Combine a completely unnecessary remake of a 1950s science-fiction classic with a starring role for Keanu Reeves and you have a recipe for nothing to get excited about. In that respect, the 2008 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still does not disappoint. It unsuccessfully tries to hide its narrative emptiness behind a noisy CGI light show and half-hearted lip service to a ripped-from-the-headlines current-events subject.
It’s hard to say what was crazier: spending $200 million on a period love story with a downer ending or the backlash that started a few nano-seconds after the film cleaned up at the Academy Awards. Make no mistake, L.A. Confidential was the superior picture that got robbed of the Best Picture statue, but snubbing a superior, less commercial film has become sort of an Oscar tradition in recent years.
Just because Confidential was the better movie doesn’t mean Titanic sucked, not by a long shot. James Cameron’s epic no more deserves the constant elitist sneering and sniping it has received any more than it deserved the Best Picture award.