REVIEW: The Day The Earth Stood Still

Saturday, December 13 by

I was listening to an episode of This American Life where the break down step-by-step what has happened in the financial markets over the past few months that has made hoards of analysts and traders literally shit their pants. Check it out, it’s mind blowing. The idea that our markets would just freeze up and stop working is something that trusted names in economics are saying is a reality.  The consequences would be disastrous. Companies would stop making stuff. Millions of people would lose their jobs.  Industrial food production would grind to a halt. We could potentially see a mini-apocalypse as chaos spread around the globe.  And what brought on end of days? Terrorists? Nuclear mutual annihilation? Plague? Nope: friggin home loans.

Anyway, my point is this. It confuses the shit out of people that our economy could be ground to a halt by a few assholes on Wall Street getting together and betting on bad house debt. And I’m just going to throw it out there that one of the reasons that its so confusing is that we have not made a movie about it. The Day The Earth Stood Still is yet another movie in the vein of near misses in a head on with the Apocalypse that helps keep us all ready for the big one.  It has the same sensibility as The Day After Tomorrow. But this time, it’s wrapped in a moral lesson: if you don’t start hugging trees in exactly 72 minutes, the aliens are going to come in giant novelty lightning ball ships and take it all away from you, because you didn’t treat it right. A plant is privilege, not a right.  It’s basically Deep Impact meets Independence Day meets Fern Gully. But with Neo from the Matrix

Al Gore would TOTALLY approve of the message, if it weren’t expressed in such atrociously expositional dialogue. The first hour of the movie consists of conversations that fill in everything you need to know, but don’t really need to know because you’ve seen every single character before in 19 other movies.  Some of the dialogue is so forced that it makes you giggle a little bit. Kathy Bates is a bizarre choice for her role as Secretary of State—both hard to look at and hard to hear talk. The only positive part of the movie comes in the form of a plague of nanobot locusts that tear shit up for a while.

Like all of these types of movies the ultimate resolve is somehow contingent on an emotional decision.  Saving the plant becomes a matter of loving a child, or finding a spouse. In this case it’s about convincing Keanu that the human race is worth loving.  I agree. It totally is. But unfortunately, this movie isn’t.

I say SKIP IT 5/10



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