Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Day the Earth Stood Still Is Lost In Space

Plus, Delgo is a no-go, and Home for the Holidays is so-so.

by | December 11, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an alien invasion (The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly), forbidden CG love (Delgo, with voice work by Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt), and seasonal dysfunction (Nothing Like the Holidays, starring John Leguizamo and Debra Messing). What do the critics have to say?

Robert Wise‘s 1951 classic The Day the Earth Stood Still was a tense, intelligent Cold War allegory. The remake of the same name has subbed in the issue of global warming, but otherwise, critics say this update brings little freshness — or excitement — to the table. Keanu Reeves stars as Klaatu, an emissary from an advanced alien race that is sent to earth to determine if the human race can stop the environmental damage it has inflicted on the planet, since Klaatu’s kind are considering a hostile takeover. It’s up to an astrobiologist (Jennifer Connelly) and her stepson (Jaden Smith) to convince Klaatu not to wipe out all of humanity. The pundits say The Day the Earth Stood Still lacks the original’s political smarts and air of menace; instead, it’s more of a finger-wagging message flick with mediocre special effects. At 21 percent on the Tomatometer, this is not a very good Day.

Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, and Keanu Reeves are involved in a different kind of auto bailout.

The sheer visual spectacle — and intelligent plotting — of such recent animated fare as WALL-E, Bolt, and Kung Fu Panda has raised the bar for the medium to such a level that some films that might have looked visionary a few years ago now look chintzy by comparison. Critics say Delgo is an example. In this CG fantasy tale, the title character (voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is a rebellious teenager who falls in love with Kyla (Jennifer Love Hewitt); trouble is, they’re from two different peoples, and the romance is the catalyst for war. Will love triumph over all? The pundits say Delgo isn’t terrible, just thoroughly mediocre, with videogame-quality visuals, slow-moving action, and an overplotted, undercooked story. At nine percent on the Tomatometer, Delgo is a no-go.

At least someone gave thumbs up to Delgo.

Another year, another comedy about a dysfunctional family coming together for the holidays. The critics say Nothing Like the Holidays is better than most, thanks to a strong cast, but it’s still a pretty familiar affair. Holidays focuses on the Rodriguez clan, coming together for another yuletide celebration. However, things go south when matriarch Anna (Elizabeth Pena) announces she’s splitting from her husband (Alfred Molina); meanwhile, some of the clan takes exception to the fact that eldest brother Mauricio’s (John Leguizamo) wife (Debra Messing) doesn’t seem all that interested in giving Anna grandchildren. The pundits say Nothing Like the Holidays features winning performances and a good deal of warmth, but the characters are thinly sketched and the material is pretty weather-beaten. It’s currently at 56 percent on the Tomatometer.

I tell ya… working at Fisher & Sons would drive any man to drink!”

Also opening this week in limited release:

Recent Keanu Reeves Movies:

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