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03 May 2005 @ 10:39 pm
So, Hitchhiker's.

I thought it was good, but not great.

First of all the truncating of the joke about the demolition plans was pretty painfull. If they really couldn't aford the extra 30 seconds they should have cut something else out to make room for it.

The shoehorned-in romance subplot was stupid.

The restoration of the earth was stupid. Likewise the way they got out of the mice wanting his brain thing wasn't very good either, though maybe that's because it was impinged upon by the already mentioned romantic subplot.

I wish they'd done a bit more of the first restoring normality scene. They made up for it somewhat with the later jumps, but the first one should have had more than one transformation.

I was really confused about what that planet they went to before Magrathea was, it seemed very random and unexplained to me.

And as long as i seem to be on a thinking about movies trend...

I've been told that before my time, in fact probably at _least_ a half century ago, it was reasonably possible for someone to read every SF story that came out during any given year. Nowdays of course that would be impossible unless you made that your full time job, and quite possibly not even then.

You could however pretty easily see every theatrically released movie pretty easily. (At least if you stuck to domestic releases.) So i've been wondering, how long until technology has advanced enough such that a couple of amateurs could put together a theatrical quality movie in their spare time using a fairly average home PC. ("Theatrical quality" in terms of the visuals, although given some of the stuff released to theatre's theatrical quality acting and story shouldn't be that hard to achieve =)

Presuming that we haven't destroyed ourselves and the megacorps hacen't destroyed our rights before then, i presume there will be the same kind of creative explosion that is currently going on with flash media. So at that point will they actually be competing with the corporate media, or will hollywood have moved on to 3-D full immersion entertainment or some such? If so i wonder how many people will be interested in watching 2D amateur movies and how many will think that's "old people" entertainment.
Kirinkirinn on May 4th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC)
Basic agreement on Hitchhiker's - not amazingly great, but not at all bad on the whole. Worth seeing. Decent. Definitely some good bits.

I also concur with both you and paranoid-magrathea-fanboy-guy that one of the silliest things they did was drop single sentences or even single words from some of the original dialogue that really could have stayed. But oh well.

I actually thought that the romance wasn't too bad -- that is, given that the studio (apparently) insisted on including some romance, I though they managed to fit it in without impinging too much on the rest of the movie. Plus Trillian's cute ^_-;. Actually, though, I thought some of the gratuitous new Vogon-based action sequences dragged more than the romance.

Just before Magrathea they were on VogSphere, weren't they? So I'm assuming you mean the planet before that, home of the Arkleseizure aliens, with the Humma Kuvala stuff. Yeah, that stuff was all new and considerably random and not very well integrated into the rest of the plot, but it *was* basically by Douglas Adams (he added it into the screenplay years ago). DNA's strong point was always sketch comedy as opposed to really fitting plots together, so yeah.

Moving on to the end of your post...
You can use a Mac with Apple's movie software to do at least TV-quality stuff right now on a budget of a few $1000. I think people have even done theater-released documentaries almost entirely using Apple's stuff. So, I'd say, not very long.

Actually, I think the bigger barrier to an ametuer matching a big-budget action flick is just the amount of detailed stuff that goes on the screen - without an army of people on staff, you'll never have the raw time to create that much stuff. Same thing has become true of high-budget video games these days, see the exponentially increasing staff levels for the FF franchise. Of course, you can still come along and create something like Katamari Damacy or Rez with 6 people... so it's a question of finding a workable style and having good ideas, I suppose.
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 4th, 2005 08:04 pm (UTC)
Well i'm thinking more of the level where a home PC could render a scene consisting of as many photo-realistic people as you wanted in a reasonable amount of time.

Presumably a lot of the real amateurs would use whatever freely available models they could get their hands on, while the more ambitious people would make their own models, or at least skins, or bring in an artist to do it for them.


Who is the paranoid-magrathea-fanboy-guy?

Er, yes, the planet before VogSphere i guess. I couldn't even tell what type of planet it was, or what the different parts of it were. Was that blueish(?) foggy place the surface? Or some kind of bar? Or what?

And no, the romance wasn't _too_ bad, but i still wish they hadn't done as much as they did. And yes she was cute :)
Kirinkirinn on May 4th, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
Rendering: I'm pretty sure I saw a high-end-something from nVidia rendering hundreds of moderately-detailed characters at a SigGraph conference almost two years ago. And that was in realtime - movies are never rendered in realtime. No, they weren't photo-realistic, but given the technology curve on graphics cards, it's just an issue of it being slower now, or faster in a couple years. And hey, if rendering's your bottleneck, buy a rack full of commodity-priced linux PCs and speed it up 10x. And anything that's almost-doable on a low budget now should be trivial on a shoestring in a couple years.

(Nit-picky: if you really want photo-realistic close-ups, there's issues of modeling expertise... but as you say, as the tech becomes widespread I'm sure open-source models will pop up.)

Magrathea fanboy guy: someone who's written book(s?) on DNA and runs a fan site called Magrathea wrote an infamously scathing revue of the movie after a pre-release press screening. Some things he mentioned were real issues, some were him being a raving fanboy, and some seem to have actually been improved between then and the actual release (like more Guide entries, for one).

Yeah, I think the blue fog was the planet surface, and most of the scenes there took place in Humma's church, excpet for some where Ford was off by himself in a nightclub or something.