Monday Review of Stuff

Unlike certain other Monday Reviews we could mention, this one respects the traditional meaning of Monday, lingering grumpiness included.

  • Mr. Coffee 12-cup drip coffeemaker: I can’t find the exact model number, unfortunately, because I very much need to express my dismay with the office machine in a way that Google will hear and understand. It is:
    1. Slow
    2. Drippy, in both its poorly-spouted carafe design and lack of an effective pause feature for snagging a cup of coffee midway through the brew cycle. Which is like 45 minutes long.
    3. Slow
    4. Not a significant improvement on other drip coffeemakers in any regard, and in particular does not provide features which might compensate for its slowness and drippiness.
    5. White
  • Robert Reed: Marrow: Classic exploration-driven scifi, with a compelling universe and a well-paced twisty plot. Good light reading is astonishingly hard to find, so hoorah!
  • Mac’n’cheese with truffle oil: I was astonished that such an absurd frou-frou item would remain true to the spirit of childhood. But it does!
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (movie version): Exactly as bad as I expected, which was thankfully not Highlander II bad or even Spice World bad, just simultaneously bland and over-busy as a result of trying to fit too much in. The little boxes on a list of well-loved funny bits from the book and radio series were dutifully ticked off, one by one, and a little puff of grim studio-executive-marketroid satisfaction left the screen each time. You could hear it, because there was no one laughing; I chuckled, weakly, perhaps thrice throughout the film. A love story was duly shoehorned in to the detriment of the overall narrative, and I’m ashamed that I didn’t dourly speculate on this beforehand. At least the puppets were good.

Updated to review:

  • The Persianesque rugs that have suddenly appeared in my office: By themselves they might be nice, but thrown on top of mottled gray textureless cubicle-carpet they only highlight how depressingly cold and bland everything else around me is. Like eating cold porridge when someone comes along and drops in a spoonful of delicious goat cheese.

Comments

  1. Joe wrote:

    Man, I’m dissapointed in that Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy movie.
    I’ve only read the book, and its great. it’s zany and whacky (if its cool to use terms like that…) and is still, clever, intelligent, and fill of great insight.
    Of course they say that movies are NEVER as good as the book, but I was hopeful that this adaptation would be wel done (it had that guy from “the office” in it, so I had high hopes!)
    Its been getting mixed reviews, and after your summary, it looks like I need to wait and try and find a torrent of it rather than go see it.

  2. Rana wrote:

    Yep, it’s a grumpy Monday, alright.
    Does the coffeemaker have a serial number on the bottom?

  3. yami wrote:

    Do some people take issue with the words zany and wacky? That’s like finding out that “crap” is a swear word…
    I would actually recommend a bargain matinee in a second-run theater; the visual effects are worth seeing on a proper screen – Magrathea was incredible. There were some other good things about it, too: I didn’t agree with the direction they took Arthur Dent in (he’s supposed to be passive and confused, not a chivalrous knight!) but he was given more depth than in other versions, and I liked the extra Vogon stuff (the bit with the towel and the gate, and then Marvin shooting the gun, was priceless). It’s just that the humor was either not set up (too much stuff to cram in one script, but they were still trying to please all the fans in their focus groups) or badly timed.
    You should try to find the radio series; if it’s not quite as good as the books, it’s very very close.

  4. des von bladet wrote:

    We are usually grumpy all the week long, but the coffee pot review reads like a Tuesday Trashning, such as which are also entitled to appear on Mondays.

  5. Amanda wrote:

    I once appeared (in two or three very, very small roles) in a low-budget college-student production of the radio series version of Hitchhiker’s Guide. It was awesome. We even got an actual British guy to play Arthur (he was a grad student in something or other), and he did so in a properly understated manner. When I saw the movie last weekend, I kept mentally comparing it with that production and being disappointed. Why does every big mainstream movie have to have a love story in it?
    But at least the movie had Alan Rickman, which always helps.

  6. yami wrote:

    They clearly needed some kind of unifying feature/story in the film, and it almost makes sense from that perspective. It’s just that adding a new theme is never a good substitute for ruthlessly excising distractions. Or comic timing.
    Really, if they’d just gotten a cast/director/script-polisher with more experience in comedy, it might’ve all worked out, love story and all – but they kept missing the funny!

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