Monday, June 8, 2009

Land of the Lost

Carolyn and I saw the new Land of the Lost film tonight in Saskatoon. There were eight people besides ourselves in the theatre -- not a good sign for a film that's been out for all of 100 hours at this point.

It was ... bizarre. It actually might appeal to my friend Nick DiChario, the surrealist writer.

Still it is filled with all the things true Land of the Lost fans would want: the Sleestak (and the "Beware the Sleestak" grafitti), Enik the Altrusian, the Library of Skulls, the pylons and the crystals that control them, Grumpy and Alice (the T. rex and Allosaurus, respectively), Cha-ka and the Pakuni, and even the Zarn with voice by none other than Leonard Nimoy. And Will Ferrell does actually sing the classic theme song inside the movie ("Marshall, Will, and Holly / On a routine expedition / Met the greatest earthquake ever known ...").

But, man, it's a strange film! Would you believe that the Broadway musical A Chorus Line figures heavily in the plot? It wouldn't be wrong to call it an absurdist movie.

The effects are state-of-the-art, but evocative of the 1970s original. Still, in every place that there was CGI, I said to myself, "Ah, there's some CGI."

I can't say I liked it, but I can't say I disliked it, either. I'm mostly just stunned that the bizarre script got green-lit. (It's also awfully scatological, with unnecessary profanity, and a Jesus joke that offended even me and seemed totally unnecessary.)

Next time I see my buddy David Gerrold (who created the original series, but was not involved in the remake), I'll have to find out what he thinks of it. But I can't imagine he liked it.

It's definitely not anywhere as good (not even 1/10th as good) as J.J. Abrams's Star Trek, and should be pretty far down your list of films to see in the summer of 2009, but it does, as the saying goes, have its moments ...
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At June 09, 2009 12:31 AM , Blogger Steph said...

Damn Rob. I think people should see it because it's absurd. :)

At June 09, 2009 8:12 AM , Blogger Michael A. Burstein said...

I've heard some odd things about the film, and from what I've heard, I kind of wish they had stuck to taking it as seriously as the series writers did.

At June 09, 2009 9:52 AM , Blogger brian_l_raney said...

From what I understand, no one contacted David Gerrold or offered him any involvement with the film. And from what you telling me about the film, Rob, that might be a good thing.

Ah, but I knew it would be a Turkey. Anytime Hollywood tries to turn an old TV show into a spoof of itself, it always comes out badly. Having Will Ferrell (who I really like) playing Dr. Rick Marshall was my big clue to stay away.

At June 09, 2009 11:30 AM , Blogger Tim said...

Thanks, Rob! I think I'll skip this one; there's enough absurdity in the world without escaping into more. ;-)

At June 10, 2009 3:47 AM , Blogger TheHade said...

Thank you very much for your review!
Talking about reviews: Yesterday I saw "Terminator Salvation" and considering the negative reviews I was very positively surprised by this movie!
Do you happen to have seen this movie as well?
If so, would you minf posting your review of it, please (I'd love to read your take on it!)?
If not, aren't you interested in it?
Thank you very much for your continued support!

At June 10, 2009 10:07 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

The reality is I have time to go to one or two movies in theatres a year. I have a big-screen HD TV at home, and will catch TERMINATOR SALVATION on one of the movie channels later this year. :)


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