Sound Off: The Day the Earth Stood Still - What Did You Think?

December 12, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? This very discussion has been 22 months in the making, as we were the first to break the news that this remake was coming back on February 21st, 2007. Now it's time to defend the classic and tear apart the remake, or defend the remake, if it indeed turned out any good? So if you've seen it, state your opinion. Was Keanu Reeves a better Klaatu than Michael Rennie? Did the CGI hurt or help the film in the end? Were there any redeeming values at all? Sound off below, leave your thoughts, and let us know what you thought of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Not that I need to, but to fuel the fire, I thought this new The Day the Earth Stood was enjoyable at best. I would still call it a flawed film with some major issues, but overall I commend both director Scott Derrickson and writer David Scarpa for at least putting together something that I enjoyed sitting through. The biggest issues I thought were with the CGI, the structure, and a few other story elements, but overall felt that Keanu did a great job as did Jennifer Connelly. Unfortunately this won't be establishing itself as a new sci-fi classic, but I feel it's a bit too harsh to trash what I thought was at least a fairly good movie.

What did you think of The Day the Earth Stood Still? Good remake or a waste of time?

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Quote from"The first cause for concern is the casting; Keanu Reeves, who essays Michael Rennnie’s hyper-intense Klaatu as a fleshpod devoid of emotion, irony and depth, can really chalk this up as one of the lesser entries into his already questionable acting canon." LOl. The wooden one strikes again.

nef deppard on Dec 12, 2008


rottentomatoes has it at 25% with barley out doing the new Punisher flick. Too bad, I was looking forward to seeing this during my xmas break. I'll wait until someone rips a screener on the internet.

markymark on Dec 12, 2008


It's not a bad movie at all. It's not a very good movie either, but it doesn't deserve all the trahing it's geting from critics.

mercy on Dec 12, 2008


I went to the Midnight showing of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. It was eh, okay. Judging at it from the perspective of it being just a new film, without taking an account to the original, it was a good concept, and they did things pretty well. This alien has come to the planet, get an assessment on the humans in order to then destroy them to save the planet. The CG in the film was fantastic, setting up all the things beautifully to how everything was supposed to establish the end of the human race, not the world. However, the acting wasn't much good. The first bad sign I saw with this film was Keanu Reeves. The man is a horrible actor! The only decent work he's ever done is THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, SPEED, and maybe you can include THE MATRIX TRILOGY. Overall, he had the right intentions with the distant character to portray, but his lines were delivered badly. To top it all off with his annoyance, you had a female Secretary of Defense mega General played by great actress Kathy Bates, but the director couldn't get her to give the proper performance. And, even more so, Jaden Smith's character was nothing but annoying. You're not supposed to want a child to truly shut up and die, it was that bad. His lines were odd, his character placement seemed to be put in there JUST BECAUSE the director wanted him in the movie. That's it. Jennifer Connelly was probably the only thing decent in terms of the acting. I also loved how they set up the first portion of the film. They had several engineers, scientists, biologists and such taken from their homes and put on closed highways with presidential-type escorts and taken to a place where they were told a moving object, which can change direction, is hitting Manhattan in 78 minutes. Time counts down, and bam comes out Klaatu. It started out well, but somehow it just lost itself. I loved the CG aspect of it, but I'll get into that later. I hated the ending. Oh, was the ending catastrophic. The world has started facing the destruction of all technological advances in order to erase the existence of mankind, even some humans have been engulfed, and then, it all just GOES AWAY. Really? ((spoiler alter)) All I could think about was THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Yes, people, everyone panic and pray to God and faint every five seconds because the world is ending, but worry not, in about two hours, it's all gonna go away, and nothing's gonna change. Come on! Literally, he just shut down every single electronic component in the world and then left. Just left. Oh great, good job, very blank. Some electrician is going to figure out how to go around the globally established EMP signal and then just reverse it. What next? Nothing. We won't change. Now to look at it in comparison to the remake. I stand by the original. Yes, the original was made in the 1950's, and it stands to the issues of its time, just like this version stood to the issues of today. Both are feasible and good plots. However, the Klaatu in the 1950's was more natural. He was charismatic, sweet and very calm, yes, but he was portraying someone interested. In the 2008 version, Reeves was trying to be some sort of cold assassin sent to kill 6 billion people. Pretending not to care. And yes, the kid in the 1950's version had some crazy lines, but those lines not only worked for the era, it allows audience's today to remember this is a movie from the 1950's, and it's still good. Hell, that kid was more believable than Jaden Smith. The ending was better in the 50's version as well. He warned them that unless they change their destructive ways, they will destroy them in order not to allow them to expand their ways into space. We leave you with a PROPER warning, and we'll come back to evaluate any progress you may have completed. Goodbye, curious humans. Now, to compare the CGI. I liked it. I liked to see how today would've established the use of technology for this film. You had Klaatu show he can turn off electronics much easier and it revealed itself more than just in dialogue. And GORT was fantastic. Not just as a big guy, but also because GORT isn't a huge machine. He's comprised of metallic-alloy critters that look like flying bugs, and they can eat through anything. You first see them when they're eating through a diamond drill, then the restraints that they put on him. GORT's purpose was to burst into his tiny critters and devour everything in the world, RAPIDLY, that is. The spheres were also a nice touch. Granted, the spaceship thing has died itself out in the past few decades, so the change was pretty well done. Especially because they were used as carriers for the animals of the world, like in Noah's Ark. That was a very creative touch, but of course, it worked for the new version because of the purpose of ending the human race. It was in order to preserve the planet, because, apparently, planets sustaining life are rare in the universe. The CG was good, but not enough in order to justify the remake. Granted, updating this movie sounded somewhat okay, but just like most other films, remakes are doing nothing but being disastrous attempts at being as good as the original. Had the acting and the lighting been better (which I won't get into), maybe this film would've had more to speak for. I also hated the fact that Klaatu barely even tried to speak to the world leaders. He asked once, was told No, he left. In the original, he was trying, he gave a crap about the humans. Granted, aliens shouldn't have to care, but we are another civilization, and they have the right intentions. Overall, the remake was not so good, and not very necessary. Too bad. One thing I did like was when Klaatu was talking to a professor, he mentions how his world had to adapt when their sun began to die, and the professor shows him that it's on the brink of the end where a people, a civilization reveals its will to change, in order to survive. And how they need to give humans that ultimate threat in order to preserve not just the planet, but an entire species as well. Damn you, Scott Derickson. I hope that man stays away from Paradise Lost. He'll make John Milton haunt him in his sleep. --Kenneth Van Castle

Kenneth Van Castle on Dec 12, 2008


Was terrible to say the least. IMAX was awesome along with the Wolverine Trailer!!! Click my name for the full review, but it was terrible.

Atomic Popcorn on Dec 12, 2008


I seen the midnight showing and I've never seen the original nor read the book. The movie was good, there wasn't anything great to rave about nor was there anything horrible to gripe about. I think I wanted to see G.o.r.t. and our military go at it more. The CGI was good and I also thought Keanu played the role well . But for some reason I thought there was something missing or maybe it was the structure as Alex said. It was a solid good film I'd give it 3 stars our of 5. P.S. Who the hell were those guys that tried to entertain us last night in Colorado Springs. Aweful. Firstshowing needs to come back ASAP.

Black Dynamite on Dec 12, 2008


Oh and by the way Atomic Popcorn is lying his ass off and probably didn't see the film. The Imax didn't show the Wolverine trailer.

Black Dynamite on Dec 12, 2008


Black Dynamtie, I was in Baltimore if you would like to contact the theater I went to, please let me know. I can tell you exactly what happened in the trailer if you want spoilers. By the way don't call someone you know nothing about a liar, its not very mature.

Atomic Popcorn on Dec 12, 2008


The movie was extremely decent, and slightly disappointing for what it could have been - there was a good bit of potential that went to waste in the last act. As for the Wolverine trailer, it was almost just as completely mundane and unexciting as the movie itself.

Adam Frazier on Dec 12, 2008


@2 Rotten Tomatoes is quite possibly the worst way to see if a movie is any good.

Will S. on Dec 12, 2008


not to stir up any more anger, and admitting i'm no expert when it comes to IMAX, but i do know they show previews for movies coming to IMAX theaters and unless something changed in the last day, wolverine will not be in IMAX and therefore didn't show on IMAX film prints. we watched the movie at our theater on wednesday and the only new preview on the track was Star Trek which was the same as the 35mm print only on IMAX film. before previewing milk last night, many of us had to wait to start up dtess on 35mm so we could check out both the new terminator trailer as well as wolverine

funnytunney on Dec 12, 2008


Some of the critics are so desperate to trash on Keanu, that even here they complain about "wooden" and "emotionless" acting. Retards didn't understand his character it seems.

Darunia on Dec 12, 2008


#10 True, but if you're looking for a consensus, Rottentomatoes can definitely give you that. However, I usually choose 3-4 critics I have moderate respect for and use that as my barometer. Otherwise, you're just throwing money at Hollywood who needs to seriously look outside the box for some intelligent, thoughtful, suspenseful, poignant, or just plain fucking fun films. By the way, Mr. Smith--Hancock sucked bro. Don't do a sequel.

Quanah on Dec 12, 2008


Trash? No way. Brilliant? Hell no. It was passable, I'd say, and yes, I give kudos to Keanu for trying if not performance. But I thought Jennifer Connelly was wasted; all she did was looked distressed. John Cleese made a better job in his five minutes. Jaden Smith --I really like him but I wanted to punch him on the crown of the head. And yes, I have some issues with the story too. Not ready to take sides on the original vs. remake yet, since I hjaven't seen the original, so I still don't know wheter to defend you or not, Alex. 🙂

Juan Carlo on Dec 12, 2008


This film was awesome, I LOVED IT! And I can't get it out of my head. I haven't seen the original, but I can understand how some can hold a film close to their hearts and when a remake comes along refuses to accept it. I think I have this with The Hulk where I loved the first and hated the latest. But this movie was really cool, not the best but I will by the DVD when it comes out.

JFDT on Dec 12, 2008


Major suckage. 1.5 out of 5 stars. If all you ask from a movie is cool CGI effects, The Day the Earth Stood Still is for you. Look for any more than that and you’ll be sorely disappointed. Vic on Dec 12, 2008


One more UNNECESSARY remake in a long list of films from Hollywood!!!! We are used to it, unfortunately!! I guess the positive idea in making remakes is that the public can then always appreciate how great IS the original. And about Keanu Reeves, all over the world everybody knows that HE CAN'T ACT. Remember how bad he was already, years ago, in Coppola's "Dracula" and Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing." Let's say that the new version of The Day the Earth Stood Still is "Much Ado About Nothing!!!" lol

Sylvain (from Paris) on Dec 12, 2008


Why, Why, Why make a remake of a Classic movie????? Wasn't the original movie good enough? I believe it was one of the greatest movies ever made! Just what is the stupid point of doing a remake?? Instead, made a sequel as Klaatu and the rest of the planets are awaiting a reply to Klaatu's original invitation - join the program of universal peace or be destroyed! I think it is funny, as 3 years ago, I wrote a message to the Sci-Fi channel, telling them the same thing that I am writing here. I told them that a sequel would be awesome. Instead, they put wrestling on their network, and now, a remake of the classic about an alien and his robot is about to be released to the public. Talk about irony at its best!

rdk_keyboaridst on Dec 12, 2008


lol #4 i didnt know i was in for a book screening on the posts

yourmom on Dec 12, 2008


Vic, bravo, your review (on ) says it all, excerpt: "But one of the first rules of remakes is: You don’t remake classic films. You don’t remake Gone With the Wind, you don’t remake Casablanca and you don’t even TRY to remake Citizen Kane. It’s a losing proposition - remakes that work are few and far between, and often they’re based on obscure or poorly made originals."

Sylvain (from Paris) on Dec 12, 2008


I was in an IMAX showing and they had the Wolverine trailer, which was amazing. It was kind of hard for the movie to live up to the trailers shown ahead of it. Although it was enjoyable, it had flaws. The biggest one being Kathy Bates playing the Secretary of Defense. I would go see it in IMAX just to see the Wolverine and Star Trek trailers.

Farris on Dec 12, 2008


Sorry #20 but the Fly remake was in my opinion fucking awesome. The Thing-fucking awesome. You can't deny those. Alot of remakes do suck period

wm on Dec 12, 2008


I really enjoyed this, a lot more than i thought. I'd been anticipating seeing it since the Comic-Con panel, and it did not dissapoint. Taking it as a reboot, without comparing it to the original, i think Keanu was excellent, his take on how Klatu would percieve and act around humans was fantastic and importantly believable. One of the keys was the way the audience was taken along the journey by Klatu from birth into retreat. I also think there was some truly beautiful exposition in the film, for example when Gort first takes down the american officials technology, worked really well and nice. As was the introduction we had when Gort began the destruction of earth. I'd also like to say i thought Robert Knepper was fantastic, really enjoyed his performance and thought he played a good military man. Moment of the film for me was the scene with Reeves, Connely and Cleese. I thought the dialogue in this scene was beautiful, and the way Cleese managed to capture the essence of what Connely believed in her heart was exceptional. I fear, this will be one of those long lost scenes in the history of cinema, but I felt like including it in my summery. Whether, during the economic crisis, the film will do good is another question, i was at the 9PM showing tonight (opening night, and it was 3/4 empty) Stuart.

Stuart Mellor on Dec 12, 2008


Just to add, this review from Empire Magazine sums up brilliantly IMO.

Stuart Mellor on Dec 12, 2008


Some small things aside, I thought this was very well done. More like this please.

dom on Dec 12, 2008


holy shit number 4. I'm not going to bother reading your post. I just wanted to express my feelings towards the amount of time it must have taken you to write so much. As Patrick Bateman once said, " Get a GOD DAMN JOBBBB!"

Richard on Dec 12, 2008


Thank you to #20... and to #22 - I agree, both of the remakes you mentioned ARE awesome. There are always exceptions. From my site, here are my Top 5 rules for when it's ok to do a movie remake: 1. Well known stories that have already had multiple movie remakes done. (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc.) 2. The original is terribly dated in either setting or pacing and style. (The original Ocean's 11, The Thomas Crowne Affair w/Steve McQueen) 3. The original is not terribly well known or beloved. 4. The remake does in fact bring something new while respecting the original. (Both The Thing and The Fly managed to do this) 5. The original was basically pretty cheesy or tongue-in-check in tone and most folks wouldn’t care if it was remade. (Death Race) This movie COULD have brought something new... it tried and failed miserably. Plus it broke the cardinal rule of not remaking a well-loved film. The original "Thing" is not really considered classic and the orginal "The Fly" with Vincent Price was re-done brilliantly by Cronenberg. Vic on Dec 12, 2008


6/10. Not horrible, I atleast stayed awake.

Andrew on Dec 12, 2008


Vic, I don't want to start up an argument with you about this, but this quote form your review is ridiculous! "But one of the first rules of remakes is: You don't remake classic films." What?! You can't say that about ALL movies come on!! I'm sorry, but Hollywood NEEDS ideas that they know have built-in audiences. Unfortunately you can complain all you want, but when was the last time a good original idea was a big hit? That's very rare... Classics are classics, sure, but some are good for remakes. Not EVERY classic shouldn't be remade... That is a very ridiculous statement man!

Alex Billington on Dec 13, 2008


If I could I would remake Citizen Kane and Casablanca just to piss all you people off.

HealthyPoison on Dec 13, 2008


I think the main interest with your blog Alex Billington is to read other people's comments. This I really enjoy. It's your statement (#30) which IS ridiculous, and not Vic's smart point of view. And for some reason, reading your vision of things, I imagine you watching movies gulping down a large jar of popcorns.

Sylvain (from Paris) on Dec 13, 2008


well i had to post something here because i LOVED the remake or reboot whatever you wish to call this movie. as for Keanu's acting, well he WAS supposed to be an alien so i thought he portrayed the part very well. i was a little disappointed in the fact that GORT played such a trivial role in this movie and would have really liked to see move of a battle between him and the military. as for the comparison between this and the original the original is still a better movie and this one left out some key elements that would have MADE the movie. one would have been when klaatu stopped the world ans thus GAVE the movie its title and the world actually stood still!!! also the key line was missing when the heroine says " GORT, klaatu, bratta, nikto, should have been somehow used in this one too. earth shattering blockbuster? no... instant classic that will dwarf the original? never but a good watch and a nice thriller with some scifi mixed in just enough to slip into that genre. oh yeah and about a quarter way through i was wishing for jaden smith's character to die a horrible death but that's another story

thejugfather on Dec 13, 2008


I'm not really against remakes, mostly if they are from really old movies. About TDTESS, is not a masterpiece, for sure, but it is enjoyable, mostly the first half, so I don't get all the resentment and wines. Personally, I don't analyze so much pop-corn movies, I take them for what they are, just fun, and this is exactly that, just fun,

Hermond on Dec 13, 2008


Alex, Go read my list again - I don't say that ALL classics should never be remade (look at rule #4) - there are exceptions and I listed some of them. The problem with your argument is that it feeds into to "Hollywood has no original ideas left" and "let's cash in on an existing property" concept. Neither of which are anything to brag about or aspire to. Instead of a remake of "2001: A Space Odyssey" give me something as original as "Alien" was when it came out. Instead of a remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" give me another new film as original and groundbreaking as the first "Matrix" was. Capiche? 🙂 Vic on Dec 13, 2008


Vic, I think one of the main points Alex was trying to put across, is when we do get strong, original idea's in cinema they just aren't supported by the studio's enough, or the public, to be the success they deserve. So why would a studio choose to put out three brand new movies, all at 50million cost to them each, with a risk of them not making the money back, or re-booting a franchise for 100million when they know they will break even. I have seen some outstanding films this year, and the example i am going to use is Repo! The Genetic Opera. This was a movie with an original (to cinema) idea behind it, a totally fresh way of portraying the story, a pretty damn good cast, and the studio dropped it, and released it in six cinema's in the entire world. When you ratioed the movies takings to the amount of screens it was out on, it sold out every single showing and over-shadowed the figures from the Saw films, but the studio didn't care. I think, there is also an element, in remakes, at making them apply to todays world, to appeal to larger masses. Look at [Rec] Instead of giving it a proper worldwide release, they decided to remake it, by putting it bang in Los Angeles, to make it relevent to its new audience. The Day The Earth Stood Still was made relevant to the audience, because of the narrative changes, and because of this, i think having it remade/rebooted is completley justified.

Stuart Mellor on Dec 13, 2008


Stuart, Yeah, the only problem is they totally screwed up DTESS - It was not a good movie and it had a retarded/ambiguous message. That's the problem/danger in remaking a classic film: The odds are you will end up making a poor reflection of the original. This one is actually doing worse than I thought... it's tracking for $30-36MM this weekend and I thought it would do much better. I'll bet next weekend it only does less than $14MM. And I think you're supporting my argument of why studios are often sleazy: They make an original/interesting movie and then they "bury" it by not marketing it sufficiently or only releasing it on a handful of screens. When they do that, I'm not going to cheer for them releasing yet another remake with the intention of cashing in on an existing movie. Vic on Dec 13, 2008


It was terrific, in IMAX is the only way to go. The ending was SUPERB! What a brilliant way to pay homage to the orginal CLASSIC! With the exception of the McDonalds non-chaos question...which I just don't get, it was entertaining and the acting was real. The science involved was totally believeable and honest. The short on Watchman was WOW! Alas, no Wolverine trailer as I had hoped. The mere fact the film began in space, which is a rule of any intergalactic film, was perfect.

D-9 on Dec 13, 2008


After comment #37 I'm going to have to unsubscribe from this thread or I'm gonna lose it... Vic on Dec 13, 2008


I liked the movie. Im not going to say it as a great movie but it was good. The original was obviously the better of the two. I felt like they made this movie too big. The reason why the original was so great was that it was a very personal film. I enjoyed the part in Mcdonalds when Klatu is talking to the other alien who has been on earth for awhile and has grown to love humans. I also really liked Gort until he turned into a million little metallic aphid things. As soon as i saw they were at the professors house I was so excited to hear some dialogue between Klatu and him. after he said "I have so many questions to ask you" I had a big smile on my face in anticipation of what they would discuss. But i was deeply disappointed that there was basically no discussion between the two on a very intellectual level. The whole scene was too rushed and not elaborated upon enough. The whole professor/Klatu relationship in the original was one of my favorite parts. All in all I liked the film. I liked the idea that it is not necessarily our weapons that need to be stopped but it is us. The ending left a lot to be desired though.

Dan W on Dec 13, 2008


It was a good thought-provoking movie, but it should have been longer, and gone into more detail. The ending was horrible. It didn't really do it for me.

Brian on Dec 13, 2008


Vic, Glad to see we agree on the annoyance of Studio's burying fresh and exciting films! But i think you need to take this as a re-boot, rather than a remake. Its a fresh version, being made relative to the current climate with the same characters. A remake would stick to the same story, the same character method etc.. Where as, as you've seen the film, you know its been adapted rather, which is why i would suggest the film to be a reboot. Taking this into consideration, and the way in which the studio/crew ere trying to potray this new look into TDTESS, i think it worked very well. However, film of the year is still going to be Australia 😛

Stuart Mellor on Dec 13, 2008


#37 I agree! I loved it, despite what the freakin' whiners say. After all, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. I thought it opened well and Keanu Reeves was perfectly cast because the filmmakers were going for that realistic, robotic acting that an extraterrestrial being might do. Long story short, I will recommend this film and may check it out again in IMAX. Extra points for scaring the hell out of some with it's timely environmental message!

Blue Silver on Dec 13, 2008


Just got back from seeing the movie, and although because of the nature of the movie ... LIKE Cloverfield ... and once the ending comes, you don't need to rush out and see it again, it will warrant DVD viewing and even when it eventually starts repeating on FX and other DIRECTV channels. That being said, which is stating the only negative (if you can call it a negative) points about TDTESS, I loved the premise and Reeves did a great job keeping the emotions in check to present an "alien in a human body" facade. There was one point in the truck with Jaden that I thought he was going to break this trend but kept right on going. SPOILER WARNING .... Andddd ... yes people were right, wanted to smack little Smith midway through the movie, but I guess his little part was actually a protagonist, because its his actions which move part of the plot ... END SPOILER WARNING. This is worth watching for the pure entertainment of what a movie is created for the public side, which is getting out to see a movie for fun. Did anyone else think that Reeves is starting to definitely showing his age in this movie? Not in his actions but his physical look. Long gone are the days of "Bill and Ted" and even removed from youthful look in "The Matrix"

John from Joisey on Dec 13, 2008


.....and btw, see ya Vic. #38!

Blue Silver on Dec 13, 2008


I saw the midnight showing and I'll keep it as short as possible. You believe Keanus' and Jennifer Connellys' character. Kathy Bates, not so much. And I'm glad I'm not alone when it comes to wanting to smack Jaden Smiths character. I think he pretty much ruined it. The really cool sci fi cgi moments are too brief but cool. Nothing really exciting or catastrophic ever happens near the end. It kind of just ends like blah. I am a Keanu Reeves fan and was kind of let down. The Matrix and Constantine still rule. Watch those instead. It wasn't terrible but wasn't great either. It's a rental, or watch when they play it on TV.

vu on Dec 13, 2008


I was very pleased. The orginal classic has been dear to my heart for ever. And this was worth the wait. Big Macs be damned, with the end of the world outside did not make sense. Could have cut that part. Overall, it was great, maybe I love the orginal so much it would be hard not like it. And Vic, The Thing IS a Classic. C'Mon. Thanks Blue!

Tim "Cloverfield" on Dec 13, 2008


I am definitely the kind of person that would defend the original over the remake (case in point, I did not really like Rob Zombies Halloween film). However, that said, I found this film a decent science fiction film. I was spared from having to do comparisons from the fact that I have yet to see the original (hope to do so soon), but I can say that still got goosebumps when GORT showed up for the first time.

Sean Kelly on Dec 13, 2008


First let me say that Keanu is one of my favorite actors. I felt all the actors did a good job. The problem was that this was a Remake of a Classic SciFi Film; a film so great that it inspired people like Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek. The actors could not make the material work. How could the director or writers have the US army name Gort. How could the director or writers leave out the famous words" Klaatu, Birata Nicktoe? There was so much potential for a great remake here. But the flaw was in trying to make the remake different. Different is not always better and this movie is the prime example of different.

Linda Koplovitz on Dec 13, 2008


This was a powerfully affecting movie. The tone was exactly right. The superior Klaatu is frightening just because he does not care one way or the other. He can kill. He can revive. He does both with the same distance. The humans around him, the mom and boy mostly, behave, appropriately as animals. They cower, cry, try to appeal to him. They understand that he may or may not do as they like, but their only option is to beg! Earth's most brilliant man, the Princeton Professor, gives in to Klaatu almost immediately and begins a sales pitch (which, as an intellectual, he probably does not believe in himself) about yes, well, we killed 6 million people here and there, but hey, listen to this Bach! Pretty good right? So, you'll save us then? No? That tone, and everything around it, made the film for me. It felt -- true. And true is something that is rarely seen in movies...and perhaps rarely wanted. But it was true.

John Bailo on Dec 13, 2008


Sucked! Wasn't even the same movie. Try to compare a remake of the Godfather with Richard Simmons as the Don, no machine guns and British accents, who are pie salesmen. I did not like that "Save the Earth" bit and I thought John Hong was going to crack up laughing in the middle of his lines. We paid extra to see it at an IMAX theater. It was a rip-off; the regular flat-screen probably would have been easier and better to watch. They could probably make a fortune re-ditributing the 1951 original. After all these years being a fan of TDTESS I have watched the replay every chance I had and love it (heh-heh). I can recite most of the lines too. Gort was wasted in this one. The kid's acting was great but was an irksome role; his character was not well liked. Too bad.

TonyPony on Dec 14, 2008


Almost choked on my popcorn! Kathy Bates is grilling Keanu as he lies in bed... I thought it was an outtake from M I S E R Y !!!! This movie was re-written by high-school popularity contest winners who don't know doo-doo for the mediocre mcdonalds/MTV babies. A friend would have smahed his word processor before he got the thing started. GORT is looking for the guilty so look out!

TonyPony on Dec 14, 2008


I liked the first 20 minutes and then it falls apart. Pretty Awful! The director might have a hard time getting future work as he just botched this up pretty badly. Also its pretty boring in its second half. chuck on Dec 14, 2008


UM.... it was a good waste of time.... having to choose between this or bolt i'd choose bolt no really i would choos bolt

neonblue on Dec 14, 2008


I saw it in IMAX and it was horrible. Crappy action. Stupid special effects. The gigantic robot never even did anything cool. Crappy set design. Honestly, Keanu was the only good thing about this...

Fester on Dec 14, 2008


It is all a matter of taste. I love the original. Michael Rennie will always be the "real" Klaatu. I did enjoy the remake, however I thought the major problem was with the writer, not the actors or director. A remake should be a remake. The screenplay borrowed liberally from the original and opportunities were squandered to make this a truely great SciFi movie. I can't help but think what would have happened if Ridley Scott had got hold of it. I have no issues with Keanu Reeves playing Klaatu. Who knows how an alien would act, and deadpan is as good as any interpretation. My issue is with the plot which was linear from beginning to end. There were no twists and everything was predictable. Having seen the original, it was fairly easy to see where everything was going. I thought Jennifer Connelly made a good Helen. Jaden needs more acting lessons and seemed very superfluous to the plot like he was added simply to gain sympathy. The film could easily have been made without him. Curiously, they had an astrobiologist married to an army sergeant? Would they actually move around in the same circles? Very unlikely. They seemed to handle it better in the original by saying he was an officer. That I could believe. How many ways can we criticize a film? Basically it comes down to personal preference. I liked it. Others don't. But then, I DO think the remakes of The Thing and The Fly were crap. And I have seen the originals of those, too. The originals were also crap. Crap begats crap.

John on Dec 15, 2008


Re do it and get the bratty kid out. K. Reeves was not acting, that was his true self. As for Jennifer, I was expecting her to slap the brat on the back of the head any time, but she let me down. what's the thing with the locusts at the end?

b. adorno on Dec 15, 2008


I agree with the critics trashing this movie because the Original was so loved. We actually wanted to see a good remake and we are disappointed. Go back and look how wonderful the Original Movie was. It became a Classic and inspired so many creative people. It wasn't a horror movie, it was a movie for the hope of mankind. Anyone who liked this remake, is from the chewing gum, Terminator Movie generation.

Linda Koplovitz on Dec 16, 2008


WoW all of this great discussion all around a terrible movie. I need to go back and see the discussion about The Dark Knight or something that was actually worth watching! Vic - you are the man!!

Atomic Popcorn on Dec 16, 2008


I think that TonyPony had the best comment. He seemed to really identify and develop the most intrinsic aspects of the casting, light and audio. After such a brilliant analysis of its technical core strenghts how surprising to hear an authentic de-evolving lingual and tonal composition of critique notes that go far beyond enchanting. He simply, "delivers the goods". We must, in our most secret and inner garden, admit that a man has ripped the mask off this frothy sub-grade hash flick and told us the TRUTH! We ALL loved the 1951 black and white two-reel sci-fi classic in its original severe art noir. War weary and suffering the RED DREAD of COMMUNISM, HOPE and CHANGE rested in the hands of one GIANT IRON MAN and little Bobby with his two dollars. Did LOVE play a role in KLAATU's devious and mysterious plot to procur chicken nuggets for Chinese people. We dare not say its name but I thought they would kiss. Who? Giant Iron Man? Bobby? That woman? The Chinese? I really hated the remake and everybody associated with it. The people who liked it have a terrible debilitating condition called popcorn neural atrophy and will probably vote democratic in the next election. I will make a very special exception for John Hong who stole the show as usual! Signed, The Best Friend of TonyPony

TonyPony on Dec 16, 2008


I saw the movie and it is not bad at all. My understanding and this is what I felt: keep the 50th's not to far away from us. Do you really thing that we have really changed that much, since then? Beside the technology? If we are capable of great things we are also capable of the lowest things. We are still short minded as we use to be and will always be like this...because we are human and humanity always repeat itself. We will be erase one day, either from an alien, a meteor or by ourselves, but earth will still be there and survive to us.

Claude on Dec 16, 2008


Claude is talk funny. Maybe would like any movie I thing. We second language speak wrongly enough to expound on movie that is too complicated technology. Man will rise to the epiphany of great achievement. Nietsche says, "Does not order arise from chaos?". But Nietshe is dead. So's this movie!

TonyPony on Dec 17, 2008


Well, the original usually can never be topped...and this is the perfect example of that being true. Not that I was expecting much. However, I did hope there would be something worthwhile here. Not so. It is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. Characters were dull and borish. No plot. No resemblance at all to the fantastic 1951 classic film. Michael Rennie's portrayal of Klaatu was that of a wise and gentle...obvious superior life form - who showed compassion, curiosity and humor at us poor earthlings. Keanu Reeve's version of Klaatu was cold, sinister and moronic. Gort was much more likeable...even though he was completely computer generated as were most of all the scenes and special FX. Maybe they just should have saved a couple of million and not had human actors at all and just used CG animations throughout the entire film. I bet with a few thousand bucks I could take ordinary people from my street and a camera and make my own movie of this and do a better job. Don't waste your money - not even on a rental or pay per view. Now I admit this is coming from a 54 yr. old baby boomer; who thinks the classic version is awesome. I am biased, that's for sure. However, I am certain that my 20 something kids would also think this remake was garbage. Just My Opinion 🙂 Had to vent my supreme disappointment

Gail on Dec 19, 2008


Having viewed a lot of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes -- where it is now at 20% positive and dropping -- and the Internet Movie Database site, the 20-somethings and up hate this movie -- and many of them have not seen the original. I cannot remember the last time I heard such outrageous reviews, although a lot had me ROTFL. They were pretty funny. Jaden Smith was particularly pointed out as being one of the most annoying elements of the movie, many feeling that they were Klaatu they would have destroyed the earth based on meeting just him. Not that I was going to waste my money on this, but I'm pretty sure now I won't bother wasting precious hours of my time when it comes to cable.

Cathy on Dec 22, 2008


Problem # 1 for me: It most certainly intimated at the global warming BS. Problem # 2: Black kid/white stepmom. I am sick and tired of this crap being forced down my fucking throat as if it's the norm. IT'S NOT Problem # 3: Your dad died over a year ago kid........get over it.

Len on Dec 29, 2008


I was hugely disappointed in this remake. It should never have been made. Not only is it nothing like the original, it is an embarrassment to true Sci-Fi fans.

T.J. on Jan 4, 2009


TJ, I agree with you 100%. What were they thinking?

Linda Koplovitz on Jan 5, 2009


Linda, it didn't appear that they were thinking AT ALL. It was a waste of good film.

TJ on Jan 5, 2009


Yeah, I agree too but only comment # 50 above really satisfies my distaste for this absolutely horrible travesty of cinematic detritus. That guy really knows how to trash a slop-job like this bad, nasty remake.... Check it out #50, #51, #59, #60 & #61. That TonyPony guy really knows his stuff! signed, just another friend of TonyPony

TonyPony on Jan 6, 2009


Wow, I just watched this movie last night and the only descriptive adjective I can come up with is... sucked. Everything from character development to sub-plotting just bored me to tears. Did Keanu Reeves really get paid for this? Unreal. I was most astounded though by the amazing main theme of the movie regarding "man destroying the Earth." Where did that come from. How original. I was deeply moved with tremendous emotion. The best comic relief in the movie was the "I just can't catch a break" officer who kept trying to blow up things, just to get outsmarted by that whacky G-O-R-T. Oh yes, and I would bet they agonized for days until someone thought of having the military name the robot, rather than having Keanu memorize the name, Gort. And what ever happened to Gort, Klaatu berrada nicto, or whatever it was from the first movie? My, my my what an abberation. I can only hope the Smith kid gets more acting lessons before the sequel, as an abrasive, smart-ass is not endearing in a tweenish-year-old. Come on Will, help the kid out. Maybe with the few bucks they made from this they left the country and we won't have to endure a sequel. I did not really want to see a carbon copy of the first movie with the only difference being color, but with the 50+ years since the original I see more entertainment in that original.

Billy D on Apr 9, 2009


After all these moths the movie leaves a bad memory of how these tree huggers ruined a fanatstic classic. There should be criminal charges against them! Reeves outta serve time and John Hong too "because I love them" he should know better. I betcha the crew laughed the whole time they were shooting that scene. It was atrocious and I hope they send these comments to every member of the buch that had anything to do with this sickening celluloid silliness!

TonyPony on Apr 9, 2009


Billy D. Thanks you reiterated my thoughts exactly. Tony Pony - I'm a tree hugger and I hated the movie. The fact that the Writer, Director and Producer ruined a great classic sci-fi story is the point we are all trying to make. The ones that loved the Original were hoping for a great re-make and we were all robbed of our money.

Linda Koplovitz on Apr 9, 2009


Well, they're selling the DVD, but apparently they feel the need to include the original. They make a big point of this in the commercial. Will they sell? I don't know, seeing that Fox did release a terrific new DVD set of the original a week before this one came out -- attempting to cushion the losses they were expecting? Is this disaster even at a break-even point yet? I know it went down like a stone at the box office after its first weekend.

Cathy on Apr 9, 2009


Sorry, I've hugged a few trees myself, but this hysterical, ruthless assault on everthing HUMAN is very aggravating to me. I would like to remind all the Pries drivers out there that just one eruption of Mount Pinatubo blew thousands of kilo-tons of effluent into the atmosphere and nature has had many eruptions as far back as before HONDA! Not that mindless, reckless and wanton abuses against our ecology is good. I would prosecute to the fullest those that fall into that category. But if mom loads the neighborhood kids in an SUV that is no reason to sneak around at night and flatten 7 to eight hundred dollars worth of tires. Anybody hammering steel spikes into trees ought to be tried and hanged. So, hug away, just leave other folks alone if they want SUV and refridgerators. for Billy D - I would have more appreciated the movie going after man's savagery against others and the constant beating of war drums. If necessities and medicines were pandered with the same lust as are weapons, children and heck, all people would flourish and perhaps return to Eden. That was pretty much Klatu's message in the Original movie.

TonyPony on Apr 9, 2009


TonyPony, I agree with you. Klaatu's message in the original movie was about our love of war and, as he put it, our petty squabbles. It's just as timely today, when you consider it. Look at where we were when this re-imagining came out and where we are today? It is all because of war and greed, pure and simple. We still have nuclear threats -- look what North Korea did the other day -- yeah, it failed and was kind of silly, but ... you get the drift, dreams of nuclear annihilation are alive and well. And it really is ridiculous -- it is petty. So, yes, something good could have been done. But they were whimps, not wanting to buck the Military Industrial Complex and the need to be politically correct. The Bush regime was still in charge while this movie was being made. The Army refused to be involved in the original. This crowd, led by Keanu Reeves, was too timid to step on toes. This was a re-make done to make a quick buck off the CGI/gaming crowd. Even on that level it seems to have bombed. So, when does the Xbox game come out -- or has that already happened? And in case I didn't mention it, we all know that Fox today is not the same as Fox in 1951. It's not an independent studio that takes a lot of risks and shows guts in a tough political environment. Indeed, Fox is part of the problem. So, in the end, TDTESS could not have been remade in any compelling manner given the studio dynamics alone. It's sad. Classics movies are classics because the people behind the project have true passion and vision. The story behind a classic movie is often as compelling as the movie itself.

Cathy on Apr 10, 2009


Cathy on Apr 10, 2009 - AWESOME! I am glad that at least two of us are around, I hope there are more! I truly believe that in peace and prosperity, we can work and play ogether fairly, yet still make it possible for people to have access to the necessities of life... food, shelter, medical care and the possibility, the potential to make ones self productive and self sufficient. They make machines that do incredible things, why not use that brilliance to get a kid something to eat? Teach a guy to build or aid or lead? To be certain all people live in safety against the aggressors? You all know iit could be! Look at the trillions of dollars, phoney or real that buys yachts, palaces and sports cars! There are enough resources. I'm not talkin' communism either! If a family could grow their crops and bring them to market or whatever enterprise they could master, they would be able to trade their effort for the sustenance they need! Maybe even buy a boat and a house and a car. But Big Bastard has made the rags to riches road closed to just plain folks. Thanks Cathy!

TonyPony on Apr 10, 2009


obama is just as much an ugly disaster as this movie... everybody Hoped & Change but nope, no HOPE no CHANGE! He has brought in an army of twisted degenerates and communists to destroy all the things that were good about my country. Yeah, we had a list of really bad things our country did but the list of good things is so much longer and we were getting better. But obama's ghouls are intolerant and incompatible. What the white people who voted for obama haven't figured out is that he hates white people and will at some point unleash his minions on the white people.

TonyPony on Oct 22, 2009

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