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DVD Talk review of 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)'

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DVD Talk review of 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)'

Old 09-07-05, 12:25 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)'

I read Aaron Beierle's DVD review of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=17583 and...

I was just wondering if you could tell us about how long the deleted scenes are and give us a brief description of them. Mainly, I want to know if we're getting any extra Guide material or anything else that would be of interest to long-time fans.
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Old 09-07-05, 01:26 PM
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Aaron...on behalf of Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, I'd thought you'd like to know they're called "Vogons", not Volgars.

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Old 09-07-05, 02:18 PM
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I was wondering if I should read the book before seeing the movie
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Old 09-07-05, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Fok
I was wondering if I should read the book before seeing the movie
Not to be one of those people, but the book is several hundred thousand times better than the movie. I'd recommend reading the book and passing on the movie entirely.
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Old 09-07-05, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
Not to be one of those people, but the book is several hundred thousand times better than the movie. I'd recommend reading the book and passing on the movie entirely.
The movie's not that bad, but it does sacrifice a majority of the book's verbal humor and wit in favor of slapstick visual antics.

I didn't dislike it. It's a decent addendum to the books, and I look forward to watching it again to see if I feel any differently about it. But I would definitely recommend reading the book series first, as the movie plays strictly to fans already familiar with the material.

It's not the masterpiece it might have been, but it's also certainly not the travesty it could have been either.

Last edited by Josh Z; 09-07-05 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 09-07-05, 05:06 PM
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It wasn't a great movie, but as fan, I was satisfied with it. It had just enough of the old material, while adding enough new decent material to differentiate it from all the other versions. What suprised me though was that several of my friends who hadn't read the books liked the movie even more than I did. So maybe it is better to see the movie first. I don't know. Personally, I'd recommend listening to the BBC radio shows first, but that's just me.
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Old 09-07-05, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Fok
I was wondering if I should read the book before seeing the movie

I don't think it is necessary. Like someone else said above, you will probably enjoy the movie more if you do not have previous material to compare it to. While I enjoyed the movie, I was disappointed with the dialogue that was cut out of scenes........sometimes just parts of dialogue were missing that made a scene that used to be funny, not be funny anymore.....

anway....the books are not the first incarnation of this story anyway. the two radio series were first. then two books were written based on the two radio series. and then a BBC miniseries (which is VERY faithful IMO) was made based on the first two books. eventually three more books were written, and then radio series of them were made also (at least I think in the case of the last 3 stories the books came before the radio series, but I could be wrong....I am only sure of the timing for the first 2 stories).

and now we have a movie, which is based only on the first story (first radio series, first book, first half of the BBC miniseries).

I discovered all these things backwards. My first introduction to Hitchhiker was the BBC miniseries, and then I read the books. This was 10 years ago. I just within the last year have heard the first 2 radio series. You can get the radio series from amazon.co.uk
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Old 09-07-05, 09:07 PM
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Been a huge Hitchhiker's fan since waaaay back in high school. I've read the books numerous times, I once taped the BBC series off of PBS, I managed to get a hold of some scratchy versions of the old radio shows, and heck -- I even finished the old Infocom text game. I'm a proud HHGTG geek.

And I'm in agreement with most of the fans: The movie's quite fun, even though several of my favorite bits didn't make the film.

But after all's said and done, it's just another permutation of the brilliant source material. The fact that the movie's "pretty good, not awesome" is a victory in and of itself. I attribute what's right with the film to the hiring of two young, talented, and eager-to-please Brit filmmakers. I think they did as much as can be expected.

Here's hoping Hammer & Tongs is hired to direct The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. (Fingers crossed.)

P.S. Aaron: It's Zooey, not Zoe. And you have a broken "BR" tag in the extras section.
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Old 09-07-05, 10:18 PM
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I didn't read the book (and I'm not going to HAHAHAHAHAHA) and I liked the movie a lot.
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Old 09-07-05, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by garmonbozia
I just within the last year have heard the first 2 radio series. You can get the radio series from amazon.co.uk
If you get a chance, you should listen to the other three also. Despite the lack of Douglas Adams involvement (for obvious reasons) I think they turned out really well. I don't care much for the 4th & 5th books in the series, so I was suprised that liked the 4th & 5th radio shows as much as I did.

Actually though, I shouldn't say Douglas Adams had no involvement in them. Interestingly enough, the voice of Agrajag was done by Douglas Adams, using lines culled from the audiobook version of "Life, The Universe and Everything" that he did. I thought that was pretty clever.
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Old 09-07-05, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
The movie's not that bad, but it does sacrifice a majority of the book's verbal humor and wit in favor of slapstick visual antics.

I didn't dislike it. It's a decent addendum to the books, and I look forward to watching it again to see if I feel any differently about it. But I would definitely recommend reading the book series first, as the movie plays strictly to fans already familiar with the material.

It's not the masterpiece it might have been, but it's also certainly not the travesty it could have been either.

Just have to quote this for nailing my feelings exactly.

Definitely picking this one up.
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Old 09-08-05, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Molotov
If you get a chance, you should listen to the other three also. Despite the lack of Douglas Adams involvement (for obvious reasons) I think they turned out really well.
I definitely plan to in the near future. Thanks for the positive feedback, certainly makes me look forward to it more.
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Old 09-08-05, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Fok
I was wondering if I should read the book before seeing the movie
There are Spoilers Below!


Well, I read the books and own the radio show on CD (the radio show came first, then the books, then the TV mini-series, the the movie), and I must say that being familiar with the material ahead of time did nothing to help me enjoy the movie better, as the movie was just plain awful. Yeah Mos Def made a great Ford Prefect, Rickman stole the movie as Marvin's voice (and give it up to Warwick Davis for his job in the suit as his body language really helped sell the character), but Sam ROckwell deserves to burn in hell for his performance as Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the movie itself had too little structure and too many loose threads by the end (for instance, what did Malkovich's character have to do with anything? Not much, he was just there to lessen the effects budget by removing Zaphod's extra limbs, because as soon as he is offscreen the characters forget about him). This movie was a waste of mostly good talent (hell, I even like Rockwell in other roles, he was just a piss poor Beeblebrox, and the way he played the character they just should have got Owen Wilson for the part), and I can't help but wonder how much tampering Disney did after the death of Douglas Adams, or if the script was always that bad.
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Old 09-08-05, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Ford Prefect
Yeah Mos Def made a great Ford Prefect, Rickman stole the movie as Marvin's voice (and give it up to Warwick Davis for his job in the suit as his body language really helped sell the character), but Sam ROckwell deserves to burn in hell for his performance as Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the movie itself had too little structure and too many loose threads by the end
Now see, I loved Rockwell but disliked Mos Def (I almost can't imagine anyone being more wrong for the part of Ford). And your complaint about too many loose ends utterly disregards the fact that everything Adams ever wrote was structured like that.
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Old 09-08-05, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
Now see, I loved Rockwell but disliked Mos Def (I almost can't imagine anyone being more wrong for the part of Ford). And your complaint about too many loose ends utterly disregards the fact that everything Adams ever wrote was structured like that.
Aside from the Hitchhiker's stuff, everything else I read by Adams had no loose ends. The Dirk Gently books went to great lengths to tie everything up (even if it meant breaking most rules of logic, which is where the fun in Adams' writing comes in). The Hitchhiker's movie was just plain crap, Marvin was the only thing that kept me from walking out. Oh, and part of the reason for the loose ends in the Hitchhiker's books was because he kept continuing them (until Mostly Harmless), where as with the movie there was no guarantee of it being continued (and hopefully won't be).
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Old 09-09-05, 07:16 PM
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It's VOGONS not VULGARS.
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Old 09-10-05, 01:23 PM
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Book vs. film vs. radio vs. T-shirt

I like the film. A lot. It is uneven, byut is has charm, wit and is well made.

Most of its problems stem from the original Adams stuff. The changes are for the better, largely. Certainly the additons (rather than subtractions) anyway.

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Old 09-12-05, 11:45 AM
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Well personally i have always been a massive fan of the books. I also liked the original Radio series and the BBC TV show. The film had some nice moments.....but overall it was a disgrace. I keep reading that Douglas Adams wrote the screenplay for this.....well i am surprised if he isn't turning in his grave for what they have done with the movie. It totally differs in the storyline from the book. What we have is a chase flick where the Vogons are chasing our group of heroes. The Vogons were hardly in the books really....and they certainly didn't do any chasing. The film is also calle "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"....but we hardly get to see or hear anything from the guide itself. In the book, radio and TV versions we have had a lot of the guide.....and it tends to be one of the winning factors. The film hardly used it really. I didn't mind Mos Def all that much....and Sam Rockwell is a guy who i love, but i felt that they screwed Zaphod's character with that stupid bloody second head. They tried doing something original with it and it simply didn't work. Even though the old BBC series had crap special effects the second head on Zaphod there worked and was far better than the shitty movie version. Zaphod is suppossed to be cool and a bit stupid.....but the movie made him look like a complete idiot without any cool. Martin Freeman was wasted in my opinion, and the whole love triangle was complete rubbish. Not in the book...shouldn't be here.

The actual design of some of the things i like, such as the Heart of Gold, the Vogons (reminded me of some of the old Pink Floyd The Wall stuff for some reason) and even Marvin. But after all the anticipation and wanting to see this movie made, i feel that Hollywood as usual has taken something fantastic and dumbed it down for a mass audience. Stick to the books and TV series in my opinion. Vastly superior in every way.
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Old 09-13-05, 12:00 PM
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I look forward to Aaron's reviews but I think he missed the boat on this one. As a few mention above, the film is actually MORE enjoyable for those of us who have never read the books. I might change it to a Recommend if you haven't read the books, and a Rent It if you have.

I took my sons (12 and 10) and they both enjoyed it. This is my second most anticipated DVD of the year. (CRASH was the first for obvious different reasons.)

I'd say the determining factor would be if you enjoy British humor. I recently turned my sons on to the world of Monty Python, and am reliving old clips as they devour every humorous minute. But a loan of my copy of Shaun of the Dead to my brother who hates British humor was returned after being turned off in the middle. (???) Anyway...just my $.02. If ya like British humor, I think you will enjoy this film.
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