Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Stillborn

I saw the first trailer for the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. My first impression was of another stupidly produced remake trading on the fame and good will of a science fiction classic. I am usually not interested in a remake that merely adds modern special effects, usually at the expense of a decently updated script. But, then I heard a Scientific American podcast of an interview with Scott Derrickson, the director of the movie and was encouraged that maybe the trailer was a case of bad marketing. Perhaps the film was good, but it is being marketed using the traditional methods of emphasizing the special effects. I was further encouraged that Michael Shermer gave it a positive review. Of course, Shermer is a science writer, not a movie reviewer, and I don't know if he and I have similar movie taste, so I checked with Roger Ebert. He didn't like it much, and after reading his review, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it much either.

I also watched the extended trailer which added nothing to my expectations. Finally, I visited Rotten Tomatoes and the news there wasn't so good either. My two favorite quotes there:

"There was nothing wrong with the original that warranted a re-do--other than pursuit of legal tender." -Gary Brown, Houston Community Newspapers

"You'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you go into this movie with lowered expectations. "
-Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

Perhaps that's the best advice.

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