Fuck Lucas--this is the movie I've been waiting twenty years for.
And man, was it worth it. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was not completely faithful to the book--what adaptation ever is?--but even though the filmmakers added a new character and additional storyline, they were true to the most important aspect of the novel(s). The one thing I was afraid they wouldn't be able to pull off--the little asides that Adams sprinkled throughout--were handled wonderfully, and served to propel the film along. They left out a couple, probably for ratings purposes--the one on getting drunk (although they kept the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster) and the one about Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six, but I forgive them that because they got the feel so absolutely right.
The real star of the movie, however, is Alan Rickman, as the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android. He was certainly the most human character in the film, with a weariness in his voice that reminded me of those moments in Dogma when, as Metatron, he would get so frustrated with the mere mortals around him that his voice carried his entire demeanor.
Now, while waiting for this film to start, I got to see the trailer for that other big sci-fi flick coming out this summer--Lucas's last shot. I'm not sold on it, for a number of reasons. First off, I have problems finding any tension in the storyline--the problem with the whole prequel idea is that we've known from Episode One what the end result was going to be. Anakin would become Vader, Ben and Yoda would go into hiding, and there were references to these Clone Wars that wiped out all the Jedi. So what's left to learn? A good storyteller would have been able to work around that, but if one thing has become painfully clear, if not since Jedi, then at least since Phantom Menace, Lucas is not a good storyteller, not on his own anyway. Part of the reason Star Wars and Empire were so good was that Lucas had script doctors forced on him by the studio--he wasn't big enough to work with impunity then. Simply put, Lucas hasn't had someone tell him "No" in far too long.
There's an early review of Revenge of the Sith complete with spoilers, by Kevin Smith (of Dogma fame--like how I did that earlier?). Smith raves about it, and I like Smith's work--hell, I have a Silent Bob action figure that rides shotgun with me when I surf at home--but I also remember that before Clones came out, Smith raved about it as well. So I'll bide my time on this one before helping buy Lucas another house--I'll read the reviews and certainly won't be waiting in line for the opening, and if it turns out that it's good, I'll go see it. But I still have my doubts that it'll be anything other than what I've been led to expect.
In the meantime, I have Ford and Arthur and Trillian and Zaphod, and especially Marvin.