syfyreview - syfy movies and series Review - syfy,movies,science,film,tv,fiction,series

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Day Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 2008 science fiction film, a remake of the 1951 film of the same name. Directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, the film updates Cold War themes like nuclear warfare to the more contemporary issue of global warming. It was released on a rollout schedule beginning December 10, 2008, screening in both conventional theaters and IMAX screens by December 19.

Set at a Catholic school in the Bronx, it centers on a nun who grows suspicious when a priest begins taking too much interest in the life of a young black student. Is she being overly protective or not protective enough? And can she work within the system to discover the truth? Written by Sherman (courtesy of

This remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic by Robert Wise stars Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, an alien who comes to earth to warn the planet's leaders about an impending global crisis. However, the government's response is to shoot on sight, injuring Klaatu and triggering the destructive impulses of his giant robot protector.

While being interrogated by the Secretary of Defense (Kathy Bates), Klaatu bonds with sensitive doctor Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly), who eventually helps him to escape. Accompanied by her estranged stepson Jacob (Jaden Smith), Helen has to stay one step ahead of the authorities, while attempting to convince Klaatu that mankind is worth saving.

* Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, an alien messenger in human form. Reeves dislikes remakes, but was impressed. 
Reeves is perfectly cast as Klaatu, brilliantly underplaying it rather than going down the Kevin Spacey in K-PAX route – as a result, he's genuinely chilling in places, especially during the interrogation scenes. Connelly is as excellent as always and there's strong support from Bates, while Smith does a good job of making Jacob both sympathetic and obnoxious at the same time.

In addition, the production design is extremely impressive – the first glimpse of the robot is thrilling and the sequence involving Klaatu's birth is both creepy and intriguing.

However, in deviating from the plot of the 1951 film, director Scott Derrickson has lost sight of all the elements that made the original a classic in the first place, the biggest casualty of which is the much-loved line "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!" It would spoil too much to go into detail but suffice it to say that the film collapses under the weight of dodgy CGI and a badly written, poorly conceived final act.

Astronomer Seth Shostak served as scientific consultant on the film, reviewing the script several times for errors, and gave suggestions for making the scientists less dry. "Real scientists don't describe an object entering the solar system as 'notable for the fact that it was not moving in an asteroidal ellipse, but moving at nearly three times ten to the seventh meters per second'. More likely, they would say that there was 'a goddamned rock headed our way!'" He also noted the scientists should refer to one another by a first name basis.

Filming took place from December 12, 2007 to March 19, 2008 at Vancouver Film Studios. The film was originally scheduled for release on May 9, 2008, but it was delayed to December 12, 2008 because filming commenced later than scheduled.The shoot was unaffected by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike;by then Scarpa had written forty drafts of the script.The film was mostly shot on sets because it was winter in Vancouver.

As Fox had a mandate to become a carbon neutral company by 2011, The Day the Earth Stood Still's production had an environmentally friendly regimen. "Whether it was because of this movie thematically or it was an accident of time, there were certain things production-wise we've been doing and been asked to do and so on," said Erwin Stoff.To prevent the wasting of paper, concept art, location stills and costume tests were posted on a website created by the production for crew members to look up. Costumes were kept for future Fox productions or given to homeless shelters, rather than thrown away. Hybrid vehicles were used and crew members had to turn off their car engines if they sat in their vehicles for more than three minutes.

Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Produced by: Erwin Stoff, Paul Harris Boardman
Written by: David Scarpa
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith
Release date: December 12, 2008
Running time: 104 min

The Day The Earth Stood Still is very much a film of two halves – the first 40 minutes are genuinely thrilling, but it goes completely off the rails in the final act and the result is a disappointing mess. Buy the original instead.

for more see

No comments:

Post a Comment