By MARC McDONALD
Once again, Hollywood takes a perfectly fine foreign film and thinks it can do better, simply by throwing an enormous amount of money at a remake and hiring top actors and an acclaimed director. I'll bet the catering budget alone for this bloated, unnecessary remake was bigger than the entire budget of the Swedish original.
What Hollywood can't do, though, these days, is originality. I very rarely even bother to go to the movie theater. Most U.S. movies are terrible. The only movies I watch are the occasional indie film, as well as European and, especially, East Asian movies. It's not because I'm an elitist, or a hipper-than-thou fanboy. It's simply because I'm bored stiff by 99 percent of what Hollywood does.
The best of Hollywood these days may be polished and technically accomplished. And there may be some good acting, here and there. But there is no real originality. And most importantly, there is little soul.
Today's Hollywood moguls only focus on a bland movie-by-committee approach that cynically has no other aim than to appeal to as many customers world-wide as possible. It makes for very lucrative business----but lousy art.
For me, the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has its moments. But overall, it's just another depressing example of a Hollywood industry that is creatively bankrupt. Hollywood has become a parasite industry that just leeches off the ideas of other cultures. (Thank God for off-the-wall films like Tokyo Gore Police and Martyrs that are so extreme and uncompromising that it'd be impossible for Hollywood to remake them).
I realize that there are a lot of Fincher fan-boys who lap up everything he does. But to me, he's overrated.
For me, The Social Network was dull. Just the story of a bunch of pampered Ivy college kids without a care in the world, going to endless parties and expensive clubs.
Hmmm, interesting. When I worked my way through college, my life wasn't anything like this. Just a lot of brutal 16-hour shifts, misery, and constant worry about finding the money to pay the electric bill. And I was hardly the only one. (Actually, the struggles of working-class kids in college would make for a much more interesting film, in my opinion).
Oh, and I know a thing or two about building a popular Web business, too. The Social Network isn't anything like what I went through (or what anyone I know in the biz went through) in building a Web site business. There was little partying, or hanging around in clubs with beautiful models. Instead, there was just an enormous amount of tedious, grueling work, hunched over a computer terminal far into the night. No alcohol---but enormous amounts of coffee.
To be sure, my Web business is a mosquito, compared to the all-conquering behemoth that is Facebook. But I know enough about the biz to know that The Social Network is a fantasy (and an overrated, crap movie as well that is nothing like the real world of building a successful Web biz from scratch).
And as for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo---it's a totally unnecessary and inferior Hollywood remake of what was a perfectly fine original Swedish film.