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Hitchhiker's Guide Reviewed

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the my-towel-says-boo dept.

Movies 539

me at werk writes "The Register has posted it's review of h2g2. 'The radio series, that became a book, that became a TV series, has finally made it to the silver screen. The film version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is faithful to author Douglas Adams' legacy. The trouble is it's simply not especially funny.'"

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My review (4, Informative)

a3217055 (768293) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391113)

I watched it, it was pretty funny. But then I watched it by myself, and I remember laughing so hard to the show on radio and smiling after reading the boook. But I did not laugh as much.
Don't know why...

Re:My review (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391140)

Who is this Douglas Adams?

Re:My review (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391163)

Douglas Adams []

Re:My review (5, Funny)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391190)

That is just so... depressing

Re:My review (1)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391277)

Can someone please enlighten me where I can buy radio (audio) clips of H2G2?

From my understanding it's broadcasted in some UK radio network, are there places selling the clips like songs in MP3s?

Well... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391117)

I usually don't agree with reviews when I actually go see/play/ect whatever was revied. But I'm starting to worry about whether I should see this or not.

For me, the big turn off is Marvin. That does NOT look like what I expected him to.

So, should I suck it up and watch it, and risk being dissapointed and bored for 2 hours, or not? If I do enjoy it, I will probably end up loosing another week of my life reading the books again.

Better with the books (2, Interesting)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391141)

Pretty sure I enjoyed it more because of the books. The Register had it right about plot development: you'll need to have read the books to make sense of some parts - like the dolphins - but otherwise it's a pretty funny film.

I love the sound effect tie-ins too, watch for the bread knife and it's upcoming George Lucas prequel.


Re:Better with the books (3, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391178)

They left out the Guide entry on towels, AND the entry for Earth, which was only the damn title of the fifth book.

As I saw it put elsewhere, "Hey, Peter! I've got a great idea! Let's leave the Balrog out of the movie!"

Fuck Disney. Everyone involved in taking this marvelous quirky story and turning it into a fucking Galaxy Quest clone needs to be skullfucked to death.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391144)

I really don't like the new Marvin , he looks kind of Mangaled(sorry for the pun) , and dosn't look entierly crap as he did in the TV-show which really added to the charichter.. Actualy come ot think of it , most of the new costumes are rather odd and make the charichters look like Jedi knights rs_cast_gal.jpg&imgrefurl= fiwire2005/index.php%3Fcategory%3D10%26id%3D122&h= 250&w=380&sz=22&tbnid=Wyl4kgno2gMJ:&tbnh=78&tbnw=1 19&hl=en&start=3&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmarvin%2Bhitch hikers%2B%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DN []
for example

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391370)

If you're a fan of the TV version of Marvin, watch the queueing scene carefully.
I saw the film last night and thought the new Marvin was really good. You can't see it in the stills but his movement and posture fits his personality perfectly. The film is quite different from the radio/TV/book versions, but the bits that have changed work well.

Re:Well... (5, Interesting)

shawb (16347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391148)

First off, I was there with towel on shoulder...

Watching the previews, Marvin was my biggest concern. That concern ended up not panning out,,, he fit in pretty well. I'd say just put aside your preconceptions and go watch a movie. There are enough of the little things added that only a Hitchiker's afficiondo would appreciate to make it worth your time. Just don't get stuck up in the "Well, they did it different in the book" trap. This is alot easier to do if you realize that Douglas Adams never intended for previous works to be Canon. He's just telling a story. It has to be altered a bit here and there to allow for different mediums, so while some of the old gems are lost, new things show up.

Synopsis sans spoiler: while I didn't bust a gut laughing, I did laugh out loud in the theatre. That's alot more than I can say for just about any other "comedy" I've seen in a while.

Re:Well... (1)

trime (733350) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391177)

I was worried about Marvin too, but I also think it fitted in quite well. The Marvin from the TV series was just so extremely slow it held up the dialogue a bit in places.

Having said that, the movie just wasn't that funny. I loved the books, and despite the extremely poor sets/costumes, and even the acting in the TV series, I still prefer it to the movie.

Re:Well... (1)

goober1473 (714415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391189)

I kind of like the look of marvin, he's not the old TV marvin who looks depressing anyway. Rather a cheerful lookijng chap with a head to cope with his brain the size of a planet. However despite his looks he is still a manic depressive.

Re:Well... (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391239)

I loved how Marvin looked! He was so cute as a big fat robot! He looked like a natural evolution of the robots they're actually building nowdays; that's why it was such a good design for him!

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391118)

first post for first post's sake

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391145)


first post (-1, Troll)

wingman2 (863166) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391119)

first post

Re:first post (0, Offtopic)

everett3 (873772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391168)


Why the need for a movie? (1, Insightful)

riflemann (190895) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391122)

I've always wondered why there is a need for a movie of this...the six TV episodes themselves make for a great story, and there is nothing more that a movie could do aside from shorten the storyline.

Personally, I'll be continuing to watch the TV episodes myself. Modern 'movie magic' really can't do much for this.

Re:Why the need for a movie? (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391246)

The movie provided mental illustration for people who don't like to think very hard while enjoying a good book or radio programme. For this reason, they MUST make four sequels.

Reviews don't matter here (5, Insightful)

TheoGB (786170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391125)

Well I don't think they do. It's got so much crap to carry round to live up to that you just can't begin to know if you'll like it.

I hope to see it this weekend and, as long as it's about as good as the TV version (which I wasn't a fan of), I'll be happy I guess.

Of course, if it's slapstick city I may have real trouble taking it and will feel cheated of my tenner!

Obvious mixed reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391126)

I've heard mixed reviews about it, some enjoyed it, others didn't. Surprise surprise, this happens for just about every movie! Thinking back to the Matrix series, some really enjoyed the philosophy while others didn't, it was purely a matter of preference. While I've yet to see it I have also heard that some of the theatres it has been playing at have seen less than stellar lines for it on opening night, which does in fact surprise me. This is probably isolated to one area, but who knows, I've yet to hear from any other big cities.

first? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391127)

first post?

contradiction (5, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391129)

he film version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is faithful to author Douglas Adams' legacy. The trouble is it's simply not especially funny.'"
Is it just me .. or does that statment sort of contradict itself.
One of the main things I enjoy about Douglas Adams works is the humor .
To be faithfull to his legacy i would say that you need to capture the "Funny" parts aswell as the other aspects , and the humor is pretty much one of the main aspects .

Re:contradiction (1)

razjml (700558) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391154)

The problem I've heard is that the delivery of the material is very off and doesn't really get into a good rhythm. Besides, going by your logic, to be "faithful" to the source material would require that it be a good movie. Although there's some truth to that, that's not what's normally meant.

Re:contradiction (2, Interesting)

Harker (96598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391320)

It is very possible that the timing or rhythm was off for the jokes. I just figured that the lack of humor I perceived was due to the fact that none of it was new to me.

I've read the books enough times that I don't get the same experience as I did the first time around. That happens. The jokes stop being as funny as before, the more times you hear/see/read them.

I saw this at this past Monday's preview, and thought it was great. Much better than the BBC production, but not as good as the books.

It was much better than I expected it to be.

Given the responses from the audience, including the group that sat directly behind us, who didn't realize there was a book, I think it went over well enough. However, I doubt it will do well enough for us to see a sequel. Time will tell though, I suppose.

If you are a fan of the books, it's worth a viewing, in my opinion.


Re:contradiction (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391167)

I saw it last night. The problem with it is that it is "silly" rather than funny. It is almost like the writers knew it was meant to be funny, yet didn't understand any of the jokes in the original material - so the pacing and punchlines where all wrong. The only really hilarious bits where the voiceovers by Steven Fry. Alan Rickman was casted well... but the lines he was given didn't allow him to shine. The rest of the cast was pretty ignorable, except for perhaps the aliens. I was playing the game of "spot the resemblance to which UK politician" throughout. I wonder if Boris Johnson is going to notice... :-)

Re:contradiction (4, Interesting)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391259)

I just got out of a screening about an hour ago. Let me advance another theory. The books simply aren't that good. Most of the books humor is based on long and winding asides, and almost no story telling. I'm not saying the douglas books are bad, just that people idolize them as some example of perfection and they're not. People do the same thing with Star Wars and it drives me nuts :)

Story telling is exactly what movies are supposed to be about, and long winding asides is exactly what movies aren't supposed to be about.

My point is, the books are funny in a way that movies can't be funny, and the books are only marginally funny at that. Douglas usually gets 5 or 6 REALLY good jokes in per book and the rest is pretty marginal -- it works becuase the book gets you on a roll which lightents your expectations -- which the movie never did.

I think the movie did an excellent job of bringing material not suitable for film -- to film. That being said, the delivery of the jokes was simply off, as you say. They spoke much too deliberately -- you can't deliver quick witted comments slowly.

Re:contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391297)

For someone with a username which aludes to another well known DNA "Trilogy" I find it out that you don't understand that the way Douglas wrote was exactly what made the books so good. The ability to veer off on a tangent, get back on track and advance the story at the same time is a major feat, and Douglas did it all the time.

Re:contradiction (4, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391356)

Which is exactly why I like Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency more than Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and recommend it to all me DNA-less friends before HHGTTG.

Dirk Gently is still funny, has less of the absurdist asides, has a plot, and one that is funny in its own right, has a bit of character development, and even inspires the occasional emotion apart from humour in the reader. And I like some Coleridge's poetry too :)

I always knew... (4, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391234)

I always knew there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe. -- Arthur Dent.

Re:contradiction (4, Informative)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391326)

Is it just me .. or does that statment sort of contradict itself.
One of the main things I enjoy about Douglas Adams works is the humor.

Well, the 'not all that funny' criticism falls into two categories:

1) Removed jokes, for instance the planning permission on the bottom of a filing cabinet in a locked underground toilet with a sign saying 'beware of the leopard' on the door. This is justifiable in a way; it simply wouldn't be practical to put everything from the books into the film.

2) Dry humour delivered in silence. For instance, 'do you know how much damage would be caused to this bulldozer if I let it run over you? / No / None at all'. It's funny. But no-one is laughing. I don't know how to fix that; it might be a problem with the film medium for this type of humour. A laughter track, for instance, would be shite.

Soooooooo.... what's my opinion? Well, it's a competently made movie. It's well cast, it has decent graphics, it has it's amusing moments. I would classify it as 'ok to good'. I would have classified the book as 'good to very good, tending towards the latter'. So no, I didn't think it was as good as the book, but it was ok. Nothing like as bad as that first review on slashdot made out.

7 out of 10 from me.


Sooo.... (0, Redundant)

lahi (316099) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391134)

Faithful to Adams' legacy, and not funny. There is a contradiction there, I'd say?


Re:Sooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391242)

Fidel Castro agrees with you (see above).

You can live for now.

Re:Sooo.... (1)

lahi (316099) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391368)

Given that it took me two minutes longer to post a shorter message than Fidel (Catsro, as it would seem), and having already been (fairly?) moderated redundant, I suppose it would be slightly more correct to say that I agree with Fidel. (And, no, I don't believe in reflexiveness of agreement. I reserve the right to disagree with people who agree with me.)

Judging from other comments from people who have seen the movie, it seems to be like this: It's going to be just what you didn't expect it to be. I think _that's_ quite in the spirit of Adams.


Re:Sooo.... (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391251)

Luckily, the movie is very funny. That reviewer is simply wrong. I saw it this afternoon, and I couldn't stop laughing until ... well, I'm still laughing.

Hope for the best, but... (2, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391135)

This has the potential to be either one of the best, or one of the most disappointing movies of the year. I am trying not to hope too much for the former, and keep my expectations low. Too often lately it seems that low expectations are the key to good movies.

This movie is bad (1, Informative)

scourfish (573542) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391136)

This movie is bad. Really bad. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly bad it is. I mean, you may think that Battlefield Earth is a wrong choice for an evening rental, but that's just peanuts compared to this movie.

The beginning was good, but a lot of the dialogue got truncated before it got witty, and the additional stuff wasn't very funny.

I dunno, maybe I was expecting a rehash of the 1981 BBC version (which is better than OK) with better visuals.

Re:This movie is bad (3, Funny)

mangus_angus (873781) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391200)

Under NO circumstances can you compaire this to Battlefield earth. You were either smoking, drinking, or just went in with your judgement already made. While I will admit it wasn't as funny as it COULD have been, saying it's like BFE is like saying Linux is like Windows.

Re:This movie is bad (3, Interesting)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391257)

I saw the movie this afternoon, and I can't understand your mindset. The mindset of anyone who'd post a negative review puzzles me. I've seen, heard, and read, the other versions of H2G2, and this new film was legitimately the best non-novel draft of that story. They MUST make sequels galore.

Re:This movie is bad (1)

kkumer (36175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391369)

Oh, come on, Battlefield Earth has to be the worst movie ever!

Reviews Mostly Positive (4, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391137)

over at rotten tomatoes []

Currently 62% positive

Re:Reviews Mostly Positive (1)

SomeGuyFromCA (197979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391191)

62% is "mostly" to you?

(isr, cowboy slows down YOU!)

Re:Reviews Mostly Positive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391214)

Pronunciation Key (mstl)

1. For the greatest part; mainly.
2. Generally; usually.

Re:Reviews Mostly Positive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391255)

The level of illiteracy on here is frankly appalling.


Re:Reviews Mostly Positive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391339)

"Mostly" in common usage implies a large majority, not just greater than 50%. And 62% isn't there. Anybody who speaks fucking English knows you don't say "I mostly got it right" if you got 62% correct.

Re:Reviews Mostly Positive (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391281)

Considering that on rotten tomatoes even average films get 100%, I think that 62% is very very very very low.

book to movie (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391143)

the problem i think is so many people have read the book and have their own idea of how things will look, everyones will be different, which is why it's so hard to please everyone when you adapt a popular book to tv/movie

Re:book to movie (1)

Romancer (19668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391256)

I don't think that anybody that read the books and found themselves laughing out loud would have a vision that included Marvin looking stupid or having the funniest lines cut short.

The Douglas Adams I remember went off on tangents and that was his legacy. If the director or screenwriter cuts that out it will not be as good. Period.

The lord of the rings trilogy was great because it let the story carry the movie and the director consiously tried to be faithfull to the readers and include everything he could.

On a side note to all future screenwriters/directors out there that produce adaptations of movies from books: Please try and use ALL actual text if at all possible. removing, replacing, or altering should be a last resort.

Re:book to movie (1)

Romancer (19668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391270)

PS. Who out there thinks this movie would have been spectacular as a 3 movie quintet?

time enough for everything?

Movie 1: HHGTTG 1.7
Movie 2: HHGTTG 3.4
Movie 3: HHGTTG 5

Think the general public would have gotten it?

Re:book to movie (1)

kkumer (36175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391363)

But they have mostly succeeded in the Ring Trilogy case.

The film isn't very funny because... (1, Flamebait)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391147)

...the book isn't very funny. It's very dated and cliched. The radio series was a lot better.

Fortunately they won't get as far as making the movie of the completely unfunny "Mostly Harmless". What a pile of crap that was.

Re:The film isn't very funny because... (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391271)

All of the books were hilarious. I could barely read any page without laughing my ass off. I can't wait to see how they make a film adaptation of the part where Arthur learns how to fly. The thing that made "Mostly Harmless" a great novel is that we finally got to really know the characters as people. It'll translate well to the screen. The best movie of the series will be movie five, though, because that's when everything gets resolved ... hilariously.

Excellent HitchHiker's my cool friends on slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391153)

Good day. I am a learned Linux sysadmin with a grey beard. I like HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It makes me laugh. almost as much Monty Python's Flying Circus. haha. They named a language called 'Python' after MPFC. This is very funny. haha. Do you get it ? It's funny. haha. see ? haha. This appeals to my geek sense of humour and my use of radical new technologies like Google to search for h2g2 and MPFC quips. haha. I read slashdot as well because it quite amusing. haha. ha. In England everybody watches MPFC it is very funny. English people's sense of humor is very funny. haha. Now I use Gmail to record searches about MPFC. haha. Except I haven't got any mail since I use spam filter, so i send mail to myself. haha.

Use Google and watch Hitchhikers and use Python. Because its funny AND cool !

Re:Excellent HitchHiker's my cool friends on slash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391340)

your ideas intrigue me so i would like to subscribe to your newsletter

Saw it Friday (4, Interesting)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391156)

I've read the books, and I watched it with someone who has memorized most of the jokes, and we both enjoyed it. It's different, and if you want to see the books (the first one, in this case) translated exactly to film, you'll be disappointed. The movie exists as its own entity, just like the radio show and the TV show and everything else. The British humor is extremely toned down, but it's still pretty funny. That poor whale...

Evil kids? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391357)

Were there any kids in movie? I mean, more than normally would be?

Trailer "shouts" like "get your kids"...

Could be real evil...

(a free willy 3 at movie survivor)

Martin Freeman FB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391159)

He's done well since Half Life 2.


Novelty (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391162)

Its been out for over a week in quite a few places in London AFAIK, how come they've only just reviewed it? Fans of the book are going to watch it even if it gets 1 star, simply because of the novelty aspect - that's how most mainstream films work these days, converting cartoons to film to satisfy curiosity, remaking films that didn't have the latest special effects etc. its pretty sad really. I was hoping that while this had a novelty aspect it would also be a well made film that could stand up on its own, but i haven't gotten around to seeing it yet so i'll shut up..

Re:Novelty (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391269)

Yea, speaking of remaking films because of the fact they didn't have the latest effects to work with, I wonder how the remake of Sin City will look in color...

(no I don't)

It is another example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391165)

..of Americans butchering classic British comedy?

Re:It is another example... (3, Interesting)

Trent05 (70375) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391175)

Didn't Adams himself help write the screenplay? He's credited.

Re:It is another example... (1)

JLSigman (699615) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391322)

I think he's been dead a bit too long... the only credit he's getting is because he wrote the original books.

Re:It is another example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391179)

of butchering everything in sight!


no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391180)

It's another example of some douche steering the thread towards a "what's wrong with Americans" discussion.

Meh. If its really not funny .. (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391171)

.. and the collective consciences tell me its not funny, then i see no reason to go see it in the theatre.

so i'm gonna wait until its on DVD, and i can watch it in the comfort of my own home, where i can choose to laugh or not laugh, or not, without having the collective crowd around me to 'prompt' me to laugh, or not laugh, in a big dark room ..

i mean, really. all this slavish devotion to mob think has trained me to realise when the time comes for individualism, and when the time comes to be one of the masses.

if its really not funny, and the collective gods say its not, then its not.

plus, a DVD purchase is like, 3 movie tickets worth of cash anyway, so its like i'm paying humble patronage to the mob with my decision to delay my enjoyment, anyway.

thank god there's no such thing as 'book reading theatre'.

to conclude: buy the DVD. kill the mob!

Re:Meh. If its really not funny .. (1)

shird (566377) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391210)

why not do neither? If its not a good movie, why encourage them to produce even more crap?

By buying the DVD you are most certainly succembing to mob think, in that you are still only watching it because everyone else is, and not because its actually good and worth the money.

Re:Meh. If its really not funny .. (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391312)

but .. but .. how can i tell if its good or not without watching it?

i know! i should download it. then, if i like it, i should buy the DVD.

yay, finally i understand what it is that compels me to break the law! i despise the mob!!


Re:Meh. If its really not funny .. (1)

skeib (630324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391217)

The problem with this is that you don't get the same experience while watching movies at home. Although you can get the same quality with good equipment, it's just not the same as going to the theatre.

I believe the reason is that when you go to a theatre you totally dedicate yourself to watching a movie. There's no talking, no phones, no pause button - you watch the film. Period.

Re:Meh. If its really not funny .. (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391319)

bah. what is this 'experience' you talk of, and why do you think its worth sharing with Total Fucking Strangers?

Re:Meh. If its really not funny .. (1)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391267)

Wow, good point about the crowd lauging when you see the movie. I don't know if it's just me, but I notice the crowd never laughs in the same places I do, and sometimes the places the crowd laughs are almost sad. Or I laugh when the rest of the crowd is silent. But I try never to let it affect how much I enjoy the movie.

I must be a psycho, my sense of humor is 180 degrees from normal...

Re:Meh. If its really not funny .. (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391327)

The mob. Its whats for breakfast.

]try watching telly without the laugh-track... hint: its totally sad to realize that for most of ones life, one has been brainwashed into laughing at abject cruelty .. by the LAUGHTRACK![

I love the movie! (5, Informative)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391192)

The early eighties TV version is a great three-and-a-half hour videotape, the radio version is a great nine hours ... soon to be thirteen hours. The books are a great couple of weeks. The old DC comics version was apt. And the movie is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. Having experienced the other versions, the new film was a welcome addition to the Douglas Adams canon, in my opinion. I loved the new episode with regards to the Church of the Arkelseisure, because that Perspective Gun was a wonderful literary tool which allowed screenwriter Douglas Adams to have his characters learn things which they otherwise would have learned through bulky dialogue. As for dialogue, the movie had a good mix of "novel dialogue" and "movie dialogue". "Novel dialogue" is bulky, wheras "movie dialogue" is short and to the point, and the film had a good mix indeed.

I've enjoyed the other versions, and so I found it very simple to enjoy the new version.

They must make four sequels.

P.S. Bring a pair of "red and blue" 3D glasses. As the starship Heart of Gold arrives at the planet Magrathea, the crew is greeted by a holographic recording. That recording is only a minute long; however, it's in 3D. You need a pair of "red and blue" 3D glasses in order to properly enjoy that minute of film. This is not a spoiler; it's an enhancer.

The Humor in HGTTG (1)

FreemanPatrickHenry (317847) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391193)

Having read the books, a large part of the humor for me was Adams' side commentary. I'm not saying the events and characters weren't funny, but at least half of the humor seemed to come from Adams' wry manner of writing.

Is it just me, or does that not carry over especially well into film?

Re:The Humor in HGTTG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391226)

The whole thing with the radio show was that they chose to leave most everything to the listener's imagination. There were very few, if any, descriptions of anything.

Having no budget for a visual show was actually a good thing. Our imaginations are usually more vivid than any special effect.

But as soon as somebody tries to put it on film, they are selling you what they imagined, and let's face it, that's very unlikely to match the things as you imagined them.

Everybody's Marvin looks different.

Cameos (2, Interesting)

GSVNoFixedAbode (398577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391195)

Personal favourite bits: seeing the original Marvin in the queue on Vogsphere, as well as the cameo played by Simon Jones (the original Arthur). And the gun, don't forget the gun.

Am I the only one who doesn't like the series? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391205)

In my early teens, in the early eighty's, I was an avid reader a science fiction. One of the only novels in my life I did not finish was The Hobit. I did read all the Hitchhickers series, but did not find it that funny or interesting. Compared to the Foundation Series, Dune, the Pern series, etc, the H2G2's staple of jokes were just not that inspiring.

While it might be argued that I was too young for these books, I have to admit great surpise that the general slashdot opinion is in favor of these series. To me, these novels are only about escapism.

Rob W.

Moderate: Unfunny (4, Interesting)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391219)

People with good memories for the book might find the movie funny because their minds fill in the missing dialogue. But as Ebert [] says, to someone who doesn't already know the book, its not funny.
Whats interesting is that the movie does have some of the funniest scenes from the book, but those scenes just don't work. Partly because the persectives are different. Being inside the head of a newly born whale as it plummets to earth is funny, but watching a graphic of it hit the ground isn't funny.

Other things were just poorly done, for example, the babble fish. They actually do cut to the Guide to explain what a babblefish does, but totally skip the part about God disappearing in a puff of logic. So the scene is not funny at all save maybe a little slapstick about putting a fish in Authur's ear.

Sadly, this movie is exactly what you expect from Hollywood doing a foriegn movie, dumbed down to the point of irrelevance.

Re:Moderate: Unfunny (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391235)

Are you kidding? The whale hitting the ground in the distance, and the dust that looked like a mushroom cloud, was hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing! That was so good, and brilliantly executed (pun sorta intended)! The babel fish was cute! If the "God disappearing in a puff of logic" part weren't deleted, the movie might not have its G rating. And its G rating will introduce a new generation of kids to reading the books that we've so enjoyed!

Re:Moderate: Unfunny (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391266)

If the "God disappearing in a puff of logic" part weren't deleted, the movie might not have its G rating

What possible bearing on the rating could that line have on the rating? Is "puff" a swear word or something?

Re:Moderate: Unfunny (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391350)

No, "puff" isn't a swear word. It's just that any reference to God or religion sounds like a swear to certain alarmingly common sensibilities, so deleting that monologue made the movie more enjoyable for more people, and even though I love that monologue, I agree with its deletion in a movie version.

Don't mention the Religion! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391334)

I did once but I think I got away with it.

They could have easily included the God reference and then cut it for the obviously uneasy God-fearing US market so at least those of us without a God complex could enjoy it a little more. Hell, Douglas Adams was a very commited Atheist. I notice they didn't pause to cut the reference as soon as he was out of the picture. I'd put money on it being in the original scripts when Douglas was still alive.

Re:Moderate: Unfunny (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391332)

Yep, and 2001 A Space Odyssey made absolutely no sense to people who hadn't read the book, and pretty much every serious film out of Europe makes no sense unless you had a classical education.. unless you're trying to make a "blockbuster", why must we always aim for the lowest common denominator?

I've just seen it last night (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391220)

And to be honest its not to bad at all. Yes some of the British comedy tone was toned down, but it was still rather funny. It managed to get a good couple of belly laughs from the audiance, including me.

Good points, marvin was spectacular and outdid the original TV series' version. Zaphod Beeblebrox was outstanding and the true extent of his ego bleeds off the screen (flamebait comment, to be honest I think only an American could pull off the cheesy grin and un-abashed ego... sorry :P). The extended usage of the vogons was quite amusing and they made great bad guys. There are some bits that will make the geek in you go "ooh ooh ooh!" and point excitedly although I wont go into detail as to spoil it.

Bad points are I'm a bit hmmmm about Ford, Trillian and Arthur though. Ford really didnt create any sort of major screen prescence and as such became a rather minor character with a penchant for towels. Trillian, whilst great at the start of the film, seamed to get relegeted to damsel in distress/love interest (standard hollywood crap). And Arthur... well hes was quite good for most of the film but I suppose I miss the orginal TV version which sticks in my mind as the definative Arthur Dent.

I suppose the worst aspect of the film is that yes, some of the great witty dialogue is missing. Its not all gone but a lot of the classic lines are trimmed. I quite missed the original lines regarding the babel fish proveing that god did not exist and the very funny bit about the plans being on display (the shortend "I had to go downstairs", made no sense on screen).

In all I would recommend people go see it, it gets a bit shakey before the middle but still provides a good homage to Adams' legacy.

Americans cannot exist without God. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391252)

Therefore God must exist.

So the joke has to go.

It's prefectly logical when you think about it..

Re:Americans cannot exist without God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391341)

God does not exist. Therfore Americans do not exist and we're all delusional.

Time to build an asylum!

Re:Americans cannot exist without God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391351)

Therfore Americans do not exist...

Oh, if only it were true!

Re:I've just seen it last night (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391295)

I thought Ford was done remarkably. He was a very passive "buddy" to all, just the kind of friend that would take a person on that sort of adventure. He had lots of character. From the cart full of beer, to the fiddling with the thing in the airlock, to the squeezing lemons on Zaphod's head ... so many great Ford moments. The movie was great.

medium (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391229)

it was ok -boycot nokia

No tea. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391232)

I thought it was pretty good. I've read most all of Douglas Adam's books multiple times and it was comfortably familier, yet interestingly novel.

If it were 100% faithfully sync'd with the books; there would be little point it seeing it if you had read them.

The pacing was good, the dialog enough to tell a story, and the visuals fantastic. I think it stand well enough on it's own; and as an addition to the books.

Folks like this is why there may never be an 'Ender's Game' movie, because someone will complain the that naked boy soap fight scene was missing...

Re:No tea. (1)

Mike Markley (9536) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391291)

Folks like this is why there may never be an 'Ender's Game' movie, because someone will complain the that naked boy soap fight scene was missing...

You know what, though? Fuckem. They're the same people who, with something like 10-12 unique hours of Lord of the Rings trilogy available on DVD, complain about how several Ents were left out or condensed into a revised Treebeard. They're the ones who want a 15-hour movie that's paced like a snail just so that no detail is ever missed. They'll always exist. They're a few levels up from the "the book is always better than the movie" snobs, and their reserved parking in hell is significantly hotter for the fact that they don't even have any examples with which to back up their snobbery; in the end, they don't mean shit. I think New Line's revenues are all the evidence you need of that.

And yes, I will be very pissed if the Ender's Game movie doesn't get made because of such idiocy. Which reminds me, I still haven't started on the new Shadow book...

Re:No tea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391294)

...Someone will complain the that naked boy soap fight scene was missing...

$50 says it's Michael Jackson.

Angst does not go well with Hitchhiker's (4, Insightful)

tehanu (682528) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391262)

The major problem I had with the movie is that it adds angst and sentimentality to the plot. Note, this is very stereotypical *Hollywood* angst and sentimentality and you can practically predict the lines so it's not particularly good angst and sentimentality either. Note I am a girl and I devour trashy romance novels and love chick flicks. However, there are situations where putting this sort of stuff in just simply doesn't really work (esp. when it is so badly written). Basically you sit through the movie. Funny scene. Laugh. Angst, romance, talking (all badly done) get bored. Funny scene - laugh. Angst, romance, talking - bored. Oh let me predict what lines they are going to say next. Wow, I got it right. How amazing (sarcasm). Funny scene - laugh. Etc. etc. Though I suspect the funny scenes were funny because I already read the book as they do seem to cut a lot of stuff out...

The other problem is Ford Prefect, Mr. Sarcasm in the originals is practically a non-entity and not especially funny when he does exist.

I loved Zaphod though :)

Re:Angst does not go well with Hitchhiker's (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391308)

I enjoyed the extra Arthur/Trillian "angst" stuff. It added humanity to the characters who are otherwise comic pawns in the novel. Their humanity -- to that level -- is otherwise not shown until book/movie four. I can't wait for all five movies.

Do I belong on this planet myself? (2, Interesting)

NewtonEatPalm! (515878) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391300)

Spoiler alert... I guess.

Why does it seem like I'm the only one that thought the playing up of Arthur and Trillian's romance was ridiculous? Why does Trillian have an American accent? Why... why... why...

Yes, I probably sound like just another rabid Adams fanboy who expected the movie to be a direct copy of the book. That isn't the case. I thought the film was awful. The acting was not very good, some of the revised dialog was really awkward, and... many other things simply related to the filmmaking itself and not just the script. My girlfriend and I were incredibly tempted to walk out many times, especially when Arthur made his incredibly awkward (I cannot use that word enough... that is my official review of the whole film... AWKWARD...) attempt at a sweet soliloquy at Trillian while about to have his brain removed by mice...

I think I'm just incredibly sore at the fact that they even attempted to make the film accessible to the general public. Am I being elitist? Probably... I mean, I can see the value in attempting to bring Adams' work to a broader venue, but when they cannot be done justice, some things are probably left unsaid. Or un-filmed in this case.

The film attempts to "have it's cake and eat it too" (to indulge in a trite cliche); make broad swaths of generic American love-story candy-coated filmmaking and sneak in the funny dialogue and faithful-to-the-series bits when the "normals" in the audience are distracted by something shiny. The hardcore fans will deride it for its creative license, and the great unwashed will view it as a quirky little film that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to them and is only "kinda" funny.

After getting in my car afterward and popping in Radiohead's "OK Computer", especially "Subterranean Homesick Alien", all I could think of were the smiling faces of the proleteriat in the audience, laughing their heads off every time Ford, Zaphod or Arthur were hit in the face with while walking on Vogsphere. The same scene that made me groan loudly. I wondered quietly as I took occasional peeks at the moon while driving: am I right on the money about this, or am I completely wrong? If the latter is true, then perhaps, like Ford, I've been trapped on this planet for far too long.

*sigh*... tommorrow's another day, I suppose...

Re:Do I belong on this planet myself? (1)

Buster Chan (755016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391331)

The main point of human life is to procreate, so I found Arthur's enhanced interest in Trillian to add more humanity to the story. The novels didn't get that refreshing level of humanity until book four. I loved the scene where his brain was almost being sliced out so he was telling Trillian how much he loves her. If the girl you longed for were in the room where you were being brutally attacked, you'd do the same thing. If you don't think you would, you're not human.

My thoughts (1)

l*barbs (872527) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391314)

Considering the material they had to work with, that film was bad. The radio play was absolutely hilarious. The film was no more than humorous. It could have been so much better.

Saw it last night (1)

networkz (27842) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391329)

Was pretty entertaining, but the pacing, but I was left wanting more.

If paced better, and was a 6 hour film I could really imagine it being something special.

As it was, I expected an epic, but was given more of a short story.

Still worth watching again, but not on par with LOTR in terms of immenseness.


Funny book - dull film per se. (2, Insightful)

Circlotron (764156) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391336)

I saw it 46 hours ago (I missed the opportunity to say 42 hours) and I must admit I have never read the book, only heard my son relating the highlights as he read it. It seems to me that the film mainly serves to remind you of the funny bits you read in the book rather than being amusing in itself. If you read and like the book then the film will probably be ok, but if you go and see the film cold like me then you might just be glancing at your watch and waiting till you can get back home and read /.

Just saw it tonight (1)

vistic (556838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391359)

I like the TV miniseries better.

Why must every movie have a love story? Is it a rule somewhere that people will not see a movie if there's no love story subplot?

Anyway, the funniest part was milking the cow... but I'm not going to spoil the joke for anyone who hasn't seen it.

When the movie was near the end... I was just thinking, "That's it?" It felt like it should have been much longer... there's so much that was in the miniseries and books that wasn't in the movie... I want a sequel made now... but I really don't think this movie will do that well (sadly). It didn't make me laugh out loud like the books did at any part.

Good cameo of Simon Jones and the original Marvin. The Vogons were very impressive looking and acting... strange they had such a huge rule in the movie. I also read some negative stuff about Humma Kavula... but I thought that was one of the better parts of the movie (and not in any other hitchhikers version).

And despite what everyone says I think the guy from Office they got to play Arthur Dent was not right for the role... yes he's plain looking and very mellow... but his personality wasn't quite right. I liked Simon Jones constant sense of amazement and protest. Also I didn't really get Mos Def as Ford... he had weird pacing and timing of his lines. Sam Rockwell for Zaphod was alright (despite the accent, yuck) but the 2nd head was animated pretty poorly, it looked inserted with computers a bit too much... I actually think the half-dead latex head in the miniseries was less distracting.
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