2005, Disney, 109 min, Dir: Garth Jennings

Don’t panic - Douglas Adams’ beloved sci-fi franchise arrives on the big screen with its Python-esque sense of humor intact. Everyman Martin Freeman is whisked off of Earth moments before the planet’s destruction to travel across the universe, meeting an eccentric group of characters along the way. This fast-paced and funny film has a cast that’s out of this world, including Mos Def, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel and Alan Rickman (as a paranoid android), and CGI and creature effects light-years beyond the old BBC-TV series.

2002, Park Circus/Miramax, 115 min, USA, Dir: George Clooney

At the height of his career as a television game show producer, Chuck Barris (a revelatory Sam Rockwell) finds himself being followed by a suspicious character who recruits him for secretive and dangerous service as a CIA operative. As he basks in the glamour of his two worlds, Barris’ double life soon begins to spiral out of control. Adapted by Charlie Kaufman from the real Chuck Barris’ “unauthorized autobiography,” this bizarre tale gets a unique visual treatment from production designer James Bissell, who employs what might be called a “neo-hallucinogenic” color palette as well as a number of mind-bending pre-CG cinematic techniques.

2013, Starz Digital Media, 90 min, USA, Dir: Clark Gregg

THE AVENGERS’ Clark Gregg directs and stars as former child actor Howard Holloway, who now represents young performers - at least the ones not stolen away by rival agent Aldo Shocklee (Sam Rockwell). Holloway thinks he’s hit the jackpot when an unsigned teen actress (Saxon Sharbino, in a breakout performance) about to land a major role enlists his services … but things aren’t always what they seem in Hollywood. This dark comedy boasts an outstanding ensemble cast, including Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney, William H. Macy, Amanda Peet and Molly Shannon.

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