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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relax, it's a good movie!
So many of these reviews have really piled on the sludge. Relax, this is a good movie! All right, so it's a rather loose cinematic interpretation of Golding's novel. That's what the film medium allows for. The cinematography is sumptuous, the pace of the movie quick, the story absorbing, the message of malicious cruelty's natural advantage easy to read. The young...
Published on January 25, 2006 by Liam McDevitt

versus
75 of 93 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the What-the-heck-was-the-director-thinking?
One cannot criticize the cinematography of this move. It is, at times, lush, humid and tropically, oppressively beautiful. All of which are good things...
...but that's all I can say good about the film.
Golding originally conceived "Lord of the Flies" as an xploration of Human nature, and how people are inheirently evil. To drive this point home,...
Published on December 6, 2000 by Sean E. Mcgrath


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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relax, it's a good movie!, January 25, 2006
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (DVD)
So many of these reviews have really piled on the sludge. Relax, this is a good movie! All right, so it's a rather loose cinematic interpretation of Golding's novel. That's what the film medium allows for. The cinematography is sumptuous, the pace of the movie quick, the story absorbing, the message of malicious cruelty's natural advantage easy to read. The young actors give very fine performances--the villain Jack is superb--and they should all get extra credit for having to do so much of this movie in their underwear. As their uniforms and their old sense of selves deteriorate, the boy-cadets are reduced to their jockeys: and then in turn their jockeys are reduced to filthy scraps of cloth once they run off to join Jack's camp in the wild. With their painted faces and matted hair this virtual nakedness makes the transformation to the savage state disturbingly complete. If you like movies with a strong story-line and good cinematography, I recommend this (with reservations for children under 12).
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75 of 93 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the What-the-heck-was-the-director-thinking?, December 6, 2000
This review is from: Lord of the Flies [VHS] (VHS Tape)
One cannot criticize the cinematography of this move. It is, at times, lush, humid and tropically, oppressively beautiful. All of which are good things...
...but that's all I can say good about the film.
Golding originally conceived "Lord of the Flies" as an xploration of Human nature, and how people are inheirently evil. To drive this point home, he took English school boys (some of whom were members of a church choir) crash landed them on an island during a wartime evacuation and said, "Have at it!" (metaphorically speaking). The book and indeed the 1963 movie version asks how if even children can become cruel and violent and evil with very little prompting, are humans as advanced as we like to think? Are we really all that different from animals? Readers/viewers are shocked to see how far such a small child can fall.
Weeeeeeeeellllllll...
This, the 1990 version of Lord of the Flies, puts American military students on an island during a conflict of some sort, so when the first blow is struck it's not all that surprising. This removes the impact of Golding's ideas, and this becomes another adventure story (of sorts. Like "The Hun Family Robinson"). Further, the "updated" material doesn't really work: the glo-sticks, kids talking about watching "ALF" on TV (which seriously dates this movie. I guess the screenwrighter thought ALF would be around forever. Another example of the narrowness of this version. It is already obsolete, while the book perseveres.), Simon having a vision of a stealth bomber, etc.. It's all a bit too uneven, too naive almost, but totally lacking in charm (if such a word can be used here). In essence, this is a visceral film that lacks guts.
Nothing upsets me more than movies that violate the basic premise of a book ("The Handmaid's Tale" also comes screaming to mind), and this movie goes out of its way to be "different" but identifibe by its title. Really, this should have been called something else for as much as the story is like the book; perhaps "Ishtar" would be more appropriate.
One weird editing glitch I noticed was an image of a sunrise - the viewer sees it from a cliff with a tree interveing the space. Well, that night at sunset we see the same tree, the same cliff, but reversed!! Like the sun rose and set in the same place in the sky and the tree had turned to meet it. It's very disconcerting.
So, unless you're taking a class in comparative cinema, don't bother with this one. An, whatever happened to Balthazar Getty? I thought his name guaranteed his career longevity. Weird...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Spirit Is Lost., May 22, 2003
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tvtv3 "tvtv3" (Sorento, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lord of the Flies [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I have to admit, LORD OF THE FLIES is one of my favorite novels (it ranks just behind THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA as my favorite novels). If I ever have the opportunity to make big-budget pictures myself, LORD OF THE FLIES would be one I would make. Therefore, I don't really have a problem with this "Americanized" version of Golding's classic tale of good versus evil. I also found it interesting how the movie illustrates the friendship that existed between all the boys before the split in their society began. The acting is well done. The movie also has a good soundtrack and some excellent cinematography.
Unfortunately, the whole spirit of the novel doesn't exist in the film and that is a severe detriment. The breakup of society is not really examined and the boys who end up following the Lord of the Flies seem more like rowdy schoolchildren rather than youth who have given themselves over to pure evil. I was also disappointed that Simon was reduced to such a small role and that his famous scene talking with the real Lord of the Flies didn't even take place (yes, it would be expensive to do, but that scene is crucial to the rest of the story's plot).
Overall, a decent movie, but not a very good adaptation of the novel it's based upon.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An accordion washes onto the island? Seriously?, August 24, 2010
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This review is from: Lord of the Flies (DVD)
I bought this to present to an ESY class after they got very excited over the book. However, as soon as purchased it, and read the back I knew I was in for it. I decided to try it anyways.

First off, why do the kids need to be Americanized? Also, why do they also have to be from a military school? And why does the director basically destroy every impressive portion of the book? Did the director even have a desire to put events in order?

I'm assuming he made all the kids American because he thought this would relate better to middle-aged kids. I'm also not really sure what ALF has to do with the book, yet somehow the tv show about an alien finds its way into the script. To be even more impressive, glow sticks/ light sabers (and Rambo) found their way into this script, too.

One could vaguely see the reasoning behind making the students from military school, but that has very little to do with the book again. Perhaps the director was trying to establish a chain of command before they are put on the island.

So far, there's been next-to no mention of Samneric, no Percival Wemys Madison, no Beast from Water, no Beast from Air, and there's been an assassinated chameleon. I was excited to see how a movie would handle the scene with Simon and the Lord of the Flies but was let down immensely. The great conflict between Ralph and Jack is awful at best and the dichotomy of Jack and Piggy being the devil and angel, respectively, on Ralph's shoulders is not even touched upon. Actually, Jack's actor and his nominal acting ability is annoying. These characters just aren't believable. It's hard to take this movie seriously when Jack defects from Ralph's leadership within thirty minutes of the start. What could be a great study in book/ movie differences for a middle school or high school class is removed by the amount of cursing in this movie. I don't mind cursing every once in a while, but the cursing in this movie can't even come off well. Ralph doesn't even say, "Sucks to your ass-mar."

I advise you to save your money with this movie. Read the book and see what decent writing is all about. Luckily I got this movie locally and didn't waste money on shipping. Needless to say I won't be showing this awful rendition to students. I feel they'll laugh at it more than I am and ultimately lose them for good on a great book.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What does this movie have to do with the book?, April 1, 2002
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This review is from: Lord of the Flies (DVD)
This movie has basically almost nothing to do with the book. Half of the script seems to be completely made up. Acting is also nothing to howl about. The only good acting was from a kid who played "Piggy".

You should stay away from movie as far possible. Read the book, or watch 1963 version of the movie - it's alot better.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars READ THE BOOK, March 21, 2006
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (DVD)
You'll get so much for out of it if you read the book, I promise you that. And I also recommend watching the 1963 orginal lord of the flies, the acting is pretty dull, but it's so much better then this one guys!!

TRULY READ THE BOOK AND THEN THE 1963 CLASSIC!!!

IT'LL BE WORTHLESS JUST TO SEE THIS!!!!!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Film is absaloute Nonsense!!!!!, May 20, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Lord of the Flies [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The 1960s film version of this great book almost looks good when compared to this practical joke. This film is truly dreadful in every aspect. Any sort of statement that Golding made in the novel is way over the heads of everyone involved with this film. If they understood it, then it would not have been butchered in the way that it has been with this piece of dirt. First off, the whole military academy thing, the book is about the loss of innocence and the tragedy of man's heart. If the boys are already involved in conflict situations why put them on an island to see how they react to it? Simon was appaulingly portraid, by an ugly child. Given that he was supposed to be a christ like redeemer, this film has obviously missed the point that Simon made in the book. He is an insight into man's real self, but in this says nothing and does nothing. His death is not significant because the feeling was not built up that he was the saviour, and his death is supposed to convey a feeling of despiration. Don't watch this film, it's rubbish, if you want to see a film version of this chilling and tragic book, them watch the 60s version, but never ever ever watch this bucket of sick. Read the book, and be enlightened. They should have made a film about another book, instead of trivializing the most important novel of the twentieth century in this shallow adaptation. William golding must be revolving in his grave very fast indeed at this stain on the name of "Lord of the Flies"
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lordy, April 25, 2006
By 
fra7299 "fra7299" (California, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (DVD)
At its outset the update film version of Golding's classic novel is creepy and cinematically mysterious. We see the commotion as the boys try to make it to the island while many of the adults are apparently dead or clinging to life, all trying to swim towards shore after the plane went down. In this version, the boys who make it to the island are from an American military cadet school instead of being English. The early stages of the film really do keep the impact of the story alive, but as the film wanes, so does the mystique of the tale.

It's really hard to know who to blame, the child actors who played these characters ineffectively, or the screenwriters, for putting in a slew of profanity and inane parts to the movie. The children who played these characters for the most part did what they could with this script. For what it is worth, I really liked how Simon was personified in several of the scenes, especially the one with the "monster" (the "beast" in the other movie version). You really get a sense that he is like the character in the book, as he connects with nature and seems to not fear what the others do: the mysterious "creature" in the cave. Ralph's character was depicted in an appropriate way also for the most part. However, Jack's character was just way too one-demensional: he seemingly never had a chance to grow into the antagonist because he was already one when the movie started. It probably didn't help that Jack's character had profanity-laced tirades aimed at Ralph and Piggy for a good deal of the film, and these moments seemingly killed any originality that the movie could have had. Lines from some of Jack's "servants" were kind of asinine also: "The Chief has spoken."

Perhaps this film could have also done a better job of building the momentum of the story. It seemed like events were happening too quick. One minute they don't know how to hunt; the next they are experts. They could have also built up the character conflicts between Jack/ Roger and Ralph/Piggy a little better. They are seemingly friends one minute and enemies the next.

If you completely forget that this is Lord of the Flies, or even related to it, and take this movie as just a modern survival story you will be better served. For what it is worth, I am not a big fan of the other version of Lord of the Flies either, although it is better than this one. Maybe they can update the novel one more time and get it right.

2 1/2 stars
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What happened here?, April 11, 2005
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (DVD)
This remake was terrible! Did the people who made this movie even read the book? What's with them being from an American military school? Why not an American boarding school? Or have the boys be from Catholic schools?

In the book I felt so sorry for Piggy and was very upset when he was killed. In this movie, he came across as being very annoying and I was actually happy when he died. The Piggy in the book wasn't whiny like this one was and he never cried when the others picked on him.

And where was the scene with Simon talking with the Lord of the Flies? That was only the most important part of the book! Ok, I can understand that part not being the the 1963 version because it would have been pretty risky, but the 1990? Come on now.

There is no choir in this version which was supposed to add to the irony in the book. Who would have thought that good ol choir boys would be the most ruthless people on the island?

And lastly, there's an adult on the island! I think that speaks for itself. And the boys were all not supposed to know each other. The only ones who did in the book were the choir, and Samneric for obvious reasons.

Watch the 1963 version instead. It's so much better than this.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak as Water, December 10, 2000
This review is from: Lord of the Flies [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is the second filming of a book almost universally hated by English students.
Anyone who didn't like the book will have even less to like about this. This 1990s remake of "The Lord of the Flies" is a travesty of the original novel. Very little of William Golding's message (the fragile barrier that separates humanity from animalism) appears in the film. Apart from the title, the story is almost unrecognizable.
I agree with other people about the "Hollywood" treatment of an English classic. It makes me wonder what Hollywood would do with a remake of "1984". Jean-Claude Van Damme as Winston Smith, perhaps? Sandra Bullock as Julia?
The only really good thing about the film is the photography. The kids looked like savages behind the face paint, but the American accents were a distraction. One of the distinctive aspects about the novel was its "Englishness", and the obsession with hierarchy. The Peter Brook version was much better in that respect.
If "Lord of the Flies" had to be remade, it should have been more faithful to the book by putting stronger emphasis on those things that made the book so disturbing: without the restraints of civilization, Man reverts to cruelty and barbarism. Children can totally heartless. These things are only just touched upon in the film.
See Peter Brook's version instead. It's much better than this.
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Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies by Harry Hook
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