Saturday, October 2, 2010

What NOT EVER to Watch

Just so you all know, I won't always be reviewing books or movies I thoroughly enjoy. Sometimes they will be mediocre, and sometimes they will be terrible, movies more often than books because bad books take more effort to get through, and I usually won't review a book I don't finish. Movies are short enough that I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, sometimes to my great loss. I almost didn't want to include this review for shame, but I watched part of a movie so bad I feel compelled to warn you about it. And since it's also a book, I will recommend you avoid that too.

I decided to see what all the hype of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was about. But I didn't want to devote a lot of time to it since I have a stack of books I'm eager to read, so I went for the R-rated movie. Bad, bad decision, but to be fair to myself, I had no idea what I was getting into. (I don't mind R ratings for violence or even language.) I should have stopped at the first perverted scene. My mistake was to keep watching. I REALLY should have stopped at the second one. I guess it's a little like a train wreck; you can't look away. Only...comparing it to a train wreck is a little like comparing finding an old leftover meal in the back of your fridge to eating it.

I was eating that gaseous, smelly, blue and white fuzz-encrusted What-Was-That? from the deep, murky recesses of the fridge when I watched the third scene. Seriously, what was I thinking after two of them? Sometimes movies will have that One Scene and then have redeeming value. No matter whatever supposed redeeming value this movie might have, it is not worth that. I cannot even take credit for turning it off alone. Lucky for me, my baby started crying in the other room, and I finally shut it down less than halfway through...for good. Let me tell you, I felt like I shouldn't even be holding my son after I should shower.

See, half of the movie revolves around this girl who's in over her head and is stupid, besides. She walks herself into these bad situations with her sicko probation officer. The other half of the movie is about this journalist who's investigating a 40-year-old murder case. That part intrigued me and may be the reason this series of books is so popular now. I hope it's the reason because any other doesn't say much for the standards of American readers. But I'm not judging the book. I haven't read it, and for all I know, this Swedish film deviated from the book in ways an American film might not have. (Oh, yeah, I was watching with subtitles. How extra sad is that?) Regardless, I'm recommending you stay far away from the trend and hype on this one, movie or book. But if you're too curious for your own good, go with the book. Reading it won't sear the images to the back of your eyelids like watching, and you'll be grateful for that, trust me.

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