Monday, May 02, 2005

Eyeglasses Elton John would kill for

This morning, I began writing review of Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy which would have made Pauline Kael* giddy in her grave. Two-thirds of the way into it, the electronic ether had a seizure, or perhaps an epidemic e-brain fart, and I had to reboot. Review lost. By the time everything began behaving, my patients had the nerve to show up on time for their appointments. So I'll be brief. Lovely turn by improbably named actress Zooey Deschanel (that's Zooey, not Zoey) as Trillian. Ms. Deschanel looks edibly girl-next-door in every scene (though particularly in her shorty shorts) so it's easy to see why Arthur Dent would fall madly in love -- Ach! There it was, a spoiler. Yes, they've grafted a love story onto HGG. I had to ask my son (who has read the story more recently than I) and my wife (who has a far better memory) to make sure this was an innovation. How do I feel about this? Terrific. I'm not one of those who worship HGG. (I'm far more partial to Adams's Dirk Gently books. Click here to read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency in comic book form . . . is that even legal?) Sure, the original HGG is fun, but it's flawed, too. Chief flaw: I never really cared about Arthur or any of his pals. I just read it for the jokes. The love story makes a fine antidote for this problem. Next impression: the true star of the movie is the Guide itself, realized in cheesy splendor by the movie's animators, and wonderfully voiced by Stephen Fry. Everyone else took a back seat (yes, even Alan Rickman; after his sixth or seventh line, I could sense him in the sound studio sucking down gallons of espresso, saying, "Oh, bloody hell, will this never end?") although I did enjoy Mos Def's spot-on version of Ford Prefect and Bill Nighy's dead-pan take on Slartibartfast. Nighy, you may recall, was tons of fun as the unscrupulous hair dresser in Blow Dry (another Rickman movie), and he showed up again more recently in Shaun of the Dead. Finally, here's my nod to John Malkovich for his bit role wearing said titular eyeglasses. Oh -- loved the Vogons. Best evil muppets since Dark Crystal. Verdict: one thumb up, one thumb . . . eh. I miss the TV series. D. *The drudge, she hated everything Kubrick ever did, and she gave Blade Runner one great ripping raspberry. But I still gotta love her for liking Reanimator.


Blogger Jona said...

Thanks for the review, Doug, I think I might just bother getting out of this house and take a look-see. And talking of the TV series, over here the rerun starts tonight :o) perfectly timed reminder!


5/03/2005 11:04:00 AM  
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