The Day The Earth Stood Still Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
The cover is good for two reasons. The first reason is that it features G.O.R.T, which is my favorite part of the movie. The second reason is that it’s simple, not cluttered by big name faces or scenes from the movie. I like the almost throwback to the 50’s look, so overall I give this cover a toe up. I don’t dare use that one opposable appendage, someone might call their lawyer.

The menu is pretty nice too. It has several panels of shots from the movie, but not enough to give away anything. It’s got a hint of old technology, obviously a nod to the original movie.

Features: 10/10

  • Commentary By Screenwriter David Scarpa – It’s always good to have a commentary. Scarpa is interesting, even if he seems a bit Hollywood sometimes.
  • Klaatu’s Unseen Artifacts: Picture In Picture Bonus view – Several tid bits about the movie that do give a solid behind the scenes look at the process. Too bad they didn’t put these in a separate list to watch instead of all embedded in the movie.
  • Build Your Own G.O.R.T Interactive Experience – Hmm This wasn’t much of a game. Pick parts of G.O.R.T, change him up, pimp him out a bit, and then do it again, and again, and again.
  • Deleted Scenes – Add nothing to the story and best left on the virtual cutting room floor.
  • Re-Imagining The Day Documentary – Behind the scenes packaged extra with interviews and discussions with cast and crew covering everything from music to costumes to art direction. This is a good hefty extra if you really dig the movie.
  • Unleashing G.O.R.T Featurette – How do you redesign an iconic Science Fiction character from 1095 who wasn’t the most sophisticated, but still can’t mock or overshadow the original? This team of designers went through all kinds of ideas, drawings, shapes,  and sizes. How they decided on the final design is a pretty cool story. 🙂
  • Watching The Skies In Search Of Extra-Terrestrial Life Featurette – Hmm when you say you “I can’t imagine we are alone in the universe.” you sound pretty sane, just open minded. When you said, “They’re coming and we need to be prepared.?” Well, you just sound a little bit crazy. These are experts in the field who talk about the Earth and our pending rendevous with neighboring terrestrials.
  • The Day The Earth Was Green Featurette – How are we treating our planet? According to most reports and Hollywood, not very good.
  • Still Galleries – A series of photos from the film and behind the scenes, plus concept art.
  • D-Box Enabled – Ohhhh bouncy.
  • Digital Copy – Would be great if it worked on my Zune.
  • 1951 Edition Of The Film On Blu-Ray – FANTASTIC! The thing that bumps the  Extras score to 10/10, this is one of the best extras I have ever seen on a DVD, and I’ve seen a lot! This is how it should be done, put the original in with the remake to tell the world you aren’t afraid of the audience comparing them, appreciating them for their own individual qualities.

The Movie: 6/10
Last year I went on an online shopping spree for renting old movies. On that list was The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). It is an awesome, ahead of its time, heavy handed message movie that I thought was best left alone. By that I mean, no remake! Apparently Hollywood didn’t get my call and they made this new version. The good news is I enjoyed the movie. The bad news? Well, I’ll get to that in a minute.

First the good news. I really like the look, the sound, the special effects, and the message. There are moments that really captured my attention, like when Klaatu is given a lie detector test and when G.O.R.T activates. There were enough of those moments to keep me perched through the not so great times. (FYI: G.O.R.T is AWESOME!)

What’s not so great? The cast is kind of a dud. I like everyone individually. The kid is the best, very grounded and I looked forward to his scenes, but overall it all just felt forced and a little bit blah. That’s the biggest negative for me, that I didn’t care about the humans so the premise of the story, that humans will be destroyed to save the Earth, well, I was all over that idea. I think if the people compel me I that intangible way, I get more behind a film, and this time it just didn’t happen.

I would be happy for Earthlings to be eliminated so that the planet can thrive again, fair enough. Sadly that means the message is lost on me. The thing is, I really did have a good time watching the movie. It’s an odd one. I would watch it again, not go out of my way to watch it again, but if it came up and I wasn’t busy…you get the idea.

I LOVED the first The Day the Earth Stood Still. That’s easy to say. But that could be partially down to nostalgia for older movies, the times, the era, the style, all mixed together to make it kind of a novelty. Today the idea of space invasions in movies isn’t new or innocent, it’s just a thing to package up with special effects and big stars. It has kind of lost its charm, if not done just right.

Overall I recommend watching both movies on a rainy weekend afternoon. Grab the popcorn, a beverage, kick back and enjoy the ride.

Audio & Video: 9/10 (by Ascully)
Never mind what I thought of the movie this section is about how it looked and sounded on Blu-Ray. The Day The Earth Stood Still is a visual/audio treat that has to be seen to be believed. From the opening touchdown of the sphere, to the attack from G.O.R.T the visuals in this movie are quite astounding. FOX chose to use the VC1 codec. Fine detail is apparent in every scene, with subtle details such as the color of Jennifer Connelly’s eyes come across well. HD usually makes CGI special effects look poor if they are not done correctly, but this movie has a distinct polish about it and in HD it looks flawless.

Audio is actually better presented than the already awesome picture. The DTS-HD 5.1 track, which is uncompressed sounds incredible. As I said in the podcast there are noises in this movie that you will have not heard before. You cannot put your finger on which direction they are coming from or what you are hearing. It’s quite a breathtaking effect. From the opening moments you know you are in for a treat as the winter storm we are subjected to has so much detail its a showpiece for your speaker system.

So overall, while I am not a massive fan of the movie (I prefer the original which incidentally is included in HD in this set and also looks sharp and detailed) I give the actual Blu-Ray transfer a 9/10.

Value: 7/10
I’m torn on this one. I like this movie, but I loved the original. The Blu-Ray looks awesome, but the old black and white is fine with me too. What I do love is that they put both movies in the box, making it a better value. What they don’t do is give me a price I am happy with…so I’m just being difficult. It’s a great disc set, good extras, interesting movies, a great night’s entertainment for Science Fiction fans. I just dont know if I’m willing to pay the full thirty bucks. Maybe if it went down to $20??

Overall Score 8/10