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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.26%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 19.15%
Pretty Bad38.3%
Total Crap38.3%

6 reviews, 11 user ratings

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Land of the Lost
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by Jason Whyte

"Chaka don't like it...chaka mad!"
2 stars

“Land of the Lost” is the near-prototype of a film that starts off running and quickly missteps, falls, tries to get back on but just never quite makes it. It’s based on the then-famous 70’s TV series of the same name and the film has already earned some of the worst reviews of the year. After a screening of the film I attended with a close friend of mine, he was eager to proclaim it was the worst film he had seen this year; I’m not sure if “Land of the Lost” qualifies on these counts (“Confessions of a Shopaholic”, absolutely), yet considering I love the director (Brad Siberling) and adore the leads (Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride), you wish it could have been a lot better. This also looks like the biggest bomb of 2009, but more on that later.

I must again mention that beginning. Will Ferrell is pretty much playing one of his regular characters that he played on Saturday Night Live, mugging his way through an interview with Matt Lauer. Lauer, who is no stranger to bizarre interviews (Tom Cruise and prescription drugs, anyone?) has an odd encounter with Ferrell’s Rick Marshall, a professor who doesn’t want his work being compared to Stephen Hawking. It made me laugh to think of the recent CBC fiasco, where Q’TV’s Jian Ghomeshi referred to Billy Bob Thornton as an actor. As for Rick Marshall, he is Looking For Something. He’s looking for an alternative to fossil fuels, but Rick also wants to find an escape from his teaching job. And boy does he get it.

Up until this point, the film had a little bit going for it. For starters, Brad Siberling has made both a visually extravagant film (“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”) and a powerful family drama (“Moonlight Mile”); the guy is capable of making the impossible possible. Yet once he and his two co-horts (Anna Friel and Danny McBride) enter the parallel universe where dinosaurs rule and anything is possible, the film interchanges a few comical moments with some truly outlandish, overlong comedic sequences and action scenes that can only be described as “buffoonery”.

It’s one thing to be zany, but you have to back it up with some kind of thread to keep the momentum going. In one brutally overlong scene, Rick Marshall gets the idea to cover himself and his cohorts with dinosaur urine in order to evade the smell of the dinosaurs so they can’t be caught. At first, Rick’s friends don’t believe that Rick would go out while they’re sleeping, find urine and put it in a plastic bottle, and then after a long conversation about this he douses himself in the piss…twice. The soundtrack remains silent, and so does the audience.

At least it’s a good looking film. It isn’t on par with Siberling’s “Lemony Snicket” but he and his cinematographer, Dion Beebe, have fun with a pastel colour look and the altering backdrops. I don’t think anyone would doubt that it’s one good looking piece of work, and the filmmakers also have no problem lighting the gorgeous Anna Friel with her perfect skin and, although her whole reason for being here is nothing else than a stepping stone to better parts in American films. And she knows it.

I sort of less like this film than I am more confused by it. I get that it wants to be weird, yet if we’re sitting in the auditorium scratching our heads for confusion sake, then where’s the fun in that? If you've seen the previews or TV spots, you can probably tell that this movie will make zero money for Universal, as it looks destined to be that movie that you will either scoff at the idea of seeing or MIGHT see, but usually find something better to do. My advice: find a theater where “Up” or “Drag Me To Hell” is playing.

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originally posted: 06/07/09 15:18:22
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User Comments

5/19/16 Jim I laughed throughput this movie. Thought the visuals were great. Don't get why it's panned. 5 stars
2/04/11 Dr.Lao Another movie based on a TV series made by people who did not get the appeal of the series 1 stars
6/03/10 Cat Boring, stupid and not worth the time I spent watching on calbe. 1 stars
10/20/09 g. crap 1 stars
8/11/09 Julia Cox Upside:Old-time pseudosci-fi adventure. Downside:Will Farrell's trademark overabsurdity. 3 stars
7/24/09 alice I love Will Ferrell, but this movie is simply awful. 1 stars
6/23/09 Luisa Will Ferrell's crazy... not bad 3 stars
6/11/09 Ming I think this film is ok....if you like the original lost tv show 3 stars
6/10/09 Will F Hey, this doesn't stink! It's the best movie this summer. 5 stars
6/07/09 Maven Trekkies looking for even more nostalga will probably love this turd movie too. 1 stars
6/06/09 Mattomic We used to make fun of a kid at school by calling him Chaka. God, we were mean. 1 stars
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  05-Jun-2009 (PG-13)
  DVD: 13-Oct-2009


  DVD: 13-Oct-2009

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