Reviewed by Tangor...
Tangor and Mrs. went to one of six theaters in the Houston area still
showing Tarzan and the Lost City. Of the six, two were regularly
priced at $1.50 and $1.00. The one for a buck was $3.00 worth of gas away,
so we opted for the former. The seating capacity for the theater was 206
(I counted). When Mrs. Tangor and I arrived before screening, we were the
only ones in the audience. Later, after two semi-excellent trailers for
up coming attractions and the opening credits had begun, an elderly man
with three elderly women entered. Well into the first part of the film
a lone fellow quietly seated himself at the rear--gone were the hopes of
a private screening of Tarzan and the Lost City.
Mrs. Tangor, who knows doodley about Tarzan or the Tarzan mythos (book
or film), interrupted your reviewer's concentration so frequently in the
first 20 minutes that threat of physical violence was required. Little
good did this accomplish as the questions and commentary continued unabated.
After clarifying that THIS Tarzan was an adaptation of an adaptation,
bearing little or no resemblance to the original book version, we settled
down to enjoy a well-photographed, fairly nicely edited adventure story
that was, as Mrs. Tangor put it, "very predictable." She even voiced dialogue
from the insidious Mr. Ravens before the character spoke "Bring me the
"Is that Tarzan?" she asked as the film began. "Is that his name?" (Clayton)
"Is that Jane? I thought she was a jungle girl." "Is magic in the books?"
and various other observations prove that even a non-Tarzan weenie recognized
weaknesses in the character's portrayal.
We both admired the scenery. Mrs. Tangor's comments on the actors: "Jane
has nice skin and big teeth and not overly endowed. Her English accent
is better than Tarzan's." (I revealed that Jane Marsh is English) "Tarzan
has nice buns and an endearing smile. Nice body." The latter was repeated
several times during our after viewing conversation.
Cinematically this is an attractive movie. Visual concepts are well
presented and the CGI is pleasantly restrained. I enjoyed the settings,
particularly the river town with its squalid street and worn wharf area.
The story (what little there was) is simple enough for youngsters yet,
in many ways like an ERB adventure story, implies enough for the adult
to fill in the blanks. The action was fast paced yet, thankfully, not as
unbelievable as some of the earlier Tarzan film presentations. This Tarzan
is not superhuman, but is definitely a tree-hugging ecologist.
Van Diem actually suits me as a Tarzan figure. He's not too pretty boy
(Barker) or too steroid (Scott) too lanky (Mahoney) or stupid (Wineswiller).
His action stunts were acceptable. Even the jungle kung phooey fits into
the character's abilities. The yodel was used three times too many, otherwise
Unlike commentary from other amateur reviewers on this list, I am of
the opinion that Tarzan was very much a part of the final action in the
film. Ravens (Steve Waddington) was a villain with promise, but whose character
seemed cut off at the knees to preserve a PG rating (as was the language
of the film).
I am MOST pleased with a scene that probably failed to register with
most viewers. Tarzan saves Jane by throwing a knife at a rapscallion. We
do not see the knife take out the bad guy--we see Jane's reaction instead.
Perhaps I am more willing to suspend disbelief than others, but I found
little wrong with the gorilla costumes, the concept of a magical Opar,
or the peer friendship between Tarzan and the natives. The adventurous
Jane was acceptable, as was the squeaky clean script and situations. Unfortunately
this movie was made in 1998 instead of 1958, where it would have been greeted
with oohs and ahhs. Today's movie public has become jaded with grotesque
and gratuitous violence, extreme f/x and hard language--which is NOT found
in Tarzan and the Lost City.
I rate Tarzan and the Lost City on a par to Tarzan and His
Mate for romance, and with Tarzan's Greatest Adventure for cinematography,
and with Tarzan's Three Challenges for script. No other Tarzan film combines
so many good and bad elements of Hollywood's Tarzan in one presentation.
Overall I enjoyed the film as escapist entertainment--I hold no illusions
that Hollywood will ever portray "the real ape man."
Finally, Mrs. Tangor had ulterior motives for suggesting that we see
and the Lost City. Not five minutes after we walked out of the theater
did she then reveal the depth of her machinations: in return for going
to see Tarzan I had to walk through three furniture stores and buy her
lunch. Still, it wasn't that odious a trade for 84 minutes of air conditioned
amusement on a sultry, smoke-laden day.
Reviewed by RBenn21874@aol.com
Okay, here goes; I'll take a shot at reviewing the latest Tarzan movie.
But first, although I know little or nothing of the cinematic arts, I do
know Tarzan. It all started for earnest in 1960, when as a ten year old
boy, I first learned that there were actually books about the guy. A quick
trip downtown resulted in an ancient clerk retrieving dust covered volumes
of Tarzan and the Leopard Men, and The Son of Tarzan from
the treasure vaults of the fabled City of Yakima public library system,
and I was hooked. I initiated my pal Blaine to this pleasure, and we soon
discovered that Churchill's bookstore had a trove of old Burroughs books,
usually at a price of $1.95 per. We're talking hardbound here; The flood
of cheapo paperbacks had not yet hit. In the next few years I read every
Tarzan book available, plus a few Mars and Venus numbers. I like to think
that my personality and view of the world were in some way patterned after
lord G, not to mention a smattering of Conan.
As I grew older, and my hair became lonelier. I drifted away from my
interest in Tarzan, but, like a virus, the passion remained, hidden. A
year ago, I discovered the Internet, and you can imagine the rest. I ordered
videotapes of the earliest silent movies, and located first editions thru
Bibliofind, etc., etc. I even called my friend Blaine, now a hot shot lawyer,
to tell him of the great sources available, but he didn't really seem to
care anymore. My own ten year old daughter asked me the other day; "Why
are you so obsessed with Tarzan?" I couldn't tell her, because, frankly,
you either are, or you're not. I imagine anyone reading this drivel will
know what I mean. (My 11 year old boy is a convert, however. I started
indoctrinating him when he was four, by reading the books to him, in order.
So, anyway, back to the movie. On a scale of ten, I give it a four.
Apart from the usual, customary observations about nice photography of
scenery and excellent color values, the writing and casting was putrid.
Need I remind anyone that Tarzan is the strongest, most ferocious, fastest,
and most agile human of the 20th century? And he's played by a sawed-off,
soft-sinewed pretty boy with a voice straight out of the Vienna Boy's Choir?
MY Tarzan single handedly killed Bolgani before he hit puberty. (Although
it appears that Caspar hasn't hit it yet, either) MY Tarzan routinely dispatches
lions and leopards with bare hands or primitive weapons. Casper couldn't
fight his way out of a wet loincloth, and gets pushed around by the great
white bad guy. I know Hollywood can create extremely powerful characters,
like the young lady in Species, yet this is the best Tarzan they can come
up with? Tarzan, in the early 20th century was 6'3". If Burroughs wrote
today, I would imagine he'd be more the size of Carl Malone. We don't need
wimps playing this part.
Jane? What's wrong with a literarily correct blonde; preferably one
not in dire need of orthodontia?
To me, Opar is a crumbling, sprawling, vine covered collection of massive
walls and edifices, honey-combed with secret wells, passages and chambers.
Not a faux-Mayan pyramid stuck in the middle of a weed-infested parking
lot. Opar, without La? Like a day without sunshine. La is Opar. A lot could
have been done with a love triangle, Jane vs. La catfight, but somebody
missed the boat.
Frankly, this whole movie missed the boat. Despite its flaws, Conan
the Barbarian with Arnold, came close to a fair and accurate rendition
of the true character. Can't someone do this with Tarzan? Or are we doomed
to a succession of Esteban Mirandas?
Reviewed by Laurence
Well I've just gotten back home from my fun packed long weekend in
the U.S. of which one of the highlights was the new Tarzan film. I found
it an enjoyable film and probably one of the best Tarzan films yet (I won't
say it was better than Greystoke as that was a different type of film altogether
which focused on the inner battle within between his wildlife upbringing
and the environment that he was expected to adopt).
I liked the way they used music that was similar to Greystoke but made
it a variant. Making reference to Jane living in England continued the
theme from Greystoke (she was after all a ward to the Clayton family).
Wonderful scenery shots and more wildlife than we've ever seen in a
Tarzan movie (not including stock footage used by some of its predecessors).
Loved the scene where Tarzan took the gun from Waddington making it appear
so fast that your eye couldn't follow which of course was the whole point
and what about the ape attack on the hunters and the aerial shot of the
ape leaping from one tree to another was great.
The illusions created by Mugambi also worked well and like any illusion,
if you destroy it, it returns to its natural state which is what happened
to those warriors at Opar who were defeated by Waddington's men. The film
had some great camera shots of Van Dien running through the jungle mist
and I also liked the head-on shot as he ran towards Opar.
Yes I definitely enjoyed this film after all the doom and gloom that
was touted around on the ERB lists prior to its screening and hope that
it succeeds enough with the public at large to spawn its own sequel.
Reviewed by Ray
Just saw the Big T movie. It was a command performance, I was the only
one in the theater for the 3:20 show. I also think I conned the theater
manager to give me the Tarzan movie poster after its run. He knew I was
serious when he saw my Tarzan license plates.
Now the movie. When will Jane ever be a blonde from Baltimore. It's
been said before, Caspar is to short/needs deeper voice, but he did do
the character well. Too much magic. I like Tarzan movies, so I give it
a 6 for plot and 9 for cinematography.
Dan Gire of the Chicago area Daily Herald wrote a scathing review, but
muffed his facts by saying " William Rice Burroughs was spinning in his
grave.......", I called him to set it right with "Edgar"
And speaking of movies, has anyone noticed the strong ERB themes in
Iceman, some years back. How about Sullivan's Travels from the forties
and compare it to The Oakdale Affair, or the R rated Cave Girl from the
Till next time,
Ray Le Beau
Reviewed by Lisa
* Had the whole theatre to myself
* great trailers to other movies
* Opening drumming
* Breathtaking South African scenery. Yes, gang, S. Africa
* beautifully coiffed lion
* Ravens as a villian
* Tarzan's expertise with the bow
* tension between Tarzan and native warrior
* council scene
* Magombi's cool makeup
* Jane shooting like a man
* cobra morphing
* Ravens turning into lightening rod and crispy critter
* the bone trick
* Casper's vine swinging
* elephant riding
* animals released and watching poachers scramble like the fools they
* ship captain
* Roly Jenson stunt coordinator from TEA
* Greg Pouste stunt double to Casper, Joe's stunt double
* Jane is a bow wow
* ship captain's assistant who talked like a stereotypical native.
When he was killed, WHO CARED??
* Jane shows temper but screetches at harmless snake in treehouse
* Jane bitching that Tarzan must do jungle bit, yet follows after him.
Shows desperation to get hitched
* Jane can shoot at men but screetches at cobra and Sabor
* Elephants released and Jane shouts "you're free!" Duuuh!
* Casper being cast as Tarzan
* Casper's girly girl voice
* Casper's height!!!Short Tarzan doesn't work for this she ape
* Casper taking too long to be in bloody loincloth!!!!!
* Tarzan yodel.Still a giggle drawer, but belongs to Weismuller. Keep
it with him.Casper ain't no yodeler
* Bee scene. Corny
* dynamite guy almost blowing himself up till Ravens took the stick
and threw it.
* Casper should have longer hair
* Casper seeming to have an American and English accent. Which is it
* Jane trying to swing on vine and screetching like a fool then falls
into water. Finishing school is for you, not vine swinging, girlfriend.
* chimp dancing and making me dizzy and stealing dress
* having a gramaphone in tree house and the dancing.Thought Tarzan
liked the jungle to get away from it all not keep silly civilized trappings.
What happend to less is better in jungle dwellings?
* spinning camera angles of Tarzan and Jane in England. Dizzying
* Tarzan not being called Tarzan the whole bloody movie
* bad ape costumes that look like bad imitations of Lucy the missing
* Tarzan shimmying around like crazed tarantula so couldn't see movement
up trees too well
* the use of a chimp for comic relief
* Joe not being used as Tarzan [g]
* $6.50 ticket
* chinzy looking gold in Opar
* almost constant smooching by Tarzan and Jane
* falling floor and tunnel with water ride a là Disney hokiness
* Tarzan can't grunt like Kala taught him to do. Bad Tarzan!
* Ravens' saying after Tarzan bloodies him in the temple:"I don't want
to die here" and Tarzan falls for that trick!
* Casper's reeeallly bad acting.
* Casper's annoying belt buckle on his loincloth. Stupid! If Mugambi
supposedly dressed him after curing him of cobra venom, he could've given
him a decent loincloth that didn't have a Pilgrim belt buckle to hold his
* No La
* no muscles. For someone who works out as much as he, Casper is a
* Total rating compared to the few Tarzan movies I've seen:6. And that
ain't sayin' much so maybe that shouldn't count
Reviewed by Robert...
I saw the 4:15 PM showing of Tarzan and the Lost City. For some
reason as soon as the opening titles started to roll, I got real nervous.
See: Everytime I've seen a movie in the last few years, the curtain goes
up, I maybe see a short sequence advertising the theater chain and what's
available at the snack bar, and then 10 - 20 minutes of trailers. Well...
Today there were NO trailers! Zip! Zilch! Zero! In the lobby there were
fancy signs for Godzilla, Zorro, Mighty Joe Young, and a host of others,
but not one little titillating trailer. Do you think Lowe's didn't bother
since they knew the audience was going to be empty? (There were about 20
people in the theater, and half of them were junior high school kids cracking
jokes and acting wise.)
The movie opened well. African music, jumping natives, nice shots of
African wildlife and terrain.
Then Numa appeared and witnessed nefarious goings on between Raven (the
villain) and some natives. Meanwhile, John Clayton is in England celebrating
his forthcoming marriage to Jane. Suddenly he turns and gazes into the
fire, and in the flames he sees what is happening at home. It is not made
clear that Numa is sending these images telepathically. The association
can be made, but it is not spelled out. And for some unexplained, and probably
stupid reason, the sequence worked for me.
Cut to: John talking to Jane, explaining why he must return home. She
is upset and angry, but still he must go.
Cut to: Africa, and John is there. He has some discourse with Mugambi.
Cut to: A small boat sailing along an African river. Jane is on board.
Huh!!!!!!! Why is she there? Why did she follow John? If somebody knows,
please tell me.
Anyway... The movie sort of meanders back and forth for the balance
of the hour and twenty-three minutes. (Those idiots at Netscape must have
seen the director's cut to post 1:42 as the running time.)
It is basically a chase movie, with a lot of running about. Jane is
with Tarzan, frolicking in the jungle. Then she is captured by Raven and
made to stumble through the jungle. Tarzan gives chase. And... He finally
catches up. Duh!
Some of it made no sense, but what the hell. If Hercules and Xena can
use martial arts moves to fight their villains, why can't Tarzan?
There was a sequence early on, where Raven and his men were being followed
by anthropoids who were in the trees. The camera did some neat cuts and
swishes, and it looked like the apes were racing through the middle terraces.
Yet when Tarzan appeared, he swung on vines. But I was very hopeful for
a little while.
The biggest problem I had was the lack of *any* Mangani words or names.
Jesus! Even the Keller's shows use them (albeit incorrectly). And then
to discover that the chimp that hung about briefly had a dumb name like
Jembo, or something.
The morphing just looked like another Epic Adventures episode, meaning
it pretty much sucked. And when Tarzan's allies appeared by changing from
bone joints, to skeletons, to warriors, I only wished for the presence
of Ray Harryhausen.
I don't know if I could recommend the movie. I've seen much better,
and I've seen much worse, so I guess I could. It was fun; stupid fun, but
fun nonetheless. It doesn't really matter anyway... All the Tarzan fans
around here will see it regardless. Just don't look for it to be in the
top five money-makers after its first weekend.
Reviewed by Duane
My wife and I were going to be traveling through the Omaha area on
opening day so I managed to talk her into stopping and seeing the first
showing of Tarzan and the Lost City. I really had not planned to see it
this soon because of all the nasty comments posted of the list serves.
It was listed for 5 theaters in the Omaha area. There were only five
other people in the theater. Two of them were an older couple who got up
and left in the middle of the movie. After a while another person got up
and left. It was not that bad.
As a movie I would rate it as a C. As a Tarzan movie in comparison to
other Tarzan movies it was a B.
Each media has there own Tarzans. The book Tarzan obviously is the best.
The movie Tarzan and the comic book Tarzan are naturally going to be different
because of the restrictions and requirements of the media itself. I was
happy to see Tarzan on the big screen again. It has the potential to be
developed into a block buster series. But it did not happen in this film.
Van Dien's performance was enjoyable except when the native insulted
him and he wanted to retaliate. Like Tarzan cares what anybody says about
Neither my wife nor I were aware that Van Dien was short. I think they
shot around that beautifully. I smiled when he used the rope and bow --
at last! I also appreciated showing him speaking multiple languages including
the language of the animals. And Tarzan running tirelessly, endlessly through
the jungles and the plains to rescue Jane that was my Tarzan. Marsh's Jane
was plucky and thoroughly modern. My wife found it totally unacceptablethat
in 1913 a young unmarried woman would be allowed to travel unaccompanied
-- and unaccompanied to Africa?
Yes it dragged in the first half of the film. But then it raced (literally
and figuratively) towards the end. The first part of the film was edited
like a television show and I found that disturbing. Towards the end it
was much better. Probably because they figured out what the movie was going
to be about. I don't know if that is the fault of the writers or the director,
but it needed a tighter story line. I can accept the magic and the morphing
and the swinging on vines and the yodeling and the having a pet snake --
in other words I can accept all the stuff it takes to bring people into
the theaters as long as they will keep making Tarzan movies. My only request
is to spend more than a dollar on ape costumes.
Some people complained about the music (Chris Franke-B5). The drums
at the beginning and the end were terrific. The scenery - absolutely glorious.
The scene with Tarzan and Jane riding on Tantor in the mist of the jungle
is the most beautiful shot ever in any Tarzan movie and as good of cinematography
in any movie.
Oh ya, I almost forgot. The lion was the most wonderful looking lion
in any film -- maybe too perfectly quaffed.
The Lion Man (The Ghost and The Darkness lions were pretty damn cool)
Reviewed by Jim
I'm just home from the Clarksville premiere of TARZAN AND THE LOST CITY.
The local paper carried an interview with Van Dien this morning, but no
review. We shared the theater with one other adult couple who sat on the
back row (we were on row 5 as usual) and with half a dozen 12 or 13 year
old girls and one adult female chaparone on the front row. I guess they
were there to see Casper. They sure went "oouuuu!" when he appeared in
a loin cloth for the first time.
What can I say? The film makers had made me no promises and I went with
very low expectations. But Linda and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It may be
on a "B" picture, but the production values were consistently high, and
the performances uniformly serious, never campy. You can quibble over the
use of magic and computer morphing (neither used to great excess) and you
might object to Opar being nothing whatsoever like ERB's Opar. BUT FOLKS,
this is a film we can be proud of. I place it among the top five or six
Tarzan pictures of the "talking movie" era. There were some sublime visuals,
a few moments with the apes, a couple of marvelous scenes of Tarzan (w
and w/o Jane) riding an African elephant, smart editing that gave Van Dien's
Tarzan the appearance of considerable strength and even more considerable
agility, and one special moment using close-ups of hands and feet to suggest
Tarzan racing by hand and foot over the branches of the middle terraces,
even if vine swinging was emphasized more. There was a chimp, but not named
"Cheetah." The new modification of the classic Tarzan yell was used judiciously
and worked well. I've never considered jane March particularly pretty,
but after the first scene or two while in England her characterization
was quite satisfying.
This may not be the greatest Tarzan movie we've ever seen, but it is
very definitely a winner. It's very suitable for young folks. go see and
take your friends! Enjoy!
Reviewed by Matt
My biggest problem was the amount of sorcery in the movie. Why did
the guardians of Opar need Tarzan's help at all. If that guy had done his
BEE-TRICK in front of the bad guys, I think most of them would have called
The guy could summon undead warriors! Tarzan did NOTHING in the climax.
Having said that, I enjoyed the movie. I, obviously, love Tarzan movies
and had a great time watching this one. It could have been MUCH better,
The scenery was fantastic. Jane was so-so (although I don't find March
all that attractive). The villain was decent. Van Dien was okay ... kinda
short with a lame voice, but he has a great glare!
The movie did have some strong points, but not enough to be successful...
Have Tarzan fans just given up? A couple Tarzan-like scenes and that's
enough? Is just seeing Tarzan on the big screen so intoxicating (I admit
to loving the big screen experience) that we don't care about plot or characterization
and don't need our hero involved in the climax?!
The potential was there! The pieces were in place. But they wasted it!
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie and I'm very happy to see Tarzan
back on the big screen (I'm happy seeing Tarzan on ANY screen)! I also
think it has its moments (the early quick-cut footage of Tarzan and the
apes in the trees, Tarzan in the water, etc.). I'd recommend it to anybody
- Hey! It's a Tarzan movie and that makes it worth seeing! It just wasn't
Somebody mentioned the running shoes - I spotted them, too. I also thought,
in a few scenes, Tarzan's bow looked a little less than taut.
Matt Winans has reviewed every Tarzan movie ever made. See how many
stars he gave "Tarzan and the Lost City" at his web page: Matt's Tarzan
Reviewed by J
I wrote the other day that I never met a Tarzan movie that I liked
and I guess I'll have to get out the ketchup and the steak sauce and eat
my keyboard. We went, we saw, and it wasn't all that bad. In fact, for
a "Hollywood" Tarzan effort, it was damn credible.
Certainly better by leaps and bounds than all but about 10 minutes at
the beginning of Greystoke, Bo's travesty, and several others of recent
vintage. I know that Casper is not very tall, but someone behind the camera
or in the editing booth paid attention to that fact and managed to avoid
shots that show his true stature. And he's not too muscular, either. A
full 2 inches over six feet he's not. But Ed is....and Ed's got gray eyes
Let me say first that going into this I was prejudiced against the choice
of Jane March as Jane. In everything I've seen her in before today she
always played a slutty character. But as Jane Porter, granted with a brother
Doug and hailing from England, not Baltimore, she did get the best lines:
"I taught myself to shoot but my brother taught me to drink Scotch and
smoke cigars." and later, when warned not to show fear she mutters: "I
guess fainting is out of the question."
Tarzan is not an illiterate, grunting savage and Jane is not a shrinking
violet, fainting at the slightest inconvenience. She's certainly got balls
in this movie.(Did the screenwriters read Tarzan's Quest?) Good job from
both Casper and Jane. Granted, he did some things that I'd never expect
ERB's Tarzan to do, but I'll chalk that up to Hollywoodism. Tarzan would
never have let the cobra bite him or Jane, he'd have bitten the snake and
it would've died.
And they got ERB's classic Tarzan's triumvirate of weaponry correct:
the knife, the bow and arrows, the rope.
The story is weak, but when taken in the vein of all those silly lost
race adventures that ERB's Tarzan of the 1930s had, the plot, or what little
of it that there was, was, as Seven of Nine would say, acceptable. I also
have no problem with the snake morphing (it was pretty good and certainly
fit the plot action at the point where it was used) and the skeletons becoming
warriors stuff worked too, but the bees, well, those bees, that was really
stretching it. By the way, Ed liked the bees sequence. Go figure! Witch
doctors of the world, untie! (G)
And I never really got the gist of what Opar was supposed to be. Good?
Evil? A New York deli? Early on I felt that it was a place of evil, and
that the whites were going to unleash the devil and his hordes on the world
either as revenge for snitching the gold or for entering a place sealed
up for the outer world's protection from the great evil. When you actually
get there, Oparians are the good guys. The jury's still out concerning
Opar as far as I'm concerned. But I guess the avenue of statues is doubling
for La's fifty frightful men?
The lion mind meld was even acceptable. The way it was done you kind
of think that the witch doctor had some hand in that too, using the lion
as a familiarl Ask any native from darkest Africa of 1913 (and 50 years
later, too) and they'd tell you magic exists and it can even KILL you!
(Remember, if you believe it, it can happen.)
Well, I guess I've used up more than my alloted 50 lines. Oh, one last
note: the theater's first showing was about 1 p.m. and Ed and I went to
the 7:30 showing. I counted 30 people in the theatre. With those kinds
of attendance numbers, better see it quick or you'll have to wait for the
video release. And, thank ghod, they all but lost the stupid chimp! Ghod,
I hate those stupid Cheeta chimp antics in Tarzan movies!
They even got the elephants right. I HATE it when they use Asian elephants
instead of African elephants in Tarzan movies (unless the movie is set
in India, of course).
J the V
P.S. I really was expecting a BOW WOW this evening.
Reviewed by Steve
Well, it was kind of a thrill seeing my name on the big screen, even
though they added that "ton" to the end. My ancestors dropped the "ton"
because it was too heavy.
I liked the movie, by the way. Except for the magic. And I could have
done without the chimp. And the friend I went with said she glimpsed Casper's
running shoes a couple of times when he was running, though I missed it.
Also, it can't be Opar without La. In the scene early on where Tarzan and
the ape troop attacked Ravenns' men, there was a nice shot of Tarzan travelling
through the branches, shot in such a way that it let you know he was doing
what we all want to see him doing (no vine-swinging), without having to
actually have an actor or stuntman really doing it. He did some vine-swinging
later on, though.
Steve Wadding (no "ton"), aka
Ghak the Hairy One, King of Sari
Reviewed by Erich
I just returned from being the first in the theatre to see Tarzan and
the Lost City. In fact, I was the only one in the theatre for the first
I enjoyed it! It was NOT ERB, nor was it a good pastiche. It was, however,
an enjoyable afternoon. The telepathy bit summoning T to Africa was kinda
stupid. The guy morphing into a giant cobra was nausiatingly reminicient
of T: The Epic Adventures.
Jane is ENLISH, and NOT American, nor are they married until the end
of the movie. Plot is pretty weak, but it did move well at times. I think
I would give it two stars. Cheers!
Erich von Harben, da early bird
Reviewed by Dominic
Casper looks good and moves well. He comes off a bit young, but as
this story occurs early in Tarzan's carrier, that's not altogether a bad
thing. He seems to fight with some kind of ape fu which I liked. Jand March
as Jane was funny looking. I've seen many worse Tarzan films, but this
is still a disapointment. First the good stuff...
Bow and arrows
The ol' rope 'em from the tree trick
Dancing chimp in a dress (not called cheeta)
general magic crap
The Wrath of God
We don't waste too much time in England, about three minutes. The middle
of the film is not too bad. Lots of swimming, swinging, and yodeling.
Mugambi apears to be such a powerful magician that I question why he
needed Tarzan's help in the first place.
In the ridiculous end Tarzan's efforts turn out to be pointless. The
villian is not stoped by Tarzan, but by the Wrath of God, (or the spirits
of Opar or whatever) which presumably would have happened without Tarzan's
involvement. In fact the villians would havew got thier's sooner if Tarzan
hadn't slowed them down.
So there you go. Oh well, there's always Zorro this summer.
Reviewed by Pat
Well, I'm back from seeing Tarzan and the Magic Bees, or was it Mugambi
and the Lost City? About thirty people attended the 3:30 pm matinee ($3.50
admission) on a Saturday afternoon at screen 14 in the Palace Theater ("largest
multiplex in the four-state area"). For what it's worth, the film is showing
at about six theaters throughout the city, and this is an especially bad
time for a film to open in the New Orleans area--opposite Jazz Fest.
Since I expected it to be bad, I was pleasantly surprised throughout
the first half. They managed to keep me interested and entertained, and
provided a number of ERBish sequences that have seldom if ever been captured
on film before. We got moments where the ERB Tarzan shone through--especially
in the early action sequences (an ape attack! A noose from the trees!),
and it was nice to have them build upon the Lord Greystoke element of the
character. (Odd, too, how they couldn't decide if this was or wasn't a
sequel to Greystoke.) I still haven't figured out why the opening legend
referred to Tarzan being found (I think it said) in 1904, but then the
story takes place in 1913. Either this Tarzan had a very long romance with
Jane, or somebody isn't very good with dates.
Jane Marsh was appealing if miscast. Did anyone else notice her shoving
cartridges into the front-loading percussion pistol she was carrying? Hey
Mr. Director, that gun doesn't work like that. You have to pour powder
down each cylinder and jam a lead ball in after it. (I know because a friend
gave me a replica Navy model identical to it; it would have been considered
obsolete by 1880.)
Then we got to the bees, and I gave up. From that point on, the movie
piled absurdity upon absurdity, all the way through the totally out of
place "Raiders of the Lost Ark" ending. I could put up with the telepathic
message from Mugambi (though Tarzan has never been depicted anywhere as
having native friends before he went to England), but this magical rescue,
complete with unconvincing special effects, simply destroyed any suspension
of disbelief during the remainder of the film.
Still, I agree with Jim (whichever one it was) that the film is among
the top five or six Tarzan movies ever made. That's faint praise, though.
I'd say it was better than the Mike Henry films overall --great outdoor
footage, great native footage, great pacing in the first half, and lots
of (poorly filmed) action sequences. For a while they really captured the
mystery of the Dark Continent.
John Guidry saw the film with me and pronounced it the best Tarzan movie
in fourteen years. Of course it is the only Tarzan movie released in the
last fourteen years. His reaction was a good bit more negative than mine.
Doug Wirth came with us -- his second viewing -- and agreed with me overall:
fun but stupid.
Principle problems with the film boil down to these: 1) Van Dien can't
deliver dialog convincingly for this character and isn't imposing enough
on screen. Tarzan requires an actor who dominates the screen. Imagine how
different it would have looked if the actor had Weissmuller's body. 2)
The film relies too much on slow and fuzzy motion for its action sequences,
and is too enamored with trite karate-movie style flips and somersaults.
3) In an effort to avoid criticism for their inclusion of black savages,
they've made the black shaman too powerful, diminishing Tarzan's role as
hero. 4) The magic was unnecessary, trite, and harmed the story. In fact,
it turned the story into nonsense.
As usual they mucked up a lot of ERB's original details, with no apparent
reason for doing so. One more misrepresentation of Opar. Still, it's nice
to see a new Tarzan movie. I just wonder if anything less than a truly
top-notch film can turn Tarzan back into a successful movie franchise.
I don't think so.
Reviewed by Tony
Guys, I absolutely loved Lost City. If you take away the magic I would
rate this a 9. as is its a strong 8 !! Personally I saw lots of what I
always pictured Tarzan like. I love the water scenes where he raises partially
out of the water, then submerges to conceal himself from the bad guys.
Using the bow with the accuracy only he has.
I thought Casper was fantastic. Man of few words (unlike myself), physically
well built. (or as my daughter put it....FINE !!!! ) His movements were
much better than Joe Lara (sorry Lisa) and ten times more athletic.
Jane was also fantastic. Now she would not qualify for Bay Watch, but
she has something girl next doorish. She was a very good actress and handled
herself very well.
Now the villain. Steve......YOU DE MAN !!!!!!!!! Fantastic performance
doesn't seem good enough to describe the job you did. I didn't get to see
you on Epic Failure because I quit watching it but you were great !!!!
I hope your career really takes off if somebody important sees you in this
part. We are not worthy !!!!
Whoever did the casting did a great job. Editing also did a great job.
Everything just worked great for me. I kept sitting there, waiting like
the jungle beast, expecting to be dissapointed, and the only time I cringed
was when magic was used. This movie went leaps and bounds beyond my hopes.
Now when does it come to video.
Here is how I score it.
Without the magic......strong 9.
With the magic...........strong 8. (since it was kept to a minimum)
Rest of the cast............10
Locations......50 (some of the best location filming ever in a Tarzan)
Tony...the pleasantly surprised.
A comment by James
I am one of those who think that a movie could be in the top 5 or 6
Tarzans ever made and still score in the bottom hundred films ever made
(all right, I'm exaggerating, but you know what I mean). The split in opinion
between everyone is pretty stark and the telepathic lion and treehouse
angles don't sound too good.....thought we'd seen the last of the treehouse,
Reviewed by Elmo
I went into Tarzan and the Lost City with an open mind. I didn't
expect a great Tarzan movie. (Damn few of those have ever been made..."Greatest
Adventure"..."Magnificent"...the first two Weissmullers...and Elmo Lincoln's
"Apes," of course.)
I didn't expect anything. And I didn't get anything.
Midway through I was yawning and looking at my watch.
Was there any Tarzan in Tarzan and the Lost City? Hmm. The scene
where John Clayton first confronts Ravens, in the tent, knocking the gun
from his hand with lightning-quickness. It was a Tarzan move.
I liked the jungle. It was thick -- the kind ERB's Tarzan lived in.
I liked that Tarzan used a bow and arrow. And was barefoot. I also liked
the scene where he rode Tantor into the village and went nose-to-nose with
the native, staring him down.
It didn't feel like ERB, but I kind of liked the scene where Tarzan
brought Jane to his treehouse and showed her his father's books. I liked
how he told her he taught himself to read, but mostly looked at the pictures.
And how he grew up here and how that was why they were worlds apart. (That
could have been conveyed better, in my opinion, if he ripped out the jugular
of a zebra with his teeth and started munching on a raw haunch.)
If it looks like I'm stretching to find something redeeming in this
movie, well, I guess I am. The fact is, it was just plain boring and silly
for the most part. I could forgive the morphing and magic if it somehow
made sense. But it didn't. It was just there. Tarzan himself was just kind
of there, too.
How can you do Opar without La?
The telepathic message that sends Tarzan back to the jungle was just...pathetic.
Casper Van Dien didn't impress me as Tarzan. He seemed too short. And
his voice wasn't right. Too high-pitched. As for the yell, many of the
25 people in the theater I was at chuckled whenever he yelled it.
Jane March was an o.k. Jane. I liked her line about how she taught herself
to shoot; her brother taught her to drink scotch and smoke cigars. (Her
The apes...Well, I've read that they had a limited budget. It shows.
They were little better than the apes who raised Elmo, back in 1918.
This movie will not convert legions of new ERB fans.
But...has any Tarzan movie ever done that?