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The Day the Earth Stood Still

I saw this film after the nauseating camera movement of Quarantine, and I thought to myself, "Finally, a proper movie."

But that's all this is---a proper movie. Not even a great movie. Just proper.

First of all, it's a sci-fi flick. Very few science fiction movies can come up with something original this day and age. Aliens and spaceships and aliens and saving the earth and more aliens---this is basically what this film is in a nutshell. Well, this actually is a remake of a 1951 film of the same title, directed by Robert Wise (who directed The Sound of Music). This 2008 version was directed by Scott Derrickson, and what he did was to update some themes in the old version to make it more relevant to today's audience.

Okay, let me stop pretending I know a lot about the original 1951 version, so for a comparative analysis between the two films, just read this excellent review.

Let's just go directly to the aspect that I love to criticize the most: acting. First of all, Keanu Reeves. It might be just me, but I really think that Keanu Reeves has a very limited acting style. I know he tries hard, God bless him, but somehow it seems his best performance was playing Ted "Theodore" Logan of the Bill and Ted films. Now Jennifer Connelly is another story. I've loved her since Labyrinth, and her Oscar win for A Beautiful Mind cemented her status as a really talented actress. I think it's in her eyes, which does half of her acting for her.

Another Oscar winner in this film is the wonderful Kathy Bates, but I believe her role in this film as the US Secretary of Defense downplays her acting abilities. Veteran John Cleese makes a very short appearance as some Nobel Prize-winning scientist, while Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett) gives an annoyingly good performance. His acting is so effective that you'd hate the brat.

Anyway, before the holiday lineup invades the movie theaters, go see this movie if you love effects-driven films, or if you want to see Keanu Reeves's handsome mug on the big screen. But for the true science fiction fans, the only thing worth waiting for right now would be the remake of Frank Herbert's Dune.

Rating: Three and a half stars.


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