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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Douglas Adams is rolling over...

...in his grave. He must be, given the state of the first cinematic adaptation of his legendary trilogy (in five books) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Zaphod Beeblebrox has only one head. One bleedin' head!!! It's an outrage! Everyone who's so much as glanced at the books knows that Zaphod had the second head installed before the events occuring at the start of the book. The BBC, in their excellent attempt to translate the books to television, even got that detail right, even if the second head was a pathetic electronic model (Adams of course wrote it.) With today's CGI, don't tell me they couldn't find a way to get Zaphod's second head in. If Peter Jackson can have a completely computer-animated Gollum skulking about in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Zaphod Beeblebrox should be able to keep his second bloody head (you stupid gits)!!!

They are generously giving Douglas Adams a posthumous Executive Producer credit. Douglas, of course, wrote the original script (which was then re-written by someone and finally "polished" by current director Garth Jennings, who's fine credentials allowing him to be chosen for this important project are two music videos and designing titles for The Ali G Show. Apparently he polished the screenplay with a hatchet. ("Hmmm...two heads? I don't know how I'll be able to get that in widescreen. One'll have to come off!") Maybe he'll stick to form and the movie will only be 3 and a half minutes long.

Jerry Bruckheimer is behind this...I'm sure of it. Rant concluded.

Update: No, it's Disney. Apparently they've eliminated the second head so it won't frighten little children when Zaphod appears at California Adventure and Disneyland. Next up for them, a remake of Treasure Island where Long John Silver's peg leg has been changed to a mild limp. After that it's a remake of The Miracle Worker, only instead of being blind and deaf, Helen Keller is only farsighted and sensitive to loud noises.

Update #2: Stew informs me that Zaphod's second head will actually appear in the film, in short bits via some special effects. Apparently the second head vanishes back into Zaphod's body for long stretches of the film. My response: Obviously this strategy was chosen because the filmmakers are cheap, unimaginative hacks, too stingy to pay for a computer generated second head for the length of the film, and unable to figure out a way to frame and write dialogue for the second head (Hint to the filmmakers: Douglas Adams has already worked that problem out for you.) Zaphod's second head did not do a disappearing act in the radio series, the book, or the BBC programmes, all supervised in part or whole by Adams. Are we to believe that a first-time feature director who cut his teeth on music videos knows better than one of the foremost British humourists of the late 20th century? If so, we might as well let Hamlet be directed by badgers, and MacBeth by potted azeleas. They would do less damage than this.


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