DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Brad Silberling
Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride, Jorma Taccone, John Boylan, Matt Lauer
Writing Credits:
Chris Henchy, Dennis McNicholas, Sid Krofft (television series), Marty Krofft (television series)

Right Place. Wrong Time.

Will Ferrell stars as has-been scientist Dr. Rick Marshall, sucked into a vortex and spat back through time. Way back. Now, Marshall has no weapons, few skills and questionable smarts to survive in an alternate universe full of marauding dinosaurs and fantastic creatures from beyond our world - a place of spectacular sights and super-scaled comedy known as the Land of the Lost.

Sucked alongside him for the adventure are crack-smart research assistant Holly (Anna Friel) and a redneck survivalist (Danny McBride) named Will. Chased by T. Rex and stalked by painfully slow reptiles known as Sleestaks, Marshall, Will and Holly must rely on their only ally - a primate called Chaka (Jorma Taccone) - to navigate out of the hybrid dimension. Escape from this routine expedition gone awry and they're heroes. Get stuck, and they'll be permanent refugees in the Land of the Lost.

Box Office:
$100 million.
Opening Weekend
$18.837 million on 3521 screens.
Domestic Gross
$49.392 million.

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 10/13/2009

• Audio Commentary with Director Brad Silberling
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
• “Dr. Marshall’s Food Diaries” with Optional Commentary
• “A Day in the Life of a Big-Time Movie Star” Featurette
• “Devil’s Canyon Gift Shop Commercial and Tour”
• “This Is Not a Routine Expedition: Making Land of the Lost” Three-Part Documentary
• “Bradley, Sid and Marty: A Conversation with the Kroffts” Featurette


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Land Of The Lost [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 28, 2009)

If you’ll pardon the pun, Will Ferrell’s movie career has become a decidedly hit or miss proposition. He still churns out successes like 2008’s Step Brothers, but he also stars in duds like that same year’s Semi-Pro.

Plop 2009’s Land of the Lost in the “bomb” category. Given its huge budget and summer blockbuster expectations, Lost definitely disappointed. $49 million isn’t total disaster territory, but it’s far below the levels achieved by the average summer hit.

I like Ferrell, so I hope he rebounds soon. A loose remake of the 1970s Sid and Marty Krofft TV series, Lost introduces us to paleontologist Dr. Rick Marshall (Ferrell). He advocates the existence of time warps and touts them as a solution to energy problems.

His peers view him as a crackpot, but it turns out that Marshall’s tachyon amplifier actually works. Down on his luck, Rick doesn’t believe in himself of his invention, but a student named Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel) thinks he’s a genius and shows him proof the amplifier does its thing.

They take the amplifier to the desert and get involved with tacky junk purveyor Will Stanton (Danny McBride) because he owns the property where Anna found the artifact. This sends them on a freaky journey to another dimension that combines different eras all in one place. There the unlikely trio meet a primate pal named Chaka (Jorma Taccone), dinosaurs, creepy lizard men called Sleestaks, and a mix of other crazy surprises.

Some folks bemoaned the existence of the Lost movie because they felt it crapped on their childhood memories. I suppose I should be among them. I was seven when the Lost series first aired and watched it regularly as a kid. While some remakes bothered me – hello, live-action Flintstones! - nothing about the Lost update upset me in the least.

Why? Because as far as I remember, Lost wasn’t actually any good. It was cheesy and campy, with tacky production values and arguably the creepiest character in TV history via Chaka. Only childhood nostalgia makes it remotely memorable.

So as far as I was concerned, the Lost remake had nowhere to go but up; it couldn’t be as lame as the original series, could it? Yes and no. As an adult, I’d certainly rather watch this movie than sit through the TV series. It gives us an irreverent take on the subject matter that will probably offend fans who’d prefer a more action-oriented rendition.

A more straight interpretation would probably work fine, but I don’t mind the comedic bent. Or I don’t mind the idea of the comedic Lost. The reality of the flick ends up as less than satisfactory, though I think it’s better than its critics make it out to be.

Does this mean Lost is actually good? No, not really. It lacks anything more than the most rudimentary plot, as it provides little more than a collection of wacky set pieces. If these worked, I wouldn’t mind, but they tend to be pretty lackluster. We find a smattering of minor laughs across its 102 minutes, but there’s not much real entertainment on display.

That said, I can’t say I actively disliked Lost. Maybe I came into it with the expectation that it’d be as awful as fellow summer 2009 box office dud Year One. Now there was a serious disaster; Lost looks pretty good by comparison.

But that doesn’t actually make it pretty good. When a film’s main virtue is that it’s not as bad as I expected, that’s pretty faint praise. Land of the Lost offers painless entertainment but it never turns into anything more memorable than that.

Footnote: watch the first few minutes of the end credits for a little surprise.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus A-

Land of the Lost appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though generally good, some inconsistencies affected the presentation.

Sharpness provided some lackluster moments. While the vast majority of the flick displayed solid clarity and accuracy, some exceptions occurred; occasional wide shots looked a bit soft and iffy. Nonetheless, those were infrequent. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and the flick lacked edge enhancement. As for source flaws, the movie was grainier than usual at times, but otherwise it failed to display and defects.

Colors tended to be warm and a bit oversaturated to fit the desert setting. The palette gave the film a hot feeling that was appropriate; the hues looked positive given the stylistic choices. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity and delineation. Some minor issues made this a “B” transfer, but it remained satisfying.

Though it also never excelled, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Lost was very good. With all its action scenes, the movie boasted plenty of opportunities for involving information. It did well with these, but don’t expect Jurassic Park level dazzle. The track used all five speakers nicely and provided a fairly engrossing setting.

However, the audio didn’t quite live up to expectations. The track created a good sense of action and movement, but it lacked the sizzle that I felt should come with a flick of this sort. It’s good but not great in terms of soundscape.

Audio quality seemed pleasing. A few lines suffered from some edginess, but most dialogue remained natural and distinctive. Music showed good range and breadth, while effects offered accurate, dynamic material. Low-end response packed a nice punch when appropriate. Though not a killed soundtrack, Lost was worth a “B+”.

When we head to the set’s extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Brad Silberling. He provides a running, screen-specific look at his experiences with the original TV series and its influence on him, adapting the show and changes made for the movie, cast and performances, story and characters, sets and locations, effects and production design, music, influences, and a few other areas.

He may have directed a forgettable movie, but Silberling offers a terrific commentary here. He proves chatty from start to finish and digs into the film with gusto. How many other directors of “A”-list summer films will mention that “2 Girls, 1 Cup” influenced their movie? Probably none – except for Silberling. This is a fine commentary that’s considerably more interesting than the film itself.

10 Deleted Scenes run a total of 20 minutes, 23 seconds. In truth, I’d classify these more as alternate scenes instead of actual deleted sequences. We get different introductions to the main characters and some alterations to segments that show up in the final cut. We also find a less satisfying ending. It’s nice to see Bob Balaban as Rick’s boss – he’s totally absent from the released movie – and some of the bits are entertaining, but nothing here qualifies as lost gold.

We can watch these with or without commentary from Silberling. Once again he offers high-quality information. Silberling gives us good background about the scenes and lets us know why he cut them.

Next comes Dr. Marshall’s Food Diaries. In this five-minute and 49-second piece, we see shots of Rick Marshall as he chats to a video camera about his food obsession. It’s an odd runner that offers moderate amusement.

We can watch the “Diaries” with or without more commentary from Silberling. He gives us a little more info about the segments but doesn’t add much; his remarks conclude about 90 seconds into the piece.

For something unusual, we head to the six-minute, 49-second Devil’s Canyon Gift Shop Commercial and Tour. This provides a cheap-looking fake ad for the business run by the movie’s Will Stanton character followed by a guided tour. Danny McBride riffs his way through the tour; he also meets up with Ferrell, and they make it entertaining.

Three programs follow. A Day in the Life of a Big-Time Movie Star lasts 11 minutes, 12 seconds and follows McBride around the set. It’s decidedly tongue in cheek, as McBride plays the buffoon as usual. It’s not a comedy classic, but it’s amusing.

The three-part documentary This Is Not a Routine Expedition: Making Land of the Lost fills one hour, 23 minutes and 31 seconds. We find notes from Silberling, McBride, Ferrell, producers/original series creators Sid and Marty Krofft, executive producer Julie Wixson Darmody, screenwriters Dennis McNicholas and Chris Henchy, tachyon meter fabricator Rick Gamez, production designer Bo Welch, special effects coordinator Michael Lantieri, makeup production supervisor Brian Walsh, creature and makeup effects designer Mike Elizalde, director of photography Dion Beebe, stunt coordinator Doug Coleman, Bureau of Land Management realty specialist Elaine Hanson, Rhythm and Hues visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer, costume designer Mark Bridges, Enik mechanical department Mark Setrakian, and actors Anna Friel and Jorma Taccone.

The show offers some reflections about the original TV series and its adaptation, script/story/character issues, cast and performances, props, costumes and sets, various effects and makeup, cinematography and locations, and stunts. “Routine” offers a solid look at the production. With so much time at its disposal, it gets to explore its topics in a thorough manner, and its combination of interviews and footage from the set mixes together well. When I went into “Routine”, I expected a simple puff piece, but it delivers a whole lot more than that.

Finally, we go to Bradley, Sid and Marty: A Conversation with the Kroffts. It runs 23 minutes, 21 seconds and provides an interview with Sid and Marty Krofft conducted by Silberling. They discuss aspects of the original TV series. We get a little of this info elsewhere, but it’s usually an interesting look at the program.

Arguably the summer’s biggest box office disappointment, Land of the Lost isn’t as bad as anticipated. However, that doesn’t mean it’s good, either. The movie provides sporadic entertainment but it’s too much of a mess to succeed. The Blu-ray offers good picture and audio along with a terrific roster of supplements. Though not much of a movie, this is a fine Blu-ray.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.625 Stars Number of Votes: 8
2 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main