Friday, April 08, 2005

New UK competition from Orange

200 pairs of preview tickets are being given away by cellular company Orange (UK), as well as 10 runner-up packages including a t-shirt, towel, mousepad, and badges.

Note that the official rules state that the contest is only open to UK Orange customers.

They also sell several Hitchhiker's Guide ringtones and graphics.

New article in Guardian

There's a very informative, and surprisingly long, article in Guardian Unlimited about the background of the movie. The article is entitled, "42 and all that".

There's a lot of information in there - too much, in fact, to try and summarize it here. Definitely worth a read. Also worth reading, if you'd like, is Douglas Adams' obituary on the same site.

ITV2 at premiere in UK

ITV2 has a listing for the following:

22:00 to 22:30 Thursday 21st April on ITV2
Jenni Falconer reports from the Empire, Leicester Square, of the premiere of a new version of cult comedy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, starring Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Alan Rickman and John Malkovich. Including cast interviews, excerpts from the film and the arrivals of all the celebrity guests.

The premiere is on the 20th, and this will be showing on the 21st. Of course, we won't get to see it in the US until it hits the internet, which should be about 12 hours before it shows in British television. ;)

Thanks to Dave Haddock and for this announcement.

Official Polish site is up

The new official Polish website, Autostopem Przez Galaktyke (Literally "Hitch-hiking by Galactic"), is up and running.

At a glance, there appears to be a bit of new concept art there. If so, it will be in the image gallery shortly.

New interview with Robbie Stamp

The new issue of Starburst magazine has a new interview with Robbie Stamp, as well as some information from Nick and Garth, and Joel Collins (production designer).

New goodies available on British site

The "Fun" section of the official British site is now functional. There are a couple of games, some wallpaper, etc.

Radio 4 announces a new upcoming trailer

Radio 4 (BBC) has announced that an extended trailer of The Quandry Phase will be available on Monday, as well as announcing the premiere date as May 3, 2005.

In related news, the cast has been officially announced on this page.

LA Times review, and my related essay on British and American humor

Nikki Finke, of LA Weekly, has the folowing to say about the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy UK trailer. The one she reviewed was the "About movie trailers" one, listed as "Movie Trailer #2" on the HHGTTGOnline trailers page:

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: This movie trailer satirizes movie trailers,
but it’s too clever by half. The arch British humor isn’t of Monty Python
quality. Sure, sci-fi geeks know about Douglas Adams’ classic book, but the rest
of the audience won’t have a clue what this incoherent trailer is hawking. It’s
like a dog’s whistle that someone heard, but not me.

I take this with a grain of salt, however, as movie trailers aren't necessarily an accurate representation of the movie. There have been plenty of times when a trailer was great, and then the movie was horrible, and the opposite is true in many cases where the trailer looked hilarious, and then upon watching the movie, I realized that the only good jokes in the movie were the ones featured in the trailer.

There is one truth in her review, though. British and American audiences don't necessarily like the same things. British humor has historically been perceived as dry and/or needlessly cerebral by American audiences. Perhaps this is a simple case of cultural differences, or perhaps we Americans are so overloaded by the major networks' sitcoms that we simply tend to prefer our humor handed to us with an accompanying laughtrack.

I guess that's one of the concerns on the minds of the producers... Will American audiences be turned on by the sort of joke that you might not get until 5 minutes later, only to find yourself laughing out loud for a few minutes over it once it finally hits you?

I say yes. I have faith in my fellow Americans that we're not a bunch of trail-erliving, ballcap-wearing, cold beer drinking rednecks, but ultimately, time will tell. ;)