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Get a Swedish Tattoo

February 14, 2011 - Steve Murch
There are times where I get really, really, really (you get the point) annoyed with Hollywood's general lack of creativity. I'm not a huge fan of blockbusters, so I will concede there are several of those that capture the public's imagination. I just don't get worked up over movies that are moved by action more than by dialogue.

So today's rant is about two movies in particular: Arthur and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The first is a remake of the 1980s movie starring Dudley Moore, the latter is the American version based on the novel by Steig Larsson that was made into a Swedish movie that just won a BAFTA (think British Oscars).

In terms of Arthur, it might not help that I'm not crazy about Russell Brand. He's OK, but … Remaking Arthur is kind of strange anyway. It was a nice, little comedy that made a boatload of money, which in Hollywood-ese means “Let's try and remilk that cow for all it's worth.” I'm sure this updated version will be edgier, since Brand is an edgy comic. But all Arthur was in the original was a hapless drunk who meant no harm to anyone. This version, I'm not so sure. Chance are it won't be a blockbuster anyway, but stranger things have happened.

My bigger problem is with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I guess the issue shouldn't be with Hollywood, but viewers. It's too bad there aren't more people willing to watch foreign-language films because the Millennium Trilogy – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked in the Hornet's Nest – are incredible movies (generally I like to read the book first, but this time I'm doing it in reverse). Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist were perfect as Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. There is no way Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara will be able to match them.

On top of that, the original trilogy logs in at over seven hours, we know American audiences have a problem with movies that go over two hours long unless they have lots of comic book action. None of the trilogy movies has a lot of that kind of action, and there are layers of plot twists to peel back and understand you don't get to the point when you skip a lot of the pertinent information. You get that when making books into movies, but it goes back to audiences needing to have more patience and enjoy the storytelling.

I haven't read any other information on the remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because I don't have much interest in it, so I wonder if the movie will even be set in Sweden. Unless it receives movie-of-the-year kind of accolades I doubt I will watch it. I've seen the original and that one is just fine by me.


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