||The Day the Earth Stood Still
Movie Details: View Here
Commentary by Screenwriter David Scarpa
Re-imagining The Day Documentary
Unleashing Gort Featurette
Watching the Skies: In Search of Extraterrestrial Life Featurette
The Day the Earth Was "Green" Featurette
Still Galleries (Concept Art, Storyboards, Production Photos)
Digital Copy of The Day The Earth Stood Still for Portable Media Players
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
Spanish: Dolby Digital Surround
French: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Run Time: 2147483647 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
Epic action and mind-blowing effects rock the planet in this thrilling reinvention of the sci-fi classic, The Day The Earth Stood Still. Keanu Reeves portrays Klaatu, an otherworldly being whose arrival on Earth triggers an unstoppable series of events that threaten all of mankind. In a desperate attempt to save humanity, governments and scientists race to unravel the mystery behind the visitor's appearance. When a woman (Jennifer Connelly) and her young stepson find themselves embroiled in the alien's plan, they become the world's only hope to stave off apocalyptic annihilation.
Remakes are almost always plagued with flaws, and this Keanu clunker is no exception. To be fair, this remake of the 1951 science fiction classic has a lot to live up to, and the whole sci-fi genre hasn't really done well in the past years, with a few notable exceptions that were NOT remakes. This film lacks when it comes to developing any character depth and has a storyline that seems to try, but fails to leave its mark by adding anything new. Director Scott Derrickson attempts to re-do a film that has withstood the test of time, but comes up short, storyline-wise. In the end, it all kind of leaves you wanting the world to be destroyed.
Basically, there's an alien race coming to say that OUR race is about to be destroyed due to Earth reaching a critical point where the only foreseeable solution is that humans must be eradicated to save the planet. We meet a widowed microbiologist named Dr. Benson (Jennifer Connelly) who is called in by the government for her expertise on an object that's on a collision course with earth, her son Jacob (Jaden Smith), and an alien that looks like Keanu Reeves named Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) who claims to have come to save the planet. Klaatu meets up with the Bensons, and Dr. Benson attempts to convince him to give humanity a chance to change their destructive ways.
If anything, Reeves being cast in this role isn't really such a bad idea, since he kind of lacks a few key human elements anyway. Kathy Bates as the Secretary of Defense and John Cleese as a retired math professor, though their screen time is minimal, are also noteworthy. Jennifer Connelly should also be given credit for a performance that, though it's a lead, feels unfinished somehow, quite possibly because the writing seems so superficial for most of the film. Derrickson, who up until now has done mostly horror films - most notably the very scary "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" - has proven he's a competent director, but his efforts here lack any originality. Maybe one problem is that he tries to keep the aliens' intentions somewhat mysterious, and trying this with a remake can be tricky, if not impossible. Even the CGI is mediocre; it's well done in some areas, but fails to keep your interest in the movie as a whole (for example, the spheres were nicely done, but get boring in their repeated usage). The film starts off OK, and there are some nice scenes (like Reeves at the chalkboard), but it all loses steam near the middle and, by the time it finally ends, it seems to have been going on for much too long. Balance is seriously lacking, and though it had a few ideas worth exploring, there was no real focus after the first forty minutes.
As for Special Features, they're not bad in the three-disc Special Edition, but it doesn't make the movie any better. There's an Audio Commentary by Writer David Scarpa that redeems the movie just a bit because he actually sounds interested. The two featurettes are decent, if not all that exciting: "Watching The Skies: In Search Of Extraterrestrial Life" and "The Day The Earth Was 'Green'." Filling out the Extras section are Still Galleries, Concept Art, Storyboards, and Production Photos-all very cool items if the movie was better. Also included is a Digital Copy.
Overall the film is worth a watch if you just really need to catch up on your big blockbusters, but compared to the original, stands a few (read: many, many, many) notches below. Watch the original instead, actually, and find out why it's considered a classic 58 years after its release.