‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ the once and future film

Sept. 10, 2008 | 1:24 p.m.

Gort, Klaatu barada nikto…

It was 57 years ago this month that “The Day the Earth Stood Still” created a sensation at theaters. The remake starring Keanu Reeves is due in theaters in December. So we thought you might like to check out the trailers for each. First, the original:

The classic was directed by the late Robert Wise who would go on to make “The Sound of Music,” “West Side Story” and “The Sand Pebbles” as well as two notable 1970s sci-fi films, “The Andromeda Strain” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” “Day” starred Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal and it really retains a certain gravitas even after all these years.

How good was the movie? When Arthur C. Clarke made his list of the best science-fiction films ever, he ranked “Day” ahead of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” a film for which, of course, Clarke himself co-wrote the screenplay. The American Film Institute ranked it fifth among sci-fi classics, and it was the oldest film on that particular AFI Top 10 list.

Now here’s the trailer for the remake, which is due in theaters on Dec. 12:

I had instant anxiety when I heard about the remake (that’s a familiar sensation these days, isn’t it?) but I thought the presentation for the film at Comic-Con International looked promising and, well, Reeves can definitely pull off the cryptic-and-detached-messianic roles, just like he did in “The Matrix” films. Director Scott Derrickson said in San Diego that it’s the right time for a remake. “The original was so a product of its time, and commented so well on that early Cold War era,” he said. “The idea of updating it made sense since the times have changed and we now have different issues.”

So is there anyone out there who is amped to see the Earth stand still again?

– Geoff Boucher

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