The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

mostly harmless

Further to my posts here and here regarding the h2g2 filum (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie for those not up with the ZZ9 parlance), Friday night was The Night.

Overall I was a bit depressed (having a Marvin moment) when the credits rolled. It was just slightly short of the level that I would have found it acceptable - a D+ if you will. Of course that made the failure even worse.

Now I'm not saying that other people won't enjoy it. I could see that it was objectively quite good and certainly very funny. But for me I was too familiar with the books to sit back and let it all be new to me. I kept thinking of the punchlines before they had finished the jokes. Which isn't conducive to Big Belly Laughs, unfortunately.

Stylistically I thought it was pretty bang on. It was reminiscent of the photo-graphic novel version put out with the holographic cover a few years back, although I almost shed a tear when I saw the Heart of Gold - cool shape and look, but not even remotely shoe-like. The other things that were a big disappointment was the Zaphod Head Situation and the resolution of the Trillian Issue (which tends to point to the other books not making it to the big screen imho).

The casting was good too - Marvin was superb, although I thought Rickman could have got away with being a bit more sarky. Freeman is a different kind of Dent from the one in the TV series, but still credible. Rockwell was spot on for Zaphod (despite the Head issue) and the actress who played Trillian, who I had never seen before, was also a good match. I am a tad concerned about the Malkovich character, but have to read up a bit before I can make a reliable pronouncement on that.

My favourite line, which I'm not even sure is in the book (having foolishly leant my copy out) - that annoying Vogon that seems only capable of hissing gleefully "Resistance is Useless" over and over, heh heh!

All up - go see it because DNA's wife and daughter deserve the royalties and you will at the least find it an amusing diversion. And hopefully it will mean even more people listen to the radio series, read the books, and rent the original TV show. Which would be A Good Thing.

3 comments:

Craig Ranapia said...

I thought that about Rickman too - he's so damn good at the well-modulated, magisterially bothered tones of middle-class England. Never quite shading into outright pissed off, because that was would just be making a fuss...

Funny as this is, it's not quite vocally right for Marvin — who should drip contemptuous indifference from every inflection. Stephen Moore (I think) had it nailed.

The Denizen said...

I share your disapointment, but I'm picking th e whole thing is being set up for a sequel (or two). The MalkovicH thing is surely to be expanded, otherwise ... a totally pointless excursion. Ansd what was that stuff about the gun. "Deep Thought": dissapointingly flat.
The great bit was *actually* at the end when they took off to Milliways & Marvin said "It's at the other end of the Universe." .. and the took off across screen. Gotta be a layered joke about "The end of the universe", a time vs Space confusion.
DON'T MISS THE QUATERNARY SERIES on BBC4 STARTING THIS WEEK!

span said...

unfortunately there is no such thing as BBC4 in aotearoa nz :-(

i would dearly love to get the set on dvd myself (note to fans - Birthday Not A Million Miles Away Alert!)

i got really excited at that last sentence too, because i foolishly hoped that it wasn't the last sentence and we were going to get to see the Restaurant and Hot Black Desitio (sp). so my disappointment was even bigger when I realised that was it.

how could they possibly deal with the Trillian issue in any sequels though???