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:+: Hitchhiker's / Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy movie review (1981) :+:


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  This movie review of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is based upon the 1981 mini-series which aired on PBS here in the US several years after it was seen in the UK.  That, in turn, was based upon a BBC radio show which was written by Douglas Adams, which he later made into a book in 1979.

  And yes, unlike other reviewers, I'm a true Sci-Fi fan.  ;-)

  In the US, the title for the mini-series movie is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, while in other places, it's The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.  Some people just call it THHGTTG, THGTTG, HHGTTG, HGTTG, THHG, or simply, HHG.

  On the cover of the DVD, it had Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy written on it, but in the movie, itself, the title sequences said Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

  Hope that clears up any confusion people may have about the name of the movie.

  The author himself appears in this movie, not only as a real flesh and blood person, but also in the animated parts of the movie where the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the electronic book that the characters use for reference help in the movie is showing them different things.  In one of his flesh and blood appearances, he's throwing money into the air and walking into the sea sans clothes.

  More interesting things in the review, below.  ;-)

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  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, itself:

  "Don't Panic!"

  Those are the words written on the front of the box that the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is in.  They're meant to give a sense of calm to those who see it before they read it for help and information.

  The voice of the book was done by Peter Jones.

  Things that were interesting in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy were the entry in it for Earth.  Which was "Harmless."  LOL

  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy electronic book that they used in the movie of the same name had a great many entries on virtually all inhabited planets, people, organizations, and life forms.

  One of the entries the book had in it was the Babel Fish.  These tiny yellow fish acted as translators, but fitted in your ear.  This conveniently helped to explain how all the different people from various planets all seemed to speak english in the movie.  In most movies, there's no explanation.  They just do.


  The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42:

  This answer was given by computer after a really intelligent race of beings created what they believed was the greatest computer ever built called Deep Thought.  Deep Thought though, told them that he was the 2nd greatest computer ever built.  The one that came after him was the greatest, which they needed to build to understand the question they asked it that gave them the answer of 42.  Oh, and it took it 5 million years to come up with that answer.  ;-)

  The question, as it turns out (as you see when one of the characters uses letters from a Scrabble game he created to try to teach the primitives of the new Earth with) is "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?"  Yes, I know, 6x9=54 in base 10 math as most of the humans on planet Earth use.  But, this is base 13, and the question really wasn't asked by humans, now, was it?

  But, if you want something interesting using human number systems, the number 42 is 101010 in binary.  ;-)

  For those who are curious, 666 is 1010011010 in binary.  LOL


  The Earth the greatest computer ever created:

  This was the computer that Deep Thought told them was the greatest computer ever created.  All the life on it and everything about it was carefully built by a group of people from the planet Magrathea who built planets for a price back when most of the people of the galaxy had a lot of money to spend on such things.

  Later on, when financial times got tough, they went into a kind of hibernation or life suspension for 5 million years until people could again afford their services.

  The planet Earth was located in sector ZZ9 Plural ZA (6 light years from Barnard's star) and was destroyed at 11:42 a.m. local time (as judged by the clock in the Red Lion pub) by a Vogon constructor fleet to make way for a hyperspace bypass shortly after Arthur Dent's house is demolished, much to the dismay of the white mice who had contracted Magrathea to build it in the first place.

  Note: It was a Vogon constructor fleet, not a Vogon demolition fleet as some people who never watched the movie claim.  They not only say it several times in the movie, but even the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy electronic book in the movie shows it in big letters.  Odd that a professional critic who claims to have seen the movie and wrote a review on it would miss something like that...

  Two of the main characters hitched a ride on the Vogon constructor fleet with the use of an electronic thumb, that one of them (Ford Prefect) later said was an electronic sub-etha device.  Sounds like sub-ether that was mentioned a lot in the old pulp science fiction books.

  The people that picked them up however, when they 'stuck out their thumb' for a ride, weren't the Vogons, but the Dentrassi, who were in-flight caterers on board the Vogon constructor fleet.

  The Dentrassi, according to Ford Prefect, "cook the hoopiest frood food in the West Galaxy."

  One of the items they had to eat was called Hagra biscuit, which was blue.  Ford Prefect put some green colored stuff on it that looked like it had green chili shaped beans in it, and offered it to Arthur Dent.

  While I'd like to tell you the whole movie, it'd take too much time.  LOL  I'll just give you some more of the basic information in the movie.


  Characters in the movie:

  Arthur Dent (played by Simon Jones) who is one of the two sole surviving people of the planet Earth plays a kind of 'straight man' to a lot of the jokes in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  He's in an almost constant state of confusion.  Little yellow fish are put in the ear to use as translators; a cup of tea is part of a space ship's drive (before the Infinite Improbability Drive); a towel is the most important thing to have with you when you travel the galaxy (you hold it between your ankles before you enter hyperspace); the Earth was nothing more than an experiment, et cetera, are all things which keep him in a constant state of near shock.  Never getting a change of clothes and having to spend days in the same pair of pajamas and bath robe (think they call it a dressing robe elsewhere) while traveling through the galaxy and later, through time, itself, doesn't help any.

  Ford Prefect (played by David Dixon) turns out to be an alien who's a field researcher doing research for a new and updated version of the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  He even chose his name to help him fit in better with the humans.  He visited Earth intending to only stay for a week, and got stuck there for 15 years.  Ford Prefect is Zaphod Beeblebrox' semi-cousin.  They have 3 of the same mothers.

  Zaphod Beeblebrox (played by Mark Wing-Davey) has two heads and three hands when we first see him in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but Arthur Dent remembers him as Phil from a party he was at 6 months ago on Earth where he was talking to a nice-looking lady named Tricia McMillan (who later decided to use the name Trillian), where he only had one head and two hands.  Phil / Zaphod Beeblebrox got her into a conversation with him with a line like "I'm from a different planet" which of course, he was.  Zaphod Beeblebrox was a part time galactic president, an ex-confidence trixter, a thief (he stole the Heart of Gold space ship that had the Infinite Improbability Drive in it when he was supposed to be launching it for one thing), was voted the worst dressed sentient being in the universe 7 times, and invented the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

  The ingredients for the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster are:

Ol' Janx Spirit, Santraginean Sea water, Arcturan Mega-gin, Fallian marsh gas, Qualactin Hypermint extract, the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger, Zamphuor, and an olive.

  The effects of drinking a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster are supposed to be like having your brain smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.  Zaphod Beeblebrox states that he doesn't recommened drinking more than two of them unless you're a 30 ton mega elephant with bronchial pneumonia.

  I'll stick with an ice-cold beer, thanks.

  Trillian AKA Tricia McMillan (played by Sandra Dickinson) is from Earth.  She had a degree in maths and another in astrophysics, and went with Phil / Zaphod Beeblebrox because it was either that, or "back to the dole queue on Monday."

  Marvin the depressed robot (played by David Learner with the voice of Stephen Moore) was part of the Heart of Gold spaceship.  Although other movie reviewers called him Marvin the paranoid android, he was more depressed than anything else, and he couldn't pass as a human, so android wasn't correct.  Check Oxford's dictionary if you want to see the definition of android for yourself.  The only time he showed signs of paranoia was when he asked if they were going to ask him to stay in the spaceship that was being flown into a star on autopilot because the teleporter had to be manually controlled, and that wasn't really paranoia because that's exactly what they wanted him to do.  The last I heard, paranoia is described as having a delusion that people are out to get you.  If they really are out to get you, you're not paranoid.

  Did the professional movie reviewers even watch the movie at all or did they just copy some other person's review of a movie who made it up?  You've got to wonder.


  What I thought of the movie:

  A funny and very unique movie, but some people may not like British humor.  Oh, well.

  If you're bored of the same old crap on TV, and you want to see something really different, I recommend renting this if you can find it at your local video store, or buying it if you can afford it and can find it on sale, somewhere.


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