Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meanwhile at the Movies... Land of the Lost, don't believe the hype

Land of the Lost is all kinds of awesome!!

Made it to the multiplex yesterday, and happy to report Land of the Lost has gotten a really bad rap!

The movie is a visual treat, and is fun, and often funny, throughout.

First, the special effects, they're great. The dinosaurs and world are fully realized and of the highest level. There are tons of different dinosaurs, creatures, and environments at play, and they all look wonderful. Both in terms of quality, and character. The budget on this one really shows.

Second, the art direction and set work, are amazing!
A lot of care and design was put into making the land of the lost unique, vibrant, engrossing, and also very much the orgasmic evolution of the oh so crude original. From the lush forests, to the craggy rocks, to the windswept deserts... they've really built a new dimension for the cast to explore.

Which brings me to, the cast. It's great.
Sure, not everyone is fan of Will Ferrell, and yes, he's in full on man child mode here. But, I suspect even if that's not to your liking, he's solid enough to overlook.
Then we have Danny McBride, who again, has a shtick, and if you're not into his macho redneck loser thing, well, your missing out! I find McBride to be a treat, and anyone who's a fan of Eastbound and Down, will find Danny to be on his game here too.
Which leaves "Holly" and "Chaka", played by Anna Friel, Chuck from the late Pushing Daisies, and Jorma Taccone of SNL respectively. Both are great here. The Chaka from the original series was always more annoying and downright ugly than anything else, except to children, so he's upgraded here to a more cool version, that's a touch easier on the eyes... part caveman, part wookie, and much more low key. And Anna Friel brings the same charm to her role here, with a touch more edge.

As a fan of the mid 70's Sid and Marty Kroft original, the movie is even more rewarding. Sure the main draw as a kid was the dinos, but you also got the epic cool lizard men, the Sleestak, who are also upgraded here. With lavish high tech updates to their cool but low-tech original look, and most of their connecting mythos intact as well; temples, Enik, pit, library of skulls, etc.
It's cool to see that world brought to life with the full budget modern Hollywood treatment, that's faithful to the source.

All that said, is it a great film, or really good story?
No, not really.
But it is a great escape to another dimension of space and time, full of vibrant characters, and fun action.
It's also played very adult for a PG-13 film. It's definitely not aimed at the kids. Just as the show, a Saturday morning kids program, had gobs of actual sci-fi writing that likely zoomed way over our young dino-crazed heads.

Land of the Lost is a tachyon radiated trip to a crazy land of legendary adventures, with potty mouths and humor. The scheduling on this one, a quirky oddity aimed at big kids, releasing amidst the explosion of summer blockbusters, didn't do it any favors, and you might be surprised at just how good this one so many have written off is. Check it out if you ever considered giving it a shot.


But wait! There's more!!

Check out my posting of the review over on my DeviantArt journal for some discussion on the movie HERE

And hey, I'm not the only one who dug the film, check out these reviews over on AICN!

Annnnd, if you are a true old school Land of the Lost fiend, then you need to check out this fan site I was pointed to from my last LotL post!

Now here's some Land of the Lost fan art by my bud E Pun!


Edward Pun said...

Thanks for the shout out, Jason! I was totally bumped out to hear so much negative press on LOTL so it's good to read a good review. Probably not going to see it in theater but on DVD for sure!

C-Train said...

Wait for it to come out on DVD...its BAD!!!


Jason Martin said...

Hey Ed, you bet!

Yeah, LotL got a bad rap, it's certainley not for everyone, but it's quirky subversive fun, and amazing visually!!


I disagree, :)
See this bad boy on the big screen, or better yet, at the drive-in!!
If you're inclined to see it.