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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Movie Review -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Whenever a classic book is made into a movie there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The hard-core fans always dread the inevitable deviations, deletions, and insertions to their revered gospel. Well, don't panic.

ball-and-chain and I took our 9 year-old son to see it last week and we were pleasantly surprised. The movie had plenty of laughs, and even our son could follow and enjoy it. Obviously much that is in the book didn't make the movie. There is also some of the movie that was not in the book that was required to make the story make at least a little sense, but it worked well. The other notable difference is the satisfying romantic Hollywood plot line complete with a kiss at the end. The book, if I remember it correctly, only had admiration from afar and frustration in the romance department. There was never anything as satisfying as a kiss.

Mos Def perfectly captures the hoopy Ford Prefect. Stephen Fry, the frood who played Jeeves in the BBC production of the Wodehouse classics, if you sass who I mean, narrates the movie with perfect style. His voice is classically British, but he enunciates so clearly that even us Yanks have no problem understanding. Trillian is played by Zooey Deschanel, who could easily be a drug rep, and Arthur Dent is played by Martin Freeman, an actor who really knows where his towel is. The special effects are a lot of fun and involve both puppetry and digital effects.

So we really liked it. The best thing is that we're all reading the book together as a family now.

If you want to do more research on all things related to Hitchhiker's, including the book, the film, and the original British radio series, there's no better place to start than this Wikipedia entry.
Not my kind of movie AT ALL, but hubby took all 3 kids -- ages 5, 7 1/2 and nearly 10 -- to see it (I stayed home to blog, among other things!). Everyone loved it, including the little guy, who claimed, "I wasn't scared at all!"

I like your notion of reading the book together as a family. That's quality family time, and simultaneously, mind-improving time!
I was spoiled by the BBC TV series from '80. The cast was perfect, and perfectly british. The production values were Dr. Whoishly aweful, but that was part of the comedy.

Any movie that replaces british actors with americans automatically gets a minus several thousand for style. BTW I have the BBC series on DVD now and I'm watching it with my kids.

I do plan to rent this one on DVD, but I'm not holding out much hope.

Also: Did they have the philosphers picketing Deep thought?

"We're philosophers--"

"--though we may not be"

"YES YES we are most Definitely philosophers!"

"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty"
If it makes any difference, the lead actor is British - and from the original "Office" TV series, no less. (He also makes a cameo in Shaun of the Dead, which demands to be seen on DVD immediately if you haven't already.)

Speaking of neologisms, by the way, let this thread officially mark the beginning of using the term "drug rep" as a synonym for "hottie." (Can a guy who's closer to 40 than to 20 use that latter term at all?)
Torontopearl: It's really a fine movie for kids, except that they might not understand it. There's nothing scary or raunchy.

Yeah, we're enjoying the family reading. I hope we do some tonight.

Psychotoddler: No philosophers in the movie. ball-and-chain and I are thinking about renting the BBC DVDs.

Ralphie: Love it. We gotta start using it like it's not new. "Did you see that volleyball player? She is such a drug rep!"
This morning I actually got dressed nicely to attend a meeting with Doctor Bean. He said "I like the outfit. You look like a drug rep."
Don't you see Bean every day? Why bother dressing up just because you have a meeting with him?
no, no. she an I wer're both going to a meeting with other people. a conference, actually.
Does the word "Duh" mean anything to you?
um, not much.
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