Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Land of the Lost

by Rob - June 9th, 2009.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

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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