First of all, I am a huge fan of anything sci-fi. That said, chances are that if you liked “Serenity” and “Firefly”, and if you could imagine those movies/shows with a lot more humor and camp, then “Lost in Space” is the movie for you. I had never seen the TV Series as I wasn’t born then, but the film is a delightful confection, one that you will surprisingly keep remembering days after you’ve seen it. This one is a panned film, with negative reviews all around, but for me it succeeded as pure sci-fi escapism and entertainment, and it surpassed my wildest imagination.
William Hurt is good in anything, and he was great here as the father who loves his work more than his family. The dialogue, which most people found inane and juvenile, is certainly nothing to write home about, but its servicable. I would say that if they had a better screenwriter the film would have probably done better business all around.
My only ‘problem’ with this film is the monkey-like alien that they suddenly introduced. They get this off a deserted space station in a hyper universe. The moneky names itself Blarp. Yes, you heard that right. The CGI on this is especially bad as it looks like it belongs in a much different, much less sophisticated film. If the monkey were removed, this would have been an even better film.
Matt LeBlanc was 31 years old when he made this, and he has never looked better either before or since. I was quite surprised that Joey looked ‘this good’ because frankly looking at him today is a task. The same cannot be said of Heather Graham who has a very weakly written role. Mimi Rogers has the worst lines, as some sort of neglected housewife who just happens to be a pro at interplanetary travel. Whatever. This all worked for me, no matter how convoluted it sounds.
The best way to watch this treat is to leave your brain at the door and take it for what it is. This is a fine slice of sci fi heaven, and definitely better than other more serious films of the genre like ‘Red Planet’. And since this DVD is full of features, I’d suggest buying this as soon as you can (it went out of print officially in early 2007 – no idea when its going to be back).
Five Stars. HUGELY entertaining, and I could watch this over and over.
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As a dedicated fan of the Lost In Space TV series since my childhood in the 60′s I approached New Line’s big-screen version with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation on its release in ’98. I’d heard about the initial reviews and was ready to be severely let-down. Imagine my surprise to emerge from the cinema feeling as though it was one of the best times I’ve had at the movies.The amazing effects “blew me away” (leaving me somewhat exhausted by my responses to them)but unlike so many recent sci-fi extravaganzas I found myself entertained by a complex and witty screenplay which also unexpectedly moved me with its restrained use of sentiment.I applaud the efforts of Akiva Goldsman and Stephen Hopkins to recapture the tone of the early black and white episodes of the TV series (before the show descended into camp, never to fully recover)and found the 90′s modifications to the concept (eg. dysfunctional family issues etc) intriguing. Fans of the show were given clever references to well-known episodes and lines of dialogue (the first two-thirds of the film stuck very close to the pilot episode and the following one entitled THE DERELICT) and the cameos by original cast-members were great.June Lockhart in particular showed herself to be an actress with a bold sense of humour about her TV image! The film cast couldn’t have been better chosen (Gary Oldman is particularly outstanding as the vain, villianous Dr. Smith), all adding the kind of depth we don’t see too often in films of this genre.Bruce Broughton’s score (the great John Williams was unable to redo his classic TV score due to other commitments) is excellent (see the reviews of the full score CD at Amazon.com) and a worthy successor to its “forbear”. Although moved by the ending (involving the saving of John Robinson’s life by an older version of his son Will, who in effect sacrifices himself for him) I originally found the last portion of the narrative difficult to grasp and sensed that editing had played a hand in this. The DVD’s commentaries and deleted scenes confirmed my theories(the “time bubble” sequence originally had many “bubbles” and dialogue had to be cut when confused preview audiences led the makers to shred this sequence down).Nevertheless, repeated viewings have made even this section more enjoyable and easier to grasp (time warp sequences are usually a bit hard to fully work out at the best of times- eg. BACK TO THE FUTURE II).My only carp is that, despite Jared Harris’ good performance, I wish that Bill Mumy (who played Will in the series) had been given the opportunity to portray the older version of Will (he tested for the role and reportedly believed it was his for a time- his disappointment at losing it apparently played a major part in his decision to have no part in the production).Harris (the son of Richard Harris) apparently had his dialogue looped by an American actor.Nonethless, I happily cannot understand the tirade of criticism levelled against this film and believe that time will be kinder to it than many other movies which were well received critically at the same time.One Melbourne critic (Jim Schembri, of The Age, called it “an undeniably entertaining extravaganza based on the modest ’60′s TV series”).It is incomprehensible to me that there were no Oscar nominations forthcoming for Visual Effects, Sound Effects Editing, Dramatic Score and Art Direction-Set Decoration. I have yet to play the (excellently produced) DVD to anyone who has not been entertained and moved by it. A planned sequel is reportedly unlikely to be made now due to box-office figures- a tremendous pity which I hope will be turned around before cast contracts expire etc.. I cannot recommend this film highly enough- even to those who may not be sci-fi buffs.
“Lost in Space” purists probably had a problem with the “updated” version of the 60′s show. However, the movie basically reworks several of the better episodes from the “more serious” first season. There are remnants of “The Reluctant Stowaway” which introduced the nefarious Dr. Smith, “The Derelict” wherein the crew discovers a seemingly abandoned ship, and “Island in the Sky” featuring the crash of the Jupiter II.
Also, the film expanded the role of the Judy Robinson part (Heather Graham) by presenting her as a doctor with skills essential to the success of the mission; the television show never really effectively utilized the character. The film also makes better use of the Maureen Robinson (Mimi Rogers) character who is seen as an equal to her scientist husband played by William Hurt. As played by June Lockhart on the show, the character was often relegated to the background as the damsel in distress.
Matt Leblanc is appropriately “macho” as gung-ho pilot Major Don West. The two younger roles of Will and Penny Robinson are handled well by Jack Johnson and Lacey Chabert.
Cameos by Lockhart, Angela Cartwright, Marta Kristen, Mark Goddard, and Dick Trufeld (the Robot’s voice) are welcome.
Gary Oldman as Dr. Smith gives a very understated performance. This is due, perhaps, to the over-the-top performance of the series doctor played by Jonathan Harris.
Even with the plot inconsistencies and some “effects” that don’t work, the movie is still a fairly enjoyable “journey.”