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Lake Placid (Widescreen)
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Lake Placid (Widescreen Edition
Lake Placid is total trash--and, as a result, fairly entertaining. Yet another entry in the horror subgenre of giant animals running amok, Lake Placid features a giant crocodile that has somehow found its way to an isolated lake in Maine. The absurdity of crocodiles in Maine sets the tone for the entire movie, which has no ambitions beyond mixing a little fright with a little humor. Bridget Fonda (Point of No Return, Jackie Brown) plays a paleontologist sent to investigate a large tooth; Bill Pullman (Independence Day, Lost Highway) is a fish and game warden just trying to keep the peace; Oliver Platt (Funny Bones, Flatliners) plays a loose-cannon mythology professor who swims with crocodiles for sport; and Brendan Gleeson (an excellent but little-known actor, most noted for The General) is a local sheriff with a short temper and a big gun. Add a few gruesome dismemberments, Betty White as a cantankerous old broad who may have murdered her husband, and a cow hanging from a helicopter, and there you have it: Lake Placid. (Curiously, this concoction was put together by David E. Kelley, better known as the creator of TV's Ally McBeal and The Practice.) --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Our story opens at a lake in Maine, locally called Lake Placid, though that is not the name of the lake (that name was already taken, said one of the characters). We see a diver in the lake investigating a beaver lodge, with periodic fake clues that something might be in the water. Of course you know that we won't see the something until the director is ready, with the goal that you might jump at least a little. The diver of course ends up losing a lot of weight (about 40% would be my guess), and a lot of blood, which then ends his life. Of course, our "something" in the water leaves behind a little clue (a tooth), and Bridget Fonda has to be called in to find the something (she's a paleontologist, you see).
Bridget Fonda is hilarious. She is all New York with the Maine locals, and the usual contrast between someone that hasn't the foggiest idea how to survive in the country with people who spend most of their time in it is great for laughs. Bridget also gets hit with a variety of animal parts (by accident), which is generally disgusting to anyone, but for an urbanite it must be truly awful.
Bill Pullman plays the local sheriff, whose concept of animal control involves really big guns (from Bridget's point of view, he's definitely a hick). Bill plays this role so naturally that you have to wonder whether he could end up being typecast. Bill does several things that aren't very smart, and eventually he and Bridget come to middle ground (really middle by the end of the movie).Read more ›
So why do I like this? I think partly for the sheer absurdity of it. Could anything sillier than an utterly gigantic crocodile living in a lake in Maine be concocted? Well, yeah, you could, but it is absurd, and the makers of the film treat it as so. The emphasis in the film is primarily on the characters and the humor, and far less on the monster. That isn't to say that there aren't some great moments featuring the beast. But the moments aren't always scary ones. When our croc lunges onto shore to grab a bovine snack, one is more apt to laugh than scream.
What really makes the film work is the humor and the cast. Brigit Fonda is a bit too whiny in her role, but she provides some balance to all the guys. Bill Pullman is likable here as he always is. Oliver Platt is one of my favorite actors, and I never fail to love him in just about anything he is in. He adds spice here as a flamboyant crocodile hunter who comes and tries to steal the whole hunt for the predator crocodile. Australian character actor Bredan Gleeson is one of the most chameleonic actors in the world. He has portrayed a variety of bad guys in films, was "Monk" McGinn in THE GANGS OF NEW YORK, played a Latin revolutionary in THE TAILOR OF PANAMA, and has played a variety of Irishmen in several films. In this one, he plays the local Maine sheriff. I really enjoy the interaction between all the characters.
In the end, I think what I enjoy most the the pure sense of fun everyone obviously had. It isn't a masterpiece, and it isn't one of the best films every made, or even one of the best monster flicks. But it is a lot of pure fun.
Without the writers, this movie would be nothing. As it is, I consider it a must see. Their only misstep was in throwing in some gratuitous and totally extraneous "bad" language, mostly for Betty White. A PG-13 rating would have opened it up to a wider audience. Besides, having small children and old ladies spouting profanity has become nothing more than a tired cliche.
Allocated her first real field assignment, a palaeontologist from New York City, Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda) finds herself amidst a party of curious onlookers in Maine to investigate the origins of a tooth extracted from a recent victim involved in a vicious attack along a lake. She is introduced to a local Fish and Game warden Jack Wells (Bill Pullman), an irritable sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson), and Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt), an "eccentric millionaire mythology professor", a crocodile fanatic who deifies crocodiles and contemplates he is "untouchable" and "godly".
Ticks, mosquitos and petty irritants of nature are essentially Kelly's assumed only fears. On the contrary, what the lake splashes up is a reflection of how trivial Kelly's anxieties really are. Overcoming their disparity, the warden, sheriff, palaeontologist, professor and deputies must explore all options and settle on a scheme that entails the enticement of the croc out of its territory, accompanied by unforeseen disasters.
'Lake Placid' is a highly acclaimed film directed by Steve Miner and produced by David E. Kelley and Michael Pressman. A 1999 20th Century Fox release, it is "this year's 'Anaconda', only you spend as much time laughing as you do screaming" (David Poland, TNT Roughcut.com).
Unconventionally effective and a jawful of laughs, "where 'Godzilla' makes the head hurt, 'Placid' splashes up a bit fun" (Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
What more can I say,very fun to watch,great cast.Betty White,WOW!And Bridget Fonda very attractive woman.Always liked Oliver Platt,he's great in THEICE HARVEST.Published 2 months ago by emile caron
Love this corny movie! Glad I bought it used, though, cause it's ridiculously expensive otherwise!Published 11 months ago by WhiteLily20
I ordered lake placid but because it came from the U.K., won't play on any device I own :(. Wish I had known this before I purchased itPublished 11 months ago by Shawn
Arrived quickly and in great condition. A wonderful classic to add to my collection. Many thanks!Published 13 months ago by Doug Gervais
This was not in the condition it claimed to be. Condition was poor, had to skip parts of the film as the dvd froze.Published 17 months ago by Tracey Graham
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