I heard today that an Iraqi man threw his shoes at Pres. Bush as a sign of disrespect while shouting something that translated “this is your goodbye kiss”. I just got back from watching The Day the Earth Stood Still and it was all I could do to keep my shoes on and not start shouting in Arabic.
The movie is based on the 1951 version of the film by the same title; a classic black and white film that is a must see for any self respecting Sci-Fi fan. This updated version has updated graphics but downgraded acting and ridiculous moments meant to build suspense. In the beginning of the film, Helen, our protagonist, gets a phone call in which the caller asks if she is Dr. Helen Benson, goes on to tell her “they are on their way, yes that’s them at the door”. She asks the caller to hold while she answers the door, where military police escort her to an undisclosed location with urgency… I just don’t get the point of the phone call.
Klaatu was played by Keanu Reeves; most of the movie he looked like Mr Anderson in the Matrix. To be honest, the only thing missing from Reeves performance was a hair sweep behind the ear while saying “duuude” – that would have landed it directly in the excellent adventure club. Of course, Hollywood added a few ‘lick the bark’ scenes – one such quote is in all the trailers – “If the earth dies, you die – if you die, the earth lives”… Isn’t that special?
There were two highlights in the film for me. First, they improved the look of Gort from a man-sized robot, to a five story organic like monstrosity. Second, they introduced a micro-bug that tears everything apart using the shrapnel to create more micro-bugs… making for a few really impressive special effects.
In an attempt to reproduce some agreement with the original film, they replicated the chalk board scene where Klaatu corrects Prof. Barnhardt’s equation… however I was a little shocked that they took time to update everything else in the film but forgot to pick up a whiteboard and a few dry erase markers.
Most of the film had a build up that just seemed to fizzle at the end rather than produce a meaningful climax. Which led me to want to take off my shoes, throw them at the screen while shouting something that sounds like hacking up phlegm… This is the second dud film in a row for me (read The Transporter 3 Review Here)… DOH!