May 2nd, 2005

smirking-winslet

O Save Us From Inadequate Reviews!

Went to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Sunday with a bunch of friends. (This is just a short post. Perhaps more later.) We were all delighted, and all of us had read the books, and nearly all had seen and/or heard the BBC TV/radio serials. I mean, Alan Rickman as Marvin... how wonderful is that?

While it has been a long time since I've read the, what is it?, the four-and-a-half books in the trilogy, I tend to remember some of the great lines, just like in Monty Python or Red Dwarf, and there was plenty of familiar ground. And Zephod's two heads were done in a very strange and clever manner.

Call Outs!

I didn't catch it, but one of our group spotted the BBC Marvin suit in the Vogon bureaucracy queue... and I did see it listed in the credits. Also, George Lucas' Skywalker Sound gets a credit for lightsaber sound effects -- you'll know that send-off scene, too. (grin)

What's The Point?

I haven't yet read the review in our local The Grand Rapids Press -- it looked like it was going to be lukewarm, but the clincher was a subhead which said something about maybe it was just that British humor doesn't translate well to American audiences.

Gee, you think?

If so, tough. We live in the world. And as far as I'm concerned, there should be a big block of Douglas Adams fans and fans of the Monty Python boys and some other Brit shows/movies/books who will "get it". If you thought Shawn of the Dead was hilarious, you should be able to deal with British SF sensibilities.

Trailers

Even if you complain that there is no plot and some of the characters whine or Jar-Jar too much, the Star Wars movies have always looked good. The latest Episode III trailer is full of great visuals. Just a little while longer...

Dr. Phil
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Bonus

This morning I got around to reading the review of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in our local paper, The Grand Rapids Press. Pretty much sounded like it was written by someone who'd read the books, but was worried about newbies coming in and saying "WTF?" Which is pretty reasonable.

An Aside

By the way, one of our favorite Saturday pastimes is listening to our local NPR station (WGVU-FM) and the NPR News Quiz Show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. On this week's show, one of the questions had to do with this report which suggests e-mail is more stupefying to the human brain than smoking marijuana. In particular, I think they are referring to those who let their computer interrupt them all the time with the whole "You've Got Mail" crap -- such interruptions cause an loss of productivity and attention span to their work equivalent to a 10-point drop in their IQ.

I am master of my own computer, no matter what Bill Gate's minions say. I check e-mail when I feel like checking e-mail. So I don't think my IQ is dropping (drools) (pay no attention).

Anyway, one of the wags on the show came up with "WTF?", which I found very funny, given George Carlin's famous Seven Words You Can't Say and the FCC's current witch hunt on decency. He didn't actually say anything bad... (grin).

/An Aside

The review concluded with the observation that the movie was fun, sort of dragged in the second half -- and Jim Henson's creature shops prove once again that rubber and foam are more believable than CGI monsters, given the "charming" Vogons. And that the movie will make fans appreciate the books even more.

I find that a rather fitting conclusion.

Left very open at the end of the movie is the very obvious issue of ***SEQUEL***, as Ford offers to take them to The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Trillium admits that she is "a bit peckish."

I very much want to see this current team deal with Disaster Area (the loudest band in the universe), whose lead singer (I believe) was being "dead for a year for tax purposes", the Cow, and of course, a fitting master of ceremonies to bring the Universe to its End...

Who is This Douglas Adams Person?

For those of you wondering Why I Care, I found this charming entry on the beta version of NNDB -- a site I haven't run into before -- but it is concise and reasonable, and I am going to use NNDB as a celebrity reference for awhile, methinks. (Certainly they did an acceptable, if cheeky, rendition of La Kate, i.e. the incomparable and lovely Kate Winslet.)

Random thought: Looking at their picture of Douglas Adams, doesn't anyone else besides me believe that Brent Spiner (aka Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation) could play Douglas Adams in a biopic?

How to Devour a Movie: Begin at the Studio Logos and Continue on the MPAA Rating (when available) and Leave Nothing Un-Viewed (unless you really have to pee)

Also, I should point out for all of you who bolt out of your seats and flee to the exits the moments the credits begin to roll, that HHGTTG contains what I call a Dr. Phil Special, or something extra embedded in the credits.

Dr. Phil

ps- Apparently the American English spellchecker on LJ can't deal with Britishisms like "peckish", coming up with:
peckish... puckish, parkish, pecks, pecking, Peck's, peck's, perish, pinkish, hackish, peevish, pettish, sickish, weakish, piggish, Pecos, Peck, peck, Peking, Polish, palish, pecked, peckers, polish, rakish

Charming.