Film Screening 21st August, 2009

Poster for Land of the Lost

Land of the Lost 

8:00 PM, 21st August, 2009

  • PG
  • 101 mins
  • Unknown
  • Brad Silberling
  • Chris Henchy, Dennis McNicholas
  • Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride, Jorma Taccone

This is based on the old TV show of the same name. It's a fun, rollicking comedy which doesn't take itself seriously at all. Ferrell does what he does best, make a complete fool of himself in a number of silly and over the top situations. A couple of laugh out loud moments are complemented by an overall entertaining film.

Ferrell plays Dr. Rick Marshall, a scientist laughed off the "Today" show for his theories regarding alternate dimensions and periods of time flux. A few years later, a budding doctorate student named Holly (Friel) convinces him to continue his research and, with the obnoxious Will (McBride), travel through a grimy water tunnel. They end up in a different time where dinosaurs roam amongst ape/human hybrids and creatures referred to as Sleestaks.

It's overly complicated, and does seem to try too hard at times, but at others actually does give the audience something intelligent to think about. Yes, there are the standard toilet jokes, but McBride is the saving grace of the film - his character is annoying and pompous, portrayed superbly by McBride. The great camera work and the creature effects and makeup are top notch and enhance the adventure throughout the film, especially with the Tyrannosaurus Rex constantly gunning for Marshall. No it's not the best film on the programme, but it's certainly in the top 80.

Steven Cain

Poster for Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park 

9:55 PM, 21st August, 2009

  • PG
  • 127 mins
  • Unknown
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Michael Crichton, David Koepp
  • Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Using the DNA of dinosaurs from blood found in amber-preserved mosquitoes, scientists at a genetic engineering company have found a way to replicate and clone dinosaurs. What for? A theme park, of course!

John Hammond (Attenborough), the architect of the aptly named Jurassic Park, invites a group of experts and his two grandchildren to be the first to visit the island attraction before opening it to the public. Among these are palaeontologist Alan Grant (Neill), palaeobotanist Ellie Sattler (Dern) and self-proclaimed 'chaotician' Ian Malcolm (Goldblum). Unfortunately for them, there's a traitor in their midst who plans to steal and sell the dinosaur embryos. He shuts down the park's electricity and before long, the prehistoric creatures have broken free. With a tropical storm hitting the island and nowhere to run, everyone at the park is soon about to discover exactly what once made dinosaurs the dominant species on Earth.

Jurassic Park is director Steven Spielberg's second most successful film ever - which says a lot for the man behind Jaws and the Indiana Jones franchise - and there is no doubt as to why. The film is an exhilarating ride, not unlike the theme park it depicts, that takes us on a whirlwind of excitement, suspense and the sheer awe of seeing dinosaurs come to life. Never have special effects been used so successfully to compliment and enhance the plot - as opposed to being used in place of a plot, as so many films do today.

The combination of these elements results in a rare film that never fails to impress, no matter how many times you've seen it. And if you haven't, do yourself a favour and come experience one of the biggest blockbusters of all time the way a film about dinosaurs is meant to be seen - on the big screen.

Adrian Ma