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Sir Not – Appearing -In – This – Film

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As much as I want it to not suck, I have serious doubts about the new Hitchhiker’s Guide movie. I know you can’t tell a lot from previews, but even though I have similar doubts about Star Wars III, at least the trailers have had me itching to see the thing. I get no such urges from H2G2. And after reading a horribly negative review by a Douglas Adams biographer, it’s only gotten worse. (There’s a spoiler-free version and a detailed, 4-part trilogy version. They are both just as depressing.)

Maybe it’s because I’m such a huge fan of the books. I’m trying not to be a book Nazi. I mean how could you possibly put all that wry humor and wordplay into a movie without simply having someone read the darn thing aloud? (I’d be tempted to pay for that, actually, but I’m sure normal humans wouldn’t. It wouldn’t exactly be a financial bonanza for a studio, ya know?)

I’m going to go see it with my peril-sensitive sunglasses (which are apparently not in the movie) at the ready. I’m just not looking forward to a world where the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal cannot be fooled by covering your head with a towel.

Hey! Maybe that will work with the movie, too!

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About Solonor

  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    Why would anyone trust a review from someone as biased as Adams’ biographer? This guy lives and breathes HHttG and can’t seem to handle changes in the book for the movie. I read his review and it really sounds like nitpicking. I’ve read the books and from the sounds of things, they’ve gotten the nature of the book pretty well captured. They left out some things, but they had to – most of what this guy complains about being left out are concepts in the book that can’t really be visualized, like ships hanging in the air in the exact way that bricks don’t. And Adams gave his approval of this adaptation before he died. It’s important to remember that none of the adaptations have been faithful to the book. Each one has taken its own personality.

  • http://solonor.com/blogger.html Solonor

    I hope you are right. Don’t panic, eh? :)

  • http://www.hokstad.com/ Vidar Hokstad

    What Tom said…. :) And also remember that Douglas Adams himself was frequently changing things around to make it work for whatever media he was working with: He was directly involved in changing the original radio plays to make them fit TV, computer game and book formats, altering a lot of things along the way.

    Because of this, I strongly believe what matters is the overall feel. That said, I can guarantee that I WILL be nitpicking myself when I see it, and drive my fiancee completely crazy, but that doesn’t mean I think I won’t like the movie – nitpicking is fun! (until it results in blunt violence from my better half)

  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    I’ve got the book sitting on my nightstand begging to be read (again) but I’m hesitant to do so so that maybe I can go into the movie with a relative level of innocence and ignorance, and maybe I’ll enjoy it more not having refreshed myself on the subject.

    That said, something else popped into my head: the books are short, but they’re very, very detail-oriented. It might be that the filmmakers decided to shoot the story itself and not worry so much about details the die-hards are going to freak out about. I’d assume the hope is this is successful enough to warrant the following sequels, in which they can introduce the quirkier elements of the series – things that might have turned off audiences that had no familiarity with the books.

  • http://www.eclecticlibrarian.net/blog/ Anna

    Here’s what Simpson has to say about folks like the above Mr. Johnson: “I could put up with the pathetic, jealous ramblings of those sad types who feel the need to criticise something they haven’t read, describing something they haven’t seen. But what has broken my will is the vitriolic personal abuse and libel which has started spreading across the net from various individuals who don’t know me. (A more paranoid person than myself might think that some of these, the ones who have joined discussion boards in the past week and since then posted on no other subject than myself, were studio plants. But not I.)”

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Leoniceno

    It doesn’t help that Martin Freeman plays Arthur Dent as an annoying little prat

    Hmm. In the books Arthur Dent is an annoying little prat, to almost everyone around him.

    The guy they got to play him looks kind of smug, though. Arthur Dent is supposed to be a bloke.

    I don’t have any idea what the trailer is trying to accomplish. It’s just a shot of the world exploding! What is funny about that? There is little to no indication that the film is a comedy.

  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    pathetic, jealous ramblings of those sad types who feel the need to criticise something they haven’t read, describing something they haven’t seen.

    Uh, Anna, hello? My comment above is pleading with people to give the film a chance to be its own thing and not judge it solely on whether it precisely mirrors the book. Whether or not it caputures the spirit is the key – not the nitpicky details.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The book is so awful the movie could only be an improvement, right?

    Dave

  • SFC SKI

    Dave, you are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to ask “WTF?”

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Indeed you are, Ski. Truth is, I just could never get past the first few dozen pages of the book. I found it stupid and childish. Like reading fan fiction in the program of a science fiction convention. I’m also not a big fan of Terry Pratchett.

    But yet there is SF which I find humorous. I was just recently considering rereading Philip Jose Farmer’s Image of the Beast for example.

    Dave

  • The Theory

    >>I don’t have any idea what the trailer is trying to accomplish. It’s just a shot of the world exploding! What is funny about that? There is little to no indication that the film is a comedy.<<

    that was only the teaser… there was a regular trailer that was really quite brilliant.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I read that “review” by Adam’s biographer and was disappointed, but then I read from HHGTTG to Mostly Harmless, and my hope was restored. Based on the “review,” it seems to me that the creators of the film quite possibly understood how an “Infinite Improbability Drive” works better than the biographer, and several of his complaints about the film are similarly in the book.

    I don’t expect the film to be just like the book, and despite all of the disclaimers to the contrary, it is now plain to me that the reviewer does.