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Author Topic: Bert's Movie Reviews  (Read 379 times)

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Bert

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Bert's Movie Reviews
« on: September 12, 2016, 09:00:46 pm »
I have so many unwanted opinions, I simply couldn't keep them in one thread.

The Lost World (1925)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the legendary creator of Detective Sherlock Holmes, penned this adventure novel in 1912 about a group of explorers visiting a... lost world... where dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures continue to thrive. However, the biggest difference between the novel and the movie is that the novel focused on a tribal conflict, while the movie focuses exclusively on...
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DINOSAURS!

It was one of the first dinosaur movies to be a hit, and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle liked it. So much so, he gave a foreword at the film's beginning.

Ze Plot
Reporter Ed Malone (Lloyd Hughs, who I swear wears copious amounts of makeup in this film) asks his boss for a dangerous assignment to impress his c**t of a fiancé, who won't marry him unless he's faced mortal danger. He is instead told to bugger off and learns that Professor Challenger (Wallace Beery), a cantankerous fellow who believes dinosaurs are still alive, will be holding a lecture. Malone's friend, hunter Sir John Roxton (Lewis Stone), agrees to bring Ed in on his pass, since reporter's are barred due to Challenger's habit of attacking them. During the lecture, Challenger announces his plan to take a voyage into the back country of the Amazon, gladly taking Roxton when he volunteers.

Guess what happens when Ed pipes up.

Despite being chased out of the lecture hall by Challenger, Ed decides to break into his home and tell him how much of a b***h his fiancé is, resulting in a struggle that winds up outside. Challenger, impressed that Malone won't press charges when they're accosted by a policeman, decides to let Ed come along and shows him a diary belonging to Paula White's (Bessie Love) father, Maple White. Inside are sketches of various dinosaurs, including a brontosaurus (yes it's real and if you say otherwise I will punch you), proving Challenger correct. Maple, who'd gone exploring the amazon for simiar reasons, has not returned, leading Ed to suggest that this would make a great human interest story and could finance a rescue party if they return.

Challenger, Malone, Roxton, Paula, fellow sceptical Professor Summerlee (Arthur Hoyt), an Indian servant named Zambo (Jules Cowes) and a monkey named Jocko (himself) arrive at the lost world and set up camp to discover Maple was correct: dinosaurs still roam the Earth. This is proven when a pterodactyl flies by. The group is attacked by the DAMN DIRTY APE MAN, but it fucks off immediately after. When they cross a chasm to a plateau using a tree as a bridge, a brontosaurus shows up and knocks it over like an arsehole, leaving them trapped.

Suddenly, an allosaurus appears, harnesses its inner Irishman, and picks fights with everything it sees, including a triceratops, an Edmontonosaurus and the camp site, only to be driven off by Ed throwing a torch into its mouth. killing it. The Agathaumas is then killed by a T. Rex, who proceeds to catch a pterodactyl - in midair - and eat it. f**k yeah. Things take an immensely bleak turn fast: Roxton discovers Maple's remains in one of the plateau's caves. He informs Paula of this, which is Ed's cue to, after sharing all of two lines of dialogue with her, confess his ove for her. Summerlee, who just so happens to be a former minister and this was totally not tacked on at the last second, unofficially weds them, to Roxton's dismay.

While Challenger is observing the aforementioned brontosaurus, it's attacked by... you get one guess. The brontosaurus is pushed off a cliff and lies wounded in a mud bank. Suddenly, a volcano erupts, causing a mass stampede, but Challenger and company climb to safety when Jocko ties a rope ladder to one of the plateau's higher caves. Afterwards, while Ed is climbing down, the DAMN DIRTY APE MAN starts fucking with the ladder. Roxton shoots it dead, and Challenger finds the wounded brontosaurus soon after. Some guy from the Brazilian coast guard or some s**t arrives to make sure the group is okay, at which point Challenger, the absolute madman, comes up with an idea: to bring the brontosaurus back to London, proving he's not completely batshit insane. Mr. Some Guy goes along with it, saying that they might be able to put it in a cage when the heavy rains flush out the mud bank, essentially leaving the sauropod there.

The idea works, to a point. The group returns to London safe and sound, and Challenger summons reporters, his critics, and general dissenters to the lecture hall to make his announcement: he has brought a fucking brontosaurus with him to London. However, he gets a panicked call from Ed, who explains that it broke free when the cage fell and busted open, resulting in Challenger making the following announcement:

"My brontosaurus has escaped! Keep off the streets until I recapture it."

I refuse to believe this line didn't become a dank meme used throughout the rest of the 1920s.

Anyway, sure enough, the brontosaurus is running around causing mass hysteria, knocking s**t over in its wake and destroys an entire apartment building. f**k yeah. Its rampage ends when it falls through the Tower Bridge into the River Thames, swimming away to its home planet of Canada while a morose Challenger watches. Ed discovers his fiancé married someone else in his absence, prompting him and Paula to get married for realsies.

How is this potential brontosaurus problem resolved? Good question!

The Rest of My Post
Fun. Fun, fun, fun. That's what this movie is, from start to finish. From Challenger beating the s**t out of Malone at the start to the allosaurus's inability to take a fucking hint, and best of all the brontosaurus rampage, The Lost World is 55/64/95/100 minutes of black and white, silent, stop-motion fun.

Yeah, about those running times...

When the movie was released for purchase in the '50s, it had a... truncated duration, losing 51 minutes of its original 106 minute runtime. Over time, several longer versions have been found, but the remaining 5 minutes is probably lost forever. The 64 minute version is the most common, and is pretty bare bones, featuring only the scenes necessary to the plot.

The movie's biggest draw was, logically, stop-motion dinosaur effects by none other than Willis O'Brien, who you might know as the stop-motion effects guy from King Kong. While they no doubt looked amazing at the time, they have aged about as well as expired milk. There are some cool effects in play, like the closeup of the brontosaurus eating leaves off a tree branch, and baring its teeth before its fight with the allosaurus. The creatures' movements are quite fluid and interact with the actors and scenery well, even seeming lifelike in this day and age. The fight scenes are fantastic, and the shenanigans involving the allosaurus, the edmontonosaurus, and the triceratops is nonstop, lasting several minutes total.

While I can't say much about the acting since, well, it's a silent movie, Wallace Beery is a fitting choice for Professor Challenger, being a loud, boisterous man himself with a booming and demanding voice. Most of them get a chance to show some badassery, like Ed throwing a fucking torch into the T. Rex's mouth. The main aversion is Paula, who doesn't really do much in the lost world other than make a curious/shocked face whenever a dinosaur shows up, but it's hard not to feel sorry for her when Roxton tells her what happened to her dad. Speaking of, who the f**k would ever name their kid Maple? Probably a Canadian.

What bothers me most about the film is that aforementioned romance subplot between Paula and Ed, if it could even be called that. Hell, I'm not even sure they share two lines of dialogue; they barely acknowledge each other after they meet at Challenger's house. I guess it works out, since Ed's fiancé married someone else while he was gone, a detail left out of several versions of the film. Oh well. Now they can base their entire relationship around her dad's death. If that's not a heartwarming story to tell the grandkids, then I don't know what is.

So while the movie's effects have aged quite badly (all the dinosaurs move at a jogging pace!), The Lost World is still over a half hour of dinosaur-related fun with plenty of action, adventure, and a dumb romance subplot which, mercifully, doesn't bog the movie down since it's essentially a footnote. While the 64-minute version is the most common and probably dirt cheap (especially if it's distributor is Alpha Video, as mine is), I'd suggest tracking down one of the longer versions if you want the whole experience. Or, hell, just watch it on YouTube. It's in the public domain anyway. Sadly, the remaining 6 minutes will likely never be found.























Until 2025, when, by "complete coincidence," a full version of the movie, still in perfect condition, will be discovered in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roomate's basement.

Bert's Rating: 8/10 would ride a brontosaurus through London and destroy buildings

Random Trivia
- Legendary sci-fi fan Forrest J Ackerman came into possession of several of the dinosaur models used in the film.
- The set used for the dinosaur stampede during the volcano eruption was 75 feet long.
- This was the first movie shown to airline passengers.
- The brontosaurus has its own entry at the Villains Wikia.

Things I Learned from This Movie
- Allosauruses were assholes.
- The perfect time to confess your love for a woman is obviously while she's mourning the death of her father.
- It is perfectly reasonable to break into the home of the guy who chased you out of his lecture to ask to go on his wacky adventure.
- Despite large chunks of magma and rocks being hurled about, no permanent damage will be done during a volcano eruption in a dinosaur-inhabited country.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 09:04:42 pm by Bert »
"Johnny’s got a gun Johnny’s got some ammo
He lost his firing pin a long time ago
Johnny’s got to push Johnny’s got that stroke
Johnny lost it all and now nobody knows
Ain’t it funny how he walks through everything
Ain’t it funny how he listens to everything
Well he’s got the gears well he’s lost the fear
Well he’s done the years so near and dear
Well he’s learned the ropes learned to cope
Lost the hope so near and dear
Well he’s got it all learned to fall
Dropped the ball so near and dear"
-Headstones, 'Firing Pin'

The Story of Glitchy, the 4. . | Meganium Man! | MEGANIUM ADVENTURES! (MSPA)