5.27.2013

Lost in Space

Set a course for the lame quadrant.
"Get Ready. Get Set. Get Lost."

An unfortunate choice of tagline if I've ever heard one. Hello everyone, I've returned from my week long 'vacation' (I am glad it's over, what an exhausting episode it was x_x) and back with more movie snark. With the release of Star Trek, a movie that by all reports is apparently a good film, I figured I would review a space/sci-fi movie that was NOT good, to hold you over until I can see Into Darkness. Enter Lost in Space, a film I first saw in the theater back in 1998 when I was young and foolish. So very foolish. Starring William Hurt (who regrettably we last saw on the Tagline in my review of The Host) as Professor John Robinson, a scientist leading a mission to journey for ten years in suspended animation to a distant planet, with the intention of linking Earth and this planet via companion hypergates (kind of like the mass relays in Mass Effect I guess?) so that the planet can be colonized. This is to preserve the human race, which has more or less rendered the Earth  uninhabitable from pollution (like in Avatar). The mission is obviously going to be a long (if not permanent) posting, so Prof. Robinson is travelling with his family: his wife  Maureen (Mimi Rogers) his daughters Penny (Lacey Chabert, who was in Mean Girls and provided Meg's voice for the first 13 episodes of Family Guy before Mila Kunis took over) and Judy (Heather Graham, who I don't think has cropped up in another movie I reviewed somehow) and his son Will (Jack Johnson, who did not much after that really). Also joining them is their fill in pilot Major West (Matt Leblanc, of Friend's fame) and a stow-away Saboteur, Dr. Zachary Smith (the great Gary Oldman, here playing for the bad guys).




Gosh look how young Heather Graham was.
Before I forge ahead into the plot any further, I need to pose a question that I wish I had an answer to. There is this like... terrorist separatist movement, trying to destroy the hypergate and sabotage the Jupiter mission. My question is WHY? If the Earth is nearly impossible to live on, and soon WILL be impossible to live on, who in the fuck would want to stop the mission to get away? What's the end game, unless they're some sort of death cult? I didn't get that impression, and the movie makes zero effort to explain. They may as well have just been called the "Mean Badguys Group" for all they tried to explain them.


Your career's in danger Will Robinson!
Anyway, enough of that, so the mission is almost doomed by a robot programmed to go crazy on the ship, but Dr. Smith stops it when he discovers he has been betrayed by his terrorist employers, but not before the ship is drawn into the sun's gravitational field. In a desperation maneuver, the hyperdrive is activated blind, sending the Robinson's to a random spot in space. Thus they are LOST IN SPACE, and encounter some ships from the future, but maybe they are in the future, but then they aren't, there's another future, and also killer metal space spiders that make you a spider don't let them scratch you.


Her face pretty much sums up my feelings about this movie.
What am I talking about? I don't know I'm just making up the first stupid thing that comes into my mind, which is sort of how the plot of this movie reads. There were a lot of flashy special effects and wacky space antics in this movie, but the plot is simple/stupid, the script is lousy, and Matt Leblanc sucks in a kind of major way, that not even campy evil Gary Oldman can counteract. I think a large part of the problem was probably the direction, but a sizable amount of the blame could be laid at the feet of the movie's source material itself. For all that it might have been a popular, long-running show, would anyone really say that Lost in Space was good? I seriously doubt that, particularly in retrospect. I'm not saying that I blame the show for being goofy, it was made in the mid-60s for CBS, but still, if your basis for a movie is a kind of goofy dumb old sci-fi show, you can probably expect your adaptation to end up goofy and/or dumb.


Don't leave your young son alone with Zorg.
The movie was ripped apart predictably by critics, because it's just plain not good. It managed to make its money back through the foreign market, raising its total gross over the 80 million dollar budget that was obviously spent all on what were, for the time, very expensive looking special effects. In the end though, just like every Transformers movie, special effects and explosions weren't enough to save this movie from being stupid and uninteresting. The movie went on to be forgotten by history, and most all people, except me apparently. I remember even as a 10 year old being thoroughly disappointed by it. For all the flash, it was just no fun.

That's all for today, join me again on Thursday, where I solemnly swear to review Star Trek!


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