Stars: Bill Bailey, Anna Chancellor, Warwick Davis, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 109 minutes
Don't panic! After twenty years stuck in development (a mere blink compared to how long it takes to find the answer to life, the universe, and everything), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has finally been turned into a movie. Following the radio play, TV series, commemorative towel, and books, this latest installment in the sci-fi-comedy franchise is based on the screenplay and detailed notes by Douglas Adams. Hitching a ride. For those unfamiliar with the story, everyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) wakes up one morning to discover that his house is set to be demolished to make room for a bypass. Little does he know the entire planet Earth is also set to be destroyed for an interplanetary bypass by the Vogons, a hideous and bureaucratic race of aliens realized in the film by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Whisked off the planet by his best friend, alien-in-disguise Ford Prefect (Mos Def), Dent embarks on a goofy jaunt across the galaxy accompanied by his trusty Hitchhiker's Guide, which looks like a really fancy PDA. The guide itself provides some of the funniest bits of the movie, little animated shorts that explain the ludicrous life forms and extraterrestrial phenomena our heroes encounter. Along the way Arthur meets the two-headed party animal/president of the galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) and develops an unrequited crush on fellow earthling Trillian (Zooey Deschanel). The creatures and sets are inspired and answer to the sci-fi fan's primal need to see lots and lots of cool stuff. In particular, there's John Malkovich's creepy, CGI-enhanced Humma Kavula. He's a guru leading a religion that worships the gigantic nose that allegedly sneezed the universe into existence (naturally all their prayers end not with "Amen" but with "Bless you.") The aliens the team encounters are inspired creations, eminently worthy of action figure-ification, and the sets belie an attention to detail worthy of freeze-framing. Fans of the other Hitchhiker manifestations, namely the British TV series, will be amused by a number of in-jokes sprinkled throughout the movie. Concept art: The Heart of Gold pod on the planet Vogsphere Where the story stumbles is in the telling--as books, the Hitchhiker's Guide was foremost about goofy and brilliant ideas that raised questions about our place in the universe while getting a laugh. The cast seems at times bewildered, at least when Sam Rockwell isn't picking pieces of scenery out of his teeth, perhaps a natural reaction to an adaptation of a book with no traditional plot. The movie has enough trouble figuring out how to get the characters from one fantastical location to the next that Adams's funniest concepts often feel left in the dust. While the reverence the filmmakers felt toward Adams's legacy is apparent, one wonders what we could have expected had the creator of this science fiction universe lived to see it with his own eyes. -- Ryan Boudinot A Guide to the Guide The Soundtrack The Radio Play (CD) The TV Series The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Deluxe Edition) The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Paperback) The Filming of the Douglas Adams Classic (book) Interviews with The Cast and Director Watch our interviews with the cast and director of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and find out what they think of other DVDs and books: high bandwidth low bandwidth
It is most gratifying that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated. As a token of our appreciation, we hope you will enjoy the two thermonuclear missiles we've just sent to converge with your craft. To ensure ongoing quality of service, your death may be monitored for training purposes. Thank you.
Just wait a sodding minute! You want a question that goes with the answer for 42? Well how about what's six times seven? Or how many Vogons does it take to change a lightbulb? Here's one! How many roads must a man walk down?
Fine. Fine, take it. Because my head is filled with questions and I can assure you no answer to any one of them has ever brought me one iota of happiness. Except for one. The one. The only question I've ever wanted an answer to - is she the one? The answer bloody well isn't forty-two, it's yes. Undoubtedly, unequivocally, unabashadly yes. And for one week, one week in my sad little blip of an existence, it made me happy.
That's a good answer...
Your friends are safe. You must come with me.
Who are you?
My name's not important. You must come with me, you don't want to be late.
Late for what?
Well, like, um, what's your name?
Dent. Arthur Dent.
Well, late as in the *late* Dentarthurdent. It's a kind of threat.
How can I come with you if I don't even know who you are?
Well, um, my name is, um, it's
I said it wasn't important.
Vogon poetry is the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience members died of internal hemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Coucil survived by chewing through one of his own legs.
Vogons. They are one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy. Not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious, and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the ravenous bug-bladdered beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, lost, found again, subjected to public inquiry, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighter. On no account should you allow a Vogon to read poetry to you.
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