Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Space Family Robinson!, 12 Nov 2010
This review is from: Lost In Space [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Anyone familiar with the original camp and colourful 60's Irwin Allen TV series will realise that this big-budget movie update is a million miles away from it!

The basic premise however is the same, essentially a sci-fi version of Swiss Family Robinson, where the 'Robinson' family set out into space on a scientific mission only to become, well, er...lost!

Directed by Stephen Hopkins who has helmed a variety of hits and misses over the years from the horror of Nightmare on Elm Street 5 and The Reaping to the action-fest of Predator 2 and thrillers Blown Away, The Ghost and The Darkness and the very under-rated Judgement Night as well as producing the critically acclaimed series 24.

There was quite a considerable amount of hype for the release of Lost in Space, particularly the big-name cast with Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham and Matt LeBlanc's first major film role. Gary Oldman has fun playing the over-the-top evil Dr. Smith, William Hurt is always reliable and LeBlanc makes a surprisingly good action star, even if he is still 'Joey'!

The production design and special effects in this movie are excellent and the action runs at break-neck speed. The opening space battle sequence is of particular note, but there's also an impressive crash sequence and the climactic high speed escape through a disintegrating planet is pretty awesome!

There are still a few nods to the original series though, there's a bit of campiness, thankfully not too much, and the robot from the series is reconstructed to resemble the original design and speaks with a similar voice, even uttering the famous line "Danger Will Robinson!" There's also a clever way of introducing the Jupiter 2 spaceship where a spaceship that resembles the original design in the series suddenly breaks apart, acting merely as a launching shell, to reveal an entirely new designed ship for the movie. Some of the original cast also have small cameos.

Of course there are obvious problems with the storyline especially the sugar-coated paradox-inducing ending which tries, rather ham-fistedly, to ram home messages of family and reconciling troubled relationships, in this case young Will Robinson and his father.

Since it was first released in 1998 I've had a bit of a soft spot for this film, I guess because it's harmless fun that has something for everyone, it's never going to win any Oscars, and it may offend the purist fans of the original TV series, but it's a decent slice of sci-fi entertainment that will pass a few hours.

As for this Blu-Ray disc the picture transfer isn't too bad, not that much improvement over DVD unfortunately, however the sound is much better. I've always thought that movies released on DVD on the 'Entertainment in Video' label always had very poor quality sound, Lost in Space being one of them. This is now much better on this Blu-Ray. The extras have been lifted from the DVD release (stills, trailers, deleted scenes, music video) but also include some featurettes about special effects, space travel and interviews with the original TV cast. There are also two new commentary tracks which are interesting but nothing to shout about.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Dec 2010 11:39:34 GMT
I would have liked to know at least something about the quality of the blu ray transfer and the extras and sound; there's nothing in this review I couldn't have found in a dvd review.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2010 16:08:20 GMT
I. R. Barnes says:
Yes good point, I guess I'm just so used to reading reviews on Amazon that just focus on the movies themselves and never include anything about the technical details that I followed the same format! I will update the review.

But for your info, the picture transfer isn't too bad, not that much improvement over DVD unfortunately, however the sound is much better. I've always thought that movies released on DVD on the 'Entertainment in Video' label always had very poor quality sound, Lost in Space being one of them. This is now much better on Blu-Ray. The extras have been lifted from the DVD release (stills, trailers, deleted scenes, music video) but also include some featurettes about special effects, space travel and interviews with the original TV cast. There are also two new commentary tracks which are interesting but nothing to shout about.

Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2011 20:12:39 GMT
Thanks very much, that's all I needed to know - ring up a sale!
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