Monday, April 7, 2008

Lost in Space, Old Versus New

In the late nineties, early oughts, we as Americans were subjected to what seemed like an unremitting barrage of terrible sci-fi(The Thirteenth Floor, Batman and Rpbin, and The Avengers) and based on television (Charlie's Angels, 'nuff said) films, but I think it can be argued that by far the worst film of this entire period was Lost in Space, a film that was based on a 60s television show that mercilessly sucked on all eight cylinders. It was painful. It was unwatchable. It was the movie that finally beat Titanic for the top spot on the weekend chart. I will always defend Titanic, even though I can admit its flaws, but seriously, this is the alternative? Lost in Space?

For those of you who might happen to be one of God's favorite's who have not seen the film, let me explain it to you. In the future, a family gets lost in space. That's about it, but to complicate things, they go through time as well as space, and Gary Oldman is with them. Naturally, the hero is Matt LeBlanc, who spends his time shooting at different things he doesn't understand/disagrees with, and has this metal mask that makes it look like the movie is going to be cool for a second, but of course isn't. They even pick up this big-eyed space pet. Sweet Jesus.

But the real accomplishment (in honor of the Pulitzers, which were announced today) is that they were able to make something worse than the original television show. The plot was essentially the same, save that Gary Oldman's character was in fact a mincing pedophile who never had anything better to do on this desolate planet than hang out with Bill Mumy. There was really only one set, which was pretty lousy, and they never get off the planet.

What's the lesson here, though? That when utter crap takes itself seriously and we don't get to see Dr. Zachary Smith preening about and making weird insults at a big robot, the ability to watch it at all goes way down.

To see Jonathan Harris pretend he didn't make the world a worse place, look here.

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