The Hitchhikers Guide to the GalaxyWritten by Tamika Johnson
'The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy' had potential to be best movie of year. And yes, I sincerely mean that. Really, look at all it had going for it: itís based on a classic book that has a cult following that could rival 'Lord of Rings' trilogy. A very funny and talented cast that includes Tim Freeman (BBC hit series 'The Office') as everyman Arthur Dent, Sam Rockwell as two headed, split brain, charming President of Galaxy Zaphod Beeblevrox, Alan Rickman as voice of paranoid android Marvin who incidentally resembles an oversized storm trooper and Mos Def as quirky and lovable, towel wielding alien and author of guide, Ford Perfect. Throw in fact that Jim Hensonís Puppet Shop created all of aliens and creatures in film so none of them end up looking like bad CGI you should have a innovative, funny, and ingenious movie on your handsÖ.but thatís not what happened, not quite anyway.
'Hitchhiker' ultimately gets bogged down in its own grandness. Thereís just too much stuff. There are too many aliens, too many crazy sets, too many gadgets that have to be figured out and just too much going on to really have time to digest it all. The obvious meticulous care that was taken to bring this visually stunning world to life happened at expense of true character and plot development.
We donít get opportunity to know more about Ford Perfect, or why Zaphod has such a problem with Humma Kavula (John Malkovich) or even why Humma Kavula wants gun he sends Zaphod after. We get very brief explanations as to why Zaphod has two heads and how he managed to become president of galaxy given his questionable intelligence quotient. And movie spends an excessive amount of time explaining Vogons a very bureaucratic and disagreeable species of aliens that spend much of movie chasing heroes but not enough screen time to warrant all details on who they are and what they are like. I would have rather more explanation of relationship between Arthur and Ford or perhaps Arthurís love interest Tricia (Zooey Deschanel) and her relationship with Zaphod.
Beauty ShopWritten by Tamika Johnson
Beauty Shop tells story of Gina (Queen Latifah) as she moves to Atlanta so her daughter can go to an exclusive music school. She finds a job as a stylist at a high end salon but after a confrontation with her boss leaves and opens her own beauty shop.
Beauty Shop doesnít quite rise to occasion as it repackages and regurgitates characters, themes and plots that we have seen before. It is one thing to tell a story that has previously been done yet bring something new to what may be an overdone but entertaining storyline and it is another to retell a story and not bring anything new to table at all. Beauty Shop falls into latter category and suffers greatly for it.
The main problem with Beauty Shop is that it is Barber Shop with women. From plot twists to characters inside shop, it is exact same movie as Barbershop except with Queen Latifah at helm instead of Ice Cube. There is funny, familial and penny pinching boss, Gina (Queen Latifah). There is misguided, yet full of potential stylist in training, Darnelle (Keshia Knight-Pulliman). Thereís arrogant, know it all stylist who is a pain in everyoneís side, Chanel (Golden Brooks). Thereís novice stylist of a different race that canít get any business, Lynn (Alicia Silverstone) and finally thereís opposite sex stylist who is only one of his kind in salon, James (Bryce Wilson). Add to that money problems, someone trying to take over business and possibility that shop may have to close for good and you have same movie, same story without any added flare. You even have character that hawks their goods at shop: in Barbershop it was a man selling bootleg CDs and DVDs and in Beauty Shop it is a woman selling catfish and monkey bread. The concept of being original must have never crossed writerís minds.