Andrew Trembley (bovil) wrote,
Andrew Trembley

HHGG reviews and stuff

(this was originally posted as a response to aramintamd's link to the PlanetMagrathea review of an early-post-production screening of the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. Short synopsis? Big pan. Really big pan. Such a pan not even Lodge Manufacturing could never produce the like. Big contrast to a review at the BBC's Douglas Adams site).

I'd take this review with a grain of salt. After all, there's a whole page of "what's not in the movie."

I'll pull a few simple quibbles.

There's the extensive complaint about Stephen Fry sounding like Stephen Fry. That's actually a reason to cast him. In casting Peter Jones as the voice of The Book in the radio play and the BBC miniseries, it was because they wanted someone with, as Adams said, "a Peter-Jonesy voice" and it happened that Jones himself was available. Peter Jones was an identifiable and ubiquitous voice in his day just as Stephen Fry has become now.

The two-headed Zaphod worked disastrously in the BBC miniseries. Everybody involved in the production hated the results. Even with 20 years of technical improvements, I don't think that Adams would have ever allowed that character design on film again.

And, of course, Arthur Dent was a prat.

All that said, the new HHGG movie may still blow goats, but I think the complaints the reviewer is making are a bit colored by his ideal HHGG movie. The Avengers was painfully bad, but the comparisons people were making to the brilliance of the show didn't wash. It wasn't the "inane dialog that couldn't compare with the original" that sunk The Avengers movie (and I watch The Avengers regularly, the acting and dialog in the original are no better than in the movie) but rather the editing hatchet-job that left major plot points on the cutting-room floor ("How now, brown cow").

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