Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). C


I didn't think the remake was awful. I did think Keanu Reeves was very dull, possessing neither the robotic charisma of the man he replaces nor the brains to make us believe in him. He doesn't come across as someone with great motivation, as he spends the whole movie on one single note. He seemed bored, like he didn't really want to be on earth trying to save mankind. I also thought the final third was ridiculous, as this time the U.S. actually did wage war on the massive robot (this time it's even bigger, and instead of being put in a plastic box, it's taken to a science facility). While the original worked wonders at the end, this one does the opposite by becoming a a silly disaster movie. Not only are the special effects unnecessary, but they're surprisingly cheap and underwhelming. On the other hand, I thought the first hour or so of the movie was actually decent. It managed to be different and a little more complex while at the same time respecting the original plot. Jennifer Connelly plays a scientist who's on the side of the Reeves character. Her son is played by Jaden Smith, a real bright spot in the film. But in the end, this remake is just weighed down by one problem after another. Due to Reeves bland personality, there wasn't much of a relationship between him and Connelly or Smith. Also, the message was more environmental this time, as it claimed humans were destroying the earth. While the message fits in with the times, I also thought it was ironic and stupid that the movie decided to make the alien cause so much havoc at the end. The DVD for the film contains both the new version and the original. I strongly suggest watching them consecutively like I did. Not only does it give you a clear idea of the difference between movies now and back in the 50's, but it also creates a great opportunity to compare and contrast them.

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