The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

After reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I decided to rent the movie. Turns out the movie is a huge hit, but not bigger than the book. The movie version was made in Sweden and I’m probably in the minority when I comment that it was just OK. The reviews on Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes are really positive so go figure.

I give the movie credit for trying to incorporate most of the book, but certain aspects of book are left out. If I didn’t read the book, I would’ve thought this movie didn’t make any sense. There are a number of plot gaps and underdeveloped characters. Moreover, a lot of back story gets lost. The Vanger family has a number of dark secrets but the movie only concentrates on Harriet. Despite all that, the movie clocks in at about 2-1/2 hours. If you haven’t seen the Swedish version yet, you might want to sit tight till December when the Hollywood version comes out.

What the movie does get right is the Lisbeth Salander character. She’s the best part of the book and definitely the highlight of the movie. The movie captured just what I thought the character looked like. There is some of her back story missing from the movie but enough that I didn’t feel cheated.

TGWTDT is second Swedish film I’ve seen over the course of a year. The other movie was Let The Right One In. I’ve commented on this movie and book in a previous post. As usual, I loved the book and the movie was just OK. Again, Swedish film making leaves a lot to be desired. By no means am I qualified to critique directors or actors, but these Swedish movies are…slow and dull. For some reason though they get great reviews. Why is that? What does the rest of the world see that I don’t? Maybe I’m just a product of Hollywood slick movie productions. Maybe my untrained brain can’t process Swedish art like others can. Or more likely my preference of the book outweighs any enjoyment I could have watching the movie.

Progress on my new novel has been slow. I haven’t written much over the last two weeks. It’s my fault – I let myself get too easily distracted. The Chicago Bulls are in the Eastern Conference playoffs, I’m focusing on my health, and other things I use as excuses but aren’t. I read on another writer’s blog that the difference between published authors and ones that are not is hard work. It’s obvious but it’s something I haven’t been doing.


Twilight…I’m not buying it

For those who think the Twilight series is an edgy vampire epic, check out Let the Right One In. I like to think of it as the anti-Twilight. Where Twilight shows vampires in a sexy, appealing light, LTROI gives you a vampire that’s harsh and terrifying. The novel is dark, deals with controversial topics, and is outright disturbing in certain parts. Did I mention the vampire in LTROI is a 12-year-old girl?

I’m not critical of Twilight‘s success. I’m just frustrated by the attention it gets and what it does to the vampire genre.  Every time I set foot into Borders or B&N I’m constantly reminded of the number of imitations Twilight has spawned. LTROI stands on its own; not to be imitated. I’ve never read anything from the Twilight series, nor do I intend to. If I understand the marketing strategy for this faux-vampire series, it’s aimed for tweens who are alienated from the family and friends, and want to take comfort in an outsider who understand them. If that’s that target demographic, then great…mission accomplished.

What I’m not excited about is the confusion is generating. Vampire’s are evil. Since Stoker introduced Dracula, vampires have been creatures of the night preying on the living. Assimilation was never really in the cards for them in most literary or film cases. Until Twilight made them into a bunch of whiny, brooding teenagers. Once evil becomes palatable, most people will accept and forget just how dangerous it can be. I might have the whole premise of Twilight wrong, but based on what I’ve read about this series I’m lead to believe it’s like watered down version of the “Lost Boys”.

I can only wonder what form this classic horror monster will look like in ten years. Maybe they’ll go retro and actually be scary again and do things that made them…evil.