The Day the Earth Stood Still 3-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Starring Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith, John Cleese
Fox Home Entertainment
Release date: April 7, 2009
Of all the science fiction films made in the 1950s, I have three favorites: Them!, Forbidden Planet, and The Day The Earth Stood Still. Each was seminal in its way, showing the movie-going public more of what the genre was capable. Forbidden Planet had astounding special effects, an all-electronic score, and a plot taken from Shakespeare. Them! carried both an ecological message and provided genuine suspense. The Day The Earth Stood Still was a brave message film, dealing with anti-Communist paranoia and questions of nuclear disarmament. Without these films, there would have been no Star Trek, no Star Wars, no Alien.
I therefore viewed the 2008 re-make of The Day The Earth Stood Still with some… hesitation. True, the film has a fine cast in Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, and Kathy Bates. With all the problems that have moved to the forefront of our minds in the last 10 years (terrorism, global warming, and warrant-less wire tapping), there is also a lot fertile ground for an update. Yet, this is Hollywood we’re talking about. The summer tent pole movie is much more about effects than plot and commentary. I think that Hollywood can blend both types of elements very effectively (see: The Dark Knight), but those movies are rare… just like the original version of The Day The Earth Stood Still was a rare film in its day.
I finally got out to see The Day The Earth Stood Still remake, starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly. I made sure to see it in IMAX because from what I could tell from the preview footage, the special effects are amazing and would definitely be heightened by the IMAX experience.
I’m a big fan of the original 1951 film by director Robert Wise and not so keen on remakes, which is why I wasn’t running out to see this movie when it was released in early December. The story centers on Klaatu, an alien who comes to Earth wanting to speak to its leaders about their destructive behavior. In the original, made during the Cold War, Klaatu warns that unless the human race ceases its warmongering, they will be destroyed. In the remake, Klaatu also threatens the extinction of the human race, but because humanity has been deemed a threat to the Earth itself.
As far as the special effects and aesthetics go, this film from director Scott Derrickson does not disappoint. Klaatu’s glowing spherical spaceship landing in Central Park is such a sight to behold that I’m willing to let it go that people — including a woman with a baby stroller! — are just standing there watching it land … and then have to run for the damn lives.
But how does the film hold up beyond the special effects? Well, like I mentioned, I don’t really go for remakes, but I do understand the need to “update” storylines for modern audiences when a remake is done. So, the whole environmental aspect of it was expected. To be honest, the story really captured my attention, because I thought it was going in a certain direction, which it turned out NOT to be going in. About two-thirds of the way in, I thought, “Wow, they’re really pulling this off,” then we got to the end. WTF? In my opinion, it totally ruined the movie.
With that, here’s 13 moments from The Day The Earth Stood Still remake that made me say “What The Fuck?”
The Day the Earth Stood Still Blu-ray Edition (1951)
Directed by Robert Wise
Starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Lock Martin, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray
Fox Home Entertainment
Release date: December 2, 2008
While it may not have the walloping humor of Dr. Strangelove or the technicality of 2001, The Day the Earth Stood Still is every bit as interested about atomic bombs, violence, and our galaxies infinite amount of possibilities. The movie is one of science fiction’s only films, certainly one of its great ones, that conceals a Biblical meaning of such heightened velocity. 2001 dealt with every nuance that life itself had to offer to the universe, where as The Day The Earth Stood Still deals with the coming of a life form from a distant planet and what he has to offer us. Here is an almost accurate testimony that mirrors what the Biblical book of the future — the book of Revelation — has in store for the entire world.
Robert Wise directed the movie and had guts to go after every single nation on planet Earth as he did it. Making the movie during the height of the Cold War in 1951 and with all the paranoia surrounding McCarthyism, Wise goes the cold route by not siding with any country. He makes planet Earth look like the extraterrestrials, and singles the planet out as being deaf, dumb, and blind. It’s one of the rare science fiction films that sympathizes with the visitors from the other planet rather than with the humans.
Here at Geeks of Doom we know how hard it can be to wade through those frenzied crowds at the department stores during the holidays. We also know that Christmas time is a time where, let’s face it, we’re all spending tons of money on our friends, family, and colleagues. That’s why every day, we post about great sales on DVDs, music, video games, and more to help our readers save a buck, especially during this bank-breaking season.
Hopefully, our daily Deal posts have already helped all of you get most of your holiday shopping done, but for those of you who still are on the lookout for great gift ideas, we Geeks compiled some of our favorite items to help you finish up your last-minute gift-buying. If you plan to buy these items online, we’ve also included the shipping deadlines to ensure that you get your stuff on or before Christmas Eve.
Check out our handy Geek Holiday Gift Guide ’08 below for all the coolest items this season has to offer in DVDs, music, books, comic books, video games, collectibles, electronics, and more.
The Day the Earth Stood Still 2008
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Starring Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm
Release date: December 12, 2008
The latest classic film to get the remake treatment is Robert Wise’s 1951 science fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. As much as this may seem like a bad idea, the original’s central idea — an extraterrestrial in human form landing on Earth not wanting to invade and enslave us, but rather help us achieve a new level of enlightenment at the risk of our complete annihilation — has for a long time been ripe for an updated perspective. Wise’s original was released several years after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in the final days of World War II and anti-Communist paranoia was on the rise as the Soviet Union was coming to the forefront as a world superpower. Several large nations had access to the most dangerous and destructive weapons ever created by man and as it is these days there was always the nagging fear that the leaders of those nations who had no idea of the scope of the power they held in their hands would be willing to wage a devastating nuclear war to maintain their global supremacy.