UK Critics Consensus: The Day The Earth Stood Still, Still Stinks

Plus, Inkheart Is Fantastic Fantasy

by | December 12, 2008 | Comments

With Christmas looming large, and no Potter on the schedule, we have two fantasy flicks in the UK cinemas jostling for your hard-earned galleons. We have sci-fi remake The Day The Earth Stood Still starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly, and fantasy literary adaptation Inkheart, starring Paul Bettany and Brendan Fraser. But are either worth parting with your Christmas cash to see? This is what the British critics had to say…

The original Day The Earth Stood Still from 1951 is a bona-fide sci-fi classic, and tells the story of extra-terrestrial visitor Klaatu, who comes to Earth with a message of goodwill, accompanied by Gort, a large laser-sporting robot. When a film of this stature gets lined up for a remake, you have to ask yourself…why? Why don’t studios remake films that weren’t very good the first time round, instead of trying to repackage a film, so of its time, that will only be compared unfavourably to the original?

With the UK critics largely dismissing the film, for its lazy CGI, uninspiring performances and shoe-horned eco-warning message, they are all also asking… Why bother? Tim Robey of the Independent summed up the general consensus by saying “the cinematography is dismal, and the cocktail of lazy CGI and po-faced, sub-Al-Gore environment lecture leaves you light-headed with tedium.” The Day The Earth Stood Still is currently languishing at 24% on the Tomatometer. Klaatu Barada Rotten.

Inkheart is closer in tone to the Potter-esque fantasy that is missing from our winter schedule this year. Based on a hugely popular German childrens’ novel by Cornelia Funke, Inkheart stars Brendan Fraser as Mo, a man who discovers he has the power to bring literary characters to life by reading books aloud, whose daughter Meggie, knows nothing of her father’s bizarre and powerful talent.

Ably supported by some of the UK’s finest acting talents including Paul Bettany, Jim Broadbent, Andy Serkis and Helen Mirren, the critics gave Inkheart their blessing for its cheerful nature, praising the actors for their dependable turns with Daniel Etherington of Channel 4 films calling it “Solid fantasy fare, nicely performed and handsomely made.” With the US critics response not yet counted, the film stands at a healthy 73% on the Tomatometer. Check back on the 23rd of January in the new year to see what the US critics thought of Inkheart.

Quote Of The Week

“Not only is it 20th Century Fox’s first ‘carbon neutral’ production but its Earth-destroying special effects have less impact than a fart in a thunderstorm.”

The Day The Earth Stood Still. Larushka Ivan-Zadeh.

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