If there is one thing worse than Vogon poetry it is certainly the 6, count ‘em six, previews Touchstone Pictures and Buena Vista Home Video foists upon the public it disregards with Disney ease before you can actually get to the main feature of the DVD version of Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
The movie itself was excellent in theatres so of course it is just as good on DVD. The DVD itself is, unfortunately, fairly banal in terms of extra features, especially when you listen to the commentary track (something you should reserve for those rare occasions when you are tossed in space by a Vogon ship and want to kill the thirty or so seconds you have left). Still, this is a movie that had a lot to live up to and it did.
Fans of the six or seven book trilogy by the late Douglas Adams had been waiting with baited breath for the large screen adaptation of what started out as a radio play. The made for TV series was brilliant considering the budget and the sfx available at the time. The only thing wrong with the new H2G2 is it will open a debate between fans of the old Marvin (seen in a cameo in the movie) and the new, Japanese bot Marvin. Simon Jones, the original Ford Prefect, plays the Magrathean hologram that warns the occupants of the Heart of Gold.
Zooey Deschanel simply shines as Tricia MacMillan or Trillian. Gone is the high-pitched ditsy blonde of the TV version and considering who Tricia MacMillan PhD was supposed to be this was a good move. Martin Freeman’s Arthur Dent is also a lot more human and no longer the deer in the headlights character of the previous version. The book entry graphics are absolutely perfect in their simple, fresh, and humorous animation.
The movie veers slightly away from the other versions but then all versions of Hitchhiker’s Guide veered away from its previous incarnation. The ending is simply brilliant.
This is a highly recommended movie and, if you keep your finger pressed to the fast forward button on our remote when you load it, a very good if not much in extras DVD.
Commentary by producers and actors (very banal)
Deleted scenes (humdrum)
Fake deleted scenes (useless)
The Making of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (okay)
Additional guide entry (so-so)
Sing-along to So Long And Thanks For All The Fish (cute)
Game: Marvin’s Hangman (very basic graphics)