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Hitchikers guide to the galaxy

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Dan, May 2, 2005.

  1. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    So I went and saw this on Saturday night and I must say I am dissapointed. The sound levels are terrible and I thought the same when I saw previews on TV. For some reason normal dialogue is sometimes drowned out to background noise and you have to work to hear it.
    The narrator is very good and the special effects are pretty nifty too.
    They have however slightly changed the story and this has absolutely ruined what Zaphod beeblbrox should be like, and in my opinion has ruined the film. Zaphod is the best character normally and getting him correct should have been a priority, but they have cut corners and made him a stooge style slapstick comedian.

    The guy plays Arthur Dent is actually very good (he was great in the office too). The chick who plays Trillian, again is no good and porrly cast. It is quite clear that the american element of this film had never ever read the book and acted how they saw the character from the screen play rather than how they should be.

    The only real saving grace are people like slarti bartfast and marvin.

    Marvin was funny as he should be and most ammusing.

    I think i will need to see this movie again as a second viewing might offer some other saving graces, otherwise I will need to read the books again to soothe my soul.

    Even funnier was kids walking out saying "That was the worst movie, it was horrible when they were trying to be funny and just weren't"

    I said "Give it a couple of years guys and you will get it."

    The movie is still very funny if you like english humour and i do. But it fell short in a few places, guess all hope falls on willy Wonka and the chocolate factory being a wuality movie
     
  2. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    I find it hard to imagine a cute round-shaped Marvin. Still won't stop me watching the movie.
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    It was hard to take but his shape and look actually add to the character.

    His manuerisms are very good and useful in his shape. The american casting was woeful. Beeblbrox was the only one who should have been american. Ford Prefect was far from impressive also.

    The series, although low budget offered a lot more.
     
  4. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

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    been through this with hopium - but did you base your imagery on the series??

    She has already given me half a dozen lectures on how bad marvin is - and she hasnt seen the film yet.

    I will take her in a couple of weeks once he assignments are in. - i really hope its ok, it will make the drive home a lot easier. lol
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Look the movie is good, but its not great and not what it could have been. Its somewhere between the Goodies and Dr Who with better special effects. There are some real goodies moments in there including the scenery in places.

    I just think a different director like Tim Burton could have brought the weird aspect to the movie that it so needed.
     
  6. Hopium

    Hopium Member

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    Thought you might like this:

    A generation-defining novel has finally made it to the big screen, writes Paul Byrnes.

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    Directed by Garth Jennings
    Written by Douglas Adams and Karey Kirkpatrick, based on the book by Douglas Adams
    Rated PG
    Cinemas Everywhere

    Douglas Adams, as any fan knows, had a thing about fish. The message from the dolphins as they left Earth, just before the Vogons blew it up to build an intergalactic bypass, was of course: "So long and thanks for all the fish."

    His last novel, unfinished when he died in 2001 at 49, was assembled from his computer hard-drive and published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002. It is this fish that swam into my stream of thought while watching the movie based on his most famous book.

    I realise that the original was a BBC radio series broadcast in 1978 and that the book came later, but the movie says "based on the book by", so let's not argue. The Earth might end in 10 minutes, as it does at the start of the series.

    Adams died of a heart attack while working out in the gym. He had moved from England to Santa Barbara, California, in 1999 and had just completed a second draft of the screenplay, in a development deal with Disney. He had been trying to turn the story into a movie for almost 20 years, which is probably less to do with his legendary difficulty at meeting deadlines than the problems of movie deal-making. He once described this process as like "trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people come into the room and breathe on it".

    Losing the one person who could really breathe usefully on it may be why the movie is no more than a likeable failure, but I'm not sure even he could have made it work. It's a problem of space and time to some extent, which is at least fitting.

    What I mean is this: how do you take a thing that was loved for its twisting, meandering rhythms, its failure to really submit to the harsh laws of storytelling, and make it sit up straight and behave for a motion picture?

    The radio series ran for several hours, without needing much of a story. It was like sitting in a punt on the river at Cambridge - where Adams was born and educated - listening to a very funny, very silly, very bright undergraduate making jokes about the nature of the universe. The point was not to get anywhere, but to imagine an alternative universe where you could power a spacecraft with an Infinite Improbability Drive to take you to a restaurant at the end of the universe. These were comforting, friendly thoughts, invented to assist contemplation of the void. Adams created a utopian comic universe where you could get a drink called a pangalactic gargleblaster and meet interesting creatures with odd names like Zaphod Beeblebrox and Slartibartfast. True, there were some unpleasant species like the Vogons, but nothing as terrifying as the Daleks from Doctor Who.

    Most of the originals turn up in the movie and they're fashioned with respect, but we're no longer floating down the river. The script, rewritten after Adams's demise by Karey Kirkpatrick (Chicken Run), now has a destination and purpose, because a movie must. Arthur Dent, played well by Martin Freeman (Tim in The Office), wants to get home again to Earth (even though it no longer exists) and to rescue Trillian (Zooey Deschanel), the girl he loves, from the Vogons. Arthur now has more of a hero's journey, as every character written by the Hollywood manual must, even one as timid and English as "Dent Arthur Dent".

    His friend Ford Prefect, who saves him from destruction, is now a black American, played by Brooklyn rapper Mos Def. Zaphod, president of the galaxy, who has two heads, neither of them functioning, is played by Sam Rockwell, another American. Deschanel is American. This means that Arthur is somewhat surrounded by American accents, which would not matter except that Mos Def can't really act and Rockwell thinks his character is the lead. This is typical of Zaphod, of course, who's a monomaniac, but it's more than that. Rockwell's screen time is greater than his performance warrants, which may mean that it is the result of an executive decision, possibly by Disney, to build up the representation from their side of the pond.

    The director, Garth Jennings, is a British music video whiz kid, but it's his first feature and he may not be used to swimming with the Disney sharks. I suspect he did not have final control of the casting, because his choice of English actors is much more sensible. Stephen Fry is perfect as the narrator, as is Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast, one of the chaps who builds planets. Alan Rickman voices Marvin the paranoid android, while Helen Mirren voices Deep Thought, the supercomputer who works out the answer to the big question.

    In each of these performances, there is an inherent understanding that less is more, that parodic satire requires a deadpan delivery. That is an English tradition for an English style of comedy. The American tradition is more zany, more knowing - equally valid in the right context, such as a Mel Brooks movie, but different. Trying to marry the two is a dangerous path. Even John Malkovich, as Humma Kavula, a new character created by Adams for the movie, mugs his way through his brief appearance.

    This trans-Atlantic fiddling will displease many of the fans, a huge number of whom are American, because it alters the tone, and tone is what made H2G2 so distinctive. The change is not radical, but it's for all the wrong reasons. How many tickets do they think Americans will buy because Sam Rockwell and Mos Def are in the movie?

    Forcing the hero's journey structure on to something so whimsical doesn't finally solve the problem of adaptation to the screen, either. The movie still sags badly in the middle and it comes at the expense of some of the languid charm of the original.

    pbyrnes@attglobal.net



    My god, I am going to hate it. When it comes to comedy the calibre of Hitchhikers... I'm a traditionalist. Still going to see it... will probably buy the DVD... for any brief flashes of Adams inspired silliness.

    I hope the Americans don't do any Pratchett... also, they should can their remake of Pink Panther... NOW
     
  7. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    The americans ruined it. That is spot on.

    Notice I said that Slartibartfast, arther dent and marvin were all good as well as the narrator. This is reflected in this article since they are the english actors.

    The americans seem to completely misinterperet the movie entirely.
     
  8. Hopium

    Hopium Member

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    American humour is generally bad... There are saving graces... Austin Powers is funny, same with Mel Brookes... but it's just not the same calibre.
     

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