Corte Madera Chronicles

A group blog; a place to share photos, thoughts, stupid shit we find on the internet, whatever. Hopefully we'll get at least one post per day from someone, and not so many posts that it's too overwhelming. Have fun!

Friday, April 29, 2005

H2G2

To avoid spoilers, I'm putting my thoughts on Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in the comments on this post. What did you all think?

7 Comments:

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Lorrimer said...

Okay; there were some things they got right. Namely:

-much of the casting (especially Bill Nighy, Sam Rockwell, the guy playing Arthur, and Alan Rickman)

-using the music from the radio series for the big reveal of the Guide (a special treat for the big geeks in the know)

-the Vogon character design

-the occasional comic bit

...but there was also a hell of a lot they got wrong, and ultimately this was a pretty serious failure.

-The big structural changes were mixed -- the love story completely failed to work, as did the idea that Arthur's journey is becoming a man of action. Whose stupid Hollywood idea was that? WHY DO THESE MOVIES EVEN BOTHER WITH THIS TYPE OF THING? DOES ANYONE CARE ABOUT A HALF-ASSED LOVE STORY IN A MOVIE LIKE THIS? I'm sick of it. But otherwise, combining plot elements to make a more traditional three-act structure was not a big problem, in my opinion.

-smaller changes were persistent and annoying. The rhythm of most of the scenes just wasn't as funny as in the book or the radio series, and I'm convinced it's because they made changes they didn't need to make. Very often they left in the punch line but cut the set-up, and just as often they left in the set-up but cut the punch-line. WTF? Cut the whole joke if you need make cuts.

Overall, it felt like it was directed by someone who did genuinely like the book, but who had no real strategy for actually adapting it as a film. Didn't this guy only do commercials and music videos before now? Who thought he could handle this?

Blah. Sad. Wasted opportunity.

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger shakescene said...

I agree. Also, Mos Def has proved he can't act. At all. At least here. His lack of training in any sense showed through.

The changes were idiotic, and I kind of thought they messed Zaphod up royally. The character ended up being a no-character. The casting was fine, but the writing and storytelling blew.

Like Sin City, the extent to which they brought through the spirit of the original is the extent to which they succeeded.

My favorite part: the whale. That was utterly spot-on perfect. And Bill Nighy's my favorite Slartibartfast ever in the history of everything.

I think the rhythm was often off simply because of overacting on the part of Mos Def and Rockwell.

Eh.

It was okay.

Did you see the extra Book bit during the credits?

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger Lorrimer said...

No, I didn't hang around. I figured there'd probably be something, but I was pissed off. What was it? Not like I'm going to rent it or anything.

I don't think it's Rockwell's fault -- I thought his basic choice about Zaphod was strong, but the character as written was very one-note. And Mos Def didn't bother me as much as he did you. Not that he blew me away or anything.

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Lucas Krech said...

First five minutes were brilliant. If it were a musical I would have loved it. The rest was whatever, another book as film. Woo. Although, Mos Def and his towel were quite funny, when left to play he is quite good.

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger JMC said...

yeah I mean, I thought it was ok but it didn't blow me away. Mos Def was aight. He was much better in The Italian Job. He had some good moments.

Are they making another movie? They never went back to resolve the point of view gun (was that all new?) And they left some other things open too.

What did you think of the book design and graphics and all that stuff?

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger Lorrimer said...

As far as I can remember, the POV gun was entirely new. Also entirely fucking pointless. Jesus! What were they thinking?

I haven't heard anything about any sequels. I hope they don't make them. If they do, I hope they hire a real director. Not holding my breath.

I thought the physical design of the book was pretty brilliant. The animations inside the book were fine -- workable, acceptable, occasionally clever, but not particularly special.

It IS possible to adapt a novel to film and change enough to make it work but keep enough to make it worthwhile. LOTR. Let's hope Narnia doesn't blow. And while we're at it (Mrs. Lorrimer pointed this out) let's hope they NEVER make the Elfquest movie.

 
At 2:41 AM, Blogger shakescene said...

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