Pig Heaven

David Edelstein on The Butcher Boy, The Spanish Prisoner, and Lost in Space.

The Butcher Boy
Directed by Neil Jordan
Warner Bros.

The Spanish Prisoner
Directed by David Mamet
Sony Pictures Classics

Lost in Space
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
New Line Cinema
Pig Heaven
Three movies about inner space, outer space, and no place you ever want to be.

By David Edelstein
(posted Saturday, April 4)

Professor Robinson (Hurt) in Lost in Space       The big cliffhangers: Will Professor Robinson (William Hurt) get his priorities straight, set aside his hyperdrives, and become a real father to his son, Will? (In other words, will Will have the will to bond with Will?) Will the Robinsons and Don curb the dastardly deeds of Dr. Smith without killing the little queen? (As Mom puts it: “How can we bring civilization to the stars if we can’t remain civilized?”) Will Judy accept the fact that she and Don are “the only single man and woman of consenting age in the galaxy” and get it on with this stud puppy or will she find herself between the Robot’s dexterous pincers? What possessed New Line to cast Hurt in the role of a professorial patriarch? Bearded, gnomic, and groggy, he’s trying to think deep thoughts but looks truly lost in space. Links The site for The Butcher Boy (with a resplendent blood-red background) includes a trailer, stills, cast bios, etc. Sony Pictures Classics promotes The Spanish Prisoner. The official Lost in Space site invites you to create a planet and unleash a Robot on your desktop. And that’s just the beginning of the fun. Nostalgic for the TV series? (Or simply never saw it?) Here’s one fan’s episode guide. Cinemania’s ” Movie Times Page” lists the locations and times for movies in most U.S. cities. Click here for more Slate movie reviews. David Edelstein is Slate’s film critic.

Stills from: The Butcher Boy by Pat Redmond © 1998 Geffen Pictures; The Spanish Prisoner by James Bridges © 1998 Sony Pictures Classics Entertainment Inc.; Lost in Space by Jack English © 1998 New Line Cinema.