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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)


Peter T Chattaway
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IESB.net spreads the rumour.

My two bits.

My four-year-old comments on the DVD of the original film.

Oh, and since subheads don't show up in search engines: Scott Derrickson.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I just found out Angelina Jolie has been offered the female lead.

I'm excited as all get-out that Scott Derrickson is directing. But Angelina????

INT. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - SANCTUARY - NIGHT

FATHER LORENZO

So now that you've told me all of this: why do you hold such a deep aversion to discussing angels?

PASTOR DAVID

Because I don't wanna get it WRONG! To stand up in front of my congregation--AND in front of God-- and screw it up! Do you hold much stock in that passage from James that says "We who teach will be judged more strictly"??

FATHER LORENZO

Yes... in fact .... I consider that one scripture to be an occupational hazard.

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My two bits...

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951, USA, Robert Wise, screenplay Edmund H. North, story Harry Bates)

It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet. But if you threaten to extend your violence, this earth of yours will be reduced to a burned out cinder. Your choice is simple. Join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. The decision rests with you. Gort baringa.

Fans of early science fiction consider this a tautly paced, intelligent film that distinguishes itself from others of the genre by subtle wit, a preference for characterization over sensationalism, and a laudable anti-war message with religious overtones. Viewed half a century later and miles from the nearest drive-in, it's hard to imagine that any movie not made by Andrei Tarkovsky could move this slow: thirty minutes worth of Twilight Zone concept is stretched out to a leisurely hour and a half, with dialogue (and ideas) only a cut or two above PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (for which it seems to have provided inspiration). The "give up your weapons of mass destruction or we'll destroy you en masse" argument may have sounded progressive just after World War II, but it's hard to take seriously as a peace manifesto today: Mark Janovich's Rational Fear: American horror in the 1950s convincingly makes the case that the story is thoroughly pro-military

Edited by Ron

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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  • 1 month later...
Hollywood North Report says it may film in Vancouver, and it may be "one of the longest theatrical shoots ever to film in this region."

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

FWIW, these websites are reporting that the film will be shot in Vancouver between August 27 and November 27 of this year:

http://www.hollywoodnorthreport.com/article.php?Article=4493

http://vancouverfilm.blogspot.com/2007/05/...o-whistler.html

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

Can Hollywood do as well in summer of '08?

May 9 will also see competition from two films. First, 20th Century Fox will launch its remake of its 1951 classic sci-fi action-adventure "The Day the Earth Stood Still," to be directed by Scott Derrickson ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose"). . . . May 9 will also see Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow launch writer-director brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski's ("The Matrix") action-adventure "Speed Racer," produced by Joel Silver.

Hollywood Reporter, June 8

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

As I said at my blog: "Keanu barada nikto. Whoa."

Or is it "Woah"? I'm having doubts about this now.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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As I said at my blog: "Keanu barada nikto. Whoa."
Ha! :D

So, Keanu plays ANOTHER sci-fi messianic figure, eh?

Or is it "Woah"? I'm having doubts about this now.

You could always resolve it by doing what Jeff does and throwing 'em both in ("Whoah"). I'd recommend "Whoa," thoa.

Side note: My kids recently watched The Day the Earth Stood Still for the first time. They immediately noticed the striking similarity to an episode of "Wonder Woman" they had seen that was clearly ripped off the movie, and correctly predicted a number of plot developments on that basis.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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SDG wrote:

: So, Keanu plays ANOTHER sci-fi messianic figure, eh?

And if this remake follows the original film, it looks like Keanu will be dying and rising again (he did this before in The Matrix -- anywhere else?).

Incidentally, Michael Rennie, who played Klaatu in the original film, went on to play St. Peter in The Robe (1953) and its sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954).

So the 20th-century Klaatu also played St. Peter. And the 21st-century Klaatu also played Buddha (in 1993's Little Buddha). Sign of the times? :)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 5 weeks later...

'Transformers' sequel sets 2009 date

Looking to 2008, 20th Century Fox has decided to make sci-fi actioner "The Day the Earth Stood Still" a Christmas release and open the Keanu Reeves starrer on Dec. 12 instead of during the summer. Fox had dated the pic for May 9, but the movie, which hasn't yet begun lensing, wouldn't have been ready. In addition, Fox has three other summer pics.

Variety, September 27

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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'Earth' welcomes Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly has signed on and Kathy Bates is negotiating to star in "The Day the Earth Stood Still" for 20th Century Fox. Keanu Reeves has already boarded the sci-fi remake. . . . Connelly is set to portray Helen Benson, the role Patricia Neal played in the 1951 original. . . .

Variety, November 5

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Does anyone know if this film will be closely based on the Robert Wise movie, or if it will hew any closer to the short story that inspired Wise's film, "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates? I re-read Bates' story over the Thanksgiving holiday, and it is significantly different from the film's approach. I love Wise's movie, but many of the elements of Bates' story that Edmund North discarded in writing his screenplay are fascinating and are worth exploring on film.

In the short story, there is no Carpenter, no widow, no kid - just a newspaper photographer who spends three nights in a pavillion constructed around the spaceship that appeared out of nowhere, watching the robot Gnut. A month after the spacecraft originally appeared, Klaatu suddenly came out with a word of greeting, and was immediately shot by a crazed assassin. The people of earth, saddened by this senseless and unintended course of events, gave Klaatu a state funeral, and built the pavilion around the spacecraft and the absolutely still form of Gnut, who in the short story is eight feet tall, shaped like a Greek statue, but with glowing red eyes, green metallic skin, and wearing a metal loincloth. The photographer camps out when he realizes that, after months of immobility, Gnut appears to have moved just a bit. The first night, Gnut does move, and while he approaches the photographer, does not harm him. Instead, the robot enters the spacecraft, and after a while a mockingbird comes flying out of the ship, only to die in moments. Gnut picks up the body and returns it to the ship, then assumes his original stance for the daytime. The next night, Gnut again approaches the photographer, but then enters the ship, and a while later a giant gorilla comes out, trashes the pavilion, only to be stopped and killed by Gnut before harming the photographer. The third night, the photographer figures out what Gnut is up to - the robot is using sound recordings of these animals to try to create duplicates of them, on the theory that the sound a creature makes resonates through the whole body, and so includes in its sound information relating to the creature's entire structure. Gnut is eventually trying to re-make the dead Klaatu. But because all recordings are imperfect due to imperfect equipment, these creatures Gnut makes are imperfect and die quickly. The photographer suggests to Gnut that if the original equipment used to record Klaatu's greeting were re-collected, the imperfections in the equipment could be measured and accounted for, allowing a perfect duplicate of Gnut's master to be made. Gnut excitedly agrees to this plan, but then speaks his only words in the whole short story - "You misunderstand. I am the master."

You can see that in some of its ideas, it is similar to Wise's film, but in structure and even theme, it's different. I'd like to see a movie version of the short story.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Hamm probes space visitor in 'Stood Still'

Golden Globe nominee Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" will star opposite Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly in the sci-fi remake "The Day the Earth Stood Still" for Fox. Hamm will play Dr. Granier, a NASA official who recruits Helen (Connelly) for the scientific team investigating an alien's arrival on Earth.

Hollywood Reporter, December 20

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

FWIW, I spotted Keanu at a movie theatre tonight. (I was there to see The Bucket List, he was there to see Sweeney Todd.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I've updated the blog post linked in the previous post to this thread, but just for the record, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed the news and passes on the detail that Jaden is playing "the rebellious Jacob, the 8-year-old stepson of scientist Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) who first makes contact with the humanoid alien Klaatu (Keanu Reeves)." I don't recall hearing prior to this that Connelly's character was a scientist this time, but I might have forgotten something.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And both films are being filmed in Vancouver RIGHT NOW!

- - -

Bates to Score Watchmen and Earth Stood Still

Tyler Bates' latest movie Doomsday (Neil Marshall's upcoming Rogue Pictures release) may be March 14th, but the future is looking bright with the signing of two major films for 2008: Warner Bros.' Watchmen and Fox's The Day the Earth Stood Still.

ComingSoon.net, January 23

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

From last Thursday's Vancouver Sun:

Simon Fraser University put out official notice that the The Day The Earth Stood Still will be filming around campus until March 20.

Starring Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly and Kathy Bates, it is a remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.

This evening's shoot promises to be interesting. It's an aerial shot from a helicopter. The set is a military academy and there will be army vehicles and actors dressed in army uniforms present at the entrance to the university.

FWIW, Simon Fraser University has been used in other films too, e.g. for a car chase in The 6th Day and as a city on Caprica before it gets nuked by the Cylons in the first episode of the new Battlestar Galactica. I've been stuck at home for eight days and don't know when I'll be able to go out again, but if it weren't for that, I'd probably head on up and see what I can see.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Remember how some of us were wondering how the message of the original film would translate to the present day, given that we don't seem to be afraid of an all-out nuclear exchange caused by two superpowers any more? MTV Movies Blog finally gets the lowdown from Keanu himself:

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ain't It Cool has a less-than enthusiastic review of the script here:

After I read the script, I threw it against the wall.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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