Land of the Lost Blu-ray Review
The film may have its weaknesses, but the strong visual tone of the movie deserves a really good transfer to show off the director's vision. The film comes to Blu-ray with a theatrically correct 1.85:1 1080p transfer, and excels at representing the director's intentions faithfully.
The first thing to mention is the stunning level of detail in the transfer. Every rock, every grain of sand, every small piece of facial detail is picked up superbly by the transfer which also displays a fantastic depth of field and that 3D pop we have come to expect from the best Blu-ray transfers. Colours are similarly deep and vibrant, with both natural and CGI colours blending well and jumping off the screen.
Black levels are usually deep and in most of the film, contrast is clear and intense. I have already mentioned the level of detail and this is noticeable in the faces. Unfortunately, where there are some problems with the transfer it is in the outdoor scenes where the bleached landscape tends to result in slightly washed-out skin tones.
Generally, though, these scenes are few and far between. Slightly more problematic is edge enhancement that rears its ugly head several times during the film, particularly in exterior shots. As usual, many wont notice this, but if you are the kind of viewers who finds EE distracting then you may need to bear this in mind.
One thing that cannot be argued against, though, is the quality of the source. As might be expected, from such a recent film, the source is immaculate - no flaws can be spotted at all. Generally, this is a very good transfer indeed and fans of the film are unlikely to be disappointed.
The DTS-HD Master Audio track which is presented here in 5.1 is certainly one of the more impressive tracks I have heard recently. It may not be subtle, but it is certainly vibrant and lively.
The first thing to mention is that the track is well balanced at reference levels. The dialogue is clear, well-placed and precise and whether it is the quietest lines, or dialogue shouted against the backdrop of a T-Rex roaring, everything is easy to hear.
The front separation is not the widest I have ever heard, but it is certainly adequate, with nice pans from left to right when the action requires it. Likewise, the LFE is well integrated. It kicks in when needed without over-dominating the rest of the track, providing nice underpinning to the action.
The surrounds too are active throughout the whole picture, providing nice ambience and also being more active when needed by the action on screen. If there is one slight flaw (and it is slight) is that the pans in the surrounds are not quite as well realised as they might be - this is being picky, for sure. Those who buy the film are very unlikely to be disappointed with this mix.
The first extra is an audio commentary - but bizarrely, Ferrell is nowhere to be heard. Instead we just get to hear the director Brad Siberling. He does provide some interesting insight, especially into how the writers strike affected the film - but this track is crying out for someone a bit more lively.
The 7 minute HD featurette Dr. Marshall's Food Diaries is basically a scene of Ferrell adlibbing, and is extremely poor to listen to. The man is so unfunny it is almost painful to watch. There is no surprise that this was cut from the final film. More deleted scenes are included separately - 20 minutes of them to be exact. Some of these are quite funny, although none of them would have added much to the story so it's no surprise to see them cut. Interestingly, again the best ones feature McBride - who already steals the picture. I am guessing that may have been why some of these were cut. More Mcbride is included in the shape of A Day In The Life of a Big Time Movie Star, a spoof documentary which riffs on the idea that McBride is hated by the rest of the crew. Again, McBride proves himself to be naturally funny - but this is not an extra which is likely to bear repeated viewings. Another McBride extra Devil's Canyon gift shop commercial and tour is a spoof advert for the ride and is again a funny, watch-once extra.
The meat of the extra features, however, is the 83 minute HD feature This is not a Routine Expedition which goes into extensive detail into the making of the film. Now I have to say, as someone who didn't enjoy the film - I did find this documentary rather too much. However, it is impossible to argue against the quality of the feature, and those with an interest in the film are going to get a great deal out of this. Finally, we have Bradley, Sid, and Marty : A conversation with the Kroffts which lasts 23 minutes and looks back at the original TV series.
Overall, this is a superlative set of extras, and fans of the film are going to find a lot to enjoy here.
I am afraid that there is no way that Land of the Lost could be described as a success, either commercially or artistically. It may have some spectacular scenic design, and decent special effects - but the sad thing is that the film is just not funny, and the characters not engaging enough. Apart from McBride, the actors just seem to be going through the motions.
However, if you are a fan of the film then you wont have any complaints about this disc. The picture and sound quality are both excellent, and the extras package is comprehensive and detailed and will provide fans of the film with plenty of insight.
The copy that was provided for review was a screener, and was region free. We are unable to verify whether the retail copy is the same
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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