Wednesday 30 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Science Fiction · The Day the Earth...
Science Fiction

The Day the Earth Stood Still

None December 18th, 2008

officers and whisked away to a military installation, where she and a group of scientists are informed that in about an hour, a large object from space will crash into Manhattan's Central Park.

When the moment comes, the object "” which turns out to be a huge, translucent sphere "” slows down and lands. Helen happens to be there, and walks up to the sphere just as an amorphous being is exiting. Just as Helen is about to shake hands with the being, a nervous soldier and/or cop shoots it.

At Walter Reed, the being sheds its pale, blubbery outer coating and turns into Klaatu (Keanu Reeves, "Street Kings," "The Lake House"). Klaatu wants to be taken to our leaders, but since he's in the good old U.S. of A., he's under the jurisdiction of Secretary of Defense Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates, "The Family That Preys," "Fred Claus"), who doesn't want him going anywhere. She takes the default military position that Klaatu is there to initiate some sort of invasion, while Helen senses that he represents a more benevolent purpose.

Klaatu escapes under his own steam, but due to his gunshot wound, he needs Helen to bring him part of his cocoon, which heals all physical maladies. While he can master English and Mandarin, and make cars drive themselves by touching them, Klaatu can't actually drive, so he needs Helen, accompanied by Jacob, to act as his chauffeur.

As they cruise from place to place, Helen slowly discovers the true purpose of Klaatu's visit: It seems humans are blowing it as far as maintaining the Earth, and a group of intergalactic civilizations have sent him to forcibly evict us from the premises.

As Helen and Jacob drive around with the unemotional Klaatu (the perfect role for Reeves, who's always best when required to keep his face as still as possible), they try to convince him that while humanity is in many ways a diseased pile of dog-flop, we also have some endearing qualities. Not many, but maybe just enough for Klaatu to spare our sorry lives for a while longer.

While there are some logical gaps and forced sentimental moments, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is pretty good. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose") makes good use of special effects while avoiding the kiss-of-death-overuse-of-CGI-at-the-expense-of-good-storytelling mistake to which so many others fall victim. As the alien, Reeves projects the correct amount of awkward emotional void (again, his forte), and Connelly manages to anchor the human side without emoting her way into melodrama.

On the minus side, one gets the feeling that young Smith's casting was the product of Hollywood nepotism. Unfortunately, the kid displays the emotional range of a pencil sharpener, and defeats his character's purpose in the narrative by being more annoying than sympathetic.

Overall, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is worth seeing not so much for its message or performers, but the apocalyptic tension created in the pacing and overall production.

"”Mike Robertson

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5