34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, This was an unexpected Treat : Five Stars
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...
Published on September 30, 2007 by Marc Cabir Davis
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasure #2 (3˝ Stars)
I don't know, maybe it was that severe blow to the head I suffered when I was six, but something has given me a weak spot for hard luck cases- those movies that are so terrible that I actually like them, sort of like a good-bad movie. It's kinda hard to explain properly, like `Independence Day', you know it was silly and contrived, but you liked it despite of that...
Published on August 8, 2000 by Mark Hills
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, This was an unexpected Treat : Five Stars,
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.
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most under-rated movies of the '90's.,
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.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Adventure and Tribute to the Old Series,
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This review is from: Lost in Space (Widescreen Edition) [VHS] (VHS Tape)
"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."
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasure #2 (3˝ Stars),
This review is from: Lost in Space [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I don't know, maybe it was that severe blow to the head I suffered when I was six, but something has given me a weak spot for hard luck cases- those movies that are so terrible that I actually like them, sort of like a good-bad movie. It's kinda hard to explain properly, like `Independence Day', you know it was silly and contrived, but you liked it despite of that? This is pretty much what I felt like watching this turd of a film- about half way through it I found myself really liking it. I wasn't really old enough to watch the original series, and it never saw much by way of reruns, at least where I was living at the time. However, I did see episodes later and life, and well, the movie is a distinct improvement. They also played it straight instead of for laughs, though with a particularly wooden William Hurt as Dr. Robinson, it wasn't much of a stretch.
Matt LeBlanc takes a welcome departure from `Friends' to assume the role of the Jupiter II's pilot, Major Don West, a part that he was made to play. In fact, he's probably my favorite character, even beyond Gary Oldman's portrayal of the inept saboteur, Dr. Smith. The women of the movie were cast by virtue of how well they appeared in tight fitting rubber and/or spandex outfits, this of course only adds to the film's overall visual appeal. Mimi Rogers portrays John Robinson's equally wooden wife, Maureen, and actually comes across as a fairly extraneous character, since it appears her only job appears to scold the men when they get out of control. Rounding out the kid quotient of the film is Heather Graham as Judy Robinson, who appears to be a graduate of the Robert A. Heinlein school of women, and Lacey Chabert plays the delightfully cute n' snarky Penny Robinson. Lastly is Jack Johnson, who plays young Will Robinson, and it pleased me because he scored very low on the Jake Lloyd Annoy-O-Meter.
That about covers it for the cast, now for plot...
Just kidding. The technology in this film is far in advance of what 2050 stuff will be like, and I had the same feeling watching this as I did with `Event Horizon'. Anyway, the Earth has become one massive stink bomb, because we have simply over populated and over polluted the planet to the point where it can no longer sustain us. Not too hard to believe, really, we're almost there now. So they conceive a plan to build a space craft that will carry a family to a planet called Alpha Prime (don't ask me, I figured it was Proxima Centauri), where they will build a hyperspace gateway that will allow mass transit there by the rest of humanity so we can stink up that planet as well. The catch is there is a terrorist faction on Earth that wants to do all this for themselves, so they hire Dr. Smith to sabotage the Jupiter II and its mission. He does this by reprogramming the ships robot, (called: Robot), but is abandoned by his benefactors, stunned unconscious and is onboard when the Jupiter II launches. Oopsee.
This film has a lot of really silly moments in it, but, there is much her to enjoy. The effects are wonderful, especially the eye-popping fly by of the exploding Proteus star ship-a sequence that takes a full 20 seconds from start to finish. And while the technology is too advanced, it has a wonderful high tech look it. Though I am given to wonder what kind of moron builds space craft with hyperdrive systems that do not allow you to plot a destination, I am willing to overlook such flaws. This movie is fun, has lovely visuals in both the effects and the cast. Matt LeBlanc and Gary Oldman together make up the best parts of the cast, and their interplay is good fun. This isn't really science fiction, rather it's SCIFI (pronounced sciffy), but it's light and easily digestible.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Get LOST,
It adds up like this: special effects plus art direction minus a plot equals ZERO. What a mess of a movie! It's all "eye candy" -- it looks great but there's no real substance. The script is a collection of uninteresting, unclever homages to better movies and TV shows ("E.T.", "Rocky Horror Picture Show", "Alien", "The Waltons", etc.) mixed in with boring and predictable dialogue. There aren't even any characters worth rooting for: the Robinsons have been turned into a 1990's dysfunctional family, each of whom is obnoxious. Major West has become a sexist clod; Dr. Smith has lost his campy edge; even the robot is a bore. The ending credits can't come too soon, and unfortunately they're ruined by a loud and ugly theme song.
Admittedly, the DVD edition offers a beautiful transfer and has some neat extras. The theatrical trailer is a lot better than the movie itself, and the interviews with cast members from the 1960's TV series bring back warm and nostalgic memories, as well as a reminder of what the big screen version could and should have been ... but isn't.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected,
By A Customer
I was a bit wary after hearing some criticisms, but now after seeing it, I'm surprised that it wasn't more popular. It's a wonderfully fun movie, but it also stimulates the "grey matter". LeBlanc was outstanding in the MAJOR WEST role, and Hurt was excellent as the father. We've watched it a handful of times and it's a big favorite.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST REMAKE!,
By A Customer
I was living out of the country and never heard the terrible reviews of this movie - and thank goodness! If you approach this movie without any preconceptions - except those you bring as a fan of the original series, you will be impressed!
They couldn't have done a better job of capturing the original flavor of the series in this modern version. Unlike other disappointing TV remakes where the new cast playing the characters you loved end up annoying you to tears (Just watch about 3 minutes of Beverly Hillbillies - then toss the DVD in the fire and stomp on your spectacles) - The casting for Lost in Space was dead-on perfect with high marks for Don (Matt LeBlanc) and Maureen-mom (Mimi Rogers); and especially high ones for Lacey Chabert, Gary Oldman, and Jack Johnson (Penny, Dr. Smith, and Will). All three played the characters flawlessly with the added bonus that they all somewhat resemble the original characters.
And casting kids cannot be an easy task. (For annoying child actors, see Spy Kids). It is rare to find young performers who are really likeable. In the beginning, Penny, appears to be a typical, superficial teen-aged mall Rat clone - and Will, a stereo-typical brainy brother. But when they are thrown into an extraordinary situation - Just like Swiss-Family Robinson, they become extra-ordinary kids. Will, just like in the series, becomes the Robot's best friend after he saves him from oblivion. And Penny figures out that living on a flying saucer can be cool.
The updated Jupiter 2 is sleek, hot, and beautiful. And they found a creative way to re-create the robot, in his full retro-1960's glory, without damaging the film's polished look.
Just as you would expect, there's a layer of corny, warm-fuzzy family schmaltz which at times will make you roll your eyes (like Judy's sappy flirting with Don), but THAT'S what qualifies this movie as a RE-make and NOT the "Revenge of Star Warz XXII". In Lost in Space, there's lots of action, aliens, science fiction toys and gadgets, peril... What else do you need?
I'll tell you. THis DVD has loads of extras, like interviews with the cast, deleted scenes and a SFX making video. Get this if you love LOS. You will be pleasantly surprised.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for Lacey!!!,
I was a big fan of the original Lost in Space television series. That TV Show will forever be a childhood icon of mine. So of course I was anxious to see the Movie version.I was very dissappointed with the movie version. (a) The story line was very complicated and difficult to comprehend and follow (b) The chemistry of the cast was NO WAY CLOSE TO THAT OF THE ORIGINAL CAST. The original cast were definitely born to play their roles in the TV Series--They were made for it!!! Unfortunately the cast of the movie version were very generic--they could of just been picked from a group of people at the mall that needed work. The Will boy looked like some random kid they found at some playground. I guess the best words to describe the movie cast is WOODEN and NO-CHEMISTRY.Every single person in the cast was a definite MIS-CAST...That new Doctor Smith was so far-off from the original Dr. Smith. John Robinson was WOODEN and unconvincing. Maureen lacked the motherly "Brady Bunch-like" charm and appeal. Lacey was TOO HOT for the Penney role (More on that later!), the New Don was too macho for his role, Judy was passable since she never had a big role in the tv series anyway. And Will was just too common and generic, any playground kid could of filled his shoes for that role.(c) I disliked the DARK MELODRAMATIC tone of the movie. The original series was light, bouncy, and fun!HOWEVER, I in 100% complete seriousness give this movie FIVE (5) STARS!!!This movie earns 5 stars because:(a) In addition to being a fan of the Lost in Space TV series, and even Science Fiction in general....I am a really big fan of hot young girls in movies.(b) Lacey Chabert who played "Penney" was just so unbelievably hot!!! I was totally captivated by the sound of her voice--it was such a unique style. I loved the way she looked in that tight mini-skirt and all the space-age fashions she wore in the movie. Her face was so cute and adorable. Her hair was so sexy the way it was black and stringy. She looked awesome in the tight space suit. She had such an incredible sexy demeanor about her. My favorite shots of her, were the close-ups when she was recording in her portable video diary. WOW!!! She looked so totally kissable to the extreme!!!The first time she appeared in the movie, I was under her spell and KNEW THAT I WOULD HAVE TO BUY THE DVD AS SOON AS IT CAME OUT!!!! I definitely wanted a copy of HER on DVD to watch over and over!!!(c) Since I already own both LOLITA movies (B&W and Color versions), and BEAU-PERE....This Lost in Space movie with Lacey Chabert was a MUST HAVE! If it was not for Lacey Chabert, I would of rated the movie THREE (3) STARS!But since personal movie ratings are based upon PERSONAL tastes, and NOT the collective tastes of a group of people, I give the movie 5 stars since I am such a big fan of cute young movie actresses and LACEY CHABERT most certaintly was 90% of the reason I gladly paid for the DVD----and 100% of the reason I went to see Lost In Space at the movie theater 6 times!!!
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Study In Modern Filmmaking,
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Don't laugh at the title of this review. "Lost In Space" is the perfect film to watch if you'd like a handle on how most motion pictures are made these days. Take an old TV series, slick it with gee-whiz special effects, toss out the plot, and let folks munch on popcorn as they "ooohh" and "ahhh" at the wonders on the screen. That's all that this film really is. Has Hollywood run out of good, original ideas? From the "Beverly Hillbillies" to "Dukes of Hazzard" to "Starsky and Hutch," we've been brutalized by the moviemakers with one TV rehash after another. I've also seen a trailer for the new "Miami Vice" film. What's next, the "Square Pegs" movie?
Anyway, back to "Lost In Space." The story sounds like a really good one. Using environmental destruction as the motivator in this flick, work-consumed William Hurt and his Robinson family are jettisoned off to Alpha Prime in order to design the Hypergate, which will allow humans to leave Earth at rapid speed to Alpha Prime, which is an inhabitable planet. Of course, things go awry when Dr. Smith, sinisterly played by Gary Oldman, sabotages the mission and the family is forced to use their hyperdrive before the gate can be designed and they hurtle into unknown expanses of space and time. This gives the family a bottomless pit of adventure to be thrown into. Instead, we get ho-hum adventure that looks really cool on the screen but, in the end, is relatively nothing but fluff. The ending leaves the film wide open for a sequel, though that will probably never come to fruition.
The acting in this film is pretty good. The best performances in this film are by Hurt, Oldman, and Mimi Rogers, who plays the mother of the family Robinson. Matt Leblanc is very good as Major West, though you can't help but see dumb Joey from "Friends" in every scene that he's in. I kept waiting for Ross or Chandler to come popping out of the scenery to bring Leblanc back to the ol' coffee shop. Heather Graham plays Judy Robinson respectfully, but there's not a lot for her to work with. The younger Robinsons, Will and Penny, are rather annoying at times. Jack Johnson plays the forgotten young Will and Lacey Chabert scowls and hisses her way through puberty as Penny.
This film is brilliant as far as visuals go. The mere expanse of space in this film looked so great on the big screen when this originally came out that I often caught myself watching the scenery more than the actors. The special effects were top-notch back in the 90's and they still hold up wonderfully today. The Robinson family's spaceship, Jupiter 2, is designed beautifully. The landscapes and even the famed robotic spiders are nicely rendered as well.
The problems with this film are abundant, but if you can sit through trainwrecks like "Hulk" or visual buffets like "Independence Day" and still like yourself the next morning, "Lost In Space" will not be a total lost cause. Like I said before, the plot is almost non-existent, but the special effects are some of the best in the business. Unfortunately it seems that too much time was put into the effects and nothing else, just like most modern action yarns.
In closing, I have to admit that I bought this film fully knowing what I was getting into. The film just has too many cool whiz-bang effects to be ignored. If you're looking for depth and character development, steer clear of this film. But if you just want something to watch while your pounding nachos or popcorn into your face, this movie fits the bill.
Lightly recommended to fans of sci-fi. Fans of the original will notice a few nice cameos but will probably hate this film. If you love films just for the effects, then this is one of the best flicks you can ever watch.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, but...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Lost in Space [VHS] (VHS Tape)
...This movie made me uneasy for a few reasons. For example, how on earth can you travel THROUGH the sun without being burned to cinders? Also, Dr. Smith was a tad bit more homo-pedophiliac than he was in the t.v. show, and it kind of made the scenes with him and Will kind of creepy. And finally, the spider-ish version of Dr. Smith was just plain scary. It was probably the most unappealing thing I've ever seen. Very scary, and very realistic, which made it even scarier. A metallic human spider-type thing? What was that all about? Finally, it was kind of hard to follow. In the theater I wasn't able to pay close attention, but upon watching it later, I tried harder, and it was just as confusing. If you blink during this movie, you'll end up on Mars.
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Lost in Space [Blu-ray] by Stephen Hopkins (Blu-ray - 2010)