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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

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A remake of the 1951 classic science fiction film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.

Director:

Scott Derrickson

Writers:

David Scarpa (screenplay), Edmund H. North
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Popularity
3,058 ( 776)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keanu Reeves ... Klaatu
Jennifer Connelly ... Helen Benson
Kathy Bates ... Regina Jackson
Jaden Smith ... Jacob Benson
John Cleese ... Professor Barnhardt
Jon Hamm ... Michael Granier
Kyle Chandler ... John Driscoll
Robert Knepper ... Colonel
James Hong ... Mr. Wu
John Rothman ... Dr. Myron
Sunita Prasad ... Rouhani
Juan Riedinger ... William Kwan
Sam Gilroy ... Tom
Tanya Champoux ... Isabel
Rukiya Bernard ... Student
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Storyline

Dr. Helen Benson is summoned to a military facility with several other scientists when an alien spacecraft of sorts arrives in New York City. Aboard is a human-like alien and a giant robot of immense size and power. The alien identifies himself as Klaatu and says he has come to save the Earth. The US military and political authorities see him as a threat however and decide to use so-called intensive interrogation techniques on him but Dr. Benson decides to facilitate his escape. When she learns exactly what he means when he says he is there to save the Earth, she tries to convince him to change his intentions. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

12.12.08 is the Day the Earth Stood Still See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

12 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

D.T.E.S.S. See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,000,000, 12 December 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$79,366,978

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$233,093,859
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS | Sonics-DDP (IMAX version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Renowned astronomer Seth Shostak was hired as a consultant on the film. He reviewed the script several times for errors, and gave suggestions for making the scientists less dry: "Real scientists don't describe an object entering the solar system as 'notable for the fact that it was not moving in an asteroidal ellipse, but moving at nearly 3*10 to the 7 meters per second'. More likely, they would say that there was 'a god-damned rock headed our way!'" He also noted the scientists should refer to one another by a first name basis. See more »

Goofs

Even though it is 2008, Klaatu's ship, being identified as "object 07/493" and "discovered just beyond Jupiter's orbit" could have been discovered in 2007 because, as Michael said, "At first, it was projected to pass millions of miles out of Earth's orbit." See more »

Quotes

Helen Benson: It's alright. He's here to help.
Klaatu: There's another side to you. I feel it now.
Helen Benson: [referring to large, black cloud] Is that how it ends?
Klaatu: Yes.
Helen Benson: You can't stop it?
Klaatu: I don't know. It would come at a price, to you and your way of life.
Helen Benson: But we can change, you know that now. Please, please, just give us a chance.
Klaatu: I'll try. I must get back to the city.
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Connections

Referenced in Mr. Plinkett's Star Trek 2009 Review (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Goldberg Variations: Aria Da Capo and Variation No. 1
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Ryan Franks
Courtesy of Crucial Music
[Played at Professor Barnhardt's home]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not in the same Universe as the original
12 December 2008 | by bluess-1See all my reviews

Probably the biggest letdown of my sci-fi viewing life. Even worse than the 3rd "Alien" movie. So many bad points that I can't remember them all. I'll touch on the lowlights.

First, as the unidentified object approached earth, everyone seemed dumb on the reason for the change in direction. Duh uh, like wouldn't a spacecraft immediately come to mind as a possibility?? Then the excitement and anticipation of a visible ship was taken away by clouds and fog and a vague vessel.

As stated elsewhere, the initial contact in the park was ended with Klatu getting shot for an offered handshake (no mysterious equipment popping open). And several times in the movie, there were vehicles, equipment and/or people more evenly spaced out (in large areas) than a marching band.

Rather than go over a scene by scene critique, the following complaints come to mind. 1)bad writing; all actors had trite and often repetitive lines. 2)The Secretary of State was scary, illogical, and didn't seem to be in much contact with the bosses(the President and VP). 3)Poor or no acting by the "Stars" and the kid. 4) choppy flow, frequently too slow or unclear. Weak continuity, scenes seemed to be just stuck together. 5) Gort was pathetic. Like the recent "Hulks", unconvincing CG and too big to realistically show it in contact with humans. (should have gotten Shaq for the part).... 6) No actor to actor chemistry ever formed. 7) The final scenes completely missed out on the dramas of the "standing still" time and the alien departure. What message did he leave us with?

Since I'm a poor typist and can't immediately recall all of my issues with the film, I'll end my comments by saying that I have no problem with changing a remake so that it is more up to date and offers some different twists to add interest. However, this film completely missed the mark of maintaining the strengths that the original script had, namely convincing acting with consistent story and character build-up leading to a dramatic final scene with a clear message to all of the world.

They could and should have done far far better.


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