The Day the Earth Stood Still on DVD & Blu-Ray – A Review



When a mysterious alien, Klaatu (Michael Rennie), and his indestructible robot Gort land on Earth in Washington D.C. in their futuristic spaceship, it captures the attention of the world in The Day the Earth Stood Still. Although Klaatu claims to be on a mission of goodwill, a device he intends to present as a gift for the President is mistaken as a weapon, and Klaatu is shot. When he refuses to reveal his mission to any single government, the military, politicians, and millions of ordinary people wait in fear to discover why Klaatu has come to earth. The fate of the world is at stake as the distrust of the people leads to calls for violence against the alien. However, after one young widow (Patricia Neal) and her son befriend Klaatu (who is in disguise and staying at their boarding house), the young woman comes to realize she may be all that stands between the human race and annihilation, compliments of Gort.
Directed by two-time Academy Award®-winning director Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, West Side Story) and starring Oscar®-winner Patricia Neal (Hud) and Michael Rennie (Les Miserables), this classic movie from 1951 has been hailed as one of the most influential and thought-provoking science-fiction films of all time. Now The Day the Earth Stood Still will be released as a Special Edition Blu-ray Disc (BD) and a two-disc DVD on December 2, 2008, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Although shot in black and white, the movie is imaginative, and I was impressed with the simple special effects, crude by today’s standards, and yet still with an eye for detail: a shadow under the craft as it lands, a depression left in the ground when the ship leaves, small details they paid attention to in 1951 to make the movie believable.
The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition will arrive in time for the theatrical release of its 2008 remake. The DVD begins with scenes from the upcoming remake starring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) and Academy Award® winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind). Those scenes were quite exciting and definitely made me want to see the new movie. The movie is surprisingly timely, although the vehicles, telephones and outfits are just too cute in a 1940s way!
The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition BD will contain two never-before-seen, high-definition BD exclusive features: “Gort Command!,” an arcade-style shooting gallery game and “Interactive Theremin: Create Your Own Score,” where viewers can re-score the film’s opening sequence. Both the BD and DVD versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition feature all-new and exclusive bonus materials including legendary composer and Academy Award®-winner*** Bernard Herrmann’s isolated score; film and sci-fi featurettes – including a “Making Of The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Decoding Klaatu Barada Nikto: Science Fiction As A Metaphor” – an audio presentation of the original short story; commentaries from Robert Wise and other film and music historians; and more.
The Day the Earth Stood Still is special to lovers of Mayberry, because actress Frances Bavier who played Aunt Bee on “The Andy Griffith Show” was one of the movie’s co-stars in her role as Mrs. Barley, one of the boarders where Klaatu stays. They can call her Mrs. Barley all they want; she is just a younger Aunt Bee to me! Other alumni from “The Andy Griffith Show” include Hugh Marlowe (Tom Stevens – Helen’s boyfriend) and Olan Soule ( Mr. Krull – another boarding house resident).
The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition Blu-ray Disc will be available for $34.99 U.S. / $37.99 Canada and the two-disc DVD will be available for a suggested retail price of $19.98 U.S. / $21.98 Canada.
Blu-ray Disc Specs: The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition BD release will be authored in BD-Java with AVC (MPEG 4) compression on a dual-layer 50 GB disc presented in full frame format (1.33:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, English Mono and Spanish/French 5.1 Dolby Digital audio with English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and French subtitles. The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition BD includes the following special features:
• New: Exclusive First Look At The New Movie The Day the Earth Stood Still Starring
Keanu Reeves And Jennifer Connelly • New & Exclusive To BD: Interactive Theremin: Create Your Own Score • New & Exclusive To BD: Gort Command!: Interactive Game • Commentary by Robert Wise and Nicholas Meyer • New: Commentary by Film & Music Historians John Morgan, Steven Smith, William Stromberg and Nick Redman • New: Isolated Score Track • New: The Mysterious, Melodious Theremin • New: The Day the Earth Stood Still Main Title Live Performance By Peter Pringle • New: The Making of The Day the Earth Stood Still • New: Decoding “Klaatu Barada Nikto”: Science Fiction as Metaphor Featurette • New: A Brief History of Flying Saucers Featurette • New: The Astounding Harry Bates Featurette • New: Edmund North: The Man Who Made the Earth Stand Still Featurette • New To Disc: Race To Oblivion: A Documentary Short Written And Produced By Edmund North • New To Disc: Farewell To The Master: A Reading By Jamieson K. Price Of The Original
Harry Bates Short Story; Audio Only • New: Interactive Pressbook • Fox Movietonews from 1951 • Original Theatrical Trailer & Teaser Trailer • Advertising Gallery • Behind-The Scenes Gallery • Portrait Gallery • Production Gallery • Spaceship Construction Blueprints • Shooting Script
DVD Specs:The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition DVD is presented in full screen format (1.33:1 aspect ratio) with English Mono, English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish and French Mono, plus English and Spanish subtitles. The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition DVD includes all of the above bonus features, with the exception of the two noted BD exclusives.
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