1. The End of the World - I loved the destruction of Earth as well. The jumpy cuts zooming out farther and farther, ultimately showing the huge block spaceship, then the hundreds of other spaceships in orbit, then the spaceships engulfing Earth, followed by the "poof" of Earth being disintegrated in the center is just my only vision of the destruction of Earth.
2. The Music - The opening song, "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish" would have delighted Adams. And the banjo solo was great. Up until that point, I was disappointed that they didn't use the classic song in the intro. And then when you hear the "Journey of the Sorcerer," it just made my heart leap. Awesome.
3. Costumes and Makeup - There's no question that the costumes and makeup were nothing less than awesome. The Vogons were there in all their slimy, ugly glory. Marvin the Paranoid Android looked futuristic and pathetic at the same time. Zaphod's garish outfits and even Arthur Dent's dressing gowns all looked perfect.
4. The Casting - I thought some of the cast marveled. When the original novel was written, Zaphod was a grungy space hippie. Sam Rockwell as the new Zaphod was more like a politician, a male model who was all smiles with nothing underneath. He wasn't the traditional Zaphod Beeblebrox, but he was a new Zaphod Beeblebrox that I thought fit well. Martin Freeman was the perfect Arthur Dent. 'Nuff said.
5. The New Material - Some of the new material written for the movie like Humma Kavula, Ford's first encounter with a Ford Prefect, the party where Arthur and Trillian met, and the POV Gun were all wonderful additions to the series. The journey to Vogsphere was brilliant. The scene of the creatures that slapped them in the face had me rolling.
Now for the bad:
1. The American Accents - This was probably the movie's greatest sin, casting most of the actors as American. While there's nothing in the novels that indicates they should be British, Hitchhiker's is a thoroughly British series. To turn so many of them into Americans seemed like turning its back on the movie's source.
2. The Casting - While some of the cast worked, I thought others didn't. Zooey Deschanel is cute, but she just wasn't the bombshell she was described in the book and portrayed as in previous incarnations. As for Mos Def, Ford Prefect is not Mos Def. Period. It's not even the fact that he's black. It was the fact that Mos Def played the part so straight. In the novels, Ford was always a drunken madman who seemed crazy even by the standards of a crazy universe. Mos Def acted like he belonged on Earth, not in outer space.
4. The New Material - As much as I enjoyed some of the new scenes, I would have given up the trip to Vogsphere and Humma Kavula to see more of the original material, like the Restaurant at the End of the Universe and the Golgafrincham spaceship. It left me impatient to get back to the original story and even felt like padding, and when the movie ended, I felt cheated.
5. The Ending (SPOILERS) - I think what disappointed me most was the ending. I understand that they wanted the movie to end on a happy note. But bringing back the Earth in the first movie closed off most of the storylines for the rest of the book series, which revolve around the still-destroyed Earth. It was like the movie itself was saying this would be no more Hitchhiker's movies.
Did you ever see Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? What was your favorite bits? What were your left favorite bits?
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