Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

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Well, off to see it this evo. Shall doubtless be back with my two penn'orth later.
 

EggSucker

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Sorry to say I wasn't impressed by the film at all. It looks good, granted, but it just felt really half-arsed.

Martin Freeman was alright, I thought Sam Rockwell was really good as Zaphod, but Trillian was an utter waste of celluloid. Marvin was ok, but I agree with an earlier poster, not enough of him.

The new bits written for the film may have been done by Adams himself, but they didn't really gel somehow. The character of Humma Kavula played by John Malkovich is hugely under explored and that whole storyline left unresolved, gratingly obvious sequel material. The ending was unconvincing and felt rushed, as though they'd run out of film but had to wrap things up somehow.

I've a feeling that I may be over familliar with the source material, and so had heard all the good jokes before, and that was why they didn't quite work. My girlfriend nearly fell asleep at one point, she was enjoying it so much.

It just felt to me that it was a film marketed at precocious 12 year olds instead of adults, as it was a bit too smug about itself and how clever it was being, while not really being that clever at all. I know what I'm talking about, I was that twelve year old.

That said, I might just be a cynical old git, as the woman sat near me laughed like a seal all the way through. To be fair though, she did have to have help opening her maltesers.

Nice try, but I still think Terry Gilliam should have directed it.
 

BaronVonHoopla

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Give the poor lady a break, Maltesers are impossible to open!


-Fitz
 

mothman8

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I have heard that it will be a trilogy of films eventually.
 

Rubyait

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Ok saw the film and thought it was ok (i haven't heard the radio show and have only seen two of the TV episodes-currently being repeated on BBC2, Tues 11:20pm.Also i have not read the book/books?!) The BBC2 showing have been, so far, exacltly the same as the film.Am i to assume that the books and the radio program are the best examples of HGTTG and the spin off series and film could never be as good? IMO a good book will always be better than a film/TV show.
 

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I've read the books, seen the series (have it on DVD now) and went to watch the film at the weekend and wasn't that disappointed.

It's always a bit of a tightrope walk with a project like this and you'll always end up offending the purists or alienating those who are newbies to the franchise but I think they got it right with this and aimed down the middle.

A lot of the more complex gags were simplified (the babelfish was a good example) but a lot of the better ones were still there and I actually thought the Trillian/Arthur romance actually added a bit of humanity to the story that was lacking in the previous incarnations which occasionally felt a bit dry.

There were still bland sections (a fault of the source material) but overall still a very enjoyable and thankfully still very English (the one thing I thought would get lost in translation) film.

Oddly though Mrs Heckler and I seemed to be the only people laughing in the cinema so maybe everyone else thought it was crap! ;)
 

rjmrjmrjm

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I loved the little in-jokes pertaining to the BBC edition myself. Like the original Marvin in the cue at the Vogon planet. And the pub scene, deliberate close up of the 20-pound note methinks.
 

Heckler

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That did frighten me in the BBC version when I watched it recently that he orders six pints of bitter gives the barman five quid and say's keep the change and the barman goes "thanks very much" :shock:

How much has beer gone up?
 

Kondoru

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Dunno, never been able to afford it....
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Blimey I just got the Play.com newsletter and this is already available as a 2 disc DVD for pre-ordering (although it looks to months away from actual release):

Special Features

* *Artwork subject to change
* Audio commentary from director Garth Jennings
* Deleted scenes
* Fake deleted scenes
* Additional entries from the Guide
* Sing-a-long to "Thanks For All The Fish"
* 'Marvin's Hangman' set-top game
* 'Making Of' Featurette
* UK exclusive bonus feature: Don't Crash: The Making Of Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
www.play.com/play247.asp?source=2005060 ... tle=673363
 

sunsplash1

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Fake deleted scenes and a sing-a-long?

Mind boggling really.
:)
 

Yithian

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The Monty Python & The Holy Grail DVD I own has a menu option for the hard of hearing: it shouts the various options at you in the manner of an Englishmen trying to communicate with an inferior foreigner...

:D
 

Yithian

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Oh, and also:

Subtitles For People Who Do Not Like The Film: A one joke concept that works surprisingly well, this is an option to have the film's subtitles quoted directly from Shakespeare's Henry IV Part II. It's amazing how much the quotes fit the action on screen. Even more amazing is the fact that some poor soul has trawled through Shakespeare's text having to find similarities!
 

James_H

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Heckler said:
How much has beer gone up?
In the Stone Tape there's a quick shot of them ordering at the bar (two pints and a meal) and then the bar keeper says "That'll be 85p please"

:shock:
 

GNC

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Did anyone else hear the last ever Hitchhiker's Guide on Radio 4 tonight? I thought they had finished ten minutes early, but they added a bit not in the book with all the characters meeting up at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Nice enough, but it didn't match the original two radio series, and the new jokes about mobile phones and suchlike grated a little.
 

sunsplash1

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Thanks for reminding me.

Grabs towel. Heads down to pub
 

Yithian

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Mighty_Emperor said:
I'm off to my rocketship - we will not meet again.
I'm waiting for human_84 to swing by and pick me up. I certainly hope he managed to get that spare flux capacitor at the scrap-yard...
 

rynner2

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What on earth is 42?
By Mark Vernon

It's 30 years since Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy made its debut on BBC radio, but its most famous mystery is still waiting to be resolved.

The radio series - which subsequently became both bestselling book, television series and film - traces the travels around the galaxy of Arthur Dent, after the earth is destroyed to make way for a "hyperspatial express route".

Possibly the most famous line in the whole book is the "answer to life, the universe, and everything" given by the supercomputer, Deep Thought.

For seven and a half million years, this stupendously powerful, office-block of a machine had whirred. When it came to announcing what it had discovered, crowds had quite understandably gathered. "You aren't going to like it," Deep Thought warned. "Forty-two," it said, with infinite majesty and calm.

Ever since, speculation has been rife as to what Adams meant. There is the "paperback line theory" - 42 apparently being the average number of lines on the page of a paperback book. Was Adams paying homage to the medium of his success?

Then there is the "Lewis Carroll theory" - Adams celebrating Carroll's use of the number in Alice in Wonderland.

In the book, there is Rule 42 which says that anyone taller than a mile must leave the court immediately. That becomes a problem for Alice when she eats some mushrooms.

There is another theory that rests on a complex allusion to 42 in numerical base 13. It sparked Adams' retort: "I don't write jokes in base 13."

Tragically, Douglas Adams died in 2001. So what does Stephen Fry, a close friend, voice of the audiobook, and possibly one of the most intelligent admirers of The Hitchhiker's Guide think?

"Of course, it would be unfair for me to comment," he confides. "Douglas told me in the strictest confidence exactly why 42. The answer is fascinating, extraordinary and, when you think hard about it, completely obvious. Nonetheless amazing for that.

"Remarkable really. But sadly I cannot share it with anyone and the secret must go with me to the grave. Pity, because it explains so much beyond the books. It really does explain the secret of life, the universe, and everything."
:roll:

But the notion that a computer could provide an answer to the meaning of life is ridiculous, explains Michael Hanlon, author of The Science of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Even if every existing atom were co-opted into a mind-bogglingly vast computational matrix, it still wouldn't be able to calculate every possible permutation on a chess board, let alone anything truly complex.

Fundamental questions

There is still hope that science might come up with answers to the big questions. "Of all the ways of looking for meaning, science has answered the most questions so far," Hanlon continues.

"It has triumphed at explaining many things. However, it hasn't provided answers to the most fundamental questions like why we are here, what is the universe for. But just because it hasn't yet, doesn't mean it can't or won't."

Having said that, it is possible that questions of meaning are simply of a different sort to questions of matter, the physical world in which science has proven so powerful. If so, asking why there is something rather than nothing with mathematics might make no more sense than asking whether a triangle is happy or whether the rocks in the asteroid belt are friends.

Similarly, cosmologists like Stephen Hawking once thought physics would come to know the mind of God in a "theory of everything". He now doubts that is possible.

"Though we haven't run up against a class of questions that we couldn't answer yet," adds Hanlon. With fiendishly difficult phenomena, like consciousness, scientists have yet to exhaust all their theories. But could there be a serious side to the answer 42? Might there be method in Deep Thought's madness?

Wise joke?

The answer can be interpreted in two ways. One is that it is a bad joke, implying that there simply is no answer, no meaning, no sense in the universe, and you would be no worse off if you jumped into the nearest black hole.

But the other interpretation is that the joke was wise. It shows that seeking numerical answers to questions of meaning is itself the problem. Digits, like a four and a two, can no more do it than a string of digits could represent the poetry of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare's work was the product of a life, and a life lived to the full. Meaning too might only emerge from such fulsome engagement.

To put it another way, life is a gift. It is good. It flourishes in experiences like love, explains John Cottingham, professor of philosophy at the University of Reading, and author of On the Meaning of Life. He believes that philosophy can no more provide meaning than science can.

This is because life's giftedness, its goodness and its loveliness are essentially spiritual qualities. They can be assessed by rational enquiry. But they cannot be accessed by the cool calculations of reason. They must be experienced.

To put it another way, when the poet William Blake urged us "to see a World in a Grain of Sand", he was not suggesting anything literal. Rather, his words captured something of the world transfigured through beauty and meaning.

For Prof Cottingham, this is what it means to have faith. "For in acting as if life has meaning, we will find, thank God, that it does."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7283155.stm

But the other interpretation is that the joke was wise. It shows that seeking numerical answers to questions of meaning is itself the problem. Digits, like a four and a two, can no more do it than a string of digits could represent the poetry of Shakespeare.

However, a string of digits can represent the poetry of Shakespeare....

Any text string on your computer is represented this way...

..as are colours, and almost anything else in the physical world you care to name...
 

escargot

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Stephen Fry... possibly one of the most intelligent admirers of The Hitchhiker's Guide
He's the cleverest little boy in all of England. :roll:


Do we look for the number in Adams' life?
He appeared in Monty Python's Flying Circus as a surgeon in episode 42.

dah-dah-daaahh!
 

Novena

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Anyone asking about the significance of the number 42 is missing the point, IMO. The point is that it is an arbitrary number which doesn't mean anything (I think Adams also pointed out that it has a certain comic sound to it - "for-tee-too") and is therefore a highly inappropriate "answer" to the question of life, the universe and everything. That's it. The solid theme running through all the books is that the universe and life within it is very arbitrary and defies any sense of logic, thus the "answer" and the "question" (when it is finally revealed) are themselves illogical and arbitrary. Quite tellingly, the mice (or hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings), being shrewd self-publicists, make up their own "question" which fits the answer in a pseudo-philosophical way, thus attempting to give meaning to something which has none - which is exactly what people are trying to do now in Adams' absence! ;)
 

GNC

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From that article it sounds like some over-analysers are intent on draining all humour from a pretty decent joke.
 

escargot

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Anyway, didn't Deep Thought get it wrong and have to start again?
 

PeniG

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No, the answer was right. He had to start over in order to generate the question that would make the answer make sense.

It is indeed a very wise joke. The best ones are. And it keeps running, as the people who are picking it apart don't recognize it as a joke on themselves.
 

rynner2

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Zoffre said:
I think Adams also pointed out that it has a certain comic sound to it - "for-tee-too"
Hmmm...

As in "Tea for two"?

I like it! :D
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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escargot1 said:
Anyway, didn't Deep Thought get it wrong and have to start again?
Not Deep Thought, but the Pan-Dimensional mice, as the second, greater, computer became over run by alien hair stylists and telephone sanitation engineers, causing the extinction of its original test subjects. ;)
 
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