Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Title: 1437

May 2005


Title: 1437

May 3, 2005
12:01 AM

So, I’m going to make use of the fact that I finally got my rant space back (fingers crossed that it lasts the morning onslaught) to defend my position on HHGttG the movie.

It seems that, to a good many people, I showed an incredible lack of judgement regarding my thoughts on the movie. I’ve gotten a few e-mails on the subject, and they mostly boil down to two statements – 1) They CHANGED things. How DARE they… and 2) Douglas Adams would be apalled at the way they changed his story. I mean, seriously – a LOVE story? For SHAME.

Well, I hate to burst your “Hollywood ruined a story” bubble, but there’s an important fact I think MOST people who take this stance are ignoring – and it is this : DOUGLAS ADAMS WROTE THE SCREENPLAY. Yes, Karey Kirkpatrick did some edits, from what I understand… but word is, they pretty much used D.A.’s script like it was. Ironically, the place I found this out was on Slashdot. Remember – it’s the posters I hate, not the stories. They had an interview with the Executive Producer of the film, Robbie Stamp, and someone asked him which changes were D.A.’s:

The script we shot was very much based on the last draft that Douglas wrote. I was also able to make available to Jay Roach and Karey Kirkpatrick many back story notes and ideas from Douglas’ hard drive and Karey also had of course the book and the radio series to work with. All the substantive new ideas in the movie, Humma, the Point of View Gun and the “paddle slapping sequence” on Vogsphere are brand new Douglas ideas written especially for the movie by him. Karey came to be in awe of Douglas’ genius and saw his role as primarily structural. Even the enhanced relationship between Arthur and Trillian (in which people seem to have detected the hand of the Studio) was something that Douglas was working on as well. As you yourself recognise in your question, Douglas was always up for reinventing HHGG in each of its different incarnations and he knew that working harder on some character development and some of the key relationships was an integral part of turning HHGG into a movie.

Now… it’s a well known fact amongst those familiar with Adams’ work that he changed the HHG story when he ported it to a new medium. There was a video game, a radio drama, a BBC miniseries, and of course, the book – and they were all more or less different. There’s no reason he wouldn’t change things for a movie – he recognized that certain things would work better in a big screen production, and that certain things wouldn’t. I certainly can understand that – there are quite a few moments of the book that just wouldn’t translate.

So, taking this all into account when I went to see the film on Friday, I came away from it smiling from ear to ear. Was it 100% faithful to the book? NO! Why would it be? That was never Adams’ intent! But was it a fun, enjoyable movie? HELL YES it was. No oscar winner, by any means – I mean, it was good, but not ACADEMY good. But I think back to the movie, and there are all sorts of little touches that just made me laugh. Every time the Heart of Gold hit the Infinite Improbability drive, I couldn’t help but giggle.

I just think too many people are going to see this movie with the rabid fanboy/girl expectations of, say, a Lord of the Rings fan, and that’s simply not appropriate to the movie. THAT is why I took so much of an issue with the review on Planet Magrathea – it’s overreacting because the movie doesn’t treat the book like a script. Look – I’ll admit that there are things I might have done differently – but I LOVED what was done with the movie, and if you go into with an open mind, I really think you would as well.

Yes. I’m defending a movie, for chrissakes. I WANT A SEQUEL, DAMMIT. :D (And I’ve had “So Long and thanks for all the fish” in my head SINCE FRIDAY. Good LORD that’s a catchy tune.)

Title: 1437

May 3, 2005
12:01 AM

Well, ladies and gentlemen…. we got through today without crashing. That, in my opinion, means the old layout is BACK IN BUSINESS! *cheer*

It’s faster than before, too. I’m really impressed. Anyway, I spent the day working on getting every page in the site to use the new CSS layout. It took forever, but it’s done. (Oh, do me a favor – hold shift, and hit refresh. That’ll get the most recent version of the CSS file into your cache, which should make everything look better. I’ve still got cross-browser tests to do, and I haven’t tackled a few minor things like the rotating store box thing, (which looks FINE in Firefox, I might add) but I’ll get to it. I’m beat.

Maybe in the coming weeks I’ll actually update those blank pages I’ve been meaning to update – like the characters section. Maybe.