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Earth calling Keanu Reeves

By Chris Betros

Hollywood stars always have to contend with unusual questions when they visit Japan to promote their movies. Japanese media had aliens in mind when Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, young Jaden Smith and director Scott Derrickson were in Tokyo this week to promote “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” a remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic about an alien who comes to Earth to warn us to stop building nuclear weapons or else.

In this version, Reeves, 44, is the alien Klaatu, but the message is an environmental one: If we don’t clean up the Earth, we’re toast. Critics in the U.S. have slammed both the movie and Reeves’ acting style. Most of the criticism is based on a comparison with the original. (For the record, Klaatu does utter the famous words “Gort, Klaatu barada nikto,” but it can barely be heard because it is drowned out by the soundtrack. Fortunately, the Japanese subtitles came in handy.)

Derrickson said his biggest challenge was to respect the original film and make it work for a modern audience (hence the ecological theme). “The original had a balance of spectacle, thrills, tension and human drama,” he said. “In a big budget film like this, it is easy to focus on the visual effects and action set pieces, but I tried to put just as much time and effort into the dramatic scenes. So I felt a lot of pressure.”

Reeves, not the most talkative character, was in a bit of a restless state. He was up and down posing for photos, leaving the stage, and coming back. Then he would sing softly to himself while he waited for his answers to be interpreted into Japanese. “I didn’t feel any pressure at all, playing the alien,” he said, looking much younger than his age. “There are only opportunities with a movie like this. It was great fun. We all rolled up our sleeves and got down to work.”

Reeves and Connelly, 38, had to deal with questions such as what sort of eco-friendly things they do in the daily lifestyle, what would they do if they met an alien, who would they tell if they learned the world was about to be destroyed, and what would their last meal be (steak, caesar salad and chocolate cake for Reeves; Connelly said she wouldn't have an appetite if the world were about to end).

“I try to recycle. I have solar panels at my house and I am interested in rainforest preservation,” said Reeves of his own efforts on the environment. “Hopefully, this film will raise everybody’s awareness of the issues.” Derrickson said: “My view is: Don’t change light bulbs, change your leaders. So I vote for people who will make a difference on the environment.”

The liveliest moments came from the precocious 10-year-old Smith, the son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who said his parents had taught him to just be natural when acting and in the spotlight. He said he’d very much like to meet any aliens who happen to be visiting Earth and then sneak on board their spaceship and go back with them.

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" opens in Japan on Saturday, only one week after its U.S. release.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Judging by the trailer it looks like a stinker.

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I always thought he is an alien robot, anyway.

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Unfortunately, I think Keanu is being typecast more and more. It probably all began with the movie "Johnny Mnemonic" with Beat Takeshi. Later he plays Neo, Constantine, now this. In between these movies he did play some other roles, but I think he needs a new agent.

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DOn't remember in Bill and Ted's Excellent adventure pt 2, Keanu had a evil robot twin........hmmm

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Hollywood remaking foreign movies and now remaking old b-movies. And quality is gone with the winds

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Yeah TDTESS sucks.

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According to one review, "Keanu Reeves is priceless as the wooden, expressionless alien."

But I think I'll see it just to see John Cleese play Professor Barnhardt.

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I've seen the movie and its nothing to brag about...

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Amen, dennis0bauer ..does anyone remember when there were original ideas?

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Personally, I liked the original 1951 one better.

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All we're seeing here is a director who grew up loving a certain movie wishing to make it his own. Come up with something original. I'll wait for the DVD.

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This remake received 76 negative reviews out of 100, in a closed pre-premiere session. Negative points: lots of computer graphics and a genuine lack of tension that the first movie carried - even with the cardboard robot and all.

Another ¨Independence Day¨ - much ado for nothing.

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Director: Cue Mr. Reeves. Action.

Keanu: Whoa!

Director: OK that's a wrap people.

I'm sure its its the most memorable moment as in ALL his movies.

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This movie will be fodder for MST4K someday.

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As with most things that come out of Hollywood in recent years, I think I'll give this a wide berth!! Utter twaddle....

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