Blu-ray Disc -- The Perfect Hi-Def Movie Experience.
"A highly entertaining and gripping sci-fi thriller with brains. Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
|An event SFX spectacle starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly in a high-stakes mission to save mankind from total annihilation.|
"An entertaining rethink of the 1951 classic. Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"...an ideal example of what a contemporary remake should look like... David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"A remake that does not disgrace the original...as well as succeeding (arguably better) as a thriller. Helen O'Hara, Empire
"...full of respectful references to its model, updated with a gallery of fairly imaginative special effects. William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic of the same name, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL follows astrobiologist Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) as she is unceremoniously plucked from her everyday life with her stepson (Jaden Smith), and whisked away to consult the government on a top-secret matter. That matter happens to be the arrival of a massive glowing sphere in Central Park, accompanied by a towering robot-like protector dubbed Gort and an alien ambassador named Klaatu (Keanu Reeves), who takes up human form to communicate with the people of Earth. When Klaatu finds himself faced with hawkish, uncompromising officials, he goes on the run with Benson and her son as the fate of the world gradually becomes clear.Directed by Scott Derrickson (THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE), this reimagining of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is fairly reverent to the original film, while adding a number of 21st-century elements, most notably a darker tone embodied by a more threatening Gort and the chilly, contemplative Klaatu, who is portrayed with pitch-perfect remove by Reeves. While the film--and the fate of humanity--rests on Reeves's shoulders, the cast is impressively filled out by Connelly and Smith, along with Kathy Bates, John Cleese, and familiar TV actors Jon Hamm (MAD MEN) and Kyle Chandler (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS). Derrickson also tempers excellent special effects with a bleak color palette and plenty of existential turmoil, making this EARTH a thoughtful and fascinatingly moody blockbuster.
The Day The Earth Stood Still - Blu-Ray DVD Review
By: David R Perry
Published on: 4/12/2009 12:51 PM
|I don't envy anyone who must attempt a remake of a classic film. And especially with sci-fi, because it's too easy to run afoul of obsessive types who have probably memorized whole passages of the film, analyzed it shot-by-shot to look for production gaffes, and have probably fashioned their own robots and space suits in its honor. (And if there is not already a Gort flashlight tie-in, rest assured that industrious fans are probably already on that too.) So you're basically setting yourself up for failure by even trying. If its too much like the original then it "didn't bring anything new to the story", and if you did bring something new to the story then you "butchered a classic."...read the full review
Cast & Crew
New York Times
"Mr. Reeves's deadpan basso and permanently perplexed features make him an ideal Klaatu, as the space visitor is called."
Los Angeles Times
"This contemporary remake of the science-fiction classic knew what it was doing when it cast Keanu Reeves in, the movies' greatest stone face since Buster Keaton, as a perplexed alien....[An] enjoyable updating..."
3 stars out of 5 -- "[Reeve's] performance here is subtle to the point that you might miss it altogether, yet it's perfectly calibrated....There is real tension..."
3 stars out of 5 -- "[Keanu Reeves] looks weird, displaced, a true alien among us....A pleasing strangeness colours the first half..."
ReelViews 6 of 10
By all accounts, both the director (Scott Derrickson) and star (Keanu Reeves) of this 2008 film are fans of its 1951 precursor. So what went wrong? At what point did this initially promising remake lose its way? After all, Robert Wise's science fiction classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, is far from a perfect motion picture. Parts of the movie are contrived and there are gaps in logic and common sense. That being said, it's a powerful and compelling motion picture with something specific to say about the human condition. The new version, while admittedly addressing aspects of the first that date it, opens new holes, some of which are more problematic. Worse, it lacks the simple elegance and intelligence of the earlier film, and employs special effects and pointless action scenes to replace passages of dialogue...A successful remake has a difficult path to traverse. It must honor the original while at the same time bringing something new, interesting, and intelligent to the project. The Day the Earth Stood Still fails a little in both categories. Too often, the need to be a spectacle trumps the desire to be smart and thought-provoking, and this works to the film's detriment...If one ignores the fact that The Day the Earth Stood Still is a remake, it still falls short of expectations. There's too little drama and tension and Gort's eventual transformation into a lethal cloud makes for a less-than-thrilling climax. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the production is that there would appear to be considerable room to update the story and, while some of that is done, it is largely a wasted opportunity. Remaking a movie is easy. Engineering a good remake is difficult. One key quality that separates the two is inspiration, and that's a characteristic not to be found in 2008's The Day the Earth Stood Still.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 6 of 10
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" need not have taken its title so seriously that the plot stands still along with it. There isn't much here you won't remember from the 1951 classic, even if you haven't seen it...That movie is at No. 202 in IMDb's top 250. Its message, timely for the nuclear age, is that mankind would be exterminated if we didn't stop killing one another. The message of the 2008 version is that we should have voted for Al Gore. This didn't require Klaatu and Gort. That's what I'm here for. Actually, Klaatu is non-partisan and doesn't name names, but his message is clear: Planets capable of sustaining life are so rare that the aliens cannot allow us to destroy life on this one. So they'll have to kill us...All this is presented in an expensive, good-looking film that is well-made by Scott Derrickson, but to no avail...Jennifer Connelly and Kathy Bates essentially keep the human interest afloat. Young Jaden Smith is an appealing actor, but his character Jacob could use a good spanking, what with endangering the human race with a snit fit. Nobody is better than Connelly at looking really soulful, and I am not being sarcastic, I am sincere. There are scenes here requiring both actors to be soulful, and she takes up the extra burden effortlessly...One more detail. I will not disclose how the aliens plan to exterminate human life, because it's a neat visual. Let me just observe that the destruction of human life involves the annihilation of Shea Stadium, which doesn't even have any humans in it at the time. And that since the destruction begins in the mountains of the Southwest, yet approaches Shea from the east, the task must be pretty well completed by the time Jennifer Connelly needs to look soulful. And that Klaatu is a cockeyed optimist if he thinks they can hide out in an underpass in the park.
- Roger Ebert