This morning I got a chance to see a screening for the new The Day the Earth Stood Still, Scott Derrickson’s remake of the 1951 classic.
I like Scott a lot. I interviewed him when his The Exorcism of Emily Rose came out two years ago. This morning I received a call as I was going into the screening asking if I wanted to interview Scott again. I didn’t have any of my stuff with me, so I had to pass. But it sounds like I’m going to get about 15 minutes with him tomorrow. I’ll keep you all posted. That might make its way into a podcast or something.
Scott is an interesting guy. He’s a Biola grad (a Christian school in Southern California) with films like Hellraiser on his director’s resume. So when he tackled “Emily Rose,” I was excited to talk with him about the horror medium. After all, a bunch of Christians would consider horror films pure evil. Right? Scott and I had an interesting dialogue about that very subject.
The thing I really like about Scott, besides the fact that he’s a talented director, is the fact that he uses film as a “canvas” to bring up spiritual conversations. His films are GREAT discussion starters. The Exorcism of Emily Rose was basically a film that asked the question, “Does God exist.” Now, in the wake of that film, Scott cleverly uses The Day the Earth Stood Still and his Oscar winning cast to bring up the issue of redemption.
I didn’t know much about this film prior to the screening. As a movie buff, I’m not a big fan of the old War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still, etc. (my love for films starts in the 70’s, save a handful of films, mostly from Hitchcock). So as I sat down in theatre this morning, I really didn’t know what to expect. I’ll be honest. Keanu Reeves is not my favorite. His best line is a film was either, “Dude, that’s your mom!” (“Shut up Ted.”) or “Good noodles.” (I’ll give a free copy of my first book to the first person who tells me that second film reference). Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised with this film.
The story is about the day that an alien visits our planet, casting judgment on humans for the way they live. The whole movie wrestles with man’s lack of redeeming qualities. Helen Benson (played by Oscar winning Jennifer Connelly) basically begs the alien (played by Reeves… he actually did a good job), to spare humankind.
The film provides some great discussions. Our ministry will probably write up several and put them on our MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS page on the film’s DVD release.
Another bonus… the film was completely clean. I’d let my kids watch this before Shrek 3. Nothing objectionable at all. It got a PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence. i’d let my 6th grader see it with me without hesitation.
It comes out this Friday- I give it a “Theatre Worthy.”