Superficial vapidity Monday May 2, 2005, 3 comments

Today you’re going to endure a small mental exercize in which I am going to blow off steam at your expense. We’re going to have TWO subtopics, completely unrelated.

The Strollermom phenomenon

There is this phenomenon – and seriously I can only call it a phenomenon, a word here which means “a thing which is observed to happen” – in my over-junkmailed city which constantly amazes me. My walk to work every day takes me past several interesting wide spaces in the road, where people can often be seen to congregate. Sometimes you can see them huddled together in dowdy little packs puffing their cigarettes in defiance of the weather. Other times it’s teenagers trying to skateboard. Our city has the worst skateboarders on the planet.

But more and more frequently, it’s a pack of Strollermoms.

A Strollermom is a woman, usually in her late twenties or early thirties. She is characterized by her jaunty running clothing (tight, to show off her rather attractive body), her crisp white running shoes, shoulder-length but stylish coif, and most notably, a three-wheeled stroller containing one (or sometimes two) fairly newborn babies.

These new mothers congregate downtown, and proceed to jog for some undeterminable time. They travel in packs of ten to thirty, monopolizing the sidewalk and terrorizing everyone in their path. The call of the Strollermom is known to induce instrospection and a guilty feeling in those unfortunate enough to be within earshot.

Though little else is known about the Strollermom, it is surmized that when the pack disperses, she returns to her nest and mate – the khaki-legged, minivan driving bald (Not balled. Think about it.) headed husband.

Don’t Panic

I saw The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy on Friday. This was a movie soundly slammed by the critics for its complete failure to capture the essence of the much-loved Douglas Adams book.

This usually means I’m going to enjoy it. I rarely see eye to eye with movie critics, who seem to base their recommendations on an extremely complicated mathematical formula. Or chicken entrails. I can’t tell which. In either case, my instinct was right, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

While I was stunned to find the story so much different than the book I loved so much, I can’t say the story was worse than the book. It was quite good. Also good was the general visual feel of the movie, quirky and playful. Excellent use of computer imagery was made, but not to a gratuitous level. This tasteful use of special effects was probably why the critics hated the movie so much.

I was pleasantly surprised by many of the choices made in the production of the movie. Zaphod’s second head was unexpected, and is perhaps my one complaint about the movie. On the other hand, Marvin (the paranoid android, voiced by the incomparable Alan Rickman) was sheer genius. I’m laughing right now, thinking about how deeply brilliant his design was.

The Heart of Gold was a surprise, a brilliant twist of the “book” version of the ship. The casting choices for Ford (Mos Def) and Trillian (Zooey Deschanel) were surprising as well. Pleasantly in the case of Mos, who’s quirky, vaguely homosexual mannerisms were ideally suited for the role, and not quite as pleasantly in the case of Zooey, whom I felt should have been significantly more hot and less clothed. Notwithstanding, she was adequately attractive and the clothing didn’t detract from the movie. Much.

Besides, John Malkovich was in the movie. That automatically makes it a must see, doesn’t it?

If you’re looking for a faithful adaptation of H2G2 from book to screen, this will disappoint you. If you’re looking for a fresh, witty interpretation of Adams’ seminal work, you’ve arrived.


Jorge Monday May 2, 2005

I must see that.
You and I once had a discussion about how we should make a movie about it. Now someone else has done it, so we can continue to be lazy.

adrian Monday May 2, 2005

Proof my parents were wrong.

Good things DO come to those who wait.

j Monday May 2, 2005

You’re right. If John Malkovich is in it, that does make it a must see.

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