I recently saw this movie and made some quick judgements. After a second glance, I HIGHLY recommend The Day The Earth Stood Still for it's timely message, if not for being a cool re-do of the Hollywood classic. When you see it, leave your comparisons to the original at the door.
SPOILER ALERT: Don't read this if you intend to see the movie.
Let me exchange the haste of a snappy review for the value in having seen the new TDTESS a second time, which allowed me to enjoy it with two teenagers who thought it was cool, and who don't have an opinion one way or the other about Keanu Reeves or 1951 science fiction movies.
My first thoughts...I always shoot from the hip....were albeit premature. Too many comparisons to the 1951 version was unfair and the update does stand on its own. After seeing it a couple weeks later, I really wanted to exorcise the first thoughts and dig deeper into the subtlety and fresh approach, even being so hung on the original for so long.
1. "Klaatu, Barada, Nikto" was indeed present in alien form and WAS used, but you have to listen for it as G.O.R.T. first appears. My apologies for missing it the first time, but you had to listen closely, for it is in alien tongue, yet almost unrecognizable.
2. With regard to the ending, the thing I missed the first time was that Klaatu touches the Orb/Mothership before allowing himself to be assimilated. The first time I saw it, I thought he just disappeared and died, making himself the sacrifice as the Earth's salvation comes with a price. This time, it seems he lives because he touches the ship. Timing is everything.
Of all things to be remade in world that tends to take itself too seriously at times, we could take a hint and think about our impact on Mother Earth. Then I remember we also "revisited" Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Lost In Space among many others in TV Land. I suppose we don't ourselves seriously enough.
As we plod through our daily lives, let's hope it won't take something in the form of an alien to wake us up from ourselves...or maybe the upcoming movie 2012 will show us the way.