Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Some kissing
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking in pub
Violence/Scariness:Comic, cartoon-style violence
Diversity Issues:Very diverse characters
Movie Release Date:2005
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: Some kissing
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking in pub
Violence/Scariness: Comic, cartoon-style violence
Diversity Issues: Very diverse characters
Movie Release Date: 2005

Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman of “The Office”) is in his bathrobe one Thursday morning, bumping his head, burning his toast, and engaging in a completely ineffectual protest of the new highway by-pass that has a flank of bulldozers ready to mow down his house. It is ineffectual first because the bulldozer operators seem perfectly willing to mow Arthur down to get to his house. But it is ineffectual second because there is an inter-galactic by-pass about to be built and Earth is about to be destroyed to get it out of the way.

Fortunately, it turns out that Arthur’s best friend, Ford Prefect (Mos Def) is an alien (the fact that he tried to shake hands with a car should have been a tip-off), so just before Earth explodes, Ford grabs Arthur and a couple of towels and sticks out his thumb to hitch a ride on a spaceship. And it turns out to contain Zaphod Beeblebrox, the president of the galaxy, (Sam Rockwell), Trillian, the woman of Arthur’s dreams (Zooey Deschanel), and a mopey robot named Marvin (voice of Alan Rickman).

Ahead of this group is a quest and a journey, and of course encounters with strange creatures like Vogans, who terrify their captives by reciting the third-worst poetry in the universe, Humma Kavula (John Malcovich), still seething at losing the presidential election to Zaphod, and a supercomputer that has the ultimate answer to the ultimate question. Ford and Arthur sort their way through it with the help of the title volume (voice of Stephen Fry), which is filled with helpful advice for every eventuality, starting with “Don’t panic!”

Adams’ book, written over 25 years ago, is a marvel of invention and understated humor that holds up very well but inevitably loses some subtlety in translation to the screen. There is a lot to look at, including aliens designed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and spaceships and special effects that hit just the right balance between impressive and funny. But the balance between story and funny is not calibrated quite as precisely and the central characters, once established (Arthur is befuddled and over-cautious, Zaphod is implusive and relies on superficial charm, Marvin is despodent), replay the same notes. The brief appearances by supporting players, especially Malcovich and Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast, are much more memorable and effective in capturing Adams’s wit and spirit. Purests will quibble about some liberties with the beloved (“and increasingly inaccurately named”) five-part “trilogy,” but overall the movie does a fine job of capturing both the wit and the heart of the books, and makes us, for a moment, miss Adams just a little less.

Parents should know that the movie has a lot of cartoon-style “action” violence, including space-age guns and other weapons. A character’s second head is removed (off-screen) and we see some blood. Minor characters are squashed and some creatures are injured. Characters drink in a pub.

Families who see this movie should talk about what information they would put into a guide for intergalactic visitors to Earth.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the hilarious outer space comedy Galaxy Quest, which also features Rickman and Rockwell, and the slightly more mature material in Tim Burton’s ghostly comedy Beetlejuice and Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black. Families will also enjoy the novels by Douglas Adams, which are great fun to read aloud, and the BBC miniseries version, as well as Adams’ Dirk Gently stories and his non-fiction book, Last Chance to See. Passionate fans of the series have created some informative and amusing websites like this one and this one. And they will enjoy the very funny books of Tom Holt, particularly Expecting Someone Taller.

Previous Posts

For the 4th of July: Singing Founding Fathers in "1776"
Happy Independence Day!  Every year, I recommend the rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence. "1776" makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already ...

posted 8:00:01am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Sesame Street's Maria Says Goodbye
Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years.  She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children's programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina ...

posted 1:20:21pm Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Happy 99th Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!
Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 years old today. She was one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, appearing memorably opposite Errol Flynn eight times, most memorably in "The Adventures of Robin ...

posted 10:20:13am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of "Hope Bridge"
"Hope Bridge" is a new DVD from Pure Flix about the devastating impact of suicide. Christi and David Eaton produced the movie after having experienced suicide twice in their family. They knew the best way to reach out to others was through a ...

posted 8:00:59am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: No Ordinary Hero -- The SuperDeafy Movie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Yo3kRFW9g Coming next month on DVD, "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie" is the story of a deaf actor (John Maucere) who plays a deaf superhero in a campy television series. But he wants to be a real ...

posted 8:00:41am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.