Let Me In: Avoid.

Yet another pointless remake, possibly even shot-for-shot identical to Let the Right One In (which was fantastic). What differences there were consisted primarily of amazingly crappy "video game from 1997" CGI, and teal-and-orangification.

Wouldn't it have been cheaper to dub it and CGI the lips to sync?

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20 Responses:

  1. Pat Gunn says:

    Another shame is the replacement soundtrack, which feels pretty generic, lacking the tenderness of Söderqvist's score.

  2. Elusis says:

    It would probably have been cheaper to just teach all Americans to read.

    • jwz says:

      Subtitles suck. Film is (supposed to be) a visual medium, and subtitles mean I can't actually watch the movie when someone's talking.

      The only thing that subtitles have to recommend them is that dubbing and remakes usually suck even more.

      • Elusis says:

        I don't mind them, but I'm kind of a visual mental midget in that I can appreciate cool visuals but am really stunted in my ability to take in their basic gestalt (this is why I'm moderately faceblind; possibly it is related to growing up severely nearsighted??) I also read hyper-fast so my attention isn't on the words for more than a micro-second. OTOH it bugs me when I take in the subs ahead of the actual line being said as it screws with timing.

        But dubs.... yeah, no.

      • Nick Lamb says:

        That's a bug. I have a friend with the same problem. For those of us whose brains work properly the subtitles are transparent. I don't notice I'm reading them and I literally can't remember when a movie I've seen had subtitles, it's just seamless, like the plot-device translators in Star Trek or Doctor Who.

        On the upside this probably means you don't unconsciously read upside down or back to front text and try to apply it even though it wasn't meant for you (if someone writes "Push" on transparent glass in a door, I will try to push it, because I unconsciously read the text, backwards, through the glass).

        (Let the Right One in was awesome, I'm sad to hear the American version is as pointless as I feared it might be. Given the source material there was an opportunity to go do something different, there's easily at least one more very different movie in there although perhaps not one an American audience would go see).

        • jwz says:

          No, that's not it. I read everything all the time, upside down, backwards, whatever. I can't stop. It's distracting. That's why I fantasize about worlds like this.

        • I've been watching TV with closed captions on for several years now (my wife's sister is deaf, so my wife is used to it, so they stay on). Eventually you stop noticing (except when they're wrong or broken), and you start to miss them when they're not there.

  3. Look, this trend is been going on for years. And for Europeans it's quite irritating.
    It's killing european movie making and trashing investments in the sector.
    Many gifted actors that could break it with a lucky film are stranded and obscured in invisibility. This sucks. Big time.

    Vanilla Sky, the Ring trilogy, (yes it's japanese, yes it could have used a remake, and yes the director was the same) the Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, are the first foreign superfluous remakes that come to mind.

    CGI lip sync, seriously, ain't worth it.
    First of all, "Let me in" is in swedish, swedish language structure ain't far enough away from english for anyone to notice any difference.

    What hollywood really needs is getting actors to study dubbing, instead of that live take thing the current establishment is obsessed with. With dubbing-minded actors, you get seamless performances, with no lip syncing needed. Ever.

    I'm in Italy. We dub everything since... always. No one bothers. Some actors have the same voice (e.g. De Niro, Hoffman, and Pacino) but it's well played and kind of fun, as you notice that only after the movie. Even Meet the Fokkers presented no real challenge.

    There are only two actors I, and most people I know, cannot stand, when dubbed on screen: Asia Argento and Monica Bellucci. Both are (real, unlike De Niro/Pacino) italians, and both cannot dub themselves. (And should not be allowed to without proper, prolongued, training)

    • When your first example is "Meet the Fokkers", you have already lost.

      • Or maybe I went spot on to the kind of movie that appeals the demographcs the lack of dubbing is locking out.

        This is not a movie club discussion.
        It's a "fuck the movie clubs and their elitist attendance" discussion.

        There are quality products with mainstream appeal that are sistematically removed from their mainstream market by subtitling and offering no dubbed version.

        Movie clubs flourish on those (I bet they do, it's mainstream material) and get in the way of turning things right.

        So bring that attitude to your nearest movie club, tell yourself you're in most cultural percentile, the status quo will be pleased.

    • Ian says:

      I'm in Italy. We dub everything since... always.

      A few years ago, I went to a showing of Tenebrae at the National Film Theatre in London. It was introduced by one of the people who'd worked with Argento. Of course, it's dubbed and like nearly all of his films, it's done badly, and we were told why. When they had wondered during post-production when they were going to do the 'fitting', the process of making the lip-sync better, Argento's response was 'Fitting, what is fitting?'

  4. Jim says:

    This remake actually turned me against the original... Firstly, because I realized that the story isn't half as interesting when the characters aren't living in Sweden and speaking Swedish. And secondly, because the remake makes it quite explicit that the vampire's previous "carer" used to be her young boyfriend... and that eventually the fresh new kid will end up a decrepit old pedophile being chucked out of a hospital window. Depressing.

    • Nick Lamb says:

      The novelist is actually very explicit that that's not what's going on in his book, I believe he even wrote a follow-up short story or something to make it crystal clear that Hakan's story is not a glimpse of Oskar's future. However he also doesn't like the fact that both movies feminise the Eli character. The Swedish movie briefly shows on screen what has been done to Eli, and leaves it to the audience to draw their own conclusions rather than spelling it out, but they used an actress on screen and in dubbing, rather than finding a suitably ambiguous young male actor. As I understand it the US version doesn't mess about, the Eli character is rewritten as female. Probably more palatable to an American mainstream audience.

      • jwz says:

        The American version has a reaction shot where he sees her changing in the bathroom and his eyes go wide, but they don't show what he saw, so that scene is just fan service for people who saw the original movie too. They did leave several instances of the "I'm not a girl" dialog in.

    • pavel_lishin says:

      Despite the fact that the author and canon state that this is not the case, that was the interpretation I drew from the original. I'm wrong, but I like my interpretation better, anyway.

    • jwz says:

      It was pretty clear to me from the original movie that that's what was going to happen, so I didn't see a difference there. (I haven't read the book.)

  5. Jon says:

    I'm guessing remakes keep Hollywood staff in business, rather than a handful of CGI dubbers.