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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
It was reasonably entertaining, I suppose... (^^; 
25th-Sep-2005 09:19 am
So a copy of the recent feature film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was AT LAST available at my local rental outfit, so I took the opportunity to watch it last night. Though some severe liberties were taken with the novel's plot, not the least of which included the very reason why Zaphod decided to steal the Heart of Gold in the first place, it was good, lightweight entertainment. And I must say that the theme song "So Long & Thanks for All the Fish," is ashamedly catchy.

Some random comments which really aren't spoilers because you won't have the slightest freakin' clue what I'm talking about if you haven't seen the movie yourself:

-Umm. Since when was Ford Prefect black? Anyone care to answer me that? I know he's kinda supposed to be Arthur's worldly sidekick and all, but the black (or otherwise non-white) sidekick to the white hero is a tired Hollywood cliche, and this is a British novel. Must we? Not to mention that there is enough homoerotic tension between Arthur and Ford that if I put it on bread, it would be like, "Want some bread with your butter?" No way was Ford "Want a hug?" touchy-feely in the novels. Still, how they meet is hilariously done and totally original to the movie--and also decidedly homoerotic, in a comedic way, of course. "Fortunately" for all those viewers out there with delicate sensibilities, we have...

-The love interest. Since when was Trillian Arthur's primary love interest? I know, I know, the whole pairing of like-with-like and Hollywood's distaste for miscegenation makes this a not-surprising plot twist, but the way that they turn Trillian against Zaphod was vaguely annoying and definitely demonizes him in a way that the novels do not. Even more annoying was Arthur's confession of love to her at the end. And, of course, since Zaphod can't be left unattached, they have an original female character, the Vice-President, with whom he eventually ends up instead.

-Okay, Marvin was really, really cute. I never imagined him as a pudgy, short-statured robot, but rather something more along the lines of a lanky, slouching C3PO...but nevermind. Alan Rickman's voice was so utterly perfect for the character, and he remains my favorite of the entire series. By the way, Point-of-View Gun + Marvin = BRILLIANT!

-The Vogons play a much larger role in the film and, strangely, because the characters end up on their home planet and must interact with them in a somewhat non-antagonistic way, less thoroughly disgusting. They supposedly hail from a tremendously beautiful planet, but their planet looked a lot like Arizona. :P

-Hey, that was the rock star from Love Actually! I actually recognized him before he even took off that hood. (^^;

-So the Earth is remade by the end, though why, if all the mice intend to do is amputate Arthur's brain for the answer to the Question, is never made clear. In any case, I guess this means that, if there is a sequel, it will diverge even more completely from Adams's work. Huh. Well, really, I don't think the movie did that well in theaters when it came out, so I'd be rather surprised if they do decide to do a sequel.
25th-Sep-2005 02:19 pm (UTC)
Hmm..... The old series pretty much followed the books as much as they could, I'm sure Marvin was better back then too ^_^ Or at least the new one would just never seem quite right to me ^^;
25th-Sep-2005 02:25 pm (UTC)
Well, the film was definitely The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy done over Hollywood-style. Kinda disappointing. They made things too easy.

What did Marvin look like in the TV series?
25th-Sep-2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
Here he is! ^__^


Too bad it wasn't a British movie, Hollywood always goes way too far over the top, and they always have to "Americanize" everything...
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
25th-Sep-2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
The TV series that aired on British television is much closer to the books than the movie. It's out on DVD if you can find it. I know mom rented it through Netflicks for us.
25th-Sep-2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've seen it available for rent anywhere near me, but I'll keep my eyes open

Who's the guy on the icon, BTW? ^_^
25th-Sep-2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
It was definitely overly Hollywood, but a lot of that was still Adam's work. He never intended it to be just like the book. The mini series didn't follow the books to the letter, either. But he wanted them all to be slightly different. The Marvin in the mini series looked more as I imagined him, just a big tin bucket sort of guy. But Alan Rickman was the best voice possible for the character! I loved it. I also liked the use of Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent. I thought he was pretty good.
I can't help but wonder what Adams would have thought of the movie overall. I know there was a lengthy battle with Disney over the making of it or something. But from what I've read, they were pretty true to what he wanted to do with the storyline, too. So I can't help but wonder. You never know, either, as everyone claims to be the expert.
26th-Sep-2005 02:00 am (UTC)
He never intended it to be just like the book.

"He"? The director or Adams?

But Alan Rickman was the best voice possible for the character! I loved it.

I almost died and went to Heaven the first time I heard Rickman spouting off the Marvin-esque lines. It was just *perfect.* ^__^
26th-Sep-2005 05:02 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I should have clarified. Adams. Adams wanted them all to be somewhat different. I'm not clear on how different, but I know adding Malkovich's role and that sort of stuff was Adam's idea.
25th-Sep-2005 09:20 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if you're that far into the books but Arthur does get a love interest, not Trillian.
25th-Sep-2005 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oops, that anyonymous one was me. That'll teach me to not login.
26th-Sep-2005 02:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've read that far. Took him long enough (the author and Arthur), that's all I can say.
25th-Sep-2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
Personally, I couldn't stand the Arthur/Trillian love thing; it was gratuitously sentimental, and I thought it took away from the whole British dry humor flavor, which was really one of the best things about the books. Other than that, I was just kind of meh. I think the problem was that my f-list was raving about how good it was, so I went in with my expectations way too high.
26th-Sep-2005 02:03 am (UTC)
The only person I heard raving about the film when it first came out was a reviewer for The New York Times, and I went back to read the review again after watching the movie...and I think the reviewer's standards are (surprisingly) too low. But the name of the reviewer didn't sound very familiar. Perhaps the person is new and not yet jaded.
26th-Sep-2005 02:08 am (UTC)
I hadn't even read the books yet and I still left the movie feeling cheated. I can't see how anyone could give it rave reviews. The only purpose it served was to eat up 2 hours in a less than boring way and give the viewer a great incentive to read the books to see everything they were cheated out of in the movie. It was just good enough to make one want to read the books but not much more.
26th-Sep-2005 02:09 am (UTC)
And after reading up to the Fenchurch part I felt really cheated with the Arthur/Trillian romance in the movie. As someone else said, it was too "sentimental" and didn't fit with the tone of the books. Now the Fenchurch thing, once you get through that, now that fits with the tone of the books.
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