The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) 2008 PG-13 CC

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(559) IMDb 5.5/10
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In The Day the Earth Stood Still, a contemporary reinvention of the 1951 science fiction classic, renowned scientist Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) finds herself face to face with an alien called Klaatu (Keanu Reeves), who travels across the universe to warn of an impending global crisis.

Starring:
Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly
Runtime:
1 hour 44 minutes

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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

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The Day the Earth Stood Still (Three-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray]

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller
Director Scott Derrickson
Starring Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly
Supporting actors Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Jon Hamm, Kyle Chandler, Robert Knepper, James Hong, John Rothman, Sunita Prasad, Juan Riedinger, Sam Gilroy, Tanya Champoux, Rukiya Bernard, Alisen Down, David Lewis, Lloyd Adams, Mousa Kraish, J.C. MacKenzie
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

While the special effects were impressive, this remake was not very good.
S. McClellan
And, as it's been happening all too often in Hollywood films, the movie just abruptly ends and you're actually wanting a serious resolution.
R. Legendre
There is a reason why the original DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) is a classic and the remake (2008) is not.
Martin Asiner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

230 of 278 people found the following review helpful By Martin Asiner on December 14, 2008
There is a reason why the original DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) is a classic and the remake (2008) is not. The FX of 1951 were minimal, but the emphasis on plot, acting, allegory, and scripting combined (as they so rarely do) to produce a film that is watchable even after many viewings. Where Keanu Reeves sleepwalks through his role as Klaatu, Michael Rennie invests his with a riveting performance as a pseudo-human who slowly and naturally learns what it means to be human. Hugh Marlowe in the original is totally believable as the weasly love interest for Patricia Neal. Marlowe's sliminess paired off well with Rennie's saintliness. In the remake, there is no one, except perhaps in a collective sense, who can distract the audience long enough to see Reeves as anything more than a mobile pained automaton who is only slightly more interesting than Gort.

Rennie causes the earth to stand still in a manner that emhasizes his godlike powers. His assumed name of Carpenter further allies himself as one who must suffer, die, and be reborn himself so as to save humanity from itself. Reeves arrives on earth determined to exterminate human life as a prerequisite for maintaining it in its supposed pristine state. His argument that John Cleese artfully exposes that Klaatu's own race avoided self-immolation only after arriving at a precipitous tipping point is exposed as a sophomoric inability to connect one moral thread of one race to a similar thread of another.

In the original, director Robert Wise uses deliberately blurred camera angles to present Rennie as one whose true nature can be only slowly revealed. Recall Rennie's introduction when he arrives at the boarding house to seek a room.
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188 of 235 people found the following review helpful By S. Stevenson VINE VOICE on December 13, 2008
Okay. I really like sci-fi movies. Even some stupid ones that are just about the action and a shoot-em-up storyline. I also like some of the thinking-person sci-fi bits too though. Technically, I am the target audience for the Keanu Reeves / Jennifer Connelly film THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. I really wanted to like it too. I tried hard, but as the plot progressed, I found myself throwing my hands in the air and shouting, "Are you kidding me?" at the movie screen. I've always read about people who said that they got up and walked out during a movie, but I never actually knew what that felt like until I watched this film. But, knowing that I paid a hard-earned ten bucks to see it, I stayed through to the end, gritting my teeth and just telling myself that maybe -- maybe -- it would redeem itself. But no. It never did.

**SPOILER ALERT**

I will admit I knew next to nothing about the movie. All I did know was that the earth was being threatened, and that this was a remake of a 1950's sci-fi classic. But what I never expected was the way the director used this story as pure propaganda. The whole message of the movie centered around aliens coming to earth to try and save those life-forms (aka animals) who had not damaged the earth. The aliens decide that humans need to be wiped off the face of the planet -- allowing evolution to start its process all over again -- because humans have senselessly been destroying the planet.

The government is portrayed as trigger-happy idiots who just want to blow things up -- no matter the cost. Kathy Bates is literally a dressed up "hand of military vengeance." Even when she tries to argue with the unseen president, who is obviously supposed to be George W.
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95 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Thucydides 1 on April 11, 2009
Format: DVD
I've been beaten to the punch by a lot of really fine, insightful reviews. I'll only add that, like so many movies we seem to see today, this is one that could have been so much better.

It is poorly paced, and miserably directed, with such an imbalance of emphasis between Klaatu's heavy-hearted, planet-wide mission, and the irritating, recurrent focus on the "cute kid" character (Jaden Smith) who becomes as welcome in the story as an insect at a picnic.

Jennifer Connelly is wholly unbelievable as a "world class" super-scientist, but at least the director resisted the temptation to create some smarmy love-affair concoction between she and Klaatu. Given how uninteresting the rest of the story was, I was afraid that he might resort to such a technique to breathe life into this otherwise prosaic rendering of the original science fiction classic.

The special effects... well, yes, they were good. It's 2009. The special effects always ought to be good. But as we've all known for a long time, good special effects do not necessarily make a good movie.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 8, 2009
Format: DVD
Obviously, a lot of people have been harshing on this movie, a remake of the 1950s sci-fi classic, "The Day The Earth Stood Still." Some of the reviews and comments are well-thought out, although many seem to come mostly out of people who either A) loved the original and consider any adaptation to be sacrilege B) see an opportunity to appear clever by trashing something mainstream and big-budget Hollywood or C) just want to make fun of Keanu Reeves.

Now, on the face of things, I would be a perfect candidate for any of these criteria. In general, I loathe Keanu's career and I can be as altie and retro-purist as anyone. However, I enjoyed this film a lot more than I expected to. I think they did an excellent job updating the material and the film's core message for the 21st Century. In addition to criticizing the human propensity towards violence, they also introduce environmental concerns, and yet they do so with a relatively light touch. The special effects are generaly quite good, and are used in the service of the story, not as an end in and of themselves. Most surprisingly, Reeves is pretty good in the role of Klaatu, the stiff-lipped emissary of an intergalactic federation with its eye on the human race.

I liked it. A couple of things kept me from giving this film a full five stars rating, though... Although the first two-thirds hummed along at a nice clip, the ending seemed abrupt and vaguely unsatisfying... In part this lack of emotional connection may come, not from Reeves, but from his costar, child actor Jaden Smith, who is uniquely irritating and uninvolving. He's a really bad, flat actor, and the emotional work that his character is supposed to pull -- convincing a skeptical, superpowered alien that the human race is worth saving -- largely falls into a vacuum.
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