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Hogfather

Forums - Discs & Movies - Hogfather 

18th December 2006 16:05  #1

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,149
Hogfather
Anyone see this and like it? I was really hoping this was going to be good but so far, based on part one, hopes are dashed. I'll reserve final judgement until after part 2 tonight though. It's going to have to really pull it's finger out.

18th December 2006 16:58  #2

Nic Mall Member Join Date: November 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,202 Send a message via MSN to Nic Mall
Got bored after 20 min. So I went to play Zelda Happy

19th December 2006 20:39  #3

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,149
Yeah I was bored too. Then annoyed as I realised the 1st part was 2 hours and not 1. Annoyed that I'd have to stick with it in the hope that I would become less bored with it as time went on. I suppose the writing was on the wall really as Sky are pushing this as a David Jason vehicle. None of the character have enough screentime to get any momentum going. The editing chops scenes into two halve that should be left to run as one. The guy playing Mr Teatime, what is he thinking about? Well, thanks to the 'making of' programme that aired a couple of hours prior to the main event, he tells us exactly what he was thinking about when it came to his characterization of Mr Teatime. He actually fessed up and said he'd just watched Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It took the introduction of Nobby Nobbs in the 2nd hour to liven things up a bit, but Hogfather returned to it's plodding self once he'd made his exit a few minutes later.

Sorry. I said I'd reserve judgement didn't I?

Part 2 is in. Nah, sorry. Next.

Scenes cut to other scenes without finishing and then we come back to them to finish them off. There is no mystery or suspense. Everything from dialogue scenes to (supposedly) action scenes are shot in the same flat way. Most of the actors never go beyond line reading to deliver information to the viewer. The exception to this is Joss Ackland on the odd occasion and, as I mentioned previously, the actor playing Corporal Nobbs. They at least inject a bit of life in to their characters. None of the much publicised 'names' in this production did anything except build an expectation that they didn't deliver on. Mr Jason, Mr Planer I mean you. I don't know if this was their fault necessarily as the material is strong. Maybe Pratchett's dialogue is only ever destined to be heard in the readers own head. I think the approach by the director had a lot to do with how flat this all felt. Harry Potter syndrome again. Too slavishly devoted to the source material. My gut feeling is that everyone behaved as if overwhelmed by the material instead of getting to grips with it and making the TV version of Hogfather into something in it's own right.

I made mention earlier of Marc Warren (Mr Teatime) being annoying by just basically copying Johnny Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka well during part 2 another actor, playing the part of the 'Oh God of Hangovers' seems to have wandered into the auditions thinking that doing Rhys Ifan's doing Spike from Notting Hill would be the way to go. Unbelievably, the people responsible for casting this gave him the job.

On the plus side the visual effects were fine for a budget of this size. Flying sequences were smooth and didn't call attention to themselves.

Oh well. Maybe someone not afraid of the material can do better next time. An all CGI approach might work better, something along the lines of Shrek where the director is not studio or set bound and can let his imagination loose on the possibilities that Pratchett presents. Another way could be to go the Sky Captain way and have real actors shot against virtual sets. Either way, whoever tackles Pratchett in the future needs to hire someone to adapt the book into a screenplay and not just lift the dialogue out for actor to read. This adaption should identify a main character that the audience can stick with and lead them through the story rather than, like the books, jump all over the place from character to character. You can do that when the world has been established but not going in cold. Altering Prachett's structure is, I think, the key to an effective filmed version of his books.

Still a fan of Mr Pratchett's Discworld and characters but attempts to adapt them to film/TV have so far been deeply disappointing.

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