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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, October 2, 2014 - Edition No 917 

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LOST IN SPACE

SYNOPSIS:
In the middle of the next century, Professor John Robinson (William Hurt), his wife Maureen (Mimi Rogers), daughters Judy (Heather Graham) and Penny (Lacey Chabert), and son Will (Jack Johnson) are selected to be the first family to colonise outer space, as Earthís resources are dwindling. One of two hypergates, when completed, will allow instantaneous space travel to the other side of the universe. Just as they are beginning to settle into their critical work, the Jupiter Two, their state-of-the-art spacecraft piloted by Major Don West (Matt LeBlanc) strays dangerously off course. The Robinsons do not realise they are marooned with a sinister saboteur, Dr Zachary Smith (Gary Oldman), whose traitorous tinkering lands him and the Robinsons in a perilous corner of the cosmos. This space age family must band together and use their unique skills to complete their mission or risk certain death while lost in space.

"I must be suffering ennui from the excitement of watching spacecraft breaking light speed, the fascination with inexplicable space battles eludes me, the jaded jargon of the pseudo-future is tiresome and boring characters just bore me. Unlike Paul (above) I donít see this as any improvement on the original. The original was original (certainly at the time) with the bulk of its undemanding lounge room tension built around human predicaments Ė if in alien territory. The interaction between Will, his family and the robot were paramount. This is no relation: the character count is the same (Robinson family, robot, evil Zachary) but the characters arenít. The notion of the tv series has been buried, but that wouldnít matter either, if only it were done with a modicum of intelligence. But I suspect Iím in the minority. Previewing the film in a cinema full of real audience-people, I saw many were clearly entertained. I think most 8 - 12 year old boys will be entertained. Itís a pop up cartoon, best seen on a Saturday arvo, or taken as a high tech eye-ride. Except for the turgid parents, who seem to have jumped on board from a parental guidance course."
Andrew L. Urban

"Big screen sci-fi family entertainment is back with a vengeance: Lost in Space is a comic book romp with big bangs, dazzling effects and characters that are grounded by their very humanity. Being one of a very small minority who never saw the TV series, I had no preconceptions or expectations. Itís a journey of anticipation and discovery through the red hot sun to far away lands in distant galaxies where alien creatures blend in with the flowers. And thereís something for all age groups. Tops is the relationship between Will and the robot, but thereís Pennyís digitised diary (although Lacey Chabertís Penny is totally incomprehensible), a cutsie alien cartoon-like mouse called Blawp for the young at heart, the Princess Lei/Han Solo type of mini-romance between Judy and West, the menís testosterone challenges, the evil Zachary (Gary Oldman doesnít have enough to get his teeth into) and the marital joust by way of verbal repartee between John Robinson (William Hurt is terrific) and his wife Maureen. Itís a solid cast that keeps this family together, as they adventure through space and time. Lost in Space shouldnít be taken too seriously - itís a fun journey into escapism with minimal violence and swearing, so even Grandma can experience hi-tech effects without being offended. But without a doubt, itís the little boys (of all ages) who will really fly on this ticket - a B film with an A grade cast and effects."
Louise Keller



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0
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See Alan Jones' FEATURE on the making of Lost in Space.

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NOTE:
The original series of Lost In Space started on CBS in 1965 as an earnest, if not particularly bright, B&W primetime space adventure, as Variety put it. When the run ended three years later, the show had long since gone color ó and very self-consciously campy.

The simple premise updated Swiss Family Robinson, placing a traditional, all-American nuclear family ó plus one romantic-interest hunk for the eldest daughter, a duplicitous stowaway and one loyal robot ó on a spaceship that is lost, ensuring a new interplanetary peril each week.

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LOST IN SPACE (PG)
(US)

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

DIRECTOR: Stephen Hopkins

PRODUCER: Akiva Goldsman

SCRIPT: Akiva Goldsman (Inspired by the television series, Lost in Space)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Levy

EDITOR: Ray Lovejoy

MUSIC: Bruce Broughton

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Norman Garwood

VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR; Angus Bickerton

RUNNING TIME: 131 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 9, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: August 12, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

RRP: $24.95
Also available in Widescreen







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