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April 23, 2005

One Geek's Opinion: Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Sucks

So says this guy, at least. I'm not the sort of guy to get pissed off at minor changes from source material; but this guy does seem to be much more of a stickler on that point, despite his assurances to the contrary.

He's mad that some jokes have been cut -- good jokes, to be sure, on the written page, but who knows if they'd play on the screen? I think this is just an overinsistence on perfect fidelity to the books:

That's why there are so many wonderfully quotable lines in Hitchhiker's Guide, most of which are notable by their absence from the film. There are, astoundingly, individual phrases and even words that have been removed. For example, in the Vogon poetry scene which, like Prosser's confrontation, is now so short as to be utterly pointless, Arthur’s line "counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor", a brilliantly crafted piece of faux literary critique, has become "counterpoint the underlying metaphor." How is that justified? Did someone try to keep the film under two hours by crossing out some of the long words?

Well, yes, I guess the original is slightly better, but I can't see the great travesty in shortening it to the latter. It's the same joke, basically-- it doesn't matter what Arthur says, he's talking off-the-cuff po-mo gibberish in any case.

But this guy opines:

And this film, I'm very sorry to report, is bad.

Really bad. You just won't believe how vastly, staggeringly, jaw-droppingly bad it is. I mean, you might think that The Phantom Menace was a hopelessly misguided attempt to reinvent a much-loved franchise by people who, though well-intentioned, completely failed to understand what made the original popular - but that's just peanuts to the Hitchhiker's movie.

Worse than The Phantom Menace? Sounds like a difficult trick. But perhaps it's best to begin lowering expectations. Maybe if they're lowered enough, the film will seem pretty good.

Thanks to Knemon. He tipped me to the interview to point out that "gob-smacking" isn't just something He Who Will Not Be Named made up. But of course not, Knemon; HWWNBN isn't terribly creative. It's a fairly standard bit of British slang.


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posted by Ace at 12:49 AM

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