Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Hitichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I wasn't going to go see this at first, because I've always been a devotee of the BBC radio series (which I had recorded on cassette tape), the tv series and the books (including a book of the radio series scripts). I'm almost a Hitchhiker-nerd, except I don't tend to quote the funny bits (because I can't remember them word for word) and I've never felt the urge to attend a science fiction convention dressed as Arthur Dent (well, once...but I didn't go through with it).

I'd read bad reviews and good-ish reviews of the film. In the end the only reason we went to see it was because the boy wanted to watch it anyway, just to confirm the negative reviews.

It sure was important to have low expectations beforehand.

Lots of the funny bits from the books etc were in the film - unfortunately for me, they didn't make me laugh because they were so familiar and yet somehow not the same. I suppose it's like going to a pantomine and finding the performers have changed their lines just enough to jar you. And I was so used to hearing various characters speak in a certain way that it felt strange to hear it said differently, by different actors - wrong, somehow.

There were a couple of new funny bits - like when the white mice are about to feel Dent's wrath and exclaim "Bollocks!" (you'd have to be there). Also, the Vogons look really good as hunch-backed beauracrats - but Marvin looked a bit too cute. I was disappointed, too, that the Golgafrinchans didn't get a look in.

Probably the best part was the tour of Slartibartfast's work floor - really nicely done. Probably the worst parts were the lovey-dovey bits.

It wasn't a complete waste of time and money then, although it was just long enough for my infamous sore-bum afflication to return.


Rainypete said...

I am currently reading this in a housecoat while trying to figure out how to a more hoopy frood than I already am.
I'm glad a junkie as I has decided that it's worth a go. I'll probablycheck it out after all.

Frally said...

I agree with your review completely, I saw it with Cesca the other week. It's not bad but just somehow not quite as good as you'd hoped it would be. The jokes seem tired, I think they're just so well known that they've almost become cliches in themselves.

cesca said...

Strangely enough, I saw it with Frally the other week.

I'm a total hitchhikers guide geek, and I LOVE the books. I wasn't expecting great things from the movie, but it was okay.

I agree with you about Marvin - but apparently it is the "original" Marvin suit from the original tv series.

And why the hell did Arthur end up with Trillian??

Jon said...

I'm an avid reader, but I've never read it. Just figured I should say something, so 'hi' ^_^

flying kiwi said...

I went and saw it last night, and I pretty much concur with all the comments here. I was disappointed my favourite line wasn't in there (Ford: it's unpleasantly like being drunk. Arthur: what's wrong with being drunk? Ford: ask a glass of water). And I was surprised at how many people were laughing out loud at jokes that were indeed funny but oh so familiar - but then I reminded myself I am in America, and there were probably people in the theatre who hadn't ever read the books, heard the radio series or watched the BBC series (gasp!). And the extra romance bits were annoying, but somehow expected. On the whole I enjoyed it though.

Desiree said...

It was OK - I didn't cringe too much and it helped to remember the audience being aimed at (i.e. don't have any big expectations).

Did you spot the in-jokes?

1) the original TV Marvin turns up as a character in the queue when they're trying to save Trillian.

2) the actor that played Arthur Dent in the TV series is the head intoning the Magrathean messages (best experienced with 3-D glases apparently).

3) There is a big Apple Mac logo on the side of Deep Thought (Douglas Adams was a huge Apple fan).

4) Douglas Adams' head is one of the planets in Slartibartfast's factory tour (I admit I didn't catch THAT one).

Violet said...

rainypete: you're in a housecoat? Is your hair in curlers also?

frally and cesca: I wonder what the people thought of it who've never come across the originals before?

jon: hi Jon!!

flying kiwi: the romance bit was a bit Hollywood wasn't it?

desiree: nah I didn't notice any of those things because it's been so long since I saw the tv series. the boy got the first two though.