April 29, 2005

Weekend Movie Thread

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at April 29, 2005 12:54 PM

The Hitchhiker's Guide movie opens today. Reviews are mixed. I'll probably end up seeing it, but I think tonight I will see Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Meanwhile: if you see Hitchhiker's Guide this weekend, let me know how it is.

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I'd be out buying tickets for one of tonight's showing of Hitchhiker's right now, but I don't have my car. Specifically, when I was leaving this morning, I locked myself out of the house (and my car) be leaving my keys on my desk.

Brilliant.

In any case, I'm sure one of us will drop a short review of the movie here tonight.

Posted by: Lemming | April 29, 2005 1:49 PM

Please do. I don't trust any normal reviewer on something like this. I love the *idea* of a Guide movie, but the trailer looks crappy. The characters look all wrong and the effects are too sci-fi. I always imagined it more like Monty Python. So I'm really torn on seeing it. Curtis didn't like the books (heard too much about them beforehand and was disappointed). In my 1-room public library back home, the A's in fiction were crammed in a corner. I found Douglas Adams there and *loved* the books, but no one else had ever heard of them. When I got to Caltech, I knew I had found my people.

Posted by: Jenny | April 29, 2005 3:35 PM

Quick synopsis: The movie wasn't very good. Shame. There were a few moments, however, where everything was just right... I enjoyed watching it, but I've also enjoyed watching a wind-up walking propaganda toy hump the floor.

Good times.

Posted by: Lemming | April 29, 2005 10:36 PM

Between mini-golf, Hamlet, the Elephant Man, and other such crazy obligations, I intend to see Hitchhiker. IM review will follow.

Posted by: Josh | April 29, 2005 11:49 PM

I enjoyed the movie a good amount, but the books (which I love dearly!) are much better. Also, the jokes are done incompletely in the movie, so it's kind of necessary to have read the books to get the movie.

Anyway, I think the movie's worth seeing (and I agree they hit the nail on the head a few times) but it's no Kung Fu Hustle. :)

Posted by: Mason | April 30, 2005 10:54 PM

I forgot to ask: How was _Enron_?

Posted by: Mason | April 30, 2005 10:55 PM

Enron was really good. I'll post a longer review Monday morning.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | May 1, 2005 12:30 AM

Without spoilers:

The movie was about exactly 50/50 hit-or-miss for me. The first 5 minutes opening sequence made me think I was in for 2 hours of knee-deep-in-shit, and as such, when they miss, they miss big, but they did hit some points I liked a lot. The cast helped out the script a lot, actually. Though I was thinking that Sam Rockwell would nail it the best, since, well, he basically IS Zaphod, who really took it away for me was Mos Def as Ford Prefect, which surprised me a lot. Even the stuff they made up totally outside of the story he delivered in a very buyable Prefect way.

This movie will definitely disappoint if you're looking for diehard adaptation, but if you want to feel good about it, my advice is to watch the BBC TV broadcast of it (which can be rented) and you'll think a lot better about this movie.

The best thing going for it is that the actors are clearly having fun, and the frantic nature of the scenes allow the actors to work for it... but as can be expected, whenever they try to formulate a movie plot with it, that's when it hits the breaks and shows its weaknesses. And I believe that they decided to take a break from the book for a good 45 minutes, possibly because John Malkovich wanted to be in the movie.

In short, the worst parts were plotwise in nature, stuff that they did to make it a movie instead of a book and screw it up. But even in those parts they managed to hit a lot of atmospheric points that you'll miss if you concentrate on what's happening right in front of you, so it's a give or take that everyone is naturally gonna judge on their own preferences.

Posted by: Josh | May 1, 2005 9:18 PM

Sounds like a wait-for-netflix movie. Bummer. And BTW, I LIKE the BBC version. How can you not love aliens with thick British accents.

Posted by: Jenny | May 2, 2005 9:01 AM

Well, when you can't hear them over the crackling static and background noise, it becomes very hard to like the british accents. :-P

Posted by: Josh | May 2, 2005 10:41 AM

Yeah, I ended up spending Saturday night watching the BBC episodes, up until they escaped from the black ship with a black control panel with black buttons... you get the picture. I'd never seen it before, and I liked it quite a bit.

I didn't notice any problem with the sound, except for trying to hear over the near-constant chatter of other conversations going on. What, you expect me to talk to people when I go out? ;)

Posted by: Lemming | May 2, 2005 12:09 PM

I thought that a couple of the parts not from book I that were in the movie were actually in, e.g,. the third book. (I'm pretty sure there were at least a couple small things from the third book, and I know that Adams has reordered things in the past between venues---e.g., things are reordered substantially between the original BBC radio stuff and the book version.) Perhaps it's just because I felt they got the spirit right on some of that stuff, so my mind was just putting them in another book (because it knew they were't in the first one)?

Note that I reread book 1 six months ago, but I haven't had a chance to reread the others lately, so we're talking 1993 for the 5th book and 1987-1988 for the other 3. (Hence, I'll see for sure when I get around to rereading the others.)

Posted by: Mason | May 2, 2005 7:07 PM

Yeah, I haven't read the book in a long time either, so I can't really make any rock-hard claims about accuracy. As I understand it, Adams was constantly rewriting the film script until his death, and most of what was added/changed was at least based on his idea.

I hear the BBC radio broadcast is great, but I haven't heard it. I might have to get it from my old boss at Al's Deli.

I felt like the BBC video version all in all was like a sterilized copy... Granted, you can't expect them to wow you with special effects, since it seemed to have been made on a budget of 5 pounds, and the sets were designed by the rejects of the original Star Trek TV series, but what really got to me was that it just didn't make any impression of me as to being funny or interesting... they were so busy trying to be rigid about putting the story on TV that they didn't really add any perspective that engaged me in the least. That's why I generally don't mind huge changes in scenes/character/plot in movies like Lord of the Rings... it seems that when people don't make any choices of their own on creating the movie, they don't have any freedom to have any fun with it, and they lose the spirit of it all in all the recreation. Granted, the result can often be huge, glaringly bad choices, like the new plot to Troy, but at least we'll still have the Achilles/Hector fight.

Then again, it's been even longer since I saw the BBC TV show than since I re-read the book, so I could just be talking out of my ass as usual...

Posted by: Josh | May 3, 2005 3:48 PM
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