Friday, April 29, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM: "The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy," "Off the Map"

IT'S MOVIE TIME with John DeSando & Clay Lowe
Producer/Director: Richelle Antczak, WCBE

Reviews: “The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy,” “Off the Map”
Taped: 4:00 pm, April 27, 2005
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, April 29, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:

"The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy” is a faux Monty Python ride out of this world . . .

"Off the Map” kicks off the Deep Focus Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Don’t miss it . . .


Richelle Antczak

"It's Movie Time" in Central-Ohio, with John DeSando and Clay Lowe . .


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Clay Lowe.

John (“The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy”)
Clay—Rivaling Galaxy Quest for laughs is the new Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an adaptation of Douglas Adams's 1970s radio hit, TV serial, best-selling novel, and computer game. Witness a thoughtful sperm whale mysteriously appearing in the sky and suddenly dropping thousands of feet to the ground or a chorus of deserting dolphins singing “Thanks for the fish” prior to the destruction of earth—straight out of Monty Python’s universe.

Crazies just as dangerous and ludicrous as the Bush administration people this cosmos—for instance, the bureaucrats who announce the eminent-domain elimination of earth for a universe bypath with the admonition that it’s too late to complain because the plans have been available for 50 years on Alpha Centauri.

In the last two weeks, I have enjoyed the other-worldly laughs of this film and Kung Fu Hustle. Our imaginative movie business is thriving right here on earth!

Clay (“The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy”)
John, while you’re in the mood for straining your imagination, try this. Imagine the Brit-faced Arthur, from “The Hitch Hikers Guide,” as a combination of Dorothy and the Scarecrow from the pages of “The Wizard of Oz.”

I can imagine that.

Clay (continues)
You know, nightmares, destroyed homes, confused brains, and all that kind of stuff.

Then imagine Mos Def as an alien Tin-Man in search of his heart. Add in Sam Rockwell as the Cowardly Lion, Zoey Deschanel as the Good Fairy, Bill Nighy as the Wizard, and Marvin the Robot as a tag-a-long version of Toto, and you’ve got yourself a sci-fi version of “The Wizard of OZ.”

Dr., you are the Wizard.

Clay (Aside)
Come on John, close the curtain.

Clay (Continues)
“The Hitch Hikers Guide” is no “Wizard of Oz” but it IS a very clever, very funny update of what can happen if you let your imagination lead you into those lands beyond the rainbow.

John (“Off the Map”)
Clay, in a small universe all its own, Campbell Scott's Off the Map has a married Arlene Groden (Joan Allen) telling her house guest, William Gibbs (Jim True-Frost), that although it's nice he's expressed his love for her, it can be accounted for by the power of New Mexico; I knew I would love this understated, eccentric, and satisfying little film.

While the two male heroes, Gibbs and Arlene's husband, Charley (Sam Elliot), are both clinically depressed, the film is not just about depression but also the forces of devotion and simplicity that keep these almost-hippies functioning in a remote world somewhere around Santa Fe, Taos, and El Paso.

Narrator Bo Groden is a home-schooled, precociously sensitive pre-teen who plans to leave as soon as possible. I love that little girl.

Lafcadio Hearn could have been describing the Grodens when he said, "It is only in the home-relations that people are true enough to each other, --and show what human nature is, the beauty of it, the divinity of it."

Clay (“Off the Map”)
Well folks, there may be no place like home, but in both “The Hitch Hikers Guide” and in Joan Ackermann’s “Off the Map,” we eventually come to conclude that though home MAY be where the heart is, it is NOT a lesson learned easily and it is not a lesson that comes axiomatically.

The setting in “Off the Map” is rustic and idyllic. The family is daily engulfed in sunrises, sunsets, and mountains that seem to emerge from the horizon. But all is not well in this isolate world.

A chance visitor learns to see himself in new ways. A young girl determined to go beyond the horizons. A husband who sees only into himself. And finally the mother, who with her courage, sustains, heals, and delivers them.

“Off the Map” is a simple film, plotless and undramatic, but it will stir you in ways that “Star Wars” never will, if you have the patience to let it.

But enough of hitch hikers, monsters, and idyllic vistas, John, because it’s grading time.


“The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy” earns a B because a sneeze guru played by John Malkovich wasn't in the original and didn't deserve to BE . . .

“The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy” gets a “B” because it’s a slow starter that gets BETTER . . .

“Off the Map” earns an A for its ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVE world . . .

“Off the Map” gets an “A” because it’s ALL ABOUT the importance of people and places and how they give our lives meaning . . .

Clay, let’s go to the “Restaurant at the End of the Universe” with our buddy Johnny DiLoretto; it couldn’t be any stranger than some of the places he reviews for his ABC/Fox Night team--or than the team itself.

I’m outta here.

John, while you and Johnny are searching for the best candlelight dining in the Universe, my Hilliard family and I will be searching for the Galaxy’s very best diner. Love that comfort food.

I’m outta here too.

See you at the movies, folks.



The Award Winning "It's Movie Time" with John DeSando and Clay Lowe is produced by Richelle Antczak in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus and 106.7 FM in Newark.


© 2005 John DeSando and Clay Lowe