The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

en:The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 sci...

en:The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 science fiction film about an alien and a robot on a diplomatic mission to Earth. This image is a screenshot from a public domain trailer for the film. Trailers for movies released before 1964 are in the Public Domain because they were never separately copyrighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a re-make of a 1951 film of the same title and I saw a bit of that version, and it made sense immediately. It is post second world war, nations are in conflicts and no one trusts anyone, Klaatu (Michael Rennie) came 250 million space miles to earth to let the world leaders know of  the severity of earth’s dire predicament. That makes sense, so without watching the rest I guess it is going to show me how stupid humans can be and untrustworthy they have become.

Now after 57 years, we have Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) encore. The opening scene I hope is telling us that he was abducted by alien, and threw back tagged on his hand! Otherwise, I have no idea how it correlates with the rest of the movie.

Well this version shows how technically advance we are with CGI effects. The robot is now at least 20 feet tall, and Klaatu(Keanu Reeves) walks out of a glowing sphere that landed in Central Park like how we expected it/he should look like: Alien with big head, round eyes, and long limbs and digits. Someone shots the thing. Wait! red blood or red substance splatters onto Dr. Helen Benson‘s (Jennifer Connelly) contamination helmet visor. WTF?!  The thing is carried in for medical attention. OMG, that alien LOOK is just a camouflage suit made of jelly…because 1) gotcha 2) it’s more exciting this way 3) no reason. What do we know, it is just Keanu underneath all that jelly stuff (That’s the only dot to connect to the opening scene). BTW, that jelly can also be used as super polysporin® ! Klaatu speaks English, and later in the golden arc, MacDonald’s, he speaks Mandarin as well.

We have seen this many times now, sometime they are spaceships, other time black masses, but in this case glowing spheres that kinda look like earth are landed in different part of earth. Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates) is Secretary of State who calls the shots. Dr. Helen Benson is an astro-biologist to provide scientific background of the situation or just there to show unrequited love. Jacob Benson (Jaden Smith) is the annoying son of Helen’s dead husband, who was a soldier. She just cannot get through to this little boy, can she? Seriously, if he lives under her roof, I think she is being too nice. I don’t know why the guilt in her eyes though! Okay, I will just get along with the plot, because we can only show selflessness that involves a kid! Never mind that he can be a brat, but for the survival of the human race, let’s go with it.

First half of the film is the discovery, i.e., who they are, where they come from, what the robot is made of, what do they want from us? will we survive? the usual stuff.

Second half is to show our toughness! submit or be nuked! But, there are things beyond what we know, and don’t get he/she/it upset or else HE (Jacob addresses Klaatu as “he” towards the end instead of “it” that he uses all along) will send the prophetic plague, metallic prophetic plague indeed.

In between is all that sentiment stuff between Helen and Jacob (eyes rolling).

At the end, HE sees, HE believes, and HE leaves. (C’mon dude! lessons learned, we can change, and trust us! now go already!)

Oh whoopie doo! We win!

BTW, who is in-charge of hair and make-up? That bun on Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates) neither shows power, nor intelligence, and her wardrobe could be better.

You guess it: SKIP ! the 2008 version.


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