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Lake Placid
Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2010

Format: Movie
By:   David E. Kelley
Genre:   Monster movie
Review Date:   May 05, 2010
Audience Rating:   R
RevSF Rating:   6/10 (What Is This?)

"Quit throwing heads at me!" -- Bridget Fonda

Betty White has been consistently funny for 50 years. Up yours, trendy pseudo-hipsters. She committed grand theft in a movie in a goofy monster flick Lake Placid in 1999.

I wanted to not dig it. But it's a grandparent of the New Cheese in sci-fi movies. Sci-fi movies had quick, disastrous runs in theaters before heading to cable and home video. Now most of those movies head straight for Syfy on Saturday night and/ or DVD. In 1999, Lake Placid was among the last to even bother with a run in theaters, and among the first to use the fancy new-fangledy CGI monsters.

Lake Placid does not take itself seriously, and for that, I thank it. David E. Kelley, creator of Ally McBeal and then-future creator of the Shatner-riffic Boston Legal, wrote it. But There is no Scream-like self-reference. It's a straight-up old-timey monster flick, but with funny lines.

I could not bring myself to dislike Bill Pullman or Bridget Fonda, Especially I love the future Mad-Eye Moody, Brendan Gleeson. He's not a Betty White style scene stealer, but he works hard.

Betty White swings for the fences. The inventive combinations of naughty words are breathtaking. The rest of the dialogue could have used the loving care and time they took with the cuss words.

The croc itself is animatronically fun. He's not all CGI, which is a good thing. The movie doesn't show the croc much, another good thing. Surprisingly only two humans are harmed in the whole movie. Forest animals take more croc damage.

A sappy pro-ecology subplot almost takes the fun out of the whole thing. Oliver Platt is a wet blanket who terribly delivers terrible lines about how wrong it is to kill the giant monster. He survives the whole movie. Very sad.

Lake Placid is the best giant crocodile movie ever. Some enterprising soul collected the Betty White scenes. Here they are. Warning: The language in these clips is hilarious.

Part 1 : "Dig him up if you don't believe me!"

Part 2 : "Come and get it!"

Part 3 : "You can't take a cow by eminent domain!"

Part 4: "I'm rooting for the crocodile."

Part 5:"Cute little buttons."

Incomplete records haunt RevolutionSF's Joe Crowe so. You want to buy Lake Placid on DVD.

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