Movie Reviews: The Day The Earth Stood Still




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     20th Century Fox
     An alien arrives on Earth to stop mankind from destroying the planet.
     Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, Kathy Bates
Bottom Line:

Laurence Washington

If you’re a fan of the original 1951 classic “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” you will cry “Sacrilege!” after viewing the new (and certainly not improved) version.

The original film was a thinking man’s sci-fi flick about an alien named Klaatu, who visits Earth with his 8 foot robot Gort, to deliver a simple message: “If you bring your nuclear aggression into outer space, we’ll reduce you planet to a burned out cinder.”

Fair enough.

Flexing a little muscle, Klaatu uses alien technology to shut down every machine on Earth for one hour, with the exception of flying aircraft and hospitals. Thus the title, “The Day The Earth Stood Still.”

Enter the 2008 over blown, over-the-top special-effects farce that distracts from the fact that there’s little semblance of the original plot and nothing stands still. There are plenty of explosions, chases and Gort is now 28 ft. tall and a major disappointment from the original Gort.

This time, Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) sets out to collect Earth’s animals and place them into a sphere-shaped ark, so that his planet can wipeout humans who they claim are  hurting the planet through industrialization. When mankind has been exterminated (by micro-size metal eating beetles) the animals will be returned to Earth.

As in the original film, Klaatu is shot by a trigger-happy soldier seconds after his space ship lands.  Klaatu is immediately rushed to a secret hospital where he escapes after being interrogated by doctors and undisclosed federal agents. Kaatu is befriended by an astrobiologist (Jennifer Connelly) and her stepson (Jaden Smith) who make him realize humans are worth saving. Too bad nobody bothered to ask the all-knowing aliens if this script was worth saving.



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