February 19, 2005


To start off, I understand that as a raving psychotic bastard lunatic obsessive-compulsive fanatic of everything that is Douglas Adams, I never can and never will be 100% satisfied with whatever type of film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is eventually released. I knew this five years ago when they first started talking about this current incarnation of the movie, and I know it now, with the actual, final, we're-not-bluffing-this-time release only a few months away.

The teaser traile for this movie blew me away, because, and I'm not kidding here, it was almost exactly the way it happened in my dreams. In my fantasy world, my teaser trailer for the movie would be a slow panning shot of the earth with Louis Armstrong playing in the background and then BOOM. The earth explodes. And as the audience recoils from the sudden shock of that, the words DON'T PANIC flash on the screen and Oh My God they actually did that for the teaser trailer. This was, you understand, the only moving footage of the film anyone has seen so far.

So I saw that they've got the full, official, yes-there's-actual-scenes-from-the-film-in-this-one trailer today. And even with my understanding that I'll never be totally satisfied with whatever they give me, based on the trailer this movie looks like it's going to be... awful.

Now keep in mind I'm basing that on the trailer. But honestly, that's not a good sign. Trailers, as a rule, tend to be much more awesome than the actual film: by merits of trailers alone, the last two Star Wars movies, Underworld, and the Matrix Revolutions were the greatest movies ever made. What's to be said about a movie already as tough a sell as H2G2 when the trailer doesn't even present a reason to go see it?

For one thing, the trailer flat-out notes every disappointment for the hard-core fans. The main "concessions" to Hollywood to make this a viable film are all noted up front: Trillian and Arthur are going to have a romantic storyline. English terms like "bypass" are Americanized, eliminating much of Adams' rhythm. They hid Zaphod's second head. They fucking hid Zaphod's fucking second head.

But with that, it's not even the fan-boy synapse-bursters above that diminish the quality. It's the fact that the trailer presented nothing remotely entertaining at all. The "humor" was comprised basically of not one, but two varations of people getting hit in the head, along with a gag about a huge counterpart that was stolen from Monsters, Inc. of all places. Mos Def, already having to endure the "controversy" of being an alien who's not white, presents not a single example of the manic-yet-composed-simultaneously nature of Ford.

Quite simply, for the majority of the audience who has never heard of the books, let alone read them, this trailer looks boring as hell. The audience isn't going to just understand that this is a sci-fi movie without a space battle. An action film without mega-stunts. A work of fantastic acting without any major Hollywood big names. And while it's supposed to be a comedy without juvenile humor, that seems to be the only example of comedy offered in the trailer.

I really, really, REALLY hope two things about this movie: that the purpose of this trailer is to lower my expectations to a nominal level so I actually might enjoy the movie with all its flaws, and that the editing crew for the trailer isn't the same as for the actual film. Because if not, then friends and family alike are going to have to endure the cataclysmic Mother of All Whining for the rest of my (or at the very least their) life.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:50 PM

February 18, 2005

The sound you hear are your violated memories of Americana weeping openly

As you read this, I'd like to remind you all that according to the Geneva Conventions, the deliberate destruction of a nation's artwork and cultural artifacts is, in fact, classified as a war crime.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:48 AM

February 17, 2005

The Oscar-winning performance in Die Hard 7

I'm actually suprised to discover via this story that there's no recognition from the Academy for stuntmen. I'm not saying that "best stunt" should actually be presented during the ceremony or anything, but the Technical Oscars have existed for years. If new developments in camera technology can get Oscars, then the guys who not only set themselves on fire, but set themselves on fire while pretending to be Tom Cruise deserve Oscars too.

Note to self: somehow become 2004 Technical Oscar winner.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:25 AM

February 16, 2005

Fruit of my labors

Well, usually I try to post on the weekdays in the morning, before I head for work, or in the evening, when I get back. That didn't happen yesterday, hence the lack of posting.

I suppose it's ironic that it's for a campus-oriented project, but I just came off my first all-nighter since college. But I'm more than pleased to say that Campus Progress is up and running.

I'll have more to say probably tomorrow or this evening, but for now it's another full day of work for me- if I'm really lucky, tonight I might get to sleep.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:25 AM

February 15, 2005

Bizarre beyond belief

One quick post before I head off to work: this Gannon story has gone from bizarre to flat-out beyond belief. Americablog has most of the coverage, but the central point is that the White House, to the best of most blogs' investigations, has apparently knowingly hired a prostitute as a plant in the White House Press Corps.

To the suprise of perhaps maybe a small single-celled organism in the bacterial ooze on Jupiter and no other living thing in the universe, conservatives are playing this off as nonsensical and/or pathetic. My personal favorite is some blogger named Jay Caruso, who's name I recognize only because I'm seen him writing in at least three different blog comments sections, as well as two posts on his own website, about how unimportant this story is. Alrighty, then.

Personally, I think we've gone past the "how could the White House have not known about this guy?" angle. It seems very clear that "Gannon" was hired specificially because of his past and the damage it could do to him. As the great teacher of tactics we know in Earth terms as Star Trek explained, the first step following a successful assassination is to kill the assassins. Doesn't it make much more sense that, if the White House was going to hire a covert shill in an act that, if uncovered, breached even new low levels of ethics for this administration, they would hire someone they knew they could utterly destroy if he ever turned on them?

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:18 AM

February 14, 2005

Newest comic - "Poo media"

A reader asked me earlier this week if I could make some images to use for link buttons. I said I'd have them done this weekend, but, well, I lied.

I'm still working on them, but it'll be a little bit longer. Right now all spare time is devoted to my job at the Center and getting Campus Progress set up. When I make 'em, I'll let you know. I'll do link buttons, and maybe some LiveJournal and AOL icons for you all too. It's nice to know people want characters of mine for avatars. Even the people who want the Ghost of Adolf Hitler. You folks have problems.

Anyway, happy Valentine's Day to all you folks out there who are getting some.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:09 AM