14th April 2005 at 1:16 am #40443AnonymousInactive
Kinda surprised no one has posted this link yet…
Esteemed Adams’ expert and Adams’ biographer, M.J. Simpson, posted a short review, as well as a long detailed review, of the Hitchhiker’s movie.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie is bad. Really bad. You just won’t believe how vastly, staggeringly, jaw-droppingly bad it is. I mean, you might think that The Phantom Menace was a hopelessly misguided attempt to reinvent a much-loved franchise by people who, though well-intentioned, completely failed to understand what made the original popular – but that’s just peanuts to the Hitchhiker’s movie. Listen….
I’d expect him to be biassed, but he makes very compelling points. As well as the review, that the film is being released earlier than the previously expected ‘summer blockbuster’ slot is giving me doubts. At least some of the trailers are really good, but that don’t necessarily mean a whole hill a beans.14th April 2005 at 2:47 am #74553
I’m glad you brought this up, I’ve been meaning to talk about this.
I can’t say I’m entirely surprised. I started having my doubts as to the movies quality when:
1)It’s release date was moved up very suddenly, and too close to the intended premier to be shrugged off.*
2) I saw ads for it on buses, TV, billboards etc a month before the new release.
Coincidently both of these happened on the same day so I’m hesitant say which had first gave me that impressionl.
Both of those points are always symptoms of a bad movie. The most recent example was Riddick, which I knew wouldn’t be that good when I saw a TV ad a month before the premier. Not that Riddick was awful, just not as good as it could have been.
With all that said, I am impressed with what I’ve seen in the ads. Its a great improvement over the BBC series, special effects wise. Not that, that’s difficult. Maybe the studio just wanted to be the first big film out for the summer season. Of course they are starting the season pretty early this year…
I’ll reserve judgment until after I see the movie.
*Some movies, such as Aeon Flux have had their release date changed numerous times. AF is now scheduled for Dec 31, but it was first tentatively scheduled for the summer, then the fall, then…
But this movie (And Serenity) had their release changed over half a year in advance, which doesn’t mean too much, (except that its not big enough to compete in the summer)15th April 2005 at 6:11 pm #74577AnonymousGuest
They did not approach this as a homage, or even a faithful adaption. One only needs to look at the casting to see that.
It’s what’s known as “Demographic” casting. Make sure you get one hot singer for the young crowd (lo and behold, a Rapper no less), a well known Brit (The Office), and a few famous old actors (Malkovich, et al) to clean up the rough edges with their 90 second parts.
It’s like Pluto Nash, but sadly with a truly legendary Sci-Fi name attatched.15th April 2005 at 9:19 pm #74580
Well, I can’t wait to see it – I like crap! 😀16th April 2005 at 6:18 am #74582AnonymousGuest
Well, I can’t wait to see it – I like crap! 😀
I hope people do want to see it! And am glad that they are. 😀 Anything that gets people watching more Sci-Fi is great in my book.
As a Sci-Fi purist of sorts I’m just personally very disappointed in the way it was handled.16th April 2005 at 10:09 am #74584
As a Sci-Fi purist of sorts I’m just personally very disappointed in the way it was handled.
Agreed, although I’d be interested in seeing what went wrong, and why (assuming the film really is *that* bad).
Sometimes a ‘purist’ attitude can be counterproductive or antithetical when assessing an adapatation – which can only be faithful to the spirit (as opposed to the letter) of the original text/s. I wonder if the problem was transcibing book to screen, attempting to adapt a multi volume text into a single entity or taking the cult out of popular culture (ie, removing the cultish books’s very reason for being popular in the first place). I’ll reserve my disdain until word of mouth gives an indication of what we’re in store for, and bad mouth it accordingly. 😛16th April 2005 at 7:34 pm #74588ShiroekitsuneParticipant
I want to see it.
Lots of info set in a limited time frame, I only wish to be entertained and not converted into a religion! 😉18th April 2005 at 4:59 pm #74602AnonymousInactive
…Lots of info set in a limited time frame, I only wish to be entertained and not converted into a religion! 😉
Well, you should be in luck then, because it seems, to a certain extent, that they have taken the cult out of the sci-fi.
Writer Karey Kirkpatrick, who with Austin Powers director Jay Roach (a producer on the film) polished draft Hitchhiker film scripts that Adams had worked up over the years, quotes a nameless Hollywood executive who warned, “We aren’t going to make a $90 million cult movie,”…
Here’s a link to that Sight and Sound article (well-worth reading) on the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie:18th April 2005 at 7:24 pm #74606
Thanks for the link Logan. Interestingly, the article is much more encouraging about the film than we’ve otherwise being led to expect.24th April 2005 at 3:52 pm #74664theFreyParticipant
I see that the NY Times has picked up on the Simpson’s Article. They had a long article about it today saying stuff like.
If there were an entry in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” for “painfully disappointed,” a picture of M.J. Simpson would pop up.
….. He said the movie – a satirical tale of a bathrobe-clad human, Arthur Dent, who escapes Earth just before it’s destroyed to make way for an interstellar highway by the villainous Vogons – lacked the book’s humor and energy.
Disney, which sank $50 million into the film, must have been horrified. The studio, which is distributing “Hitchhiker’s,” has been heavily courting Simpson, even inviting him to the set last year.
….the studio faces a tough audience. Fans of the “Hitchhiker’s” novel and its four sequels have been waiting 25 years for the movie, and in the run-up to its opening date this Friday, they’re excited and extremely nervous about what Hollywood will do to their precious book – especially since the movie will stand as a tribute to Adams, who died tragically in 2001 at the age of 49.
…..BATTLES ONLINE – Simpson, who cut a memorable figure during his visit to the “Hitchhiker’s” set last year in a “Hitchhiker’s” hat and a “Star Wars” tie, has been working hard to bring the movie down, even implying on his site that any positive reviews in cyberspace are plants by Disney’s marketing department.
I myself thought it looked interesting. I read the book, but way by no means a diehard fan. I imagine their biggest fear is the early viewers (who are diehard fans) might hate it and start a really bad buzz against it.29th April 2005 at 4:02 pm #74715AnonymousGuest
Despite its quick, quirky opening and dry British wit, after a while “Hitchhiker’s Guide” feels like an onslaught. There is simply too much stuff — too many aliens, too many gadgets, too many elaborately absurd set pieces — all at the expense of character development and plot
The best line of the article was calling some of the actors “Props with a pulse”
There’s so few ways to entertain people these days it’s very forgivable to take Sci-Fi classics and cannabilize them. Right Bonnee? 😛29th April 2005 at 9:01 pm #74717lizardParticipant
Hmmmm. PG rating, disney– I am starting to see an upside. We don’t need a baby sitter! Maybe the kiddie, who determines what we do with all of our entertainment dollars, will sit through it.
Hoping it’s good, but I will sure miss the verbal humor if that is what is cut out.1st May 2005 at 12:01 am #74724AnonymousGuest
Im a major fan and this movie sucks. You’ll be stunned to watch alot of the quick and funny moments in radio/miniseries completly cut in the movie.
What a let down.2nd May 2005 at 5:05 pm #74730AnonymousGuest
At the risk of having rocks thrown at me I’m going to say I thought it was OK. Not great, but OK. CNN’s review called it “uneven” and that’s pretty much right on, but there were still a couple of things in the movie that made me laugh out loud. Like the Guide’s cartoonish visuals which accompanied its dialog. And anytime the Infinite Improbability Drive was used, silly things happened.
But I thought that Ford Prefect really didn’t have much to do or say in the last half of the movie. And I could have done without the love interest between Trillian and Arthur – clearly an attempt to “Hollywood-ize” this movie.
So of course the die-hard fans are going to hate it, the people who’ve never heard of it are going to be confused, and the casual fan is going to say “it was OK. Not great, but OK.”
They could have made a better movie.2nd May 2005 at 6:41 pm #74732AnonymousGuest
This is an excellent assessment of how some feel3rd May 2005 at 3:28 pm #74743lizardParticipant
Saw it, did enjoy it. But the tv show is better (except for the special effects which are super in the movie).
The vogons are the best and funniest part of the movie. It’s true that a lot of the puns and verbal jokes are shortened, but the movie moves along at a zippy pace and made me laugh. I actually liked the depressed robot better in the movie than in the show (he started to wear on my nerves on TV after a short time).3rd May 2005 at 4:35 pm #74744mikeiz4uParticipant
I saw the film and liked what I saw. This is not the BBC version, by no means. The character development is different, and thats good.
The way the characters interact is more realistic than the BBC version.
also this is not all 4 volumes in one 90 min flick. this also alows for the possibility of a few sequels. and time to expand the plot.
I wont spoil it by revealing details but just say as a die hard fan I liked it
PS I was the only one in the theater to be carrying my towel.3rd May 2005 at 6:08 pm #74745
There’s so few ways to entertain people these days it’s very forgivable to take Sci-Fi classics and cannabilize them. Right Bonnee? 😛
Now that I’ve seen the film, I can safely say that we don’t need a super computer to work out an answer to your question. Number 2’s immediately spring to mind…
I actually think what wrong with it is that they tried to make a movie in the first place.. The books et al simply don’t lend themselves to filmic treatment, and the piece of crap feels entirely earth bound by narrative constraints. The biggest thing wrong with it in my view is that it lacks the tangential quality (and verbal asides) of the entire series, and feels too plot bound and driven. It doesn’t feel like we’re given an improbable or ramshackle guide of the universe – it’s more an exercise in trainspotting that never leaves the rails. It doesn’t help that you can smell the fear on it – it tries to be too dutiful to two different audiences simultaneously (the die hard fans and the causal viewer).
Maybe if Terry Gilliam had directed it, it would have been allowed to be more free wheeling or inspired. As it stands, it falls like a lead zeppellin that has burst into flames. 😥4th May 2005 at 3:02 am #74747
I’m lazy, so here’s my review reposted from another thread.
Hitch Hikers was definitely a family movie. Special effects wise it was, of course, better than the BBC version. Kudos to them for using puppets and models instead of the CGI garbage that everyone else uses today. CGI is only bad because in a few years it won’t look that realistic. Unfortunately any acting talent was wasted in this film. I could tell that most of the cast was desperate to actually act, but were somehow held back (I blame direction, or some other PTB). Mos Def especially; I think that if the script or direction let him, he could have done an absolutely terrific job. A lot of potential wasted.
Sadly the BBC was better for laughs and invoking higher brain functions. The beeb series was also better at capturing the feel of the universe. The movie just seemed to imply it. Despite that, they did a nice job with the Vogons, (love the grunt Vogons in the gimp suits) and their bureaucratic culture. There was a good scene with lots of good bureaucrat jokes. On the flip side, the Vogons had too large a role to play in the movie.
Lastly, the movie left out the latter certain parts of the book and BBC series. It ended in a good place, especially since it was a relatively long movie (and really long for a family movie), so its not that bad.
For sadgeezers: 2.5 stars out of 5
For kidgeezers, 4.5 stars out of 54th May 2005 at 3:03 am #74739
PS I was the only one in the theater to be carrying my towel.
No, my brother and I took our out of sheer sadgeezer-ness.
Which brings up another point, they never explained why towels are so important.4th May 2005 at 12:30 pm #74748AnonymousGuest
Did anyone notice the original Marvin from the TV show in the movie? It was when Ford, Arthur and Zaphod were on Vogsphere waiting in line to get papers processed on Trillian. Supposedly there are a lot more things like that in the movie – references to the TV show, some of Adams’ family members, and even a couple of the TV show cast members – but I missed some of them.4th May 2005 at 2:23 pm #74750ShiroekitsuneParticipant
I regret that I haven’t seen it yet but I want to, work has me pinned down atm.
But I have come acrossed this though! 🙂
The film is now on release in the UK – 26 years after Douglas Adams’ original radio series was made.
He followed it up with a set of books, which he described as a trilogy in four, later five, parts.
Robbie Stamp told the Financial Times: “There are more books in the series and there could be a really good trilogy.”
The option was being considered by film giant Disney, which has made the new movie, the newspaper said.
Robert Mitchell of Disney-owned Buena Vista International (UK) later told the BBC News website that sequels were a possibility given the wealth of source material, although no decision had yet been made.
Rockwell (centre) plays Zaphod Beeblebrox, president of the galaxy
The big-screen version is the latest incarnation of the cult sci-fi comedy that began as a radio show in 1977 before becoming books and a TV series.
The Office actor Martin Freeman stars as Arthur Dent, who travels through space with an array of eccentric companions after Earth is destroyed.
It also features Bill Nighy, John Malkovich, Sam Rockwell and rapper Mos Def.
The film has received mixed reviews from the critics, as it struggles to contain Adams’ deceptively complex work into a two-hour movie that is appealing both to newcomers and cult fans.
It is the first big-budget blockbuster of the summer season, with the final Star Wars prequel: Revenge of the Sith, and Ridley Scott’s Crusades movie, Kingdom of Heaven, set to follow next month.14th April 2006 at 6:15 pm #76224AnonymousInactive
I finally saw it. Considering all the effort and wasted years Adams put into trying to get a studio to greenlight the project I found the effort more depressing than Marvin on downers. I did enjoy the first five minutes or so with the dolphins and a few bits here and there, but overall it was a fetid load of dingos kidneys. I put it down there with the movie version of Lost in Space. Even for a so-called “family film” it was bad, imho.
Thumb a ride on this intergalactic turkey? I thumb my nose at it. So, in summation, I give it one big Hitchhiker’s thumb down.
On the plus-side, I did like the inclusion of classic Marvin in that scene, the dolphin bit was good, and So Long And thanks For All the Fish is a fun ditty. 🙂14th April 2006 at 9:06 pm #76225carup008Participant
My advantage in all of this, probably, is that the only hitchiker’s guide I know is this movie version, which appears to have disappointed a lot of hardcore fans 🙂
Personally, I thought it was a good, refreshingly original sci-fi movie. Perhaps the beeb could be persuaded to redo the TV version, which one would assume would be more faithful to Douglas Adams vision, once it is done with the current reincarnation of Dr. who.
Later on, auntie might even consider having another go at Red dwarf, Blake 7 etc etc …..(well no harm in dreaming)……26th April 2006 at 7:34 am #76273spooookieParticipant
Apart from the odd moment this was spectacularly bad,as a fan of the series and the great man himself,I sincerely hope that the Cretins who made this will be The first against the wall when the revolution comes!27th April 2006 at 3:40 am #76278theFreyParticipant
I completely agree. It was bad, bad, horribly, bad bad. And those were the high points. The rest was worse.23rd June 2006 at 3:04 pm #76523KayoParticipant
well i really liked it. some little things i was dissapointed with but you cant please everyone.24th June 2006 at 10:57 pm #76527FaldorParticipant
It was shit.
it was like having your childhood being raped…. by a blue peter presenter! 😯
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