Sunday, June 25, 2017

Lost in Space

Lost in Space (1998)

Image Source
In the future, global warming has rendered the planet nearly unlivable. In order to prevent the extinction of human life, some people made some kind of thing (I think there's like a drive in space ships, and also a star gate or something? I don't fucking know) that will allow quick space travel between Earth but they're only sending a scientist (William Hurt) and his family through so they can like pave the way or whatever. But there's this faction that wants to stop that for some stupid reason and they send another scientist or doctor (Gary Oldman) to sabotage the mission but they betray him and he gets stuck on the ship and then something something and everybody's lost in space/the future.

Honest to god this movie had about six hours of clunky exposition and I still have no fucking idea what in the sweet name of jesus was going on. But that's not important. What's important is that after a long ass amount of set up the family, and their cocky, horny pilot (Matt LeBlanc), and Gary Oldman are lost in space. And time. They're also lost in time. That's really important.

I'm just going to quickly run through the two or three things that I actually liked about this steaming pile of shit before I talk about what a piece of shit it is.

The youngest daughter of the family (Lacey Chabert) has a vlog that she updates sporadically. It's sort of annoying, because her character is annoying, and doesn't do anything whatsoever for the movie, but it's a neat device to inject some character development, albeit for a pointless character.

The main (ish?) monsters are these goo-spider things which were okay. I'm always down for goo spiders. Also, one of the goo spiders scratches or bites Gary Oldman and then later when they get lost in time, Gary Oldman has turned into a gigantic half-man half-spider for some reason which had a really cool design. Unfortunately, the CGI looks like absolute shit, and the Gary Oldman/spider is given next to nothing to do and gets unceremoniously kicked into some kind of space-time vortex. Also, while the design of the monster is cool, the idea of the monster is stupid. That's the best compliment I can give this movie.

This exemplifies the term "it looked better on paper" (Image Source)
On a neutral note, I kind of feel bad for Matt LeBlanc. He's not bad as the gung-ho action badass pilot guy, but I could not take him seriously as not-Joey from Friends. Which is unfortunate because like I said, he's not that bad in the role, and it's not his fault that this movie is fucking terrible.

This movie has two major problems. The dialogue, and the plot. Both of which are pretty important things to nail down before you start, you know, shooting a movie.

The dialogue is particularly offensive, even for a stupid action movie. Like, Gary Oldman speaks in alliterations fully half the time I swear to god. I get that this movie is based on a TV show from nineteen-sixty-fuck, so his dialogue is probably based on that but that doesn't make it any less fucking annoying.

A lot of the characters narrate whatever they're doing, except the girl doing her vlogs which is the only time it would be appropriate. Despite constantly explaining what's going on and why, the movie still doesn't make any fucking sense. How does that even happen.

Also, they have the stupidest fucking lines like "I love you, wife", and "I'll wait later". What the fuck does that even mean? At that point you're just fucking waiting to wait. It's stupid, is what I'm saying.

You know what else is stupid? Everything else in this movie. The emotional crux of the movie is William Hurt and his wife (Mimi Rogers) dealing with their marital issues and William Hurt not being such a shitty dad to his kids. Which, on its own, is a solid core, but all of the "family discord" scenes feel so forced, and they ultimately fall to the wayside of the random adventures the group has throughout the movie.

The action scenes and the main plot are so inane and incomprehensible that there is absolutely no tension whatsoever in the movie. Also the main plot points seem really tangential to each other, giving the plot a fractured, episodic quality. This may have been intentional on the part of the filmmakers, trying to emulate the feeling of watching a season of a TV show, but that doesn't make it okay because movies are not TV shows.

This asshole. (Image Source)
Everything just seemed so pointless. Furthermore, literally the only thing I know about the show Lost in Space is that it's a sci-fi version of Swiss Family Robinson, and there's that robot asshole that waves his arms around and yells "Danger, Will Robinson!" and one time fought the robot from Forbidden Planet. I really like that guy, he's the best. He basically doesn't show up until the last act of the movie and he hardly says "Danger, Will Robinson" at all. In fact, he's so inconsequential to the plot that I said "Danger, Will Robinson" a fraction of the number of times I said "How you doin'?" while watching this movie. That makes me sad.

There's also some internal logic problems that really bugged me. Specifically, what they had a pilot for. When they first launch the ship, Joey sets a course and then goes into hypersleep like everybody else. Why couldn't a computer do that? I get that he becomes useful later on, after everything that's not supposed to happen does, but that's no excuse. Maybe they were preparing for every eventuality. But if that were the case, why not bring a second family so that if everything did go wrong and they crash landed on some alien planet that they would have to colonize, they'd be able to stave of inbreeding for a generation? Huh? Explain that one, movie.

You know, for kids! (Image Source)
The absolute worst offense in this movie though is the fucking CG monkey thing they pick up on another ship that does nothing. It does nothing. Say what you want about how fucking ridiculous and stupid Jar Jar Binks is (which is very), how he was only created to sell toys or whatever, at least he was involved in the plot of the Star Wars prequels in some way. His presence was justified. This fucking abortion over here, though, doesn't affect the plot in any way and is only there to blink its eyes and mewl grotesquely. And it's name is Blarp. Fuck that.

- Lacey Chabert played Gretchen in Mean Girls and made me think of how much I love Mean Girls (+1)
- Robbie the Robot (+1)
- Cool monster (+0.25) [points removed for crappy CGI and overall pointlessness of monster]
- Gary Oldman is in the movie (+1)
Total: (+3.25)

- Too much exposition and doesn't actually explain anything (-2)
- How you doin'? (-1)
- Alliteration amplifies Andrea's anger (-1)
- ^Irony (-(-1))
- The dialogue in this movie physically hurt me (-3)
- It takes them for fucking ever to become Lost in Space (-1)
- Gary Oldman is not playing Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in this movie (-1)
- Blarp the... fuckin... alien... monkey thing (-5)
Total: (-13)
Final Score: -9.75 Stars

Directed by: Stephen Hopkins.  Written by: Akiva Goldsman.  Starring: William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, Gary Oldman, Mimi Rogers, Jack Johnson, Lacey Chabert, Heather Graham, Jared Harris, Dick Tufeld.

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