The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)The Quote:

“…” (Any time Keanu Reeves seems like he should be saying something but does not)

The Review:

Keanu Reeves could have been replaced by a nice potted plant and the movie would have stayed pretty much the same.  I almost imagine the director, Scott Derrickson, telling the cast “What I want is dull!  Mind numbing dull.  If you feel emotion creeping in while acting pretend you just went into a coma”.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a remake of the 1951 classic with similar themes, but instead of focusing on nuclear weapons they focus on environmentalism.  The end result, as the special effects kick in and the obligatory destruction of New York City starts, you really wish everyone would stop trying to convince Klaatu to save the planet and just get the movie over with.

With miscasting, over-the-top military acting, a really obnoxious child, and oddly misplaced giant robot special effect, The Day the Earth Stood Still manages to epically disappoint and be ultra dull.

What you should take away:

If a secret branch of the government shows up at your door and says your mad military/science/technology skills are needed immediately you are likely going to be dead within 24 hours (unless you are hot).

If you are ripping off borrowing swarm special effects from the 1999 movie The Mummy, relying on the visual “wow” effect to keep audiences engaged instead of story, acting, or action is unwise.

Tip when building liquid-goo-Ark-bubble-things: Do not just take two of each animal because you are going to end up with some seriously inbred creatures.

Apparently if you have the power to destroy and save the world, move objects with your mind, and create electricity you  will still need to hitch a ride back to the city from some Mom and her kid.

The Rating:

Starship Troopers

The Quote:

“They sucked his brain out!”

The Review:

While not the worst flop in history, Starship Troopers will likely go down as one of the most epic movie failures.  125 million dollars spent on a special effects sci-fi drama that was misunderstood by critics and audiences alike, only later to make a comeback as a cult classic, although still never really getting the respect it deserved.  The unfortunate reality is most people saw a campy special effects extravaganza with giant bug aliens and little else.

Those of you who found the film pretentious and uncomfortably oppressive might want to watch it again because it is a 125 million dollar satire with nearly every piece of it – dialog, imagery, characters, FedNet – referencing propaganda and fascism throughout history.  If you don’t believe me listen to the Paul Verhoeven commentary where he and the writer, Edward Neumeier, explain exactly what they intended.

The story follows four graduating high school students who all sign up to serve in the military, two of them do it for sex or love (Ricco – Casper Van Dien, Dizzy – Dina Meyer), one because he wants power (Carl – Neil Patrick Harris), and one is a thrill seeker (Carmen – Denise Richards).  The humans attack the bug planets and we watch as the cocky unprepared, under supported, uninformed, and out-gunned humans get their asses handed to them time and time again all in the name of eradicating the bugs, who are seen as a threat to humans (even though the bugs didn’t start the war in the first place).

Riddled with gory humor, cheesy lines and love triangles, and a constant barrage of propaganda and fascism, Starship Troopers is, on the surface, an epic B-grade special effects sci-fi disaster, but if you dig deeper you’ll find a more interesting dark commentary on the human race and what the future may hold for us all.

What you should take away:

She doesn’t love you Rico.

Also Rico is a tool.

Also forming a circle and shooting your weapons into the center seems like a really bad idea tactically.

Also Rico is a douche.

Also Velcro is liberally used in future soldier uniforms.

Also Rico is a dumbass.

Also one of the best moments of the movie: when Carmen hits the dead guy in outer space with her escape pod.

Also bug juice.

The Rating: