Tag Archives: merely good

Millennium Falcon

I’m not entirely sure why I bother to review Star Wars books at this point, except that it’s expected of me to review everything. It’s just, the context is pretty small, or something. Nonetheless, I’ve typed this much, so I may as well finish up! Millennium Falcon performs a few duties for the Extended Universe. Primarily, it puts together a history of one of the most famous starships in science fiction from before the days when Han Solo owned her (starting with a fairly cheesy Christine-on-the-assembly-line homage and, thankfully, improving from there). Secondarily, it provides a plot hook for a treasure hunt, and then places the Solo family on that hunt as a way to heal some of the still painful wounds brought about by the most recent Sith assault on the galaxy. Lastly, and probably most importantly to the ongoing storylines, it sets up the newest political threat to the Jedi Order, albeit behind the scenes and in throwaway moments.

The book itself was good but not great. I can’t really recommend it as a standalone, and if you weren’t planning to read it in that sense, you probably will regardless of anything I say on the topic. But the secondary characters were all pretty decent, and the stories-within-the-story format reminds me a lot of World War Z.

I Love You, Man

Sometimes, things can be both good and disposable. Like, I guess those wedding camera things? Or the Kleenex that don’t tear as soon as you look at them sideways? Or, okay, Kelly Clarkson’s entire body of work. Plus, of course, that one movie I saw last week, I Love You, Man.

Because, was it funny? It was very funny, and often. And Jason Segel from How I Met Your Mother seems poised to be the next big new funny dude, which I heartily approve of. But there’s practically nothing else I can say about the movie, and that seems like it should be a bad thing. Except, right, the summary: so there’s this guy, Paul Rudd, and he’s only ever really had girlfriends, as opposed to dude friends or chick friends that were platonic. And now he’s on a quest to make a dude friend to be his best man, only the dude he finds maybe will end up at odds with his fiancée? Problematic, which equals hilarity in this pretty straightforward Hollywood formula. Which is really all I’m saying. I laughed, I left, I mostly forgot. Not a bad afternoon, as such things go.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

What better time, I figure, to see a lot of movies than when you’re supposed to be doing something else entirely? This weekend, for example, I was supposed to be putting all the non-essential bits of my life into boxes, so as to then move the boxes to storage spots, and therefore have less to take care of over the next few weeks. All of which I did, you see, but I also saw movies.

First, I got to the head of a line that only ended up forming a few minutes before start time, because of how I cleverly picked a movie that started before most people got off work, and thereby avoided the opening day mega-crowds. Which there may well not have been, though I hear it did the best of the weekend, a victory for sci-fi movies everywhere, says I. In particular, because it has a horror movie to contend with next week and so cannot possibly maintain first place two in a row.

The upshot of all this meaningless preface is that I saw The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy unreasonably early in the release cycle to only now be reviewing it. Except, see, for the packing and loading and moving and unloading that I had to accomplish. Plus, there was tiredness. In any case, my bad.

I’m going to say, Good Movie. It didn’t quite nail the bureaucratic morass hilarity of the opening scenes, but it proceeded to lampoon it thoroughly throughout the rest of the movie, so that was pretty cool. It certainly welcomed the unfamiliar viewer with open arms, but had enough new jokes to provide more than just comfortableness for the initiated. The romantic subplot was expanded, which I didn’t mind on the face of it, but I also didn’t find that either lead could really pull it off.

Additional thing: Adams wrote in a new villain character. This did not bother me as much as it was supposed to as a loyal reader/viewer/listener/player/whatever, I think. Really, I liked it a lot, because it added another facet to the whole ‘each “book” should end with tremendous ease-of-use toward having a sequel’ thing that Adams has always had going for him. Which sequel I’d like to see, because when you get down to it, watching everyman Arthur Dent react to the galaxy in all its myriad insanity is fun. I do have a concern over the whole Douglas Adams died and will not have writing credits on future sequels aspect, though.

The problems: It was merely good. Probably this is true of the books as well, and I just don’t know by having avoided them lately. Certainly it’s not a problem for going to see it, because, well, things that are good are worth seeing. But it’s not good for longevity, either in the individual sense or as the basis for a series of movies. That said, lots of not-at-all-good movies have spawned sequels, so. And also, the opening and closing dolphin song was kinda terrible, in the made me want to claw out my eardrums if only that would end the pain sense. But I can avoid it on any future viewings. I will avoid it on any future viewings, unless I’ve been strapped down like a prisoner being forced to listen to Vogon poetry.

On a completely irrelevant note, I was not shown the expected Serenity trailer before the movie. How dare they?