Things I Learned From Lost In Space

(Cronan Thompson)

1. There were no glaring flaws... if you ignore that part between the opening and closing credits.

2. Gary Oldman, reprising his role as every other character he has ever played ever, secured his place in cinematic history as the only actor to play the same person 342 times in only 13 movies.

3. Although you are building a huge interdimensional gateway, have artificial gravity technology and plan to move the bulk (or at least a significant portion) of your population to another world, it's best not to build your ships in orbit as this would put it to far away from most saboteurs.

4. Space age robots capable of amazing feats, (not the least of which is storing the completely chaotic mind of Wesley Crusher and Leonardo DiCaprio's evil offspring), must constantly remind himself of the instructions given them by repeating shortened versions thereof at five second intervals.

5. In Earth's most desperate hour a team of select experts will NOT be chosen. Instead a comically dysfunctional family of misfits will be conscripted. Wacky Mayhem ensues.

6. The women of the Space Family Robinson are Jerry Springer's dream panel. Maureen, the mother, is a passive aggresive feminist lesbian. Judy, the eldest daughter, has trouble finding healthy outlets for emotions. Penny, the middle child, has, to all appearances, taken up prostitution, heroin and helium use and thus become wise, cynical and alabaster white at the ripe old age of 12.

7. All you need to do to sneak aboard mankind's last, best hope (which is being coincidentally targeted by a powerful terrorist organization) is mail one's self 34th class.

8. Most of the crew, having had Cerebrectomies, are immune to massive electrical discharges from insane robots.

9. A major in some neo-modern military, after studying the burn on a man's palm, can tell EXACTLY what kind of technology made the wound and who manufactured it. Further he can do this while being fired upon by a previously mentioned gigantic insane robot.

10. Upon the realization that you are barreling headlong into a sun you will open up your heat shields so that you may expose the sensitive innards of your ship (and the crew thereon) to large quantities of radiation and near blinding light.

11. The infinite improbablity drive onboard the Jupiter 2 managed to fling it through the vastness of space to the precise location of the the time desplaced wreckage of the mission to save them that hadn't been launched yet.

12. While low on resources and short on time, Earth will, instead of again trying to save the billion+ people on the planet, send out a huge search ship for the dysfunctional family on an antiquated ship.

13. Upon first encountering an alien Alien space ship try to communicate... once. Then BLOW IT TO HELL. And hope that they don't hold a grudge.

14. Although Jupiter 2 is capable of folding space and time to circumvent the oppresive restriction placed upon mankind by light's stubborn insistance that nothing be faster, it cannot escape the gravity well of an Earth sized planet.

15. Did you know all you need to take control of an advanced hyperlight ship, a space-age robot, or just the kitchen toaster is a disaffected Gameboy? It's true. Doc Smith said so.

16. Will, although capable of designing time machines at 8 (and building them by his mid 20s), rebuilding evil robots and being an all around dandy mad inventor took **20 YEARS** to figure out that the Big Freaky Spider guy killed everybody.

17. Once the option of time travel becomes available DO NOT think of going back in time to stop Doc Smith from sabotaging the Jupiter 2, going back further still to stop the first pilot of the Jupiter 2 from being killed or, best yet, simply killing the screenwriter, director and/or producer. Leap back to seconds before the ship is about to be blown to hell by an errant portion of the planet you were sitting on (meteor?) and suggest diving into the planet's formerly molten (and now just plain warm) core.

18. Do not take the risk of surviving the destruction of the planet by jumping through the time warp which just safely delivered your father to the past. While (a) there is enough power for sound, light and melodrama to pass through for another 3 minutes, (b) you are almost certain to die anyway, and (c) your swinging bachelor lifestyle has suddenly become a liability, don't even think about saving your ass... stick around.

19. Just before the planet explodes, or the evil deadly spiders attack or the time bubble kills you all... take a break. A heartwarming moment is needed to quash the merest possiblity at the speculation that a sense of urgency may have pondered the contingency of entering the film.

20. Did you know that as a planet breaks apart giant pathways to their core appear allowing quick and easy commuting between one side and the other? It's true. I saw it happen.

21. John Robinson, using some super advanced starcharts (what's so advanced about them is never even hinted at but I think it's because the computers they came from worked, like rilly, rilly fast), changed the nature of hyperspace in about an hour.

21a. You could tell they were really, really advanced computers because they displayed information to fast for the human eye to percieve. I have a similar computer. It's called log. You can't work it. It's too damn fast for you to see the information wiz by.

22. While "Batman and Robin" taught us that Akiva Goldman shouldn't be allowed within ten feet of any writing implement, "Lost in Space" taught us that it is possible to cleave the most beloved characters from their collective nostalgic womb with a 70 million dollar rusted machete and plunge them head long into a witless plot culminating in scenes that reek of melodramatic discourse highlighted by stolid puns and insensate quips... and get paid for it.

A brief synopsis for those who avoided the film:

Opening with a half-eaten bagel defended from the evil terrorists by modified B-Wings, LiS makes clear its intention of being loud and stupid early on. Down on the planet below, shit is happening to the Robinson family. Their super genius son is rebelling as super geniuses do, formulating viable theories on time travel. Ms. Pre-teen has discovered the joys of commando raids on the mall in clothing from a GAP fire sale. The adults are simply too obessed with silly things like saving the human race in illconcieved ways to care. After a few pointless "getting to know you moments" they are decked out in body armor swiped from the first Power Rangers' movie and launched out of a gargantuan Jiffy Pop container in what appears to be a space going suppository.

After being flung off course, due largely to the efforts of one Doc Smith, the ship is splunged* into a giant can of Campbell's tomato soup and emerges on the other end of the galaxy, where, improbably enough, the Jupiter 2 encounters (and docks with) the USS Discovery on loan from 2001. While aboard the Discovery (a.k.a. Proteus), the crew befriends the toyetic** and (badly) computer-generated spacegoing cousin of Gizmo in a Guatemalan jungle (whose presence onboard the ship remains as inexplicably unimportant to the story as the alien Alien ship). After which, they are attacked by and run away from giant evil spiders on loan from the 80's flick "Runaway" (with a heapin' helpin' of "Arachnophobia" mixed in for good measure).

The Jupiter 2 escapes from the Discovery only to crash-land on Hoth, in a sequence reminiscent of the Enterprise's demise in "Star Trek: Generations", which *that* movie's FX department had copied from "Spaceballs" (but that's neither here nor there). The menfolk, after being dressed down by the lady of the spaceship, walk through a timebubble whose "Stargate"-ishness ends as they find that a future Will Robinson has recreated Draal's Great Machine from Babylon 5. And poor Doc Smith has apparently been transformed into a Queen Alien. To top it off, as the planet was breaking up, the ship was flown straight through its core... essentially a "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Only to jump back into hyperspace away from what looks suspciously like a black hole forming in the background.

I laughed, I cried.

The best bad movie since Batman and Robin.

*splunged: dunking into a thick liquid; esp. hot liquids
**toyetic: a character designed specifically with the manufacture of toys in mind


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