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    Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    A Two-Headed Review of HHG2G

    Stardate 3922.9

    We watched the new movie last night. My very first, and most intense feeling is that they should not have tried to fit everything into an hour and a half movie, and they didn't which was blatantly obvious. Of course, when I watch the movie again, I will likely device further insight both good and bad.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this movie, but.... There was far too much lacking in it for my personal tastes. I can understand where the movie is not doing well in theatres for sure. Right from the terrible opening music (yeah it made me laugh at the very start but then it quickly got very irritating) to many other inexplainable things... To an untrained Adams fan, the appearance of Vogon ships, Galactic Presidents and many other things would simply be confusing without further explanation and no "Present Day" label at the bottom of the screen.

    Most of the actual story was okay. Taking bits from other books and changing them to cram the story in was good and bad. Changing Frogstar to Vogsphere was a neat trick as I actually enjoyed the extended role given to the Vogons. They are indeed officious and makes me think of your average government in action!!! Hehe. They were also well created visually IMO. The ships were a pleasant surprise, as the preview left me wondering at the lack of yellow, but they were indeed the size of giant office blocks :) and they did indeed hang in the air the way that bricks don't. But adding the stuff about the Point of View gun, and surgically removing Zaphod's second er, face was not so great. The gun itself was cool and had a definate Adams feel to it, but they could have actually used *real* parts of the story instead of making up more.

    The love story was irrelevant in my opinion. It added to the "last two humans in the universe" feel perhaps, but was not at all necessary in the story. I always felt that Trillian was a minor character and now she has been thrust to the forefront almost... Her role was fine but nothing more. Definately a Hollywood "get the girls to watch the movie" move...

    Marvin's head was far too big. IN that respect however, remember the definition of a robot given to us by the Syrius Cybernetics Corporation. "Your plastic pal who's fun to be with". Indeed, he looks the part, but the irony is the failure of the GPP (Genuine People Personality) prototype. I definately liked his old voice much more. He did complain an awful lot however, and hearing the classic lines was fun, though some were in very different places of the show.

    Ford Prefect was black. This actually didn't bother me in the slightest. I only bring it up because I have never pictured him this way, and I have seen the old show about a Quilliard times. His character was actually very good however! The towel snapping scene with the Vogons was funny, and how he thought that cars were the dominant species on Earth really made me chuckle.

    Arthur was the big bright spark in the movie IMO. He played the role as close as possible to how I imagine him, and the old movie to boot. Awkward, perhaps bumbling at times, he had problems grasping a great many things as to be expected. Keeping this character "normal" was absolutely imperative to the movie.

    Let's talk about Zaphod. I am very mixed up now about his character. I think he was portrayed very well, and the brashness, ego and general idiocy was done up just fine. I enjoyed his character immensely in that regard. That being said, the second head was rubbish. Not only did it look cheesy, it was bad choice to use the Election as an excuse. He was supposed to only have one head when he stole away Trillian from Arthur... Not only that, but it is TWO HEADS, NOT TWO FACES. And the third arm. Well he only pulled it out a few times, and personally, I think it would have been much more useful. I did get a HUGE chuckle about his brain being powered by lemons with the thinking cap on though :D

    Slartibartfast was one of the best characters in the movie. HE came off perfectly, and though he didn't mention his award for the Fjords of Norway, I suspect he would have if the show wasn't so short. John Malkovich was also good, though again, he was created basically to cram three books or more into one short movie.

    Sorry, apparently Slartibartfast DID in fact mention his award :) I sit corrected, in my steamy broth of green vapor... resplendant in my battle shorts.

    Let's discuss the Guide. I know time was a huge issue here, but the graphics were far worse I felt in the cut scenes with the Guide, and the selection and amount of entries portrayed were really not that great. In the old show, I loved almost every bit done with the Guide. The voice was the same, thank goodness, but so much was missed.

    Deep Thought. This scene was not good. The woman's voice (no offense to women anywhere) was terrible and reminded me of the computer from Red Dwarf. I loved the Booming resonations of the voice in the old movie. Made the computer actually sound massive. Skipping out on the fun scene with the Philosophers Vroomfondel and Majikthise was a loss. I demand that they may or may not have made this movie that much better overall. Also, when Deep Thought gave them the answer, it was comical because of the crowds of people, but I felt it lacked the tension the original show had at that point. Not only this, but by the end of the movie, there is no clue that the Ultimate Question is "What do you get if you multiply nine by six"...

    What was with the Earth Mark II? The fact that it is totally populated is stupid. The Magratheans create custom planets, not people. This leaves me thinking one thing: There can never be a sequel to this movie that I will like. No cavemen, no Golgafrinchans, no nothing.

    There were some things that really got me though. The people in the bar, lying on the floor with bags over their heads... Ford and Arthur looking at the wall in the Vogon airlock and then getting sucked out of the floor... Zaphod picking up Trillian was a blast. Can't let that one go by... "Is this guy boring you?" Heh... The towels were still important. You always have to know where your towel is.

    In a nutshell, Zaphod should have had two heads. Marvin should have had less head. The Earth Mk II was butchered. The movie was WAY too short, and I found that most of the changes were not good for both the story of THIS movie, and the chance of future movies. And I think Arthur lost his towel... It was good for some laughs however but worth the viewing? Hard to say.

    *** UPDATE *** - Whatever happened to Ford's entry for Earth in the Guide? "Mostly Harmless"? I don't recall mention of it at all.

    Zaphod says this movie is a 3 out 5 points for style and minus a million for changing and condensing too much.

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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