YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:42 am

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)
No Way Out (1987) dir. Roger Donaldson
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IMDb link RT-link 97% tomatometer, 66% audience (19,884 votes)

Year: 1987 -- Director: Roger Donaldson -- Cast: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Sean Young, Will Patton, Iman -- Length: 114 min. Color/Stereo -- est. budget $15,000,000 -- est. US. gross $35,509,515

Twist ending, anyone? It sure doesn't help this film on first viewing. If you've never seen No Way Out, please read at least the last part of a complete synopsis before you watch. Or select the final chapter of the DVD and watch it first; then view the film from the beginning. You'll not know why, but you'll thank me for suggesting it. But only if you know the twist ending before you see the opening titles. You are notified. Now it's up to you. Without knowing the "surprise ending" this is a terribly mediocre film. If you know what was supposed to be a surprise, it is at least ten times better.

As a result, I will take every chance in this review to urge you to see the film only if you know what the goofy mega-failure surprise twist ending is beforehand!
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It also took me a second viewing to realize how many plot and character references there are to the first film (fewer are made to the novel) in this remake. As I watched the first time I saw few to none. They are well-concealed, but a little freewheeling thought makes enough of them obvious that it spawned an essay topic for this Rematch. I wonder if the film writers borrowed themes from another Ray Milland vehicle called The Thief. That film also features a major character who is a spy.

By 1987 it was possible for people to buy or rent VHS tapes of popular films. I'm pretty sure No Way Out was issued on VHS. This raises the question of whether the makers had in mind that some people would watch the film a second time and experience the stronger suspenseful story that results from knowing the end. I doubt that this was true. It has every sign of going for a big surprise at the ending, and that surprise is...flat as spilled paint. And even by 1987 not many people saw films more than once, whether in the theater, on TV, or from a videotape.

dreiser was the only one who responded to my question about which of the two films readers like best. He names this one as his favorite of the two. In this comparison that I found after my first viewing of No Way Out, Mike White compares the novel and the two films. I agreed with much of what he says, especially about No Way Out, although it is harsh and often dismissive. After a second viewing, I have reconsidered many of his points, and no longer agree with as many of them, and I agree with others more weakly than I did before.
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Here is how I react to various aspects of this film:

Like: Despite my belief that the implementation of the adaptation is supremely clumsy, I still admire the cleverness with which the original story was adapted for a more modern time. Clearly, I think the largely worthless attempt at surprise would have made a stronger film if it had been converted to suspense by revealing Tom Farrell's secret at the start. The 1948 film doesn't attempt any such head-spinning moment, and it is strong and suspenseful most of the way through.

Like: How a red herring individual dreamed up out of the blue by Brice and Pritchard turns out to be not such a made up thing, after all. The film doesn't particularly benefit from this aspect because it is not played well by the writer, but there was potential. And that potential works on second viewing. Consequently I like that this film supports my contention that the telling of a story, not the particulars of a story, makes it a good or a great one. Twist-ending surprises are very shallow things. The Sixth Sense is a much richer experience after you know what's going on. So is No Way Out.
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Like: Susan Atwell seems to be a stronger character than Pauline York, from the 1948 adaptation. She is feistier, and in general more interesting. The most interesting of the three is Pauline Delos from the novel, of course. None of the three would make a "decent" girlfriend, because none of the three is supposed to be a "decent" woman. I suppose, though, Atwell's behavior was not nearly as shocking for contemporaries as Delos/York's was for readers and viewers in the 1940s. In fact, in light of the Sexual Revolution there is nothing bad to be said in 1987 terms about Atwell's behavior in the bedroom (or Farrell's bedroom maneuvers, as well).
::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: :::
Don't Like: For me setting the film at the pinnacle of power in the US (the national capital) doesn't ratchet up the suspense. It is still a wrongfully accused type story where the wrongfully accused has to prove someone else the culprit in order to clear his name. So this is a waste of something, and I'm not sure what. There are fewer moments of genuine suspense in this film than in the Farrow number.
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Don't Like: The attempt to have a surprise ending causes much of what Kevin Costner does as mostly-bland Tom Farrell to make little or no sense. It simply seems like it's pure bad acting, rather than providing a motivation that allows his overreactions to make sense. You get this on the second viewing, but how many people ever gave it that chance? It's a severe directorial and scriptural misstep.

Don't Like: Because of shifting social mores between 1948 and 1987, Farrell's behavior with Atwell is more contemporarily de rigeur than shocking, which renders one of the main points of Fearing's novel moot. George Stroud "deserves" the trouble that he gets stuck in the middle of, for his illicit and adulterous behavior with Pauline. In noir fashion, this is his penance, so to speak. But Farrell is held up as a genuine hero, would be expected in his day to drill Atwell as many times as possible, and therefore comes across as a squeaky-clean, boring kid-next-door. So, what functions as Stroud's penance is reduced to Farrell's undeserved frame-up for something where he committed no wrong in contemporary terms. He is attempting to exonerate himself from the clutches of evil, whereas, Stroud is in a literary, much-stronger way, the creator of his circumstance. He, too, is evil.
The plot fact that Farrell is merely using Atwell for his mole spy job, and was not really in love with her, is not revealed until the very end of the movie, so it has no impact on the viewer except in retrospect, while Stroud is already quite clearly transgressing his marriage vows with Georgette while the story unfolds.
Don't Like: In order to have Farrell be less "squeaky clean" (and thus, deserving of his tribulations, just as Stroud is), a "surprise ending" is concocted. So Farrell's only evil on first viewing (unless you follow my instructions above) is to behave in an indescribably weird and emotional manner at least three times in the course of the investigation into Atwell's murder. It is terribly unenjoyable. Tom Farrell's evil streak is presented at the end of the film, rather than being obvious from the beginning as in the novel, or introduced very early, as in the 1948 film.
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Don't Like: Upon reflection, the characters in this film seem to be shallow, less than human, except for Doctor Sam Hesselman, and Fox, who is Farrell's yeoman, Atwell herself, and Nina, who is Atwell's friend. Some cartoonish characters are introduced as former Special Forces goons who are Pritchard's deadly flunkies. In fact, Pritchard is played in such a way that you know he is a bad guy from the first glimpse of him on screen. At least Hagen is morally corrupt, but seems human in his flawed way. Brice is equally buffoonish as a man who can't control his zipper or his rage, and winds up loathing himself, but is operating at the whims of his subordinate in the subsequent cover-up attempt. Seeing the flawed human beings of Fearing's novel, and the 1948 film reduced to uncomplex, cardboard cutouts is disappointing.
::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: :::
I'll close by repeating my assertion that this film is put together in a single rather inept way, but only ultimately. The editorial and directorial error with the greatest negative impact on the movie is easily remedied: do not watch the film until you fully understand the last several minutes of the film (after Farrell is in the graveyard sitting next to Susan Atwell's grave). Then go back and watch from the beginning, in which case everything is illuminated, and it will take you only half the amount of time that I spent coming to the same perspective. Why not save yourself the time, and try it my way? In this case, you'll be glad you did. Alternately, watch it through once, then double back and watch it all again. Second time is a totally different, and better-made movie!

There will remain only one immense improbability
that the Soviet handlers arranged for Farrell to become Atwell's girlfriend by setting up the meeting, and managing to get him into the Pentagon. Just not freaking likely. Watching the ending first won't remove the laugh-ability of that, but you can ignore it as you watch.
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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:08 am

YouTookMyName wrote:No Way Out (1987) dir. Roger Donaldson

Farrell... would be expected in his day to drill Atwell as many times as possible...
Ha, ha.

Who is Yuri?!!
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed May 01, 2013 3:09 am

dreiser wrote:Who is Yuri?!!
Yuri is the man who wasn't there.

But someone much like him was there.

And someone else provided the impression that he was Yuri.

Although he couldn't be, because he made Yuri up in the first place.

:shifty: :shifty: :shifty:
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed May 01, 2013 3:12 am

Tonight I finished re-reading the novel Let the Right One In (English translation, at least). :heart:

Now, with that fresh in my head, I can watch the Blu-rays I bought of the two movies, then I'll be ready to post stuff!

Sadly, I have almost all the Let Me In Rematch essays written. I bet I have to heavily re-write them after I see the films again. Some probably ought to be broken into two essays. Can't believe I'm so excited about writing about these films and their source novel.

It's like when I was so taken by The Maltese Falcon that I couldn't stop writing down ideas.

Not that you'll want to read them all. :shifty:
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Wed May 01, 2013 3:13 am

A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed May 01, 2013 9:42 am

dreiser wrote:A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
And the key is Russian national interest.

Except not necessarily in this case.

Part of the mystery.

Er, enigma.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun May 05, 2013 3:38 pm

YTMN has not actually fallen off the edge of the earth. But I've come "this close".

A week ago I had an annoying little cough that I figured came from all the pollen we've had in the air here where I live. I'm allergic to it, and it makes me feel like I'm coming down with a cold. By Wednesday I was running a fever, and although it was viral and not bacterial, I knew I had an infection. I went to the doctor, and he told me that I was still on the "upward" curve of this thing. Drat. It plateaus after about 5 days and you stay the same for a while.

For three days I haven't been able to talk. If I try to talk it triggers a coughing fit that can last up to three or four minutes. If I don't try to talk and sort of hum (which makes me sound like a moaning animal or madman, and not the advertising exec type), I can stave off the coughing for a bit longer. But I have to keep my lips closed. It is incredibly weird, but I like to observe and take notes on everything that happens around me. :D

Needless to say, I haven't felt like making many graphics or writing a whole lot on essays and reviews. I did watch Let the Right One In, but haven't made it to focusing on Let Me In. And now I'm sneezing every little bit.

I will be so glad when this virus is finished with me. Because I've been done with it for the past 5 days. And the doc said none of his patients have any idea when or where they might have caught it...neither do I. So he has no idea what the incubation period is, or how contagious it might be. I sure hope I haven't shared this with all my friends and co-workers.

I also hope none of you have this crap circulating between people in your part of the world.

It starts with a tracheal cough. Don't know how it ends.

Not with pushing up flowers or drinking blood from people's throats, I hope. :shifty:
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Stu » Sun May 05, 2013 4:40 pm

Feel better soon, YTMN.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Sun May 05, 2013 8:53 pm

Blame Gort. He's Patient Zero!
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun May 05, 2013 11:09 pm

Thanks guys. Yeah, I'll blame it on Gort.

While you two were wishing me well I managed to watch ParaNorman, Bully (2001) and Let Me In.

Now I need a major nap.

I think I might watch ParaNorman once more before the night is over. Can you tell I like it?
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Mon May 06, 2013 12:00 am

YouTookMyName wrote:Not with... drinking blood from people's throats, I hope. :shifty:
If it comes to that, I will stake you.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue May 07, 2013 10:31 pm

dreiser wrote:
If it comes to that, I will stake you.
Ah, I knew someone would have my back. If it comes to that I shall gladly bare my chest and shave away the voluminous gray hair so that the wooden point can easily break through the skin. There is no need to make your job any more difficult.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue May 07, 2013 10:41 pm

YTMN POintLess PoSt # 2,439,001.8

Okay. For the two or three who might care, here's where I am on these two Rematches.

The Big Clock/No Way Out. I've read the original novel, The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing. I have watched each film at least twice, I've taken copious notes, and collected auto-grabbed stills from both movies. I've already posted the Quotes tech post and reviews of both films. Since then i've been working on the other Rematch.

Let the Right one In/Let Me In. I've re-read the original novel (English translation, of course) highlighting hundreds of examples in my nook book that I thought might be of interest, but now they are rather horrendous to search through. Aparently there is no way to search within your highlighted selections. Ugh. I have auto-grabbed stills from the movies, but I still have the library DVDs because my imagined essay graphics will require more pinpoint stills than I got in most cases. So I'll have to decide what I want and quickly dash through each and get the final few hundred specific grabs. Yeah. And I've watched both the Swedish original and the US English dubbed versions of Let the Right One In (mmmm Blu-ray) and the picture-in-picture commentary version of Let Me In (mmmm also Blu-ray). So I'll need to watch LMI without the windows obscuring a quarter of the frame at times.

I haven't written the essays for The Big Clock, but I have written more than the initial 8 that I thought up for Let Me In. I had no idea that I'd want to write so much about those two films. I might have to edit myself heavily.

This might actually be slightly interesting: part of my process all along with these Rematches is to Google "I hate" and the name of the films in the Rematch so that before I watch/re-watch them at some point I can pollute my mind with all kinds of negative propaganda type reviews about the films. That keeps me from adoring them way too much. Didn't work for the latest Peter Pan, of course. And there are some scathing reviews I found for the three most recent of these four. Yet, I don't buy every nasty thing someone writes about them...especially after watching them with my own eyes and hearing them with my own ears. But it sets me up to be less biased either one way or the other. Oh, BTW, if I don't care for one of the films, I then Google the "I Love" reviews and read some of them. Prolly too much work to put into it, but I see it as sort of rinsing the palate between samples of wines that you're tasting.

I'd be farther along in all this but I was encumbered by the previously-mentioned go*&amn virus. Since I can now go over sixty minutes without having a coughing fit, unless I try to talk to someone, I anticipate being free of that ball and chain in a day or two. Thought it was going to be today, until I went in for my morning job. Had to skip the afternoon jobs, again.

I think all viruses need to be re-engineered so that they come and go on my schedule, not that of Nature, who so clearly doesn't understand what I'm trying to do with my life. And lying around irritating my intercostal muscles by constantly hacking and wheezing day in and day out, ain't it.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 11, 2013 3:54 pm

Ah, the delay is over. Got a review ready!
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 11, 2013 3:54 pm

A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)
Let the Right One In (2009) dir. Tomas Alfredson
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IMDb link -- RT-link Tomatometer 98%; Audience 89% with 52,022 responses

Year: 2009 -- Director: Tomas Alfredson -- Cast: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Karin Bergquist, Peter Carlberg, Cayetano Ruiz, Patrik Rydmark -- Length: 115 min. Color/Stereo -- est. Budget $4,000,000; est. Boxoffice $7,282,007 (Worldwide)

A year ago the Nosferatu Rematch was coming to an end, with only a month to go. Now, here I am writing about vampires again. Nosferatu was based on the first widely popular vampire novel, Dracula by Bram Stoker. This was published in 1897. This Rematch considers two movies made from a novel published in 2004, 107 years after Stoker's novel became an international "must-read." Some of the notions of vampirism remain just as Stoker fantasized in the Gay 90's, while others have changed.

All through the intervening century, vampire lore has mutated decade by decade. In this Rematch I'll try to include some of those permutations in the discussions. Of course, I haven't seen or read every vampire novel or film that was made, and I doubt I'll take the time to thoroughly Google the genre. For those reasons my analysis will be academically incomplete.

The order in which I was introduced to this pair of films was like this: I read about Let the Right One In over at Rotten Tomatoes forums. When my library finally got the DVD I checked it out to watch. Later, I borrowed the English translation of the novel, and read it. Then I got the Let Me In DVD from Netflix a couple years later. When Ace suggested a Remake Rematch between the two films I was primed and ready. I'm certainly glad to have an excuse to buy, watch and write about these two movies.
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For some (most?) American viewers Let the Right One In has one of two disadvantages: it has subtitles that you have to read while you listen to the lilting original Swedish soundtrack, or you have to put up with a sometimes out-of-sync English dub of the film. For those of us who don't read quickly (a skill that allows the rest of us to enjoy foreign films in their original languages) trying to follow dialogue from printed words is a no-starter. For those who are distracted by failure to lip-sync, an English dub of a foreign film is a dog that won't hunt. In this case the rebuilt soundtrack is nearly as complete as the Disney releases of Ghibli films, but the voice actors often seem mismatched to their characters. Ultimately, neither experience of the US release of Let the Right One In got very wide acceptance. The film did well, for a foreign film, but it was no blockbuster in North America.

Later, there was the famous subtitles debacle, where the theatrical titles were replaced for the initial DVD release with a poor translation, and fanboys cursed that up and down on the netz. Eventually, the video disc releases carried the theatrical subtitles, as they do now. I also watched the film with the English dub, so I could comment on that experience. The voices chosen for some of the characters grate on me a bit. But I used the English theatrical subtitles while I listened to the track, and for the most part they are the same as the spoken English lines.

Let the Right One In features some solid performances for a film of its genre. Oskar, Eli, Håkan, and the bullies (renamed Connie, Martin and Jimmy from the novel's Johny, Micke and Jimmy, and further Anglicized to Cory, Martin and Jimmy in the English dub) are nearly all compellingly realized on the screen. Connie seems like more of a bully when heard in the original Swedish. The voice chosen for the English dub is...weird. Apologies to whomever owns that voice. The boy playing him seems to be a casting mistake. Maybe he represents the Swedish type of bully, though.

The film has to omit several of the more interesting characters and their story lines. But, it retains more than I would have expected if I had read first and watched second. The trouble is that so much of what is kept gets truncated. Overall, though, the oppressive mood of the novel is preserved by the screen adaptation. In fact, there are moments that could have been excised without harming the story at all. On balance I have to say that I applaud Lindqvist's ability to keep the salient points of his novel, and to drive the story to a devastating climax that seems to be filled with better fleshed-out characters than we should be seeing, given the running time. Alfredson and the acting crew had substance to work with in developing the on screen performances. And it pays off.
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When we first see Oskar he is undressed for bed, shirtless, reflected in a multi-pane window so that he appears to be a fractured soul. His reflection is not solid, so we can see through it. Oskar the ghost. He presses his hand against the glass, making a condensation print, but it evaporates when he removes his hand. Even marks of his presence don't last. And then he sees Eli and a man, her father? who are moving in during the darkness of night. The girl is barefoot in the snow. Even though he says nothing, we can tell that he notices her because she, too, is an outsider.


Here are some notes about how certain aspects of the film strike me:

Like: The photography, especially when presented in Blu-ray format. It is much crisper than I had imagined from the initial DVD exposure. It is nearly all low light, so that backgrounds are out of focus. An occasional focus pull mars the otherwise fine follow-focus work by Hoyte Van Hoytema's crew. And to emphasize the passage of time, Alfredson allows his crew the freedom to capture some very beautiful scenics of the town and surrounding countryside. As film editor, Alfredson makes use of these beautiful scenes.

Like: The soundtrack score and its Romantic music style of presentation. There are a few of the expected dun-dun-dunnn type of cues, but a lot of times the tonalities are not what you'd expect. The melody might be slightly touching, light in weight and lyrical.
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Like: For the most part the casting of the kids is well done. But the bully, Connie (Cory in the English dub) is too goofy to be a menacing bully. I guess it's my American training as a film watcher that causes that single casting choice to ring untrue, but it does. The rest of the kids seem to be what they're supposed to be. Of course, the best of these are Kåre Hedebrant as Oskar and Lina Leandersson as Eli.

Like: Despite Oskar's redevelopment as a doormat, he does one amazing change that is tangible in the film, but isn't really that easy to see in the novel. Once Oskar slams a pole into Connie's ear, he is noticeably more confident...to the point of appearing arrogantly proud of himself. After Oskar figures out that Eli is a vampire he taunts her, and acts smug around her, as if he is better than she is. And this leads her to explain why he is just like her, even quoting the first hateful words she ever heard him say as he stabbed a tree on the playground the night they met. Kåre Hedebrant plays arrogance quite well for a fellow of few years.

Like: Lindqvist retains the original state of Eli's mutilation, and we even get a glimpse, but there is no explanation. At least in the novel the reader comes to understand what Eli means when she says, "I'm not a girl." But in the film there is just a puzzle of a shot, and you're on your own. Or you have to do research elsewhere.
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Like: Leandersson allows us to see that Eli doesn't like what she has to do in order to eat and live. She is aware of her destructiveness, and only grudgingly gives in to the evil she does to human beings in order to keep herself alive. She is not given a specific line of dialogue in order to state this. In the book her character makes this explicit knowledge via the narrator, but in this film Leandersson does it with postures and movements. Her mouth says that she does only what she has to. She tells Oskar that, specifically. But her eyes and her carriage tell us that she is tired of it. Dreadfully tired of it. It's amazing. really.

Like: The screenplay leaves open the fact that Oskar chooses to ally himself with Eli. When he could have stayed away, or simply not have invited her into his mother's apartment, he does those very things. He shows in his arrogant treatment of her later in the film that he's an imp, quite capable of evil, and knows what he's getting into. When Eli kills Lacke and has to leave (after all he's in the very apartment where she was living), Oskar is devastated. The dynamic seems different from what Reeves uses in the remake.

Like: The moment of confusion I had on first viewing before I knew the relationship between the old man and the girl. She orders him around as if she's much older than 12.

Like: Lindqvist keeps Oskar's father in the picture. That is part of the boy's alienation. He enjoys the time visiting at his father's house, until a friend shows up and the two men begin to drink, shutting out underage Oskar as surely as the bullies do by insisting that he squeal like a pig for their amusement. So Oskar hitchhikes back to his mom's house in Stockholm.
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Don't Like: Lindqvist and Alfredson choose to slavishly include the "Oskar, be me for a little while" scene from the novel. Actually, there are two such scenes in the novel, which uses these moments for Oskar to learn how Elias originally became a "nothing." But in the film the scene discloses absolutely nothing about what Eli means when she says she's "nothing." Even a generous interpretation of the brief scene in the film would have it merely showing Eli as an old old soul. Which is pointless.

Don't Like: Because of time restrictions most of the development of Virginia's plummet into the life of a vampire is omitted. I think the bare minimum is left to get the point across, although I can't recall whether I understood what had happened to her on first viewing a few years ago. As I recall, her bursting into flames at the hospital seemed to come out of left field until after I had read the book.

Don't Like: The CGI cats. But then, Tomas Alfredson has said that he might have overdone it with the cats. Trouble is, in the novel Göste is supposed to have more than two dozen cats living in his apartment. The number of cats only fails to make sense if you don't know a thing about the novel. The thing is, when the cats attack Virginia the budding vampire, and it causes her to fall down the stairs, it looks sillier than it reads.

Like but Don't Like: Oskar ultimately is saved from fairly certain death by a force that he cannot deal with. Alfredson says in an interview that you can see the ending as a happy ending, or as a tragic ending. He tells us that he likes to see it as a happy ending! Not that he can force that on us, by any means, but perhaps this is the difference between his European perspective and my American one. I think the ending is sad. But it's clever and interesting because of how things turn out. I just don't "like" them. If I were 40 years younger I'd eat this up, and wouldn't have the perspective of stinky old age to see the outcome as the horror that it is. In literary terms, a 'bravo", but I sort of started liking the little fellow and his sad-eyed friend, and then the ending happens and I'm all, "Whoa! Bummer!" Leaves me all, "Poor bullies. They messed with the wrong boy once too often." Plus, it doesn't end as mere revenge. There is more.
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Let the Right One In possesses subtlety that its American counterpart doesn't have. It possesses a sense of community (important to horror, so that the monster violates this community) that its American counterpart doesn't have. They are both well-made films, but Let the Right One In is a better experience. Not everything is explained or presented with easy-to-spot motivation; there is much to wonder about, and to figuratively wander through after the viewing finishes. Alfredson walks you through a fantasy landscape, introducing characters and events. In the end, we cheer something that is not something we should cheer. We are tricked. But it's easy to trick a person who has been drawn inside the horror.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 11, 2013 9:46 pm

A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)
Let Me In (2010) dir. Matt Reeves
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IMDb link -- RT-link Tomatometer 89%; Audience 74% with 61,729 responses.

Year: 2010 -- Director: Matt Reeves -- Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas, Ritchie Coster, Dylan Minnette
Length: 116 min. Color/Stereo -- est. Budget $20,000,000; est. Boxoffice $24,145,613 (Worldwide)

When Matt Reeves was hired to direct an English language adaptation of Let the Right One In, his studio (Hammer Films) acquired the rights to both Lindqvist's novel and the screenplay that he wrote, and that had so recently been produced by Tomas Alfredson. It's right in the credits. So, where the two films are much the same, especially in the final two or three scenes, that is the explanation. Reeves wasn't stealing anything, Hammer had purchased both the screenplay and the novel for him to work with. It seems he took what worked for his purposes best, from both.

His film is not a carbon copy of Alfredson's 2008 (2009 USA) release. But I cannot figure out how his film can have the same running time of the Swedish film and leave out a full 25% more of the plot. It doesn't seem any slower-paced than Alfredson's version.
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Kody Smit-McPhee acquits himself well. He's a charming young man, but the character he plays is too malleable, too much at loose ends. I think this film would have been better with Chlöe Moretz and Kåre Hedebrant playing Abby and Oskar. Now, that would have been a pairing! Moretz's manipulative Abby dealing with Hedebrant's increasingly self-assured Oskar would have been fun to watch. But we have what we have. And we also have our imaginations.

Some of the characters who figured strongly in the novel, such as the policeman who is Tommy's step-father to be, are recast in this movie. Here, there is a police detective who is on the spoor of a murderer, in this case The Father (the character's name, a replacement for Håkan in the novel and Swedish film). He takes the place of Lacke in the final scene up in Abby's apartment.

I like this film. I really do, but I can't help but compare it to Alfredson's adaptation, and Let Me In comes up short in too many parameters. Only very slightly short, but still it doesn't stretch itself quite enough. It's like a player trying to slam dunk the basketball, so to speak. The ball is up on the rim, circles it with fury, and then tumbles off without scoring. Why? because the player tried to be safe, and intended to score the two points. The player was on the control side of "edge of control," rather than just letting go, not thinking about scoring per se, and busting a gut to "get there." For people who appreciate effort above all else, that's enough. For those who want to see a score, it falls short. That's the kind of film Let Me In is, ultimately. The intention is to score, not to "get there." As a result, it doesn't accomplish either. Still, it fails gently, and in a most entertaining way.


Here are some aspects of the film that I like, and some that I don't care for. You'll find that in some entries I both give and take away:
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Like: Chlöe Moretz is a definite plus. Her performance is different from that of Lina Leandersson. She never seems confused very much. She comes across as more manipulative, although she isn't, in fact. She also appears more devious, speaking in riddles to Owen on several occasions. She takes advantage of the fact that the boy can be easily confused, and swayed. She knows that he is falling in love with her, and she takes advantage of this; and even though she appears to have fallen for the boy, that could also be subterfuge. I like the character of Eli better, but Moretz plays what she is given with superb assuredness. There is not one moment of remorse on Abby's part.

Like: The set design and photography are very nice, although there is too much color grading (American director). This is an attempt to set the mood. Alfredson's film sets the mood just fine, without attenuating colors during post-production into some pre-designed palette. At least in the case of Let Me In they don't play with it so much that it's constantly in your face. You only notice it when it's really intense or out of character for the scene. That doesn't happen as often as it could have. But it happens often enough. Notice that this entry started out as something I like, and with some effort on my part, it remained in that category. Except I began to notice as I selected stills for this review: orange & teal, orange & teal.

Like: Let Me In isn't the textbook example of a Hollywood movie. But it comes close enough that it devalues what it attempts to do. I like the fact that Reeves tries to make something that isn't to formula, doesn't hit all the right "beats" and doesn't draw the acceptable, everything-is-explained-for-you characters standard to the genre. I like that he tries to do this, but I am sad that he doesn't get it done. It's as if he wanted to Alfredson the film, and just couldn't resist the temptation to bigify it and smooth out all questions. American audiences don't like to leave the theater with questions. All must be explained. But, you can tell he tried to do that. Remember, this is the director who barely showed us the creature in Cloverfield. A masterstroke, except he seems to have forgotten how to keep human scale, here. When in a project that is human scale, he seems to lose his ability to not enormify the moments for the sake of "boo!" effects. Reeves tries not to jump out from behind the fridge and go "Bugga-bugga!" in a loud voice, but he just can't hold himself back.
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Like: Owen is a slightly dirtier player than Oskar. He is shown taking money from his mother's purse, and doing other things that aren't good-boy. Oskar is like that in the novel: he shoplifts, lies, and so forth. The film Oskar is a cleaner kid, and he comes across more as a wimp in Alfredson's film than he does in the original book. Still, as I write below, Oskar is not Eli's victim. As a wimp with an attitude, he goes on the ride on purpose. Eli isn't the only person in his life, which is more or less the opposite of the way Reeves sets Owen up. Owen basically has no one. Except Abby.

Like: Okay, perhaps when Abby says, "I'm not a girl" she doesn't mean the obvious (for this film) "I'm a vampire." Maybe she means she used to be a boy named Abner. But that isn't likely. Lindqvist/Alfredson tried to include the Eli/Elias idea in their film but didn't give it enough screen time, and offered no explanatory lines. It plays better, although it isn't as "accurate" to the book, when Reeves leaves out that question altogether, and just lets "I'm not a girl" mean "I'm a vampire." For once the Hollywood "explain it" thing works to the advantage of this film over its source film. But that's just one little thing out of the whole 116 minutes.


Don't Like: Matt Reeves is allowed to have a different emphasis from Tomas Alfredson, of course. But his film steers too far into the gruesome aspects of the story. Whereas Alfredson kept much of the most gruesome scenes in long shot, Reeves has to shove the bloody junk right into our faces. Yet, because he does this, especially in the climax at the bathhouse, he takes all the edge off it. American directors with their big CGI budgets seem to have forgotten to place the technical possibilities in service to the story...only to the story. And they just play around with it. I probably would, too, if I had that kind of budget to play around with. I would also fool myself that it was all being done in service to the story. Someone outside the crew needs to stand ready to point out that you're just jerking off with that. Put your device back in its case and zip it shut!
Don't Like: There is never such a person around as I described above, and there wasn't on Reeves' crew, either.
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Don't Like: Where to begin with this one? Hyper-isolation is used too intensely. The gang that meets at the Sun Palace restaurant is a fixture of the novel, and those characters are retained in Lindqvist's screen treatment of the story. The purpose of the gang of drunks is to show that there is a community into which Eli and Håkan have walked. People know one another around here. This little gang functions more in the form of connective tissue for the novel than for the Swedish film. Reeves dumps all that. Whereas Oskar has friends, Owen has none. Owen spends all his time alone, or with his new buddy Abby. Those who speak to him at all are his tormentors. Plus, even though Virginia and Luke have some kind of affair going on, they are not part of a group like the one that supports Virginia and Lacke in the Swedish version. Given that Americans feel isolated in 21st Century culture, when the film was made, we didn't feel quite so isolated in the 1980s when this tale is set. So it seems inauthentic historically.

But this isolation is projected for a dramatic purpose: Owen turns to Abby because he has no one else. I've read the book and seen the Alfredson film, and I believe that Oskar's predicament is dramatically stronger. Taking away all connection to a community for Owen just leaves him like a pasteboard cutout. When he leaves with Abby, he's really leaving nothing behind because he had nothing. Oskar leaves a home, albeit a strained and uncomfortable one. The sole indication that Owen has not always been hermetically sealed off from those around him is the mention he makes of Tommy (an important character from the novel, who is absent from Alfredson's film and this one) who used to invite the younger boy to play ping pong in Tommy's secret basement storeroom, a place that Owen still visits even though Tommy has moved away.
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Don't Like: Owen in this story becomes Abby's victim. We Americans love to see ourselves as victims, and poor little Owen, who has nobody, falls into step with this vampire. And then leaves home with her. In a sense, Owen hits the jackpot, wins the lottery, because his new I'm-not-a girlfriend has lots of money. Whee! He'll never have to work, only string up a few unsuspecting people now and again to help the permanent 12-year-old feed her habit. At least that's what the end feels like. American directors have a devil of a time with the irony of situations. I think it's because Americans won't go see anything that doesn't feed their need to be a victim of someone else. "Responsibility for my own choices? Why would I want to claim that!?" No, if Owen wasn't Abby's dupe, then he would have chosen to become a murderer! He has to be seduced into it. The victim of it. Yeah, that's right. I'll allow that I might be exaggerating this point, given that Owen is shown committing questionable acts on his own (although he never steals any candy the way Oskar does in the novel).

Don't Like: Owen buys all his candy and things in the film, whereas Oskar often shoplifts in the novel. The written character of Oskar seems a bit more likely to make the choice that the film Oskar makes, than the streamlined film version does. But Owen steals money from his mother to buy the candy with, at least.

Don't Like: Virginia isn't a character, she's simply a topiary plant that turns up at some point in the story and then suffers from fatal fertilizer overdose. I think she could have been left out. How many scenes is she in, anyway? Two? But they needed a body on fire scene for the Hollywood film. The Swedish film uses the same scene as a suicide with a remorseful purpose. In fact, a difference in this film from its predecessor is that neither vampire character regrets anything. Both Eli and Virginia do in Let the Right One In, and the original film is stronger for their remorse.

Don't Like: The people who designed the vampire feeding scenes for this film seem to have vampires and zombies confused. Then, again, maybe American audiences do, too. Traditionally, vampires lap up the blood that escapes from a wound. They do not tear off flesh steaks and chow down on them.
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Don't Like: Reeves admits in one of the featurettes that he purposely kept the mother a formless, mostly-absent character to emphasize the lack of connection that Owen has with everybody. Okay, Reeves. So that was your intention, but you kind of gutted your little film by taking that approach. Weakened it. But then, you did pump up the gore. I guess that makes up for it. Anyway, good try, it's just that Lindqvist had a surer hand with what is important in his story. Reeves feeds us the American faux explanation that the boy could never have gone over to the side of the vampire if he had only had some connection to his surroundings. Owen wants only to leave. Oskar wants to be a part of things, but keeps getting pushed away. Owen is unable to connect, so he's ripe for conversion to the dark side.

Don't Like: At the end of the movie I should feel like the bullies got what they deserved, right? Alfredson makes me feel that way. Reeves doesn't.
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Don't Like: Well, actually this is a strong clue that Reeves is only playing with his toys. At the end of the film when the cliche fade to back would be so very appropriate to allow us to frown in the disturbing darkness of it all, Reeves fades to white. As if to wash away everything we've seen. To cleanse us of all bad feelings before we go out into the real world once again.


Let Me In is a very well-made film, quite enjoyable for what it is. But it lacks a certain something that Tomas Alfredson's version has. Or perhaps it has a Hollywood touch that it would be better not having. At any rate, it isn't a waste of time to watch, but if you have only 115 minutes, and you don't mind reading subtitles, see the Swedish film. If you have 230 minutes, watch them both. Let Me In is an exercise in trying to make the nonsensical make sense. Reeves wants you to leave the theater with no questions. Plot points are neatly tied up for the most part. When you finish watching, it's over. Let the Right One In will engage your imagination for hours or days afterward (at least it did mine). The original film draws you into itself. Makes you a part of the horror. Let Me In allows you to watch through the filter of the movie screen, but when the projector light goes out the horror is over, and you're done. That's it. All over. You might be wondering about the technical points of the film, but you won't be daydreaming about the relationships that you have just seen unfold. All has been told to you already. Very carefully, very completely. You've even seen a strip of portraits from a photobooth that tell you exactly what Owen's future is to be like. You've been outside the show for the entire time.
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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri May 17, 2013 2:42 am

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)

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Sidestepping a Requirement

One of my go-to books is Film Noir, An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward. I last used this book when I was comparing Rear Window and Disturbia. On page 25 of the revised edition, Eileen McGarry begins an analysis of the 1948 film. The woman who causes George Stroud to become enmeshed in his own pursuit, Pauline York (Delos in the novel), functions as the femme fatale of this noir outing. If the film is traditional film noir it has to have a femme fatale, right?

But this is noir turned on its head. The woman is supposed to lead the man into his own downfall and regret (like in Detour, for example), yet in this case she winds up being the victim of murder. The same thing happens in the 1987 revamp. So, is there a femme fatale in The Big Clock or No Way Out?

If you consider that the woman entices the man into a sexual relationship, and that the suspicions of her other lover are piqued, and result in her death, and that the death of the femme fatale plunges the main character into his uneasy plight, then, yes, there is a femme fatale in these films. Of course, the man can't be let off the hook for "falling" for this complication. One thing to keep in mind is this, and it's very important: the genre "films noirs" was created by French cinema critics long after the films that define the genre had been produced. The films were produced by people who weren't trying to follow any rules, so there are basically no rules for film noir, except after the fact! It was never a movement, nor was it intended to be one, in the way that, say, Dogme 95 was designed to be.
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Perhaps it is because of the post-war setting of the 1946 novel, and the 1948 film adaptation, that it has a happy ending. Not for everyone, but for George Stroud. Except that a woman he loved for a little while has been killed. But that may be too simple an analysis of the story. The major theme of this original film seems to be that justice will prevail. By 1978 there are moments when we are allowed to believe that justice may not prevail. And the denoument of the story takes a different path in No Way Out from the way The Big Clock winds down.

As in the films that defined the genre, a woman lures a man into a situation that brings him down, puts him in harm's way, and complicates his life beyond his ability to comprehend. But this story deviates from the underlying ideas of noir whenever it wishes to do so. The shadowy, chiaroscuro photography maintains a sense of dread, but not every scene is shot that way. The story plays out in a world of luxury and privilege. Earl Janoth is one of the most powerful men in the world, king of a publishing empire that encircles the globe. Stroud is the editor of one of their most popular magazines. York is simply a pawn in Kenneth Fearing's web of trial and possible vindication for Stroud. Janoth, for example, never knows that Stroud is looking for Stroud, while intending to implicate Janoth.
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The non-noir 1978 film uses the same role for Susan Atwell. She is merely the trigger for a situation that will pit Tom Farrell against Secretary of Defense, David Brice. Her presence in the film is temporary. I wondered while watching these two films if Robert Bloch was at all influenced by the brief role that Rita Johnson has as Pauline when he was creating the novel Psycho. Sean Young is quite fetching in No Way Out; you can understand how Tom Farrell is attracted to her, and why he may want to avenge her death. But her role is a minor one dramatically, although it has a very great influence on the plot.

There are no twists at the end of The Big Clock. But Robert Garland attempts to toss in a huge plot twist at the very end of No Way Out. I can't say whether it works, because years before I watched the entire film I saw the final 10 minutes. Fortunately, I didn't make the connection until the final scene was playing. But I instantly recalled what was about to happen. It is truly clever. And ironic. It also has only the most tenuous connection to anything that has come before in the film.

But by the time there is a resolution in either film, the femme fatale has met her end and bowed out; long before. Is this side-stepping some requirement of the "genre?" Does the femme fatale have to be around to view the fruits of her sexual power? No. She isn't around at the end of Detour, yet the damage is done!



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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Fri May 17, 2013 3:11 am

One of the difficulties I've been having with the choice of movies for my commentaries thread is meeting the "requirements" of the film noir movement. Just a quick check on wiki shows that No Way Out is not on their list of neo-noir from the '80s. But it is listed on the TSPDT website. This discrepancy illustrates how subjective an interpretation of the style and elements can be.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon May 20, 2013 10:24 pm

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)

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Are You Trying to Find Yourself?

In the 1970s young people were said to be attempting to find out "who" they were. This process was referred to in the popular press as "finding yourself," but that lent itself easily to parody and jokes. "I went to find myself, and when I didn't come back, I sent a friend looking for me, and now I'm really lost." The popular phrase was a mere metaphor, but in both the 1948 and 1987 movies the main character actually has a moment of realization that he is looking for himself as a murder suspect!

Of course, he knows that he's innocent. The game becomes one of delay and diversion as he seeks to find evidence that will reveal the real murderer. Meanwhile, he has to appear to be diligently searching for the culprit. This story is about a man who is thrust into a situation that requires one to be a great actor.

Only two people can exonerate the hero as murderer, and one of them is dead. The other one killed her, and is trying not to be discovered. So the hero is on his own. In both films George Stroud (Ray Milland) in the 1948 version, and Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) in the 1987, take on the task, and both actors are pretty good at seeming to be ordinary men trying to act their way through a tough situation. Naturally, there are missteps, and moments of revelation as well as moments of betrayal for both men.

The stories are based on Kenneth Fearing's novel, but they are adapted for the times in which they hit the screen. So, the two stories are not alike. This is fitting, and it gives us a window onto what things seem fearsome to people of the two different eras. The films are separated by 39 years of technological progress and social evolution. One takes place about 20 years before the Sexual Revolution, the other about 20 years after. This affects the presentation, and the search.

A running tension-producer in the 1987 film is a computer-enhancement of a Polaroid instant print negative found beneath the murdered woman's bed. We know who is in it, and so does Tom Farrell. But he will only focus more suspicion on himself if he puts a halt to the enhancement process. There is not an exact counterpart to this pitfall in the 1948 film. No such thing as a computer existed in 1948. Electronic processing computers were in the earliest experimental stages in that year. By 1987 it simply would not have made sense to omit use of computers for evidence analysis, or for planting of overlooked evidence in governmental records. In 1948 the picture involved is a sketch of the suspect made by an artist whose work Stroud just happens to collect, and who he met on the night of the murder.

Also, in 1948, the man hunting for himself is an ordinary man, for the most part. In the 1987 film the medal-encrusted hero turns out to be someone entirely different from who we think he is. The question in both cases is: can this person find proof of the real killer before he is overwhelmed by a huge amount of circumstantial evidence that points to him? And that creates all the suspense in both version of the film.

After I wrote that I thought my second viewing (when I already knew the "twist" at the end) was more enjoyable, Quite-Gone Genie replied
Quite-Gone Genie wrote:I've only seen it once, but I knew the twist because I had read about the film long before seeing it. I can't tell if it's better knowing, but it did make the film enjoyable.
This is another of the many cases where knowing the supposedly spoilerific twist at the end of a plot makes the film, designed to break it to you in a moment of awesome, make more sense. Farrell's actions are totally without basis if you don't know who he is, and Costner seems stranger than usual as an actor. If you know, you lose the lame moment of "awesome" that the filmmakers tried to set up, but it awesomes up the entire film before that point! Farrel's moments of panic seem much better acted. See the end first.


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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Tue May 21, 2013 2:03 am

YouTookMyName wrote:Farrell's actions are totally without basis if you don't know who he is...
It's been a while, but isn't he just using delay tactics to prevent the computer from revealing his image, while simultaneously trying to solve his girlfriend's murder? These actions seem logical to me regardless of the twist.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue May 21, 2013 12:22 pm

dreiser wrote:
It's been a while, but isn't he just using delay tactics to prevent the computer from revealing his image, while simultaneously trying to solve his girlfriend's murder? These actions seem logical to me regardless of the twist.
That part, yes, but some of the other stuff he does is really over the top...unless you know the twist, in which case his "over-reactions" don't seem so extreme.
Without knowing the ending "twist" you don't understand his collapse in the men's room after he learns that he is in charge of finding "Yuri", for example. He just seems like a fraidy-cat, or a psycho...which is odd following a scene of heroic shipboard rescue. If you know that his cover is at risk of being blown you can figure out that he's afraid of that, and legitimately, or that he's having an existential crisis about being a Soviet spy.
See? :D
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Tue May 21, 2013 12:24 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: That part, yes, but some of the other stuff he does is really over the top...unless you know the twist, in which case his "over-reactions" don't seem so extreme.
Without knowing the ending "twist" you don't understand his collapse in the men's room after he learns that he is in charge of finding "Yuri", for example. He just seems like a fraidy-cat, or a psycho...which is odd following a scene of heroic shipboard rescue. If you know that his cover is at risk of being blown you can figure out that he's afraid of that, and legitimately, or that he's having an existential crisis about being a Soviet spy.
See? :D
Ah.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 25, 2013 4:00 am

A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)

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Novel to Film to Foreign Film

The novel Låt den rätte komma in by John Ajvide Lindqvist was published in Sweden in 2004. Tomas Alfredson's film adaptation was released four years later, and a US release was prepared by 2009 featuring subtitles as well as dubbed dialog. Lindqvist wrote the screenplay, and was happy with the filmed result. History says that interest in an English language adaptation was quite high in 2007, before the Swedish film was released.

Hammer films acquired the rights to do an English language film in 2008, and asked Alfredson to direct, but he declined the offer. Matt Reeves then became the writer/director for the project.

The two films were released only two years apart (one year if you go by US release dates), which means they have the closest spacing between original and remake of any that I've compared so far in this thread. The runners up would be the three films derived from The Maltese Falcon, which were released 5 years apart. The greatest gap is between 1945 and 2009 for the Dorian Gray rematch (of course, other versions were released between those two). I first saw a DVD of Let the Right One In sometime in 2009.
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For an American company to decide that a non-English film is not "accessible" to an American audience, and that their version would be, is not unheard of. Sometimes the adaptation skews the story far from its origins, at other times it hews close. It seems that as often as one American remake is true to the spirit of the source, another one or two will be so far from the mark that they are either disgusting or laughable, sometimes both. So waiting for Reeves' possible screw-up was exasperating for some. In fact, I had decided that I liked Alfredson's version so well that I'd just skip the American remake. Then I got curious about it, but I didn't hurry out to see it. And before I decided to, it was gone from my home town. Eventually, I turned to Netflix and watched Let Me In on 11/11/11. I was favorably impressed, especially since on first viewing it was not as good as the Alfredson, but nowhere near as inferior as I had expected. I wished I had rushed out to see the film at the theater.

What is most intriguing to me about this pair of films and their development is that for once Hollywood didn't mess up the remake by trying to impose American values all over it. Perhaps that is because both Matt Reeves and Tomas Alfredson reported that they found their own childhood experiences in the bullying depicted in Lindqvist's novel, and in the humanity of the story. So, all Reeves had to do was not aggrandize the Hollywood aspects of his production in order to remain true to the original tale. Did he? I don't think so, but one possible measure is how Lindqvist feels about the two films.
Image
At Wikipedia I found a reference to this article, in which the author is quoted as saying
"I might just be the luckiest writer alive. To have not only one, but two excellent versions of my debut novel done for the screen feels unreal. Let the right one in is a great Swedish movie. Let me in is a great American movie.

There are notable similarities and the spirit of Tomas Alfredson is present. But Let me in puts the emotional pressure in different places and stands firmly on its own legs. Like the Swedish movie it made me cry, but not at the same points. Let me in is a dark and violent love story, a beautiful piece of cinema and a respectful rendering of my novel for which I am grateful. Again."
...............................
The novel is told in third person, leaping from the mind of one individual to another. Interestingly, it parallels the Bram Stoker novel Dracula in its perspective: the story is told from the point of view of those who experience the vampire. In addition, in this novel we get to learn the vampire's perspective. So, Eli is one of a slate of characters whose thoughts we get to know, whose feelings are described for us. The characters all live in the same apartment complex or go to the same school, so we wind up meeting a fluid group of individuals, some of whom know others in the group very well, and they know others who live there by sight only. In our heads as readers we come to understand these relationships. The dynamic creates a certain mood, or feel, and does it in a way that only novels can do. A film can never really present characters or stories in the same way.

So, how does the first film evoke the same mood as the novel? It has to focus on the parts of the novel where we stand outside the action, because that is the only perspective film has. Novels take place inside our minds as we read or hear them read. Films take place outside us as we watch. Narration is the intersection between novels and films, but narration is often used clumsily or overbearingly, and a lot of critics are sad cases of "purists" who think that novels are novels and films are films and they should never ever intersect under any circumstances.
Image
Thus, the film Lindqvist adapted from his own novel has to rely on our instinctive gut reactions to what we see. There is no way Lindqvist the screen writer, or Alfredson the visual director can make us interpret what we see in a particular way. Lindqvist has that power in his written words, when we take the story inside ourselves. But he relinquishes that intimacy with our minds when a camera intercedes between him and us. Adaptation to the screen is an exercise in thinking visually, and projecting philosophy onto activities rather than onto dissertations. Filmmakers have to show us characters and events with which we can "identify" in order to draw us into their stories. Only if we experience the character's emotions vicariously can we identify with them, which means to feel as if we know them, or as if we are them. This is the greatest problem faced by anyone who would adapt a novel to the screen: creating that sense of identification.

The quote above tells me that Lindqvist knows and understands the problems of changing a story from one form to another. The Swedish film also tells me this as I watch it, and it demonstrates that he understands how to do this. For Lindqvist to be happy with Alfredson's screen translation of the screenplay is unusual. Oftentimes authors, even those who write the screenplay of their own works, are unhappy with the difference the camera makes. What is astonishing is that another man's mind applied to the same problem, telling Lindqvist's story in sounds and images, and in a different language from the original, could develop such a level of identification with the story. But Matt Reeves translated the same story to the screen in a way that also pleases the author. That is the rarity, and that is why Lindqvist says he might just be the luckiest writer alive. Two men saw two different aspects of the same novel, and brought them into existence as films. Both films evoke the kernel of the story that the author imagined when penning the original words. Both capture the mood that was upon Lindqvist as he wrote his novel. It is no wonder that this feels unreal to him. As I wrote in another essay, a single instance of that would have been unreal. To have it happen twice is...extraordinary.
Image
So how did Alfredson react to Reeve's film? From Discuss: Are Remakes Like 'Let Me In' Any Less Genuine or Honest? by Ethan Anderton February 27, 2012:
But in talking with The Wall Street Journal just recently, his bark had some bite with it this time. While he doesn't say that he's seen the film yet, Alfredson commented:
"I think that there's something dishonest about copying someone's work. I think it's much stronger if you do something personal of your own that's original."
As I wrote in the review of Let Me In, Hammer acquired the rights to both the Lindqvist novel and his screenplay for Alfredson's film. What Lindqvist did well in his screenplay, Reeves was free to use. And he did. I think what makes Alfredson's reaction so strong is that not five, nor forty years had passed, but only two years. With a twenty-five year gap between the two films, Reeves wouldn't have seemed such a copycat. So I can forgive him for taking the best, just as he would have if he had remade Friday the 13th, for example. It's just a shame that he watered down the content for American audiences rather than expanding the minds of those same viewers. After all, the film lost money, anyway. It was destined to, as an art-house style movie.



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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 25, 2013 6:38 pm

Image

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)
Behind the Lens
Image
1948: At IMDb, two men are credited in this case Daniel L. Fapp is the cinematographer, and John F. Seitz is credited as Director of Photography. I'm not sure what the perceived difference is. In the book Film Noir, An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward, only Seitz is listed in their run-down of the film credits. I haven't found any explanation about this. Perhaps one of them began shooting and the other was hired to finish. I can't be sure.

Fapp's career encompased 81 titles, all feature films. He first worked on World Premiere and Glamour Boy, both released in 1941. In 1943 and 1944 he shot six Henry Aldrich films. Fapp's greatest recognition was an Oscar for his camera technique on West Side Story, although he had six other Oscar nominations for cinematography between 1959 and 1970. I've actually seen 7 of his films. Fapp's last credited work was for Marooned, in 1969. He died in 1986 at the age of 82.

John F. Seitz was the cinematographer on 163 titles between 1916 and 1960. Not only does IMDb point out that Seitz is the photographer on many well-known films, including Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, and Sullivan's Travels, they reveal that the man held 18 patents for cinematographic processes and techniques! In 1916 he operated the camera for two silent short films. By 1930 he was getting Oscar noms for his work, a total of 7 nominations, without any wins by 1955. Seitz was the color cinematographer for When Worlds Collide (1951), for which he garnered one of the Oscar nominations. His last screen credit was in 1960, but he lived until 1979, when he shuffled off this mortal coil after 86 years.


1987: The very last film photographed by John Alcott was No Way Out. For that reason, the film is dedicated to his memory. His first film as DP (where he is credited as "lighting cameraman") is A Clockwork Orange. He won an Oscar for his work on Barry Lyndon (in fact, he won 5 awards for Lyndon, all five that he was nominated for!). He also contrived the beautifully bizarre and elegant photography in The Shining. I have two lesser-known films in my collection that Alcott worked on; Greystoke:The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, and Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (odd that they both have colons in the title) which he shot back to back, released in 1984 and 1985. These films are "lesser" films, but they are immaculately photographed. What you see on the screen is always well-presented, it's just that what's going on isn't the most compelling story. Alcott suffered a heart attack at Cannes on July 28, 1986. This means that he never saw No Way Out as the rest of us do, in its edited, completed form. The John Alcott IMDb bio page is quite complete, and informative for anyone who has an interest in the photographic aspect of film-making.




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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sun May 26, 2013 1:49 am

"some other guy" :P

Seitz is probably the best film noir DP guy ever.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun May 26, 2013 5:43 pm

dreiser wrote:"some other guy" :P

Seitz is probably the best film noir DP guy ever.
Big list of 'em, eh? Maybe for a while he was the go to guy for that type of film.

I'm not certain that fellow with Kubrick isn't the Brown fellow who developed the SteadiCam. But the image came up near the top of a Goggle search for Alcott. I'm willing to change it. Hmm. Just confirmed that it is Garrett Brown. I'll have to find a pic of Alcott and slide it in there!

EDIT: fixed the photo above, replacing this one with the misidentification:
Image
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon May 27, 2013 3:17 pm

Image

A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)
Lines You Might Remember

2004 The Novel Let the Right One In Image
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
There was no one to be seen so she gave in freely to her sobs as she made her way home, pressed her arms against her stomach; the pain lodged in there like an ill-tempered foetus.

Let a person in and he hurts you.

There was a reason why she kept her relationships brief. Don't let them in. Once they're inside they have more potential to hurt you. Comfort yourself. You can live with the anguish as long as it only involves yourself. As long as there is no hope.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
-there was something in her, something that was...pure horror. Everything you were supposed to watch out for. Heights, fire, shards of glass, snakes, Everything that his mom tried so hard to keep him safe from.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
He stared at the doorbell. Things would not simply return to normal. Something had to be done. Like running away, hitchhiking, making your way home in the middle of the night to show that it was...important. What he was scared of was not that maybe she was a creature who survived by drinking other people's blood. No, it was that she might push him away....
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
"Are you old?"
"No. I'm only twelve. But I've been that for a long time."
"So you are old, inside. In your head."
"No, I'm not. That's the only thing I still think is strange. I don't understand it. Why I never...in a way...get any older than twelve."
Oskar thought about it, stroking the arm of his jacket.
"Maybe that's just it, though."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean...you can't understand why you're only twelve years old because you are twelve years old."
Eli frowned. "Are you saying I'm stupid?"
"No, just a bit slow. Like kids are."
"I see. How are you doing with the Cube?"

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
They stood there for a while, not saying anything. Then Eli said: "Do you want to come in?"
Oskar didn't reply. Eli pulled on her T-shirt, lifted her hands, let them fall.
"I'm never going to hurt you."
"I know that."
"What are you thinking about?"
"That T-shirt. Is it from the trash room?"
"...yes."
"Have you washed it?"
Eli didn't answer.
"You're a little gross, you know that?"
"I can change, if you like."
"Good. Do that.”

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Eli held out his arms, laid them against Oskar's cheeks, brought his face closer.
"Be me a little."
And kissed him.
...
Oskar tries to pull his head back, leave the kiss. But Eli, who was prepared for this reaction, cups one hand around the back of his head, pushing his lips against his, forcing him to stay in Eli's memories, continue.

The piece of rope is pressed into his mouth and there is a hissing, wet sound when Oskar farts with fear. The man in the wig scrunches up his nose and smacks his lips, disapprovingly. His eyes don't change. Still the same expression, as on a child opening a cardboard box he knows contains a puppy.

Cold fingers grasp Oskar's penis, pulling on it. He opens his mouth to scream "nooo!" but the rope prevents him from forming the word and all that comes out is "aaaaaaah!"

The man under the table asks something and the wig man nods without shifting his gaze from Oskar. Then the pain. A red hot iron forced into his groin, gliding up through his stomach, his chest corroded by a cylinder of fire that passes right through his body and he screams, screams so his eyes are filled with tears and his body burns.


More time...Endless time. Imprisoned. The man bites. And drinks. Bites. And drinks.
Then the glowing rod moves up into his head and everything turns pink as he jerks his head up from the rope and falls...

...
Oskar felt sick to his stomach, dizzy. He freed himself from Eli's arms and sat down on the couch, looked around as if to reassure himself again that he was was back and not...there. He swallowed, noticing that he could recall every detail of the place he had just been. It was like a real memory. Something that had happened to him, recently. The funny man, the bowl, the pain...
Eli kneeled on the floor in front of him, hands pressed against his stomach.
"Sorry."
Just like...
"What happened to Mama?"
Eli looked uncertain, asked:
"Do you mean...my mother?"
"No..." Oskar grew silent, saw the image of Mama down by the stream rinsing the clothes. But it wasn't his mother. They didn't look anything alike. He rubbed his eyes and said,
"Yes. Right. Your mother."
"I don't know."

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Eli was a copy of his mother. Thinner, smoother, younger but...a copy. In twenty years Eli would probably look just like the woman by the stream.
Except that he won't. He's going to look exactly like he looks now.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Closed his mouth. Then pressed a kiss on Oskar's lips. For a few seconds Oskar saw through Eli's eyes. And what he saw was... himself. Only much better, more handsome, stronger than what he thought of himself. Seen with love.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

2009 Let the Right One In Image

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Oskar: How old are you?
Eli: Twelve... more or less. What about you?
Oskar: Twelve years, eight months and nine days. What do you mean, "more or less"?
Oskar: When's your birthday?
Eli: I don't know.
Oskar: Don't you celebrate your birthday? Your parents... they've got to know.
(Eli looks down at the ground)
Oskar: Then you don't get any birthday presents, do you?
Eli: No.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Eli: I want to be left alone.
Oskar: So do I.
Eli: Then go home.
Oskar: You go home, I've lived here way longer than you.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Oskar: Well who said I wanted to be your friend anyway? You must be pretty stupid!
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Eli: Oskar... Do you like me?
Oskar: Yeah, a lot.
Eli: If I wasn't a girl...would you like me anyway?
Oskar: I suppose so. Why do you ask?
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Oskar: Who are you?
Eli: I'm like you.
Oskar: What do you mean?
Eli: (accusing tone) What are you staring at? Well?
Eli: Are you looking at me?
Eli: (points her finger at Oskar) So scream! Squeal!
Eli: Those were the first words I heard you say.
Oskar: I don't kill people.
Eli: No, but you'd like to. If you could... To get revenge. Right?
Oskar: Yes.
Eli: Oskar, I do it because I have to.
Eli: Be me, for a while.
(pause)
Eli: Please Oskar... Be me, for a little while.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Jimmy: You stay under water for three minutes. If you can do it, I'll just nick you. (brandishes switchblade) But if you can't, I'll poke one of your eyes out. An eye for an ear, right?
Oskar: But ... that's impossible.
Jimmy: That's your problem.... Three minutes.... Better take a deep breath.... Five, four, three...two, one. (He plunges Oskar beneath the water)
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...


2010 Let Me In Image
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
ABBY
What are you doing?
OWEN
Nothing. What are you doing?
ABBY
Nothing.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
ABBY
Just so you know, I can't be your friend.
OWEN
Why not?
ABBY
That's just the way it is.
OWEN
Well, who said I wanted to be your friend? Idiot.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
ABBY
I want to be left alone.
OWEN
So do I.
ABBY
Now go away.
OWEN
No! I've lived here longer than you.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
OWEN
Do you want to go steady?
ABBY
What do you mean?
OWEN
Do you want to be my girlfriend?
ABBY
Owen, I'm not a girl.
OWEN
You're not a girl? What are you?
ABBY
I'm nothing.
OWEN
You know, it's ok if you don't want to be my girlfriend. You don't have to make stuff up.
ABBY
Can't we just keep things the way they are?
OWEN
Yeah, fine. Whatever.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
OWEN
You smell kind of funny. [pauses] Aren't you cold?
ABBY
I don't really get cold.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
ABBY
Owen, do you like me?
OWEN
Yeah. A lot.
ABBY
Would you still like me... even if I wasn't a girl?
OWEN
What do you mean? I don't know. I guess. Why?
ABBY
No reason.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
OWEN
Look, it's so cool! [shows Abby a sheet of paper with Morse Code] We can talk to each other through the wall!
ABBY
Can you hear me through the wall?
OWEN
Only sometimes.
ABBY
Did you hear anything the other night?
OWEN
A little. What was your dad so mad about? Where's your mom?
ABBY
My mom is dead.
OWEN
My mom and dad are getting a divorce.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
OWEN
Are you a vampire?
ABBY
I need blood to live.
OWEN
But how old are you, really?
ABBY
Twelve. But... I've been twelve for a very long time.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
KENNY
What are you going to do with that?
OWEN
[holding metal pole] I'm going to hit you with it if you try something.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
OWEN
[on the phone to his father] Do you think there's such a thing as evil?
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
THE FATHER
Please don't see that boy again.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
THE POLICEMAN
Are you a Satanist? Are you involved in some sort of cult?
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
OWEN
You kill people.
ABBY
I do it because I have to.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
OWEN
[singing] Eat some now. Save some for later.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...




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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon May 27, 2013 3:20 pm

When I was marking the Quotes tech post in my RR calendar booklet, I noticed that today was the day I was originally scheduled to put up the initial post for the Let Me In Rematch! :)
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Mon May 27, 2013 5:15 pm

So you're ahead of schedule!
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue May 28, 2013 2:36 am

Yes, so far as that goes! But I'd have just finished The Big Clock Rematch.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue May 28, 2013 10:11 pm

Image

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)
The Writers
Image
The novel, 1946: The Big Clock
Kenneth Fearing was born Kenneth Flexner Fearing in 1902. I expected to see a long list of screen credits for the man, but IMDb has only 5, and three of them are based on his novel The Big Clock. Fearing published 8 novels (one with a co-writer), and 7 books of poetry. The Wikipedia article points out that Fearing also published soft-core porn stories, usually, although apparently not always under the pseudonym Kirk Wolff. It also reveals that, "In 1950, he was subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C.; when asked if he was a member of the Communist Party, he replied, 'Not yet.'" But he only lived to be 58 years old, dying of malignant melanoma in 1961. I wonder if high SPF sunscreen would have prolonged his life. He died before it was ever invented.


1948: The Big Clock
Jonathan Latimer wrote the screenplay based on Kenneth Fearing's novel. His screenplay was nominated for a 1949 Edgar award. He was a pulp fiction author before going to Hollywood, according to his IMDb bio page, and this blog. His first screenplay credit was in 1937. He continued to wrote features, both A and B films, until the late 1950s, when he began to find TV scripts more to his liking. He wrote for four TV shows between 1959 and 1965, then took a break until 1979 when he has a single credit for a "Columbo" episode. Latimer was born four years after Kenneth Fearing, but lived to be 76 years old.


1987: No Way Out
Robert Garland got two credits, for screen story and for screenplay. But I could find no photo of him on the net. He also adapted the Fearing novel into a modernized screenplay, changing locations and characters, but keeping the basic skeleton of the tale. He acted as a producer on the film, as well. Between 1970 and 1975, Garland was a fairly successful writer for TV series. In 1975 he moved into TV movie scripts, and then made the jump to features with The Electric Horseman in 1979. IMDb shows listing for three feature films for which he didn't receive screen credit for one reason or another. His script for No Way Out was his next to last screenplay. His final one was The Big Blue released in 1988.




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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu May 30, 2013 8:33 pm

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)

Image
High-Profile Trouble

We love to see the powerful brought low. The sangfroid of the moment is somehow cleansing. Uh, except for the powerful. So it's no wonder that stories of the rich and famous misbehaving and getting caught up in the aftermath are a staple of literature and cinema. The original film adaptation of The Big Clock has a publisher who is too big to fail, getting caught up in the heat of the moment and offing his girlie.

By the late Excessive Eighties there had to be more on the line than a mere publishing empire, so we move into the realm of Goverment and involve the Secretary of Defense whose position of power is at stake. The plot developments also involve a squeaky-clean hero, and they have to go for the big Surprise Ending. And boy do they find a surprise! But I will refrain from telling you what it is, in case you haven't seen the film and believe in Spoilers. (My advice remains: learn the spoiler and as a result, enjoy the film much more.)
Image
Both versions involve someone who is a well-placed guy and who has fallen in love with the big dog's girl having a mountain of Circ Evidence staring him in the face as he is given the task of finding out who killed her. It must be kept on the down low becuase a Reputation is at stake, and it suddenly occurs to Mr. Main Guy that he is the suspect he is supposed to ferret out. Ugh. Wouldn't want that job.

This presents the audience with ample reason to root for the main character, of course, and both versions of the film manage to create a moment or two of anxiety as he seems to have no way out. Since we know who killed her, and we know who is innocent, the film becomes one of Hitchcockian suspense rather than a mystery. I think suspense is mystery turned inside out.

Even though it seems like cheap writing to put so much on the line (a publishing empire or an entire political career) this tactic seems to succeed wildly in the case of this story. These are films meant to entertain, not to raise any social issues, not to preach anything. And as entertainment they work very well. These two are in that category. The older film has a lot to offer, and its main detraction is probably its age and the black and white nature of the photography. The newer film has a lot of plot embellishments that I find questionable, but if you know the surprise ending, you can get pleasure out of watching the show.


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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:36 pm

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)

Image
Relative Bits

There are themes, and characters in the novel that find their way into each film in a different way. Some are clear-cut, and easy to see, while others, especially in No Way Out, are more covertly expressed. Some features of the films don't appear in the novel. The ways in which the facets of the 1946 novel are incorporated into a film made 41 years later is one of the better aspects of the 1987 remake. Some are quite clever.

Image
Louise Patterson = Louise Patterson = Nina Beka
Louise Patterson, the artist, exists in the novel. George Stroud collects her paintings. Just as in the Farrow film, Stroud bids against her for one of her paintings in a junk shop. In No Way Out immigrant Nina Beka protects Farrell's identity when he comes to her apartment with Scott Pritchard, even though she has seen him with Susan Atwell before the murder.

Image
Louise Patterson's suspect sketch doesn't exist in the novel. Her sketch in the 1948 movie = the Polaroid negative in the 1987 film
In the novel there is no suspect sketch by Louise Patterson, but she is introduced in the film as a person who can sketch an ID picture of Jefferson Randolph, the man she bid against for one of her paintings. There is no human being creating an identifying image in No Way Out. Instead, a Polaroid photograph negative is digitally enhanced until it finally reveals that the person in the image is Farrell, establishing that he knew the murdered Susan Atwell.

Image
Pauline Delos = Pauline York = Susan Atwell
In the book, Earl Janoth's mistress is Pauline York, who becomes fed up with Janoth's controlling, jealous nature. Of course, you can read below what he's jealous about. In the movie Janoth becomes murderously enraged out of sheer jealousy of a man York tells him is named Jefferson Randolph. The 1987 film features the Secretary of Defense's mistress, Susan Atwell, who is never ever seen with him in public, but he is still jealous enough of the man who recently left her apartment to drunkenly push her to her death.

Image
Bisexual Delos = vaguely bisexual Janoth = bisexual Brice
Earl Janoth is sexually jealous of Pauline Delos, but most of her dalliances are with other women. And it is her accusation that Janoth and Steve Hagan take homosexual excursions up into the mountains, that prompts him to brain her with a crystal vase. In the film Janoth is presented as possibly, vaguely bisexual, maybe having something between him and Hagan, but nothing is for sure. It was just too distasteful for audiences of the day, and anathema for the Hayes Office. In No Way Out there are strong hints that Secretary Brice and Scott Pritchard may have a little thing going on the side. Brice is certainly using Pritchard's attraction to him as a way to control the younger man.

Image
Possibly homosexual Steve Hagen = possibly homosexual Steve Hagen = homosexual Scott Pritchard
Farrell's novel sets up a situation where Pauline Delos can accuse Earl Janoth of having a clandestine gay affair with his assistant Steve Hagan. In the film this is vaguely hinted at as a possibility, but I never noticed it at all until after I read the novel and watched the film. There is no spoken line that creates the notion. In No Way Out the CIA director is told in no uncertain terms that Pritchard would not have been Susan Atwell's paramour, because he is homosexual.

Image
Earl Janoth = Earl Janoth = David Brice, SeDUSA
The novel features Earl Janoth, businessman, and head of a world-wide publishing empire, and this name and character are retained in the 1948 movie. But the identities of all the characters are changed for No Way Out, in which case the powerful man involved with a young mistress whom he kills, is the Secretary of Defense of the United States of America.

Image
Adulterers are Janoth and Stroud = adulterous Janoth and possibly platonic Stroud = adulterer Brice
In the book it is made clear that George Stroud commits adultery with Pauline Delos, and that it is not his first extramarital affair (his wife lets us know that). The George Stroud of the John Farrow movie is shown committing no adulterous liaison with Pauline York, but the storytelling leaves it as a possibility. In No Way Out David Brice commits adultery with Susan Atwell, but Tom Farrell isn't married, and neither is she, so at most they are guilty of fornication. No adultery.

Image
George Chester = Jefferson Randolph = Yuri
Pauline Delos tells Earl Janoth that the name of the man with whom she has dallied is George Chester. The Pauline York of the film alleges that her new friend is Jefferson Randolph. In No Way Out, Scott Pritchard makes up Yuri, an undercover DoD plant put there by the Soviets. In each case it is Chester, or Randolph, or Yuri that the George Stroud analog is sent to find.

Image
Stroud is amoral = Stroud is amoral = Farrell is Yuri, a spy
In both the novel and film George Stroud seems to lack a stern moral rudder. In the 1987 film Farrell is a Soviet spy who was planted in the US when he was a teenager, and has no Russian accent, though he is fluent in his native language. But at the end of the film it is strongly hinted that Farrell has lived in the US for so long that he has as much allegiance to that country and its government as he does to the Soviet government.

Image
Stroud is directed to find a man, and he has a staff at his command=Stroud has a staff at his command=Farrell is the chief investigator in name only
George Stroud is put in charge of finding George Chester by Earl Janoth, and Steve Hagan who give him carte blanche using the resources of Janoth Publications to carry out the manhunt. In the movie, Janoth is a bit more micromanaging and manipulative. In the '87 outing, Brice and Pritchard put Farrell in charge of finding Yuri, but it is only a front for their string pulling, which never stops. He isn't really in charge of anything.

Image
Bill the chauffeur = Bill the general assistant = the Special Forces clowns
The novel's character Bill is mentioned briefly, but he's Janoth's driver and they share a long history of discretion. Janoth doesn't tell Bill anything other than what he wants done, and Bill asks no questions/makes no comments. The Bill character in the film is more frequently seen, but he has absolutely no lines. The No Way Out analog to Bill is a pair of retired special forces agents who are Scott Pritchard's flunkies. Called 'Contra' 1 and 2 in the credits, they are deadly, but no deadlier than Pritchard, as it turns out. And they do their share of talking.




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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:23 am

What a breakdown. Fun read.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:19 pm

dreiser wrote:What a breakdown. Fun read.
If the weather here had been slightly different, I could have claimed it was a foggy mountain breakdown. :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:19 pm

Image

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)
At the Helm
Image
Perhaps it is not a coincidence, but it seems like one: both directors in this Rematch are Australian-born men who emigrated to another country to find fame and fortune.

1948: John Farrow, who would later write the screenplay for the 1956 release of Around the World in 80 Days, and who had directed 28 films prior to The Big Clock, became the choice for seeing this project through. Farrow was known for his approach to the kind of films that were later called films noirs. But he also directed The Hitler Gang. I haven't seen it but it sounds odd. IMDb lists Farrow's first directorial outing as the uncredited direction of Tarzan Escapes in 1936. His career would span nearly three decades, ending with three episodes of the Empire TV series in 1963. Farrow died relatively young, at age 58. He won an Oscar for his screenplay work on Around the World in 80 Days. He was nominated as Best Director for a 1942 film entitled Wake Island. Farrow won other awards for those two films. He got his start in the film industry when, after four years in the Navy, he became a technical advisor on a film about the Marines. Farrow was married to Maureen O'Sullivan, with whom he had 7 children, and later in life he became the father-in-law of both Frank Sinatra and André Previn. Farrow worked in film noir, war films, and westerns. He is perhaps best known in the latter genre for his 1953 film with John Wayne, Hondo.


1987: Roger Donaldson, who has several award nominations, was selected to organize and press forward with a second film based on Kenneth Fearing's 1946 novel. It was his 7th directorial credit, a third of the way through his career, which is on-going. Like his predecessor in the realm of Fearing novels, Donaldson works in many genres. Among his successful films are No Way Out, Species, and The World's Fastest Indian. Also, like Farrow, he takes on many different jobs in the film industry. But, so far, Donaldson's writing credits are only for films that he has directed. The World's Fastest Indian grew out of his acquaintance with Burt Munro, the main character of that film; Donaldson's first directorial role was on a biographical documentary about Munro. Although he has yet to scale the heady heights of the Oscars, Donaldson's career is not without awards recognition.




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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:22 pm

Image

A Comparison of The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987)
In the Cutting Room
Image
1948: LeRoy Stone would live for only another few months after this film was released. No one would have expected this because he was only 55 when he died. Four years earlier, Stone had been Oscar-nominated for his editorial skills on Going My Way. Stone has two screen credits for 1948, and three for 1949, the year of his death in September. There is even a posthumous credit for a 1951 release (surely films must have been delayed back then as often as they are now).


1987: Both William Hoy and Neil Travis receive editorial credit on the film that made Kevin Costner a star. This was Hoy's first screen credit as an editor, although he was assistant editor on five earlier films. Hoy would be paired with Neil Travis on editing a number of high profile films in the coming years. The most significant film for both men would have to be Dances With Wolves, which they pared down from Costner's 5 hour+ cut to just over 3 hours.




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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Ace » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:05 pm

-___- Gort never let me know he was going to start my rematch I suggested. Also Gort did you ever watch the Let Me In deleted scene? I felt it could have been in the film but was glad they kept it out.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:21 am

Ace wrote:-___- Gort never let me know he was going to start my rematch I suggested. Also Gort did you ever watch the Let Me In deleted scene? I felt it could have been in the film but was glad they kept it out.
Sorry. I thought you'd read the footers on my posts and know that I'd begun two Rematches on April 1st.

I just watched the deleted scenes. I thought I had watched them, then remembered that the disc Flix sent me in 2011 was the rental version and didn't have special features. So I dug out my Blu, and watched them.

I agree with you that the two major scenes (with the coach offering to listen to the boy's problems, and the "Be me a little" scene with Abby) that were cut could have been left in but leaving them out didn't harm the film at all. For one thing, the "Be me" scene in LTROI makes no sense at all, because the purpose of the scene is not fulfilled. And if you're not going to have Abby once have been Abner, and suffered the same cruel cut that Elias does in the novel, there really is no point to including the scene at all. So, I too am glad that they weren't included.

I've got an essay about the two films that I'm ready to post tonight. Bullies.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:22 am

A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)

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Bullies in Film

Both Tomas Alfredson and Matt Reeves have said that their strongest connection to Let the Right One In is identification with Oskar, the bullied boy. They both recall experiences of being bullied from their childhood. I'm not going to say that all children are bullied, but probably all kids except the bullies themselves are at least the targets of unkind teasing from time to time. I've read that girls are even worse than boys about bullying, although it takes the form of verbal abuse and social ostracism rather than beatings. I wouldn't know about that first hand, though, since I was born a boy. I don't even have second-hand experience of it, having had no sisters, and having had no daughters. But I was the target of bullies all through public school. Not that it was an everyday or even an every week thing. Nothing at all as intense as Oskar's problem. It stopped only after I got to college. Perhaps some of you can also identify with this situation.

The bully character is a staple of film conflict, isn't it? Perhaps because all of us can relate to the idea of someone tormenting us for no apparent reason, and somehow escaping any consequences. Thus, showing bullies getting what we believe they deserve is also a staple of cinematic resolution.

But recent research has demonstrated that bullies focus on targeting unpopular kids...mainly because when they mistreat them, no one else cares! Did we need research to prove this idea? No, we already knew it. For some reason, bullies in films always get to operate without consequences, but when the targets have had all they can take and strike back, the victims get into trouble for striking back. Does it happen that way in real life? I recently watched the excellent 2011 documentary film Bully, which examines this question in a slightly more real-life way.
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Since we're talking about vampires and bullies here in the same story, it might be interesting to point out that the words victuals and victim share a common root. Victuals (often rendered and pronounced vittles) are things that we eat, and victims are living creatures that are sacrificed or eaten (perhaps both). Victims in the purest sense become vittles. And when you're the victim of a bully it can feel as if you are being consumed. Plus, afterward there is the time of burning with hatred toward your own personal bully, wishing you had thought of something to say or to do in order to make him feel like he was being crushed beneath your heel for once. In the novel, Oskar is stabbing a tree with a kitchen knife, and pretending that it is Jonny, his prime victimizer, while Håkan is killing another boy in the woods. For a time Oskar feels as if his pretend killing of Jonny might have been the cause of the other student's death, although he finally decides that is impossible. But he holds onto the conviction that it would be really cool if he could do that!

Eli/Abby tells Oskar that he needs to hit back, and hard. Oskar/Owen ultimately takes that step. And it leads to the kind revenge that biblical history tells us to expect. Turning the other cheek gets Oskar nothing, so he literally lashes out at one of his tormentors. And it gets Oskar into trouble. Not only that, but he feels somewhat ashamed for what he has done. Unlike Jonny, Oskar is unable to see his target as less than human. But he doesn't remain cowed the way Owen does after striking out at Kenny. In Alfredson's film Oskar ultimately feels cocky and triumphant after he whacks Conny upside the head with the pole Håkan used to submerge Eli's first Blackeberg victim. At least he feels that way for a while.
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The plotlines that involve bullying and such become rather complex in the novel, but they are simplified quite a bit in both movies. Movie bullies are almost always presented in a straightforward manner. Think of Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story. He gets his comeuppance from Ralphie, and that's the end of it. In Let Me In Owen's hitting back escalates the bully's determination to hurt him more. And that leads to the satisfying and horrifying denouement, which is discussed in detail in another essay.

Kody Smit-McPhee plays Owen adeptly as an out-of-gender-bounds boy, just the kind that bullies like to target. He sometimes holds his wrist at the wrong angle, he pleads for mercy from Kenny and the other bullies, he doesn't comport himself in a "manly" way, so they attack him for behaving differently. Of course at the end of the story their distaste for him turns murderous. The bullying in this tale goes way beyond ordinary bullying.

In some ways I like Owen's presentation more than Oskar's, but overall I prefer Alfredson's film in this regard. Owen is a bit too cowed, perhaps; far more likely to be the willing kidnap victim of a cute girl vampire. Smit-McPhee's performance is what Matt Reeves asked for, no doubt. And I must admit that the boy's plight as portrayed by Smit-McPhee tugs at my heartstrings more than Kåre Hedebrant's Oskar. This is because Oskar, despite being bullied, has more spine. He is slightly more willing to act on Eli's suggestion that he hit back hard. Owen almost "accidentally" hits Kenny on the head, more as a defensive measure than Oskar does; and Owen's reaction is one of disgust at his own violence. Probably true to life, but not as blood-curdling as Oskar's transformation into an over-confident little prig in the aftermath of his attack on Conny. Also, probably true to life for some situations.
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Of course, I don't know how much real-life experiences on the part of the directors molded the different performances of the youngsters in the films. But it's clear that someone in both projects identified with what is happening to either Oskar or Owen, rather closely. Perhaps even Smit-McPhee and Hedebrandt have had their share of discomfort at the hands of, and from verbal abuse by bullies.



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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:37 am

Char! Hey, Charulata!!

I've ordered the four DVDs of the movies in the Multimatch for The Postman Always Rings Twice (which includes two foreign films, how cool is that?) and they should arrive by the 13th of June. The Multimatch is scheduled to begin on the 15th of June (and run until August 16th). I might not have the Let Me In Rematch quite concluded by that Saturday, but there will be a couple of weeks when I re-read the novel and rewatch the four films before I begin to write.

I decided since Ace never knew I had begun his Rematch that I'd be sure you could read this. Heh. Assuming you even read the thread.

Sending a PM would be just too much special treatment. :shifty:
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by charulata » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:00 am

I always read this thread, Yo... even when you don't superduper capitalize my name :D I've seen all of the ones I suggested now.. so am very excited to read your thoughts :) <3
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:51 am

charulata wrote:I always read this thread, Yo... even when you don't superduper capitalize my name :D I've seen all of the ones I suggested now.. so am very excited to read your thoughts :) <3
And I will be ready to read some of your thoughts. Think that might be possible, once I get going? 8-)
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by charulata » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:41 am

YouTookMyName wrote: And I will be ready to read some of your thoughts. Think that might be possible, once I get going? 8-)
I'll do my best :)
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:02 am

A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)

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The Casts Head-to-Head

Depending on who you are in the process of creating and watching a film, the characters are different. If you are the writer, or one of them, the characters play about in your imagination, and they might be similar to people you've known, been, or seen in other filmed entertainments over the years. Or they may not. If you're the director or casting agent you have a vision of the characters, but you have to match your vision to some ineffable quality of actors and actresses you see. You will never meet someone who exactly embodies what is written on the page, or whatever that spurs in your imagination, but if you meet someone who is close to that, who can weather the rigors of production, then that's the person to hire. The character changes during the process: from someone you imagine to someone you hire to embody the character on screen.

If you are the audience, and most of us are members of that class of folks, the character is an inseparable combination of the written character and the skill and personality of the actor or actress your eyes see on the screen.

So, imagine being Tomas Alfredson or Matt Reeves, and your job is to find someone to become Eli/Abby or Oskar/Owen. Seems daunting, now, doesn't it? The person must be a child, perhaps as young as 11 or 12, who can do the technical job, who looks like you can accept for the role, and who the audience will accept as that character. It would help if the actor playing Oskar looked a little like an outsider, and if the girl playing Eli looked a bit mysterious. Alfredson's casting director batted 1000 in both cases with first-time actors. Matt Reeves got to work with seasoned youngsters.

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Eli-2009/Abby-2010
In the novel Eli is capable of growing wings, of transforming fingers and toes into claws, and her eyes and face change alarmingly in the basement scene where she samples fallen drops of Oskar's blood. Tomas Alfredson did not have the CGI budget to show this, and apparently he didn't want to. There is one nifty eyeball change that is slipped into the beginning of the basement scene in the 2008 film. A second actress is used to demonstrate Eli's facial changes. Alfredson said when the film was first out, that he chose an actress to play Eli because it would be easier to do the brief shot of Eli's mutilated genitals if starting with a girl's body.

Lina Leandersson played Eli in her first film role. She was nominated for and even won some awards for the performance. She has since landed roles in two 2013 releases. As Eli she was equal parts mysterious, monstrous, and empathic. She convincingly played a creature who could see a mutual interest in saving a boy from his environs. Abby was the 30th role played by Chloë Grace Moretz. Abby is just as interesting as Eli, but Moretz plays the role with more of a vicious edge, I think. She seems more calculating than Leandersson's Eli does. Moretz has gotten her share of awards noms and wins.

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Oskar-2009/Owen-2010
Oskar is not an innocent in Lindqvist's novel. He shoplifts, has murderous feelings, although perhaps justified ones, considering that he is bullied. Alfredson's Oskar is kind of a doormat by comparison. It works all right for the film, but only because there isn't enough time to develop his character further and still tell the germ of the story from the novel. Owen is a terrifically disturbed boy who can't figure out a way through his isolated world, and would probably turn to anyone who gave him the time of day without either ignoring him or hitting him.

Kåre Hedebrant played Oskar in his first film role. He has since appeared in three other titles, one of which is a Swedish TV series. His Oskar is bewildered and angry, trying to understand what's happening between his parents, and struggling to understand why he's the target of a gang of bullies. He wants to fight back, but is afraid to, until Eli gives him the courage to strike back. The young actor does a good job of mixing sorrow at what he has done to Conny with a sense of power that he has found the courage to strike back. Hedebrant's best acting asset is his voice, which often carries a scene well even when he seems uncertain what to do with the parts of his face. He manages to make Oskar goofy and relatable. Like the other three kids in lead roles in these two films, Hedebrant's work got noticed by the awards committees. Like co-star Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee had prior acting experience, having appeared in a dozen roles before he played Owen in Let Me In. He was "Boy" in The Road a year before Let Me In came out. His performances have garnered a large number of awards and nominations, considering his age. His Owen is both similar to and quite different from Oskar. He deftly plays Owen with a little bit of near-daintiness which sets him up as the target of Kenny, the bully. Like Hedebrant, his character is easy to like, and easy to feel afraid for. If that makes any sense.

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Håkan-2009/The Father-2010
In the novel Håkan is a pederastic ex-teacher, fired because of kiddie porn that was mailed to him (there was no internet in the 1980s, even in Sweden), who somehow became Eli's helper about five years earlier, right after losing his job. When Eli feeds from him at the hospital he plummets to the ground, but since she didn't sever his spine he returns to "life" as a vampire zombie. In the first film he seems more like Eli's father, and is mistaken as such by Oskar and Lacke. The American remake simply calls the character "The Father," although he isn't Abby's father. The films have him die in the plunge from the hospital room.

Per Ragnar is not only a noted actor in Sweden, but a noted author, according to IMDb. His supporting role as Håkan, Eli's helper, is crucial to the story. He has to appear to be clumsy and ineffectual, was well as potentially deadly...which Ragnar pulls off easily. He was nominated for an award for the performance. His counterpart in Let Me In, called "The Father" in the credits, is played by Richard Jenkins, with 103 credited roles currently. Jenkins has been noticed by the awards people. He is a noted character actor. You may have seen him in Cabin in the Woods as well as Let Me In.

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Virginia-2009/Virginia-2010
Virginia is one of the more fully described characters in the novel. Her role is trimmed way back for the Alfredson film, and she becomes a human prop in Matt Reeves' retelling. In all three sources, though, she meets her end as a human/vampire fireball.

Ika Nord worked in Swedish TV until she played Virginia in Let the Right One In. Charged with showing the confusion of a woman who wasn't killed by Eli rapidly turning into a vampire, she creates a good deal of sympathy for Virginia. Her decision to become a ball of fire makes sense. The actress makes it make sense. In the American remake, the extreme bit part of Virginia is played by Sasha Barrese. It is not her fault that the part makes no sense and is in the movie only as an excuse to have people burst into flames. Uhm, you know, because the scene was in the book. Early in this century she appeared in a number of TV series.

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Lacke-2009/Larry-2010
In the novel Lacke gets a double devastation from the vampire: she kills both his best friend, Jocke, and the woman who is his lover, Virginia. This is replicated in the film that Alfredson made. Larry, as the analog is called in the American film, is a balding 30-something who is Virginia's boyfriend. Larry chases Abby as she leaps over a fence after attacking Virginia, but cannot catch her. Owen sees the attack, of course. Later, Larry sits at bedside when "The Policeman" arrives to ask questions.

Lacke is brought to life by actor Mikael Rahm. He makes the character as directionless and emotional as the character in the book. He says the wrong thing to Virginia at a party, so she leaves and becomes a meal for Eli. Lacke, who has followed his lover, kicks the small monster away, and then Rahm shows us a man who is trying to get back with Virginia, very sorry for what he said. See, Eli has taken from him his best friend and now his lover. But he has no idea about Eli's influence on his life at first. Vengeance gleams in the actor's eyes as he goes on a quest to avenge Virginia, but we all know how that turns out. In the American film Larry is a bit part to equal Virginia's. Dylan Kenin plays the part, although there is no meat with which to work for an actor. The roles of Virginia and Lacke are significant in the Swedish film. The Americans who play Virginia and Larry are involved in performances that make little or no difference to the film they are in.





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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:22 am

A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)

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Analyzing the Ending

Although it seems odd to have this entire essay in spoiler tags, I am about to write about the ending of the novel and the films. This is one case where the ending can come as an enjoyable surprise; not as surprising as the ending to The Sixth Sense can be, by any means, but it is set up well, and if you don't know it you might not realize until it happens, that you expected it.
As you know from high school and college theater classes, in ancient Greece, playwrights often resolved plot quandries by having gods or goddesses intervene. The actors appeared from the fly above the action and descended onto the stage as if from heaven in the god machine, a mechanical contraption on which they could be raised and lowered by stage hands. Thus, we call that kind of plot resolution deus ex machina.

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For many, the deus ex machina ending is a miserably lazy way to end a story. In some cases it is. In others it might be the only remotely plausible way to end the tale...which means there is no plausible way to finish the story. But the Eli ex machina ending of Let the Right One In gets set up in the relationship between 1) Oskar and his tormentors, 2) Eli and Håkan and 3) Eli and Oskar. When Håkan disappears after his final failure to secure food for his beloved, the small vampire named Eli (later Abby in the American version) needs another assistant.

This need of a helper is not brought about by any physical weakness on the vampire's part...it is simply that it has to exist in a culture where children are not left on their own. Now, it might be noted that Eli does get old-looking and physically weaker when she needs to feed. At one point in the story she confides to Oskar that she hates killing people, but she has no choice. That is the only food available to her, and like many living things (maybe in this case we should say like many formerly living things) she wishes to cling to life, so justifies what she does in order to survive. In a sense, that is also what Håkan has been doing all the years he has been with Eli.

Oskar/Owen serves as a person on the fringes of society who might be recruited to grow into the role that Håkan has held for a number of years, though in the film we don't know how many. Clearly, at first Owen won't be able to get food for Abby in the way the larger Håkan has done. But if anything, Eli/Abby has time to wait. In the novel, Elias approaches Tommy, one of Oskar's friends (merely mentioned in Let Me In, and not in the Swedish film at all) and pays him money to allow him to drink about a liter of his blood. Eli is careful to see that Tommy doesn't get infected, thus doesn't become a vampire. This is the answer to Oskar's suggestion that there must be another way for Eli to feed besides killing people.

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So, needing a companion and helper, the small vampire saves the life of the ill-fated boy who would otherwise be held underwater until he drowns. This is clearly the bully's real plan. To outright kill little Oskar. In the meanwhile, the vampire exacts Oskar's/Owen's vengeance by ripping some of the torturers limb from limb. And just as in the ancient Greek plays, the vampire descends from above (the windows at the top of the pool house) to save the boy. In doing so, Eli gets not only Oskar's love (which the boy already has for the creature) but Oskar now owes Eli his very life.

During the coda is when you realize that you expected that Eli would somehow rescue the bullied Oskar all along. In fact, there are a couple of moments after Eli leaves and before the pool house vengeance occurs when you might think there is going to be a really different ending to this film. Lindqvist manages to make you cheer for a creature who kills in this case, not to feed, but to secure a new helper. Yet, you're cheering because Oskar has been rescued, and it is only during the coda on the train that you realize what a horrible, high fee there will be for the boy to repay his salvation. And then it occurs to you that Oskar doesn't know this, yet. But you suspect that when he learns of it, he won't care. He is the new Håkan-in-training.

The ending of Reeves' film is basically the same, except that Abby is "nothing" rather than a castrated boy. "Nothing" is never explained so that the romance can be okay for North American sensibilities, I suppose. Owen is so disaffected that he is literally leaving nothing worthwhile behind, whereas Oskar did actually have friends and a relationship with his parents that is less tenuous than Owen's.

In either case, the boy pays a high price for his rescue, and it's done on credit, but because of Eli/Abby he is still alive.

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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:31 pm

Long time no type, but I've been really enjoying the Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In pieces. I've seen both films and your breakdowns and comparisons have been spot on in my opinion. In several cases, your words were like reading something that would've been on the tip of my tongue... something that I wouldn't have been able to articulate, but when I read what you wrote, I can easily agree with.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:34 pm

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A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)
At the Helm
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Neither director from this Rematch has a terribly high-volume career, compared to some directors in this thread. But both have been in the director's chair since 1990 (Alfredson) and 1994 (Reeves).

2009: Tomas Alfredson got the plum job of directing John Lindqvist's own screen adaptation of an original novel. He managed to correctly and accurately translate the mood of the written words to the screen. Of course, I saw the film before I read the novel, so I had the "opposite" experience, but I understood the direction it actually ran. American audiences may also know Alfredson as the director of 2011's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Alfredson has 54 director nominations, and 33 wins for awards worldwide, most of the wins coming from Let the Right One In. He doesn't look like he'd be the guy directing a gory vampire movie, does he?


2010: Matt Reeves directed his own screenplay for the English-language remake. He doesn't look like the kind of person who would make a gory vampire film, either! Cloverfield was his first feature film. As this post gets put on the internet, he is filming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Reeves attenuated the style he concocted for Cloverfield, more closely following Tomas Alfredson's slower-paced, steadier camera style, without actually copying it for Let Me In.




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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:42 pm

Hank wrote:Long time no type, but I've been really enjoying the Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In pieces. I've seen both films and your breakdowns and comparisons have been spot on in my opinion. In several cases, your words were like reading something that would've been on the tip of my tongue... something that I wouldn't have been able to articulate, but when I read what you wrote, I can easily agree with.
That is very high praise, Hank. I'm grateful for it. I'd never have fancied myself a mind reader. :shifty:

Thanks for reading. I know you're busy with many things right now, including raising one of the cutest little girls on the planet. I trust that's going well, and I hope your upcoming art shows pay off well. I still have to get a frame put around your Rocket Science review drawing. I pull it out of the cover once in a while and look at it, then slip it back and say, "I need to get that framed." The original is far more beautiful than the photo you posted of it. :up:
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:42 am

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A Comparison of Let the Right One In (2009) & Let Me In (2010)
Behind the Lens
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2009: Hoyte Van Hoytema caused the photographic decisions that Tomas Alfredson made to come to life on the screen. Internationally, Van Hoytema gained notice for The Fighter (the Mark Wahlberg film) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Van Hoytema's eye adds much to the dramatic and solemn feel of the movie, contributing as much tension as the editing and acting do. Van Hoytema has 20 cinematography credits since his first in 2001, and has received nominations for awards. He won four awards for his work on Let the Right One In.

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Hoyte Van Hoytema was cinematographer on Let the Right One In (2008)(2009)
2010: Greig Fraser transformed the ideas on the page into images on the screen. Let Me In is the only one of his films I've seen, but those who enjoyed the imagery of Snow White and the Huntsman, and Zero Dark Thirty were also watching Fraser's work. I can't be sure how much of Fraser's work is left after the color-timing decisions, but his work on Let Me In would best be described as atmospheric and moody. Greig Fraser has earned 30 credits for his photography since his first in 2000. He has nominations and wins for awards, but neither for Let Me In.
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Greig Fraser was the lighting cameraman for the 2010 film Let Me In

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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


The Future Unreels
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