Friday, January 28, 2005

Reviews of the test screening of Hitchhiker's movie in Los Angeles

ONE THING before speaking of these reviews. I would like to stress AGAIN than the fact that the Hitchhiker's movie differs from the book was Douglas' own will. So please don't say that it's Disney or Karey Kirkpatrick's faults if the movie has included some new stuff and if it seems to be different from the book on several points.

As I've announced a few days ago on this website, there has been a test screening the 27th at Los Angeles. There are already a few reviews online on Aintitcool and imdb. Let's listen to Harry from Aintitcool first "Director Garth Jennings was at the screening along with producer Jay Roach. The whole point about this screening was to get feedback to see what was working so far and where they have to go on this. Roach loves to test screen and tinker, and there's evidently a lot more work everyone wants to do to make this thing great. Remember - these folks have seen a film minus 20 minutes or so, minus a finished score, final editing (which is king on comedy timing)."


These critics are interesting and contain spoilers of course (mainly the second imdb critic). There are two critics on aintitcool. One who think the movie is "mostly terrific" and an other one who didn't like so much the movie. The one imdb is 75% satisfied too
Moriarty from aintitcool published also a short review on forum : "I'll say this much for now... if you're a Douglas Adams fan, prepare for a big wet sloppy kiss. This is an affectionate, huge-hearted tribute to the man's work and his sense of humor, right down to a final shot that almost brings tears to the eyes." He then published a bigger review (but with a lot of spoilers on aintitcool) : "I thought the film was a glorious shambling tribute to the work of Adams, a beautifully realized vision filled to the brim with quirky performances and hilarious details. It’s almost shockingly eccentric and manages to stay very faithful to the spirit of all the previous incarnations of the story while also contributing some fascinating new ideas to the overall mythos."


On h2g2, HighRevMac publishes an enthusiastic review : "I'm sure there will be fans who find things to complain about. A couple of my favorite lines were AWOL, and it gets just a little bit Hollywood in some points (Romance, Action). But on the other hand I really liked some of the new bits and even some of the Hollywood elements (Romance, Action...). I thought that Martin Freeman did a great jod as Arthur and Mos Def was perfect as Ford Prefect. Sam Rockwell as Zaphod was a lot of fun and I think I enjoyed the way his extra head and arm were done, but i still have some niggling little doubts. See what you think, when you see it yourselves.There's also a very sequelesque open door left at the end of the movie. Good and Bad. If one gets made, great! If not, grrrr.Overall though, I highly recommend the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy as an excellent movie. One that I think will please both fans and the general public at large."


Bob G Smith has posted a review on He gives a score of 10/10 to the movie : "The movie started strong and continued to hold pace through the rest of the film, which is a rarity now days. A large portion of the film was just how I imagined it in the book, especially the Improbability Drive. The overall design of the film was very inspired and kept the irreverent tone of the books without becoming outlandish or out-right silly. I’ve seen some complaints about the film’s design and FX, it seems some people forgot we were watching a work print, yes some of the FX look a little iffy, but that’s because it’s not done yet. So yes, things like Zaphod’s third arm and second head looked a bit out of place, but when it’s finished and all slicked out it’ll look fine. Even with the unfinished FX they did a good job mixing models & men in suits with CGI, there was nothing I saw that was out of place at all. All roughness aside the FX worked well, the costumes were great, and the creature design was wonderful! I love the way the Vogon’s look in this, maintaining some elements of the BBC mini while doing something new with it... The performances were top notch.... Mos Def really impressed me as Ford.... Sam Rockwell as Zaphod was a great mix of George W. swagger and bumbling idiot... Zooey Deschanel was, at times, was a little dry as Trillian but overall her performance was very heartfelt... Alan Rickman’s voice work as Marvin was perfect.... Martin Freeman was Arthur Dent, just as I’d pictured him"


The critics, when there are ones, go to the lovestory between Arthur and Trillian and some acting from Mos, Sam and Zooey. But nobody seems think the same thing so it's hard to say. One guy thinks that special effects look cheap (but they are not finished, this is only a test screening!), an other one don't like the Vogons (well I love them), some think that they're not enough Narrator stuff (but they are going to add some). Everybody seem to love Marvin (with Alan Rickman's voice), Bill Nighy, and recognize that there are some very funny parts (the whale,...). Maybe the comedy timing is not here still. But once again, the work on the movie is not finished, and the aim of a test screening is to be able to see public reactions and improve the movie.

Hitchhiker's toys and first look at the Vogons !

We all waited for new pics of the Hitchhiker's toys and here they are (see big pic below)! has published some scan pics of the Hitchhiker's action figures and plushes! They come from Diamond Previews catalog, and they will be available in april.

You have first a set of 5 figures (6''). We already knew about Marvin and Arthur Dent. We discover now Zaphod, Jeltz and Kwaltz (two Vogons)! These are the first Vogon pics you see. They have been created by the famous Henson creature shop who also made Marvin. They are incredibly good, and if you touched and saw some full scale Vogon like I did this summer you would understand even more that they are really perfect. But I think you will agree anyway even with just this toys pics.
Zaphod has a second head but it is hidden in his beard ! I think that the action figure will have the second head too even if it's not obvious in the pic here. The action figures have accessories. This action figures are described as series 1. So we can expect some more !

You will be able to buy too a 10'' roto action figure of Marvin. It features light-up eyes and a poseable body.

We have also a set of five 8 plushes of all our heroes : Ford, Arthur, Marvin, Zaphod and Trillian. They are quite cute. They are desribed too as being the series 1. So maybe we'll got too 8 plushes representing the Vogons !!!

But it is not finished yet. The catalog shows also the now famous Vogons' desk prop replicas and more interesting "Marvin's gun", certainly in fact the famous Point of View Gun.
PS : many thanks to Futtbuck who sent me the pics which have been unvailable during several hours on website !

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Recordings for the new series are over

Dirk Maggs and Above the Tittle have just finished Thursday 20th January the recordings of the two last Hitchhiker's radio series : the Quandary and Quintessential Phases based on "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" and "Mostly Harmless". Eight episodes have been recorded in about two weeks and will be broadcasted from the 3rd May.

I've been very lucky to be able to go to the Soundhouse studios Friday 14th January and meet such great guys like Dirk Maggs, Simon Jones and Geoffrey Mc Guivern. You can read my report in the bonus section of this site. I'll just add here that it was a wonderful day, and that you'll got some nice surprises in the new series, including a lot of wonderful guest stars including well known US and brittish actors. There will be also cast members from other versions of Hitchhikers who will play a part in the new series. It seems a bit early for Above the Tittle to publicize the names now, so I can't say much more.

Anyway, regarding the new radio series, be sure to read on my website Dirk Magg's interview (in the bonus section).

I also met Radio 4 picture Competition winners Nolan Worthington and Andrew Wyld who also visited the Hitchhiker studio. To know more about them and their own report of the day click here.

Monday, January 24, 2005

A trailer for february + test screening + Neca action figures for april

At last. The long awaited trailer - you know the one with actual movie footage - should be seen in February. It's not really first hand information. MJ Simpson (Douglas' biographer and number one fan) got the news from Jim Lynn (from who got the news from director Garth Jennings ! I could almost laugh but that sounds like solid news. And you all know that all these guys are pretty serious when it comes to Hitchhikers. So we all have now to wait and be very careful not to miss it !
Oh, and the news has spread all over the net and apparently there is a test screening of H2G2 this thursday (27/1) at the Paseo theatre in LA ! So, if it is true, we should get some first reviews very soon appearing on the net. But frankly, it would take a lot of sound and reliable very bad reviews to take my enthusiasm down !

And we were awaiting some fresh news from NECA who got a licence to make Hitchhikers action figures. After the Hitchhikers Vogon Prop Replicas avalaible here and now for US citizens, we should have soon some Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Action Figures. They will be avalaible in april. There will be a five character line up. We already have some pics of Marvin and Arthur Dent.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Stephen Fry will be the voice of the book !

The news has just been published on and aired on BBC1 and that's incredibly good news. Stephen Fry, the excellent brittish actor and writer and a very good friend of Douglas will be The Voice of the Book in the movie.

Stephen Fry is a very talented british actor. He played in some good TV series like Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster,.... but also in some movies like "Oscar Wilde" and "Peter's friends". He also voiced the audio book versions of Harry Potter.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Movie poster + Marvin action figure + voices for Vogons

Well, I should not take a few days to go on London but I didn't expect that there will be so many good news. Well, let's first begin with the biggest one. We've now got a very good looking Hitchhiker's movie poster. It has been posted a few days ago on filmforce website.

This is a rather good looking poster where you can see Arthur and Marvin hitchhiking, a spermwhale, a 42 drawing in the stars and even a small cup of tea (!). Well done! Interesting point, the movie is presented as a Touchstone and Spyglass Entertainment movie. No Disney? Well Touchstone Pictures is a Wall Disney subsidary as Miramax (Pulp Fiction...) and Hollywood movies (Arachnophobia, ).Touchstone was created by Disney in 1983 to introduce movies more aimed at the adult audience (Good morning Vietnam, Pretty Woman, Armageddon, The Alamo...). Spyglass (the Sixth Sense...) remains an independant company I think but works a lot with Disney.


The famous Forbiden Planet shop introduces a 10" Marvin action figure that will be avalaible from next april. You can already pre-order for a rather good price of £17.99.


The three main actors from the infamous English TV series "League of Gentlemen" have recorded Vogon's voices from the movie. The League of Gentlemen are Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson. Steve Pemberton is also playing Prosser part, and let's remember too that The League composer Joby Talbot is making the music for the movie !

In an interview, Mark Gatiss (who is also writing on the new Doctor Who) has this to say;

T: Now, what are the other guys doing in all of this down time? I know Steve has been involved with Blackpool and has a small part in "the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy".
M: That‚s right, yes. In fact we did some voices, all three of us did some voices for the Vogons in Hitch Hikers.
T: Oh, really? Oh, that‚s excellent.
M: I got to say "Resistance is useless!"
T: Oh, man, I am such a fan of those. That would have me tripping out for days if I got to do something like that.
M: It's fucking fantastic. It‚s very European. I thought it would be somehow Disneyfied but it looks really sort of dirty.
T: I'm really pleased with what I‚ve seen of the visuals so far."

(Thanks to Michael Spence for this info)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Neca releases its first line of h2g2 merchandising : a Vogon Desk Set

Neca has just released its first line of h2g2 movie merchandising and it's a great Vogon Desk set ! Theses are "Authentic Prop replicas! Limited to 1000 hand numbered pieces, each piece comes with a certificate signed by both the director and producer of the forthcoming "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" movie". There are three pieces : an Oversized Vogon Mug, a Vogon Pen and Stand and a Vogon Stapler !Cost on each item is $50. You can get a set with matching #'s for $150.

Note that items are ready to ship only in early February. But if you want one, you'd better buy it now before it's too late.

These objects are not new to me as I saw them when I visited the movie set this summer. They are designed in the same way that the Vogon spaceship and would be quite beautiful here on my desk. But I'm dreaming... ;)

It's part of yahoo store and it seems to work perfectly now : .... BUT, sadly, it really seems that just the US citizens can order : "Currently only orders can be accepted or shipped within the United States".

Oh and the guys at Aintitcool had the luck to have one set for a competition (they may have a good friend at Disney - noone offered me one set yet !). The winner will get set number 42 ! All you have to do is to write the best Vogon poem !!

Thanks to Steveo214 for the news !

Monday, January 10, 2005

Recordings for the last phases begin this week !!

As you sure know the quandary and quintessential phases are on the way. This new series will contain eight new episodes (four based on "so long and thanks for all the fist" and four episodes based on "mostly harmless"). The two last phases will be broadcasted on air and on line thanks to Radio 4 from the 3rd may 2005 (3 days before the US and UK movie release date!) to the 21rst June.

So it's certainly time already for Dirk and the cast to go back in studio. In fact the recording began the 17th december in New York. Dirk Maggs has "directed a legendary US comedy talent down the line from London. The result is one half of a very funny conversation with Ford Prefect which will be completed by Geoffrey McGivern in January. More news on casting will follow, including the voice behind this character ... sorry to tease ... it's worth the wait ... "

Anyway we already know some of the new cast involved :

- Jane Horrocks (you certainly remember her she's Bubble in Absolutly fabulous!) will be Fenchurch - Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout in Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets) will be The Smelly Photocopier Woman From Hawalius - Chris Emmett as The Evil-Looking-Bird From The Old Pink Dog Bar - Rula Lenska is back but we still don't know her part (she played the Lintillas and her clones and also the airline stewardess in the secondary phase - episode Fit The Twelfth)

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Casting for Marvin's voice and the whale + New great pic online

Let's just say first how much i'm disappointed. Garth Jennings, director of the h2g2 movie, just told in a BBC Radio 1 interview that Alan Rickman, a fabulous british actor well known for some great parts of extraordinaire villains (harry potter, Robin Hood prince of thieves, Die Hard...) will be Marvin's voice. Alan also know most of the cast as he already worked with Bill Nighy and Martin Freeman (in Love Actually. He played too with Sam Rockwell (in Galaxy Quest) and Warrick Davis (in Harry Potter)

So why I'm disappointed? I really wished Marvin's voice was Stephen Moore (who was already Marvin's voice in the radio and TV series)! That's all - As promised I'll just have probably to close the site to show my disappointment. :(

An other cast has been confirmed : the whale which will be played by Bill Bailey. (an other great british actor - see tv series like Black books, Spaced...). Those who were unsure about the whale being in the movie are now reassured.

Oh, and Dark Horizons has put online a great new pic featuring Zaphod, Trillian, Ford and Marvin - the pic is also in the gallery and here :

PS : all my sympathy to Duke whose site has been hacked by some stupid guys. The site is now back online and the forum has been backed up a few days before. So DON'T PANIC !