The Day the Earth Stood Still

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:43 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Day the Earth Stood Still
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Kathy Bates
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: 2008
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them to be afraid of aliens. You know what, maybe they should go?
Date Movie: She will probably be bored and wonder why you took her to see this non-Christmas movie at Christmas-time.
Gratuitous Sex: Jennifer Connelly getting naked would have definitely helped.
Gratuitous Violence: The alien(s) are here to destroy us, so, yes, but not really in a “blaster” kind of way.
Action: There is some running away from the government forces who can’t seem to locate a hybrid car in the middle of nowhere.
Laughs: All of the product placement.
Memorable Scene: I liked Gort.
Memorable Quote: I really hoped for some nudity/sex with “Change his mind, not with reason, but with yourself.” Ba-chicky-ba-baaa! Sadly, none.
Directed By: Scott Derrickson

What did I learn from the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still?” Was it that we should learn to love each other? No. Was it that we should respect the planet we’ve got? No. Was it that I really miss Keanu Reeves as Ted Theodore Logan? Well, okay, I do miss Keanu as Ted. But, simply put, I learned that if aliens show up, well, we’re screwed. Actually, it doesn’t even need to be a lot of aliens, just one alien named Klaatu with his giant metallic friend, Gort, and guess what, the human race is toast. We will be no match for the alien to heal himself after being haphazardly shot; Our Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Boy Scouts will be no match for the giant “Cylon” bad-ass (for those of you who aren’t into “Battlestar Galactica,” the Cylon reference is simply that Gort is metallic, with one red “eye”), who is able to zap and disable every weapon we’ve got; and all we can hope is that Klaatu is a sucker for a mom being a step-mom and a kid being a step-kid and the two of them finally realizing they need each other. And, oh yea, a Professor acting like John Cleese.

In other words, pretty much we’re screwed. And, oh yea, there’s nothing like blatant product placement to screw up a movie.

Now as far as the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” I will go on record saying that I have not seen the 1951 original where it was the cold war bringing the aliens to destroy us, but for this 2008 remake, oh, to be topical, let’s make it about how we humans are destroying Earth with all of our anti-environmental ways (only one of a few planets capable of sustaining life in the universe, and therefore a valuable treasure in the alien world). It seems that in the 1920’s the aliens sent a spy to Earth to see how we were doing, but when Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) comes to visit in 2008, complete with his destructive friend, Gort, Klaatu meets his spy, Mr. Wu (James Hong), and Mr. Wu pretty much says we suck and deserve to die. Meanwhile, Klaatu has been befriended by Helen (Jennifer Connelly), who somehow is able to keep him safe from the government people hell-bent on destroying him, and Helen is having her own problems, trying to get her step-son, Jacob (Jaden Smith), to treat her like a mom.

You know, I could go into the entire “Giant orb crashes to Earth, we shoot the alien who seems to just want to save us at first, we try to torture the alien, nice girl helps alien get away, government hunts down alien, Gort monster shoots down a lot of things, Gort gets captured, Gort has a thing for diamond drill bits, Earth’s destruction has begun, alien realizes thanks to Helen, Jacob, and Professor Barnhardt (John Cleese), that maybe we can change, and yay, the Earth stands still for a bit, we are saved, but there is a huge mess of metallic bugs to now be cleaned up” synopsis, but really, why go into it a lot more because as much as there sort of seemed to be potential for this to be a decent movie with a feel-good message, I didn’t really like Keanu Reeves’ “I know your language but can only speak in brief sentences and will let three people decide the fate of the human race” performance, Jacob was good in his role as the step-kid who doesn’t respect his step-mom until a sentimental scene pulls them together, which would really fit in a different movie, and the only role I did like, complete with a great explanation of why the aliens should let us live, was delivered by John Cleese, explaining to Klaatu how we, as a society, change.

That, and oh yea, I should have kept track, but in terms of blatant product placement, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” was utterly disgraceful, from the “We use Windows to make cool documents fly around this touch-screen computer monitor/table,” to the visiting of McDonalds for the alien sit-down with their new McCafe servings, to even the wearing of a Citizen watch, well, this movie didn’t need any of it, and it really made me cringe every time I saw it.

There might be some who see the movie as a little bit of an escape, or maybe might like how the destruction of Earth is carried out, or the “Noah’s Ark” aspect of the aliens (they aren’t all bad), or dig the message of how we need to save the environment, but for me I was bored, sick of people telling me what kind of hybrid car to drive, and if Gort was such a bad-ass, how in the hell was the government able to capture him, let alone transport him to an underground bunker that isn’t really that secure? It’s 1 ½ stars out of 5 for “The Day the Earth Stood Still” from me. I might have to throw the original on my Netflix queue just to compare them, but I’m guessing it will be way-better, even in black and white, and I generally hate black and white movies.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!