Sunday, January 10, 2010

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” – If you’re a nerd, keep your hands out of your pants.

It’s probably not a good thing that the previews might be the best part of this movie. In case you missed it, it’s the exclusive place where you can see the trailer for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (obviously, these guys have never heard of the Internet). I’m not saying “The Day the Earth Stood Still” was a bad movie, I’m just saying now I know what I’ll be doing in May 2009. Not only did we get the Wolverine preview, but we also got one for “Star Trek” and “Terminator: Salvation.” Coupled with the featured film, this was like a nerd orgasm. Yes, I am freely admitting to the nerd side of me.

But you’re not here for the previews; you’re here to find out about Keanu Reeves’ latest film. First off, let me tell you it was a decent movie. Even if you hate Keanu, you will be pleased with this performance because it was the role he was born to play (it’s not a coincidence that Keanu and Klaatu sound alike). It doesn’t take much to imagine what the director and producers asked of him.

Director: “Okay Keanu. All we need you to do for this entire movie is be yourself.”

Keanu: “I don’t understand.”

Director: “Just read the lines, show no emotion, and keep your voice monotone.”

Keanu: “Oh. So just be myself?”

Director: “Yes.”

Keanu: “Whoa.”

Second, I’ve loved Jennifer Connelly ever since “Labyrinth” and the only movie I won’t watch her in is “Requiem for a Dream” (trust me on that one). Even if she turned in a terrible performance, I wouldn’t know it because she’s always great to me.

Another thing you may or may not know is that this film is a remake of a 1951 film of the same name. I’ve never seen the original, but I do know that they kept the basic theme consistent; aliens warning the humans that they’ll all die if they don’t change their ways. The difference is that the original was in regard to nuclear weapons and a fear of the humans using them against other alien races and the new film is that the humans are destroying the Earth and can’t be allowed to do that since there are very few planets which can sustain life in the galaxy.

My friend immediately thought that they were referring to global warming, but that wasn’t the impression that I got. I believe that climate change was only part of the warning and that the aliens were also referring to war, nuclear weapons, deforestation and all of the other things that environmentalists warn us about. I’m sure you’re surprised (like my friend) that this plot did not piss me off, since I railed on “Quantum of Solace” and “Transporter 3” for having environmentally themed plots. I can’t explain why, but it just didn’t rub me wrong in this film.

Like I said, this film was decent. I liked the special effects and I like that they portrayed human attitude as shoot first, ask questions later. Some people like to think we’re better than that, but our track record shows otherwise. What made this film only decent was that they made some bad decisions putting it together. One was the complete waste of casting John Cleese and making his character completely useless. What was the point of him playing a Nobel prize-winning scientist whose sole purpose was to bond with Klaatu over an equation that no one in the audience could understand? The other was putting Jaden Smith in this film.

Jaden Smith is the untalented offspring of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. He plays Jennifer Connelly’s stepson. His role centered around being an obnoxious little jerk, saying that the aliens should all be killed. He finally has a change of heart when Klaatu saves him from falling into a fast-flowing river, but by then, all I wanted was for the kid to drown. Considering the fact that his character served no purpose to the story, I don’t think it would have been too much to ask.

A friend of mine refuses to see this film because he thinks the original is just too good and he hates Keanu Reeves. I’ll agree that it may have been a good movie, but all sci-fi movies from the 1950’s can be improved upon, especially in the special effects department. Plus, no one does emotionless like Keanu Reeves.

Rating: The movie itself is worth five dollars. If you’re a nerd, you got your money’s worth.


  1. See the original and you might change your mind about special effects from the 50's....I was a kid then and that movie blew me away....It still does 60 years later. I remember DC from this days as a sleepy little town with globe streetlights and not much traffic....unlike the traffic clogged metropolis it has become now.

  2. Thanks for reading and I appreciate the kind words.