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The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I just viddied the trailer for the remake and it left me depressed. This movie will stink. The trailer shows no style, no perception, and is just a montage of disparate elements with unoriginal special effects. Keanu Reeves looks perplexed, like he just woke up and found himself in a movie. Awful. He does not have the sublime emotional range that made Michael Rennie's performance believable: he is more akin to Gort, the metal monolith.
And yes, I can glean this informtion from a two minute trailer:)Here's my review of the original:

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (Robert Wise, 1951, USA) For centuries, humanity’s hubris perpetuated the unquestioning belief that life on Earth was the center of the vast cosmos. When Copernicus abolished that particular mythology, many still gasped in awe at the miracle of life and its observable deficiency elsewhere: maybe Earth was special, after all. Robert Wise directs an intelligent science fiction drama that welcomes homo sapiens to the cosmic community with a final and absolute caveat: don’t spread our self-destructive attitudes to the stars. The risk is complete and total annihilation by a superadvanced police force in the form of indestructible robots, particularly Gort. Klaatu comes to our planet with a peace offering in one hand (the metal device even looks like an olive branch) and a big stick (Gort) metaphorically in the other. Klaatu lands in our nation’s capital but demands a world audience; his message is not for one nation, or people. His friendly gesture is misunderstood and he is shot by a nervous soldier…and bleeds like a human being. Klaatu’s frustration with the dimwitted politicos inspires his escape and, for a few short days, he lives among the egocentric and comparatively uncivilized population of Washington, DC. (Nothing much has changed since 1951!) The stranger is saddened by our penchant for violence and anarchy but observes humanity’s hope in a small boy and his widowed mother. The director wisely chooses to portray Klaatu as more human than human: He is the protagonist and empathetic character, he is acted upon by selfish madmen and soldiers, and he is the victim of our ignorance. In order to convince the world his apocryphal threat isn’t hollow, Klaatu must resort to a childish display of power: he makes the world stand still for one hour. Ultimately, it’s the single mom who saves the world as she courageously confronts the metal giant with Klaatu’s final command: Klaatu Barrada Nikto. The story is remarkably prescient because it doesn’t resort to 1950 era Cold War politics: the omniscient alien condemns all mankind as brutes, vicious animals that devour their kindred. But Klaatu admits his own species lacked perfection but was able to ascend this mountainous folly…and he hopes the human race can, too. Robert Wise’s cinematic instincts are beautifully displayed: low angle shots and deep shadows reveal a mysterious Klaatu, a stranger far from home, and speak a film language that transcends the genre. The Bernard Herrmann’s score adds an eerie undercurrent that is more important to the narrative than any special effect. This classic still stands as one of the greatest science fiction films ever produced. (A+)

message 2: by Tom (last edited Aug 13, 2008 07:36AM) (new)

Tom | 5485 comments You are far too generous to Keanu. He doesn't look perplexed. Perplexity requires some vaguely functioning thought process, the recognition that something is up.

Keanu just looks STUPID. No brain at all. Total vapidity. I'm supposed to believe that this thing is the chosen representative of beings with higher intelligence? HA!

message 3: by George (new)

George | 951 comments The preview makes it pretty clear that the only real connection between this and the original is the name. Perhaps Keanu would have made a better Gort, hard to say. Perhaps we should hope for a movie with Keanu and Paris. Anyone want to suggest a title?

message 4: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments oh say it aint so!!!!
They made a remake of that classic film????

its not rignt!!!

message 5: by George (new)

George | 951 comments They're in the process of finishing it. There have been previews showing in the theaters.

message 6: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments George, I would fear the title would be KEANU IN PARIS. Really a terrible double entendre. I apologize.

message 7: by George (new)

George | 951 comments Alex, no apologies necessary.

message 8: by Dan (new)

Dan | 1 comments I remember seeing this movie when I was just a kid and it scared the hell out of me. But it was compelling and began a long-term fascination with science fiction. A great movie for its time.

message 9: by George (new)

George | 951 comments Rob, I rather liked your proposed title, actually.

message 10: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 325 comments >> The preview makes it pretty clear that the only real connection between this and the original is the name. Perhaps Keanu would have made a better Gort, hard to say. Perhaps we should hope for a movie with Keanu and Paris. Anyone want to suggest a title?

Blonde on Bland.

message 11: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5485 comments Keanu couldn't play a convincing Gort, there's just way too much emotional range in the role.

message 12: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 135 comments After KEanu in Constantine, I really don't want to see him destroy another character I like.

message 13: by Ranata (new)

Ranata Clark (thatchicknata) | 169 comments I remember the original as just lots of talking. I saw it as a kid in 5th grade and had to take detailed notes on the film and let me tell you, I think I dozed off a few times. Boringest movie ever.

Maybe the remake will be more action packed. More than likely it will suck though so I wouldn't get my hopes up even if I liked the original.

message 14: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments Renata,

Have you seen this movie as an adult?
I can understand why a 5 grader might find the film verbose and dull; I felt the same way about "2001 A Space Odyssey".

Today they are some of my favorite sci-fi films.

message 15: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments Hmmmmmm
I actually recently saw the trailer with Keanu.

Im not sure how much of the original plot line was retained (if any). But this did look like an interesting movie.

The deceiving thing about trailers is how they only show you the good parts, often the good parts are just the trailer snipets. So while Im tempted to bash Keanu's role.
I will wait to see if there is a consensus about this new movie.

message 16: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments Trailers can be deceptive, but it's just so ridiculous these days that the fuckers writing scripts can't come up with an original idea. Or, rather, that the studios have no faith in original ideas.

The original is well worth your while, Renata. You might want to review it as an adult. I'm not saying you weren't a bright witty youngster, but we mature as we get older (if all goes well), and the emotional maturity often improves our vision.

I stay away from re-makes in general. I just don't want to support them. It's a total cop out on the part of the studios, and their main interest in them is: "hey, audiences really liked this film once...we can make them like it again..." which translates into: we took their money once, we can take it again.

Sorry, I'm particularly cynical today. But this is, in general, my thoughts on the subject of remakes. I couldn't imagine re-recording one of my records. That would be insane. Artists create something and then they move on...unless they're George A Romero.

message 17: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments If there's any consolation it's this: the original is being remastered and released on Blu-ray Decmber 2!!

message 18: by Ranata (new)

Ranata Clark (thatchicknata) | 169 comments I have NOT seen it as an adult but I still think I'd be uninterested in it. Not saying it's not good. I just don't think it would be for me.

I really don't think they should have remade it but they're remaking everything under the sun. I think they'll do some crazy Independence Day stuff (which was awesome but when did that come out again?) with this new one.

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