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 Post subject: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:20 am 
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Yikes 1 1/2 stars out of 4 sums it up. Looks like Farrell is going to bomb again and this is another movie the fan will get ripped off. I'll be interested to see what the common person grades this rather than the critics.




Land of the Lost

A movie review by James Berardinelli




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What were they thinking? Not only does the concept of re-imagining a campy Saturday morning TV show as a Will Ferrell "family-friendly" big-budget movie sound bad, it is bad. A turd of T-Rex proportions, Land of the Lost makes one remember last summer's Speed Racer fondly. At least that movie was so over-the-top that it was trippy. This movie is dull, unfunny (every remotely amusing bit is in the theatrical trailer), and completely unsuitable for viewing by anyone who isn't a charter member of the Will Farrell fan club. It's as if someone gave Ferrell a rejected script for Jurassic Park IV and he decided to infuse it with "comedic" shtick that doesn't work and throw in a few nods to the '70s TV series. The result might be painful if it wasn't so sleep inducing. I have often said that if I ever walk out on a movie, it won't be something truly awful, but one that stagnates in the belly of mediocrity. I nearly walked out on Land of the Lost. A part of me wishes I had done so.

Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is a "quantum paleontologist" who, despite widespread ridicule from mainstream scientists, pursues a machine that will allow him to manipulate tachyons and travel through time and into alternate dimensions. He has, however, all but given up on the research until the arrival of Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel), a pretty physicist from England, spurs him to put the finishing touches on his machine. Then, with Holly in tow, he heads to a tachyon-rich cave to try out the invention. Accompanying them is tour guide Will Stanton (Danny McBride). The device works better than expected and Rick, Holly, and Will are transported to the "Land of the Lost," where dinosaurs roam, a race of lizardmen (the Sleestak) are being shaped into an army bound for multi-versal domination, and their lone ally is a half-human/half-primate named Chaka (Jorma Taccone).

Admittedly, I don't remember much about the TV series Land of the Lost, which aired in the mid-'70s. It was infamous for terrible special effects (rivaling those of Doctor Who) and screenplays by some fairly well-known science fiction authors (including David Gerrold and Larry Niven). The movie pays homage in numerous ways to its predecessor: there are the Sleestaks, the theme song is incorporated (at least in part), and the characters of Enik and The Zarn make appearances. Overall, however, one suspects that die-hard fans of the TV series will be horrified by the pastiche that has made its way to the screen.

It's difficult to discern the purpose of the movie. On the one hand, it has some of the earmarks of a typical dumb, raunchy "Will Ferrell" comedy, although the opportunities for laughter are surprisingly sparse. On the other hand, it's crammed with special effects, almost as if there was some fear that, without these, the film wouldn't stand up to a litmus test for summer spectacles. The result is that the CGI overshadows Ferrell's comedic aptitude but fails to generate enough in the way of an action/adventure element for there to be an effective payoff.

The plot doesn't make a lot of sense but, since this is a comedy, that's the way things are supposed to be, right? It's easy enough to forgive a disjointed story and line after line clogged with technobabble when the reward is consistent laughter. But calling the humor in Land of the Lost "tepid" may be overstating its effectiveness. The film reminded me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Lost in Space - big-budget movies that lost the souls of their inspirations and died ignominious box office deaths. Both of those, it should be noted, were better than Land of the Lost. This is closer to Will Ferrell's other TV-to-motion picture abomination, Bewitched, in its utter failure to engage the audience.

There's something vaguely creepy about changes made to the characters. In the TV series, Holly and Will were Rick's kids. In the movie, all three of the principals are adults and none of them are related. This leaves open the possibility of a romance between Rick and Holly. While this won't bother anyone bringing a fresh set of eyes to the movie, I can see how the quasi-incestuous aspect of this relationship might disturb those who spent numerous Saturday mornings following the adventures of the Family Marshall. By the way, I liked Anna Friel as Holly but wasn't as keen on Danny McBride's white trash interpretation of Will. As for Jorma Taccone's Chaka, all I have to say is that the producers clearly wanted to challenge Jar Jar Binks as the Most Annoying Sidekick to appear in a science fiction-themed movie.

Land of the Lost is a mess and a bore and it offers less in the way of a nostalgic flashback than watching a black-and-white TV with rabbit ears. And, while few of the jokes are funny, some are unexpectedly racy for what is being sold as a "family film." It earns its PG-13 rating. There's plenty of profanity and more than one instance of sexual innuendo so obvious that even the most naïve 8-year-old in the audience will "get it." (References include, but are not limited to, female arousal, male masturbation, and orgies.) Bad taste humor doesn't normally bother me, except in cases like this when it's not funny and when the studio ignores its presence in an attempt to seduce as many kids as possible into the theater. Those there to see the T-Rex probably aren't expecting to observe Will Ferrell stick his hands down his pants for a little self-gratification. (Although, to be fair, those who saw Old School are probably expecting just that.)

Land of the Lost usurps Angels & Demons' short-lived position as the worst major motion picture of 2009's summer season. My advice to Will Ferrell: avoid further remakes - this kind of retro experience makes me want to do what so many LSD abusers have done and forget the '70s. Land of the Lost is only worth watching if you have a desire to see how badly a cheesy TV show can be mangled.

Discuss this topic in the ReelViews Forums.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:04 pm 
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Based on the trailers, that 1 1/2 star rating might be a tad generous.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:46 pm 
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Yahoo reviewers give the movie a C which is terrrible .I'll be renting this movie if I even see it.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:35 am 
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I like Will Ferrel but the trailer looks like these guys shot the whole thing in front of a green screen on a 3 day weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:28 am 
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Alot of smoke and mirrors with this film. I think the film is going to bomb.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:09 am 
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He may be right, but James Bernardelli is not the critic I'm going to consult on whether to see a stupid Will Ferrell movie. I mean unless he gave Anchorman 4.5 stars, then his opinion isn't likely to mesh well with my expectations for the film.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:59 am 
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I don't respect 99% of the critics but the fans I do. I don't pay whole lot of attention to what Bernie says but the fans give this a C which is terrible so Bernie is right in this case.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:39 am 
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I was right Land of the Lost did terrible. Looks like people went to see The Hangover and Up.


1. "Up," $44.2 million.

2. "The Hangover," $43.3 million.

3. "Land of the Lost," $19.5 million.

4. "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," $14.7 million.

5. "Star Trek," $8.4 million.

6. "Terminator Salvation," $8.2 million.

7. "Drag Me to Hell," $7.3 million.

8. "Angels & Demons," $6.5 million.

9. "My Life in Ruins," $3.2 million.

10. "Dance Flick," $2 million.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:12 am 
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Well in looking over a few of the Yahoo! users reviews, but with a very quick scan it seems the majority of the people that rated the movie poorly were upset about the fact that there was a lot of toilet humor and the movie wasn't suitable for young children. With a number of them being people that don't like Will Ferrell movies and some being fans of the tv show disappointed that the movie is only loosely based off it.

I'm not trying to convince you to go see the movie. But personally, the opinion of this movie is about par for the course. I didn't expect big things from this movie. A few chuckles, but more than likely the funniest parts were featured in the trailers.

Now I'm not going to rush out and spend $9 on this movie. But I still will probably see it later in the summer when it hits the local $1 theater. Basically, it getting a C means I probably am not going to regret it if I don't see it sometime in the next 2 weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:20 pm 
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Thanks for the advice Pudge, but I think I'll rent it although more costly the $1 movie is much further away for me to travel.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:44 am 
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Does it strike anyone else as odd that Hollywierd keeps rehashing bad tv shows from our youth?

I cant wait for 'Love Boat, the movie' :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:24 pm 
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No not odd in any sense. Hollywood is not very original. Never has been. They're driven by what can make money. And recently there has been a fervor to remake old ideas, whether that's old tv shows, old horror movies, or classics.

I'm sure if they could just get the budget right, I'm sure someone out there wants to remake Ben-Hur.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
No not odd in any sense. Hollywood is not very original. Never has been. They're driven by what can make money. And recently there has been a fervor to remake old ideas, whether that's old tv shows, old horror movies, or classics.

I'm sure if they could just get the budget right, I'm sure someone out there wants to remake Ben-Hur.



I dont know....You see a movie like 'seven pounds' and think: that is an original idea. It's not 'gift of the magi', but leaving your spare parts for others in an attempt for redemption is pretty original IMHO.

But, for every 7 lbs there are 2 Ben Hur remakes.. 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:53 pm 
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thescout wrote:
I was right Land of the Lost did terrible. Looks like people went to see The Hangover and Up.


1. "Up," $44.2 million.

2. "The Hangover," $43.3 million.

3. "Land of the Lost," $19.5 million.

4. "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," $14.7 million.

5. "Star Trek," $8.4 million.

6. "Terminator Salvation," $8.2 million.

7. "Drag Me to Hell," $7.3 million.

8. "Angels & Demons," $6.5 million.

9. "My Life in Ruins," $3.2 million.

10. "Dance Flick," $2 million.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:37 pm 
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Another review of Land of the Lost (a little less negative):

Land of the Lost: The AMG Review

June 6th, 2009 | 8:56 pm est | Perry Seibert
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As far as cashing in on Gen-X nostalgia goes, a big-screen version of Land of the Lost seems like such an obvious choice it’s hard to believe it’s taken this long for it to happen. And since movie producers believe that movie stars plus a built-in audience will invariably result in a blockbuster, here we have Will Ferrell and Danny McBride bringing their unique brand of bawdy buffoonery to an affectionate parody/tribute to Marshall, Will, and Holly.

Ferrell plays Dr. Rick Marshall, a quantum paleontologist who has been discredited in the scientific world due to his strident belief in time travel as the cure for all of humanity’s problems. After hitting an all-time low, giving a lecture to elementary school kids, Dr. Marshall meets an ambitious young scientist named Holly (Anna Friel), who tells him she has followed all his work and believes he’s a genius. Spurred on by her enthusiasm, he finishes building the device that will allow him to time travel — something he promptly does along with Holly, and white-trash fireworks salesman Will (Danny McBride), after Will leads them into a cave that seems like a promising place to test the new machine. They end up in a world full of dinosaurs, sand, and scary lizard-like creatures known as Sleestacks. They quickly lose the machine that brought them to this alternate universe, and if they ever want to return home, the trio must recover it with the help of Chaka (Jorma Taccone), the monkey-like friend they make in this strange place.

And boy does this Land of the Lost look unique. Although it’s obvious that the producers spent a ton of money on special effects, everything from the costumes to the sets has an inherent cheesy quality in keeping with the spirit of the original low-budget TV show. Visually, the movie is a loving, if teasing, homage to the source material.

As intriguing as it all looks, though, the movie never clicks. The comedic tone is just too wishy-washy; in order to avoid an R rating, Ferrell and McBride are forced to pull their comedic punches. At one point, Dr. Marshall mouths “f*ck you” to Chaka — in order to keep a PG-13 rating, they can’t actually say the mother of all dirty words out loud. It’s just one of many moments that make the film far too strong, content wise, for little kids. However, because the moviemakers want to avoid a less profitable R rating, they never take the comedic reins off of their leading men. Ferrell successfully modulated his schtick for a family-friendly audience in Elf, but McBride only has one mode of operation — compulsive vulgarity. To make these casting choices work, the movie screams out for an R rating. Instead, we’re treated to a string of dick jokes, boob jokes, sex jokes, and drug jokes all neutered to the point of blandness. It always feels like the actors are asking themselves “Am I going too far?” as opposed to “Am I being funny?”

If director Brad Silberling had taken this cast to their natural extremes, he might have delivered a raucously funny sci-fi comedy — think Anchorman meets Jurassic Park. Instead, Land of the Lost is an utter misfire — not bad enough to hate, not good enough to remember.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:44 am 
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I watched a bootleg copy of Land of the Lost earlier today, and it wasn't that bad. It wasn't really that funny, but there were a few parts that were fairly humorous. In general, I think it's probably dead on that it could have been a lot funnier if Danny McBride and Will Ferrell weren't restrained by the PG-13 rating.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Not relaly worth a full movie ticket price, but if you're bored one afternoon and can see it in a theater for under $3, then it wouldn't be a waste of money. Otherwise, I'd just wait until it comes on cable in a year.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:22 am 
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When I look at the yahoo grade I look at the overall grade last I looked it was a C. Not sure if I'll even rent this at the video store. Ferrell is in some clunker movies so I am always weary.

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 Post subject: Re: Review Of Land Of the Lost
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:13 am 
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Pudge, here's a good site for info on movies I believe. Transformers is tearing it up in revenue. I saw Pelham 123 with Travolta very good movie.

http://boxoffice.com/

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