Have a Cold One


Lost in Space

William Hurt as Prof. John Robinson
Mimi Rogers Maureen Robinson
Heather Graham Judy Robinson
Lacey Chabert Penny Robinson
Jack Johnson Will Robinson
Matt LeBlanc Major Don West
Gary Oldman Doctor Zachary Smith
Dick Tufeld as the voice of the Robot

“This Mission sucks!” – Penny. Oh, child, you speak the truth.


To understand this movie you have to understand the TV show that spawned it. In the 60's Irwin Allen presented us with the TV series Lost in Space. The premise was simple…it was like the Swiss Family Robinson, only IN SPACE! In the far off year 1997 (at least it seemed far off in the 60's) Earth launched the first colonists to Alpha Centauri in the Jupiter 2 spaceship, the Robinson Family. Prof. John Robinson, the commander and father, Maureen Robinson (his wife) and their children Will, Penny and Judy along with the pilot of the ship, Major Don West. But a traitorous saboteur, Dr. Zachary Smith had snuck aboard to screw things up, by reprogramming the Robot on board to destroy the ship mid-flight. Unfortunately for Smith he got trapped aboard when the ship launched. His extra weight and the rampaging Robot threw the ship off course. Now the crew of the Jupiter 2 is lost…IN SPACE.
Most people will remember the show as having really cheap sets, really cheesy aliens and being very campy. It was, but not in the first season. Dr. Smith was a sinister presence and was even willing to kill the Robinsons. (It wasn't until the later seasons that he became a bumbling buffoon). The show was popular and while it was cancelled in 1968 it could be seen in reruns up until the 80s…maybe past that. Then in the 1990s something happened. Hollywood studios began mining old TV shows to make into movies. The Flintstones, The Beverly Hillbillies, McHale's Navy, etc. Someone must have thought "Let's do an updated movie version of Lost in Space!" and so they did.
Ok, I'm going to pour you a big ol' frosty mug of WTF.
I'm not even going to give you the bowl of pretzels that would be plot description with it either. Because it was effin' stupid. They changed the personalities of the characters a bit for the movie…which was cool. But they also made some of them as dumb as a bag of retarded hammers. Especially Major West. (Geez, they got the guy that played Joey from "Friends" to play him too) I get it, the characters in the TV show were a product of the time the show was made. A sickeningly wholesome 1960s American Family. But the way they were portrayed in the movie? Prof. Robinson was a wuss (in the TV show he was played by Guy Williams and he got into Captain Kirk-level fights with aliens) West was a meathead, Judy was a bipolar bitch (she'd insult West yet act interested in him on a dime) and the kids were annoying as hell. I said I wasn't going to go into the plot and I won't. But I will tell you they pulled the thing I consider a sin in space opera/sci-fi shows and movies. They invoked time travel. It's been used so much (yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Star Trek) that it's a crutch to be used instead of writing an actual story. (Don't get me wrong, there are good time travel stories, but damn this ain't one of 'em). If you want to see Lost in Space look up the first season of the TV show. It's in black and white, but it's better than this movie. The smart thing would have been to use the first season of the show as a template for the movie, in my opinion. They tried to make their lack of a plot with fancy CGI….which makes it worse in 2016 when the CGI is really dated. I really hated this movie, as you can tell. On the outside it can be a little fun but they really ruined a childhood memory for me with it. Do us a favor Hollywood. Stop taking good TV shows (or movies for that matter) and remaking them. You're crapping all over my tender years.


1.) That's a big problem with a lot of things in this movie. They made things "look cool" but for no practical reason. It doesn't matter if it was great in 1998, a lot of the GCI was superfluous. (The stupid monkey, the cryosleep sequence, etc.). Take a gander at how the Jupiter 2 was designed. Looks great until you think why you would put the control to a system you might need to access in a ceiling 20 feet above your head that you need a hydraulic elevated chair to reach.
2.) Penny-vision? Yep, Penny uses a wrist mounted video camera to make her own little 13 year old girl video-diary. She doesn't want to go on this mission and I can't blame her. By the way, when we first see her, why is she dressed like a tramp? Lacey Chabert was around 15 years old when this movie was made. They must have hired a pedophile to do her clothes.
3.) The only reason Major West is on this mission is because the Jupiter's original pilot, Captain Daniels, was murdered by the "Global Sedition". West knows little to nothing about the mission except what's in the press. Didn't they have a backup pilot? If not, WHY NOT?
4.) This makes no sense. If Prof. Robinson's only condition to taking the mission was if he could bring his family along, why go? (Note the kids don't seem all that thrilled about it) He said he's going to "supervise construction" of the Alpha Prime Hypergate. He can't be the ONLY guy on Earth that can do that….and the movie already told us that there are researchers on Alpha Prime. (yeah, they call it Alpha Prime instead of Alpha Centauri...which makes sense I'll give it that. Alpha Centauri is the name of the star, not a planet.)
5.) More so than in the original series they should have killed Doctor Smith from the get-go. Prof. Robinson comes close after Smith's scheming almost killed them all and especially his daughter, Judy. Smith is too dumb to live anyway. After John backs down (not wanting to kill him in front of his family) Smith says "Coward" to taunt him. Dude, I would have killed you so fast you wouldn't get to the "d" in coward. The kids will get over it.
6.) You're LOST…IN SPACE. That's a big problem, right there. Then a giant space hole appears showing another ship on the other side. Without knowing what this is, West flies through it even while Prof. Robinson objects. This guy was the best pilot they could get? I'm not even lost, but if a magic door appeared in my backyard…even with a sign for free beer and blowjobs I wouldn't just go strolling into it.
7.) Will manages to get the Robot under remote control. That's good. The bad is the first thing he does is scare his dad sh**less by pretending the Robot is going to attack again. (He even yells "Crush! Destroy!" through the Robot's speakers) this is right after he sees his father pick up a gun, mind you. We get it, movie, you want to show us that Will is an exceptionally bright kid. You just did it in the dumbest way possible. It's even worse when you hear the clunky dialogue about Will did it. Even for 1998 it's ludicrous. It's like the writer just threw in a few "computer words" he or she may have heard somewhere. I'm surprised they didn't write in " …and I bit mapped his modem".
8.) That Robot is pretty easy to take over. Easier than hacking into your neighbors Wi-Fi. By the way, why did they make a new cool looking version of the robot for the movie only to have it destroyed and rebuilt into a lame version of the 1960s show Robot?
9.) The Robinsons have a problem even after surviving the events of the movie. Smith is dangerous as human being, but he's still infected with the spiders. Prof. Robinson should know this (so should young Will and Major West since they were there). He still will mutate into a monster. Maybe that's why there's no sequel. They killed Smith and ate him after the credits.


♦ They really should have cut down on the CGI. I mean its good for what it is and when it was made, but they didn't need to use it on the daggone space monkey thing. In the original series Penny adopted a Space Chimpanzee she named "Debbie". (Yeah, I know, WTF) The chimp played little to no significance in the series. (Other than "It's a space monkey!" and it was the 60s. Everything had a chimp or monkey in it) As a matter of fact I don't think Debbie even appeared at all after the first season. I think the Robinsons ate it. In the movie though they replace Debbie with Blarp, a CGI alien thing. Why? If you cut Blarp out of the movie you wouldn't miss ANYTHING. Well, except dated CGI.


In order to save his friend from crashing his star fighter into the hypergate, Major West pulls off an "unauthorized maneuver". He even shuts off his comm when mission control tells him not to do it. How many times have we seen this before? Depends on how many movies you've seen when they have to prove someone is a badass pilot.

Yep….they even threw in the ol' "Robotic character overrides it's programming through the power of love/friendship" bit.


Ugh. It's not this movie had cheap effects for the time it was made. Or even a cast that couldn't act. It was just, kind of stupid. Considering the source material you already know none of the characters are going to die. They could have cribbed a few ideas from the series plots and made a decent movie but they had to go the Time Travel route. I hate that. Blame Star Trek. They wore out the Time Travel plot 8 years before this flick was made. The main reason this movie gives me a real bad hangover is I loved to watch Lost in Space as kid. It was a silly show, yes, but it was fun and adventurous and even with its bad special effects, entertaining. This movie pretty much blew any chance for a movie franchise. I'd score it one beer but I'd have to take it back for ruining a childhood memory. So Lost in Space the Movie gets Old Rotgut.

Ol' Rot Gut

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