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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Posted to Movies at 10:13 AM on Oct 7, 2005

2005. Touchstone Pictures. Directed by Garth Jennings. Starring Martin Freeman, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel and Mos Def.

Ever since I read the Hitchhiker's Guide series ten years ago, I've said nobody could ever make a movie of it and come even close to doing it justice. There's too much detail, too many fantastical and complicated elements and too many characters. What looks brilliant and stunning on paper would just look weird and disjointed onscreen, I said.

And I was right.

The movie isn't awful. It's not sleep-inducing or cringeworthy. It just isn't the book. No film can possibly contain everything that was great about the book or the books that followed it because it would be the longest, most expensive movie ever made (next to an adaptation of Infinite Jest, that is). One has to pick and choose the scenes from the book that are the funniest or most important to the plot. But there's so much stuff in between the key parts that what one ends up with feels like a random assortment of weird stuff.

Let me say this: the casting was (almost) all wrong. Zaphod Beeblebrox isn't an annoying frat boy. Tricia McMillan is a tall news reporter. And who the hell was John Malkovich's character? Was he in the book? I like Malkovich, but it's really obvious that his character was written solely for the film because everything he does feels like an afterthought. Martin Freeman was a spot-on perfect Arthur, though. I pictured someone entirely different playing Ford Prefect, but Mos Def was fine. The best part was certainly Alan Rickman's interpretation of Marvin. I could listen to Rickman read the proverbial phone book.

Independent from the book, Hitchhiker's Guide is fun, if not kind of oddly paced.


Hi Jen I am devastated by your shutting down the transmission. But the only way to really keep your freedom is by occasionally grabbing it. I've enjoyed your show. I hope you will continue to work together. Be well and aloha! Chris Browne
Posted by Chris Browne at February 1, 2006 12:04 PM

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