America, America, America. The land of the free, the home of the brave, the centre of the global movie empire. Hundreds of thousands of classic and iconic films have come out of America, but other countries have released equally classic/iconic films. England – The Clockwork Orange. Sweden – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Japan – Gojira (Godzilla). South Korea – Oldboy.
Three out of the four will have been bastardised by the American film industry by the end of 2013 – and this upsets me quite a lot. What is it with the American film industry smearing their grubby, green-lined paws all over the classic and iconic films? Why? Because of greed? Because the US don’t understand what happens in the original? Because they want to exploit films that may not have won Academy Awards or a BAFTA or two? Or is it because they want to grease the pockets of actors who will sell the movie just by being in it?
Let’s look at the one film that has annoyed me since it was released. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Based in Sweden by author Stieg Larsson about an investigative journalist going to hell and back to unravel the mystery around a girl who went missing – often presumed dead – for 40 years. Assisted by a ‘child-minded’ yet highly intelligently brilliant hacker, they crack the case, coming close to death on a number of occasions.
Within the original Swedish film adaptation of the novel, Niels Arden Oplev captivates the most important and subtly brilliant aspects of the case, using Mikkel as a weapon to socially engineer and understand the family, and leaving Lisbeth to do the dirty and often monotonous task of digging up the history of people – which 99% of the population would quite easily miss.
One of the most important aspects which stand out to me is the directors attention to detail with the hacking scenes. He depicts a rather accurate method of intrusion using a plethora of tools available to the public. However, in the 2011 bastardised version by David Fincher, Lisbeth is seen to be HACKING into a network using SQL.
There are two things you can do with SQL – 1) Query database management systems. 2) Write scripts to query database management systems. One thing you cannot do with SQL is bloody hack into computers.
Why did the Americans do this? Was it to dumb down what the person sees on the screen to allow them to get sucked into the nonsensical codswallop formed for the general public? I really failed to understand the concept behind releasing an American version of a film which had been released 2 years previously. I still stand by the fact that because the American film industry pumps out crap at least 30 times a year which hits our big screens, they thought “Nobody wants to sit and listen to a language they won’t understand and read subtitles”. Well guess what ‘MERICA. I like films like that. I love having to watch them 3 or 4 times so I don’t miss anything. I love the fact I have to balance what they are saying with what they are doing in a never-ending battle of the eyes and ears.
Now, 올드보이 (or Oldeuboi [Oldboy]). Released in 2003 by Park Chan-wook, this film captured my attention just on the offbeat. It’s one of those films that took me a couple of times to watch from start to finish before I could completely understand what’s going on. After the second time round, I sat there wondering how a film so dark, twisted and disturbing could be so beautiful and spiritual.
I’m not going to go through the plot, you’ll have to read that up yourselves, but it’s one of those films that should just never be done by an American. Built full of tradition and value, hate and dishonour, it’s something the Americans will never quite be able to grasp. Known for their high-octane, extremely volatile and shouty movies, Oldboy will be somewhat impossible for them.
Also, what the hell? Why is Samuel L Jackson playing a part? Ohhhh, to line the pockets of the corporate entities funding the movie, taking advantage of a movie without the recognition it deserves and turning it into some explosive and gun-promoting “bad ass film of the century”. I’m sorry America, you’re not winning me over, even if you did put Samuel L Jackson in it.
Leave the classic films alone and leave the iconic films alone. I won’t be watching it, even if it’s that crap it ends up on Channel 5 in the next 12 months.
I have included the links below to help you form your own opinion.