T Nation

The Day The Earth Stood Still: Thoughts


#1


First, a preface.

Many of you know that I'm a movie fanatic, and am even crazier about Sci-Fi/Fantasy. So I will rarely, if ever, call a Sci-Fi pic "bad".

More often than not, I will either call it "great" or "frustrating" (a little more on that later).

Well..."The Day the Earth Stood Still" was "frustrating" (much like the remake of "War of the Worlds" with Tom Cruise).

What makes a Sci-Fi pic "frustrating" to me is when you have a story like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (and "War"); put together a great cast; hire some of the best directors, Special Effect Minds, Writers, etc...

And you don't take the Film in directions that could have made it amazing.

Keannu Reeves was a brilliant casting move, and he played Klattu with a cold, but compassionate, precision.

The rest of the cast was good also...

The screenplay was great for about the first hour...then it just died...

Now some have criticized "The Day..." as being too "preachy" with its environmental message; but remember that the 1951 original was ALSO "preachy" about the World's ever expanding militarism...at a time when that could have you put on a "Hollywood Blacklist".

You simply can't take a Story about a consortium of Planets with a fleet of "Robot Police" that protect the universe and it races from themselves...and never even talk, show, or delve into them at LEAST a little bit.

If "Star Trek" can give us deep glimpses into the lives of a race; or weave a complex and compelling story within the confines of a 1 hour TV show...its not unreasonable to expect AT LEAST this from a Big Screen Movie.

So:

Buy or rent the 1951 original...

TIVO the 2008 remake (maybe) when it comes on cable or sattelite...

Go see "Four Christmases" with Reese and Vince instead...

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" ... is just too...well... "frustrating"...

Mufasa


#2

very good post.


#3

If you've just recomended 'Four Christmas' as a better way to spend my movie viewing time then the remake must be terrible.


#4

Isn't that how the plays all his roles?


#5

I'm looking forward to seeing the Spirit even though it doesn't get great reviews.


#6

It was one of those movies which is so bad that I can't take it seriously on any level, and give up on finding flaws in it. It'd be harder to list the things that went right in the movie. I did find the film's portrayal of America mildly humorous, though.

Oh yeah, did anyone else wanna whoop that little brat into line?


#7

I saw it this weekend and liked it, but I have very low standards for movies.


#8

************SPOILER******************

Who thought the end of the world scenario was a major cop-out? I was waiting to see a giant robot stomping about Manhattan, but instead I got the Grey Goo Theory. Did they learn nothing from Craptastic 4: The Rise of the Silver Wanker? People don't want to see binge eating clouds, we want giant killer robots.

Another thing, children need to be bitch slapped in movies more often.

************END SPOILER***********************


#9

DAMNIT BUJO!

I was gonna watch that movie tonight.


#10

LOL!

A little light Christmas fare is good for the Soul, Sands!

Mufasa


#11

It's all good, Christine!

The real problem for the Sci-Fi Fan is that the standards have been raised so HIGH, especially with the screenplay.

An episode of "Terminator; The Sarah Connor Chronicles" can sometimes have you cursing the end of the episode.

That's what a "Big Screen" screenplay has to contend with.

Many just don't measure up.

Mufasa


#12

Good point!

Seriously; K. Reeves delivery fit perfectly as an Alien uncomfortable with his human shell and whom became conflicted about his overall Mission at the end.

Mufasa


#13

There aren't that many really good sci fi shows for the standard to be raised that high. Most of the current ideas...are just revamped OLD ideas, like Battlestar Gallactica and the Sarah Connor Chronicles. X-Files was about as unique as we've seen...or will see for quite a while.

I haven't seen this movie, but I am one of those who thinks people are just spoiled lately.

You sort of have to expect to deal with several "ok" attempts before you get an Iron Man or a Dark Knight.


#14

I've been enjoying Fringe as far as a sci fi show. At first I found the characters sort of annoying, but they grew on me.

You can watch the first 10 episodes on Hulu.com.


#15

*******************Contains more SPOILERS***********************

The problem is that we have Iron Man and the Dark Knight, we have dozens of really great films all setting or raising the standards of what great films should be, and they are all easily accessible. It shouldn't be that hard to learn from past masterpieces and past mistakes. Making Galactus a minor character in a movie was a mistake. Making Gort a minor character is a repetition of the same mistake.

If a child is going to be the key to changing the outcome of the plot then the audience should love the child. They shouldn't want to drop the lil bastard off the side of a bridge. The whole point of the movie is to convince and alien being that humanity is worth saving, but there was only one or two characters in the whole movie that I even liked (the old Nobel Prize winner and the Captain carrying out the experiments on GORT), let alone would have saved. Throughout the movie they keep talking about how great humanity is, they just never bother to show it in the film. On top of all that the special effects just make the movie look like any other generic alien invasion/disaster flick. I think those are the major criticisms.

****************Done Ranting. No More SPOILERS******************


#16

I hate you, Bujo. You ruined my entire Wednesday.


#17

Fringe is one of the few tv shows that i do watch. It's different from most stuff out.


#18

My brother saw it last night, he wanted me to join him, but I didn't want to see it. He came home disappointed!


#19

[quote]Bujo wrote:
************SPOILER******************

People don't want to see binge eating clouds, we want giant killer robots.

You nailed it-metallic end of the world locusts -lame.

Wanted to see see agitated robot wreaking havoc.

In attempts to make a movie for everyone producers give us

human interest stories. Just as in War Of The Worlds I

felt side tracked with the annoying family members.

I expect to see weak movies -I see them all the time.

With the remakes of classics I have high expectations.


#20

I'm not going to ever see TDTESS, but I can tell you during War of the Worlds I was rooting for the aliens to kill the annoying family.