The Day The Earth Stood Still, Blu-ray, 3 Discs (2008/09)

by | Aug 17, 2009 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

The Day The Earth Stood Still, Blu-ray, 3 Discs (2008/09)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9 1080p
Audio: English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio; Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese
Extras: Audio commentary track with writer David Scarpa; four featurettes (“Re-Imagining the Day”, “Watching the Skies: In Search of Extraterrestrial Life”, “Unleashing Gort” and “The Day the Earth was Green”); “Klaatu’s Unseen Artifacts: The Day The Earth Stood Still” picture-in-picture track; Build Your Own Gort interactive game; three deleted scenes; still galleries; theatrical trailer; Other trailers; D-BOX motion code; Digital Copy; Bonus Blu-ray DVD of the original 1951 version of “The Day The Earth Stood Still”
Length: 104 minutes
Movie Rating: ***1/2    Video Rating: ****1/2
Audio Rating: *****    D-Box Rating: *****

When an extraterrestrial sphere lands in New York, the U.S. Government quickly assembles a team of scientists and military personnel to analyze and neutralize any potential hostilities.  Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) is among this group of scientists.  A humanoid alien being named Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) emerges from the sphere and is then quickly shot by U.S. Forces.  A giant alien robot that has been sent to protect Klaatu eliminates any further military action.  Wounded but alive, Klaatu is taken into custody for questioning.  Dr. Benson, out of concern for Klaatu’s safety, helps him to escape shortly thereafter.  On the run and in need of further assistance, Klaatu seeks out Dr. Benson, and along with her stepson Jacob (Jaden Smith), the three of them try to evade their military pursuers.  Dr. Benson subsequently learns that the true nature of Klaatu’s visit is to exterminate the human race before the Earth suffers irreparable damage.  Dr. Benson then attempts to convince Klaatu to reconsider his decision before it is too late for mankind.
This big-budget remake of the 1951 original has received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike.  Generally speaking, I liked the film.  Yes, I admit the ‘go green or perish’ message was a bit hokey.  However, the special effects were wonderful and the acting of Jennifer Connelly and Jaden Smith was superb.  (This was the first film that I have seen with Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) and I was impressed with the skill of his acting).  Given its impressive audio/visual quality, plus the fact that it includes a bonus copy of the original film, I can easily recommend this Blu-ray release. 
The high definition video quality of “The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)” is excellent.  Images are pristine with razor sharp detail.  Black levels are uniformly dark throughout the movie.  Colors, while occasionally muted, are otherwise accurate with nicely-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is perfect with no major flaws or compression artifacts.  The overall audio quality is also excellent with the English DTS 5.1 track serving as the basis for this review.  The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix.  Dialogue is natural sounding, always intelligible, and properly positioned in the center channel.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for the sound effects and music score, plus include numerous split rear effects.  The low frequency effects channel is explosive and deep.

“The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)” is compatible with the “D-BOX” Motion Code™ System.  About twenty percent of this movie has motion effects and/or vibration present.  Among the D-BOX highlights in the film were the scenes with the military helicopters, the arrival of Gort, and the climatic destruction scenes.  With lots of up/down and side-to-side motion, plus plenty of vibration, this is simply a great D-BOX disc to experience.  

– Calvin Harding Jr.

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