ever change. . .
Here's the Trailer:
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go Google something called 2012
Remember last year, when Transformers came out, and we all saw a trailer for J. J. Abrams "Untitled Project" [which turned out to be Cloverfield]
Well, there was a trailer for 2012, which asked the question how would our world governments prepare 6 billion people for the end of the world? To which they replied, They wouldn't.
[meanwhile a giant flood was covering the earth, splashing between mountains - it looked awesome! :-)
Here's the Teaser Trailer: