May 3, 2005

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy has this to say...

to be read in a snotty British accent

...on the subject of American remakes of Douglas Adams' works as films: these tend to come off about as well as the first, long-awaited flying lessons of the baby elephantsnail of the G'Gugvntine Jazzolta. The other inhabitants of the Jazzolta are both too polite to explain to the sentient and extremely adorable baby elephantsnails that large, rotund shelled creatures with nothing that resembles wings or gasbladders are unlikely to conquer the four and a half standard gravities of their planet's field when they leave their inexplicably cliffside perched nests for the first time, and too fond of the extremely tasty innards of said baby elephantsnails to warn them in any way other than by standing around beneath the cliffs near the sharp rocks below halfheartedly waving small signs which read, in very small type, don't jump. It should be noted that wearing bibs and bringing vats of melted butter to these selfless warning vigils is highly thought of.

Back to the films. In this particular case, the film reminds this particular viewer of nothing so much as an elaborate, intricate and mind-numbingly faithful reproduction of a famous sculpture which, when approached closely, one discovers is so very similar because it is in fact a hollow vacuum plastic mold and was in fact most likely purchased for five cents from an extremely large sculpture-sized gumball dispensing machine. While from a distance, all of the features of, say, Rodin's 'The Thinker' or 'A Fallen Caryatid Holding Her Stone' are there for the viewing, on close examination the interesting granular surfacing of the marble turns out to be instead the rough frills of the plastic escaping the two halves of the hotmolding device, and the dark color, rather than the oxidation of age, is in point of fact a greenish purple shade produced by mixing the two least popular tinges of plastic dye which, fortunately for the vendor, were on sale quite cheaply that afternoon at the supplier's house.

The Guide continues: This movie is quite clearly a loving paean to Mr. Adams' memory. It contains all manner of inside jokes that only HHGTTG fans will get, as well as several attempts to produce humorous situations and visuals mixed with attractive special effects that 'n00b' audiences will find captivating. Unfortunately for it, the two are horribly mismatched, resulting in a movie that noobs will find full of incomprehensible in-jokes and that aficionados will discover is crammed full of ridiculous non-Douglasian bits which serve only to remove the Adamsian funny with the subtlely of No. 2 grit sanding paper wrapped around a large granite block in much the same way a Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster's lemon slice is wrapped around a large gold...but you get the idea.


Posted by jbz at May 3, 2005 2:49 AM | TrackBack

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