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sleeping_satsuma
30-04-2005, 12:46:32
Me and DH went to see this last night. It wasn't as bad as the review Funko posted had made out, and I think it must have been polished up since that review was written, as the guide is included quite a lot now, and there were a few differences. I did think some of the criticisms that guy made were extremely picky, ie the opening sequence with the dolphins seemed to make sense and was just a bit of fun etc (I think the whole film had received more voiceover since his review), but he is absolutely right about the laugh content. There are a few chuckles* but thats about it. DH laughed most at the robot, but then he loves Alan Rickman in anything, as does any right thinking person.

On the whole its watchable because it keeps moving, but loads of it doesnt make sense- the Humma Kavula thing is never explained or followed through, or the vogon idea/shovel in the face thing/Zaphod's second head, in fact most of the film is never really explained, and its just a sequence of scenes on different planets with them running manically from one thing to the next like intergalactic Benny Hills. Its a shame because Martin Freeman translated very well to the big screen I thought, and Zaphod could have been much more dynamic. Mos Def is good, but seems to have little to do with plot progression. I found Trillian really irritating and dull, and at the end when he says he loves her, I just felt like 'why?', she spends most of her time drawling like she's on temazepan, and looking like she needs some more iron in her diet. There is no sense at all of anything happening between them except a very badly edited sequence where he talks to her in the shower, and seems like a bit of a stalker really. Then suddenly at the end he declares her 'the one' and they kiss, as though the film makers suddenly thought 'shit! These scenes better have been leading up to something important!'

The whole thing seems to have very little to do with space either. That would be the big black sparkly area the book is set in. In this version we see lots of insides of rooms, but there is little sense of space, distance, variety or otherwordly creatures, except when Arthur is shown the rebuilding of earth, and thats, well, earth, and we have all seen that many times.

I think they really needed a non indulgent scriptwriter, a real grip of what the book is about, and why and how its funny, a bigger budget (the effects could have been done better by the BBC- the building the world bit has some appalling blue screen and the whole thing just looks cheap), and an explanation of why everyone is carrying towels!! They even had the perfect moment to explain that in the end credits where after two minutes (when nearly everyone had left the cinema) stephen fry (the guide) pops back up and tells us about something that happens as a result of arthur's final towel comment. WOuldn't have been hard.

The overall problem seemed to me to be that the film couldnt decide what it was- a fanboy tribute? an overlong tv episode? a big sci fi production? a comedy romp? It especially seemed to lose any direction towards the end, where it was like they were rushing to finish up. We didnt really even find out how earth was involved in the ultimate question or what the mice were doing or why Zaphod wants to know the question anyway. There was obviously a bit of a pull between the very English humour and the American backing I think. I guess they needed something mainstream enough to hit a wide audience in order to justify the effects budget (crap though it must have been- although the Vogons and their city I did like a lot, especially as they are voiced by League of Gentlemen), but with just enough of the original humour to satisfy fans. That backfired.

On the whole, I think people like me (ie have read the book & liked it loads but not a fanboy) will think 'could have done better', and I can't comment deeply on the faithfulness of the plot because its that long since I read it. Fanboys will probably hate it and weep. Anyone else will probably just feel confused.

I left the cinema feeling cheated, which is a shame because it could have been fantastic. On the plus side it has made me want to read the book again. I'd give it a 2.5/5

*the best laugh in the film, for me at least, was Bill Bailey's voiceover as the sperm whale- one of the few moments where the original humour of the book/series shone through. Considering that's an aside to the actual plot, you can see how laugh free and non-Adams the film is.

Beta1
30-04-2005, 14:48:27
bill bailey as the sperm whale - thats a fucking brilliant bit of casting. I havnt seen it yet but knowing bailey (and the whales brief existence) I can imagine how that one works out!

The Bursar
30-04-2005, 15:44:04
I agree with ss on almost everything, there. It would've been a pretty good film if they'd removed the love story for a bit more plot explanation, or even some more jokes.

MOBIUS
01-05-2005, 00:10:23
Yeah, pretty average really...

Basically they didn't improve on the series in any way and had to make plot sacrifices due to having much less runtime, which probably made it pretty sterile.

Certainly wasn't as bad as the review Funko read - I think that guy was a seriously jilted ubergeek trying to get his own back anyway.

I thought it was pretty faithful to what I remember and I especially liked the nod to the old Marvin in the queue to get Trillian out. In the end it just didn't have any soul...

My main entertainment was watching the g/f who hardly knew anything about the HGTTG going 'eh?' throughout the movie...:lol:

6/10

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
02-05-2005, 17:26:23
Info on the "seriously jilted ubergeek"...

http://www.cow.net/laststraw/magrathea.txt

MDA
02-05-2005, 18:33:13
He's pissed. :lol:

JM^3
09-05-2005, 10:24:12
there was definitely a lot missing

although I don't tihnk that it was without any value (some of the original jokes and funniness got through)

JM

Funko
11-05-2005, 10:48:42
Originally posted by Beta1
bill bailey as the sperm whale - thats a fucking brilliant bit of casting. I havnt seen it yet but knowing bailey (and the whales brief existence) I can imagine how that one works out!

That is the best bit.

There aren't very many other good bits to choose from.

I wouldn't recommend anyone bothered spending money to see it.

Watch the repeats of the TV show on BBC2 instead.

Beta1
11-05-2005, 10:58:21
its on BBC2?

When?

MOBIUS
11-05-2005, 11:14:48
In the evening about half eleven...

Saw it by accident last night - that one episode (#2) is way better than the entire movie partly because I now realise there is tons missing from the movie!

Lazarus and the Gimp
11-05-2005, 11:17:55
That's understandable- there's no way the original script could have been forced into a standard-length movie.

MOBIUS
11-05-2005, 11:48:35
As I said earlier, but it is also interesting how much extra time they devote on stuff in the movie that is either fleeting or non existent in the series...

Funko
11-05-2005, 12:58:11
Originally posted by Beta1
its on BBC2?

When?

It was on 11:30 last night. Not sure if it's tuesday nights or daily.