Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Movie Review: The Land That Time Forgot

Released: 2009
Reviewed: 1.14.10
Star rating: 3 out of 5

C. Thomas Howell (Frost), Timothy Bottoms (Captain), Lindsey McKeon (Lindsey), Darren Dalton (Cole), Stephen Blackehart (Lonzo), Christopher Showerman (Stack), Anya Benton (Karen).

Several friends end up on an island after surviving a strange storm which disabled their boat. Soon they find themselves running from dinosaurs and encountering other castaways from different periods in time, including a hostile German submarine crew who don't realize WWII is over.

This one kicks off well enough and jumps right into the action with very little character background. Based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs' book the plot here will be familiar to many. As the main characters encounter the other inhabitants of the island the action and suspense increase to a good level right up to the sequel setup type ending. There are more than a couple of plot holes, such as a submarine torpedo that works like a missile out of water rather than failing to leave the launch tube at all as it should have done.

Acting was mixed here with Howell's hands-to-the-head move being a bit overused and ridiculous. Bottoms, McKeon, Benton, and Cole all did a decent job while the rest of the supporting cast seemed a bit inexperienced.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were all fairly well done but were overshadowed by the low budget CGI and effects. CGI creatures didn't look real at all and seriously eroded the film quality. Sound and dialogue were appropriate for the film. What is obvious with this one is that C. Thomas Howell is slowly growing as a director and putting out better quality films. But the emphasis is on 'slowly'.

Overall this is a good mid-level entry in the sci-fi fantasy category with a fun story that moves along well. Mild violence is the only thing to limit audience age so this should be fine for preens and above.

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