Monday, June 01, 2009

REVIEW: The Day The Earth Stood Still


While I'll admit the original movie was not great, still, it wasn't bad. The premise was solid and the ultimate message was conveyed with proper storytelling. The acting was decent and most important of all at some point in the movie you really cared about the primary characters. The 2008 remake can be summed up with one word: Garbage.

Other than superb special effects there was absolutely nothing to like about this movie. Jennifer Connelly, beautiful as ever couldn't save this dreck. Kathy Baker - a fine actress - failed. Will Smith's little kid was as unlikable in this movie as Will Smith is likable in everything he does. Then there's Keanu Reeves... He was terrible, just terrible, from beginning to end.

The original movie was filmed at the dawn of the space age. The message was a warning to humanity that we were not going to be allowed to take our war-like ways into the heavens. The alien clearly announced that he would stage a demonstration that would illustrate the power he could bring to bear. It was very effective and gave the title of the movie its meaning...

In this reincarnation of the classic 1950's film humanity is not even worth a warning or a demonstration - all evidence of humankind was to be wiped off the face of the Earth. That's it, no questions asked. This lousy film, this waste of money (even as a DVD rental) was ultimately a finger wagging environmental scolding.

I saw it coming from a mile away. Don't waste your money or your time.


CW

2 comments:

TJ Willms said...

Hollywood's penchant for remaking previously successful movies with slick special effects and badly retooled scripts simply will not save their sagging box office receipts. They seem to be running out of originality and are clutching at straws to keep the industry going. However, once in a great while they do what they are supposed to and put out an entertaining product that tells a story without finding a place for expressing their complete revulsion for human kind. On this vein I'll offer up the Underworld trilogy for consideration.

It is represents everything Hollywood should be doing some century after the invention of the motion picture. First it stays entirely within the realm of make-believe. Werewolves vs. Vampires how much more fanciful can you get? The special effects stay in their place, not even trying to carry the story. Its reminiscent of the “Lord of the rings” trilogy. As fixated as those movies tried to remain on the noble intent of its characters these are focused on the dark, and sinister. A thwarted pair of young lovers and the Machiavellian schemes sprinkled with evil intent to conceal its aftermath all in the name of purity of the species give these stories their power.

What really makes these three movies click is continuity. Continuity of the visual theme, continuity of the underlying story lines, even continuity among the cast members. Sure there is plenty of gratuitous blood and gore but hey, we're talking Werewolves vs. Vampires for heaven sakes. More importantly all three tell a complete intriguing story in the greatest tradition of escapism. That's all I really want from a movie. I do not want leave the theater feeling like a “damn dirty human” responsible for damaging the planet for all time and oppressing every cultural minority whether real or imagined.

Nuff said?

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