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Hitcher's Movie Trailer
February 16, 2005 6:39 AM   Subscribe

Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy movie trailer
Hollywood? Don't talk to me about Hollywood. They've got a budget the size of a planet and they give Zaphod three arms instead of two heads? Hollywood, don't talk to me about Hollywood. [via]
posted by johnj (115 comments total)

 
You know, while I wasn't totally thrilled with the book, it did have it's moments. I can see the potential--potential mind you--for a decent film adaptation.

Of course, I did love the Infocom game.
posted by malaprohibita at 6:46 AM on February 16, 2005


Additional production info from Amazon.
posted by johnj at 6:49 AM on February 16, 2005


It's a shame this isn't going to be a decent film adaptation. If the trailer's any indication, I won't sully his memory by watching it destroyed on-screen, "dumbed down" for an audience that can barely read.

(And Zaphod had three arms and two heads...)
posted by FormlessOne at 6:51 AM on February 16, 2005


FormlessOne, you do realize that Douglas Adams was involved in this adaptaption from its concept till his death, right?
posted by shawnj at 6:53 AM on February 16, 2005


There wasn't nearly as much buffering in the original.
posted by spaghetti at 6:53 AM on February 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


I haven't read the book yet. It at least looks amusing and somewhat entertaining, which is all you can really ask for in a book adaptation. It's a different type of art, and sticking line-by-line to the book isn't always such a good idea. The novel Jurassic Park had a scene in it where a T-Rex bites its tongue, throwing gallons of blood all over the place in this little cave. Stuff like that just doesn't work onscreen. There's also the fact that condensing a 300 page book into a couple hours leaves out a lot of stuff.
posted by craven_morhead at 6:56 AM on February 16, 2005


I think that Martin Freeman will make a great Arthur Dent. The rest I'm unsure about. But I merely liked the books so I won't be broadcasting my displeasure in alt.nerd.obsessive if the movie veers a bit.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:57 AM on February 16, 2005


They're selling The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on the strength of a rake in the face? That saddens and confuses me.

Maybe, just maybe, it's chockful of the original's hilarity that marketing thought would be confusing to the teeming millions in a big budget sci-fi extravaganza. Maybe Zaphod's still so hip he can't see over his pelvis and not just Sam Rockwell playing Owen Wilson in a buddy cop movie.

I'm still hopeful because...well, I want to believe.

Now I'll go watch it a hundred more times.
posted by unsupervised at 6:59 AM on February 16, 2005


Quicktime version on Apple's trailers site for those with the buffering blues. This is looking very, very good to me, but like the Mayor above, I also merely liked the books.
posted by zsazsa at 7:00 AM on February 16, 2005


Okay, I apologize. That's the teaser trailer above. I didn't bother to wait until it was done downloading to watch it.
posted by zsazsa at 7:05 AM on February 16, 2005


And Zaphod had three arms and two heads...
I never noticed or didn't remember the three arms. Geesh! What does that say about me, only noticing the heads?!

As for the adaptation, my only real concern is Marvin, who's character I feel beautifully describes most of my life. Well, him and the Floppy, happy mattresses.
posted by johnj at 7:06 AM on February 16, 2005


Every adaptation that Adam's was involved with contradicted any other version of HHG that he did. This continues that fine tradition. I don't know if it'll be a good movie or not. If you want to bitch and moan about being canonical or not being canonical then compare it to the radio series, which was really the origin.

I'm keeping an open mind about it despite the fact that Disney is involved.
posted by substrate at 7:07 AM on February 16, 2005


For a trailer, that was sucktastic.
Loved the books, so if the movie doesn't match expectations I will probably mental-file it away as a horribly made fanfilm (this is how I coped with the Star Wars prequels).
posted by casarkos at 7:07 AM on February 16, 2005


A review of a test screening. More of the same. May contain spoilers.

I'm not worrying.
posted by shawnj at 7:07 AM on February 16, 2005


ok, idiots....

they DID give zaphod two heads. they're just not side by side.

and yes, they did also give him three arms.

i think it's going to be awesome. i'm gonna watch the trailer again.
posted by taumeson at 7:07 AM on February 16, 2005


It looks like it could be really great, but does someone want to explain to me why they made Zaphod look like Renny Harlin?
posted by emptybowl at 7:09 AM on February 16, 2005


johnj, do you have some affiliation with thetowelplace.com or did the href accidentally append itself to the period in your comment above?
posted by DBAPaul at 7:10 AM on February 16, 2005


I'm keeping an open mind about it despite the fact that Disney is involved.

From what I understand, and I've been reading as much as I can about this film, Disney didn't have much at all to do with the content of the film, merely the distribution and marketing.
posted by shawnj at 7:10 AM on February 16, 2005


zsazsa: your link isn't to the same trailer. That's the teaser trailer.

And I can't read aint-it-cool-news ever since Harry Knowles imagined what it would be like to watch Guillermo Del Toro giving oral Certainly not safe for anyone who values their sight or sanity.
posted by unsupervised at 7:15 AM on February 16, 2005


It’s almost shockingly eccentric and manages to stay very faithful to the spirit of all the previous incarnations of the story while also contributing some fascinating new ideas to the overall mythos.

Thank you, AICN.
posted by catachresoid at 7:17 AM on February 16, 2005


This looks great. Can't wait.
posted by gwint at 7:20 AM on February 16, 2005


I love how they have to sell all comedies with some brainless bits of slapstick in every trailer. The trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ends with Johnny Depp banging his head on something. Yeah fellas, I won't view any movie without the promise of seeing someone getting hit in the face and/or falling down.

And regarding this trailer, it seems too Americanised. I'll reserve judgement, however.
posted by picea at 7:20 AM on February 16, 2005


The book, as has been said, is an adaptation of the radio series. The radio series is better, I think. The later books (those which were written as books in the first place) are better reads. Strict accuracy shouldn't be as high a priority as capturing the essence of the books (some of the jokes are old now we've heard them so many times). You can't judge how successful they've been from the trailer: trailers serve their own purpose. I remain optimistic.
posted by nthdegx at 7:28 AM on February 16, 2005


This is going to be fantastic.
posted by mr.marx at 7:29 AM on February 16, 2005


Didn't care for the trailer but Zaphod definitely had two heads in it. The trailer is, as picea says, "too Americanised". The pace, the commentary, the music. Perhaps this will be one those films where the trailer doesn't do it justice rather than the converse.
posted by juiceCake at 7:29 AM on February 16, 2005


Regarding the slapstick at the end of the trailer, and picea's mention of similar in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory trailer, you all should realize that this trailer will be played at the beginning of a lot of children's movies, and therefore is rather appropriate, and although probably not even new to most kids, still appropriate.

I'm not about to poo poo a formulaic trailer (and what trailer isn't), especially if it means a whole new generation of HGTTG fans.

And as for Zaphod's two heads, if you watch the trailer closely at one point it appears that his head flips back to reveal a second smaller head. You didn't think Douglas Adams would let them take that away, did you?

I'm rather excited, but if you're still worried, just put your opaque glasses on, or wrap your towel over your eyes if you've lost your glasses.
posted by furtive at 7:40 AM on February 16, 2005


> johnj, do you have some affiliation with thetowelplace.com or did the href accidentally append itself to the period in your comment above?
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-tohand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have "lost.". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase which has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)
(end quote)
posted by brownpau at 7:45 AM on February 16, 2005


I have hope for the movie, if only because Garth Jennings is directing it. He did the video for Beck's "Lost Cause" (quicktime) which is one of the most beautiful videos ever made, IMHO.

The trailer sucks, however, just cuz it's all Hollywood "BOOM! ZAP! POW!" overblown movie-hype, CGI and stupid slapstick jokes. Hopefully the film will have a bit more of Adams' dry wit.
posted by fungible at 7:52 AM on February 16, 2005


That actually looked pretty good. I like how they handled Zaphod's 2nd head. It looks like they're going to be combining a few of the books; with so much raw material to choose from, they should be able to suss-out a decent plot. We'll see.

Mos Def was perfectly cast. But I much prefer the Marvin from the TV series. Much.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:52 AM on February 16, 2005


I predict that every single person in Britain will hate it.
posted by salmacis at 7:57 AM on February 16, 2005


BTW - the link takes me to amazon.com - WTF? Where's the trailer?
posted by salmacis at 7:59 AM on February 16, 2005


Thought it looked quite good myself and I'm a huge Adams and Hitchhikers fan. You're never going to satisfy everybody who wants it to be a slavish adaption to the book but then Hitcherhikers has changed to suit every medium. Can't wait.
posted by reeche1 at 8:00 AM on February 16, 2005


I predict that every single person in Britain will hate it.

Along with every internet geek and every message boark geek and every sigh....

Fortunately I hate most people so....
posted by reeche1 at 8:03 AM on February 16, 2005


not getting anything.

[checks slashdot]

hmm. don't see anything about it there yet. Why do I see nothing when I press the play button?
posted by jnthnjng at 8:05 AM on February 16, 2005


I'm working on the direct download. Had to hack the server address from the Flash file. I hate, hate, hate embedded video.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:09 AM on February 16, 2005


Mos Def was perfectly cast.

Agreed. I was very very pleased to see him in the trailer. We'll see, though.
posted by nthdegx at 8:09 AM on February 16, 2005


Sam Rockwell as Zaphod is probably the most daring casting of a much-beloved sci-fi/fantasy character since Viggo Mortensen was cast as Aragorn. Was I skeptical about Viggo as Strider? Hell yes. Did he totally nail the part? Hell yes. (In my opinion.)

I'm very excited about Hitchhiker's Guide. Can't wait!
posted by notmydesk at 8:10 AM on February 16, 2005


FormlessOne, you do realize that Douglas Adams was involved in this adaptaption from its concept till his death, right?

You do realize that Adams hadn't been able to write a book for like ten years before his death, right? I don't mean that pejoratively, I mean the guy suffered from serious writer's block as well as the inability to fully recapture his youthful genius.

Like George Lucas or Gene Roddenberry, he was a lot more inspired when he was lean, hungry, and in his case hitchhiking, rather than chilling in a nice home in Santa Barabra.

I just hope that the writer of "Chicken Run," another exercise by the same screenwriter in de-Britishizing a great thing, outdoes himself this time. Otherwise this has strong potential to be the next "Pluto Nash."
posted by inksyndicate at 8:20 AM on February 16, 2005


I trust Sam Rockwell implicitly.

I really enjoyed that trailer, honestly, although it could've courted more nerds with more appearances by Marvin and towels. (But then, will nerds need said courting to see it? I know I won't).

Some bits, I imagine, will suffer immensely from the Americanization of inflection.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 8:20 AM on February 16, 2005




Had to hack the server address from the Flash file. I hate, hate, hate embedded video.

Yeah, right now this is proving literally unwatchable: get a few seconds, buffer, get a few seconds buffer, then eventually a complete freeze. Oh well: in a month or so I imagine I'll be completely sick of seeing it.

You do realize that Adams hadn't been able to write a book for like ten years before his death, right?

And his last major completed project, theStarship Titanic video game, left quite a bit to be desired, IMHO. Far too much time spent on an unimpressive "natural speech" interface, and not enough on interesting game play.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:25 AM on February 16, 2005


mkultra: This is pretty big news for geeks and sci-fi fans, unfortunately Amazon has decided to prevent people from going directly to the video clip.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:27 AM on February 16, 2005


Hey, if anyone wants to help get the video, this might help:

Flash remoting server address: fcs.amazon.speedera.net/vod/fcs.amazon

Video instance (high-res): trailer/HG2G_384K
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:28 AM on February 16, 2005


Consider your fears well-grounded, even though the bar is set much lower than you think.

Gargh, if every post was like this I'd absolutely agree. The occasional timely heads-up of something we know a lot of us are interested in doesn't really hurt too much, though -- and can lead to quite entertaining conversations. So long as they remain a tiny minority, I think posts like this are fine.

HHGTTG

That's h2g2 ;)
posted by nthdegx at 8:29 AM on February 16, 2005


Looks good to me, even without sound (no speakers here at work).
posted by me3dia at 8:29 AM on February 16, 2005


> I love how they have to sell all comedies with some brainless bits of slapstick in every trailer.

Did you notice the novel on which Arthur's alarm clock was sitting (near the start of the trailer)? 'Slapstick' by Kurt Vonnegut.

Vonnegut's novels were a big influence on Adams.
posted by crayfish at 8:35 AM on February 16, 2005


Shut up mkultra. This post made my morning.

I think the trailer looks alright. The fact that Freeman is so perfectly casted makes me have hope. Marvin looks a little goofy, but I suppose it will be all in the delivery.
posted by xmutex at 8:35 AM on February 16, 2005


Oh noo! They made a movie out of [book]! I must declare my distaste for it!

"they give Zaphod three arms instead of two heads?"

If you actually watched the trailer you might have seen that they handled the 2nd head a lot better than the TV adaptation did.
It looks like they made some great casting choices. They even have Alan Rickman as the voice of Marvin.

One thing I'd like to see is the fundie wack jobs getting upset about the nature of the universe as presented in the story. Please make sure the appropriate parties are notified of this attack on religion, ASAP!
posted by 2sheets at 8:39 AM on February 16, 2005


If I remember correctly, AICN raved about both Star Wars prequels. That's when I stopped reading reviews there -- especially ones of anything sci-fi or fantasy.
posted by Shike at 8:47 AM on February 16, 2005


This is pretty big news for geeks and sci-fi fans

No, it's not. The existence of the movie has been made known far and wide, eve here, as recently as December, in far better posts than this.

But, since you insist... MetaTalk
posted by mkultra at 8:54 AM on February 16, 2005


er... even here...
posted by mkultra at 8:54 AM on February 16, 2005


mkultra: Please find another thread to piss on. Thanks.
posted by xmutex at 8:58 AM on February 16, 2005


I didn't like the LOTR books all that much, but I liked the movies.
I didn't like the HGTG books all that much either, therefore the movies can't be any worse. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:13 AM on February 16, 2005


I am (internally) bouncing up and down in my chair here at work in gleeful anticipation. Is it possible that the second most beloved series of geek books from my childhood (following LOTR) might could possibly be made into a good movie??!?

I can't tell from the trailer, personally, but it doesn't look like it's going to out-and-out suck, as I'd worried it might.

*continues (internally) bouncing*
posted by papercake at 9:18 AM on February 16, 2005


Civil_Disobedient,

What are we supposed to do with that video info?
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:25 AM on February 16, 2005


mkultra: Please find another thread to piss on. Thanks.

To borrow your theme- don't piss on the site and tell me it's raining. Popular response doesn't make this a good FPP.
posted by mkultra at 9:27 AM on February 16, 2005


You wanna use that MeTa thread you started, mkultra, or what?
posted by nthdegx at 9:31 AM on February 16, 2005


Oh yes, and if anyone has seen the awful, terrible, goofy BBC TV series, in which Zaphod had two heads next to each other, one of which was so badly done it was distracting, and Marvin was far, far goofier-looking than the one in the upcoming film... well, to be honest, the only saving grace of that series was that several of the actors from the radio series were in it, and so anyway, if anyone's ever seen that, they'd know that this screen adaptation doesn't look as bad as folks are making out to be, and mkultra should zark off, and yes, I know this is a run-on sentence, and no, I no longer care.
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:34 AM on February 16, 2005


I thought the Hitchhiker books were amazing when I was little. I still have fond memories of reading them. Sadly, some of my fondest...

But when I tried to reread them a couple of years ago I couldn't get past the part on the Vogon ship. Bad poetry jokes? Not nearly as funny to an adult as to a 6th grader.

I think the movies will be fine.
posted by Doug at 9:34 AM on February 16, 2005


Whenever I want to know if a movie is going to be good or not, I usually find out who the writer and director are. That's why I didn't have many worries about LOTR, especially after what Jackson did in Heavenly Creatures, the only movie in his career he seemed to care about.

That said, a music video director making his first movie always makes me nervous. It could be good (Spike Jonze), promising but flawed (David Fincher) or it could be downright awful (take your pick, but McG comes to mind). The choice of writer and the British humor in Chicken Run are promising, but it's safe to say that this movie is up in the air and who knows if it is any good at all.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:45 AM on February 16, 2005


For some reason the trailer works for me in IE, but not Firefox. In fact, the same link will take firefox to a page that doesnt even mention the trailer.
posted by Doug at 9:48 AM on February 16, 2005


Froody.
posted by flashboy at 9:52 AM on February 16, 2005


*panics*
posted by kirkaracha at 9:52 AM on February 16, 2005


I miss the britishness. I just sounds like another american screwball comedy. Too much CGI and 'funny stuff' will ruin this movie ...
posted by homodigitalis at 9:57 AM on February 16, 2005


Anyone, anyone who was a real fan would be able top chant, with me now, "Zaphod, looking good, the extra arm suits you."
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:01 AM on February 16, 2005


kirkaracha: don't.
posted by analogue at 10:02 AM on February 16, 2005


Feh. I'm still not impressed with the trailer. I've seen far too many book-to-movie adaptations lately to be optimistic about this one.

Ursula K. LeGuin was also nominally "involved" with SciFi Channel's Earthsea adaptation - that turned out to be a train wreck. She's at least alive to complain about the result.
posted by FormlessOne at 10:03 AM on February 16, 2005


Feh. I'm still not impressed with the trailer. I've seen far too many book-to-movie adaptations lately to be optimistic about this one.

Ursula K. LeGuin was also nominally "involved" with SciFi Channel's Earthsea adaptation - that turned out to be a train wreck. She's at least alive to complain about the result.

So hip, I can't see over my own pelvis.
posted by FormlessOne at 10:03 AM on February 16, 2005


Weird - double post. Sorry, folks.
posted by FormlessOne at 10:04 AM on February 16, 2005


What are we supposed to do with that video info?

Nothing. I've done it for you.

Folks, I'll be accepting donations at the door.

Direct download of trailer (sorry for the low-quality video... should be good enough to get the general jist). Please be nice to the server. :)

DEATH TO EMBEDDED VIDEO!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:08 AM on February 16, 2005


What are we supposed to do with that video info?

Nothing. I've done it for you.

Folks, I'll be accepting donations at the door.

Direct download of trailer (sorry for the low-quality video... should be good enough to get the general jist). Please be nice to the server. :)

DEATH TO EMBEDDED VIDEO!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:08 AM on February 16, 2005


(Whoops... the second post has the correct link.)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:08 AM on February 16, 2005


I miss the britishness. I just sounds like another american screwball comedy. Too much CGI and 'funny stuff' will ruin this movie ...

I agree with you to a point but then this is a mass market movie. Long, "talkly", overly subtle bits is what the TV adaption had and that won't work and didn't work.

I think there is a simply a difference between movies and books and you can't simply transpose the book into the screenplay and voila... Great movie imo. I think Douglas would have recognized this himself.

I'm hoping the movie captures the spirit of the book and no more. Change is inevitable after all because they are making a product that has to make money first and foremost to an American Audience-not the relatively small number of people who have fond memories of a book from 15 years ago.

Art and commerce go hand in hand and can produce good stuff. I say wait for the movie and then the opinions will be more valid pro or con but I know initially everybody wants to comment on the trailer.
posted by reeche1 at 10:10 AM on February 16, 2005


Oh no, not again.
posted by loquacious at 10:28 AM on February 16, 2005


loquacious

(It was petunias, wasn't it?)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:31 AM on February 16, 2005


I, for one, thank you for the link. Nice to get some clips of the actual movie itself, rather than the extremely basic TEASER trailer. Interesting how Amazon gets the premiere ahead of even the official movie web site. I'm reading the five part "trilogy" for the first time now and enjoying it - though it is one of the weirdest things I've ever read.
posted by spock at 10:45 AM on February 16, 2005


Civil_Disobedient,

What the process you used for un-embedding that video? Just curious.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:49 AM on February 16, 2005


What the process you used for un-embedding that video? Just curious.

First you have to find out what server the video is being streamed from. If it's "normal" streaming video (WMV/Real/ASF), you can use StreamDown on the server URL. Flash uses a different protocol that (apparently) has yet to be cracked. I was able to identify the video location by decrypting the SWF files Amazon uses, but it turns out it's right there in their XML file.

Anyway, since I couldn't grab the video directly, I had to use the (very low-tech) method of simply using a video-grabbing utility (used a lot with those "How to use Windows" tutorials), then ripped the audio (Sound Forge) and mixed it (VirtualMod). That's why the video quality isn't so hot.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:58 AM on February 16, 2005


Um, in regards to Zaphod's two heads:

You know, if that has to be cut for budgetary problems, then by all means cut it. My memory of the books is that Zaphod's extra head created opportunities for only a couple of the least memorable jokes in the entire series. Nailing the character of Marvin is essential, getting Arthur Dent's character as the unwitting fish-out-of-water who finds himself at the center of a galactic conspiracy is critical, getting Trillian down as the smartest and the most together character in the entire series is important, finding a cinematic hook to include many of the extensive footnotes would be quite nice.

Zahpod's extra head? Ehhh.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:59 AM on February 16, 2005


Ah, but it looks like my effort was for naught. Hi-Res QuickTime direct download.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:02 AM on February 16, 2005


Civil_Disobedient: Thanks. This looks awesome.
posted by sid at 11:18 AM on February 16, 2005


I have to agree with papercake. I was all prepared to not like it, because adaptations are always dangerous, and h2g2 is such a fundamental part of my early adolescence that it's kind of hard to imagine it coming through in the mainstream big screen properly - but - watching the trailer made me giddy.

Just remember, it won't replace the books or the experience of reading them back when. Yeah, it could definitely be kind of americanized and not as dry or original as it was the first time around, but, you know, that's okay. It looks like it could turn out to be really fun. I'm excited.
posted by mdn at 11:18 AM on February 16, 2005


Greg Knauss is also hosting a direct download of the same high-res Quicktime that Civil-Disobedient posted. Very fast server.
posted by waxpancake at 11:22 AM on February 16, 2005


filebox.vt.edu - similar download

seems to have the file, too. Nothing like crashing an edu site to make an afternoon interesting....
posted by dwivian at 11:24 AM on February 16, 2005


Zaphod's second head is there, but it's like, under the normal one kinda and only pops up when a witticism is needed. Good solution, works with the effects budget plus it makes it less tacky than seeing a second head the whole time.

It's funny that you can see them mangling the book's humor and timing even in the trailer - like the scene where Arthur and Ford are dumped into space, normally there's narration that says something like "A human can survive 35 seconds in the void of space before dying of asphyxiation [...] so it was an especially fitting coincidence that 34 seconds later, Arthur and Ford were rescued." Whereas in the movie they're just dumped straight down and into the passing Heart of Gold, definitely a more Hollywood way of handling the comicness of that situation.

Actually, that's one of the core problems of making a movie of it: a ton of the funniest parts of the books come from narration. The whole radio show, book, and I think TV series are heavy on it. Those narrated citations from the Hitchhiker's Guide, often in the middle of especially tense scenes, are pretty funny and really help set the tone. Pity.
posted by abcde at 12:11 PM on February 16, 2005


abcde, I hear what you're saying but, just because it's edited that way in the trailer doesn't mean that they've deleted that, or many of the Guide narrations. I believe they hired the original voice for the guide to do the movie as well, so they're going to use some narration at least.

*continues bouncing*
posted by papercake at 12:52 PM on February 16, 2005


definitely a more Hollywood way of handling the comicness of that situation.

It also saves you 33 seconds of movie-time, which is about half a page of script/plot development/big CGI spaceships with lasers.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:52 PM on February 16, 2005


The goofyness of the BBC tv series defined the whole world to me. The stodgyness of Dent, the coolness of Zaphod, the more than slightly manic gleam in Ford Prefect's eye. And Marvin - beautiful, drowning in a morass of misery Marvin. When I read the books, it is their voices I hear.
posted by jb at 1:12 PM on February 16, 2005


After predicting that the Lord of the Rings was in a no-win position since "it wasn't going to make the purists happy and nobody else was going to care" - I think I'll just keep my mouth shut this time around.
posted by spock at 1:14 PM on February 16, 2005


papercake: The original voice of the Guide ('starring Peter Jones as "The Book"') is unfortunately dead. Stephen Fry is doing the honours.
posted by Sparx at 1:22 PM on February 16, 2005


Hey, at least Stephen Fry is the voice of the Book. This makes me very happy.

Granted, I'm more stoked about the new radio plays on the Beeb, 'cause Simon Jones is the voice of Arthur Dent for me, now and forever. But I'm willing to give the new guy a shot.
posted by RakDaddy at 1:24 PM on February 16, 2005


Um, right. Like Sparx said.
posted by RakDaddy at 1:24 PM on February 16, 2005


I lurve Mos Def and Sam Rockwell. I think these novels present a series of interesting problems for filmmakers: chief amongst them is one pointed out earlier, namely the heavy reliance on narrative chicanery for the pacing, and indeed existence, of humour in the novel.

But I have faith.
posted by The God Complex at 1:29 PM on February 16, 2005


abcde: That's a trailer. It's edited. It is not the movie. The movie will be longer than 2 minutes 20 seconds. They often trim things down, skip bits, even rearrange things to make a snappy trailer.

Every casting choice they've made so far just feels right. It all feels right. I can't wait. In fact, I just willomied with excitement.
posted by ralphyk at 1:34 PM on February 16, 2005


I realized they could have cut it but it does look like they're falling continuously.

Anyway, my erroneous assumption of no narration now renders half my first comment meaningless.
posted by abcde at 1:36 PM on February 16, 2005


Ah, Sparx, thanks for the correction. Too lazy to check IMDB myself. Stephen Fry is a fantastic choice. As is Alan Rickman as the voice of Marvin. Hell, the casting all the way around as far as I can tell is promising. Here's hoping.

*drinks Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster*
posted by papercake at 2:09 PM on February 16, 2005


Oh, Christ, that trailer is worse than my worst nightmares! What have they done to it!? Ford Prefect is black! Marvin looks like a cheap Sony toy. There's no subtlety or timing at all. What and absolute stinker this is going to be. Give me the BBC series any day.

You bastards, Hollywood!
posted by salmacis at 2:27 PM on February 16, 2005


What does it matter if Ford Prefect is black?

Good God peoples calm yourselves...
posted by ozomatli at 2:38 PM on February 16, 2005


jb - yeah, I agree. The TV series was great. It was distinctive and witty. It was good in that they didn't have to compress the books too much. It's a pity that they can't adapt more books as mini-series and just sell them as sets of DVDs. The first Harry Potter would have made a fantastic 3 or so disc set had it been allowed to run for 4-5 hours. The movie was just way to compressed. The mini-series of Brideshead Revisited is a fantastic book adaptation because it is pretty much the book straight.

Dirk Gently's or The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul would have made a better movie.
posted by sien at 2:42 PM on February 16, 2005


I'm just waiting to find out what's up with the John Malkovich character created for the film. I was worried when I saw it in the credits lineup, but a little relieved to see that DNA wrote it in for the film.

I'm trying not to judge the film before it comes out (though that's really hard since I love it so). The trailer disappoints me, though. I'm hoping they've thrown all the slapstick stuff into it in hopes of casting a wider audience net.
posted by aine42 at 3:10 PM on February 16, 2005


April 29th? Why don't they release it on April, 4th dammit?!
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:20 PM on February 16, 2005


a music video director making his first movie always makes me nervous

techically, hammer & tongs isn't a music video director. garth jennings gets the directing credit, yes, but ("producer") nick goldsmith is just as important.

if you are worried about their commitment to the adams legacy, read their answers to fan-questions .
they are as big fan boys as any of us.
posted by mr.marx at 4:26 PM on February 16, 2005


From what I understand, and I've been reading as much as I can about this film, Disney didn't have much at all to do with the content of the film, merely the distribution and marketing.
posted by shawnj

that was my major reservation about this. the idea posthumous movie by disney, and a desperate disney at that, is stomach turning...

the original tv series, while low budget as hell, is wonderful. my dad, introduced me to the books, loves to point out that the guide segments on the show were quite prophetic of a hyperlink based internet.
posted by es_de_bah at 4:57 PM on February 16, 2005


Why don't they release it on April, 4th dammit?!

Don't you mean, April 2nd?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:41 PM on February 16, 2005


Civil_Disobedient: More thanks
posted by IndigoJones at 5:51 PM on February 16, 2005


Martin Freeman was great in The Office. He makes a quite perfect Arthur Dent. Actually, the casting looks pretty good, though the trailer wasn't very funny. And that's the thing--for those of you who haven't read the book(s). The book is so damn funny that a movie is just bound to fail. I'll go see it, though.
posted by zardoz at 6:37 PM on February 16, 2005


Don't you mean, April 2nd?

shit, yeah that's what I meant.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 7:14 PM on February 16, 2005


This must be a Tuesday. I could never get the hang of Tuesdays.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 7:16 PM on February 16, 2005


That trailer is just as pretty as an airport.
posted by dantsea at 8:48 PM on February 16, 2005


Cheer up, MiltonRandKalman. The thead's about to end.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:03 PM on February 16, 2005


The trailer's okay. Not great, but I'm pretty stoked to see it actually happening. A lot of the "changes" are really only apparent when compared to the tv series, which was the 3rd incarnation of the story, so no biggie whether Ford is black, or American, or whether you actually see Zaphod's extra appendages.

And why isn't Return of the Sith released May 4th?
posted by John Shaft at 1:13 AM on February 17, 2005


Gah, Revenge of the Sith.
posted by John Shaft at 1:13 AM on February 17, 2005


I think this will have similar problems to LOTR movie.
As good as it can possibly be will only be 'ok' to anyone who loves the books.

For me the LOTR moves were acceptable. Which makes them far better than I thought there would be. (At least there was no product placement. )

This.... I dunno. That Eric Idilesque "Ahhhh" sort of spaceness Douglas had - dreamy and philosophical (and yet silly) - seems to be missing (the GALAXY SONG by Idle and du Prez from Meaning of Life as a ferinstance), but yeah, it's too early to tell.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:22 PM on February 17, 2005


What have they done to it!? Ford Prefect is black! Marvin looks like a cheap Sony toy.

Ford being black -- no damn problem for me. I don't seem to remember Douglas Adams specifying. And there's no 'huh' factor for me. Marvin, though? Far too fucking shiny.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in a moment of reasoned lucidity which is almost unique among its current tally of five million, nine hundred and seventy-three thousand, five hundred and nine pages, says of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation products that "it is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all.

In other words--and this is the rock-solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxywide success is founded--their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws."
In short, Marvin is the futuristic descendent of the 1970s hostess trolley.
posted by riviera at 12:28 AM on February 20, 2005


Mos Def will rock as Ford, and I think Marvin's sleek design will only add to the humor of his depressed state.
posted by CaptMcalister at 4:46 PM on February 20, 2005


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