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liquorhead
Jul 10, 2002



Directed by: Garth Jennings
Starring: Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Sam Rockwell

I've not seen such an enjoyable and flawlessly funny film as The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in quite a long time. Even though I had never read the books by Douglas Adams, it was instantly an exciting and accessible comedy adventure that I'm eager to see a second time.

The brilliant script and perfect casting make for a purely enjoyable filmgoing experience that is rarely equaled. Instead of getting your hopes dashed yet again by this summer's impending Lucasfilm fiasco, I heartily recommend giving Hitchhiker your hard earned cash at the theater.

Martin Freeman (who you may remember as Tim from the BBCTV original good version of "The Office") plays the reluctant hero Arthur Dent, who is swept away into an absurd adventure after Earth is destroyed in the opening minutes of the film. Clad only in his pajamas, bathrobe, and his ever important towel, Dent hooks up with a gallery of interesting folks on a quest to find the most important question in the universe (as the answer to life, the universe, and everything has already been determined).

Freeman's understated and frustrated performance perfectly compliments his fellow cast members. The folks behind this film could not have done a better job choosing the actors for this film if they tried. Mos Def is brilliant as Ford Prefect, the voice of reason who helps Dent sort things out while he's thrust into an insane new world. I've enjoyed his music, and have thought some of his past acting works was fine, but his physical humor and low key delivery work well here.

Of course, they have to be low key because Sam Rockwell just tears up the screen every moment he's visible as the flamboyant President of The Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox. With his 70s rock star good looks, Ric Flair personality, and Three Stooges IQ, he's a non-stop riot to watch. He's easily become one of the funniest movie characters of all time, and with such an amazing natural grace, it's hard to believe. Lesser men, like Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element, have tried to pull off over the top annoying characters and have failed miserably. In the hands of Rockwell, Beeblebrox is the perfect obnoxious work of art.

Throw in Alan Rickman to provide the voice of Marvin, the manic depressive robot, and you've got the ingredients for an instant classic movie that really delivers the laughs.

Also hats off to the filmmakers for making a film that's hilarious for adults, but with no material inappropriate for the kids, either. Aside from some beer drinking at the start of the movie, I can't single out anything that would truly make this a PG rated film.

If you want films with intelligent writing, high quality acting, and guaranteed laughs, buying a ticket to see this movie is the best message you can send to Hollywood. I'm not exaggerating when I say that The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy deserves a seat at the same table as Monty Python's Quest For The Holy Grail, as one of the all time great adventure comedies.

RATING: 4.5

PROS: Brilliantly funny and cast, entertaining from end to end
CONS: none that I can fathom

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371724/

EDIT: I never read the books and understood and enjoyed everything.

liquorhead fucked around with this message at Apr 29, 2005 around 16:14

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Leyburn
Aug 31, 2001


Went to see this with my dad yesterday and I think we both agreed that it was totally mediocre at best.

The whole thing seems to rush from one scene to another with no real reason for doing so which makes the whole experience very disorienting and confusing. The film comes up with reasons for forcing the characters to go certain places and do certain things but never actually seems to resolve anything.

For example they get sent to find the POV gun in order to obtain coordinates for their Improbability Drive from John Malkovitch’s character. However when they get the gun all they do is shoot each other with it for a while (leading to some of the most cringe-worthy dialogue ever when Trillian shoots Beeblebrox with it). In the next scene containing these characters they are all inexplicably in Arthur’s kitchen having dinner with no explanation of how or why they went there. The gun is then used to escape the Vogon’s but they never bother resolving Beeblebrox’s missing head or those coordinates he seemed to want.

The humour in the film is very hit and miss, a lot of scenes come off as trying way too hard to get a laugh; the bit with the Whale, nearly every line that comes from Marvin’s mouth and the opening song just seem to be trying so hard to be funny they just fall flat on their face.

There are a handful of laughs in it though, one or two of Marvin’s lines are actually very funny, the fly swatter bit is hilarious and the scene where Earth is destroyed is brilliantly over the top.

However, as a whole the film was awkward to sit through. Too many flat jokes and laboured attempts at being zany ruined the few actual funny parts that where in it.

Ohhh and apparently it was based on a book or a radio program or something, but that’s not important.

Rating: 2.5

PROS: Some hilarious scenes and fairly enjoyable to watch.
CONS: Confusing plot, awkward pacing, forced ‘wackyness’ and a terrible tacked on love subplot.

EPS
Mar 19, 2003

READY... FIGHT!

Overall, I liked this movie a lot. It doesn't really capture the essence of the book, but a lot of the jokes make it through the transformation unscathed. The problem with the movie is that it seems to lack a cohesive narrative to pull the story from the beginning to the end. It's more a stream of consciousness collection of whimsy. The book walked a very thin line between story and sillyness and succeeded, but oddly enough the changes that the movie made add more confusion than structure, which seems completely antithetical to the idea of adapting a book to the screen.

If you've read the books, you'll recognize a lot of the jokes and the characters, and the performances are really great, so you'll probably enjoy the movie. If you haven't, you'll laugh but will most likely be left wondering what the hell is going on.

Rating: 3/5

EPS fucked around with this message at Apr 29, 2005 around 20:26

team-killer
Jul 5, 2004

by Fistgrrl


This movie was very true to the books, which I think was a problem. I read the book(s) a long time ago and watching this movie made me realize that the book really wasn't that funny after all. The acting wasn't bad, but for some reason whoever was in charge decided to make the Arthur/Trillian love subplot THE major component of the movie. Not interesting and the characters barely spoke to each other anyway.

I liked Zaphod, Slartibartfast, and a couple of the very few lines that Marvin had, but after the first 45 minutes, I was fidgeting, trying to remember how much longer the book dragged on. I hope none of the other books become movies, because they just get 'wackier' and more incoherent and will be even worse.

Rating: 2.5/5

edit: oh hey, and bonus points for being a huge ad for Nokia's new phone.

team-killer fucked around with this message at Apr 29, 2005 around 22:56

Hillside Napist
Sep 13, 2004



quote:

EPS came out of the closet to say:
Overall, I liked this movie a lot. It doesn't really capture the essence of the book, but a lot of the jokes make it through the transformation unscathed. The problem with the movie is that it seems to lack a cohesive narrative to pull the story from the beginning to the end. It's more a stream of consciousness collection of whimsy. The book walked a very thin line between story and sillyness and succeeded, but oddly enough the changes that the movie made add more confusion than structure, which seems completely antithetical to the idea of adapting a book to the screen.

If you've read the books, you'll recognize a lot of the jokes and the characters, and the performances are really great, so you'll probably enjoy the movie. If you haven't, you'll laugh but will most likely be left wondering what the hell is going on.

Rating: 3/5

While I would write my own review, it would be a carbon copy of this one. Thank you EPS for stating my feelings exactly. Although I don't think this movie deserves a 3/5, so.

Rating: 4/5

Pros: If you read the book, you will love this movie.
Cons: If you haven't read the book, you will like this movie.

Handsome Rob
Jul 12, 2004



I didn't get my hopes up, but it was far better than I worried it would be. There were some flaws, mainly in the pacing- it felt very rushed- but overall, it was excellent.

The casting was perfect. Trillian was cute, charming, and intelligent. Sam Rockwell as Zaphod was perfect. Despite all the complaints about him when he was announced, Mos Def was great as Ford. And Arthur was just as I imagined him. Marvin and the Vogons were done very well too.

I wish we could have seen a bit more from the Guide. The Humma Kavula subplot was pointless. I agree with Leyburn that the Point-Of-View gun brought around some horrible dialogue; I hated that scene. Some of my favorite parts from the book were missing- Veet Voojagig? Eccentrica Gallumbits? But the intro with the dolphins was fantastic, the Magrathea pieces were great, and they did include the whale and bowl of petunias. I was worried I'd have to cover my face with the towel I brought, but I never had to.

Rating: 4/5
Pros: True enough to the book to satisfy fans, while still bringing new stuff; flawless casting.
Cons: Some of the new stuff was pretty bad; a lot of the lines fell flat.

bizarre deformity
Jul 17, 2004

If I said I wanted your body, would you let me possess it??


Being a huge fan of the books, I was naturally looking forward to this movie. Apparently, however, my memory of the books must be bad because i don't remember half of the things in the movie happening in the book. They did, however, get a firm grasp on the characters (or lackthereof, in trillian's case) which I felt was what made this movie shine. The characters come out being just how I had remembered them in the book. The plot added some things, took away some things (it's hard to represent Adams' strange tangents that took up entire chapters of the book on screen), but visually I felt it was a strong representation of what the book was all about. I'm definitely seeing this again.

4/5

Kynetx
Jan 8, 2003


Full of ignorant tribalism. Kinda sad.


I was expecting a Hollywood massacre of one of my most beloved universes, but instead I was utterly blown away. I'm not the kind of person that obsesses over every missing nuance in a book adaptation, so I was able to get through the movie without getting pissed about new or missing content. The casting was spot-on, the visuals were terrific, and the scene of the "shop floor" of Magrathea was breathtaking.
My only disappointment was not enough Alan Rickman.
It wasn't perfect, but it was very, very good.
"For Douglas"... sniff...

4.5/5

FeatherFloat
Dec 31, 2003

Well, isn't that nice?

I'm an avid Hitchhiker and Douglas Adams fan, so I've got an admitted bias here. But I came away from this movie entertained and happy, so that's gotta count for something. Yes, the story did have to get folded in a few spots, and cut around, and put back together again, but it was in the name of making the movie a coherent viewing experience. The book and the television series always had a certain feeling of "Okay. We're going to do this now.", and the movie manages to at least give some stronger direction to it all. And there was some EXCELLENT towel usage, I must say.

I'd have liked more Mos Def/Ford and more of The Guide itself (nice animations!), and the Humma Kavula thing was a bit... unresolved at the end. But hey. Save that for the sequel and/or the DVD extras?

Overall, 4/5 stars. If you haven't read the books? Don't Panic (lol) and go see it anyway. I took friends that hadn't read them, or seen the series, and they enjoyed it, too.

Martytoof
Feb 25, 2003


I'm out of my head
of my heart
and my mind



All I can say is that I was pretty let down. I haven't read the book, but everyone raving about it to me built this movie up in my mind.

Unfortunately, I didn't "get" the movie. It started off great but quickly left me behind, wondering what on earth they're doing, why they're doing it, or what happened to what they were supposed to be doing.

The acting was very hit or miss. I found Freeman to be hilarious at times, and completely intolerable others. He seemed to put on his "Laurel" (& Hardy) face far too often which, while funny at first, wore off pretty quickly. Mos Def gave a mostly forgettable preformance, while I wanted nothing more than for Rockwell to be shot out of a cannon into the sun.

I can't give this more than a 2.5 as is. Some hilarious scenes mixed in with a mostly drab picture.

Again, if I had read the book beforehand I feel I may have had a better idea of what was going on, but since I have no idea what the plot was like if expanded and not cut for time, I can't see anything but abbreviated bits of nonsense.

Behonkiss
Feb 10, 2005


Saw it, liked it. A lot of the added stuff didn't work (Unlike others, I didn't hate the Humma Kuvula subplot; I just hate that it wasn't resolved. Zaphod needs his 2nd head back, dammit. Also, it would be interesting to see how the romance and Earth Mk II are handled in sequels.), but the movie still achieved its primary goal: It felt like HGTTG. The segments that work really make up for the ones that don't. I could never enjoy the BBC series much because the effects were so bad they were distracting, but the book transitions in this were a joy to watch (I loved the cel-shaded Guide segments, and it was a smart decision to keep the Vogons as puppets- they're easily among the best I've ever seen). The actors also did a much better job with their characters than I expected.

So yeah, this is by no means either a classic or the dream adaptation we hoped for, but it's still great. Gets 4 stars and a recommendation from me.

ultramiraculous
Nov 12, 2003

~Yogurt Enemas~




Grimey Drawer

I just saw it, and I think it was an awesome adaptation of the story. I really enjoyed the little connections they made to the TV series(which I have seen thanks to the internet). The two I remember most clearly are the adaptation of the theme song and the original Marvin standing in line on the Volgon planet. I'm also almost positive that the ship's last trasformation is Douglas Adams' head.
I think the new material was a tad dry, but not too bad. It was a great movie, and I'm sticking with that opinion .

5/5

F'Nog
Jul 21, 2001



quote:

Leyburn came out of the closet to say:
For example they get sent to find the POV gun in order to obtain coordinates for their Improbability Drive from John Malkovitch’s character. However when they get the gun all they do is shoot each other with it for a while (leading to some of the most cringe-worthy dialogue ever when Trillian shoots Beeblebrox with it). In the next scene containing these characters they are all inexplicably in Arthur’s kitchen having dinner with no explanation of how or why they went there. The gun is then used to escape the Vogon’s but they never bother resolving Beeblebrox’s missing head or those coordinates he seemed to want.
At the end of the scene where they shoot each other with the POV gun and door opens and they're engulfed in a blinding white light. When they appear in the house I'm pretty sure Ford's first line explains that the pan-dimensional beings brought them there..

Overall I liked it, if anything it was worth it for the knitting improbability drive scene with Arthur throwing up wool. It entertained me for two hours which is all I was expecting. The Vogons were really well done and the little bits relating it back to the TV series were a nice touch. Also, Mos Def was an awesome Ford Prefect. Run! He's got a towel!

Giving it 5.0/5.5 in anticipation of knitted Marvin plush toys.

Holy_Zarquon
Oct 2, 2004

This... this is MAH hole!

This hole was made for me!


quote:

FeatherFloat came out of the closet to say:
I'm an avid Hitchhiker and Douglas Adams fan, so I've got an admitted bias here.

First of all, the same goes for me. I've been in love with Doug since I picked up HHGTTG.

Second of all, the movie is very different from the book. When Adams wrote the screenplay for the movie before his death (*sniff*) he changed the plot alot. Most of the new stuff I really enjoyed, though I do feel like the ending like some things open... (Kavula plot). I'm not entirely sure actually if Adams finished the screenplay, which would explain that. The casting was amazing, Freeman got the Dent face down perfectly. I was sceptical about Mos Def, but he pulled Prefect off amazingly. Rockwell was indeed a "perfect obnoxious work of art." And I can't imagine a better voice for a manically depressed robot than Rickman.

As a Hitchhikers fan I was pleased with the amount of references others would not get (Zaphod calling Ford, I believe, a zarking frood, Zaphod's use of "Belgium", the TV shows theme and the appearence of the original Marvin), but i think these were not focused on enough to confuse those who hadn't read the books.

I had to wipe away tears with my towel when I saw Doug's face and "For Douglas".

Pros: Great casting, good fan service, yarn people, vogons
Cons: Seems unfinished, did not explain how the vogon ships "hung in the air exactly the way a brick doesn't"

4.5/5

Maybe even 4/5... I really love that line.

Willing to raise to 5/5 for marvin plush toys

Holy_Zarquon fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2005 around 04:49

Johnny B. Goode
Apr 5, 2004



I saw the movie tonight, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really don't watch many PG movies, yet this one didn't even feel like one. The comedy was great, and the story was perfect for all ages. However, I'm not an uber-fan, so I'm being realistic when I say that it wasn't a perfect movie, but I did enjoy it a lot.. so...

4/5.

Debbie Metallica
Jun 7, 2001



Far better than I expected. I've read the books enough to know how everything was supposed to go and didn't mind the changes aside from the requisite love interest junk. Very well cast in my opinion- I thought Mos Def was particularly funny. There were a few awkward parts here and there but as a whole it was fun. 4/5.

empty whippet box
Jun 9, 2004

In the second book, Harry Potter and the Da Capo Aria, Harry parties with Mozart, who is banging Hermione and Ginny Weasley at the same time.


The folks who pulled this movie did a great job with what they had. They did the best they could to translate the HHGTTG universe into a movie. I just don't think it was something that translated easily. The movie had some truly hilarious moments, and managed to keep some of the social commentary/satire aspects that the series was so esteemed for. The only problem is that if you haven't read the books, you'll be totally and completely lost. I enjoyed the divergences from the plot of the book as much as I enjoyed the things that stayed with it, because that keeps in spirit with the book, but regardless - having read the books seems almost mandatory unless you're really into this kind of movie. The only thing that really bugged me was trillian and arthur falling in love and zaphod finding somebody else. 3.5/5.

PyroCrash
Mar 9, 2004
It takes but one rebel to bring the downfall of an empire

I saw the movie tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. In keeping with Adam's tradition, it kept the base storyline while jumbling the plot around and adding new things. As any true Douglas Adams fan would know, the radio shows, books, video game, and tv show all are not consistent with each other. Knowing this and the fact the Adams wrote the screenplay himself, I went to the movie expecting it to be unlike the other mediums in some ways and was not disappointed. I think the casting was perfect and loved Nighy's interpretation of Slartibartfast. The addition of Kavula was also an interesting treat.

I look forward to "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"

4.5/5

New Yorp New Yorp
Jul 18, 2003

Only in Kenya.


Pillbug

I went to see it tonight with my mother (a long-time fan) and girlfriend (a non-fan). My mother and I thought it was a funny, well-written movie. My girlfriend, who is bored by sci-fi in general, did not like it.

It's not the books. That's okay; it was funny in its own right, but not stupendously so. I hope all the nerds who bitch and moan and cry about it being a travesty and an affront to their senses contract AIDS.

If you're a moderate fan, go see it. If you're a non-fan, don't see it. If you're a rabid, obsessive fan, don't bother because you'll hate it for not being a word-for-word transcription of the book.

Rating: 3.5/5

New Yorp New Yorp fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2005 around 05:35

Brendell
Jan 14, 2003

Oh, I'm sorry...did I break your concentration?

When I was quite a bit younger, I tried reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but had trouble getting into it. I'm sure it was because I didn't really understand the humor and was not in the mood at the time for such wackiness. But with the movie coming out, my inner nerd demanded that I read the book prior to seeing the film adaptation. So I did, and I enjoyed it.

The movie did a decent job of adapting the book, which in the field of book --> movie adaptations, that is pretty glowing praise. The casting was superb. Mos Def was brilliant as Ford. Sam Rockwell was spot-on as Zaphod, though his two heads were not at all how I imagined it being done, and seemed a bit off. And I can never ever get enough of Alan Rickman.

Plot wise, I thought they did a good job of translating the book, which is admittedly a pretty scattered narrative. There was just the right amount of "flashback" explanations to have things make sense.

One thing I wasn't too keen about was their explanation, or lack thereof, of the Infinite Improbability Drive. They got to that point and just sort of glossed over it superficially (I thought the improbableness of all of them ending up on the ship was particularly well written/explained in the book, and it was hardly mentioned in the movie). I can understand why they didn't really focus on it too much as it would have confused the hell out of the average viewer. As it is, people that have read the book will understand what is happening with it, and those that haven't will just write it off as some form of space travel with funny random pictures.

About the Humma subplot, here's my take on it (which is totally from the movie, since I don't remember reading anything about that). Humma lost the election to Zaphod because people thought they were voting for the "worst dressed person in the galaxy." So when they end up at his planet, Zaphod decides to pay him a visit because he knows Humma has the coordinates to Magrathea,and also to bitch at Humma for calling him stupid. Humma agrees to give the coordinates of the planet if Zaphod brings him back the gun that makes people see things from your point of view, which he would pretty obviously want so he could make people realize he was the one who should have won the election, not Zaphod. It is somewhat unresolved, but they probably give the gun back to Humma and that's that.

Also, as has been said before, the inserted love plots were a bit silly and totally unnecessary. I'm not sure why Hollywood feels this overwhelming desire to create love storylines where they aren't needed. I guess to get the female viewers into the theatre, especially for a science fiction film.

Anyways, my gripes are pretty minor ones. One of the better film adaptations of a book you'll find, with superb casting/acting, well done special effects and comedy. I wouldn't go quite so far as to rank it with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but it's a solid film.

4.5/5

Brendell fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2005 around 05:51

Foppish Yet Dashing
Jun 29, 2004

-horsepussy begins now
-horsepussy begins now
-horsepussy begins now
-horsepussy begins now
-horsepussy begins now
-horsepussy begins now

I really enjoyed the film.

I've only read the first book, and while I know most of the parts unfamiliar to me were created in the screenplay, I'm sure some of them came from the other novels. Regardless, I thought it all worked together rather well (probably since Adams co-authored the screenplay).

It did move a little fast, and a few moments of touchy, wishy-washy romance sub-plot crap bugged me. It's not that they were poorly done, but I think I've just seen enough Hollywood films, where that is an absolutley unavoidable staple for no reason whatsoever, that I'm just bored with it by now. Those are my only gripes, though.

I was laughing my rear end off throughout the entire film. There are so many hilarious parts, but I especially liked the Guide's animation of the guy purposely scalding his hands after having the cow talk dirty to him. Also, what was a nice inside joke and nod towards those who had read the book, when they were discussing the horrible forms of poetry, you see the dead man who had his brain throttled by his own organs in order to save humanity. Oh, and the yarn improbability was nothing short of pure loving genius.

Unfortunately, I forgot my 3-D glasses .

4.5/5

OnYourRight
Apr 15, 2003

Let ME handle this, you little shit!

What works in this film really, really works.

The Improbability Drive gags, the Magrathea factory floor, the opening song by the dolphins, (had me crying I was laughing so hard...) the scene in Humma Kaluva's temple with all his worshippers, the Vogons, the art design for Deep Thought, the sighing, happy doors on the Heart of Gold, the Guide animations, and the actress who played Trillian. All superb.

What doesn't work in this film is pretty cringe-worthy.

The romance subplot, Zaphod's nod to George Bush by way of Jack Sparrow, the sub-plot about the point of view gun and why they have to fetch it, what happens when they fetch it, the Vice-President's unnecessary crush on Zaphod, and why having a towel is so important is never explained. Not so hot.

In all, a fun way to blow two hours. The spirit of the books is captured pretty well in this movie, even if it's not word perfect. There were one or two moments where I thought, "Character X wouldn't do that! No no no! Wrong! Brimming over with wrongability!" But those were few and far between. The effects are stunning, blending the ridiculous with the sublimely beautiful.

4/5

Comte de Saint-Germain
Mar 26, 2001

Snouk but and snouk ben,
I find the smell of an earthly man,
Be he living, or be he dead,
His heart this night shall kitchen my bread.


OK, since it's based on another source, I'll start off by listing my prejudices. I read all the books, yeah, all of 'em. But I really only enjoyed the first three. I no longer own the books and don't remember them that well, but they were pretty funny when I was in middle school.

That out of the way, I came out of this movie feeling like I had spent all day reading the fan forums for a bad webcomic. The movie was like a filmed version of the Necrocomicon, endlessly repeated jokes that, while once funny, have lost all their shine due to repetition. An endless purgatory of Letterman reading the same Top 10 list over and over and over.

Perhaps this will be a different experience for those that haven't read the books. Maybe they will enjoy it more? Or maybe they won't get it at all, I don't know, I'm not one of those people.

There were some pretty funny parts, but... you mostly saw them in the previews. Preview which were quite a bit funnier than the actual movie.

A high point are the Vogons. Very funny looking, with some clever homages to Brazil in their design. Jim Henson's creature shop can, as far as I've seen, do no wrong.

Most of the actors do what they can with what they've been given. Mos Def does a particularly good job with what is otherwise a pretty weak role. Sam Rockwell, one of my regular favorites, does a pretty good job as well, but wound up wearing a bit thin on me as the movie continued. Martin Freeman does a good job as the everyman Aurthur, but Zooey Deschanel (what the hell kind of name is that?) is cute for about 10 seconds before she becomes obnoxious. I don't think it's her fault, though, as she's got some of the worst lines I've heard outside of open mic night at the Improv. "That won't work on me, I'm already a woman."

Multiple plot and story items go completely unresolved or undeveloped, the plot about the POV gun, the vice-president's story and the most baffling the thing abou the machine that can make anything you want just by sticking your face into it. What the bloody hell was that about? Not only was it never used after being introduced, a basic violation of film-making rules, it has been pointed out to me by my roomate that she never even ate the drat doughnut- consequently, it must not have been what ths "really wanted." And yes, I'm being nitpicky, but it was just stupid.

Maybe I'm being too harsh. The audience I was with really seemed to enjoy themselves, laughing at every single joke and gag like it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen. Maybe it was. They also laughed at the trailer for the new Herbie movie.

1/5

blairerickson
May 17, 2002

by Eris Is Goddess


Great fun film, felt perfectly in the spirit of the novels. The sold-out audience seemed to love it. Glad to see a few lonely balding nerds in the audience disgruntled by it. A solid comedy adaptation of the story.

4/5

NADZILLA
Dec 16, 2003
iron helps us play

Well, it wasn't the travesty that I'd come to expect from weeks of anti-Hollywood nerd backlash, but ultimately it was a bit underwhelming. The production looks amazing (particularly the Hitchhiker's Guide animations) and a lot of the book's ideas are actualized in a satisfying way. The directors had the crappy task of having to adapt beloved characters to a marketable formula without pissing off the fanbase too much. As a movie, it's entertaining but deeply flawed. As an tribute to the source material, well, it just feels somehow inauthentic, like a sorority girl in an Iron Maiden t-shirt--cosmetically the same but stripped of meaning.

Bill Nighy's Slartibartfast stood out in my mind as the best performance. Zaphod was a huge disappointment--he sucked, totally obnoxious, unfunny and useless to the story. Marvin was pretty disappointing, and Arthur was dragged down by the contrived love subplot. Mos Def was pretty good.

About as good of an adaptation as can be expected. I'll give it three.

As an aside, did anybody see the trailer to Chicken Little that basically just tacked their bullshit tagline onto the Hitchhiker's Guide teaser? What a bunch of uncreative asswipes.

Behonkiss
Feb 10, 2005


~Not a review~

Somebody fucked around with this message at May 1, 2005 around 16:20

bearic
Apr 14, 2004

john brown split this heart


St Germaine: The anything you want machine is just Trillian showing Arthur that they are living in a place where they have luxuries all around. It wasn't really anything in itself

I saw it last night and I was pretty pleased. The beginning was great, the ending was good, but the middle really really dragged. The entire romance thing could of been completely cut out, mostly because it led to me cringing from the dialogue. I'm also happy that it seems like a sequel is coming.

Favorite parts:
Whale, opening song, Arthur throwing up yarn, the ending with hundreds of depressed Vogons, the race against paperwork and time on Vogsphere, Sam Rockwell
Least favorite parts:
Romance plots, most everything that Trillian did (though I can't blame the actor, she just got some horrible lines), parts of the book being omitted in what seemed to be midjoke ('I had to go down to the cellar.' And....the movie moves on)

4/5

bhlaab
Feb 21, 2005



I saw the movie last night. I have read the books and read into the man behind them, so I came into the movie as a fan. I couldn't care less whether lines were cut or lines were added- obviously you're not going to get every piece of dialogue from a book into a movie. I think the script underneath the movie was at least above decent, but the main problem was with direction and characterization.

This was the directors' first actual film (before they did music videos) and the ameteurness shows. For some reason the dry British wit and wordplay took a backseat to madcap zaniness, I often lost myself in the ADD-ity and lame sight gags. The film takes this in stride, being very energetic even when the jokes it is telling are lame. You start to feel bad for it, like a 7 year old child trying to be funny and failing.

Zaphod Beeblebrox is probably the most prominent character in the film and has the best lines, despite the fact that for most of it he is just bumbling around speaking incoherently for no apparent reason at all. Instead of having two heads at once, he can switches to his second head- an alter ego that doesn't seem to have much of a personality besides screaming incoherently instead of bumbling incoherently. His second head doesn't matter much since about 10 minutes after introducing it the film goes "Eh, don't feel like messing around with that anymore" and goes ahead and gets rid of it in a subplot that is never resolved

There are tons of pacing and structure issues that seem to come about from trying to cram an entire book into a 110 minute movie. The destruction of the Earth that kicks the whole movie off seems hurried so as to get it out of the way as soon as possible. Very little explaination is given to why the characters want to go to Magrathea seeing as how the "Zaphod's brain" suplot from the books was cut. Gags go completely unexplained so as to not waste precious time (I can only imagine someone who hasn't read the books wondering why the hell Ford is so obsessed with towels) which begs the question who is this movie for? Is it for the fans who already know all the old jokes and will undoubtedly hate the new ones, or for the newcomers who won't even understand either?

The worst bit of the film are the Hollywood-ized bits, most of which are a romance between Arthur and Trillian. It would be ignorable if not stacked on top of the movie's already high pile of problems, but since it is, that only means more cringing. There is one part at the very end where Arthur cries that the real question of life the universe and everything has nothing to do with 42 but with whether or not Trillian loves him like he loves her. loving groan. Arthur also has a newfound 'coming of age' subplot where he learns to curb his fears and become more adventurous- it ends in a similar groan-worthy manner.

The parts of the movie that are done well are done very well, however. The art design is very well done, as are the special effects and puppetry. The bits of guide narration are without a doubt the best bits of the film. Most are lifted straight from the book, but there is one Guide description of the "Point of View Gun" that is brand new and just as good as the old ones. Think of the movie as a large blanket covering Douglas Adams, and the Guide narration is where pure Douglas Adams peaks through with nobody around to muck with it.

All in all this movie is a mess with small bouts of brilliance. You're much better off reading the book instead.

Master Cob
May 29, 2004

I'm just saying is all

Perhaps the sound was set too low in the theater, but this just didn't totally do it for me. Nor most of the audience at my screening, I gathered. Well, except maybe the dreadlocked dude who was sitting next to me and got really sad before the movie when his girlfriend declared she didn't like the slurpee he bought because it was "too carbonated." Still, I'm giving it a 3.5/5 - which is decent - so you can rest assured that if you read on you won't be subjected to a total Phanboy wank-off.

Straight off the theme/feeling/whatever emerged slightly off-center, like it was abrupt and zany but not actually clever enough to define itself as absurd (absurdity is the goal when handling a story centered around a guidebook to hitchhiking across the galaxy or universe). I didn't understand the reference to the former TV version (or whatever it was), and nor do I care now to figure it out. It just wasn't interesting. Dolphins - second most intelligent creature on earth, ahead of humans - gotcha. But this montage isn't obvious enough about whether we should be seriously wondering if it should have been apparent to us that the dolphins knew something we didn't the entire time they wiled away their hornballed lives performing acrobatic stunts for mildly amused, grape-juice swilling, closet-full-of-novelty-hats parents hoping to engender a sense of anthropomorphic amusement with a strong twinge of hedonistic authority unto their clap-your-hands-when-you're-having-fun-NO-clap-after-the-trick-has-been-done kids.

When watching movies, I tend to sometimes imagine how I would alter a cut, or edit something slightly differently, or get rid of the awkwardness that arises from off-timed interactions (the book (sorry) is a comedic masterpiece in terms of dialogue exchanges). For instance, in this first scene - with the dolphins, I'm still talking about that, and no there's no dialogue in it, so it's kind of weird that I segued it with that last sentence - I would have made the dolphin that shot up into the air just as the narrator said "performing a double-whatever while whistling the starbangled banner" actually flip around in the air (as in, a visual example of exactly what the guy is describing) with a small track playing a section from the national anthem. loving exclamation point. Make the dolphin flip, damnit. Superior my butt. How funny would it be to see a wildly flipping, whistling dolphin? Because it sure sounds funny when the narrator describes it. Alas, we'll never know.

Anyway, I thought that was weak, and it basically established a course for the rest of the movie. A course where comedic potential was not quite met due to awkward timing, sub-par performances, hosed up pacing, weak dialogue, too low sound in the theater, and much much more! I mean, I was definitely still open to refreshing my opinion after the opening scene (I'm not that lame), but I was additionally saddened when, rather than convince the construction workers with an absurd string of arguments to stay their tractors, Ford just wheeled in a bunch of beer and diverted their attention for a few minutes.

Performances: Zooey Deschanel works well as an actor in such roles as the super-hick cashier with an attitude from The Good Girl. In that role, she doesn't need to extend beyond dead-panned non-acting and actually express emotion. We aren't forced to care about her as a character. It's when she attempts to exert effort that we come to realize she really can't act. She's pretty and all, but she's a loving stoner.

Slartibartfast - meh. I'm sure I should care about who this guy is in real life, and therefore appreciate his worth based purely on that. But I don't and I can't. It seemed to me like he was just thrown into this role, spending about two seconds looking up "non-chalant" in the dictionary before settling into it. Kind of like how I spent about two seconds being filled with awe at the "production floor" scene, before they miserably failed to follow-up on the full scope of what we were supposed to be viewing. Basically they could have shown just one shot of Earth Mark II with them all teensy on their pod in the foreground and I would have been like OH HELL YES! Furthermore, if they went beyond that (beyond what they didn't even show in the first place) and bothered to show one of the walls that most likely extends a million miles without seeming to curve in at all, my jaw would have dropped so open that no amount of popcorn from a size Medium bag would be able to fill it.

Arthur Dent - I thought he was a little flat. I guess it makes sense - the discombobulation and stuff - so I won't delve too deeply into criticism. I just wasn't really struck by the guy. If we were dating, I'd probably have trouble looking him the eyes. And then I'd dump him.

Zaphod Beeblebrox - I'm in the school of Yes Zaphod/Sam. The whole Creed look is on it's own very funny - with the sandy blonde long hair, and the prominently darker and denser hair on his eyebrows and beard. Although his second head wasn't very effective as a device.

Space ship - Glossed Over Improbability Drive <On> - soccer ball, rose, ball of yarn - wow that's improbable. Imagine a spaceship turning into a rose! holy poo poo... Except when you consider that they're flying through the universe, so it's been established that there's life and structure beyond boring earth. Why doesn't the Heart of Gold turn into a reverse-thrust hairdryer from Salonia 5? Because that would be too absurd - people would then start to think that maybe the tenuous sequence of events paraded as a plot is not just an effect of wacky writing, but is also an effect of bad, careless direction.

Marvin - I wish he had a mouth.


Anyway, besides it being dumbed down and sloppy and stuff, I enjoyed it. I do worry that people who don't already know the plot and themes will be confused by the shoddy structure and how they basically stop referencing the Guide halfway through the movie, but some of you seem to have enjoyed it regardless. So that's encouraging.

Thanks for reading. I hope I at least made a point or two.

3.5/5

oops, sorry; I though the "thanks for all the fish" song and the dolphin intro were the "BBC cameo" that people were talking about. so my paragraph about that doesn't make as much sense as I intended.

Master Cob fucked around with this message at May 7, 2005 around 23:48

Unboxing Day
Nov 4, 2003




I agree with most people's complaints about the pacing. However, the movie was very funny, and even threw in some extra funny stuff and new jokes that I hadn't expected. It's not flawless, but it's much much much better than it's critics are making it out to be.

The theatre clapped. I'm giving it a four and a recomendation to go see it.

Score: 4/5

goes off to find "So Long and Thanks for all the fish" in MP3 format

NADZILLA: Yeah, that pissed me the hell off too.

Unboxing Day fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2005 around 19:40

Liface
Jun 17, 2001

by T. Finn


Very good, I watched it from 10:30 to 12:30 AM so I was a little tired, but I still found the jokes enjoyable. I've read part of the book, but I had only a vague recollection of it. The song that the dolphins sing was cool.

4/5

w00bi
Dec 11, 2004

E-...ehhh!?

There's no way... something like that is a bit..!

I caught the 8:05 PM show on Friday, and was very excited. I don't know if I was ever excited for any other movie. Overall the movie I thought was a good movie. It had it low points but it didn't take way from the movie that much. I think what was really wrong with the movie is It didn't follow the book like everyone wanted. It had the subplots that kind of were random to us book readers.I think the best way to enjoy this movie would be to Imagine this as to be a diffrent story. Even though it has alot of the book elements, I still felt it was a diffrent story and was more enjoyable this way. I mean the Marvin ending just made me sigh and go "Wow, I wish that wasn't there"I think the movie was great, not what I wanted, but still a good movie. Acting was fine, and Marvin is my new god. I think Marvin and Zaphod hit their parts perfectly.

4/5 - Only because it did not follow the book exactly, besides that, a great movie

LonelyKing
Feb 2, 2003



Fun Shoe

Maybe all the hype made it out to be too good, but I left kind of disappointed. It definitely wasn't a bad film; however, there just didn't seem to be much consistency or even content. For a movie dealing with the universe, they sure make it feel incredibly small and limited. The thing that really made it its worst was the stupid love plot. It just doesn't fit at all and every scene where they try to incorporate it comes off as a complete 180 to the rest of the film.

3.5

elister
Dec 29, 2001

by Mayor Wilkins


quote:

LonelyKing came out of the closet to say:
Maybe all the hype made it out to be too good, but I left kind of disappointed. It definitely wasn't a bad film; however, there just didn't seem to be much consistency or even content. For a movie dealing with the universe, they sure make it feel incredibly small and limited. The thing that really made it its worst was the stupid love plot. It just doesn't fit at all and every scene where they try to incorporate it comes off as a complete 180 to the rest of the film.

3.5

Pretty much sums it up for me. Being a major fan of the series, I came out of the theater dissapointed. Lots of quick and funny gags that made the book funny were cut for this Disney abortion.

The 1981 BBC mini series was better.

EDIT: Changed vote from 3.5 to 3.0

quote:

planetmagrathea.com came out of the closet to say:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie is bad. Really bad. You just won't believe how vastly, staggeringly, jaw-droppingly bad it is. I mean, you might think that The Phantom Menace was a hopelessly misguided attempt to reinvent a much-loved franchise by people who, though well-intentioned, completely failed to understand what made the original popular - but that's just peanuts to the Hitchhiker's movie. Listen....

elister fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2005 around 23:57

Furnok Dorn
Mar 30, 2004
SOCIALLY WORTHLESS SHUT-IN NERD

For every good review there will be 100s of bad ones, but I'm glad that hollywood didn't completely butcher one of my favorite book series of all times. There were a few large portions of the book missing, but they managed to pull it all together in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, I'm giving it a 5.

PS: I hate that godforsaken dolphin song.

Roshi
Sep 25, 2002

Somebody from CC wasted $10 on a guy who does not give a shit what they think, so I'm re-purposing it because I'm too lazy to come up with another one.

quote:

Leyburn came out of the closet to say:
Went to see this with my dad yesterday and I think we both agreed that it was totally mediocre at best.

The whole thing seems to rush from one scene to another with no real reason for doing so which makes the whole experience very disorienting and confusing. The film comes up with reasons for forcing the characters to go certain places and do certain things but never actually seems to resolve anything.

For example they get sent to find the POV gun in order to obtain coordinates for their Improbability Drive from John Malkovitch’s character. However when they get the gun all they do is shoot each other with it for a while (leading to some of the most cringe-worthy dialogue ever when Trillian shoots Beeblebrox with it). In the next scene containing these characters they are all inexplicably in Arthur’s kitchen having dinner with no explanation of how or why they went there. The gun is then used to escape the Vogon’s but they never bother resolving Beeblebrox’s missing head or those coordinates he seemed to want.


PROS: Some hilarious scenes and fairly enjoyable to watch.
CONS: Confusing plot, awkward pacing, forced ‘wackyness’ and a terrible tacked on love subplot.
I agree with alot of this review. Basically he said what I want to say.

I think that whole section is strange you talk about is strange, but also that at the end they just all fly off without getting Zaphod's head back to Havu Cavula which meant that they did not tie up a huge major plot point, which they did in other versions. This knocks the movie down alot.
I though the best parts of were the opening song(I can't get it out of my head) and the infamous "The answer is 42" scene. Overall most of the film was very with very few of the orignal jokes and stuff falling flat. The love sub-plot fell flat and trite. I'd also say the best "actor" was the Guide's narrator.

Rating 3/5
Pros and Cons: See above.

gerogarygaygaygay
May 30, 2004

by DocEvil


I enjoyed the movie, but I felt that they tried to cram a whole lot into the two hours and didn't really take their time as much as they could have. Of course, even though they essentially screamed "SEQUEL" at the end, there's almost no way that's going to happen, so I can understand the pacing problems. It felt like a series of four or five joke setups and then the end. Douglas' writing was always more suited to long-form stories because of his habit of following odd ideas to their fullest.

The nods to the TV series were fun, though, and I liked the overall feel of the movie. Mos Def was shakey at first (overacting a bit, I thought) but I felt that once he was drunk on gargleblaster, it worked more fluidly and he quickly embodied my favorite character from the books. Zaphod was perfect, and Trillian was probably the weakest member of the cast. The lovey-dovey scenes weren't as terrible as everyone says, I didn't think Trillian was very wooden, but they were paced very poorly. All of a sudden, Arthur is making overtures of love and Zaphod is explaining to Trillian that she is desperately in love with Arthur. It felt like I missed the middle of the movie.

I loved the set/costume design, Deep Thought especially, and Marvin, although they should have directed Rickman's voice more rather than have it feel so disembodied as it was. Eddie was the same actor (or at least sounded the same) as in the radio series, I don't know if anyone else caught that, and I knew I'd love the movie when the original theme song started up. The nods were great all around.

4/5 for pacing problems but dear god they had the douglas-head planet from Starship Titanic
Pros: Family-friendly, and clearly kept Douglas' humor (although I picked out a few moments of Chicken Run-type humor bleeding through).
Cons: Pacing problems, pacing problems, pacing problems.

DukeRustfield
Aug 6, 2004


Lots of decent reviews covering just about every angle. I'll say I was underwhelmed. I read a couple of the books a century ago. The way I remember them, I'd be reading, mildly-amused and then just bust out laughing for a while.

I simply didn't do much laughing in this movie. I think I chuckled a few times.

Taear
Nov 26, 2004

Ask me about the shitty opinions I have about Paradox games!


I've just come back from watching it. I'll preface this with the fact that I've read the books, and enjoy them. I've also seen the TV series, which I didn't like so much.

The movie was brilliant. From the dolphin song at the beginning, which I found horribly catchy, to Steven Fry as the voice of the Guide, everything was absolutely down to pat. I'll admit I had my doubts when an American was cast as Ford, and another American was cast as Trillian, but both of them carried their parts off brilliantly - I'll go so far as to say that Mos Def was better than the Ford portrayed in the television series, bizzare accent or not. Trillian was absolutely beautiful, and also managed to carry over the intelligence shown by the Trillian in the novelisation, which was terribly lacking from the way the actress portrayed her in the series. I found Marvin a little dull, in all honesty. But I don't paticularly like his character in the books either, so this wasn't much of a surprise for me. Martin carried off Arthur in a very good way, although I believe that his TV equivalent was a lot better. I was also glad to see TV Arthur make a cameo as the recording on Magrathea, and original Marvin make one on Vogosphere.
The actor playing Zaphod, Sam Rockwell, stole the show. He was consitantly funny, and managed to pull off Zaphod almost exactly as I imagine him - as a total egomaniac. I believe that whenever I read the novels again, his face shall forever be Zaphod, in the same way that the cartoon Granny weatherwax springs to mind whenever I read Soul Music.

I'm one of those people who detested LOTR for changing so much from the book. However, the changes to the Hitchhiker's story seemed to not make too much difference to me. I was slightly annoyed about the whole Malkovich storyline, and the lack of explanation for what, exactly, Magrathea was all about. Since most of these led to brilliant jokes (the Vogon Buerocracy, for one), I'm willing to quickly forgive. I did feel as though the story landed on the Trillian/Arthur romance a little bit more than was needed, but I understand that this is a necessity for films in the American market. Plus, since I have such a massive crush on Trillian right now, I can easily let that go.
There were many parts that I felt could easily have been left in, such as the discussion between Arthur and the descendent of Khan outside his house at the start, and I'm quite sad that the Guide entrance on towels was not included.
Personally, I feel that the PoV gun scene was quite poignant, but again, I'm rather unsure why that whole arc was included. Zaphod managed to come off as hilarious after the removal of his second head, and quite honestly there isn't really much story up until they arrive at Magrathea, but it wouldn't have been hard to perhaps include some more of the original jokes instead of this strange interlude.

The effects were breathtaking also. I sat in awe at the inside of Magrathea, the vogon ships positioned around earth, and many more CGI scenes. The guide itself was also portrayed in a manner that I believe did it justice, although I would have liked a few more asides from it. The Babel Fish and Vogons too were well carried off, especially in the scene around Arthur's house.

Overall, I give the movie a 4.5 out of 5. I believe the jokes will go over the head of a lot of the American market, but I still hope for a sequel. Go out and see this film!

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gettin sombrero
Jul 4, 2003

FRIDAY NITE BOOYA


Having never read the books I can say I still enjoyed the movie but felt left out of some of the humor. DXH was laughing his rear end off while I was just confused. I guess I'll go read the books now.

3.5/5 for not getting it all.

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