The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:38 pm

The 3-disc DVD release also has the original '51 film version on the 3rd disc.
I've already seen that one... As for this new one...
I was prepared to be a bit disappointed and I was. This film script is another example of what seems to be a trend among most films these days: the story needed some more fine-tuning, some tightening and those involved just weren't able to do this or were unwilling. Case in point: the early interrogation scene with Klaatu (Keanu Reeves). This interrogation is conducted by a lone government man in a huge sealed room, with no one observing the procedure, so when Klaatu takes control of his interrogator, no one knows this. Sure, makes perfect sense: the most important interrogation in the history of the human race and no one even bothers to observe it. Ho-kay-y-y...

We never find out who shot Klaatu earlier, btw - just some anonymous soldier who always dreamed about shooting a visiting alien? I mean, check this out - such an action changes the course of human history in theory and the filmmakers are too lazy to even show the audience who fired the fateful shot. Later, the military begins their early attacks on the alien ship on what appears to be a whim; the early efforts fail, of course, and the commanding officer says "OK, anyone got any other bright ideas?" So, we're watching a comedy now?

The entire plot of the U.S. military vs. the alien force becomes hopelessly trivialized by this point and it doesn't get better; it's basically the whole 'gun-crazy-military-clods-about-to-ruin-it-for-all-of-us' plotline and clueless government officials (OK, the clueless government part I am buying into, considering the reality of the past couple of decades).
And don't get me started on the little kid character - one of the more annoying kids in movies I have ever seen; besides sabotaging his own foster mother, he's a pretty vicious little kid, to boot: during half the film, he's usually pressing for killing the alien off. "Just kill him! Kill him, he's an alien!" Yipes, just wait 'till he reaches his terrible teen years; we're all gonna be in real trouble then! Yes, he has issues over his father being killed in a bad war. Someone must pay, I suppose. Don't give him any pets to play with. Keanu wasn't as bad as I expected; he just wasn't able to suggest an alien in a human body - quite a bland performance, really. I usually like Jennifer Connelly - and I like her here; hey, I like intelligent, good-looking women - sue me.
There are some interesting concepts straining to be presented in a better manner, having to do with our self-destructive natures and the thesis that we only 'change' when at a precipice. But, it also seem that the more interesting scenes, such as with intelligent scientist John Cleese, are given short shrift while the more nonsensical scenarios are expanded on. This remake does spell out the method in which a mechanism like Gort would destroy a world - something hinted at in the original - and this is somewhat original. This isn't the worst sci-fi film I have ever seen, just not very inspiring, even ending abruptly, as if all involved suddenly ran out of steam. And, I'm not the most harsh critic of this film on the web; I just noted this sampling of comments on IMDb:
Worst Sci-fi movie ever
by ****k-2 (Wed Mar 4 2009 11:04:03)
Was this the worst ever? I think so. Plan 9 had charm compared to this.
Whadda yall think?
If I hadn't watched it on a plane, I would have asked for my money back. All it was, was a statement about how us humans are ruining the earth with pollution and violence. A public service message would have been more interesting and much cheaper to produce.
God awful
Despite the fact we were at 36,000 feet, I felt like walking out on this movie. Truly awful, go watch the orginal.

despite the fact I usually like these kinds of movies for showing something totally out of the ordinary, this just seemed pointless and annoying: there is no credibility in the actions of the "e-e-evil" humans. Why would they repeatedly go attacking something they obviously are no match for - even without having any hints that the invader was actually hostile! It was so utterly stupid from the first military actions onward.
Yeesh! I'm not quite so harsh, as I said, but I see their points. Again, it just seems some more thought should have been placed towards the motivations of the military and the government, so that they didn't come off looking like mentally-deficient comic-book characters. BoG's Score: 5 out of 10

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