Blu-Ray Review: Excellent Blu-Ray For Bad Movie in ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’

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HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The 3-disc special edition of Scott Derrickson’s remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly is the perfect example of the difficulty of Blu-Ray reviews. Do you judge the movie or the Blu-Ray? The movie itself is a mess, but Fox has put together a spectacular home release for it.

Where does the remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi film go wrong? Where do I start? Well, the original was a plea for peace, a hope for human understanding and compassion in an increasingly dangerous world. There’s absolutely no reason that a modern filmmaker couldn’t make a contemporary update of that message. We clearly still need to consider rational thought over reactionary violence.

The Day the Earth Stood Still was released on Blu-Ray on April 7th, 2009.
The Day the Earth Stood Still was released on Blu-Ray on April 7th, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox

The reason the modern “The Day the Earth Stood Still” fails is that the filmmakers who “reimagined” the original film have inverted what made the original work. A film more concerned about the human race than the alien one visiting it has become a disposable, CGI-driven disaster flick that nearly makes you root for world destruction.

The Day the Earth Stood Still was released on Blu-Ray on April 7th, 2009.
The Day the Earth Stood Still was released on Blu-Ray on April 7th, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox

In the opening scenes of “The Day the Earth Stood Still, the nation’s scientists, including Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly), are called in when a meteor is spotted speeding towards Earth. After the catastrophic aftermath doesn’t pan out as expected, an orb lands gently in the middle of Central Park.

An amorphous creature emerges from the ship and is fired upon, at which point his giant robot companion known as GORT comes to his rescue by shutting down the enemy before the visitor is shuttled off to safety. When the visitor sheds his alien-like skin, the creature turns out to be Klaatu (Keanu Reeves), a space ambassador sent to warn humans that our ways our leading us to destruction. Klaatu will determine if we’re worth saving or if Earth should be wiped clean.

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” is a loud mess. It’s closer to the remake of “Godzilla” than the source material. The idea of upgrading a nearly sixty-year-old film with modern effects and for a new audience isn’t a bad one, but the final product is so unfocused. It starts as a reasonably effective B-movie but collapses as soon as it starts to get serious. And the ending is horrendous.

Clearly, the movie’s not really worth your time. But if you’ve already seen it and you’re a fan who wants to add it to your collection than you won’t be disappointed by the 3-disc Special Edition Blu-Ray release. With fantastic picture, sound, and special features, the Blu-Ray release far surpasses the quality of the actual film.

The film itself is presented in 1080p with a 2.35:1 aspect ration and accompanied by a great English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks.

One of the coolest special features for the “Day” release is the inclusion of the 1951 movie on Blu-Ray on its own disc. The disc with the remake includes a commentary by screenwriter David Scarpa, picture-in-picture BonusView: “Klaatu’s Unseen Artifacts,” “Build Your Own Gort” Interactive Experience, deleted scenes, “Re-Imagining the Day” Documentary, “Unleashing Gort” Featurette, “Watching the Skies: In Search of Extraterrestrial Life” Featurette, “The Day the Earth Was “Green”” Featurette, and still galleries. A digital copy of the film is included on disc two.

‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ is released by Twentieth Century Fox Home Video and stars Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, Jon Hamm, and Kathy Bates. It was written by David Scarpa and directed by Scott Derrickson. It was released on April 7th, 2009. It is rated PG-13.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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