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The Day the Earth Stood Still (Three-Disc Special Edition)

3.1 out of 5 stars 719 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A renowned scientist (Jennifer Connelly) finds herself face to face with an alien called Klaatu (Keanu Reeves), who has traveled across the universe to warn of an impending global crisis. She quickly discovers the deadly ramifications of Klaatus claim that he is a friend to the Earth. Now she must find a way to convince the entity who was sent to destroy us that mankind is worth saving but it may be too late.

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Impressive special effects are the key selling point for this big-budget remake of Robert Wise's classic 1951 science fiction parable about an alien visitor who delivers a chilling ultimatum to the leaders of the world. Keanu Reeves, who seemed ideal at first blush but ultimately turns into another case of miscasting, steps in for Michael Rennie as intergalactic watchdog Klaatu, who with his robot Gort (now super-sized), promises global destruction unless the powers that be unless drastic measures are undertaken regarding the Earth's environmental issues (or so one assumes). Jennifer Connelly is largely wasted in the Patricia Neal role of scientist/single mom assigned to study Klaatu, who offers a somewhat chilly father figure to her son (a grating Jaden Smith). Connelly isn't the only fine actor in the cast left standing idle while director Scott Derrickson's effects team constructs eye-popping scenes of wholesale mayhem; Mad Men's Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates, John Cleese and Rob Knepper are all adrift in the aimless script by David Scarpa, which never even fully explains why Klaatu is so bent on blowing us to smithereens. That lack of focus, as well as the B-movie quality of the dialogue (say what you will about the effects in the Wise version, but the film was polished from top to bottom), all help to cement what science fiction fans have been muttering about the film since its inception; the original film needed no high-tech updating --Paul Gaita

Stills from The Day the Earth Stood Still (Click for larger image)


   


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith, John Cleese
  • Directors: Scott Derrickson
  • Writers: David Scarpa, Edmund H. North
  • Producers: Erwin Stoff, Gregory Goodman, Marvin Towns Jr., Paul Harris Boardman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (719 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001SGEUZG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,415 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Day the Earth Stood Still (Three-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 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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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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28 Comments 244 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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40 Comments 203 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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