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</script></div>{/googleAds}What differentiates Will Farrell movies from Brendan Fraser movies is the edge Farrell has in humor. Or at least this is what we have grown to expect after seeing some of his genuinely funny hits like A night at the Roxbury or Old School. Unfortunately, with this remake of the weird 1970s TV series by the same name, Farrell should have known better than to attempt a sci-fi action adventure that easily has Brendan Fraser's name written all over it.

Putting it nicely, the mangled plot is a mocking parody of the TV show and in this theatrical remake also goes as far as borrowing elements from the similarly themed Doctor Who. With a slight rearrangement of roles, the central character is now a paleontologist played by Farrell in the role of Dr. Rick Marshall. Dr. Marshall's theories of quantum physics enabling vortexes between time and space are widely criticized by the scientific who's who, including a very skeptical Stephen Hawking of all people. This is when Marshall meets Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel), a British research assistant and only believer that Marshall's self invented tachyon amplifier is a portal into other dimensions. So on a fine day with clear skies, Marshall and Holly go in search of tachyon particles where their trail ends in a water theme park housed under a souvenir shop run by a dimwit called Will (a redneck played by up and coming Danny McBride for the umpteenth time). When Marshall test-fires the device for the first time, the trio are thrown through a door-way back into a prehistoric world complete with aliens set on conquering the world, primates with a fetish, and a psychotic T-Rex with a grudge.

Land of the LostFirst of all, Ferrell's die hard fans will miss his wacky demeanor consistent with roles like Ron Burgundy and Ricky Bobby. I for one, usually find his goof ball wise cracks over the top, yet hilariously outrageous. Sadly, none of it can be found here. Moreover, his funniest scenes, which only manage a chuckle or two, are given away in trailers; the highest selling point of this movie. Furthermore, there are absolutely no cameos from Farrell's frat pack. Where's Rob Schneider when you need him most? What we are left with is a bland experience rife with tasteless under the belt gross humor studded with sexual and drug references. In all this mess, it's a wonder how the producers got an MPAA rating of PG-13 when half the content is meant for adults while the rest seem like fifth grade humor. On the flip side, and being an action adventure, CGI is not half bad, albeit leftovers from the Jurassic Park editing room. Visual effects aside, the film does have the looks and feel of a big budget summer blockbuster. But remaking a TV series watched by a generation that could barely afford color television sets and altering the original screenplay into a ludicrous go-between may be the reason why this film is perhaps the biggest flop of 2009. Over and above, this is supposed to be a sci-fi adventure within the comedy genre. Even with Ferrell doing what he does best, the laughs are hard to come by, forming the biggest disappointment as a comedy with no laughs; defeating the essence of its making in the first place.

With a not too distant past in directing for TV, Brad Silberling may be forgiven for attempting to adapt a childhood TV show into cinematic magnitude. He got it right in 2004 with Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even grabbed an Oscar among four nominees for his brilliant book to screen adaptation. The success of that may be owed to Silberling staying true to the book while catering to a specific audience. On the contrary, Land of the Lost suffers from too many alterations for its own good from casting, budgeting, screenplay and even the genre. It's like pimping a 90 year old grandmother with strong doses of botox and collagen with rhinoplasty and butt and breast implants and expecting her to turn a few heads.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
2 stars
3 Stars
DVD Experience
2.5 stars

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 HD English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo French: DTS 5.1 Surround Spanish: DTS 5.1 Surround

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; deleted scenes; behind-the-scenes featurettes; director's commentary.

Supplements:

Commentary

  • Feature-length commentary track with director Brad Silberling.

Featurettes

  • A Day in the Life of a Big Time Movie Star (11:14)
  • Devil's Canyon Gift Shop Comercial and Tour (6:51)

Deleted Scenes - 3 scenes that didn't make the final cut (07:28)

Previews - Despicable Me, Bionicle: The Legend Reborn, the horrid-looking Wildchild, Drag Me to Hell, "30 Rock": Season 3 and a spot for Universal Blu-Ray play before the menu

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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