Sunday, June 07, 2009

Land of The Lost (2009)

So, "Land of The Lost" is the first official outright BOMB of the Summer... huge, huge dissapointment at the boxoffice. Having seen it, I'm honestly not surprised. It's a huge mess, fundamentally inconsequential and aimed at a shockingly miniscule niche of an audience... that's a recipe for a non-starter if I ever heard one.

Strange, too, since you'd think this would be a slam dunk: The original Sid & Marty Kroft TV show it was based on is the definition of a fondly-remembered kiddie show that just does NOT "hold up" now, but it was a success in it's day and is remembered by it's now-grown young fans based more on what it COULD have been rather that what it was. Here was a series that pakced youth-oriented survival-adventure, time-travel, pulpy scifi, dinosaurs, monsters and oddball ancient mysteries into a story that could easily make for a big fun family "genre" film perfect for summer... a kid-friendly self-contained cousin to "Lost."

The film, though, goes in the opposite direction: Rather than revamping the franchise for a new generation of the youngin's it was aimed at in the first place, it's set up as a self-aware parody of the original show aimed at 30-somethings who recall the original with ironic fondness.

As it stands, what winds up onscreen is a collection of comedy sketches spoofing the sillier parts of the show, with Will Ferrel, Anna Friel and Danny McBride engaging in longform stream-of-consciousness banter amid dinosaurs, lizard-men and whatever. In terms of tone, think "Robot Chicken" - only not very funny and stretched out from a quick 15 minutes to an interminable feature-length.

Taken on their own, a couple of the jokes are funny and the cast has an easygoing chemistry, but they can't overcome a "screenplay" thay overdoses on the laziest form of comedy filammking: The main cast just standing around going back and forth about nonsense to advance the plot. It even resorts to a "drug tripping" sequence, and I'm legitimately SHOCKED at how often I checked my watch during an endless scene of Ferrell engaging in slapstick with a jug of dinosaur urine.

There's really no reason for anyone to go see this. A night at the movies for this will run you about 20 bucks, a night at home with some youtube clips of the show and a case of bear will cost a lot less and will give you EXACTLY the same effect.


FistfulOAwesome said...

I have to disagree Bob. I loved this film as a nice tribute to the original series. The movie so cheesily references the original show I couldn't help but laugh.

When Will Ferrell said "This is the Greatest Earthquake ever known" me and my brothers let out a simultaneous Wow. They were so obvious about it that you knew they were tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing.

I caught the Sci-Fi marathons of the original show from the past two weeks and fell in love with how much effort was put into the show. I mean, they had Walter Koenig write an episode (the one that introduced Enik).

As the kinda fan that genuinely thinks it is one of the best-written shows I've seen I had fun with the movie and liked how well represented the basics of the show were. They changed around a lot of things (characters no longer family, only Holly acts anything like her original counterpart, Enik made Villain, Zarn made Altrusian (originally a bored hyper-advanced energy being), Grumpy far more intelligent than he was) but I saw it as carving it's own story with the basic elements.

I'm actually pretty sad that it is getting so many bad reviews (minus one positive one from Ebert) and such low sales since I enjoyed it so much. I guess I won't get a sequel or a new T.V. series.

After such a disappointing year (I Love You Man, Up, and Drag Me to Hell (which lost me because of the bad ending) were the only movies that managed to get me to go to the theater) I was happy to see Land of the Lost. It's such a fun movie that never takes itself too seriously that I couldn't help but love it.

After Up and LOTL I'm looking forward to The Hangover and Year One.

After that the summer decides to shoot itself in the brain with Assault on Penham, Transformers 2, G-Force, and other dreck. Oh Well.

Bob said...

I'm willing to bet that G-Force will end up not belonging on the same list as Transformers 2. I just can't imagine that anyone could mess-up a can't-miss idea like "Gineau Pigs with guns."

FistfulOAwesome said...

Holy Crap! MovieBob responded to me! Seriously, I love your work.

Fanaticism aside, G-Force looks pretty stupid to me. Aside from Babe and Homeward Bound I don't think any talking animal movie succeeded at being any good.

Maybe it's because those movies didn't bog themselves down with stupid premises like a secret-agent animal task force or bad, base (everyone has an obvious personality (I.E. No Depth) characters. There was honest stories and character backing what some might consider "a silly talking animal movie".

Also, they don't have obvious gags like farting (which is colored) in a closed space or singing parodies of songs that were popular two years ago.

I don't see G-Force as anything but another unispired, stupid talking animal movie similar to crap like Beverly Hills Chihuahua (and whatever else came out recently in that genre. I've blocked out most of them since they seemed so terrible).

In case what you wrote is a joke: Ha Ha! Very funny, Bob! I totally knew the entire time. Oh! That writing up there? I'm just messing with you! Ha!

P.S. My word verification was diedic. I have a feeling after a couple more of my comments you'll probably be typing just that (self-deprecating humor. Classic!)

Anonymous said...

Are you sh*ting me? G-Force is a Bruckheimer film?!?

This movie seems so absolutely ridiculous and over the top... it's either going to be gut-splitting hilarious (think of other WTF concepts like SOAP), or so bad you'll want to scrub your brain after watching it.

Kyle said...

I have the nostalgia-love for Land of the Lost. I remember the Sleestacks being my favorite part of the show and them being absolutely terrifying to me at the same time. I want to keep them that way, so I will neither re-watch the show nor see this new movie.

Anonymous said...

Where can I get a case of bears?