The Day the Earth Stood Still

January 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Suzie's Movies

Yup, it’s a remake of the well known 1951 movie of the same name. (Based on a short story by Harry Bates titled ‘Farewell to the Master”.) 
Just in case you don’t remember it… 

An alien space craft (in this remake a glowing orb) comes to earth with two visitors on board. The first is a massive robot specifically designed to protect the second visitor,  one of  more human- like appearance.  All these aliens want to do  is to travel to earth to warn us that we are ruining our own home,  earth. They attempt  to reason with the leaders of earth and encourage them to rethink their relationship with their own home planet. Things don’t go so well. 

The first mistake the aliens made was to land in the good ‘ol USA where their trip was mistaken for an aggressive attack. Their second  mistake was to land in New York’s Central Park  where the answer to everything – at least in this movie- is to shoot first and ask questions later.  After such an ugly greeting  the aliens decide that humans are too abusive and violent to be allowed to continue screwing up the planet.  Plans are set in motion for the elimination of all humans. And yet, at the last moment …. well, I won’t ruin the movie for you. I won’t ruin the movie for you because it’s already ruined. And it’s a shame because it could have been so good!

This movie started out with some fairly good possibilities, like a decent cast. You got Kathy Bates, Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, and to heighten the cuteness factor there’s  Will Smith’s son, Jaden. For good measure they threw in a few key scenes with John Cleese. John Cleese! Have you ever seen John Cleese in anything that wasn’t good?! And you can’t blame Keanu Reeves weird, detached acting style for any of this movies problems either. Reeves plays one of the aliens and his stilted delivery worked very well in the movie. In fact, Keanu Reeves as an alien is very believable.  Nope, what ruined this film was the amazingly dull, lifeless screen play, horrible dialogue, and the poor to nonexistent respect for the spoken language. It was dull, clunky and sometimes goofy. In fact, in my opinion, I think the real reason the aliens decided to eliminate the humans was not because of their violent tendencies but rather their ridiculous conversations with each other. So now an already preachy movie turns into a a  painful 103 minute endurance trial. Adding insult to injury is  some obvious and shameless product placement for McDonalds, Honda and Windows. I guess you have to pay for the stinky movie somehow. 

Somewhere near the end of the movie Reeves character gives us a clue that the joke is on us. He seriously says, “Mankind can survive, but there will be a terrible price to pay.” Now I realize exactly what that price was.  After surviving a near holocaust, mankind would later  make a movie about it and we, as a nation, would have to sit through it. Lord help us.
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