Search This Blog

observation notes: The Day The Earth Stopped

The only Asylum movie to ever illicit a lawsuit, The Day the Earth Stopped was none-too-liked by the execs over at Fox, who thought the film's similarity to a certain, like-named and worse Keanu Reeves movie generated a "likelihood of confusion" among consumers. I work in a video store (big surprise, I know) and no one, even the mentally challenged or drug-addled, has ever confused Jennifer Connelly for C. Thomas Howell.

Plot in a nutshell: spaceships that look like sperm invade our galaxy and deposit on Earth robots or leftover transmorphers or some shit intent on doing us in. A rogue citizen of this alien race comes to warn us, assuming the form of a hot chick. And from there (as well as to there) it's basically the same movie as the Keanu shitstorm - with the added bonus of a thinly-veiled Christian end-message - slow to begin but once the concept hooks, it's a low-grade FX spectacular, a little simplistic, yes, but the best science-fiction movies often are; survival in the face of impossible, inconceivable odds is often compelling enough on its own, and in that regard, The Asylum's version of this sci-fi classic surpasses the Hollywood version, which is ultimately too political and concerned with rooting itself in a believable environment as opposed to just copping to the fact that it's a movie about a giant fucking robot. Own it, Fox. Their shit looks like a long episode of "The X-Files" with even worse lighting.

C. Thomas Howell is awesome as always, smoldering and compassionately disaffected, a sort-of shlub who's the only one to believe the hot alien. But C. Tom doesn't just rock this one in front of the lens, he rocks it from behind as well (all of that sounded so pornographic, I know, but I'm keeping it) as the film's director, his second such assignment for The Asylum. For a complicated, FX-laden busyfest, C. keeps his shots taut and concise, balancing panoramas of destruction with the tighter moments of chaos that fuel the tension.

Oh, and Judd Nelson finally drags his ass to work with 27 minutes to go to play the boisterously frazzled father of humanity's salvation.

A choice conversational snippet from this one:

"Prove that human life has value? How the hell am I supposed to do that?!"

"Did you ever see The goddamn Lion King!?"

No comments:

Post a Comment