In anticipation of seeing this new remake directed by Scott Derrickson I showed the original 1951 version to the kids. For all the money and special effects, the new movie had very little of the impact of Robert Wise‘s classic film. It was merely an interesting effects vehicle and not worth the price of admission. You can buy the DVD if you must but be sure you get the one that includes the original film even though it doesn’t have many special features. I’m glad I waited for the library to get it before seeing it.
Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, Jennifer Connelly as Dr. Helen Benson along with Kathy Bates as the Secretary of Defense (Regina Jackson) and John Cleese as Professor Barnhardt were all good but the sum of the parts now just wasn’t gripping or revolutionary. One obvious lack was the whole relationship developed between Klaatu and the boy Bobby. This is, I believe, how Klaatu is originally won over. And the heroism of Helen, his mother, when she tries to save the alien and the world in the end. Just completely absent. And for those poor people who haven’t seen the original, I doubt the meaning behind the title is even remotely possible to make out.
So see the original which, though over 50 years old, I still say is very highly recommended. And if you must watch the remake be sure you don’t pay too much for the sad thing.
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