Sunday, December 25, 2011

Why bear this cross?

Is there any irony in talking of bearing crosses on Dec. 25th? Not a chance.

I'm waiting for my eldest brother to get to my parents house, so I have some time to write. You better believe I'm continuing to neglect my nuclear family in favor of film club family.

Quickly, I'd like to ask you, what is it about the material that you find so fascinating or worthy of greatness? I feel like I'm in the dark about this. I'm sorry to assume that you were bringing your romantic reflections of the book to the screen, but it's the only conclusion I can come to as to why you are so smitten with this movie that is basically the same thing as the Swedish version, only made with more technical virtuosity. You have to be bringing some impressions of the book to the movie, admit it!

If I say that the Swedish version sucks because the material is uninspired and the filmmaking unimpressive, do you care at all? Yet suddenly if I say that the American version with a great director at the helm is good because the filmmaking is impessive, but not great because the material is still uninspired, you are shocked? The material hasn't changed between versions. It's still generic thriller fodder. I don't hate the material, but I certainly am neither surprised or shocked by it. The material is fine but it wasn't enough to warrant my love on both occasions. Not that I can't enjoy a good potboiler in this day and age (I did enjoy the film), but I've seen this thriller so much at this point in my life that I'm no longer capable of love for it. If it had surprised and really enticed me it would be a different story, but it didn't so its the "good not great" story.

I feel that Fincher is better than the material because he's already done this type of material better. I've already said that SEVEN is a much more shocking look at depravity and ZODIAC is a much more obsessive look at solving a mystery that refuses to be solved. I prefer them both to this movie because they are thoroughly effective and worthy of greatness. The mystery and the shocks in DRAGON are not as captivating–they just didn't spark my imagination or leave me drooling the way a great movie will.

I really don't understand why you find reviews like my patronizing just because we respect the level of craft that Fincher brings to the picture. His stamp on this picture is unmistakable and I appreciate what he brings to it, hence the fact that I like it. But he hasn't elevated the material because its the same fucking material! Oh, you know I love you Brandon. There's nothing like arguing your personal impressions against those of another.

This I'll admit freely–watching Fincher's version, I couldn't help but be aware of its similarity to the Swedish version. This made the film seem uninspiring because I was always conscious of watching a remake (or re-adaptation, whatever). Perhaps that's my fault. I wish I had had my memory of it erased so I could have watched this one fresh.

Sorry, I can't write more, but I gots to get back to Christmas. More arguments to follow, I'm sure.

Merry Christmas! Love you all!

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