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Land of the Lost is a 2009 science fiction comedy film directed by Brad Silberling and starring Will Ferrell and Anna Friel, based on the 1974 TV series of the same name.

Production began in March 2008. It was originally scheduled to be released on July 9 but the release date was moved up to June 5 to avoid competition with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The film grossed $7.1 million on its June 5 opening day, and was #3 at the box office. The film finished its opening weekend in third place, behind Up and The Hangover with a total of $18.8 million, making it Will Ferrell's least-successful summer movie opening to that point. Critics largely panned the film and box office receipts fell far short of the cost of making the film.

Plot

Three years after being kicked out of the science department for his theory of time warps and his attack on Matt Lauer on The Today Show, paleontologist Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is reduced to working as a teacher for children at the George C.marker Page Museummarker. Research assistant Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel) urges him to finish his tachyon amplifier after presenting him with a fossil imprinted with the image of his lighter. He completes the amplifier and they go to the Devil's Cave where Holly found the fossiled imprint. With tour guide Will Stanton, Marshall activates the T-amplifier triggering an earthquake, and the three end up in a parallel universe having lost the amplifier.

Finding themselves in a strange world without the tachyon amplifier, they befriend a Pakuni named Chaka before falling into the feeding grounds of a Tyrannosaurus which then chases them until they reach a crevice in a cave, momentarily giving up though bent on eating Marshall for insulting him during the chase. Holly, knowing the dinosaur's attitude, gives him the name "Grumpy". The next day, Marshall has visions about a strange creature begging for his help and goes to find the Lost City where they encounter a strange glass beacon, the Pylon, that turns into a vocoder when they touch it before being attacked by creatures called Sleestaks. When the Pylon opens, Marshall enters, meeting the creature Enik. Enik tells them that the evil Zarn is out to control the universe and needs the tachyon amplifier.

Chaka takes the group through the jungle and onto a salt flat landscape, filled with numerous jumbled objects and landmarks. They discover that the area is a feeding site for Compsognathus and Velociraptors, who attack a newly arrived ice cream man. Grumpy enters the area and scares them off. An Allosaurus arrives moments later and the two territorial predators prepare to fight. Both animals catch Marshall's scent and chase after him. Marshall runs from the Allosaurus and uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the dinosaur. The tachyon amplifier is found among the remains of the shattered dino, but before it can be retrieved a Pteranodon carries it away to its nest. After sneaking into the nest and getting the amplifier back, the group takes a break at a motel in the salt flat. While Marshall, Will and Chaka laze in the pool drinking the ceremonial narcotics that Chaka had offered, Holly repairs the amplifier and wanders off. She finds dinosaur eggs and takes one before accidentally triggering a holographic message from the Zarn. Learning that Enik is the real villain, Holly is taken captive by the Sleestaks before she can warn the others.

Marshall, Will, and Chaka realize Holly is missing and leave to find her. Finding two mating Sleestaks who shed their skin, Marshall and Will use the shed skin to disguise themselves while Chaka takes the tachyon amplifier to Enik. Holly has been captured by Sleestaks and brought before the Library of Skulls to be judged, Marshall and Will arriving to learn that Enik is the villain. After fighting for their lives, the group is ambushed by Enik as he reveals his plan to use the Sleestaks to take over the Earth. He then leaves Marshall and company to their fate as Grumpy arrives to get his revenge.

Marshall takes on Grumpy one-on-one, resulting in him being eaten whole by the dinosaur. Holly, Will, and Chaka attempt to fight off the numerous Sleestaks. Once they are surrounded, Marshall returns to kill most of the Sleestaks with Grumpy's aid, having made their peace with each other (after Marshall apparently cleared a bowel blockage when Grumpy passed him through his system). Marshall and company manage to stop Enik as the portal back to Devil's Cave begins to close. Will chooses to stay with Chaka in the Land of the Lost so Marshall and Holly can return home. Back on Earth, Matt Lauer gives a second interview with Marshall, Marshall has a new book titled, "Matt Lauer Can Suck It". Marshall forces Lauer to read the title and author of the book. The Film ends with Lauer attempting to hurt Marshall for his slander against him. Soon after the show ends, left in the studio by accident, Holly's dinosaur egg hatches into a baby Sleestak, which could possibly have led to a sequel, but most likely won't because of the film's performance at the box office.

Cast



The original actors who played Holly and Will in the TV series, Kathy Coleman and Wesley Eure, filmed cameos in the film. However, the final version of the film cut these scenes.

Production

Development of a feature film based on the show has been in talks at various studios since 1995. In 2002, Sony Pictures was working on a film version, following the 2000 reversion to the Kroffts of adaptation rights previously bought by Disney as early as 1995. In April 2005, Universal Pictures acquired the adaptation rights and attached director Adam McKay and actor Will Ferrell, who had previously collaborated on Anchorman (2004), to the project. In May 2007, director Robert Rodriguez met with Universal to potentially direct the film adaptation of Land of the Lost. Rodriguez had also entered talks with Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. to film a live action film adaptation of The Jetsons. The director was uncertain which project he would pursue next, though the latest script draft for The Jetsons by Adam Goldberg was further along in development. In September 2007, director Brad Silberling was announced to be attached to direct the film adaptation, with Ferrell starring. The project was slated to begin production in March 2008 after reducing its budget from $125 million to $100 million, and wrapped up shooting at Universal Studios Hollywoodmarker.

Differences from original series

The film serves as a parody of the original TV series, similar to Starsky & Hutch and The Brady Bunch Movie. In the original series, the main characters were the father and two children. While the first names remain the same, the film converts the Holly character into an unrelated research assistant to allow for more risque humor because she is the main character's love interest. Will, instead of being a son, is a stoned amusement park operator and survivalist. Rick Marshall is a paleontologist in the film, not a park ranger like in the original series. The film's budget also uses CGI special effects rather than the puppet and stop motion animation effects that defined the original series." While the original Saturday morning show targeted a child audience, the film was designed for a more adult audience and includes profanity, sex, and a drug reference, among other adult-oriented items.

Music

The score to Land of the Lost was composed by Michael Giacchino, who recorded his score with an 88-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony and a 35-person choir. On May 10, it was also announced by Dave Mustaine on TheLiveLine that some music from Megadeth would appear in the film. Whether this would be music from the new record was not entirely clear, however during the phone message Mustaine stated that there was new music playing in the background of the message. In the film, Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) sings the original Land of the Lost theme. The musical A Chorus Line plays a part in the story.

Marketing

The first trailer was shown during Super Bowl XLIII. Subway Restaurants, which paid to appear in the film, unveiled the second trailer exclusively on their website. JW Marriott Hotels and Pop Rocks also purchased rights to market with film tie-ins. Syfy aired a marathon of the original series on Memorial Day in 2009 in coordination with the studio to have frequent film clips and an interview with Sid and Marty Krofft. After the film's release, another marathon aired on Chiller on June 6. Ahead of the film's release, Universal also released the complete series on DVD; it had previously been released by Rhino Home Video. The entire series is also available via download from Xbox Live.

Will Ferrell also appeared on the season 4 premiere of Man vs. Wild, which aired June 2, 2009, to promote the film.

Reception

The film received a surplus of mostly negative reviews. The Wall Street Journal stated that it "isn't worth the celluloid it's printed on", Entertainment Weekly remarked that "it leaves you feeling splattered", The New York Daily News called it "a high-concept disaster", Christian Science Monitor labeled it "resolutely uninspired", The Hollywood Reporter labeled it "lame", and The Miami Herald commented that "the whole thing feels at least three summers too stale."

A few critics professed admiration for it, notably Roger Ebert who gave the film three stars out of four and wrote:

Box office

The film performed under expectations in its first weekend in theaters, its $19 million opening was far less than the expected $30 million, thereby making it one of 2009's major flops. The film's box office results fell far behind that of the 2009 comedy The Hangover, which opened during the same weekend. The film's opening weekend gross was about two-thirds what Universal Pictures reportedly expected to earn. It has made only $67 million worldwide.

Home media

The DVD was released on October 13, 2009. Through the first two weeks it has sold 611,974 copies generating $9.9 million in sales so far.

See also



References

  1. Release information at the Internet Movie Database
  2. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2009&wknd=23&p=.htm
  3. Steve Lowery. "Kid TV shows of the past ... Ahhh, what class," The Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California), June 29, 1995, page D3: "Duly inspired, Marty Krofft said he and his brother are working with Disney on a film version of Land of the Lost and are also considering a Pufnstuff film."
  4. Reed Johnson. "The world of Krofft craft - puppeteer brothers' creations available to highest bidder," Daily News of Los Angeles, August 22, 1998, page L3: "They're also scoping out feature film versions of Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost and the popular '60s sitcom Family Affair that ran on CBS from 1966 to 1971, to which the Kroffts own the rights."
  5. Tammy C. Carter. "Krofft: 'can't do a little, 'cause he can't do enough'," The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), October 20, 1996, page T4: (quoting Marty Krofft): "'We're not going to make any new television shows, but we're going to take our original titles and make movies out of them.' First up? 'Land of the Lost.'"
  6. Tim Clodfelter. "Revival: the fantastic worlds of Sid and Marty Krofft are back in vogue again," Winston-Salem Journal (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), August 17, 2000, page E1.
  7. Kevin Walker. "Masters of puppets - New videos. Movies deals on the table. Suddenly, former Saturday morning television kings Sid and Marty krofft are hot again," The Tampa Tribune, June 18, 1999, Friday Extra! section, page 20.
  8. Joal Ryan. "Whatever happened to H.R. Pufnstuf?," The Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California), October 26, 1996, page D1: "A big-screen version of Land of the Lost is in the script stages at Walt Disney Pictures... ."
  9. Mike Thomas. "Face time: Q&A with Marty Krofft," Chicago Sun-Times, May 3, 2005, features section, page 45.
  10. http://www.thehdroom.com/news/The_Hangover_Looks_Up_at_Pixar_in_Weekend_Box_Office_Results/4949
  11. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/LANDL.php
  12. http://www.the-numbers.com/dvd/charts/weekly/thisweek.php


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