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Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deshanel, John Malkovich, Martin Freeman and the voice of Alan Rickman, narrated by Stephen Fry
Directed by: Garth Jennings
Based on Douglas Adams' book, screen play by Adams with Karey Kirkpatrick

Buy it

Film Review: (DVD Review Below)

Bluntly speaking? The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a mind-blowing visual and mental extravaganza that leaves you in utter awe. The exquisite language styling Douglas Adams' fans found incredibly edible within his novels, is also present in his script. And, the numerous talents commingling within this film have made H2G2 positively the most exciting and original Sci-fi film since Star Wars first dazzled our galaxy searching mind's eye.

Story goes…Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is having a bad day. His house is about to be demolished…but it's really going to be down hill from there. His close friend, Ford (Mos Def), comes over shimming between the bulldozers and invites Arthur to join him for a quick chat at the pub.

Arthur figuring his day cant possibly get any worse, follows. Ford tells him, and anyone who'll listen, the world, Earth, is to be demolished - well, in about twelve minutes.

But these are not the ill-informed rantings of an over Guiness'd bloke, it's an alien's inner-knowledge of the truth…as Arthur's about to learn.

Before you can say, "Hey where have all the dolphins gone to?" Ford grabs Arthur and hitches a galactic ride aboard a - suddenly there- battalion of bureaucratic spaceships…as Earth says ciao to its planetary friends.

And off we go.

First up are the Vogons. A group of bad poetry spewing DMV-like galaxy employees. They're not evil per say - just terribly by-the-book and in perpetually terrible moods. And they're none too keen on hitchhikers of any sort boarding their vessel without the proper forms and such to do so.

After an unlikely, numerically implausible escape, the two catch a ride with the President of the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell). Zap's an egotistical halfwit political puppet with a Swedish glam-rock hairdo, and Ziggy Stardust wardrobe, sporting an almost Elvis " The-Las-Vegas-Years" demeanor, with a peppered pinch of George W. meets Beetljuice - shudder. Zaphod's apparently kidnapped himself in the greatest spaceship ever designed. Also aboard the runaway vessel are the scientist/adventurer Trillion (Zooey Deshanel) an Earth gal, and Marvin a morbidly depressed robot (voiced by Alan Rickman).

Arthur, who's still trying to figure out what exactly is going on here, must now have to help Zaphod and Trillion find the meaning of life - kinda.

And for the next few days (and our next couple of hours), the light fantastic shall not just be tripped but skipped through with a jig!

The casting of this remarkable film is impeccable. Fans of Douglas Adams' book will be giddy with delight as plenty of important "Guide" factoids and idiosyncrasies are gloriously brought to life. The flow is true to the book - if not precise.
Arthur, aka Martin Freeman, is preciously common, and Ford, aka Mos Def, is just kinetic enough. Trillion, aka Zooey Deshanel is delightful - and perhaps a different look than readers of the books expect. The smarmy religious cult leader, Humma Kavula (an original character created by Adams for the film) is purrfectly skin-crawl creepy in the hands of his actor counter part John Malkovich. But it is Zaphod Beeblebrox, as "created" by Sam Rockwell that truly steals the human talent show. Watch for cameos and little Adams odes throughout for extra viewing glee…

The production design, lead by Joel Collins, is beautiful, the multimedia collaborations mind boggling. The design of the Vogons by Jim Henson Studios is perfectly putrid, and almost pre-Dickensian parliament, which makes sense as they were born of Adams' description and 18th Century political cartoonist James Gillray. The details and care taken in every milli-inch of this celluloid canvas absolutely shine with the same originality Adams intended. H2G2 is a must see even for the non-informed "Hitchhiker" pursuer. Hitchhike to get to the multiplex if you have to- because the film is a cinematic event. Enjoy

Snack recommendation: Babblefish kebabs and Earl Grey tea.

DVD Review:

Okay, basically five people (outside of England) saw this film. It's very British - and very funny. If you're not of the snort-sort when you watch Blackadder, don't know who say actor Hugh Laurie really is, or thinks "a Python" is in reference to a large snake - this may not be the film for you. It's OUT there in dry-British humour land. It stays true(ish) to the books (film is a different medium after all), and the DVD extras are fun; the obligatory behind-the-scenes, and a sing-a-long with the wacky dolphins, even the actual navigation is refreshingly drawn. There's a bizarre Marvin the Depressed Robot Hangman Game - that doesn't so much reward you if - when - you finally get a word right - it just announces you won. After 12 hours of "play again" I wanted an extravaganza announcing I'd managed to complete a bloody game (she said wiping the sweat from her brow...) BUT, as with any film (really for the in-the-know-of-the-subject) like this wildly original work - it's the film itself that one covets...not the clever added bitsthat hope to help sell the piece.
Buy it

 

 

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