site search by freefind
MotorBar: 1200+ unique in-depth car reviews. Plus travel & destinations, and 1000 DVD and CD reviews. Online for 14 years. Written by experts.
The Day The Earth Stood Still

The Day The Earth Stood Still“Another blast from the past as film-
  makers dip into classic sci-fi history to
  bring the 1951 movie The Day The Earth
  Stood Still
bang up to date with a
  glowing, spherical spaceship landing
  in New York
s Central Park and striking
  fear into the hearts of mankind
...

DESCRIBED AS A 'RE-IMAGINING' of the original sci-fi classic, the 2008 version of The Day The Earth Stood Still should serve as a reminder of the need to look after our planet. The 1951 film starred Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal and Hugh Marlowe and bore the tag line: A robot and a man hold the world spellbound with new and startling powers from another planet.

That holds good for 2008's The Day The Earth Stood Still which starts with a flashback of a mountaineer's close encounter with a glowing sphere in 1928 in India's Karakoram Mountains.

Fast forward to the present day and astro-scientist Dr Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly: A Beautiful Mind; Blood Diamond), who cares for her dead husband's son Jacob (Jaden Smith: The Pursuit Of Happyness), is bustled away in the night to be taken into Federal custody.

Along with other scientists, a geologist and a civil engineer, Helen is taken to Fort Linwood Military Academy in New Jersey — where they are ordered to hand over all cell phones and cameras. They are told that an object that could be a meteorite is apparently on a collision course with the Earth and that, because of the speed at which it is approaching, there will be no time to evacuate the area.

With the Crisis Response Team on full alert, a glowing sphere slows and lands in New York's Central Park (my, doesn't it get busy there!). The light gets brighter and a shadowy figure emerges. Helen cautiously approaches it, but a shot rings out and the alien falls to the ground. As she cradles him in her arms, a giant and ominous robot — Gort — steps forward threateningly...

The alien, Klaatu (Keanu Reeves: The Matrix; Speed) is rushed to hospital where a surgeon removes the bullet — and much more besides — to discover that the 'alien' has a human form. The Defense Systems satellite has been taken out and smaller spheres are landing across the globe. It soon becomes obvious that Klaatu's people know everything about us but we know nothing about them.

Klaatu has mastered the English language and is questioned by Secretary of Defense Regina Jackson (Oscar-winner Kathy Bates: Misery; Revolutionary Road), who refuses to let the alien speak to the United Nations, falsely accussing Klaatu's robot of attacking the American troops. The automaton, he replies, will only act in the face of violence to protect him.

When asked if he is like us, Klaatu says he is different: "It would only frighten you," he says. When asked if he is human, he says his body is; and when asked if he is a friend to us, he replies that he is 'a friend to the Earth' — and it is becoming increasingly obvious that Klaatu's people do not necessarily think that Mankind is good for the Earth.

Helen and Jacob help Klaatu escape, but who is the mysterious Mr Wu (James Hong) and his grandson (Edward Fong), whom Klaatu meets in — of all places! — McDonald's? And will Klaatu, Helen and her now rebellious and frightened stepson be able to evade the authorities who are chasing them? The clock is ticking and mankind has only a short time to demonstrate that humans are worth saving and will start respecting the Earth.

The future of mankind hangs in the balance. Will Klaatu be the harbinger of death or will he prove to be an ally as Dr Helen Benson and Jacob struggle to protect the human race? The Day The Earth Stood Still is a magnificent blockbuster that sets the scene beautifully, quickly upping the pace to turn a terrific story into a hearty sci-fi thriller with all the trimmings.

The Day The Earth Stood Still also features an exceptional supporting cast, including: John Cleese (A Fish Called Wanda) as Professor Bernhardt; Jon Hamm (Mad Men) as Michael Granier; Kyle Chandler as John Driscol; Robert Knepper as The Colonel; John Rothman as Dr Myron and Brandon T Jackson as the Target Tech. Music is by Tyler Bates; Director of Photography is David Tattersall BSc; Produced by Erwin Stoff, Gregory Goodman and Paul Harris Boardman; Screenplay by David Scarpa (Based on the screenplay by Edmund H North); and Directed by Scott Derrickson.

Taking special effects to another dimension, The Day The Earth Stood Still comes courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and explodes onto Blu-ray and DVD on 20 April, 2009 — looking set to be the biggest action sci-fi film release this year.

The Day The Earth Stood Still. Running Time: 104 Minutes | Certificate: 12 | DVD RRP: 19.99 | Blu-ray RRP: 24.99.

Special Features

DVD

Deleted Scenes — your chance to view three scenes that did not make the final cut of the film (Equipment is issued to the scientists; Helen and Granier discuss the shot; Extended version of Klaatu being wheeled down hallway) | Re-Imagining 'The Day' — a look at the making of this re-imagined version of the film | Unleashing Gort — take a peek at the process involved in creating Gort's new look | Watching the Skies: In Search of Extraterrestrial Life — scientists talk about possible real world scenarios for first contact with aliens | The Day the Earth Was 'Green' — Fox's first green production; details from this environmentally conscious set | Audio Commentary with Screenwriter David Scarpa.

Blu-ray

Build Your Own Gort — interactive feature for viewers to create their own unique Gort using elements from early Gort designs | Picture-in-Picture Bonus View — allows a special insider's look into the alien invasion! | In-Movie Features — access commentaries, picture-in-picture track and storyboards at any time during the film | Deleted Scenes — your chance to view three scenes that did not make the final cut of the film (Equipment is issued to the scientists; Helen and Granier discuss the shot; Extended version of Klaatu being wheeled down hallway) | Re-Imagining 'The Day' — a look at the making of this re-imagined version of the film | Unleashing Gort — take a peek at the process involved in creating Gort's new look | Watching the Skies: In Search of Extraterrestrial Life — scientists talk about possible real world scenarios for first contact with aliens | The Day the Earth Was 'Green' — Fox's first green production; details from this environmentally conscious set | Audio Commentary with Screenwriter David Scarpa.

"They came 250 million miles out of space to hold the world spellbound with new and startling powers from another planet" — Original 1951 movie tag line

"The Day The Earth Stood Still is a magnificent blockbuster that sets the scene beautifully, quickly upping the pace to turn a terrific story into a hearty sci-fi thriller with all the trimmings" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar