Dec 11, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

From the director of such bargain bin bullshit as The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Hellraiser: Inferno (?!) comes a remake of one of humanity's favorite science fiction films - The Day the Earth Stood Still. Led by an all-star cast of Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, and (ugh) Jaden Pinkett-Smith, this film aims to recast the hectic environment of post-Cold War conflict to more modern times, although not having the balls to confront a certain topic.

To expect much from this film is your first mistake. As menacing and hardcore Gort looked in the trailer, it was inevitable to embrace the idea that the effects would be the only grand thing about the film. The special effects are gracefully majestic and groundbreaking, but the character acting is beyond horrendous. The film stood afloat, that is until Jaden Smith started trying to act. The film hits an all time low. Think of Dakota Fanning's role in War of the Worlds except add a bit of emancipation proclamation and that's the stench of humanity.

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't seen the original "masterpiece". My intentions of seeing it only stretch so far. I love my classics, but time is of the essence. When ever I get a Blu-Ray player, I'll have to check it out, but until then I will save my breath. "Klaatu Barada Nikto" mutters Dr. Bensen moments before Earth's destruction. We know this much. As I eagerly awaited this infamous line, the silence grew heavy with wisps and grinding noises. The cult phrase was nowhere to be found.

For a popcorn film, The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) manages on its own. It can be a tedious time in the theaters though. The decision to create an IMAX Experience of this motion picture has its pluses and cons. The film features intense scenes of action, CGI, and spectacular deterioration's, but the film tends to drone on Kathy Bates' character as geriatric and cross-eyed as she is. I have many complaints with this film but Keanu Reeves made me appreciate this film a lot more. I can't really recommend this film but I will acknowledge there's substance for some to enjoy. A surefire technical achievement, but not much else.



Unknown said...

I'm very interested in seeing this. The original is very good, especially Michael Rennie. BUt I've been on the fence on this... The trailers show all this action and stuff and I'm thinking how/where/when and why. It seems they changed a mighty bit of the story. Not to say remakes are bad, most are but every once in awhile there are a couple gems.

Sandra said...

oh man...i'm not into movies like this, but god damnit i'm soooo gonna watch watch the day the earth stood still. it looks awesome

PIPER said...

I enjoyed your "time is of the essence" line and might use it myself quite a bit since there are movies that I should see but still haven't for one reason or another.

Since my viewing is mostly limited to "what will my 10 year old enjoy" I will undoubtedly see this and hope for the best but will expect something worse than the end of the world.