View Full Version : Hitchhiker's Guide

05-13-2005, 01:29 AM
:scared: I'm sure I will not score any points on this point of view. I went to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy yesterday. I don't remember ever reading Douglas Adams' books, but I can see I will never...no way...ever be a fan of his work. IMO only one of the bad Star Wars movies was better than this.

I would like to hear you writers of this type to comment. Maybe you find something in it, at least the movie version, that I seem to be missing. Could or would you mind sharing?

Thanks for any comments....Just little 'ol me...Wendy

05-13-2005, 01:43 AM
I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't comment on that. I did think the books and the old TV show were fun, though. It's been too many years for me to explain exactly why.

05-13-2005, 02:03 AM
I tried reading the books. Just couldn't get through the first one.

05-13-2005, 03:34 AM
I think you need to smoke something first... No? That's your problem, there...

05-13-2005, 04:45 AM
:scared: I'm sure I will not score any points on this point of view. I went to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy yesterday. I don't remember ever reading Douglas Adams' books, but I can see I will never...no way...ever be a fan of his work. IMO only one of the bad Star Wars movies was better than this.

I would like to hear you writers of this type to comment. Maybe you find something in it, at least the movie version, that I seem to be missing. Could or would you mind sharing?

Thanks for any comments....Just little 'ol me...Wendy

The books were wonderful beyond belief, and while I haven't seen the new movie, the PBS series was also wonderful beyond belief.

Guess it all depends on your sense of humor. I don't think you can compare it to Star Wars. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is supposed to be funny, and I think it's hilarious. I laugh from beginning to end.

Guess you just have to have a funny bone that matches it.

05-13-2005, 04:59 AM
I think the best way to explain HHGTG is to say it's sort of like the kind of book the Monty Python folk might write if Lewis Carroll were one of them.

It's silly, and funny, and, well, silly.

05-13-2005, 05:57 AM
I saw the movie, and quite honestly, loved it. One has to have a certain sense of humor, and a little bit of a satirical slant, to find it amusing. I've read most of the books, and done them multiple times on audiobook, and thought the movie did it justice (as far as movies based on books can go...always a few discrepancies). Take this with a grain of salt, though, it's been a couple of years since I've read or listened to them.

My husband, on the other hand, hated it. He's never read the books and had no inclination to - he said, and I quote, "The only funny thing about the whole movie was that robot." And he asked (many, many times) throughout the movie what our dearly departed Mr. Adams was on when he wrote this "garbage" (his words, not mine...believe me, I cringed).

Anyway, yeah, I liked it.


PS - and to me, Terry Pratchett is to fantasy what Douglas Adams is to sci-fi...if you don't like one, in my opinion, you more than likely won't like the other.

05-13-2005, 06:10 AM
From everything I've heard, the film is lousy and in no way does the story justice.

I never really got into them as books but I loved them as radio shorts and liked them on the telly. The humour needed the right delivery - the originals were very well acted. Also, it's the sort of humour which partly depends on surprize, on quick-fire gags you weren't expecting - but now that the Guide is so iconic that most people know most of the gags by heart, it loses a lot of its impact.

Similarly, the first time I saw the film Start the Revolution Without Me (when I was in my mid teens) I ended up lying collapsed on the floor of the cinema crowing for breath, in severe pain because I really *couldn't* breathe because I was laughing too much - and there were several other people in the audience who were in a similar and literal state of collapse. But when I saw it again, *knowing* what the gags were going to be before they arrived, it did no more than raise a smile.

Hitcher is one of those things which defined a whole generation in the UK, anyway. I still remember, aged about 19 or 20, staggering back from the pub across snow-covered fields with a gang of fellow students, all chanting "Those were the days when men were real men, and women were real women, and little furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were *real* little furry creatures from Alpha Centauri..."

05-15-2005, 01:32 AM
It was a dissapointment for me too.

I have not read the book, but I went there wanting to like it, but it did not live up to my expectations.

Yes, it had some funny parts, but it had NO Wow factor and I even found myself wondering when will it end.

I don't think I wish to see it again.

05-15-2005, 07:33 AM
I, personally, am not a hugge fan of the Guide. i find Terry Pratchett much preferable, but that's another arguement.

i haven't yet seen the movie, but i wuld suggest that you read the hitchhikers guide or at least start it before dismissing it. the writing is an EXCELLENT satirical deadpan style that wouldn't trnaslate well to the screen, and was the only thing that made it worth reading for me.

05-15-2005, 08:54 AM
I nearly hated the movie. I thought it was dull, mostly unfunny, and (in my theater at least) it had poor audio.

However, having read the books, I came away with two thoughts. First, they edited out the funny! There were many hilarious lines in the book, and they only hinted at them in the movie. The worst was the whole sequence with the bulldozers and the "plans" to build a bypass. They put the setup in the movie, but not the punchline! How stupid is that? And the second thing I thought was that they really did love the books. They tried really hard, especially with the whale. I could see that they cared about what they were doing. They just had no talent at it.

If you want to understand why the books are so loved, and considered so funny, go to the library and check out the audio CDs for the first book. Make sure you get the audio CDs with Douglas himself reading. I have those audio CDs, and I have to tell you that hearing the author read his work exactly as he intended, well, that brings home the funny. I mean, hilarious, ridiculous, goofball preposterous funny.


05-15-2005, 10:46 AM
It probably should be said to those who haven't read the books that, regardless of what you thought of most of the movie, if you liked the animated bits of Guide, you'll probably like the books.

05-15-2005, 03:41 PM
I discovered the books while I was in high school, and it was probably my first taste of how humour could be written. It got to the point where I could quote entire pages, which could explain why I didn't have many friends.

I've seen the movie several times, and while it differs from the book enormously, I still enjoyed it. (I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed on the first viewing, but it grew on me after a while.)

It actually started off as a radio series, and a lot of people who grew up on that hated the books because they were so different. I didn't enjoy the series as much as I thought I would because they left out sections of the book. So it really depends on where you came in, so to speak.

I think Douglas was trying out some new things in the movie, which is why it differed from the books. (The gun was Douglas's idea.) I'm starting to think that he wanted to do something different, but kept a lit of the gags from the books et al to keep everyone happy. I really liked how he showed how bureaucratic the Vogons are.

And if Zooey Deschanel asked me to go to Madagascar with her, I'd seriously think about it.


05-15-2005, 04:39 PM
Don't judge the book by the movie. In fact, don't judge any book by the film adaptation. They can't possibly do a book justice, you always lose three quarters of it. Otherwise movies would be twelve hours long.

In many cases the film departs from the book in other ways. For example, dumbing down. Books are cheap - you can market books for adults and sell enough to make it worthwhile. Movies are expensive, and if you want to make a lot of money you generally have to dumb them down to unbearable levels to appeal to the widest possible audience.

Some books make good films, some don't. My first intro to HHG was through the low-budget TV series, which I really enjoyed. Conventional wisdom says the series was junk, and I guess that proves I'm neither conventional nor wise.

I haven't rushed off to see the film. Despite being a keen exponent of SF/Humour I really don't want to see HHG dumbed down to a ninety minute laugh track.

PS - Marvin the paranoid android was voiced by Alan Rickman, who amongst many other things played Snape in Harry Potter and Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Perfect for the job.

05-16-2005, 08:23 AM
one thing has always bothered me about Marvin the Paranoid Android: he's not paranoid. he's depressive.

05-16-2005, 08:44 AM
I'm not sure to what extent he's either of these: he gives me the impression of rather enjoying being downbeat, rather than being truly unhappy.

05-18-2005, 04:50 AM
PS I adored Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest, but I feel he was a dodgy choice to play Snape. Not that he isn't good in the part - but the make-up people made him up as about his own actual age (which looks to be late 40s) and that colours how people see and interpret the character.

Actually Snape was supposed to be the same age as, or even slightly younger than, Harry's father and Sirius, and as such he is probably only about 33 when the series opens - rather young to be a professor, and throwing his weight around to compensate for inexperience and insecurity.

05-23-2005, 04:28 AM
I saw the movie with my little bro, and we both came away completely overjoyed. I thought that even though Adams died before he could finish the script, his own peculiar sense of humor showed through. I've read all the books, including Starship Titanic, what there is of Salmon of Doubt, and Young Zaphod Plays It Safe. I've seen the old BBC movie, and heard bits of the radio series. I've even played h2g2.
There were parts I didn't like much, and parts I loved. Overall, it was immensely enjoyable.
It wasn't the books - nothing ever could be.
But when is the movie ever the books?

05-29-2005, 07:25 PM
I enjoyed Hitchiker in every media. I'm sure Douglas Adams intended every iteration of the story to be different. The radio show was a masterpiece in that form of art, and the books that followed were different from the radio show, and shockingly original.

The television show suffered from low production values and too many attempts to match earlier media forms. For instance, they had roller skate sounds for Marvin when he clearly wasn't roller skating. This was a lame attempt to mollify fans of the radio series.

The movie suffered, as we all did, from Mr. Adams's death. It was clear to me he must have written an appropriate script, that it was too long for a movie, and that the subsequent script writing and editing work damaged the story in all the wrong places. It's been said correctly that many gags were set up without the requisite punchlines.

Still, I could see what was intended, and I appreciated it, even though the tone, the story, and some characterization had changed (again.)

Hell, the babelfish entry alone was worth the price of admission.

05-30-2005, 11:09 AM
I just saw the movie yesterday, and I agree. I never heard the radio series, but I did watch the TV shows and I read the books. The movie does as good of a job as it can within the constraints of movie format. My dislikes: truncated gag sequences, Marvin and the fact they don't take us to the restaurant. My likes: the cast, the Vogons, Slartibartfast and his factory and the POV gun (I think a lot of fiction would benefit from such a weapon built in to the cover).

As I always do, I stayed to the bitter end of the credits and am glad I did. There were some of the jokes that didn't fit into the movie script. One other couple stayed after, as well, and it was obvious from their comments that they had no history with HHGTTG, or Douglas Adams. Yet they found it very funny and said they were going to pick up and read the books, only inquiring to me about them to see if they were better than the film. I said, "Yep, but then, isn't that always the case?" We left the theater laughing.