I loved the book "Perks Of Being A Wallflower", when it came out. I thought it one of the best books then. It gave me very much. I never dared to watch the movie. I am afraid it would not be half as good, as the book was for me back then.
"I entered this world on the Champs-Elysees, 1959. La trottoir du Champs Elysees. And do you know what my very first words were? New York Herald Tribune! New York Herald Tribune!"
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"When you're young the odds are very good that you'll find something to enjoy in almost any movie. But as you grow more experienced, the odds change. Unless you're feebleminded, the odds get worse and worse. We don't go on reading the same kind of manufactured novels - pulp Westerns or detective thrillers, say - all of our lives, and we don't want to go on and on looking at movies about cute heists by comically assorted gangs. The problem with a popular art form is that those who want something more are in a hopeless minority compared with the millions who are always seeing it for the first time, or for the reassurance and gratification of seeing the conventions fulfilled again.
The critical task is necessarily comparative, and younger people do not truly know what is new. And despite all the chatter about the media and how smart the young are, they're incredibly naïve about mass culture - perhaps more naïve than earlier generations (though I don't know why). Maybe watching all that television hasn't done so much for them as they seem to think; and when I read a young intellectual' s appreciation of `Rachel, Rachel` and come to `the mother's passion for chocolate bars is a superb symbol for the second coming of childhood`, I know the writer is still in his first childhood, and I wonder if he's going to come out of it."
<i>Trash, Art, and the Movies</i>, by Pauline Kael.
Another worth reading: <i>A Century of Cinema</i> <a href="http://southerncrossreview.org/43/sontag-cinema.htm">(click over)</a> by Susan Sontag.
I usually don't like remakes. For obvious reasons, specially the American ones. Just to take an example, get a very nice film like Mostly Martha and turn it into the stupid No Reservations. And I just heard that there's a remake to Godard's Breathless with none other than Richard Gere! What's wrong with you guys? If a great film, worldly acclaimed, is not yours, you want to ruin it? Nah. Unfortunately, you think you're doing a really good job. Some foreign films have an economic potential if converted to the "American taste" what, let me explain, is not exclusively to Americans. This below average taste has been spread all over the world mostly because of your powerful film industry, so this is not a critic to a country, but to a "way of life" - let's put it that way - that can be found anywhere. Having said that, let's move to Let Me In.
Having seen Låt den rätte komma and read John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, I can nothing but laugh out loud - or should I say "cry"? - after seeing Matt Reeves' remake. He not only managed to ruin the original film but the book as well. First of all, the kids. They're too much nice, too much cute, too much trained, too much not convincing (me). If we're going to shoot a remake, let's make sure to change a few things, right? Instead of a blond boy and a brunette girl, let's choose a dark-haired boy and a dark blonde girl and voilà! Now we can copy some scenes, frame to frame, add a little bit of crap to it, and we have a "great" and different film. Anyhow, it'd be better if the differences have remained restricted to the cast. I feel sorry for saying it, but even the bullying is worse here. Americans and their vision of right and wrong had, of course, to justify why that boy has such a nasty behavior: he calls Owen "little girl" and treats him the way he does because his older brother does the same to him. Oh poor little kid!
Still into this good versus evil vision, we have Owen's mom and Abby's "dad", who only looks like Håkan. Of course the pedophile (not suggested in the film) can't be somehow "nice", so he will not only call little Abby fucking bitch and yells at her, as he seems to be the "boss" in all situations. Why does he douse his face with acid? Because that's what Håkan does in Let the Right One In. For not even one second you believe he would do that to protect Abby what, by the way, is not even explained. Now, Owen's mom. It's unbelievable, but true: she is a freaking religious and that must explain everything, right? Divorced parents, fanatic mom, weird boy. And where this comes from? Reeves took this religion thing of the book, but changed it for worst. In the novel, Oskar has a sort of friend, Tommy, an older boy who lives in his building. Tommy's mom is dating the religious police officer, Staffan, that investigates the deaths. What Reeves did was take Lacke and the other drunks off the scene and put Staffan in. Those scenes in the hospital are really in the book, but he is not killed. Talking about scenes and killing, if you watched Let The Right One In you remember that there were two girls with a dog that find the first Håkan's victim, right? Well, to not let such an important thing out, Reeves makes Ginia - the woman that will be attacked by Abby - a "posh girl" walking with her dog. Oh, and I was almost forgetting the worst thing about this film: when thirsty for blood, Abby becomes a mix of Marilyn Manson and the girl from The Exorcist, what it's said to be the great difference between the two films, making Reeve's film more suitable for the terror genre and less romantic than Tomas Alfredson's. Have these critics seem the same film I did? Because Let Me In is much more romantic in a silly way.
First of all, Abby and Owen's relationship develops very fast, specially due to the fact that eight minutes are lost in that useless and typical beginning scene. Also, they're really good kids, no matter if Abby kills people and Owen spies his female neighbour about to have sex. Owen is so nice that, in a normal and innocent idea of sex as sin or 'love in this side, sex in the other', he stops spying Abby when she's changing clothes. Of course that this scene happens mostly because people wouldn't understand the similar scene of Let The Right One In, another reason why Abby says that she's not a girl, she's nothing. If she had only said she is not a girl, people would understand exactly the same as we did in Let The Right One In, where the homosexuality is not clear: she's not a girl, she's a vampire. Not necessary to say much more. Not everything has to be said or shown. I would prefer to wonder what they "talked" in the end than to know that the "trains starts to move".
Other few points: I think the cold light of Let The Right One In works much better than the "warm" yellow one of Let Me In, but yes, I understand that New Mexico is not Stockholm. The music that is an important thing in the Swedish film completely loses its sense in this one. When we meet someone and feel connected, don't we want to show the person a film we like, a song we love? That's what Oskar does, when he put that amazing song to play in vinyl and tries to look cool in front of Eli. The song, "Kvar i min bil", played by Per Gessle, says something like "All of my heart crushed like glass, trashed when you said 'you've got to leave'. Where should I run? What will I come to?" perfectly fits Oskar.
Let The Right One In is one of the few cases where the film is better than the book, a sort of cheesy horror flick. Let Me In is one of several cases where a remake is worse than the original film and the book.