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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Land of the Lost,’ ‘The Hangover,’ ‘Surveillance,’ ‘Imagine That,’ ‘Cheri,’ ‘Downloading Nancy,’ ‘Sex Positive’

I’m not expecting much from Land of the Lost (opens in the U.S. on June 5, and in the U.K. on July 31) — certainly nothing along the lines of the weird-ass freaky science fiction shit that blew my mind as an eight-year-old watching the original Saturday morning TV show. If it’s as mildly amusing as its trailer appears to suggest, I’ll be happy enough.

I’ve been so drunk that I’ve forgotten stuff exactly once in my life. It is not an experience I wish to repeat, and I imagine that lots of people feel the same way: that this is not an experience to be embraced. And yet, I’m guessing that The Hangover (opens in the U.S. on June 5, and in the U.K. on June 12) will not be anywhere near as dark as it probably should be. It could still be funny if it were dark, but it doesn’t look like that’s the kind of funny it’s aiming for.

FBI agents and serial killers are something I’ve got a soft spot for: I wrote a screenplay about such once [warning: PDF], and for a while when I was younger I thought I wanted to go work for the FBI as a criminal profiler. (It’s a discipline that remains very helpful for a writer and analyst of fiction.) So I’m looking forward to Surveillance (it played in U.K. cinemas this winter; it opens in the U.S on June 26)… and also because it stars one of my boyfriends, Bill Pullman. Director Jennifer Lynch is, yes, the daughter of David Lynch, and her only previous film is the deeply weird Boxing Helena. So it’s sure to be interestingly strange.

Eddie Murphy has a new movie? Why? Imagine That (opens in the U.S. on June 12, and in the U.K. on July 31) is about a guy who enters the imaginary world of his little daughter, for some reason or other. I smell another Bedtime Stories

Michelle Pfeiffer gets to fool around with cutie-pie Rupert Friend in Cheri (now playing in the U.K.; it opens in the U.S. on June 26). You go, girl. Oh, and it’s from Stephen Frears, so that’s cool, too.

I’m gonna watch Downloading Nancy (opens in the U.S. on June 5; no U.K. release date has been announced) — the creepy Internet romance thing starring the awesome Maria Bello — and Sex Positive (opens in the U.S. on June 12; no U.K. release date has been announced) — a documentary about AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz — on screeners I got from the publicists. It’s not the ideal way to watch a movie — a big screen is always best — but these flicks are getting extremely limited releases, and most of the people who eventually see these movies will see them on a small screen anyway, so I figure it at least puts me on an even footing with its audience.



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  • I keep imagining Land of the Lost basically being like Will Ferrell’s version of Bewitched–only with dinosaurs and without Nora Ephron.

    And yes, there’s an obvious joke there but I’m not going to go after it…

  • JT

    I still can’t figure out what Land of the Lost‘s audience is.

  • Victor Plenty

    If you’re able to wonder what the intended audience is, or even capable of understanding what an intended audience is, you’re probably not part of the intended audience.

    (I suspect this rule of thumb holds true for most of Hollywood’s output these days, not just Land of the Lost.)

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