My wife and I went to see Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy last night. Some impressions:
- We went to the 7:00 showing at Cinerama. The house was packed with a hardcore geek crowd. I remember thinking that half of these guys -- overweight and pony-tailed -- could be models for the comic book store owner in The Simpsons. Personally, I love this. It was nice to watch a movie like H2G2 with a truly appreciative crowd. When "For Douglas" flashed on the screen at the end of the movie, the audience let out a heartfelt cheer.
- I thought I was the only one pissed at George Lucas. Guess not. When the trailer for Episode III came on, there were equal parts cheering and booing, and one very loud, "You suck, George Lucas!" from the gentleman in front of us. Hope you sell a lot of toys, George.
- My wife has not read the books and enjoyed the film. And why not? Who wouldn't love Sam Rockwell and Alan Rickman?
- As a long-time Douglas Adams fan, I found lots to enjoy, but also many filmmaking decisions that puzzled and frustrated me. It's no wonder that the film took so long to get produced, because Hitchhikers is in no way the stuff of standard Hollywood fare. It's meandering, philosophical, and a bit wistful. And damn funny. It's not a love story, and I think that by trying to make it one, the story lost its center.
- If you're a real fan, I'm not sure what you'll gain by seeing the movie. The radio and tv series were much better adaptations. In fact, I'm not even sure what the big deal is about making any great book into a movie. The two media are completely different, and so much has to be lost in the translation from the page to the screen. It's kind of like saying, "Hey, you like pizza? Well you're going to love this pizza-flavored corn chip." I might, but it's not the same thing.
There was a lovely tribute to Douglas Adams from the folks at IGN FilmForce. It's worth a read, even if you're not a fan. The way the folks who knew him talk about him... well, I'd be proud to leave such a legacy.