Monday, September 20, 2010

Red Dragon Reconsidered

The cover of Thomas Harris's 1981 novel Red Dr...
Image via Wikipedia
So a while back I asked folks if they had a movie they looked back on and reconsidered their opinion on.

The premise was simple: a movie reviewer looked back and reconsidered his opinion on old movies he had rewatched.

I promised I would find one, but I truly struggled until I rewatched "Manhunter" on TV a few nights ago.

This was the original telling of the novel Red Dragon, which is famous for being the first appearance by Hannibal Lecktor (as they spelled it in Manhunter) by Thomas Harris.

I remember being OK with that version by Michael Mann. He was in the height of his "Miami Vice" days and it REALLY shows in the movie. And yet, it works. Seriously, take a look at the IMDB page for this movie and be impressed by the acting power on display there!

I loved William Petersen in his pre-CS days. Maybe this is where that started? You have Brian Cox as Hannibal! Jon Landau who went on to produce Avatar worked on this movie!

Mind you, you REALLY have to look past the 80s values very well present in this film. The production design is hyper Mann in the 80s, but beyond that it is a solid piece of work.

So solid, that I never allowed myself to see the REMAKE "Red Dragon" a few years ago with Hopkins as Lector. Seemed really unnecessary, but then this begs the next question- what movie/book etc do you patentedly refuse to digest because it might not live down the hype? I gotta huge list for that!

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