The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

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Genre : SF/Drama
Country : USA

Cast :
Keanu Reeves : Klaatu
Jennifer Connelly : Helen Benson
Kathy Bates : Regina Jackson

Director :
Scott Derrickson

Summary
Dr. Helen Benson is summoned to a military facility with several other scientists when an alien spacecraft of sorts arrives in New York City. Aboard is a human-like alien and a giant robot of immense size and power. The alien identifies himself as Klaatu and says he has come to save the Earth. The US military and political authorities see him as a threat however and decide to use so-called intensive interrogation techniques on him but Dr. Benson decides to facilitate his escape. When she learns exactly what he means when he says he is there to save the Earth, she tries to convince him to change his intentions.

My opinion

“Your professor is right. At the precipice we change.”

What would you do when you’re sitting with your family in the middle of nowhere in the Ardennes in a primitive looking cabin with only a crossword puzzle and a Galaxy tablet that doesn’t work anymore because your limit of 150MB is reached ? I was smart enough to bring along my Medi8ter and connected it with the provided LCD-TV. Finally the kids got their overdose of cartoons and were sleeping in their cozy bed so I could browse on the Medi8ter and look for something to watch. Most of it are older movies like “The day the earth stood still”. I wished time would have stopped so I wouldn’t have wasted it.

Unfortunately I haven’t seen the original film of 1951 and can’t compare this remake . On the other hand I’m not so eager to watch such an antique movie with probably non-existing special effects. But when the content of this remake is identical to the original and the remake stinks , then I certainly won’t bother to watch the original. So what is wrong  with this movie ?

The moral message this film wants to preach is well known to us , and I don’t like it when a movie tries to hammer that message in my head and wave with a pedantic finger at me. I admit that if we don’t change our mentality towards our planet it will bring serious consequences.  So if we don’t change our eco plan and take care of pollution , use other sources of energy  and be more peaceful and tolerant , Earth could become a dreary place to live on . The idea that there are more advanced civilizations out there watching over us and at some point decide to save Earth by destroying mankind, is a brilliant idea for a movie. My conclusion was that these aliens are terribly ridiculous and stupid. The intellectual study they made is thrown overboard because an attractive scientist is crying , along with her ​​stepson , at the grave of her husband . So please do remember this everybody ! Should it ever come to an alien invasion, then we’ll all just show an emotionally and compassionate side of ourselves . Success guaranteed! They’ll leave in a flash.

The U.S. puts billions of dollars in research and equipment to detect life in the universe and try to make contact with them. Then one day an alien arrives at the horizon , not in a flying saucer but in a giant illuminating ball, and instantly the military machine awakes and starts acting , because they have received clear signals of hostile behavior. The first extraterrestrial sets foot/leg/tentacle or whatever supporting material on earth and is shot without mercy before he can say a greeting. At that time I just wanted to stop this movie and save myself from more ridiculous rubbish.  And yes, it got worse . The alien Klaatu , is taken to a field hospital and starts to melt in some way after which a human figure is appearing out of those slimes. The logical question asked at Dr. Helen Benson was “Can you explain this ?” . Hilarious ! Off course she can’t explain this since this is her first alien encounter . Dumb, stupid and making me roll my eyes. What follows is a demonstration of human arrogance . Klaatu is taken in for questioning … What a friendly planet  we are ! Bates rules as a Female God and doesn’t want to hear about the alleged destruction of the earth and that Dr. Benson has a feeling she can persuade Klaatu to stop this. Now things start to speed up . Dr. Benson and Klaatu escape along with the stepson Jacob . An incredibly irritating and spoiled brat. It was only afterwards  that I read it’s Will Smiths son. Oh right, the robot that came out of the ball to protect Klaatu is taken by the American army to a secret bunker, where they are trying to destroy it. However, that’s not a success as hoped. What remains is a swarm of insects. They start eating in a really destructive way. Everything on their way vanishes. The emotional moment at the grave of Jacob’s father ,as mentioned before, is the turning point .

Is there anything positive to say about this movie ? Yes, of course . The moment Dr. Benson used a cell phone and got caught by a soldier was a emotional moment in this movie. John Cleese playing an intellectual  scientist was excellent and well chosen . Jennifer Connelly has a beautiful appearance . And Reeves plays again with that face without an expression . Personally I don’t think he’s really much of an actor, but this part as a unworldly, emotionless alien, fits him like a glove. The special effects aren’t bad and the moving truck that got eaten by those insects is pretty slick to watch . I ‘m just wondering what material the bridge was made of under which they were hiding , since a few moments  before that, a complete stadium was eaten.

Had the extraterrestrial civilizations studied the inhabitants of the earth a bit longer, they might have come to the conclusion that they should just wait a bit longer. Wait till we destroy ourselves.

My rating 4 /10
Links : IMDB

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