Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Let's all go out to the lobby and get ourselves a treat!

Monday was a holiday. My office was closed on Monday. No one was here. So I guess that's why this morning my annoying co-worker, TurtleMan, starting clipping his nails. No one was here on Monday to enjoy the soothing sounds of his snipping. Dammit! Does he not own nail clippers at home? Does his wife, the Tubby Shrew, not allow him to clip his nails at home?

I know one thing; during his month-long absence from the office, I am going into his drawer, taking out the nail clippers, and hiding them. Not stealing, just very cleverly hiding them somewhere in his cube domicile. Then I will wait for the first Monday he's back to listen and enjoy as he tears apart his desk because he needs to clip his nails. Maybe he'll go into the DT's or something.

Hee hee.

Now that's out of my system.

Adrian and I were thwarted in our attempts to see Episode III Friday afternoon (all shows Sold Out!), so we are making another go at it this week. We really aren't much into the whole opening week hysteria anyway and would like to avoid seeing the film in a theater packed with pre-pubescent and teenage boys.

We did get to see Hitchhiker's Guide. If you haven't seen it but don't want to know too much about the film stop reading now and skip the next three paragraphs.

As big fans of the book series, we were both disappointed with the outcome. There were some good performances; I enjoyed Sam Rockwell's Zaphod and Mos Def's take on Ford Prefect. Alan Rickman's voicing of Marvin was just dead on. There were also some genuinely funny moments in the film where the spirit of the book really shown through: the realization of the Vogons (especially the Vogon soldiers), every time the Heart of Gold went into Improbability Drive, Eddie the on-board computer, Marvin with the Point of View gun.

Overall, however, I think the filmmakers missed the mark. The tone of the film was no where near what I expected it should be. There was little trace of the droll, wry Douglas Adams prose. The movie had a manic energy about it that didn't fit with the book at all. The Trillian character was WAY off, turning her from a cool-headed, blase astrophysicist into a wide-eyed flibertygibbit. While I adored Martin Freeman in The Office and was ecstatic initially about his casting as Arthur Dent, I was sorely disappointed with his characterization of Arthur as an eye-bulging spaz. Then there was the horrid Trillian/Arthur love story subplot that was SO not necessary. Plot points were either totally reworked like the reason Zaphod wanted to find Magrathea or missing completely like Arthur shutting down the ship's computer for a good cup of tea. I also didn't like where they decided to show plot back story in the movie. In the book we learn about things like Arthur knowing Trillian and Zaphod or the reason for Earth's creation at the time that these facts come up the plot. But the movie switched all this around, putting the back stories way earlier in the movie. It just didn't flow well.

Anyway, I wonder if I'd have liked the film a whole let better having never read the book. I'm sure it was pretty funny to people who aren't familiar with Douglas Adams and perhaps that is who the filmmakers were trying too hard to play too. Perhaps they were trying to make the film accessible to a wider audience than just fans of the book. I think they should have taken a lesson from Peter Jackson: Play to the fans of the literature and the movie will be great.

Yesterday, we went to see Unleashed, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The balance of drama and action was very near perfect. The fight scenes were expertly choreographed with some seriously stunning moves and more than a few cringe-inducing moments. Morgan Freeman did his usual Morgan Freeman-thing which never fails to satisfy. Bob Hoskins gave a spot-on performance of a street thug whose dapper demeanor and three-piece suit is a thin veneer over the surging madman beneath. Jet Li turned in a highly credible performance. His transformation from subjugated fighting machine into independent human being was compelling, and at no time did he fall back on Forrest Gump-esque stereotypes. Highly entertaining, just like a good movie should be. It satisfied both my love of kung fu action and genuine human drama. Amanda recommends.

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