View Full Version : " Limpy put his foot in his mouth" - A HHGG Thread
04-29-2005, 03:49 PM
I just saw The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy . What a crock of festering dung. They couldn't have insulted Douglas Adams more if they'd kicked him in the crotch and spat in... you get the picture.
It is as though the script writers took the radio show and book, cut out 80% of the jokes, wacked it in a blender and hit 'pulse'. Most of the film is entirely non-sensicle. Even as a reader of the original I was pretty lost through most of it.
Okay, on the plus side, the visuals were superb. All the CGI and backdrops were brilliantly done, the introduction was great and the layout for the actual Guide was stylised and impressive.
There are the positives out the way. The cutting of the film was dire. One minute your on a spaceship, the next your on a strange planet with next to no explanation. If I hadn't read the books I wouldn't have understood a moment of it.
The acting was flat, bland and boring.
The script was all but devoid of comedy (a bit more narration wouldn't have gone amiss).
The love story between Trillian and Arthur was horribly 'hollywoodised' complete with (you guessed it) a shower scene.
The ending was sudden, wrong and horribly confused.
What I can't understand is that it has got great reviews from everyone. Maybe I'm just too tired to give a proper opinion, but I truly think this is the biggest possible insult to the radio series and book that could have been achieved.
04-30-2005, 12:55 PM
I haven't seen it yet and this news is devastating...
04-30-2005, 04:07 PM
I confess I had a terrible night sleep before I watched it (and I'm a bad judge of films when I'm tired), so all hope is not lost. I am going to watch it again to make sure it is as bad as all that. Just keep your fingers crossed that I was wrong.
04-30-2005, 06:56 PM
You were wrong.
The film is one of the best I've ever seen. The acting was superb, the cutting doubly so. Martin Freeman showed he could carry the star role and be more than just Tim from the office, Rickman was the man as Marvin, Bill Bailey had a nice cameo of sorts, Bill Nieghy was himself which is always good, and Stephen Fry IS the voice of the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy (though the TV series and radio voice was just as good in different ways).
It was at least as funny as the books I thought, and got a lot of laughs in the cinema. There are some really hilarious moments (the ten minute DAN DAN DAN DAN DAN DAN DA DA! of the Vogan constructor fleet making fun of gratoutious effect shots in films was my favourite) and a lot of the jokes worked on muti-levels, so it'll be as accesable as the books were.
The ending set itself up for a sequel nicely. And who said that Douglas was good at having "right" endings, anyway? His greatest skill was not having endings, but keeping his stories as a series of moments.
Not getting the story was almost certainly caused by lack of sleep, or possibly a lack of concentration, or possibly a lack of caffine, or possibly a mixture of all three.
The touches in the film like Zaphod and the Vogans representing George Bush, and the many refferences to Britishtism were brilliant.
And you think the film is an insult to Douglas? Funny, as he was the main man behind the film. He realised that two sepperate heads on a screen is distracting and uneccesary, so he changed it. He realised that films need emotional cores more so than books, so he had Trillian and Arthur fall in love.
In a single word: beautiful. A perfect move from the books to the film. I'm sure Douglas would have loved it, especially since he wasn't the sort of person who cared much with continguency (each version of the story has been different in some way), how big Marvin's head is, who plays what character or what their accent is.
Douglas once said that getting the film made is like getting different people to come and breathe on a steak over a course of so many years to cook it. So I think he would be pleased that the film is so well done and popular.
Don't miss: the old Marvin model popping up in the Vogan waiting room (the bit where they have to sign all the papers). Also watch the film right to the end of the credits to see another Hitchhiker's Guide tidbit. Also, the model planets is apparently a refference to the special effects of the TV series. AND Dougla's brilliant cameo. (Even better than being the naked guy in the TV series!)
I'm thrilled they used the theme from the TV series, too, and made it even better. In my opinion it's one of the best themes ever and goes so well with the subject material.
If I had to be ultra critical I might niggle on the pacing (the flashbacks might have been better after the earth was destroyed for instance), but I reckon they probably did the best job they could have. Also, the song version "So long and thanks for all the fish" is stuck in my head forever now.
I was so impressed by the film that I accidentally shouted "That's awesome!' at a moment when there was no sound in the film. Like in the only two second silence gap. Sounds like something the imporabability drive would make up. Luckily no-one told me to shut-up :)
05-01-2005, 04:48 AM
I loved the visuals of the film. They were perfect, but I honestly feel they have taken the story and just pruned all the hilarious details out. Marvin didn't really have an introduction, the doors were hardly referred to, the irritating computer was just in the background, Arthurs whole 'It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign saying "beware of the leopard"' bit (which is one of the best verbal jokes in the book in my opinion) was reduced to 'I had to go to the basement' and other things like that. It's just a problem with book to film transitions. People get the bare bones and everything feels lifeless. I would have been happy as Larry if only they'd not added in so much extra action and just spent some time adding the details and explaining the core material.
Anyway, I hope your right Gabez. And I will watch it again.
P.S. The introduction was superb.
05-01-2005, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by Gabez
1: The acting was superb.
2: DAN DAN DAN DAN DAN DAN DA DA! of the Vogan constructor fleet making fun of gratoutious effect shots in films was my favourite.
3: And who said that Douglas was good at having "right" endings, anyway?
4: Not getting the story was almost certainly caused by lack of sleep, or possibly a lack of concentration, or possibly a lack of caffine, or possibly a mixture of all three.
5: And you think the film is an insult to Douglas? Funny, as he was the main man behind the film. He realised that two sepperate heads on a screen is distracting and uneccesary, so he changed it. He realised that films need emotional cores more so than books, so he had Trillian and Arthur fall in love.
Here are my few niggles with your post Gabez ;) .
1: As I've said, I thought the acting for the most part (especially with Mos Def and Bill Nighy) was extremely lifeless. But I guess that is down to your views on how the characters should have been played.
2: That bit was amazing.
3: I know that Adams' ending was far less hurried than the one in the film.
4: It wasn't that I didn't get the storyline, but I found that they jumped around so quickly and didn't give enough explanation so it was hard, but not impossible to follow.
5: The stuff you mentionned there I didn't really have a problem with. Okay, the love story was too prominant and cheesey for my tastes, but the two heads thing was fine. And, as I've said before, it wasn't so much the storyline but the way nothing was elaborated on or expanded to its full potential.
I'm going to watch it again this afternoon (hopefully) and I hope I wont have to eat my words.
05-01-2005, 08:40 AM
Well movies have to be pruned for reasons of pacing... the long conversation worked great in the book, but it's a killer for audiences in the first five minutes of the film.
I'm pressuming they'll make the Restaurant at the End of the Universe now, which will expand on the computer, Marvin, the bad guy plus everything. I thought the entrances of Marvin and the computer were fine. They are, after all, sub-characters, but they're charm comes out through their continious presence, not half an hour of character background that would kill the pacing.
The storyline's supposed to jump around a lot. The books did, anyway.
And there's a difference between lifeless acting and naturalistic acting. Not everything has to be Brecht style you know! ;)
Maybe I'm too easily impressed, but I loved The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
I haven't seen it yet, but I have high hopes. Heck, I want sequals out of this one. So I hope it makes a mint
05-01-2005, 01:05 PM
Still haven't seen it, but Gabez reminded of a few good things...
Adam's did say himself that each version of the story should be different and even contradict the others.
And yeah, I'd completely forgotten that he was a main callaborater on the movie, and shortly before he died, he was pushing really hard to get it made.
So, I'm still hopeful.
05-01-2005, 03:47 PM
Before leaving for my second viewing earlier I was talking to Frank, the person I saw it with first time. He asked me why I was going to see it again, I said because I'd been told that it was much better than I thought and that I was pretty tired during my first viewing. He replied, "I wasn't tired and I thought it was crap. There's no point going again".
Now I have seen it again I realise why we both thought it was so bad. The sound. Odeon cinemas always mess up the sound - it ruined Hero for me. The sound was to quiet and wasn't sharp enough first time round.
The reason I couldn't understand lots of it was because lots of details are casually mentionned and in hectic scenes I couldn't hear it.
I thought the acting was bland because the actors seemed to not put any 'texture' (you know what I mean Gabez ;) ) or strength into their speeches.
Minor characters like the doors and the computer were introduced, but only mumbled so I couldn't hear them.
This, twinned with tiredness, ruined my first viewing. So fear not. It is actually a very good film. I still have some reservations about the ending but it's not so bad. I must say I'm extremely pleased that it turned out so well and now I can start praying for a sequel :D .
I really liked it. I think there were some things which were left out that should have been kept, other things that didn't go far enough, I think Deep Thought looked and sounded awful...
But some of the stuff was just brilliant. I love Ford Prefect's creative use of the towel, he actually SHOWED you through the entire damn movie why you should always have a towel.
The factory floor of Magrathea made my mouth drop open in awe.
And the romance between Arthur and Trillian is brilliant... so much so that if they ever get to the fourth movie... it'd better be Trillian as the love interest still. And Trillian actually had a character! It was great.
The new 'thumb' was very cool.
I really didn't like the treatment of Zaphod's two heads though. And that entire aspect was unresolved... he never got his second head back.
And one thing I thought was strangely lacking... we never saw the guide's entry for Earth. 'Harmless'.
lol. heyyyyy, editing the subject of a thread IS possible! :cool:
05-03-2005, 08:32 AM
Thanks for the title change :rolleyes: .
Couldn't it have been 'Poor viewer's experience of film ruined by evil corporation Odeon'?
05-03-2005, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by 8 of 12
that entire aspect was unresolved... he never got his second head back.It's kind of a cliff-hanger. Well, a sort of cliff-hanger. It's good to have something unresolved for the next two films to work at, anyway. (And Disney have confirmed that, I believe).
Haven't heard anything like THAT. I'm hoping though.
I think cliffhangers are not a good idea in films like this. Anyone remember that Planet of the Apes film a couple of years ago with Marky Mark? Complete cliff hanger, and we never saw anything of it. No sequel, no nothing.
05-04-2005, 06:38 AM
Originally posted by 8 of 12
And the romance between Arthur and Trillian is brilliant...
I didn't mind the love story being expanded a bit, but I thought it really got in the way in the end. And Arthur's little speechette about his love for her was a bit cheesey. I reckon it should have been left slightly in the air at the end. Maybe I'm just too cynical.
Well... maybe I just thought the romance in it was brilliant because I've come off the losing end of a break up. I don't know. I could be biased that way.
05-05-2005, 02:42 PM
For some reason I always wanted Arthur and Trillian to hook up... it just seemed natural. Not only because they were the two remaining humans, but because they seemed right for each other and Arthur is way cooler than Zaphod anyday. Maybe it was my hope that British sensibility will win over American rock n' roll any day (though the changes are that it won't). I looked for refferences in the text that could maybe imply a Trilliant/Arthur get-together and would make wild claims on the use of grammar and style like the sad little man that I am.
And who did Arthur hook up with in the books? Fenchurch or something like that? I can't remember, but she had nothing on Trilly.
One minor boo-boo though: it would have been nicer if they hadn't wrapped up the love story at the end of the first movie... they could have just left it as a possible maybe for people to speculate over... oh well, can't have everything I suppose.
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