I've been mildly optimistic about the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie coming out April 29. Douglas Adams' book and its sequels, along with The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, were some of the first novels I read as a child. (I thoroughly enjoyed Hitchhiker's, but Tolkien's magnum opus made me feel like I was studying for a history exam.)
However, once I saw how they were handling Zaphod Beeblebrox's second head it's been reduced to a mere face on his neck I started to have my doubts. In fact, Hitchhiker's expert and Douglas Adams biographer M.J. Simpson has seen an early cut of the film, and says I shouldn't get my hopes up:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie is bad. Really bad. You just won't believe how vastly, staggeringly, jaw-droppingly bad it is. I mean, you might think that The Phantom Menace was a hopelessly misguided attempt to reinvent a much-loved franchise by people who, though well-intentioned, completely failed to understand what made the original popular but that's just peanuts to the Hitchhiker's movie.Yeesh. At least the old Infocom game was good.
...It’s not even a good film if viewed as an original work: the characters are unsympathetic, the cast exhibit no chemistry, the direction is pedestrian, the pace plodding, the special effects overpowering (lots and lots of special effects, none of them funny mind you) and above all the script is amazingly, mindbogglingly awful. Oh, and they have taken most of the jokes out.
This is a terrible, terrible film and it makes me want to weep.