The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
The Day The Earth Stood Still is one of the best new Sci-Fi movies I have seen in the last few years. The combination of solid special effects and a clear, to-the-point story led to a great experience that I anticipate owning on release. It is typical of me to come back to my home after a movie has gotten me excited, rushing to the PC and looking at the reviews by the Oscar tainted blowhards who hate everything. Needless to say they did not disappoint me. If you have followed my reviews and respect my view on films, I urge you to go out and watch this movie.
When you mix a bit of The Abyss, War of The Worlds and Independence Day into a blender then combine that with Keanu Reeves, you get a pretty solid movie. Knowing this was a remake of an older 1951 movie, I purposely avoided watching the original to judge the movie on it’s own merit. On it’s own it shone brighter than many movies of it’s genre and I am confident in recommending it to you. If you have a chance to see this in an IMAX theater, I will tell you that watching a 50 ft tall humanoid robot lay waste to it’s attackers in sharp IMAX detail is second to none. Combine that with the sound of missiles roaring past your head in full surround sound, and my friends you have yourself a great theater experience right there (the jackass kicking your seat not included). Do IMAX if you can, and do it larger than life.
Synopsis (Spoiler Alert):
Not the most original story to a Sci-Fi fanatic but it is done convincingly and without confusion to say the least. Sans the whiny child who eventually becomes tolerant near the end, I feel jaded being that this gem was viewed on the larger than life IMAX Experience. Quiet audience, three seats to myself (of course I stretched out) and a fellow Sci-Fi fan with me, I could never ask for a better experience. Keanu Reeves was his typical stoic self, but for the role of an alien, this part was perfect for him. Jaden Smith was a bit much, almost touching on too damn annoying, but did an excellent job at conveying the rebellious nature of Jacob Benson. Jennifer Conelly gets the gold on this one, having to do the most acting out of everyone as she rushed Klaatu all over the place and Kathy Bates was on point as she barked out orders and took the reins as the Secretary to the President. All in all aside from a few cheesy lines, solid performance from all involved.
There is an underlying theme to the movie, since everything is all about being “green” nowadays, it does scream hippie in terms of the message. We are killing mother earth, the US Government is all about war mongering and shooting anyone that is different. Our leaders go into hiding while launching nukes from a phone, etc., etc. If you cannot get past these typical sentiments, then you probably shouldn’t see the movie. Don’t be that asshole in the audience going on loudly about how it sucks because you’re such a patriot and the movie is shite compared to the original and become blind to the fact that you are being a total tool that the audience hates and wants to beat up (well maybe just me, I’ll beat you up)… don’t be that guy. Did I mention that the score, cinematography and sound gave me nerd pimples? Well they did.
For my Sci-Fi friends out there, this is a must-have for your collection. It is well paced, well acted and well edited. If you are a fan of the Director’s Cut of The Abyss, and if you felt War of The Worlds was decent but missing an ingredient, you will agree with me on The Day The Earth Stood Still. Be sure to see it.