Sunday, May 01, 2005

Saw "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" today.

In a nut shell, I liked it. Rather than do a long blow-by-blow, I think I am just going to ramble a bit and call it good.

If you read the books, go watch the movie, there will be something in it that you will appreciate. Bring your towel too! It isn't often the movie people see folks bringing things into the theatre like that. They seemed to enjoy it. I found their reaction interesting in that it was obvious they didn't read the book, but wondered if they probably should!

A long time friend of mine suggested a few of us get together and watch the movie. Highly recommended approach really. I got to catch up with some people that I really should have caught up with sooner all because some guy decided to almost write a book a number of years ago! Thanks Douglas where ever you are, I had fun today because of something you wrote.


The visuals were well done, with the factory scenes being just great. All the zooming around the yard filled with all sorts of interesting looking planet building stuff fit my mental picture well.

I didn't see as much humor as I thought I was going to see, but what I did see basically worked in an odd way however.

The cast did a fine job bringing characters to life for me. I really liked Arthur and Zaphod. Speaking of Zaphod, I thought that was going to be one of the major challenges of this movie. How to deal with the two heads? The solution is perfect and I'm not going to spoil it. Very creative and a nice surprise.

I liked all the props. They matched my own personal mental visuals. Very British with blinking lights, humorous design attributes and lots of just goofy curves and shapes. They are as vibrant as the characters are in the book. This made up a lot of ground for me as the movie does miss the mark where story is concerned. (I can't blame them, it's a whopper to try to put to film in a way that an ordinary person might have a chance of relating to.)

The Vogons met my expectations easily enough. Rich seems to think they were inspired by one of the creatures from Monsters Inc. --the secretary does appear quite Vogonish. Who knows, this film was a while in production --maybe it's the other way around. My favorite part of the movie happens when the crew lands on the Vogon home planet. Don't miss that part, it's classic Adams humor realized on the screen just as it should be.

I didn't like the mushy element added. It was just a bit to much traditional hollywood-ish. No great harm done, just somewhat annoying. To give them credit, this does help folks, who didn't relate or read the books, to get something out of the movie. I'll catagorize this as a necessary evil.

One of the other challenges was how to handle the narrative. The guide was realized as this electronic gadget, book thingy that worked for me. The transition from movie to guide entry was done right and made some of Douglas Adams trademark humor approachable. Very well done, IMHO.

Be sure to watch the credits and don't walk out early like Jim did!

All in all worth a movie ticket. It could easily have been a lot worse. It could also have been a lot better too, making it just good enough to enjoy.

Again, I would take this chance to enjoy it with your friends who appreciate this kind of story. You will get more out of the movie that way. Save the critical analysis for the DVD where you can pick it apart in the privacy of your own home where nobody actually cares. After seeing this film, I wonder just what would have come if Douglas was still here with us.


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