Friday, December 12, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Genre - Science Fiction
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
Cast Includes:
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

Plot Summary:
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:



Andrew Simon said...

Glad you enjoyed the flick, mate. I was the only person in my party who liked it, funnily enough. Also, the infamous phrase "Klaatu barada nikto" is actually uttered by Gort when he extends his hand towards a wounded Klaatu, it's just really hard to decipher because of people yelling and all that jazz.

I liked Keanu as Klaatu. Sure, not much acting went into the role (kinda channeled his Neo persona), but Keanu still kicked ass. And Jennifer Connolly - marry me, please!

I warn you now - "2012" is by Roland Emmerich, the genius who ruined the name 'Godzilla' in the US and offered the shit-pile that is "10,000 B.C." So, proceed with caution.

Smirking Revenge said...

I have been debating whether I want to brave the snow to go and see it this afternoon. Expectations are fairly low as movies of late have been a bit disappointing for me minus a handful. But this looks interesting and I dig Keanu and Jennifer Connolly. Hope you are well.

sistermoon65 said...

OMG...I just talk to Jack last night about this movie and he is sooooo going to give you heck....
I really want to see this, mainly because I'm not a purist. I just like good entertainment. What really turns me off is Keanu Reeves. I just find him to be a pretty bad actor.
The special effects do look awesome though....
And 2012...first I've heard, but I'm intrigued....
Just got back onto Netflix and am currently watching Wanted....

thebonebreaker said...


I can't believe I missed the phrase!! Thanks for letting me know that it was in there!
[I think what happened was that I received a text, from a friend who didn't know I was in a movie - I keep my phone on vibrate, do not worry, but I always glance, to make sure it's not my wife - it was right around that time too]

Yeah, I have always liked Connelly, ever since I 1st saw her in the Labyrinth :-)

As for 2012, I read about it being the end of the Mayan Calendar, etc - I didn't research the movie too much. As for Emmerich being involved, that's fine - while I agree about Godzilla, I liked Stargate and The Patriot, and Independence Day & 10,000 BC weren't all that bad. . .

Thanks again for the comment Andrew!


thebonebreaker said...


Brave the snow. . . [I did!] :-)

As for being well, all is well on my end - hope it is on yours as well.


thebonebreaker said...


I am surprised that I haven't heard from Jack already...
[he is actually the one who texted me]

As for Keanu, c'mon - he rocks! [literally ~ Wyld Stallions!!!] :-)


the sneering (homo-phobic) snob said...

what i want to know is when are they finally going to do a remake of "forbidden planet", still arguably the greatest science fiction movie of all time.

thebonebreaker said...


I believe your wish will come true in 2010. . .