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Thursday, December 22, 2005

An Adams fan finally speaks the truth about the Hitchhikers movie

I was uncharacteristically silent here about my opinion of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" movie after I saw it earlier this year. Since then, when asked by friends what I thought of the movie, I have said something like "I liked it but I was somewhat disappointed."

But I've always felt a twinge when I said this, like it was a cop-out. I've finally come realize that I was probably not willing to admit to myself that I was more disappointed in the movie that I had originally thought, that I just couldn't bare to face the reality that the filmmakers had released such a phenomenal cock-up on the millions of fans of Douglas Adams' work.

MJ Simpson is a longtime Adams scholar who was privy to much inside information during the making of the film, including a pre-release screening last March. Simpson then published a scathing review on his website and subsequently suffered an onslaught of negative feedback because of it.

But I have to admit that he's essentially spot-on about each and every criticism. I applaud Simpson for putting his honest opinion out there, and for taking the shots that came from it. And I say he's right.

The filmmakers took out almost all the jokes. They removed the funny from Adams' trademark funny dialog. The movie suffers from a twisted and nonsensical plot that was made even worse from an utterly outrageous editing job. Simpson says it and I'll say it too: It's okay to mess about with the plot. Adams did it in every version of Hitchhikers. But the dialog still has to be funny.

It's a long review, it took nearly an hour to read, but it's worth it.

After all this, I still can't get past the fact that I really, really want the DVD [Update: I broke down and bought it]. I just can't help it. I'm a rabid collector of Hitchhikers stuff and I admit I simply must add the movie to my collection.

And maybe a part of me is hoping that I'll grow to like parts of the film more by watching it a few more times. I mean, it wasn't totally abysmal; there were some good bits. Just a shame it wasn't as good as it could have been.

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Blogger monocle_man said...

Have you seen the DVD yet? I'd take a look at it through Netflix or other rental source before buying it. I don't recall being blown away by the special features (although, I am sure there were some Easter Eggs I nver took the time to find) nor can I see needing to watch this film more than twice.

12/22/2005 08:27:00 AM

Blogger espd said...

I haven't seen the DVD yet. I didn't realize it was out until a few days ago. But I was checking out the movie website and they had changed it all since I last looked in the spring. They finally added a bunch of interactive content, and so I wasted about an hour there.

12/24/2005 11:39:00 AM


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