Day The Earth Stood Still, The

Featured In Issue 140, May/June 2009

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Some sci-fi diaster images and violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Scott Derrickson
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth, The Day The Earth Stood Still stays truer to the short story upon which the 1951 movie is based, Farewell To The Master by Harry Bates. Keanu Reeves stars as Klaatu, an otherworldly being whose arrival on Earth triggers an unstoppable series of events that threaten all of mankind. The alien's weapon is an indestructible super-robot, who energizes when threatened and transforms into a cloud of black insects capable of rapid movement and disintegrating matter on contact. When a woman (Connelly) and her young stepson (Smith) find themselves embroiled in the alien's plan, they become the world's only hope to stave off apocalyptic annihilation. (Gary Reber)

Special features on Disc One include commentary by Writer David Scarpa; Klaatu's unseen artifacts as a still picture-in-picture track; Build Your Own Gort interactive challenge; three deleted scenes (SD 01:56); Re-Imagining The Day documentary (SD 30:06); three featurettes: Unleashing Gort (HD 13:52), Watching The Skies: In Search Of Extraterrestrial Life (HD 23:08), and The Day The Earth Was 'Green' (HD 14:04); still galleries; the theatrical trailer; plus D-BOX® Motion Code. Disc Two contains a digital copy of the film. Disc Three is the Blu-ray Disc™ edition of the original 1951 classic, reviewed on the WSR Web site.

The 2.32:1 1080p AVC picture quality is wonderful, with a stylized character but a naturally rendered color pallette, exhibiting perfectly natural fleshtones. There is, at times, a greenish cast to the scenes, but fleshtones remain natural in hue. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid blacks and excellent shadow delineation. Resolution is excellent and reveals fine facial features and textures. During normal, non-military scenes, the imagery is natural and realistic. The imagery is often surreal and exciting to view. The textural resolution on Gort, the indestructible super-robot enforcer, is incredible! This is a visually stunning motion picture that is first rate in picture quality. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is powerfully holosonically® enveloping with, at times, tremendous SPL energies and system-threatening .1 LFE bass. Surround envelopment is aggressive and impressively directionalized. Atmospheric sound effects and other sonic effects move all about the soundfield, often at intense energy levels, providing a full-range workout for the loudspeaker system. Bass response often extends to below 25 Hz in the .1 LFE channel and other channels. Dialogue is nicely presented, with a natural presence that is generally well integrated spatially with the scenes. The orchestral music score is well recorded, with a wide and deep soundstage that wraps to the surrounds with an aggressive presence. There are scenes with approaching overhead helicopters from center back and surrounds panning to the front—and thunderstorms—that are powerfully engaging. This is an adrenaline-pumping soundtrack that is excitingly dynamic and powerful, and a real holosonic thrill ride! When D-BOX Motion Code is activated, the adrenaline levels dramatically rise, for an even more thrilling experience! (Gary Reber)