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BACKSTAGE WITH MARIAN
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Story outtakes, celebrity confessions and the latest pop culture news in the Bay Area

About Me
I'm a pop music writer for the San Jose Mercury News. I cover pop, hip hop, punk, rock, dance, and ethnic - well, basically everything you can dance to.

My Articles

MY PICKS
CD: Common:"Be"
Music Video Eminem: featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Trailer: The Year of the Yao
TV: Harvey Birdman
Videogame: Fable

MERCURY REVIEWS
Art: The New Art of India
Bar: Boswell's
Book: Jill Scott
Club: Forum
DVD: Kinsey
Movie: Cinderella Man
Music: Sleater-Kinney
Restaurant: The Melting Pot
Theater:The Mambo Kings

SICK SITE
Earth and Sun Kiss

MY PLAYLIST

1. R. Kelly: "Trapped In The Closet"

2. Weezer: "Hold Me"

3. Bright Eyes: "First Day Of My Life"

4. Ringside: "Miss You" and "Criminal"

ENTERTAINMENT RESOURCES
  • Billboard Charts
  • Encyclopedia
  • iticket.com
  • Moviefone
  • Music Dictionary
  • MTV
  • Pollstar
  • tickets.com
  • Urban Dictionary
  • ticketmaster.com
  • VH1

  • BLOGROLL
  • Adisa Banjoko : San Jose's Bishop of Hip hop
  • Angry Asian Man: Asian American media watchdog
  • Berkeley Blogs
  • Black Electorate : Inside Cultural, Economic and Political industries
  • BLT's Parry
  • Crayone: the trials and tribulations of a graffiti artist
  • Dan Gillmor : Grassroots Journalism
  • Dat Phan : Last Comic Standing season 1 winner
  • East Bay Livin' : Ellen Lee's EB hunt
  • Davey D: Hip Hop Daily News
  • Fortt: black american gen x journalist musician multicultural christian technophile
  • Jeff Chang: fellow Asian hip hop writer
  • Joe Grimm : Ask the Recruiter
  • In Passing : Random Street Conversations
  • Pacific Standard: Bay Area hip-hop
  • Pop And Politics
  • Pop Licks : O-Dub, a cultural critic
  • Scape: San Jose graffiti artist
  • SiliconBeat: News about tech money and innovation
  • Tuesday, May 03, 2005

    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe: Zaphod is from Daly City, and Marvin the robot's blog

    Like many this weekend, I caught the movie "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe." It debuted at No. 1 with $21.7 mil in box office sales, surprisingly beating out "XXX."

    I loved the movie, but I really don't remember the book. Usually, I make a point of watching the movie first, then reading the book - that way I'm not disappointed.

    What really made the movie were the Jim Henson puppetry and the computer graphics. Here is a link to the movie's production notes.

    My favorite two characters were the galaxy president, Zaphod Beeblebrox, which Sam Rockwell played with a wacky glee (he's born in Daly City!), and the robot Marvin, voiced by Alan Rickman. He added a delicious depressive quality to it. I just wanted to squeeze the poor robot and tell him everything will be OK. So this weekend, I looked everywhere for his figurine, and couldn't find anything to my dismay.

    The person who plays the robot, Warwick Davis, of Willow and Ewok fame, has a website and blog here. He also obligingly answers fan's stupid questions like how tall are you and are you married?

    And here's the official movie blog.

    For those who are really into the book, here's a webpage that details what was left out of the movie.

    Finally, I was seriously disappointed in Mos Def's role in the film as reporter Ford Prefect. He was one of the reasons that drew me to the movie, but except for the line, "Do you want a hug?" I wasn't really impressed. He could have been replaceable. But then I thought back on his past work - how he has a laidback cool-man quality about him - and how maybe he was so laidback in the film he was un-noticeable. Anybody have any other thoughts on him?

    5 Comments:

    Blogger nathanieljue said...

    i would give "hitchhiker's guide" a thumb's up...

    1:01 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I despised this film as much as Shaolin Soccer. Too...esoteric for me.

    Reading the book might've helped. *shrugs*

    1:16 PM  
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    Photo of Marian Liu by Stephanie Grace Lim, Mercury News
    You can e-mail me at mliu@mercurynews.com.