8:00 PM, 30th July, 2005
Arthur Dent discovers that his house is about to be demolished, not long after this it is also announced that earth is to be demolished in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Arthur's only hope is from his friend Ford Prefect, who informs Arthur that he is in fact an alien, writing for the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Ford manages to hitch a ride with a passing space ship and Arthur's journey around the Galaxy begins. Along the way we learn the importance of always taking a towel with you, that mice are in fact the smartest animals on earth and the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything.
The movie is full of clever and comical science fiction theories and does the classic novel by Douglas Adams justice, presenting all the great moments in the book in a way that gives the viewers something extra.
Fans of the series of novels by Douglas Adams will find a lot of enjoyment in this film. For those who have not read the series this is a perfect introduction that will lead you on to the stories in the series that follow.
10:00 PM, 30th July, 2005
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (yep, that mouthful is its full title) is the latest quirky little comedy from writer/director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums). If you've seen Anderson's earlier films you'll probably already have a pretty good idea whether or not you'll like The Life Aquatic; it will certainly appeal to the same audience. That's not to say that it's some kind of lame rehash - there are some familiar elements, like the fun performances by Anjelica Huston and Owen Wilson, but the characters, settings and atmosphere are quite different and nicely realised.
I'll admit that I'm a big Bill Murray fan, but I really think he nailed the title role in this film. It's quite a complex role, and without wanting to give too much away it's the kind of role that Murray is particularly suited for. On the other hand I haven't thought too much of Jeff Goldblum in the past, but his slick, well-paid and slightly smarmy Alistair Hennessey character was the perfect nemesis for Murray's scruffy oceanic adventurer of the title.
In terms of the plot, I guess I could tell you that it's about the adventurer film-maker Zissou coming to terms with the discovery that he has an adult son, set against the background of his search for the elusive "jaguar shark" that ate his best friend. That doesn't really do it justice though, and the film takes one or two turns that are completely unexpected. It's definitely worth checking out.