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The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Just been out to see the above. Very quick notes, as I really need to get to bed (9 o'clock lecture, an' all...):

Basically, that review which said they'd cut out all the good lines and substituted lame ones? It wasn't far wrong. The problem: all of Douglas Adams' takes on the story essentially driven by comedy and good lines, with plot coming second. This film: the inverse.

I will say that in that context (and none other), the Arthur-Trillian romance thing does work OK, because it helps to drive along an otherwise rather leaky plot. In fact, Trillian is probably the one element in the story which really has been improved: I always thought her a bit of a non-character in the radio series / books / BBC TV series, but she has at least become something in this film, even if it's not really a very Adamsy something.

Some nice nods to previous versions of the story noted: Simon Jones appears in a cameo, delivering the recorded message from Magrathea. The BBC's version of Marvin stands in the queue in the Vogon city, and Arthur does a double-take as he passes him. Scintillating jewelled crabs are smashed by the Vogons, and they also really do sit on elegant, but broken-backed, gazelles. And Ford and Zaphod do seem to put on Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses at one point, although nothing really comes of it.

Also, the very last image you see on the screen? Briefly, blurrily, (appropriately?) but it is: the face of Douglas Adams. Nice.

Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman and Bill Nighy do no wrong. Martin Freeman? Uncertain. He is less the baffled Brit trying desperately to hang on to his sanity in an insane universe than Simon Jones was... but then how could he be, when he isn't given the lines he needs to be so? Or has what is British changed sufficiently since the previous incarnations to mean that wouldn't work anymore? If so, one might ask, why was the film made at all, since the story revolves around dry Britishness? Good question, good question.

Finally, everyone must go here, and download the second mp3 listed. It's the last track from the Hitch-Hiker's soundtrack album, not in the film, and is called 'Reasons to be Miserable (His Name Is Marvin)'. Kind of electronically distorted rap, voiced by Stephen Fry. You need to hear it to believe it.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
swisstone
Apr. 28th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
Curses, just beat me!
huskyteer
Apr. 28th, 2005 11:30 pm (UTC)
I'm avoiding looking atcha spoilers, but: check out the B-side too!
strange_complex
Apr. 28th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
Oh my word!!! I had no idea! I less than three both versions! Thank-you.
swisstone
Apr. 29th, 2005 05:37 am (UTC)
I thought the crabs and gazelles were wonderful, and the best bit of the film. I also really liked the Gilliamesque nature of Vogsphere.

As for Simo's review, pmcmurray summed it up nicely: it was entirely accurate, but completely missed the point.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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