Went today to see the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
OK. Despite the reviews I've read, it didn't suck as totally entirely completely as I'd imagined. Now, don't get me wrong. It definitely sucked. It sucked in the way that good movies don't. But it was watchable. There were several moments where, had I been asked, I would have claimed to be entertained. But in many respects, the movie was like a weak cup of lukewarm tea.
Indeed, you had to have read the books to get the jokes. Ironically though, having read the book (or listened the radio plays), the jokes failed miserably to live up. They were cut short, or simply failed. Yet, it seems to me that all the components were in place for a really hooping good movie. The acting is good. The effects are well placed, and not overdone. The story itself is respectful of the books and radio plays, without being totally bound by them.
If there was one flaw, I'd have to say (as others undoubtedly have) it's the writing. It is shitty. They removed the elegance of language that was the joke, and replaced it with a one liner that does not nearly stimulate enough neurons to overcome the traditional buttered popcorn and soda stimulants.
Now, I understand that the English language is a little much for the average north American to appreciate. But this is a geek movie for geeks. Oodles of credit were provided to Mr. Adams throughout the movie, but they didn't credit his profound grasp of language and wit.
Speaking of giving credit, some bits were done rather well. The Vogon fleet and destruction of Earth were wonderful. The Vogons themselves were terrific. The whale... well... it is as it should have been. The planet Magrathea, superb.
If only it were written in the way that movies aren't. Perhaps a ripping hot cup of tea wrapped in a towel would help.