The Day the Earth Stood Still

I saw the remake(?) of the 1951 movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still” today.  I remember watching the original movie as a kid and the robot “GORT” The-Day-the-Earth-Stood-Still-757302.jpgscared the pee-wadding out of me similar to when the alien in the original War of the Worlds movie put its hand on that lady in the farmhouse.  Even though it was scary, I was hooked on the sci-fi genre in no small part due to GORT.  I just thought he was bad ass.  Just look at him at the picture on the right.  Que Hombre!!!

The reviews from the professionals haven’t been too kind to the new remake of the movie.  Actually, the two movies are very different from each other.  At a high level, the first one was a warning from the aliens that we shouldn’t be messing around with nuclear weapons as it would be humanities downfall.  This time around it was more about how we have goofed up the environment so bad, the aliens basically need to hit the reset button on the Earth.

The movie doesn’t have a lot of plot twists and is very predictable.  The plot is about as straight forward as it gets.  Still, it is a good story and seems pretty believable with the way humans have treated the Earth.

Keanu Reaves plays “Klaatu”.  He is the alien dude.  I use the word dude, because at any moment you get the feeling he is going to bust out with his “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” speak.  At the very least he will pull a Neo from the Matrix trilogy (Think “Whoa…..”).  I can see why they cast Keanu as Klaatu as he can play a dispassionate deadpan alien with little emotion quite well.  One scene shows a guy having a heart attack in a busy train station and while others quickly rush to the guys aid, Klaatu just munches down on a tuna salad sandwich he just stole from a nearby vending machine and watches the whole scene unfold in front of him without even batting an eye.  I won’t say how he arrived on Earth, but let’s just say his space suit is pretty nasty.

Kathy Bates plays the secretary of defense for the US.  She actually plays a pretty believable role and does what she is supposed to do and try to protect us from the perceived threat.

John Cleese has a brief but very well played role of an aging Nobel Laureate that Klaatu has a brief meet up with so that the alien can see we aren’t all wicked evil little beings and deserve a second chance.

Will Smith’s kid plays Jennifer Connelly’s stepson.  He is one annoying little brat and quite frankly couldn’t act for crap.  I guess it is good to have well known parents in the biz. 

Then there is Jennifer Connelly.  Ooooh, she is just soooo dreamy. My heart is all a flutter. That girl is just so beautiful; breathtakingly so actually.  I think she played a decent part, but honestly I don’t know as those eyes of hers kept my attention.   She played some sort of micro-biology scientist something-or-other who was very important.  Anyways, she was the central human character. 

The movie just seemed to never really get off of the ground.  It was like, eh, the aliens are here.  Mass riots spreading around the globe, people acting stupid, etc.  There were some pretty good special effects and I would have loved more time given to Klaatu’s protector robot GORT (I didn’t care for how they depicted how GORT was composed of nanorobots that looked like small gnats.  I don’t know, I just thought the nanobots would be a bit more different and “techie” looking.)  Actually, I think the whole movie would have been better if GORT just came to Earth and started kicking some butt holding Jennifer Connelly in a King Kong/Fay Wray sort of way.  That would have been pretty cool.  Alien robots and hot chicks sell tickets!

In the end, the movie could have been a bit better.  The product placement in the movie is just a little too in your face at times which is getting to be annoying at current movies in general.  Don’t go into it expecting it to be anything like the original because it isn’t.  It is a decent flick and if you like sci-fi (and Jennifer Connelly 😉 ), it is worth seeing it even though they didn’t even mention the famous catchphrase from the original movie “Klaatu barada nikto”.

 

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About bradymacdonald
Just a dood in the toobs.

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