Being longer and whatnot, this is a much fuller taste of Scott Derrickson and Tom Rothman‘s The Day The Earth Stood Still (20th Century Fox, 12.12) than the trailer that appeared a few weeks back. I’m cranked, but at the same time vaguely depressed that no one in this town seems the least bit interested in depicting the arrival of a great and powerful alien spaceship without summoning memories of Steven Spielberg‘s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (and, to a much lesser extent, Roland Emmerich‘s Independence Day).

Indeed, TDTESS seems to be literally flaunting its Spielbergian-ness. The question is why? Why do such stories have to be depicted with the totally cliched visual sensibilities of a once-great director whose hot wunderkind period peaked 25 years ago? It’s like we’ve all been sentenced to a life-without-parole term in Spielberg prison, located in upstate New York. Think of the tingly excitement if this film had used another kind of film language, another set of references. But no — the masses have to be drugged and placated.
Just as tourists are offered the chance to stay in corporate Ramada Inn-style hotels when they visit Prague or Dubrovnik or Tel Aviv, 20th Century Fox is telling moviegoers that they will not be challenged in the least, that they have nothing unusual to fear, that TDTESS will be — trust us — just another family visit to Spielbergland in Orlando. (Thanks to Brad Brevet‘s Rope of Silicon for the embedded code to the new product reel.)