April 29, 2005
— Ace An unenthusiastic but positive review of the film in the NYT.
Sad: Marvin apparently gets old fast. He was one of the funniest things in the book. Alan Rickman (!) voices him, but apparently his lines fall flat, and he becomes not funny but simply as depressing as he thinks everyone else should be.
Expected: Zaphod gets old fast. That, however, is quite true to the books. Zaphod had a couple of good moments -- arguing with his shrink, arguing with Arthur, finding out from the Total Perspective Vortex that he was the hoopiest frood in the Universe -- but he always was a bit annoying and a one-schtick pony.
Very, Very Sad: Martin Freeman, brilliant as sadsack Tim in The Office and the perfect call for sadsack Arthur Dent, doesn't really add too much to the movie. Alas... Arthur Dent was boring as hell, but that made him the most irresistable and important of the characters. The only guy you could really identify with (unless you too had lost your entire family to the Great Hrung Implosion).
Rotten Tomatoes seems to agree. The film is rated as "rotten" with a 59% favorable review rate, but it takes only 60% to get a "fresh" rating. So it seems to basically be a genial but not especially memorable movie.
Posted by: Petitedov at April 29, 2005 07:44 AM (l89az)
I'm still looking forward to seeing it.
Posted by: Jimmie at April 29, 2005 07:55 AM (LIkgw)
When I saw Marvin as a midget-sized globe-bot and not the big square fridge-bot of the TV series, I cringed. But I'll keep an open mind when I go see it tomorrow.
Man, I hope this wont suck.
Posted by: The former Bud Tugley at April 29, 2005 08:12 AM (x0jT7)
Posted by: at April 29, 2005 08:24 AM (jJPIT)
Posted by: at April 29, 2005 08:27 AM (jJPIT)
Starting with Dusty.
Posted by: Pompous at April 29, 2005 09:19 AM (pwn6J)
I have always been disappointed in books turned into movies except for the Harry Potter books, for some reason they worked.
I like the book in my mind. I don't think I can watch it.
Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at April 29, 2005 10:34 AM (tLqLU)
When you reach a certain tipping point, 100s of deletions and changes that individually aren't that big a deal add up to a qualitative change, and you can't really say it's the same thing anymore.
I'm still going to see it, but I'm trying to lower my expectations as far as possible, to retain a chance of being pleasantly surprised.
Just last night the wife and I watched The Office for the first time, both seasons, straight through (and oh how un-gobsmacked I was- the hype is, for once, justified), and I agree - the Dent casting is perfect.
Posted by: Knemon at April 29, 2005 12:28 PM (QaHR7)
Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at April 29, 2005 12:32 PM (tLqLU)
Marvin and Zaphod are more irritating than funny, but I think they're supposed to be. Eddie wasn't irritating enough. Ford and Arthur are very funny. Slartibartfast also was great.
I certainly thought it was better than average.
Although the mice could have talked a little more.
Posted by: Justin at April 29, 2005 01:04 PM (tuPiK)
"The Office" is a British sitcom. You can find it on BBC America or perhaps on your local PBS station during pledge drive week.
Posted by: Brad at April 29, 2005 01:27 PM (kIL2V)
British? Uhh... no.
Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at April 29, 2005 02:20 PM (tLqLU)
Office Fans: Gervais and Merchant are working together on a new BBC(?)comedy show called Extras. Follows Gervais as a movie extra. Also stars Patrick Stewart. HBO just announced they will show stateside (concurrently, I believe).
Posted by: Ray Midge at April 29, 2005 03:08 PM (kUNrb)
If you like "Arrested Development," you'll like this. It's basically got an AD-ish aesthetic (or vice versa since Office came first) minus sympathetic characters and music.
If you hate AD, you might want to give this one a miss ...
Justin, I hope you're right. If not there's gonna be one disappointed Knemon, minus 9 disappointed dollars, come tomorrow evening.
I made the mistake of very recently re-reading the books in anticipation of the movie. Maybe I should've done that in reverse order ...
Posted by: Knemon at April 29, 2005 04:52 PM (QaHR7)
And our answer to Benny Hill was "The Man Show."
Posted by: Partisan Pundit at April 29, 2005 04:53 PM (RFPeu)
I just came home from the movie.
It was, well...
It wasn't good.
Nor was it bad.
But unless you have read the books, I think you'll hate it.
The screenplay is choppy, to say the least. None of the characters are in any way developed. Things happen, it's weird, more things, some cool special effects, and then it changes into a love story.
Zaphod was funny; Ford was forgettable; Arthur mostly loathesome; Trillion was the only character of any consequence (I don't know who the actors were, and I am too tired to look it up).
Use your best judgment.
Posted by: MeTooX at April 29, 2005 08:55 PM (taFMk)
I didn't care for the movie at all. My wife hated it. She hated it so much that she wanted to leave 20 minutes into the movie. And, no, she's not one of "those people", as in the nine years I've known her this is the first time she has ever wanted to leave a movie.
After the movie, she just kept repeating "it was horrible" over and over, to the point that I began to be worried it had somehow damaged her brain. I was trying to keep an eye on her, but when I turned my back she grabbed the phone to call someone else to tell them how absolutely horrible it was. She actually kind of startled them, as it took them a few seconds to realize that she was just talking about a horrible movie and that nothing horrible had happened in the real world.
Anyway, she seems OK this morning, so that's good.
To me, it was just kind of a "bleh" movie. If you didn't read the books it would probably be very confusing, as they don't explain much. And if you did read the books, then you'll probably be upset about how much got truncated and changed. Worst of all, they shoehorned in a stupid love story (why must every frickin' movie have a love story?) and made that the centerpiece of the movie. Ugh.
I'd guess the best audience for this would be people that read and enjoyed the books quite some time ago. To them maybe it would kind of bring a smile to their faces to see some of the stuff from the book on the big screen. I don't know. If you've never read the books, I guess maybe you could see it as this zany goofball sci-fi comedy and enjoy it for that. But probably not. If you're a huge fan of the series, you probably won't like it much, and you may have some sort of attack as my wife did.
I'd probably give it a 3 on a scale of 0 to 10. My wife would give it a big fat zero. Just taken as a silly movie that has nothing to do with the HGTTG books, I'd maybe give it a 4 or 5.
But, hey, don't listen to me. Go see it yourself if you must. Just don't come crying to me if it sets off hours of muttering and ranting...
Posted by: Bob at April 30, 2005 04:17 AM (VwNX2)
My condolances to your wife. I had a similar reaction after "Starship Troopers" only I didn't have a phone handy. It's really rough watching Hollywood screw up a story you like so much.
Posted by: bbeck at April 30, 2005 05:15 PM (qF8q3)
Posted by: michael dennis at April 30, 2005 05:24 PM (ipjUv)
I should preface further comments with the fact that I *love* the books; DNA is my favorite author, and I actually *fall asleep* to the audio books. Sad, I know, but my wife moved out here to "the country" (suburbs) from NYC and needs noise to fall asleep.
That said, there were parts that I liked. Many little scenes/jokes made it largely intact, and most of the actors were very well-cast. Say what you will about the guy who did Arthur, but he did "befuddled"/"lost" very well. Several in-jokes and nods to the radio play and TV series, both of which are, of course, excellent. I liked Alan Rickman's Marvin. Not much else was remarkable.
There were, of couse, several parts I was not crazy about. Zaphod was given this sort of malice that I never picked up in the books -- he's supposed to be a jerk, not actually *evil*. Several scenes were created out of whole cloth -- a trip to *Vogsphere*? Honestly. And, far and away my largest complaint, they grafted in a love story, and the WRONG love story at that, on top of a perfectly good movie. ARTHUR GETS FENCHURCH, NOT TRILLIAN. Jesus, it's not hard.
Or is it? The movie didn't get that far -- it covers from the beginning of the first book up through the mice coming after Arthur's brain, though as alluded to earlier the story's been mish-mashed a bit. I can't blame them for that, though. H2G2 is malleable across media -- the radio version follows a different story arc than the print version, which follows a different arc than the TV shows. You have to cut and re-arrange to fit the space you have alotted, or disaster awaits.
DIVERSION: I once saw a live production done by a college drama society which went on for almost four hours and ended with the Golgafrinchan capitan in his tub, mid-scene. Mid-sentence, even. They literally did as much as they could manage without making it a Wagnerian saga, then gave up and started playing REM's "The End of the World (As We Know It)". Seriously, they put on disco lights and the whole cast and crew came out and started dancing, and that was the end. END DIVERSION.
OK, sorry to have rambled a bit, but the long and short of it is: I'll always like the TV shows better, but I'll still probably buy the DVD when it comes out. I just won't watch it that much, so I don't feel the urge to break it every time they break the mood with a stupid, stupid love-story sequence. One thumb up.
Posted by: James at May 02, 2005 06:18 AM (FpasZ)
Posted by: James at May 02, 2005 06:26 AM (FpasZ)
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