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LOST IN SPACE, 1998
Movie Reviews!

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  MOVIE POSTER LOST IN SPACE, 1998
Movie Reviews

Director: Stephen Hopkins

Starring: Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, Heather Graham, Mimi Rogers, Lacey Chabert, Jared Harris, Jack Johnson

Review by Joseph Paul John McCarthy

SYNOPSIS:

This film is based on the 1960’s television series. The Robinsons become lost in space, obviously. During the course of the film they encounter a version of their ship from the future and an adult version of the young Will Robinson who has built a time machine.

REVIEW:

This film is based on the 1960’s television series. The Robinsons become lost in space, obviously. During the course of the film they encounter a version of their ship from the future and an adult version of the young Will Robinson who has built a time machine.

Review: This is probably one of the best 1960’s T.V. to film adaptions of our time; that may not sound like much considering films like ‘My Favourite Martian’, ‘Wild Wild West’ and ‘Bewitched’. But this revision has Gary Oldman in it and a rather clever time travel twist towards the end, which takes it from zero stars to four out of five rather expertly.

I’m not going to pretend that this is a fantastic piece of cinema because we all know what they do with these nostalgia film ideas; they chuck a lot of money at it put in a lot of special effects and currently famous actors and hope for the best. This works for ‘Lost in Space’ though as the original t.v. show was as camp as a row of tents and their effects mainly consisted of a smoke machine and coloured lighting. Although the Robot was probably the best costume they had in the show, with its glass bubble head and claws.

What’s great about ‘Lost in Space’ is the references to the old show, such as having most if not all the actors from the original series have short cameos. With the exception of Bill Mumy, who played Will Robinson on the original T.V. series and Jonathan Harris, who played Dr. Smith in the T.V. show. You get a sense that the people who made this film actually cared about staying true to the original. Something that you don’t get with a lot of remakes and adaptions.

The majority of the film takes place in the middle of the 21st century, although war is a thing of the past, humanity achieved peace a little too late it seems. Due to all the pollution created over the previous centuries the Earth will soon become uninhabitable. Luckily Professor John Robinson (William Hurt) has a solution. Build hypergates to allow faster than light travel. Unfortunately before they are constructed one must travel to the destination in order to construct the hypergate and so Professor Robinson drafts his family into a ten year long mission to fly to alpha-centauri.

The mission is sabotaged by Dr. Smith (Gary Oldman) who is being paid off by the Global Sedition movement. Dr. Smith reprograms the Robot, voiced by Dick Tufeld who did the voice of the Robot in the original series, to destroy the ship and kill the Robinsons. Unfortunately for Dr. Smith he gets trapped on board after the ship takes off. Soon the ship is falling into the sun and the only way to escape is to use the hyperdrive. The problem is that without a hypergate they could end up anywhere in the galaxy. As they are falling into the sun they decide that ending up lost in space is better than falling into the sun.

Whilst trying to find their way back home the family come across space spiders, a hole in time, a grown up version of Will Robinson and a mutated spider-human hybrid version of Dr. Smith.

Admittedly the acting isn’t that great, nothing new in a sci-fi film, but you would think with such brilliant actors as Gary Oldman and William Hurt that the performances of Matt LeBlanc and Heather Graham would’ve stepped up a bit. Sadly this didn’t happen and it appears like the talents of the few were dragged down by the many.

Most people will laugh at the idea of even considering this to be an alright film, but I would remind them that this is the film that knocked ‘Titanic’ off the top spot on the American charts. That’s right, ‘Lost in Space’ knocked ‘Titanic’ down a peg, after 15 consecutive weeks at number 1.

Ultimately this is a good film for people who liked the original 1960’s programme to show to their grandchildren and complain about how the original was way better without the special effects and dance mix soundtrack.

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LOST IN SPACE, 1998