The Day the Earth Stood Still

It's movie time again folks! Yes, this is a Hollywood remake of the 50s classic by the same name. If you've seen the original movie, you have a pretty good idea of what's going on already. For those who don't, the basic idea here is an alien visitor arrives on Earth to determine the fate of the human race. The alien, Klaatu, initially arrives in peace but is promptly shot by an overzealous member of either the military or the police. His defense robot, GORT, then emerges from the ship to disable our weapons and personnel. After which Klaatu is then rushed to a government infirmary to have the bullet wound dealt with. The story deviates somewhat after this with the remake. In the 50s version Klaatu gets the chance to deliver his message to the UN. This time around he gets stuck with a stuffy old professor. The closest he ever gets to meeting world leaders is our Secretary of Defense.

Special effects were very well done. Nothing too crazy. Everything came across as believable and gave the feeling that Klaatu's civilization was very advanced and quite different from us, even after assuming human form. The robot GORT was quite a sight to see and came across as far more realistic than the 50s version of him. Levels of violence and profanity were kept to minimums, which should appeal to a wider audience as well. There's still plenty of good sci-fi action and exploding stuff for the rest of us too :)

All in all, I think this remake was well done and stuck closely enough to the original story to do it proper justice. Keanu Reeves may not be the world's best actor but I think he fit this part perfectly.

Coming up in the near future:

Dec. 25, Valkyrie - A film about the Nazi insiders who were attempting to assassinate Hitler from within. Looks quite promising, though an odd choice for release on Christmas Day.

Further down the road:

March 13, Race to Witch Mountain - A remake of the original Disney film. The preview has the two kids recast as aliens rather than witches, and Witch Mountain as some sort of uber-secret military base where their ship has been taken after they crash on Earth. Looks good from what I saw.

March 20, Knowing - Looks like some kind of end-of-the-world type movie set in the near future. No preview was shown but the posters look interesting.

April 10, Dragonball Evolution - I mention this not because I think it'll be worth the time but merely to illustrate how desperate Hollywood is becoming. I mean come on. Haven't we had enough crap anime yet?

May 1, X-Men Origins: Wolverine - If you're any kind of X-Men fan, this is a must see. The previews look very promising. Wolverine is one of the more interesting characters and he has a hell of a backstory to tell.

May 8, Star Trek - Yes. So far both previews I've seen of this kick ass beyond belief. Hopefully they'll have made up for the absolute disaster that was the series Enterprise. I can't see how any sci-fi fan would miss it unless you hate Star Trek.

May 22, Terminator Salvation - What can I say? It's Terminator. I wasn't even expecting to see this on the horizon. They're not showing previews yet but there's one poster out front. I guess I'll need to dig up some info on this one :)
.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Dec 12, 2008 11:52 pm by Samson in: | 9 comment(s) [Closed]
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You know, I'd been debating about whether I wanted to see this one because I remember the original from when I was a kid and didn't want to bother seeing this one if they didn't do the original justice, but you certainly sound as though you believe they did, so perhaps I'll check it out myself. :)

Valkyrie - Such a shame to give that name to yet another Hitler movie.. and then to cast Tom Cruise in it just sort of adds insult to injury. I really don't expect to bother seeing this one.

Race to Witch Mountain - They've remade this old classic and cast the kids as Aliens with Witch Mountain as a military thing? How'd they explain that one? It really feels like Hollywood's completely lost their inspiration and run out of new ideas, but to resort to remaking and remodeling all the classics... *shaking his head sadly*

Knowing - Hadn't heard anything about this one, we'll have to see what it looks like closer to release when they start the trailers and ads.

Dragonball Evolution - I'll have to second your inspired analysis on this one.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Indeed, I'll see one as soon as I can too. All these movies based on comic are the one positive side to Hollywood not being creative enough to come up with anything new recently. :)

Star Trek - You know I won't miss this one. :)

Terminator Salvation - Indeed, what can you say? It's terminator, it's already been somewhat overdone..

       
Valkyrie - Saw the preview for this when Sarah and I saw Quantum of Solace (which was...a Bond movie. Yes.), thought it could be neat. Given the history behind the thing, they sort of had to call it what they did. Tom Cruise was a little WTF, though.

Saw the Star Trek preview, too. I'll say this for it - I have a pretty big antipathy for Trek (odd, considering the rest of the male half of my family loves it), but this actually looked cool.

Dragonball - My eyes bleed. But then, one of my Full Metal Panic: Second Raid discs has a couple minutes worth of ad for a DBZ box set, and it's...bad doesn't even begin to cover it. Can't we at least get good anime?

...new Terminator movie? I'll bite.

       
Conner, do try and keep in mind that while I've seen and liked many of those old 50s sci-fi movies, I don't necessarily think that altering the story is a crime. That said, as far as I could tell the remake sticks closely enough to do it justice. It's been awhile since the last time I watched the original movie on DVD though.

As far as Witch Mountain, forgive me, but I thought the original stunk worse than skunk piss. It was entirely hokey and lacked any shred of believability in the way they did it. Granted, aliens doesn't make it much better, but I think the remake will end up telling a much better story that makes a lot more sense. Even if aliens with telekinetic powers aren't believable :)

Uh. When I mentioned Terminator Salvation, I wasn't knocking it as bad, I'm quite interested in it, and as long as nothing in future previews turns me away, my default response to it is "can't wait". Perhaps the TV series didn't help matters much. Maybe Fox only made things worse by brutally canceling the show after 9 episodes even though it had a very loyal fanbase. Then again, that didn't stop them from torching John Doe or Firefly either.

I briefly thought about going to see Quantum of Solace. But as Dwip says, it's Bond, and frankly they've REALLY done that to death. Though I'm told Quantum is actually rather well done. I need convincing.

       
Ok, Dwip, I'll forgive them the title given the history factor, but I still can't quite imagine Tom Cruise having been a truely worthy addition to the movie and I'm really tired of the WWII movies. I understand the whole concept of "we must never forget", but do we really have to relive it every couple of years on the big screen to ensure that we don't forget it?

I'll consent that sometimes changes are for the better, but The Day The Earth Stood Still was actually one of the good ones.

I'll readily enough agree that the original Witch Mountain series was far from Disney's best, but aliens racing to get to a seret military base??

I'll just agree to disagree regarding Terminator then, each new episode I've tried ogive it another chance because I really do like the premise, but I've never been able to make myself a fan of the series itself.

I've debated about Quantum of Solace since they started advertising it bcause it's one of the few series that's managed to do well even with being a movie series, but at the same time, they keep changing Bonds and I can't say I've felt the changes were impovements each time and the series is starting to get old. *shrug*

       
Speaking as a Bond fan, well, Quantum was pretty good, although the evil plot was moderately underwhelming. If you liked Casino Royale, you should probably see it. If you like revenge movies with good chase scenes and some good fights, go see it. It's a little more bland than Casino Royale was, and it definitely has the feeling of being the middle movie in a trilogy, but it was enjoyable in its own right, and I feel pretty good about having gone to see it.

As to Valkyrie, yeah, I dunno. I don't really hate Tom Cruise as an actor, and I admit to drawing a blank as to who I'd replace him. And given that World War II is one of the largest events in all of human history, I can even understand why they'd want to make a movie on it, although if you were to ask me, I'd much rather get some good movies on the Pacific - one reason why Flags Of Our Fathers/Letters From Iwo Jima were so interesting was that they're a little more fresh than more Nazis. At least the bomb plot is a little more original than some.

But then, yknow, I grew up on WWII movies and I've got a history degree and one of my focuses is military history, so it's not like I don't have biases, here.

And all that aside, there are plenty of other wars we could have war movies about. Want to be original? We haven't seen WWI done well in a while. Or our current wars, although to be honest, given the Vietnam record, it will probably be another decade or so before we get something really watchable. Failing that, if they wanted to be really original, I cannot off top of my head think of a War of 1812 movie. Battle of New Orleans could be good, among others.

Of course, this distracts us from our real goals, which should involve getting one or both of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash or Neil Gaiman's American Gods turned into good movies. But.

       
I can't argue with you on this one Dwip, you've got good points across the board there. As far as original war movies, something about Charlimane's conquest could be pretty interesting... otherwise, your suggetions would work.. hell, even the French-American war hasn't been done recently that I can recall.

       
Superman [Anon] said:
Comment #7 Dec 17, 2008 9:10 pm
I can't help but get psyched about Terminator movies even though T3 was a total disaster. From what I've read T4 is going to be grim in a holocaust kind of way, which could make it a very intense sci-fi war movie we haven't seen the likes of before. The director cited 'The Road' as inspiration which is a post apocalyptic novel; it's worth reading though it'll leave you somewhat shaken given it has a tolkienesque sense of despair to it.

       
Saw a T4 trailer the other day online. Initial reaction to the first few seconds: Fallout 3 on film. But then the next 2 minutes played, and I'm sold. If the trailer is any indication, they should do well.

       
Guess we'll have to see how it plays out once it's released, unfortunately Hollywood has lately seemed to put pretty much all the good scenes into the trailers so that when you get to the theatre expecting a great movie you find instead that you've already seen the good parts in the TV ads and what's left wasn't worth the price of admission - all too often. *shrug*

       
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