DVD SHOPPING BAG- The Day the Earth Stood Still Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Source: Mania.com


This week a whole new generation of people will be inundated with “Klaatu Barada Nikto”. Of course, there are those of us that know that these are the names of three of Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge guards but we all know that these are the infamous words from Army of Darkness. In all seriousness, these words from The Day The Earth Stood Still are as sacred to any Science Fiction fan as “In the beginning” is to someone of religious faith. In an era that was running rampant with the “red scare” (that’s communism for those of you too young to remember) Hollywood capitalized on our fears and made the Reds aliens from another world. The Day The Earth Stood Still landed on us and took all those fears, ideals and power we didn’t understand to another level. Its delivery was terrifying but at its end it delivered a simple message. If we all don’t work together everyone on planet Earth will face annihilation.
Now the remake is arriving this week. It seems almost like blasphemy to remake the holiest of science fiction films but nonetheless it will be with us now. The best part about re-makes is that the studio always breaks out the original and adds some great special features. Mania Columnist Tim Janson will be reviewing the standard DVD this week but I thought I would break down the new Blu-ray only special features for you.
The Day The Earth Stood Still on Blu-ray has two perfect special features that capitalizes on unique aspects from the film. The first is the “Interactive Theremin”. Here you are able to create your own piece of music and apply it to the iconic film using this strange device. The scene that they give you is Gort’s first appearance out of the ship. With over thirty notes to score the scene the “Interactive Theremin” can be both terrifying and comedic. Personally, I found that giving Gort an ominous John Williams Jaws theme only added to my overall experience.
The only other special feature exclusive to Blu-ray is “Gort Command!” You are given Gort’s perspective and have to eliminate American Soldiers that are a threat. It has a retro cool look and some charm even though it is incredibly clunky. Then again, Gort wasn’t really dashing around the scenes in the film.
Both of these special features mark a great direction to where Blu-ray can take us. These small steps will one day lead to better, more interactive special features. The “Interactive Theremin” is my favorite of the two and what an incredible way to introduce the next generation of music movie fans and musicians to this odd instrument from another time.
The Day The Earth Stood Still comes in its original picture ratio of 1:33: (Full Frame). The picture quality, despite it being black and white has brilliant details. Shadows cut across the rooms and light penetrates like never before. Grains and textures that were once lost are alive and almost touchable. You feel as if you are standing on the baseball field looking at the ship for the first time, that you are looking back to the door witnessing “Mr. Carpenter’s” dark arrival in Bobby’s boarding house. The Day The Earth Stood Still is a must have for fans of science fiction and for Blu-ray.
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