The Day the Earth Stood Still; The Women: New DVDS for Gift Giving or for Yourself! Great Last Minute, Easy-Buy Options!
While the latest film version/update of The Day The Earth Stood Still is currently in theaters and starring Keanu Reeves, I think that most people are walking away wondering what the big deal is about the film and why is there such chatter about Keanu vs the original since they haven’t seen the original starring Michael Rennie and done back mid 20th century, in 1951.
This original flick is now been re-mastered and was and still is acclaimed as one of the most ground-breaking films of the science fiction genre. Why? Because it put a humanity forth in the sci-fi of aliens that had never been seen before. This film was more about making a statement about humanity than it was about special (in what would be seen as cheesy )special effects. The theme of the movie is that a space ship with robot/weapons and also human-like entity land in the US and the mission or reason for the visit won’t be revealed to a single government – leaving the military, the politicians and the world population worried, frightened and confused. While he tries to reason with the governments about that it must be a global effort, he does connect with one young woman an dher son and that they soon realize through their interaction with the aliens that they might be the only people who have the opportunities to stop the destruction of the human race. (quite different from the Reeves version, according to the trailers)
What’s cool is that the original The Day The Earth Stood Still is available NOW on DVD in a 2 disc presentation. It’s quite different from the movie in the theater and might be a great way to see the in theater version and do a DVD vs theatrical comparison. Robert Wise was the director of the original and what he did with minor visual and special effects and created through human drama and dynamics indicates that this is more about people than the special effects and what makes it seem to be (based on what little I have seen) to be a better crafted movie than the one starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connolly.
This is a classic story of hope and pieace that is replete with audio commentaries, 7 new featurettes and lots more.
commentary by Robert Wise and Nicolas Meyer (director Star Trek II Wrath of Khan)
New commentary by film and music historians: John Morgan, William Stromberg and Nick Redman
Isolated Score Track
Main Ttile/Liver Performance by Peter Pringle,
The Making of the Day the Earth Stood Still
Farewell to the Master: a Reading by Jamieson K Price of the Original Harry Bates Short Story
Fox Movietonews (1951)
All New Featurettes:
Decoding “Klaatu Barad Nikto”
Science Fiction as Metaphor
A Brief History of Flying Saucers;
The Astounding Harry Bates
Edmund North: the Man Who Made the EarthStand STill
Race to Oblivion Documentary Short
Interactive Pressbook & Still Galleries.
Find this now on Amazon.com and in all the usual mass market stores. This is one dvd you should be seeing before you go into the theater to see the remake!
Keep on reading for 2 more DVDs that might interest you!
The Women is another remake of a movied based on the Broadway play by Clare Booth Luce and the subesequent 1939 movie (which I have never seen) . This supposedly “sparkling” update features some solid work from Murphy Brown Creator, Diane English as well as a an all-star cast which is partly mis-casted in certain roles. Which roles have been miscast seems to be a matter of debate and that this seems to be a Sex and the City for the slightly more mature woman with a bit more depth is also a topic of some conversation as well.
The case features an array of accomplished actresses but I don’t think they were all given parts equal to their billing or their talent.
Meg Ryan (woefully miscast here),
Debra Messing (who already played the Meg Ryan role on tv),
Eva Mendes (who has done better in other movies),
Carrie Fisher (who should have taken part in writing the screenplay),
Debi Mazar (a gifted actress who could been better utilized),
Cloris Leachman (under-utilized),
Bette Midler (very similar to the roles she has done before with Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn — and why weren’t these two women in this cast too?),
and Candice Bergen as Meg Ryan’s mother.
This is a fun movie if you don’t expect a lot. It delivers a lot more substance than the Sex and the City The Movie but that’s not saying a lot. There are virtually no men in this movie and while this movie does revolve around the plot line of Ryan’s husband cheating on her with Eva Mendes, having male interaction a la Ugly Betty and some of the SATC situations would have made for better contrast, deeper more -rounded characterizations of almost everyone in the movie– even the token lesbian character played by Pinkett-Smith– should have had a partner or something going on.
While movie is amusing in its own way and has something to say– about the community and dynamics of family — as created by women , for each other as sisters in their lives– it’s weird to see soe of this.
Whatever they did to Meg Ryan in terms of her lips and hair, should be shot. I know she’s had collagen done and the photos are out there from pre/post but this “look” for a woman makes her look too “little girl” and not the powerful woman she’s supposed to be as a fashion designer. She looks too hippie gone Beverly Hills which is probably what English was aiming for. While The Women is available on Amazon.com and all the usual places