Klaatu Barada Whoa! (Part XVII)

on April 16, 2009 by Steve Simels
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Well, courtesy of the good folks at Fox Home Video, I got the new deluxe DVD version of the remade Day the Earth Stood Still yesterday, complete with digital copy and a glorious transfer of the classic 1951 original. Wish I could tell you something nice about the remake apart from that it looks impressive on disc (didn't see the Blu-ray, but I can't imagine it's more than incrementally better) or venture that the bonus features -- including vaguely interesting deleted scenes and the usual making-of docs -- are enough to make you overlook the film's flaws. Which are pretty egregious, I might add; suffice it to say that the new script by David Scarpa lacks a certain dramatic concision (during his running audio commentary I kept expecting to hear his nose grow as he defended it), that Tyler Bates' orchestral score isn't a patch on the genius work by the great Bernard Herrman on the '51 version, and that the CGI effects -- the glowing whatsit spaceship and the now supersized robot -- never once look like they're actually inhabiting the same space as the actors.

And speaking of the actors, consider if you will Keanu Reeves as the alien visitor. What a fricking casting coup THAT is.

Really -- compare and contrast the trailer for the 1951 version starring the ethereally cool Michael Rennie ...

...and the 2008 remake with Mr. Whoa.

Memo to the studio (and I've said this before): When you're hiring Keanu Reeves to play an otherworldly traveller from Outer Space...

 

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...you're actually hiring a guy who'd be somewhat more believable...

 

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...as a checkout boy at Targets.

You're welcome.

In the meantime, if you're still curious about the new version and you could use a pristine copy of the Robert Wise-directed original, you can order the package here.

 

Tags: Day the Earth Stood Still, David Scarpa, Tyler Bates, Bernard Herrman, Keanu Reeves, Michael Rennie, Robert Wise
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