Land of the Lost

Written by admin on . Posted in Arts & Film, Film.


Between two pitiful Today Show bookend scenes (both featuring Matt Lauer confirming Tom Cruise’s accusation “You’re glib, Matt. You’re glib!”), Land of the Lost sheds its TV-formula origins as a 1970s network series and becomes glib fun. Will Ferrell plays scientist Rick Marshall, who explores “tears in time, quantum paleontology.” Inventing the “Techyon amplifier,” Marshall’s gizmo takes the past, present and future “mashed-up together.” In other words, TV. Instead of shouting, “Eureka!” Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) exclaims, “Capt. Kirk’s nipples!” Is that enough to ride the coattails of the much-inferior Star Trek movie?

This F/X-laden version of Land of the Lost is better than a kiddy thing, no longer beholding to a child’s (a generation’s) TV-warped idea of humor and beauty. When Marshall, Holly (Anna Friel), a devotee from Cambridge and Will (Danny McBride), an attendant from a run-down amusement park, are transported through the tears in time, the gags—parodying adventure movies—are fitfully amusing. Yet their silliness is vented through the richly imagined set design by Bo Welch—not stolid like Benjamin Button, but they’re the most whimsical atmospherics since Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Time-warp jokes mixing historical anachronisms with contemporary product placement recall SNL sketch writing, but Welch sets mall-culture detritus in an interplanetary/desert setting with three moons, bug-eyed aliens and dinosaurs that spark folkloric imagination: Golden Gate Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Big Boy sign, hip-hop limousine, rollercoaster, even Cadillac Ranch with lime green and purple Caddies next to a drive-in-movie screen. These are all more expressive than the scaled-down global icons in Zhang Ke-Jia’s dull art movie The World.

In this post-TV remake, “Lost” means gone, as in nostalgia. This touching idea is not fully developed, and director Brad Silberling’s action editing is always behind the beat (diminishing the intended parody of what people misread in the Indiana Jones movies). Yet pop-culture affection is felt consistently from Ferrell’s homages—to both A Chorus Line and Cher’s “Believe”—to McBride (the white Mike Epps) enjoying a time-warp benefit that could have come from a classic Hope-Crosby road movie.

Land of the Lost
Directed by Brad Silberling
Runtime: 93 min.

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Land of the Lost

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts.


Land of the Lost
Directed by Brad Silberling
Runtime: 93 min.

Between two pitiful Today Show bookend scenes (both featuring Matt Lauer confirming Tom Cruise’s accusation “You’re glib, Matt.You’re glib!”), Land of the Lost sheds
its TV-formula origins as a 1970s network series and becomes glib
fun. Will Ferrell plays scientist Rick Marshall, who explores “tears in
time, quantum paleontology.” Inventing the “Techyon amplifier,”
Marshall’s gizmo takes the past, present and future “mashed-up together.” In other words, TV. Instead
of shouting, “Eureka!” Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) exclaims, “Capt.
Kirk’s nipples!” Is that enough to ride the coattails of the
much-inferior Star Trek movie?

This F/X-laden version of Land of the Lost is
better than a kiddy thing, no longer beholden to a child’s (a
generation’s) TVwarped idea of humor and beauty.When Marshall, Holly
(Anna Friel), a devotee from Cambridge and Will (Danny McBride), an
attendant from a run-down amusement park, are transported through the
tears in time, the gags—parodying adventure movies—are fitfully
amusing.Yet their silliness is vented through the richly imagined set
design by Bo Welch—not stolid like Benjamin Button, but they’re the most whimsical atmospherics since Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Time-warp jokes mixing historical anachronisms with contemporary product placement recall SNL sketch
writing, but Welch sets mall-culture detritus in an
interplanetary/desert setting with three moons, bug-eyed aliens and
dinosaurs that spark folkloric imagination: Golden Gate Bridge, Statue
of Liberty, Big Boy sign, hip-hop limousine, rollercoaster, even
Cadillac Ranch with lime green and purple Caddies next to a
drive-in-movie screen.These are all more expressive than the
scaled-down global icons in Zhang Ke- Jia’s dull art movie The World.

In
this post-TV remake, “Lost” means gone, as in nostalgia.This touching
idea is not fully developed, and director Brad Silberling’s action
editing is always behind the beat (diminishing the intended parody of
what people misread in the Indiana Jones movies).Yet pop-culture affection is felt consistently from Ferrell’s homages— to both A Chorus Line and
Cher’s “Believe”—to McBride (the white Mike Epps) enjoying a time-warp
benefit that could have come from a classic Hope-Crosby road movie.

Land of the Lost

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts.


10,000 BC

Directed by Roland Emmerich



Half enjoyable spectacle, half plain dumb, Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC is primarily the result of technical engineering and casual imagination. It goes back in time to tell the story of an ancient warrior, D’Leh (Steven Strait), whose fearless challenge of tribal hierarchy wins him the blue-eyed virgin Evolet (Camilla Belle); he then precipitates a slave revolt and puts mankind on the path to civilization. Too bad all this comic book-level adventure lacks the inspiration that might have fused its imagery and its subject. 



Shlockmeister Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow) thinks big if he thinks at all, but he’s a man who drives a Maybach the way a kid pedals a go cart. Despite 10,000 BC’s handsome computer graphics of 6-foot tall glades, layered mountain ranges and sand-colored pyramids, all the painstaking, costly digital effects serve a trivial purpose. It’s set in an ungraspable time frame: after the dinosaur/caveman era familiar from One Million Years, B.C. Yet it seems the ludicrous reverse of David Lynch’s Dune, which was set in the year 10,191.



None of this is ever as much fun as it ought to be. The actors playing D’Leh and Evolet don’t show any strong personality traits, they’re just Hollywood’s latest pretty Caucasians—even though they wear intricate dreadlocks and are the darlings of the Yagahl tribe that seems part-Aztec, part-Inuit. The Yagahls live in a wintry climate within sprinting distance of sun-drenched Africanesque blacks, European Visigoths and Middle Eastern mystics. D’Leh rises by unwittingly fulfilling tribal prophecy with a display of King Arthur–like sword-in-the-stone valor during a woolly mammoth hunt. Yet he’s not distinguished by character the way Gerard Butler’s macho-feral sex god is in 300; instead, he only has the uncanny, anomic ability to reenact Emmerich’s various action-movie rip-offs (Jurassic Park, The Ten Commandments, Sahara, etc.).



Emmerich’s potpourri seems scattershot and convenient. Issues like ethnic migration and slavery are evoked without Mel Gibson’s seriousness in Apocalypto and none of 300’s outrageous satire. It’s all just F/X opportunities, exposing Hollywood’s—and our own—non-relationship to history. (That’s why Robert Zemeckis’ equally silly 3-D Beowulf was a hit, while the preceding year’s ethnographically credible Scandanavian drama Beowulf and Grendel was swallowed up in obscurity.) 10,000 BC reduces everything to pop mythology, including the title’s missing periods, eradicating the classical (Before Christ) time marker.



I’m guessing that this hodgepodge of epic iconography owes to Peter Jackson’s banal treatment of history in Lord of the Rings (but it’s worth noting that Emmerich’s climactic scene of behemoths charging down a pyramid’s ramp offers clearer, more spectacular action that anything Jackson has ever directed). 10,000 BC takes place in the same non-world as Jackson’s Tolkien tales. One hack imitates another. That 10,000 BC is derivative matters less than the fact that it is anti-historical and anti-anthropological.

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