Moody Jews @ The Rose

Saw The Whitlams (sorry, The Moody jews with Jak Housden) last night at The Rose of Australia. Best gig ever! They played a solid two hour set to a small packed room (which was of course stinking hot and sweaty, but at thanks to recent laws not smoke-filled), and I think everyone was really enjoying themselves, band included. They played some new stuff I hadn’t heard before, but also lots of old Stevie songs from the early albums. Apparently it was Tim Freedman’s 41st birthday… he’s getting on a bit.

On the dumbing-down of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

So, last night I went to see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, movie style. I was expecting to be disappointed, although positive reviews from the movie show (“fans of the book won’t be disappointed”) meant I was looking forward to it.

I won’t dissect all the problems with the movie, as others have done far more eloquently, but suffice to say:


  • They cut a lot of the funny verbal jokes (e.g. “I wish I’d listened to what my mother told me…”) for no apparent reason.

  • They cut a lot of the funny diversions out, presumably to save time, but this backfires because in Hitchhiker’s the side stories actually matter to the plot. For example, instead of the ship’s guidance systems being jammed because the computer is trying to work out how to make tea (or why Arthur likes tea, as the radio series had it), it’s jammed because the mice are (inexplicably, and apparently suicidally) messing with it.

  • They left in a whole lot of stuff without adequately explaining it to the non-fan audience, e.g. towels.

  • They inserted a really random side story that doesn’t make sense, and hardly matters to the plot.

  • They (predictably, I guess) turned it into a romance, in the traditional movie happily-ever-after style (even Zaphod gets a girl).


On the other hand, every version of Hitchhiker’s is different, and some of the new material was really good (I liked the bit on Vogsphere, and the animated guide entries were really cool). In the end it was an average movie, which could have been really good. They spoiled it for the Hitchhiker fans, by dumbing it down and taking out the jokes we know so well.

I’d love to know what someone who hasn’t read the book (or didn’t really like it) thinks, because I suspect that without that background knowledge the movie would be too confusing and hard to follow. I fear they’ve tried to please two different groups, hit somewhere in between, and will end up pleasing nobody. I doubt we’ll see a sequel.

Long time no blogging

It’s been more than two months since I updated this blog. Oops. In that time I have:


  • Bought a shiny new car, yay!

  • Had another birthday. Boring.

  • Got a paper published, and submitted another.

  • Played scrabble and came second, twice. To the same person! Bah.

  • Been to the opera twice, and only one of them sucked (but that’s culture for you).

  • Escaped to the country (well, near Taree) for two weekends.


… and other things that don’t spring to mind right now. Anyway, here’s the real reason for posting, check out what I found living under my fridge:


 

Yum! Maggots!

Boston

Well, I managed a quick trip up to Boston for the weekend, hurrah! Got here around lunchtime, and spent the afternoon/evening walking around the city, you can see some photos.

The public transport is a little odd here, they call it the T, and it’s basically trams, except they run on special tracks away from the street, and in the city they go underground. Seems as if they haven’t spent money on anything more than maintenance for 15 years… everything runs on time and the cars are clean etc., just they look really old and the ticketing systems are antiquated. Not quite the NY subways with metrocards and meat-cleaver turnstiles.

On the other hand, everything here feels older. The city has a lot more “character”, you can find bits of cobblestones like The Rocks, oh and the house I’m staying in has a separate stairwell for the servants.