Land of the Lost - Blu-ray Review
By Jeff Swindoll Nov 3, 2009, 10:49 GMT
Comedic genius Will Ferrell stars as has-been scientist Dr. Rick Marshall, who gets more than he bargained for when his expedition takes a wrong turn into the Land of the Lost. Now, Marshall, his crack-smart research assistant Holly (Anna Friel) and a redneck survivalist named Will (Danny McBride), have no weapons, few skills and questionable smarts to survive in a world full of marauding dinosaurs, fantastic creatures and laugh-out-loud comedy! ...more
Will Ferrell gets shat out by a Tyrannosaurus Rex and you might feel about the same way watching this flick. Instead of doing a straight adaptation of the Sid and Marty Krofft television series, they attempt a comedic send up. However, it’s not all that funny. I guess it’s not their fault.
Disgraced, show tune loving scientist Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is working as a presenter at a children’s museum. He used to be hot stuff, wrote books, was a scientific rock star, and given tons of grant money, but a public tiff with Matt Lauer led to his downfall.
He had several theories involving tachyon energy, but his downfall led to him abandoning his research. Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel) thought that Marshall was the joke that he was known as until she looked into his research and thought he was onto something. She approaches him with an anomaly of a fossilized cigarette lighter, one that just happens to be Marshall’s.
He completes his tachyon amplifier and sets out with Cantrell to the spot where she found the fossil. It’s a cheesy tourist attraction called Devil’s Cave run by tour guide Will Stanton (Danny McBride). All three set out on the tour and when they activate the tachyon amplifier they end up in a lost world.
It’s full of dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus Rex dubbed Grumpy who has a dislike of Marshall, the reptilian Sleestaks, and the apelike people of Chaka (Jorma Taccone). When our heroes encounter the Sleestak Enik (John Boylan) he tells them the Zarn (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) has villainous plans to invade Earth unless they can find the tachyon amplifier, which was lost in the trip into this dimension, and keep it out of the hands of evil.
Land of the Lost was a television series from Sid and Marty Krofft. The show featured a family lost in an alternative dimension full of dinosaurs, ape men, and Sleestaks. Instead of doing a “straight” redo of the show they went for a comedy. The show was certainly for the Saturday morning crowd and the comedy is aimed for the 13 and above (hence the PG-13 rating) crowd.
No doubt those fans will either begrudgingly embrace the parody or absolutely hate what has been done. I really don’t have a dog in that fight since I wasn’t really a fan. I watched the show on occasion but preferred some of the Krofft’s other shows to it.
The problem is this film is not too funny. I counted three big laughs from myself, but Will Ferrell has certainly been funnier. Most of the good stuff comes from Danny McBride in the secondary role. Anna Friel is certainly eye-candy, but is really given little to do here but be a damsel in distress.
The production is nice and glossy, much better than the shoestring budget of the original show, but if there’s no substance (funny in the case of a comedy) then all the gloss doesn’t matter. It’s definitely a mixed bag.
Land of the Lost is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (1.85:1). Special features include a commentary with director Brad Silberling. Special features are presented in high definition (unless noted). First up is the 83 minute three part making of “This is Not a Routine Expedition.”
The 23 minute “Bradley, Sid, and Marty” is an interview by the director with the Kroffts. Next are 20 minutes of deleted scenes and 6 minutes of “Dr. Marshall’s Food Diaries,” both offer optional commentary by Silberling. The 11 minute “Day in the Life of a Big-Time Movie Star” features McBride’s typical day on the set and there’s also a 7 minute “Devil’s Canyon Gift Shop” commercial. The disc is also enabled with bookmarking and is BD-Live enhanced.
Land of the Lost really doesn’t have many laughs, but a few are to be found. Perhaps I’m just getting tired of Ferrell’s shtick. I don’t really know that die-hard fans of the show will think of it, but I’d imagine that they probably feel as I do about Will Smith’s Wild Wild West disaster. Your mileage may vary.