Land of the Lost (film)

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Land of the Lost
Land of the Lost poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrad Silberling
Produced bySid and Marty Krofft
Jimmy Miller
Screenplay byChris Henchy
Dennis McNicholas
Based onLand of the Lost by 
by Sid and Marty Krofft, Allan Foshko and David Gerrold
StarringWill Ferrell
Anna Friel
Danny McBride
Jorma Taccone
Music byMichael Giacchino
CinematographyDion Beebe
Editing byPeter Teschner
StudioRelativity Media
Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures
Mosaic Media Group
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • June 5, 2009 (2009-06-05)
Running time102 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$100 million[2][dead link]
Box office$69,548,641[3]
 
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Land of the Lost
Land of the Lost poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrad Silberling
Produced bySid and Marty Krofft
Jimmy Miller
Screenplay byChris Henchy
Dennis McNicholas
Based onLand of the Lost by 
by Sid and Marty Krofft, Allan Foshko and David Gerrold
StarringWill Ferrell
Anna Friel
Danny McBride
Jorma Taccone
Music byMichael Giacchino
CinematographyDion Beebe
Editing byPeter Teschner
StudioRelativity Media
Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures
Mosaic Media Group
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • June 5, 2009 (2009-06-05)
Running time102 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$100 million[2][dead link]
Box office$69,548,641[3]

Land of the Lost is a 2009 American Science fiction comedy film directed by Brad Silberling and starring Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, and Anna Friel, loosely based on the 1974 Sid and Marty Krofft TV series of the same name.

Plot[edit]

Pompous paleontologist Rick Marshall has a low-level job at the La Brea Tar Pits, three years after a disastrous interview with Matt Lauer of Today became a viral video and ruined his career. Doctoral candidate student Holly Cantrell tells him that his controversial theories combining time warps and paleontology inspired her. She shows him a fossil with an imprint of a cigarette lighter that he recognizes as his own along with a crystal made into a necklace that gives off strong tachyon energy. She convinces him to finish his tachyon amplifier and come help her on a seemingly routine expedition to the cave where Holly found the fossil, which is in the middle of nowhere. With cave gift shop owner Will Stanton they raft into the cave, where Marshall has detected high levels of tachyons. He activates the tachyon amplifier, triggering an earthquake that opens a time warp into which the raft falls. The group finds themselves in a desert, filled with various items from many eras, and without the amplifier. They rescue a primate-like creature, Cha-Ka of the Pakuni tribe, who becomes their friend and guide.

The gang spends a night in a cave after surviving a meeting with a fast, intelligent Tyrannosaurus they nickname "Grumpy", who develops a vendetta against Marshall for calling him stupid. Marshall receives a telepathic message begging for help and ends up in ancient ruins. There, the group encounters a race of lizard men called Sleestaks before meeting the one who sent Marshall the telepathic message, Enik the Altrusian. He explains that he was exiled by the evil Zarn who is attempting to take over Earth with his Sleestak minions, but Enik can prevent this if Marshall retrieves the tachyon amplifier.

The group stumble upon a desert where many things from across time end up and they encounter many Compsognathus, Velociraptors, Grumpy, and an Allosaurus. The Allosaurus and Grumpy battle it out over the most recent thing to appear until they sense Marshall and chase him. Marshall kills the Allosaurus with liquid nitrogen and finds that the amplifier was inside the Allosaurus. The amplifier is stolen by a Pteranodon and taken to its nest. The group arrives at the nest and Marshall lightly steps through the Pteranodon eggs to retrieve the amplifier, but when he reaches it, it stops broadcasting the soundtrack to Marshall's favorite musical A Chorus Line. When the eggs begin to hatch, Holly realizes that the music was acting as a sort of lullaby keeping the Pteranodons asleep. Marshall, Will and Holly belt out "I Hope I Get It", with Cha-ka inexplicably joining in, displaying an impressive singing voice.

Marshall, Will and Cha-ka celebrate their good fortune. Meanwhile, Holly pockets a dinosaur egg and learns from a recording left by the long-deceased Zarn that Enik deceived them and is actually the one planning to invade Earth, but is captured by the Sleestaks to be brought to the Library of Skulls for judgment. The others save her from being executed for helping Enik, but the villain—now possessing the amplifier, and mind-controlling the Sleestaks—leaves them to open a portal to Earth. Marshall quickly settles things with Grumpy, befriending him, and joins the others to defeat the Sleestak army and confront Enik. After the crystal link between the Land of the Lost and Earth is shattered, Enik reveals the portal will close forever. Thinking fast, Marshall grabs Holly's crystal and inserts it into the port, knowing that the substitute crystal won't hold for long. Will chooses to stay behind to live a better life and to prevent Enik from following Marshall and Holly back to Earth, learning later that female Pakuni are very attractive.

A triumphant Marshall again appears on Today with the dinosaur egg Holly brought back to promote his new book Matt Lauer Can Suck It. However, left behind on the Today set, the egg hatches, but it turns out to be a baby Sleestak. The baby hisses as the screen goes black.

Cast[edit]

The original actors who played Holly and Will in the TV series, Kathy Coleman and Wesley Eure, filmed cameos for the film.[4] However, the final version of the film cut these scenes.[4] Bobb'e J. Thompson and Kiernan Shipka (uncredited), and Sierra McCormick appeared in a cameo as Tar Pit Kids and Raymond Ochoa as an uncredited boy in a museum.[5]

Production[edit]

Production for the film began on March 4, 2008. Only one week's worth of filming was shot using a large-scale soundstage with green screen technology.[6] The rest of filming took place on location in places such as the Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert, the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, and Trona, California.[7]

Marketing[edit]

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.[8][dead link] 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.[9] After the film's release, another marathon aired on Chiller on June 6. The majority of the first two seasons were also made available on Hulu. 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.

Two different games were released online to promote the film. "Chakker" was available to play on the film's official Web site while "Crystal Adventure" was a free downloadable game for iPhones from Kewlbox.

Both Subway and MapQuest hosted an online sweepstakes on their respective Web sites with various movie-related merchandise given away as prizes. Both sweepstakes ran from May 18 through June 7 of 2009.

Subway "Escape the Land of the Lost" Sweepstakes

Subway's contest was in the form of a Candy Land-style virtual board game. Players could collect various codes (named after characters and objects from the film) from either Subway cups or by completing specific website-related tasks (such as signing up for MySpace or Twitter) that would unlock other features of the game such as extra spins, shortcuts across the board, or an additional contest entry. Prizes included $5 Subway Gift Cards, e-Movie tickets, movie-related merchandise/apparel/props, an Epiphone banjo signed by Will Ferrell, $1000 cash, select Southwest Airlines trips, and even a trip for two to Universal Studios Hollywood to have lunch with the creators/producers -Sid and Marty Krofft.

MapQuest "Land of the Lost Adventure" Sweepstakes

MapQuest's contest prompted players to utilize their website to complete a series of challenges - each a different themed question. Correct answers earned players one additional contest entry each. These questions focused on key MapQuest features such as calculating the distance, fuel costs, or travel time between various fictional locales on a map of the Land of the Lost. Prizes included $20 Subway Gift Cards, prize-packs including film-themed apparel and merchandise, a 52" Sonia Bravia HDTV, and even a trip for four to Universal Studios Hollywood.

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

Music[edit]

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.[10] On May 10, it was also announced by Dave Mustaine on TheLiveLine that some music from Megadeth would appear in the film.[11] 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. However parts of the song "The Right to Go Insane", from the 2009 album Endgame, can be heard near the end of the film. In the film, Rick Marshall sings the original Land of the Lost theme and two other tracks (Tracks 5 and 27) utilize parts of the theme as well., The musical A Chorus Line plays a part in the story, and Ferrell sings Cher's 1998 dance pop hit "Believe". Varèse Sarabande released the soundtrack album on June 9, 2009 (tracks 30-32 are bonus tracks).

  1. Swamp And Circumstance (1:25)
  2. The Lighter Side Of Archaeology (1:03)
  3. Food Coma For Thought (1:01)
  4. A Routine Expedition (:48)
  5. The Greatest Earthquake Ever Known (3:12)
  6. Matt Lauer Can Suck It (1:22)
  7. Chaka Chasedown (:43)
  8. The Ones That Got Away (4:17)
  9. Enik Calls For Marshall (1:16)
  10. Sleestak Attack (2:01)
  11. Enik The Altrusian (3:20)
  12. The Cosmic Lost And Found (1:34)
  13. When Piss On Your Head Is A Bad Idea (3:54)
  14. A New Marshall In Town (1:37)
  15. Pterodactyl Ptemper Ptantrum (:42)
  16. The Crystal Cave (1:43)
  17. In Search Of... Holly (1:34)
  18. Undercover Sleestak (2:18)
  19. Never Trust A Dude In A Tunic (4:17)
  20. If You Don’t Make It, It's Your Own Damn Vault (2:40)
  21. Holly Mad As Sin (:50)
  22. Sleestak Showdown (:53)
  23. Stakbusters (2:33)
  24. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT (1:27)
  25. Crystal Clear (2:31)
  26. Mystery Cave Reunion (1:22)
  27. Ready And Will (1:36)
  28. End Credits Can Suck It! (3:26)
  29. Pop Goes The Sleestak (:16)
  30. A Routine Expedition (Version 1) (:50)
  31. The Devil's Canyon Mystery Cave (Version 1) (2:04)
  32. Crystal Clear (Film Version) (2:19)

Differences from original series[edit]

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.[12] Will, instead of being a son, is an amusement park operator and survivalist.[13] Rick Marshall is a paleontologist in the film, not a park ranger as 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."[14][dead link] 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.[15]

Release[edit]

Land of the Lost 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.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 26% of critics had given the film a positive review.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", The 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."[17]

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

The dinosaurs are so obviously not really there in shots where they menace humans that you could almost say their shots are about how they're not really there. Confronted with such effects, the actors make not the slightest effort to appear terrified, amazed or sometimes even mildly concerned. Some might consider that a weakness. I suspect it is more of a deliberate choice, and I say I enjoyed it.[18]

Empire magazine's Sam Toy put the film #8 on his best of the year list.[19]

On February 1, 2010, the film led the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards with seven nominations (tied with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Ferrell), Worst Director (Silberling), Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor (Taccone), Worst Screen Couple (Ferrell and any co-star, creature or "comic riff") and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel. The film won the Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel award.[20]

While at the Savannah Film Festival in 2011, Ron Meyer (President of Universal Pictures), said that "Land of the Lost was just crap. I mean, there was no excuse for it. The best intentions all went wrong."[21][22]

AwardCategoryNomineeResult
Golden Raspberry AwardWorst ActorWill FerrellNominated
Worst Screen CoupleNominated
Any co-star, creature or "comic riff"Nominated
Worst DirectorBrad SilberlingNominated
Worst PictureUniversal PicturesNominated
Worst ScreenplayDennis McNicholas and Chris HenchyNominated
Worst Supporting ActorJorma TacconeNominated
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or SequelWon

Box office[edit]

On its opening day of June 5, the film proved to be a commercial failure by grossing only $7.9 million. The film performed under expectations in its first weekend in theaters, its $19 million opening was far less than the expected $30 million. The film's box office results fell far behind that of the 2009 comedy The Hangover, which opened during the same weekend.[23][24] The film's opening weekend gross was about two-thirds what Universal reportedly expected to earn.[25][dead link] It made $69 million worldwide.[3]

Home media[edit]

The DVD was released on October 13, 2009, with sales reaching $20,286,563 as of August 2011.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LAND OF THE LOST (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  2. ^ Robert W. Butler (2009-06-04). "'Land of the Lost': Don't waste your time". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2009-06-06. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "Land of the Lost - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Catching up with the stars of ‘Land of the Lost’ - Entertainment". TODAY.com. 2009-06-08. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  5. ^ Marcia White (2009-06-04). "'Land of the Lost' groovy '70s TV show, new Will Ferrell movie". Lehigh Valley Live. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  6. ^ Collider Goes to the LAND OF THE LOST.
  7. ^ Filming Locations - Land of the Lost.
  8. ^ Graser, Marc (2009-05-13). "Marketers happy to get 'Lost': Subway, Marriott pushing Universal film". Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-01. [dead link]
  9. ^ Marsters, James (2009-04-24). Eureka and Land of the Lost: All on SCI FI. SF Universe. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  10. ^ Dan Goldwasser (2009-06-01). "Michael Giacchino scores Land of the Lost". ScoringSessions.com. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  11. ^ SLAYER (2009-05-11). "Megadeth Music To Be Featured In 'Land Of The Lost' Movie". Metalpaths. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  12. ^ Stevens, Dana (2009-06-04). Dumb Summer Guy Movies: The Hangover and Land of the Lost attempt to amuse dudes everywhere.. Slate. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  13. ^ Tom Long (2009-06-05). "Will Ferrell hits an all-time low with lame 'Land of the Lost'". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  14. ^ Janusonis, Michael (2009-06-05). Land of the Lost is lame. The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2009-06-05. [dead link]
  15. ^ Land of the Lost. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  16. ^ Release information at the Internet Movie Database
  17. ^ "Land of the Lost: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  18. ^ Blog, Chaz's (June 3, 2009). "Land of the Lost (PG)". rogerebert.com. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  19. ^ Metacritic's Critics List 2009[dead link]
  20. ^ Pink, Stuart (2010-03-07). "Razzie for Oscar winner Sandra". The Sun (London). 
  21. ^ "'Cowboys & Aliens' slammed as Universal boss admits to "s***ty movies"". Digital Spy. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  22. ^ Yamato, Jen (2011-11-03). "Universal Chief Ron Meyer Addresses VOD Fiasco, Admits Cowboys & Aliens, Land of the Lost, Wolfman Kinda Stunk". Movieline. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  23. ^ http://www.thehdroom.com/news/The_Hangover_Looks_Up_at_Pixar_in_Weekend_Box_Office_Results/4949
  24. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (2009-06-07). "Is America over Will Ferrell?". EW.com. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  25. ^ Peterseim, Locke (2009-06-08). "Down goes Ferrell! Up goes Ferrell!". Redblog. Retrieved 2009-06-09. [dead link]

External links[edit]